moggieman wrote:...Kilkis. The booking area/offices has now been moved off the port to a new (er) one on the outskirts, and you are only allowed on to the actual dock/port area when you have a ticket.
The booking office was always on the outskirts of the town. When I got to the port in 1997, having already bought my tickets before entering the town, I had to take the tickets and the passports into an office at the gates to the port. You couldn't get through the gates until you had done this and there was absolutely nowhere outside the gates to park. When I went through Bari again in 2000 the office had moved to inside the port gates so you could drive in and there was loads of room to park. What it is like now I have no idea.
I preferred Bari more because of the journey to the UK. The boat used to get into port about 06:30. That gave me a whole day in which I could get to the Geneva area in France early enough to book into one of the cheap chain hotels there and get an evening meal. The ferry used to arrive in Ancona around 16:30 which is a bit late to get into France at a reasonable time. I found Italian hotels were typically old, dirty and expensive while some of the French chains are modern, immaculately clean and very cheap. They seem to have moved everything back about three hours so now the boat doesn't dock until 09:30. This makes it less of an advantage.