Visual Message to P&O Ferries ##UPDATED##

Dear Helen Deeble (CEO) and rest of the Board at P&O Ferries ... this is the smoking bar on the Westerdam operated by Holland America Line. She sails under the same flag as your ferry Pride of Bruges does ... the Netherlands and hence the same regulations. No, it's not an old photo ... it was taken 3 weeks ago. Pray tell me, why do you deprive your customers on your ferries of such amenities?

lnstead of the above civilised and comfortable facilities, all that P&O grudgingly (that is the correct word) give is the outside deck totally exposed to the North Sea elements.To access this area you have to negotiate very heavy spring loaded doors and raised steel gantries whilst trying not to spill ones drink etc. This is a feat even for the fit and healthy ... how in god's name P&O expect the ones who are not so fit and healthy to negotiate such an obstacle course is beyond me. Think here of senior citizens, the frail and the handicapped. Not forgetting that anyone who before they even attempt such an ordeal has to put on warm clothing to protect themselves from the outside elements. Even then, you have to take into account the wet slippery steel decks and all whilst the ship is moving to and fro.

Dear Helen,  why has your Board devised and implemented such totally unnecessary and sadistic policies? Unfortunately, l don't have photos of the intended victims of these policies stood outside on the exposed decks of P&O Ferries, shivering and combating the North Sea elements.

However, l do have a photo of how Holland America Line treat these same sort of people, that is to say ... smokers! ....


Thanks to SBC we now how have some pics of P&O's 'smoking area'. Compare it with the above facilities provided by Holland America Line. Take into account that the pics of P&O's 'smoking area' were taken on the Channel and not the somewhat more rough and inclement North Sea. Also it was the middle of a nice day in summer and in calm seas.

(Word of warning ... ANY comments l deem to be offensive or whatever directed at the above female WILL be deleted and if l ever meet you l WILL take retribution.)


The Board at N2D have decided unanimously that whilst the policies against smokers remain at P&O Ferries, we shall :-

NOT purchase alcohol or drinks from the bars onboard

NOT purchase tobacco from the shop onboard (if they have any of course!)

NOT purchase food onboard the ship

We shall make our own arrangements and advise our 'clients' to do so too. :).


  1. They appear to have a blog!

    I'm presuming I got the last bit after the @ correct :

    from here:

  2. Excellent SH. Thanks so much. I hope they listen but I do think P&O are smokerphobic - either this is a personal stance from someone high up or a misguided stance by those who have bought into the smokerphobic propaganda that everyone loves the ban and smokers really enjoy being treated as second class citizens (and passengers).

    BTW, where do I catch the Westerdam? If there is an alternative to P&O that treats smokers humanely and as consumers worthy of consideration, then I'd prefer to use that service in future until P&O recognises that Smokers are people too.

  3. Thanks Sue, l'll look at that.

    Patsy, alas the Westerdam is part of Holland America's cruise ship fleet. They don't do ferry runs ... more's the pity!

    My daughter is currently on the 70 day Asia/Australia cruise on the Amsterdam ... having just left the Westerdam. x

  4. Yes, I'm with the boycott too. P&O's stance means I already begrudge giving them any more money than I need to. Even if taking food, drink or kettles is banned, I would rather starve and wait until I get into port at Zeebrugge than spend yet one more penny to fund smokerphobic policies.

    Anyone got a boat? Maybe we could start our own smoker's cross channel services where the po-faced anti bigots are banned. :)

  5. But, but, but, it'll cost em a fortune to change the no smoking bar to a smoking bar. They'll have to buy some ashtrays!

  6. Pat, there's always Stena from Harwich (as said on your blog with indoor comfy smoking lounge) ...which is probably about as far as Hull from you right?

    Preorder your baccy at the store in Hoek, turn round and come back on the lunchtime ferry.

    I did an account of my last run and SH will no doubt post it when there's a lull.

    SH, you can't publish photos of fit, healthy, very attractive young women enjoying a smoking life style. Have you no sense of social responsibility? Think of the children.

    And i'd have put 'think of the children' in instead of 'think of the elderly' in your letter to PO cos I'm sarcastic like that.

