After driving over 2,500kms on our European Road Trip it wouldn’t be complete without boarding a Ferry somewhere along the journey. We had booked a return trip on the Balearia Barcelona to Mallorca crossing to allow us a week on the sunny Spanish island.
Neither of us had been on a Ferry before, and it didn’t start great after turning up to check-in we were informed that we would have to split up and board the ship separately. Although this wasn’t directly an issue for myself, knowing that Helen suffers from Anxiety, splitting a party up in a foreign country is nothing but a nightmare. This wasn’t just a case of us being singled out, this was every single passenger boarding, to the point of seeing elderly couples that must of been well in their 70s being made to leave each other for a few hours to check onto the ship separately. The apparent reason for this is that only One person can drive a Vehicle onto the ship, anyone else in the party must join as a Foot Passenger.
After several hours of being apart and numerous phone calls and texts we were finally re-united. We paid the extra and upgraded to First Class seating and what a good move that was. The first class basically give us full leather reclining seats. The massive difference in leg-room on an overnight crossing coupled with the fact that the seats pretty much turned into a bed made things much more comfortable to get a few hours shut-eye.
First class on the whole was great however in comparison to other methods of transport when upgrading to first class it did leave a lot to be desired. Other than a swanky leather reclining seat there was no extras for being in first class. The WiFi onboard was a ridiculous price having to pay per 15minutes of web access at a premium rate. Another negative once again about the actual service and staff on-board. When you board the ship and take your seat they staple your receipt on the back of the chair so that they know you’re in first class and basically reserves your seat. We thought perfect, we can go have a little explore of duty-free and see what else is on the ship. We came back to two people that had snuck their way in from economy and had stolen our seats. We tried explaining this to the staff on-board the ship, however our lack of Spanish, combined with the fact we couldn’t get any WiFi/Phone Signal meant we couldn’t even resort to Google Translate. So yeh, basically because of the lack of the crew on-board someone stole our seats for the crossing which really wound us up. You can probably get the underlying theme here, the staff on the Balearia Barcelona to Mallorca weren’t very attentive.
We tried to take advantage of the on-board Restaurant which did leave a bit to be desired. All the “Meal Menu’s” basically came with Crisps & Drink. When trying to order these however, we couldn’t because they didn’t have any crisps on board and it actually cost more just ordering a Sandwich & Drink than it does to purchase it as a meal. It’s safe to say I wasn’t impressed when they rang in the total on the till and because there was no crisps on-board it’d cost me more. I quickly pointed out that regardless of if I’m getting crisps or not I want to pay for the “Meal Menu” price and this was quickly rectified. It would of been nice to have been offered an alternative to Crisps such as a pastry or donut, however apparently service on-board the ship doesn’t really come natural. The same happened on the return journey as-well, I almost believe that the ship doesn’t even stock crisps and just advertises it.
Overall the crossing both to and from was extremely smooth out at sea. The Martin I Soler was the name of the ship we sailed on, and full credit to the captain driving it as for someone that used to suffer from really bad sea sickness I was completely fine. On the other hand, the staff on board the ship the service leaves little to be desired. Let’s face it, the price of a return trip between Barcelona and Mallorca isn’t cheap, and it would of been nice having paid the extra for first class to have received a bit more than just a comfy seat.
Is it too much to ask on the Balearia Barcelona to Mallorca to offer a free complimentary drink and Wi-Fi during the crossing? Have you been on a Ferry before, If so, how did you find it in comparison to this?