Like Colin Czapiewski (article 17th Aug & 3rd Sept), we have tried various ways of getting to the Algarve from the UK & found his article informative & interesting. One major consideration to us however was not mentioned, cigarette smoke! We have used the Plymouth-Santander & Portsmouth-Cherbourg sailings but have experienced the same issue on all crossings, how does one get fresh air?
Thankfully the cabins on crossings were clean and did not smell of cigarette smoke. The rest of the ships inside, which are officially non smoking, unfortunately stank of cigarette smoke. If this is a result of covert inside smoking or outside smokers close to the ventilation ducts I cannot comment. Perhaps the ventilation/air con/heating system does not have filters or they are not cleaned regularly. Whatever the reason, it was most unpleasant. As a result we were forced outside, not normally a problem except that we were unable to find an area free from smokers.
It seems that non smokers have to put up with this endlessly. The same issue applies to most restaurants, insomuch as there is nothing nicer than dining alfresco in the balmy Algarvian evening atmosphere, until an inconsiderate smoker sits on the upwind table & lights up, spoiling the evening and/or forcing us indoors.
JIM LLOYD, PORTIMÃO