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Stena Line Ferry Plus Lounge from Rosslare to Fishguard

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What: Stena Line Ferry Plus Lounge from Rosslare to Fishguard (October 2010)

Prices: Around €7 for a main veggie meal.

Vegetarian menu: Soup of the day is vegetarian, there is a veggie sandwich (but sadly it’s goat’s cheese), 2 “meat free” dishes are creamy veg risotto, roast vegetable and goat’s cheese (again!) roast.

Drinks: In the Plus Lounge there is unlimited still and sparkling bottled water, cans of fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and wine.

Service: No complaints.

Comfortable: The dining area in the Plus Lounge is comfortable enough. I’m not a fan of screaming children and had paid for the Plus Lounge to be away from that kind of noise. I was surprised to see (and hear) babies in the area. I’m not sure that it’s fair to allow children into a lounge that is meant to be an expensive sanctuary from all sorts of noise.

Was the food good? I ordered the roast vegetable and goat’s cheese roast and wasn’t expecting to be pleased (I was on a ferry after all and had ordered dull goat’s cheese), but it actually was rather good. I was happy that it was presented in such a way that I could scrape the goat’s cheese off, though the overall presentation could be improved.  The vegetables were very well done and quite tasty. I was pretty happy with it.

Toilets: Even if you pay for the Plus Lounge you still have to use the same toilets as everybody else and they really don’t look nice. They were clean enough and functional, though. They do have those deafening hand dryers, which is a big minus for me.

My advice to the chef: Please drop the goat’s cheese. Vegetarians are offered goat’s cheese nearly everywhere they go so it was very disappointing to see it cropping up all over this menu as well. The vegetables were well done, though. Move away from the vegetarian staples of risotto and goat’s cheese (most vegetarians are tired of being offered these two) and be a little more creative.

My advice to the manager: Help to rid the kitchen of goat’s cheese. Rethink allowing children into the Plus Lounge.

Overall: You’ll be surprised at the quality of the veggie food on board. It’s a pity that the chef (who can cook well) relies on the much overused goat’s cheese. With a little more creativity this kitchen could be a really nice surprise for vegetarians, but does not need to be avoided as is.

Note: Management were asked to respond to this review.

Click on photos to increase size.

Veggie roast

Veggie main courses

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2 Comments

  1. Response from Stena Line:

    Dear Dublin Reviewer,

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding your recent journey with us in the Stena Plus lounge.

    On behalf of Stena Line please accept my sincere thanks for the positive feedback regarding our service and food.

    I have discussed your comments with both the On Board Services Manager and the Executive Chef. Meetings are currently taking place regarding the menu for 2011, and your suggestions have been taken into account.

    Currently, options being considered include; Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Spinach curry, Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff and, Butternut Squash and Lentil stew with carrot and celeriac wedges.

    The Goats Cheese main is a top seller, and will probably remain, however the goats cheese sandwich will quite likely be changed for an alternative.

    The Gluten Free range is also going to be extended for next year.

    Stena Line pride themselves on being a family friendly company and we do allow children of all ages into the Stena Plus Lounge. We also, to a certain extent, expect the parents or guardians to ensure that their behaviour is kept under control.

    Nevertheless, we have seen a marked increase in the number of children accessing the lounge, and the On Board Services Manager and the Route Manager are looking at various options that we could implement in the lounge to provide a relaxing environment that suits all our passengers.

    Your comments have also been added to our detailed customer feedback reports. These reports are used to help us identify areas where our service can be improved and to highlight any problems our passengers may have encountered.

    Again, thank you for contacting us regarding these matters and I do hope that we will have the pleasure of your company again in the future.

    Of course, should you have any further queries regarding this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

  2. Thank you for your considered response — I take it as a sign of good customer service. It’s nice to learn that the vegetarian menu should be even better next year. Well done! I wonder, though, if the goat’s cheese main is a best seller because there are only two veggie main options and it is the better choice? I expect that most vegetarians would not chose this if there were other options, such as those you are considering.

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