Our last trip to Wales was a bit of a wash out to say the least, so we were hoping to exorcise some demons and find the true beauty of Wales nestled in the foothills of Snowdonia.
We set off early on Friday morning with enough bags and baggages to survive a three week stint in the wild as opposed to two nights in Wales, with every 'just in case' option shoved into the extensive car boot.
Dublin port was quiet and surprisingly so were the kids. We cruised onto our Stena Line Ferry within about 20 minutes of our arrival - no long queues, no lost passports, no stress.
We were lucky enough to have Stena Plus passes which allowed us entry into the VIP lounge - complete with complementary drinks, snacks, pastries and papers. The kids *may* have eaten their own body weight in chocolate croissants for breakfast.
If you're looking for something more substantial to set you up for the day then you can order (at a cost) from an exclusive menu. Naturally we were and we did. When I stuck this photo up on Instagram and Twitter (free WiFi!) it got a barrage of likes, drools and comments. Nice work Stena.
The journey from Dublin to Holyhead takes between two and three hours depending on your choice of ferry and with their cinema club, amusement area and toddlers play area it was easy to keep all three kids entertained for the duration:
The journey back on Sunday afternoon was a busier one and being one of the last cars on we were lucky to get a seat together, even in Stena plus - only doing so because a lovely Irish girl gave up her table for us. Again there were snacks and drinks on offer on a 'help yourself' basis but we ended up purchasing lunch for all of us as there was nothing really suitable for the kids (apart from lots and lots of lovely cakes!). It was a credit to the waiter managing the lounge that he managed to take orders and serve everyone in there - which he did with supreme efficiency and always a smile on his face.
The only slight fault I could put to Stena is the filling to capacity of the VIP lounge on their busy routes - which sort of defeats the idea of the VIP idea.
I would highly recommend Stena Line to families looking for a stress-free holiday. The joy of being able to bring what you like away with you (a lot), and have your own transport on either side of your trip is worth anything in my book.
Stena Line travel a number of routes from Ireland to Britain and also have hotel package deals that you can book with them. In my next post I'll be showing you where we stayed and what we got up to in Wales so stay tuned...
|And watch out for pirates!|
Disclosure: Stena Line provided this trip free of charge to me and my family, however all words and views are strictly my own.