  7. She has her mothers looks then SH? :)

  8. SBC - Hull is practically on my doorstep. Less than a hour travel time. Harwich is three and a half hours travel time away.

    However, not too far to go if P&O continually piss me off and handy for the southerners who couldn't make it this time.

  9. You're not wrong there Prop. l met Smokey. Smashing fella and all that but bet he scares the hell out of people who don't know him. lol

  10. Ha ha, yes thenkfully she does Prop and Anon 16.52

    SBC .. yes your report will be up when this lot quiets down :)

  11. Sue ... their blog is moderated. No surprise there then! Mine won't get through ... onto the e-mails then!

  12. "SBC - Hull is practically on my doorstep"

    You have all our sympathies.

    BTW the Dover-Dunkirk DFDS ferry has a roofed smoking deck accessible from the main bar.

    The horribly dirty and otherwise pretty hopeless (doesn't even have a shop) Ramsgate- Ostend ferry has a smoking alcove off the main inside gang way with a dirty pvc couch for smokers.

  13. In the early 1990s, the founding father of this "Resistance", Gian Turci, was in a Canadian airport, flying back to Italy for the funeral of his father.

    He wondered why the then smoking lounge was so filthy, with ashtrays overflowing, dirty marks where cups had stood on tables, and when he challenged the cleaner, an old black man, he was told the room was not to be cleaned by order of the management "because smokers must be made to see the filth they create."

    Gian courageously replied "It seems smokers are the new niggers of the 21st Century." He said the old man just lowered his head and walked away.

    I wonder what motive those at the Ramsgate-Ostend ferry have for failing to clean the alcove.

  14. "
    I wonder what motive those at the Ramsgate-Ostend ferry have for failing to clean the alcove."

    Impending bankruptcy I guess. There is a total lack of amenities onboard, the whole place hasn't been decorated within the last 20 years, and it isn't just the smoking area that is dirty. There are only two members of staff -as far as I could tell. There is a piddling little bar/coffee bar where one can purchase a packet of ciggies and also a tv room with dutch tv blaring out some ancient Will Smith film.

    I was left with the distinct impression that the Receivers might be waiting in Ramsgate along with the UKBA.

    It was so awful we came back via Dunkerque, prefering to lose on the 'return' ticket we'd bought.

  15. Perhaps they should tailor their services exclusively for smokers and then they might see their profits turn around :>)

  16. The Northmen allready
    boycott bars cafes restaurants and shops on P&O ferries
    After the next Baccy Cruise(when is
    it ?) all our associated trip groups will boycott P&O totally
    Ryanair have kindly restarted
    supercheap flights to Charleroi
    in the Ardennes Belgium.
    This year I have cancelled all trips to Spain after 40 years of
    taking parties to that country
    The sad fact is we still have many
    stooges who just wont fight back.

    Anyway it is unlikely P&O will take a moderate view untill most smokers give the Hull routes the
    big boot,then their boats can join
    the rusty trawlers and a few hundred more Q ing at the Hull Job Centre

    Meanwhile we few will fight on
    untill the many escape their coma.


  17. "Perhaps they should tailor their services exclusively for smokers and then they might see their profits turn around :>)"

    Reading this article, actually I started envisioning something similar - only in my vision, I was seeing British Tobacco employing whatever contractors British Petroleum employs to build an off-shore platform, only without the drilling equipment, just the platform - then turning the whole thing into a 24/7/365 smoking/drinking/casino/nightclub freedom-island accessible by ferry boats from UK and the mainland at all hours for anyone wishing to experience what freedom and liberty used to be like. I imagine the hotel rooms would be booked constantly and the club would never sit empty for lack of customers. They could name it "Freedom Island" or "Liberty Land", name it the "Freedom Ferry" to get there and back and tell UK and EU both to bugger off as far as duties and border-agents go.

  18. P&0 Ferries are also in financial trouble l've been told by someone who has always been a reliable source. P&O no longer have shareholders, they were bought out entirely by DP World.

