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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. Yes, the “onward travel” story is a good attempt by the PR team, but it is entirely down to the need for the ship to hot-foot it back to Plymouth in time for the mid-afternoon departure to Santander.
  2. Yes, if you want it! Just decline the cabin service and head to Le Flora instead - there you will be able to eat as much of everything (including the cooked buffet) as you like.
  3. Transferring liquified gas from one storage tank to another onboard sounds like both a tedious and a hazardous process. I had envisaged them operating a bit like big gas bottles, where you connect up to one, use its contents, then swap it for another etc.
  4. Does she have fuel tanks? Or does the fuel stay stored in the containers that are loaded aboard, and used straight from the container? (I know Ed’s post was characteristically flippant, but it got me wondering!).
  5. Interesting - I knew that It is a no-brainer for UK customers to pay in sterling, but I had assumed that residents of Euro countries would pay in Euro. Does this mean that it is cost-effective even for French customers to pay in Sterling on board?
  6. Ok thanks Geezer - didn’t realise this was officially allowed. I stand corrected.
  7. Yes, absolutely, and that’s what most people used to do before data roaming became economical.
  8. Strange, how quiet this thread has gone. And how little by way of news about Honfleur's progress is being released. It's now coming up three months since the yard rescue package was put together, enabling work to re-start. And when work stopped, Honfleur was about 3 months way from her scheduled delivery....
  9. Sorry Des, I've got a bit confused. I agree that the availability of the Commodore restaurant breakfast option is not widely known, and for some reason is not overtly advertised. [I worried slightly about promoting it on here lest increased popularity caused BF to take the option away, but it's a great Commodore perk while it lasts (far above anything which may or may not be in the minibar), and I would not ever want to take that for granted]. I got the impression form your OP that you were aware of that facility (via the forum) and that all of your party were catered for in Le Flora. Apologies if I've misunderstood. As far as the in-cabin pastry availability goes, I don't understand why you'd think that would be available for 5 people when the capacity of the cabin is 4 (and the cabin price is a per-cabin price, not a per-person price, so the average uptake of the facility is probably somewhere between 2 and 3). BF would probably have been within their rights to insist (on safety grounds or something) that cabin occupancy was limited to 4 people and that the 5th person must use the recliner, but it shows that they have a human side that they did not do this. By insisting that the "illegal" person in your cabin should have had the hypothetical pastry that would have been required had you not gone to Le Flora, you are rather showing a lack of appreciation of the fact that BF let that person stay in the cabin at all. No big deal, but I think it is important to keep things in perspective before lamenting BF's "stinginess". Interesting to hear that BF had sturgeon on the menu in Le Flora.....not something I'd have expected; well done for trying it! Also interesting to see your comments about the ability to pay in sterling. On the UK sailings that has always been routine practice, but is that something new for the Cork service? Finally.....I was going to congratulate you for managing to get a good breakfast in Le Flora before the obscenely early arrival, and then re-read to discover you were travelling north rather than south! The southbound Pont Aven sailing from Cork must be one of the most anti-social arrival times of all the longer-distance cruise ferry services that BF operates!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    Are you feeling alright Jonno?! 😉
  14. 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.
  15. 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! 😀
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    She does but it is outdoors and hardly ever in use.
  24. 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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