We had a future cruise credit with Celebrity cruise which had an expiry date so we booked a 4 night mini cruise to Belgium and Holland on the Silhouette back in May.
Two days prior to departure we had to submit proof of negative Covid tests. On departure day we drove down to Southampton and parked at the port.
Embarkation was very easy as we did everything to check in on the internet prior to leaving home. We were onboard in less than 10 minutes after we parked our car! The ship was FULL as it was only a 4 night cruise. We were told there will only be 1000 passengers onboard the next cruise to the Baltics, even though they are not stopping in St Petersburg! The ship’s full capacity is 2500+ passengers!
We booked a balcony cabin and were surprised to see a kettle and all the paraphernalia for making teas and coffees. We did not need to use that facility as we were never in our cabin long enough to make a brew. Besides, there was also room service available.
We only stopped in two ports, i.e. Zeebrugge (for Bruges) and Amsterdam as it was a short cruise. We have been to Bruges before so we just went for a walk in Zeebrugge and visited the Carrefour supermarket there. We love to visit supermarkets in foreign countries to see how their food and prices differ from the UK.
The last time we were in Zeebrugge we did some research beforehand to get to Bruges by public transport instead of paying the cruise ship’s exorbitant $60 return coach transfer. We bought a one day bus ticket which enabled us to take the tram from Zeebrugge port to the train station, and then we got on a bus outside the station which took us all the way to Bruges. We did the canal boat ride and bought some Belgian chocolates. We had a very pleasant few hours in Bruges but we were not itching to go back this time.
In Amsterdam the town was a 20 minute walk from the port so we strolled in and had a look around the shops. It was very vibrant, busy and full of tourists. We stopped and had a coffee and poffertjes. The latter are little mini pancakes covered in butter and icing sugar. Diet is always a foreign word when I am on holiday!
We did not go to any of the shows onboard in the evenings. There were no headliners. We spent quite a bit of time in the ship’s thermal spa and the relaxation lounge in the Persian Garden.
Our cruise was all inclusive so, even though I am a teetotaler, I managed to try all the non-alcoholic cocktails. The food was exceptional on the Silhouette and I came home four pounds heavier!
The mini cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette was beyond our expectations in terms of food and amenities but 4 nights was too short, no sooner we found our way around the ship it was time to get off.