    DP World is a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, via a holding company. This holding company is under the direct control of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who l think is also the prime minister of the UAE.In 2010 this holding company had debts of £16.4 Billion.

    lnterestingly they have smoking and non-smoking bars, restaurants etc all over Dubai

    ln the meantime P&O Ferries continues to destroy itself by voluntarily implementing draconian smoking bans ... and it seems voluntarily restricting sales of tobacco/cigarettes too.

    At this rate P&O Ferries will achieve what l surmise is it's dream ... completely non-smoking and no sales of tobacco products. It will achieve this by ceasing to exist ... along with all the jobs.

  19. Taken from my post at Patsy's

    l have a problem with using such as Ryanair. l hate the bloody hassle at airports with farcical airport security re liquids etc etc and all the time wasted. The other is cost. Yes it maybe only 18 quid return but unless you have a certain card (one is Ryanairs and the other Mastercard prepaid) you have to add another 12 pound for admin fees (ONLY 10.50 pound if you pay in Euros grrrrr)

    Then we have the luggage farce. Only 10kg cabin baggage allowed of a certain size so if you need more that then involves hold baggage which even then is only 15kg and costs anywhere from 15-35 pound depending on time of year (cheaper if you pay in Euros.

    Return flight we have all the security hassle again.

    Then we have another 15 pound or so for accomodation at destination.Not forgetting the smoking bans of course at the airport.

    Nope, not for me. For all it's ills P&O come out on top.

    You can take food, drinks (incl alcohol with a little ingenuity), no luggage restrictions, very little hassle checking in, you can smoke and for all this it cost 22.50 -25.00 pound per person. lt wins by a mile.

  20. A very high percentage of the passengers on the Hull-Zeebrugge ferry are smokers going to buy supplies.

    If this ferry company don't like smokers, they're in the wrong business.

    What kind of company fails to cater for its main customer base? And cooperates actively with UKBA!

  21. It's blindingly obvious that sales suffer at the bar on the ferry because of this ridiculous no smoking policy. No tobacco sales because they have no stock is financial insanity.

    SH is right, this P/O management are committing self-inflicted suicide. The question is why?

  22. I think this explains the mentality of P/O. They employed this company to help them formulate the future. The gobblygook they come out with is excruciating.

    Here's the board of P/O e-mail addresses. Let them know what you think. I know it probably will not do any good but it will make you feel better because they will read it. It's a common human trait that they will not be able to resist.

    Management emails:

    Helen Deeble (CEO)

    Karl Howard (CFO)

    John Garner (Fleet Director)

    Lesley Cotton (HR Director)

    Sue Mackenzie (Ports Director)

    Chris Laming (Communications Director)
    Telephone: 01304 863859

    Brian Rees - Head of Press and Public Relations
    Telephone: 01304 863833

    Natalie Hardy - Communications Executive

    Michelle Ulyatt - Communications Executive

  23. Changed it for you Henry :)

  24. Bet that Sheikh in Dubai doesnt even know he owns PO Ferries or even care. He'll think more of his little plastic ducks in his bath.

  25. Thx very much Henry, l've sent this blogpost to all the POF board. :)

  26. It would seem that even Holland-America are not immune from banning smoking, but not to the same extent.

    I found this while trying to find the bit of the regulations that states that UK based ships are not bound by the anti-smoking legislation. I used to own a hotel so got the smoking ban rammed down my throat. But I do remember reading in the documentation that ships were specifically excluded and so you could smoke inside on them. P&O just decided to go all PC on us and ban it anyway.
    Now on a cross Channel ferry, it isn't too onerous, you aren't on board for too long but on an overnight haul that is a damned long time to be without a smoke unless you go out on deck...and what if a force 8 is running?
    Mrs Tripper and I used to use the North Sea route and the Mrs was put out when they banned smoking in the cabins. If they are making you go outside for a smoke now, then there is no way I can see her setting foot on one of their boats again. I already had to put up with an ear bashing when she got up early one morning and had to dress to go out for a smoke to find a dozen people around the only ashtray P&O had left out!
    R.I.P. Tolerence, you served us well.
    p.s. Pat, re Blackpool, when we had the hotel, the council tried to tell us we could not allow smoking in the bedrooms unless we fitted double doors and a lobby between the room and the corridors. They were sent away with a flea in their ear, 90% of our customers were smokers and when they asked for a smoking room were always told that ALL our rooms were smoking.

