Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Spa Vacation at Sea

Cruising is one of the most relaxing vacations you can take. Out at sea you’re far removed from the stresses of everyday life. There is something so naturally relaxing about staring into the horizon and seeing only turquoise water or being lulled to sleep by the undulating motion of the sea. And what better place to encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit then world renowned spas such as Mandara or Steiner of London…at sea!

A visit to the ship’s spa is the perfect place to unwind and get pampered. From lavish treatment rooms with ocean views to luxurious therapies inspired by exotic cultures, a few hours spent here is pure indulgence. Treat your body to a lime and ginger salt exfoliation ritual or a Thai herbal poultice massage and feel pent up stress melt away. You can return home looking a years younger after a Brazilian rain forest propolis treatment or a tri-enzyme resurfacing facial. The spas aboard cruise ships are every bit as high- tech and high- end as their land based counterparts. Several relatively new services available are acupuncture and teeth whitening. The most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure on land, Botox, was rolled out last year on several Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The menu of spa treatments is vast, and no longer caters to only women. There is a diversity of therapies that are designed for men and some ships now provide special treatments for teens.

Newer ships are now moving away from “day spa” a la carte treatments and reinventing themselves as more of a destination spa. They have come to realize that a spa vacation is no longer a luxury niche. Comparable to land based resort spas, (the Canyon Ranch comes to mind) the goal is to facilitate health and well-being. The Celebrity Solstice Class ships for example, provide a comprehensive program that includes not only spa services but also physical fitness activities, wellness education, and healthful cuisine. A new category of balcony cabins called AquaClass provides guests with unlimited access to the AquaSpa relaxation room and the Persian Garden, an exotic aromatherapy and steam room. Guests may also enjoy an exclusive restaurant, Blu, which serves healthy fare in a sophisticated and soothing atmosphere.

The soon to sail Norwegian Epic is also addressing the desire of guests that are looking for a spa getaway. It will have a spa stateroom complex, (a mix of balcony cabins, deluxe balcony cabins, and suites), which offer private key-card entry to the enclave surrounding the Epic’s spa and fitness center. Guests will enjoy complimentary use of thermal suites with heated tile lounge chairs, saunas, hydrotherapy pool, whirlpools and herbal steam rooms. This is a complete spa retreat for anyone yearning for serenity, pampering and privacy. The eight spa suites each have their own in-room whirlpool with ocean views!

With onboard spas being just as good if not better than those on land a cruise is a wonderful way to combine two different types of vacations! This can be especially obliging if part of a traveling party wants to spend their time reveling in luxurious spa treatments while the other would rather do other things. So, whether it’s a sumptuous massage to melt away stress or a splendid body wrap to melt away inches, a visit to a spa at sea will beat a land based resort spa every time!

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