If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that at the beginning of April I was away on holiday in the Norfolk Broads on my first ever boating holiday! I had an utterly amazing time – the Broads are beautiful – and I wanted to do a small series of posts about the experience, starting with a review of Barnes Brinkcraft, the company we used for the boat hire.
We hired a small boat, called Aries, a 2-4 sleeper from Barnes Brinkcraft, a hire company I found online after a brief search. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really shop around. I was far too excited when booking and just wanted to get it done. We hired the boat from Tuesday 12th till Saturday 16th April and it cost around £150 each (although I can’t remember the exact figure). This included damage limitation and a £50 fuel deposit (which you can back the difference if you don’t use it all – but what’s the point of not using it all?).
The booking process was incredibly easy and before long, our holiday was upon us! My boyfriend has a lot of experience on boats, as his parents used to have a boat very similar to the one we hired but I on the other hand was a complete newbie so I had a lot to learn and a whole lot to take in. We arrived at the boat yard at around half 3 and was quickly showed to our boat, given the keys and life jackets and left to sort our bags out whilst we waited for someone to come and give us a tutorial. The boy (who’s name I can’t remember!) who showed us how to drive the boat and use all the facilities within in was fantastic – he answered all our questions and was incredibly friendly.
The receptionist took our car keys and parked our car for us out of the way and once the tutorial was finished we were free to go! It was such a quick, swift and easy process – which I wasn’t expecting. The boat itself was perfect for the two of us and had everything we would need – including a free bottle of bubbly, tea and biscuits! The galley was well equipped and we weren’t stuck for room. We also had a TV and a built in DVD player so we took some films with us to watch! The only small problem we had was the shower pump which didn’t work but I called their out of hours engineer and he said he would come to us first thing in the morning and fix it – which he did!
We had absolutely no problems all holiday (apart from a small mooring problem but thankfully there were some people around to help!) If you know what to expect on a boating holiday, you won’t be surprised by what you get. You don’t have all the comforts of home, the toilet and shower room is tiny and as the nights were cold, there was an awful lot of condensation on the roof of the boat when we woke up, some of which did drip but all of this can be expected and if you don’t do your research, you may consider these things problems rather than a normal part of a boating experience.
When we arrived back at the boat yard on Saturday morning, there was someone there to help us moor into a fiddly little area and within 10 minutes we were on our way home. I literally cannot fault Barnes Brinkcraft and would not hesitate to book with them again – which is what we’re planning to do! It was a wonderful, relaxing holiday made all the better by the amazing service.
Customer service can really go a long way and can make or break an experience. But Barnes Brinkcraft were absolutely fantastic. What’s been the best customer service experience you’ve received? Especially whilst on holiday? Have you ever been on a boating holiday or to Norfolk? Let me know!
I have been in no way sponsored to write this post about this company - all views are entirely my own from my experience with Barnes Brinkcraft.