  27. Regular Tripper ... what you are referring to there with H.A.L. is what the cruise ship industry calls 'spoilage' and is the selling of unsold cabins at a knockdown price to try and fill the ship.

    Because it would be a nightmare dividing up cabins to non-smoking and smoking for this 'spoilage' sell-off they say all cabins are non-smoking. However you will find many lines turn a blind eye.

    Renaissance Cruises are different, they are completely no-smoking and so proud of it that they vigorously promoted it and enforce it.

    Oops ... sorry, wrong tense. Renaissance Cruises went bankrupt! :)

  28. The casino is utter pants too!

  29. PO must be frickin insane not havin bacci stocks

  30. If the ferry companies really wanted to boost their share prices then they'd start doing separate baccy runs where they send a ferry across the 12 mile line and then back again...not even bother docking in Belgium/Holland/France but have a mini 'Adinkerke' on board.

    One such 'baccy run' a week and the ferry company CEOs could award themselves bonuses that would make even a city banker blush.

  31. ' P/O management are committing self-inflicted suicide. The question is why?'
    Its no different than the Government.
    Two billion loss in fag taxes, thousands of jobs and tax gone in pubs, millions lost in clubs, catering etc. The madness goes on.

  32. No-one from P&O replied :( All them e-mails l sent to the board and l got nothing :( Must be a delay or something, l'm sure they will reply. They wouldn't ignore their customers, would they? :)

  33. "They wouldn't ignore their customers, would they? :)"

    Of course not, not in the current economic climate. CUSTOMER SERVICE is rit big these days..

    ...'how may I be helping you today, effendi?'

  34. Justine, believe me they'll have read it and it'll be doing the rounds amongst the staff cos it takes the piss out of their bosses. lol

  35. can someon e tell me when p/o asked their customers about putting in a smoking ban? They sure as fuck didn't ask me or my mates and weve been going for years on that route. Theyre just a load of pretentious twats wanting to feel smug with themselves. if p/o had shareholders they'd have kicked out this lot fucking eons ago cos you'd have see the value of the shares drop to pennies like Punch have. The only reason theyre still there is cos this arab sheikh doesnt even know he fucking owns the company.

  36. another thing is this Leap company they got in. a bunch of tossers showing the other tossers how to fuck it up more and then get paid megabucks for it. l mean ffs it's known as a route for baccy and this p/o lot can't even get it together to sell that. who's on the p/o board? fucking ASH? rant over

  37. P&O Ferries boss Helen Deeble raked in £458K in 2008 plus £26K pension whilst she pays crew under the minimum wage.

  38. anon 22.32 only reason l can think of for all of that is Helen is good with semen

  39. Personally l believe that the management at P&O is weak and spineless. l don't think they actually thought up and brought in these decisions on smoking and stocks themselves. lt's more a case of caving in to the likes of ASH and HMRC.

    P&O management certainly do not listen to their customers and they have no shareholders to hold them to account either.

    HMRC reduced supply to the Belgium shops and l think they did the same to the ferries who just rolled over and accepted it without a whimper.

    Our only hope is that P&O Ferries continue to lose money to the point where they are then sold. Maybe then we'll get a company that has some backbone and actually listens and looks after it's customers. Until then l'll continue exactly as N2D suggest and that is not use the bars, restaurants or shops on their ships. They won't get any added revenue from me or my friends.

  40. lnteresting comments guys (watch it Mac! your spelling is off). lt is very strange that a company that isn't doing well at all refuses to cater for their customers and in the process loses revenue at least into 5 figures and perhaps 6. Sheer insanity!

    Then to add insult to injury they treat us smokers like livestock ... actually worse! Not because of regulation but because they choose to! l'll use them to ferry me over and back but that's all they will get from me and our associates. We'll take our own food, kettles, drink ... not a penny for them.

    Won't use the bars, restaurants, cafes or shops until they change the attitude towards us .... or they go bust and have to sell to a company that will.

