Your next cruise can be made even more relaxing and rejuvenating with a visit to the ship’s spa. These are wonderful spaces equipped with facilities, equipment, operators and amenities that rival the poshest spas on land. They’re so popular that appointments can fill quickly, so make your appointment on embarkation day, if you can.
If you’re not sure which spa experience you’d like to try, we’ve got the skinny on the most-requested pampering treatments.
Massages. Massage is the practice of using hands to rub and knead the body, easing tension and pain. Most shipboard spas offer a few different types of massage; if you haven’t had one before, try a Swedish massage, a gentle type of full-body massage. In a hot stone massage, the masseuse uses heated stones in addition to hands to help improve blood flow and promote relaxation. An aromatherapy massage adds essential oils to help boost your mood.
A deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage, seeking to relieve tension in the deepest layers of your muscles and tissues. Some spas offer shiatsu, a Japanese style of massage in which the masseuse puts rhythmic pressure on certain points of your body. Thai massage uses a series of yoga-like stretches to relax you. Couples massages are very popular, not only because you can enjoy the process with a partner, but because they often include access to additional spa facilities, from saunas to solariums.
Facials. Deep cleaning of facial skin, followed by moisturizing, is next in popularity. If you haven’t had one before, start with the gentlest facial on the menu; more intense facials may leave your face feeling a bit tender if you’re not used to them. Most ship’s spas offer a menu of facials, some using vitamins or other substances to help purify the skin.
Scrubs and Wraps. Scrubs that exfoliate the skin and wraps that detoxify the skin round out the top shipboard spa treatments. Either treatment may use salt, herbs and other botanicals, or even mud to soften and nourish the skin.
Some spas also offer treatments like reiki, reflexology and acupuncture. Your ship’s spa may offer cosmetic services, such as teeth whitening or cellulite reduction. Many shipboard spas include salons that offer hairstyling and coloring, manicures and pedicures.
Spa facilities and services do vary by ship, even among ships from the same cruise line. Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for more information about ships will provide a lovely spa experience.
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