A cruise might seem like a ridiculous way to waste a holiday - until you get hooked

I was, until as of late a voyage virgin. Be that as it may, a series of stories in the press in the course of the most recent couple of years detailing an ascent in the prevalence of voyage occasions and a fall in the normal period of journey travelers implied that, in my mid fifties, I fitted the voyage statistic consummately and that it was high time to lose my virginity.

But was I ready to embrace cruise culture or would the cabin walls close in on me? Would I get seasick and worst of all, would I be bored? A low-risk way to find out the answers to all these questions and many more was to sign up for a two-day taster cruise with Celebrity Cruises aboard Silhouette.

I absurdly permitted only the standard two-hour voyage time from my home in Brighton to Southampton not thinking what impact that me and about 3,000 individual travelers would have on the traffic and before long wound up in a long full back freezing that I'd miss the 4.30pm embarkation due date. In any case, the pressure was before long overlooked as I pulled up nearby the 122,400-ton, 1,047-foot deliver.

It was a jaw dropping moment; how could something the size of a city block even float, let alone get across the English Channel to Le Havre?

In spite of the fact that I would prescribe adhering to the loading up time stipulated by the journey line, being one of the last to load up worked to support me. There was no line and I flew through the embarkation procedure (for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from experiencing security at the air terminal) and gratitude to the schematic plans spotted around the ship I rapidly discovered my lodge on deck six (there are 16 altogether) where my packs, which had been taken from me in the vehicle leave, were sitting tight for me.

The cabin or stateroom came as a pleasant surprise. With space for a comfortable king-sized bed, double seater sofa, large wardrobe with plenty of hanging space and room to store luggage, and a small but perfectly usable bathroom with shower, single vanity unit and toilet, there was no chance of getting cabin fever, especially with a secluded balcony complete with two lounge chairs and table.

Effective soundproofing kept the noise from adjoining cabins out and the position near the centre of the ship meant I hardly felt the movement of the ship at night and so slept soundly.

Home comforts

The situation of the huge divider mounted HD TV was flexible so it could be seen from the bed and seating territory and had allowed to-observe new discharge motion pictures and a better than average determination of satellite stations, in addition to 'see from the extension TV', a station indicating different travels you can book and an office to check your installed bill, convenient for monitoring things like the well-loaded however costly smaller than usual bar brimming with expensive Californian merlot and chardonnay, fashioner vodka and huge brand lager.

As an American-built ship, not only is everything charged in dollars ($28 (22.50) for the minibar wine) but the power sockets are American-style too, something I hadn't considered in advance and which meant a trip to the customer service desk to pick up an adaptor for a $25 (20) refundable deposit. Something else I hadn't anticipated was that, for safety reasons, there are no irons on board the Silhouette, which made me regret lazily packing un-ironed clothes, although for $5.75, the laundry did a great job of pressing a long-sleeved shirt.

The absence of tea and espresso making offices in the room was compensated for by the free sweltering refreshments accessible at the 'Cover up', a tranquil space midship, ideal for getting away from the enthusiastic bars, which did a thundering exchange from early evening onwards with travelers capitalizing on their beverages bundle bargains. All things considered, it was the end of the week all things considered.

Safety first

There was a brief break in the merriments at 5.15pm for the required marshal drill, when everybody assembled at their stipulated gathering focuses around the ship for a security preparation, what might be compared to an in-flight wellbeing showing. It was a calming 10 minutes during which scenes from the motion picture The Poseidon Adventure flashed through my head and I lamented my ongoing visit to the Titanic display in Belfast. Be that as it may, the temperament was before long lifted by a declaration about the installed amusement and I made a beeline for my lodge to prepare for my Saturday night out.

One of the great advantages of a cruise holiday is that everything is on your doorstep. The ship may be enormous, but you are still only a few minutes' walk from a huge variety of restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges, a cinema, theatre and night club.

The ship has a lustrous, upmarket feel, similar to a swanky Las Vegas inn adrift complete with gambling club, exercise center, spa, pool and shopping arcade loaded with creator gear, all set around a taking off focal chamber. An every day news sheet left in the lodge by the neighborly and effective steward gave a step by step breakdown of the considerable number of exercises locally available from yoga to karaoke and garden games on the turfed top deck to jazz in the Sky Lounge with its all encompassing ocean sees.

I'd booked a tutored wine tasting with Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer, presenters of The Wine Show TV series, in the clubby Master Cellar bar that's lined with displays of fine wines and craft beers. It was a fun hour with the effervescent hosts being anything but po-faced about the Californian fizz and Croatian rose we were sniffing and sipping; did you know that a bubble in a glass of champagne travels at 10km per second, the same speed as Usain Bolt running a hundred metres?

Dinner in the Tuscan Grille restaurant featured crab cake followed by a perfectly medium rare ribeye steak with melanzane alla parmigiana and a rich chocolate creme brulee to finish. Food on board was generally very good, including the breakfast buffet which seemed to stretch to infinity, but it was definitely worth paying the small extra supplement for 'speciality dining' where the food was comparable with good quality restaurants on land and significantly better than that served in the complimentary dining restaurants included in the price of the cruise.

I eschewed the optional excursion to Paris on the Sunday and didn't even bother going into Le Havre. I was more than happy maximizing my limited time onboard, exploring the ship, eating decent sushi at Sushi on Five and a final Michelin-style dinner in the posh Luminae restaurant. I'd loved every minute of the trip, but what really sold me on the magic of cruising was the other-worldly feeling of sitting on the balcony, glass in hand, the ship moving effortlessly over the water and only the sea and horizon in view. The sense of relaxation and peace is an addictive legal high and it's got me hook, line and sinker.

The essentials

Celebrity Cruises is offering a four-night preview sailing on board its newest ship Celebrity Apex, the second revolutionary Edge Series ship. The cruise will depart from Southampton on April 1, 2020 and call at Bruges and Amsterdam. Fares start from 899pp, based on two sharing (celebritycruises.co.uk)

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