Another grim ferry-tale

Published on July 10, 2014
The Atlantic Vision prepares to dock in Port aux Basques after her maiden voyage on April 1, 2009. — TC Media file photo

My wife and I just spent nearly $1,000 to travel on Marine Atlantic crossing from Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques and returning via Argentia.

That was the cost for two of us with our car and a two-person cabin each way.

My biggest beef was the price of the cabin and some personal confusion as to the difference in price each way (same cabin with same amenities).

We could have enjoyed two nights in very good hotels with a lot more room and amenities than these little sleeping nooks, at a lower price.

No wonder Marine Atlantic’s travel volume is dropping.

It’s cheaper to fly to Newfoundland and rent a car. We sailed on the Atlantic Vision from Argentia. It’s a nice ship. We decided to have dinner in the à la carte Flowers Restaurant but were taken by surprise when we arrived for dinner at 6:30 p.m. to find a waitress taking names and redirecting patrons to the bar.

At the same time, one of the two dining rooms in the restaurant wasn’t even in service.

It seemed they were understaffed for the volume of business that night, although it wasn’t a very busy crossing, and had no Plan B.

We sat patiently for more than 45 minutes and then went to the buffet restaurant in frustration.

Before we did so we tried to get an explanation for the delay, but all we got was “it won’t be too much longer.”

Actually, we overheard the waitress calling our names 65 minutes after she first took them.

During our attempt to find out how long the wait was going to be, a gentleman in a ship’s officer’s uniform (the purser?) strolled by, noted our distress but did nothing to find out what the problem was and walked away.

Who trains the service personnel?

They don’t seem to understand that patrons need to be kept informed when delays are inevitable.

Marine Atlantic’s staff didn’t seem to be able to rectify the situation, or else they didn’t give a damn.

You can be assured that we will think long and hard about travelling on Marine Atlantic in the future. We both have family in Newfoundland and travel there frequently.

When I figure our how to do so, I will write a not-so-flattering review on Trip Advisor.


Desmond Colohan

Charlottetown, P.E.I.