  41. lf anyone complains to them about their no smoking policy they will say it is in-line with shoreline regulations (they don't say which shoreline though but it isn't Belgium anyhow). They seem to have forgot a ship is at sea :-)

    They will also say they've had an overwhelming positive response from smokers and non-smokers alike ... unfortunately they cannot supply the data for this :-)

  42. "Unfortunately, l don't have photos of the intended victims of these policies stood outside on the exposed decks of P&O Ferries"-SH

    I do...sorta...

  43. Smokers are not allowed in ferries as it is harmful to others and the ship.

  44. Cheap Ferry ... hahaha, welcome! You have the honour of being the first anti-smoker on our site but just repeating the mantra of the smokerphobes does not make it true. Why would non-smokers come into a smoking bar as on H.A.L.? Harmful to the ship? .... hahahahahahahaha.

  45. For centuries neither ships nor people have been harmed by smokers. However, thanks to Govt backed smopkerphobia, prejudicial bigots who have their own pet hate about smoking have been left to cause dire social division and spread foul untruths during the last five years in a bid to socially exclude people they don't like.

    Both sides can be accommodated by choice. I wouldn't go to bars with smokerphobics like "cheap ferry" - and he or she wouldn't visit a smoker bar.

    People like that should not only be banned from mixing with decent law abiding people - but also ordered to attend the doctor for mental health treatment for this new phobic fear that really is all in the mind because the evidence on SHS really does not back it up.

    Check the studies mate before spreading your hate. You are doing untold social and economic damage

  46. l knew this route when it was North Sea Ferries and you could pre-order your tobacco etc and it was waiting for you when you arrived. Since P/O took control it's gone downhill at an alarming rate. Believe the Pride of Bruges was the Norsun in them days and happy days they were. P/O board have ruined it!

  47. Smoking in ferries is wrong as it would cause more danger to ship as well as a lot of inconvenience to other travellers. Once I had a trip to France by channel ferries, it was so comfort and onboard facilities were excellent.

  48. oh dear - yet another anti-smoker industry worker paid to visit such sites and pretend to be paying passengers on a ship full of smokers. And like the lying BMA yesterday with its ridiculed fraudulent research, this paid smokerphobic reveals their mental illness phobia by such hysterical comment as "smoking harms ships."
    If P&O are watching this post, don't be fooled. Get aboard one of your own ships from hull to Zeebrugge and you will find that most of your passengers are smokers and not paid anti-smoker employees.

  49. Renald ... you did see the pic of the smoking bar onboard the Holland America Line ship Westerdam didn't you? Does it look in danger? Does it look inconvenient? lf you think Channel Ferries were comfortable and had excellent onboard facilities then the Westerdam makes it look like a rust bucket!

    Just in case you missed it ... the Westerdam has this smoking bar!

  50. Renald

    How can it effect you? The only way is if you come into the smoking bar. There again, the clue is in the name 'smoking bar' so people in there would be smoking! So simply stay out!

    Danger to ships? WTF you talking about? Name one ship that was ever endangered by cigarettes? C'mon, l'm waiting.

  51. Yes, ofcourse now a days all ferries, and other vendors provides the same to help out people.

  52. Very useful thanks. Newcastle is not a problem to get to and the cost of the trip to Amsterdam not too expensive.

    The litmus test tho is does Norfolk Line treat smokers as humans?

  53. Maybe we should be true to our emblem Patsy and be pirates! We'll rename the ships we take over :)

  54. heh heh heh - or club together to raise the cash to buy our own and fly the pirate flag with pride.

  55. Good idea Pat, l'll write to Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem the Chairman of DP and ask him! :)

  56. Excellent! We can name her Ahmed's Ashtray in his honour :)

    Smoking allowed throughout and those who don't like it can stand in the cold outside on the windy, wet deck where there is more than enough fresh air to blow away the fear of smokerphobics.

  57. po will go bust because they've banned the filthy habbit of smoking inside their rusty hulks?

    I don't think so. I think p&o have many bigger problems with their fundamentally flawed business model.

    1. Flawed business model has to include tobacco sales and their lack of facilities for smokers. Belgium thrives on tobacco sales and yet PO ignores this trade ... go figure!


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

Comments are now moderated to keep out spam and those with malicious intent. The author of this blog is not liable for the content of any comments ... period!