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Croisieres De France ( CDF ) Horizon cruise

Croisieres De France ( CDF ) Horizon cruise

Postby gatwick » 26 Jul 2016 19:40

Croisieres De France is a French Cruise line that seems to have 2 cruise ships....the Horizon & the Zenith
I was fortunate to see the Horizon was departing Calais to the Norwegian fjords at a price that I liked.
The Horizon is an ex Celebrity ship built in 1990 & about 47,000 tons ....so not a huge ship
Passenger capacity is about 1400 and I was aware that most passengers would be French speaking.....however
the good news is that all the crew seem to speak English....with my very limited French...this was really helpful
There are 2 dining times 7:00pm or 9:15pm....because I booked so late I was given the second sitting....it worked out ok
If you cruise for a week there is a flat gratuity/service fee to be paid at the end of the cruise of 72 Euros per person.
Besides the food & entertainment .....free drinks were also included in the price including wine & some free cocktails
Have to stop for a while ...a friend just popped in but I'll continue with the review as soon as possible
gatwick
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Croisieres De France ( CDF ) Horizon cruise

Postby gatwick » 27 Jul 2016 19:14

Departed from Dover on a P & O ferry over to Calais.....we went as foot passengers, just a normal ferry crossing
Arrived in Calais ....the actual port the Horizon sails from is next door & if it wasn't for the fencing you could stroll across to the Horizon
The reality was....no sign of the P & O shuttle to the town.....and no taxis in sight.
We phoned 3 different Calais taxi firms but they were busy or didn't answer but fortunately a local person gave us a lift to the ship
My advice to anyone else choosing this cruise is to make sure that you arrange in advance transport to the ship....it is too far to walk with cases

We arrived at the terminal building and just when we entered we were asked to show our passports and cruise information /cabin number
They gave us luggage labels with our cabin number written on to put on our 2 cases .....and then took the cases leaving us with hand luggage.
We then had to fill in the usual "are you healthy/have you been sick in the last week ?" form which is no trouble as we had the English version.
Processed in the usual way....the staff spoke English.....usual photo opportunity in front of a picture of the ship before embarkation.
more to follow shortly
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Croisieres De France ( CDF ) Horizon cruise

Postby gatwick » 28 Jul 2016 20:49

Once on board went to our cabin.....it was plenty large enough for two and was pleased to see the window was quite large
Plenty of drawer space and the 1st wardrobe had 10 hangers and was full length and the second wardrobe had 5 hangers
The second wardrobe had some drawers and the safe on top....which is opened/closed with a four number code that you choose.
There was a TV which could receive BBC world service & Euronews in English ....most other channels seemed to be in French
The only thing I wasn't too keen on was that this particular cabin had one side of the double bed against the wall but
it wasn't a big deal and the bed was very large and comfortable

Just before we departed from Calais was the usual safety drill where we had to take our lifejackets to the appropriate station
The drill was in 3 languages...French, Spanish & English
Passengers on this cruise seemed to be few British, a handful from USA, some from Canada, a group from Malta, some from Belgium
but the majority seemed to be French
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Croisieres De France ( CDF ) Horizon cruise

Postby gatwick » 28 Jul 2016 21:17

We were on second sitting in the restaurant so we went to the early show in the theatre after the Horizon got on her way
In my cabin they had given me a copy of what's going on in the Journal De Bord but it was in French
There was quite a bit of live music in the Bars ....Trio de Art, Infinity Band, Sensation Tropicale & Amber ( a solo female singer )
The show in Le Grand Theatre.....was ABBA thank for the music....and the songs all the popular ones....were in English
It was a very colourful show....and very well received.
Went to the dining room and was shown to our table.....two ladies already there....a grandmother & granddaughter
They spoke very little English and my French was pretty pathetic so we did the best we could

Meals for dinner in the restaurant seem to be as follows
Appetizers....usually a soup and 2 other choices
Main Courses.....usually 5 choices including a vegetarian dish....with additional extras of green salad, vegetables of the day or mashed potatoes
Sometimes you could also choose to have a speciality of a region of France
Deserts....usually 4 choices + 2 sugar free deserts

The waiters speak English and will provide a menu in English.....you have to choose starter, main course + additional and deserts at the same time
No coffee is provided at the end of the meal......you can get that at Café Moka
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Croisieres De France ( CDF ) Horizon cruise

Postby Dave » 05 Nov 2016 15:29

Thanks very much for this review gatwick. :thumbup: We came close to booking a fjords cruise on Horizon less than a year ago so it was particularly interesting. (The cruise would have been during Whitsun half-term but all the balcony cabins had gone so we decided against it.) I'm really sorry for not thanking you before - my excuse is that we were on a cruise when you posted it. :oops:

We live close to Dover and my wife is French (and British!), so it's something we'll certainly consider in future. Your advice regarding getting across the port has been noted!
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Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
Booked walking holidays: Easter: Cotswolds; Summer: Kintyre & Islay
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