Karin. Hi. The newest ferries in Europe would like to think they are mini-liners. Thing is, though that they can be anything from very new to 30-40 years old, so there can be big variations in what they offer. The best will give you pleasant airy cabns (the pleasanter and airier the more you pay!) and half-decent mass catering food, one or more bars, maybe a choice of eating places (one cafeteria, one waiter service, maybe one burger bar) and on some routes things like a cinema (or in-cabin movies) a nightclub (or dancing/band in the bar) and of course shopping.
As such, they serve a function - they aim to keep you marginally occupied for the duration,of the crossing, preferably occupied doing something which increases their revenue. They go from a dock to another dock, most of the time out of sight of land, and if you just look at that, they're not fun. Whether you'd find shipboard activities "fun" depends on how you feel about potentially sharing what the ship offers with maybe 1000 other people. For example, the short Dover-Calais route between France and the UK can feel like you're in a bottle full of people which is being tilted from end to end as you watch the solid flow of folk (espeicially youngsters, who seem to roam ships in packs) shuffle to and fro, desparately seeking something. The ferries can be relaxing, but rarely are; they can be comfortable - more so the better the cabin, incl bathroom - and they get you where you;re going while you (hopefully) sleep and save the cost of a hotel.
We use overnighters when we can - partly for the move while you sleep and partly because neither ofus can stand watching people desparately trying to fill the time in with one shop, one cafe, abd b*gger all else to do.
Don't let me put you off. A friend of mine used to get an airpass when he went to the US on holiday and do the same thing - Monday NY, o/n flight to LA. Tues LA, o/n flight to NY. Weds NY, o/n fight to SF ad si n, for two weeks! I just know that would never suit meEdited: 11 March 2014, 11:28
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