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About Gareth

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  1. I take the view that it is extraordinarily generous to allow all five members of the party free breakfast in Le Flora, and I don’t get why BF is being criticised.
  2. Yes, that’s a point that cannot be emphasised enough. Used to be a time when there was no need for data roaming to be on, ever, unless you want massive bills. But now that roaming on the continent comes at the same rate as your inclusive package, its use overseas has become viable. But use of data roaming on the ship is still astronomically expensive, so very important to remember to turn it off.
  3. Great report. Sounds like they’ve spent a bit of money doing Normandie up at her last reft (presumably in preparation for move to Le Havre), which is good to hear.
  4. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    Are you feeling alright Jonno?! 😉
  5. Gareth

    Condor ferries

    Hi Paul Welcome to the site. If I were you, I’d go ahead and book the accommodation on the basis that, although the details are unknown, there will be options for ferry travel. Then book the ferry when booking opens. In the unlikely event that Liberation is not sailing, worst case scenario you can always cross to Cherbourg and then take the ferry up from St Malo. Or go from Portsmouth (as it is almost inconceivable that there would be no sailings from Poole and Portsmouth at the same time). But it is most likely that you will be able to get the ferry directly from Poole.
  6. You’d have thought places like Ramsgate and Newhaven would positively encourage you to take sand away! Save them having to dredge! Seriously though, it’s useful to be able to have something legitimate to tell my 4 year-old daughter every time she wants to bring half the beach/forest/mountain back with her whenever we go away! 😀
  7. I agree. But I’m pretty sure it’s because of the perceived generosity of our social security system. Whether they are right or wrong (which I won’t get into because it is beyond what this thread is about), the belief is that in the UK the state will look after them.
  8. Good point Geezer! I was thinking one of them must have been in a cot, but that wouldn’t explain the need for a 5th set of pastries!
  9. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    Back to the topic of CF v PA. I mentioned in the thread about lights in forward-facing cabins that CF does not have any family-friendly premium cabins. That’s a consideration for us but may not be for others. It is also worth pointing out that taking the PA crossing from Portsmouth commits you to a Tuesday departure, and also to an arrival in Santander that can be quite late. 1815 if on time, but any delays to the sailing can push the arrival into the evening. Arrival was almost 2100 last time we took the crossing. So if that’s a potential issue to you it’s worth being aware of it.
  10. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    There’s already a thread about this in the forum here.... https://bfenthusiasts.com/bfe/topic/12203-driving-in-france-and-spain/ ....but has already slipped down to page 3 of the Open House Chatter sub-forum. (Maybe I should move it to somewhere more prominent). Edit: Have pinned it to the top of OHC.
  11. Yes, with all the security now in place it is surprising they got as far as they did. Especially so many of them in one incident. Three if them are still on the run in the UK. I don’t share the implied cynicism towards the professionalism of the French authorities conveyed by previous posters. They have a job to do, and they do it very conscientiously. I agree, BDW1946, that there must have been some reason these ones slipped through the system, and I hope they manage to trace what happened in this case.
  12. Yes, and the effects of that will be particularly problematic given the large area of reflective white on CF’s foredeck. It takes about half an hour for night vision to be established, and an instant for it to be destroyed. So even a quick flash of light forwards will compromise the ability of the watchkeepers to see outside for a good half hour. The premium cabins on CF are indeed called deluxes. In truth they are at least as nice as the commodores on Bretagne and Normandie, but I suspect that BF was comparing with Spanish running mate Pont Aven when naming them, and they don’t come up to PA commodore standard. (It’s debatable whether they are even as good as PA’s deluxes, but that’s another issue!). They are a very different design from the premium cabins in the purpose-built fleet, and are not family-friendly. They just contain a double bed. So great for couples without children. But there are no family-friendly premium cabins on CF.
  13. Two points. Firstly, whilst it is true that there are lots of lights generally, they are not forward-facing. The forward-facing windows have to be blacked out at night to avoid swamping the vessel’s navigation lights. This is an extremely important safety requirement for collision avoidance with other vessels. The same notice is in all the forward-facing cabins. Colin’s remarks about compromising the night vision of the watchkeepers on the bridge are also very important. Secondly, if you don’t like the cabin you’ve been allocated, give BF a ring and ask for another one. They will tell you what is available in the same category of cabin, and others if you wish. In passing, it is also worth noting that CF does not have Commodore cabins.
  14. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    She does but it is outdoors and hardly ever in use.
  15. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    I should clarify that this was a tongue-in-cheek comment! A paddle may be, but you’d struggle to do any actual swimming in PA’s little pond! 😀 (Don’t want to be responsible for misleading anyone into making a booking under false expectations!🤣).
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