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Thread: Lake Express Reservation reservation

  1. #1
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    Lake Express Reservation reservation

    Do you make an advanced (more than a day or two) reservation when you use the Lake Express? I find their cancellation/rescheduling terms rather heavy handed so I tried to communicate with a real human being regarding the rules. No luck.
    Dave
    '92 K75S, '08 F800ST
    Cedar Falls, IA

  2. #2
    Fear is the Mind Killer modarin9's Avatar
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    Lake Express

    Dave I used Lake Express two years ago and made an advance reservation as motorcycles rode free. It was totally painless and although convenient their prices are indeed high. When we arrived we checked in came back out to the bikes and were directed to the front of the line, bike go in first. This is very convenient since that puts the bike at the front of the boat allowing them to get out first. I almost used them once again this summer but plans changed. Instead I am going p to Tomah. If you do head to Michigan and are ride up north I very highly recommend riding the M119. Excellent ride and just nice getting there by way of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    Rates,

    http://www.lake-express.com/pricing/index.aspx


    You can schedule a time on the web or by phone.

    Don't forget there are added Fees, for security and fuel surge charged, that are added to the listed prices.
    Tom
    '84 R100RT '04 CLC(gone) Honda NT700V
    BMW
    Beer Motorcycles Women

  4. #4
    Registered User bluegrasspicker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rx35285 View Post
    Do you make an advanced (more than a day or two) reservation when you use the Lake Express? I find their cancellation/rescheduling terms rather heavy handed so I tried to communicate with a real human being regarding the rules. No luck.
    Dress warm it's cold out there in middle of the lake.
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice! I definitely need to check out M119.

    Lake-Express terms are that it costs you money if you change/cancel a reservation, but they can cancel without notice and just give you your money back.

    On my Sep 2010 trip across Michigan I had a ferry reservation and I rode through some nasty cross winds in order to get to the ferry on time only to have it be canceled. I thought I stood to lose the entire fare. I could be wrong, but I don't think the current policy of an "in house credit" equal to the fare minus $20 was in force a year ago. It still seems somewhat heavy handed to me.

    Seeing as how motorcycles are more vulnerable to the weather than are cages and take up much less barge space, I was hoping to discuss the possibility of a more flexible motorcycle policy with a Lake-Express human being. Couldn't get a human response, only a machine generated blurb that quoted the terms and conditions. It looks like they are owned by a holding company, so who knows....

    I do need to point out that the front line employees I encountered on my Jun 2010 trip across the Lake were your typical friendly and helpful midwesterners.

    The lack of response about their terms puts a sour taste in my mouth so, if I ever do use them again, I think I'll take a chance and not make a reservation. Or skip Michigan on my trips to the east coast.

    I wonder if there is a better strategy used by more frequent ferry users.
    Dave
    '92 K75S, '08 F800ST
    Cedar Falls, IA

  6. #6
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    If you skip Michigan you will do yourself a disservice. It's a terrific ferry service. You can also take the SS Badger (Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI) a little farther up north, which as I recall is a little bit cheaper and slower. You are fortunate to have such choices.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepeps View Post
    If you skip Michigan you will do yourself a disservice. It's a terrific ferry service. You can also take the SS Badger (Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI) a little farther up north, which as I recall is a little bit cheaper and slower. You are fortunate to have such choices.
    Michigan is definitely on my short list as a place to visit. Previous trips have been going to/from New Hampshire and I didn't have the time to swing up to ride the recommended roads and see the recommended sites.

    I had little choice but to ride around the south end of the Lake the day Lake Express canceled on me and getting through Gary/Chicago mid-morning really wasn't too bad. I got home to NE Iowa earlier than if the ferry had run since I left Muskegon around 8 and it doesn't depart until 10:15.

    I'm batting .500 with the ferry. Two reservations - one worked just fine and they canceled the other one. Based on those odds and their one sided terms, I don't think I'll ever make another reservation more than a day ahead of time to provide better confidence in the weather forecast.
    Dave
    '92 K75S, '08 F800ST
    Cedar Falls, IA

  8. #8
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I got an e-mail today from Lake Express indicating a full refund for my round trip, due to their weather related cancellation of the ferry this past Friday, 9/30. It appears to have been automatically generated and I haven't called them yet, but will be checking my credit card for the refund.
    Dan

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