Enjoying A Relaxing Spa Day At Sea | Great Escapes
Some of my most memorable spa experiences took place while on vacation. Perhaps the vacation mindset helped me to relax in a way that a pedicure appointment after work (almost missed due to rush hour traffic) does not. In particular, I'm thinking back to a massage on the beach in Mexico and more recently a massage on a cruise ship in the Mexican Riveria.
My job is driven by deadlines which in turn causes stress. Hmmm, ya think?! My stress tends to build up right in my neck and shoulders. That's why, I love to schedule a massage during a vacation. During a recent week-long cruise on the Disney Wonder, I scheduled some "me time" at the Vista Spa and Salon.
Ever wondered about the quality of spas on board cruise ships? You'll find that the services offered are comparable to what you'd find in a spa on land. For example, the Vista Spa and Salon offers a whole bunch of services including massages, facials, nail services, haircuts and styling as well as acupuncture, and teeth whitening. More than likely, if you want it, they’ve got it. And on ships like the Disney Wonder, the therapists are sent to a training academy so you can expect to find experienced professionals.
Gabor Hermann is the spa manager on-board the Disney Wonder. He says that the most popular treatments are massages - particularly the hot stone massage. The menu of services was so long that I had a hard time deciding what treatment to schedule.
I thought the spa villas might be a nice way for me and the hubby to get some quiet time alone. Gabor told me, "The villas are the ultimate level of relaxation." I decided to find out for myself. The villa for two has an outdoor verandah overlooking the ocean with a private Jacuzzi and day bed. We signed up for the “Couples Retreat” package which includes 25 minutes in a Jacuzzi filled with relaxing oils and salts. After the Jacuzzi, you rinse off in a private shower and then rest on the bed with a glass of champagne. Then it’s time for your massage. The sound of the ocean and the feel of the salt air help make it a memorable experience.
In my quest for relaxation, I also checked out was the Exotic Rain Forest Thermal Suite. I had no idea what to expect, but I can tell you that it’s pretty cool. Gabor describes it like this, “The Rain Forest is an ultimate getaway. There’s no therapist involved. It’s basically a quiet area with different types of steam chambers. The big, big favorites are the heated ceramic lounge chairs. We often find people asleep in the chairs.” Aside from the occasional rocking of the ship, it’s easy to forget where you are. You can buy a day pass or get a package rate to the Rain Forest.
A good way to save yourself a little money is to watch for daily spa specials. Most cruise ships - including the Disney Wonder - offer them. Check that daily itinerary that's left at your door each night. Inside, you can find out about daily discounts and treatments. Sometimes you can get discounted spa services on days when the ship is in port - and on embarkation day.
Do you like to treat yourself when you’re on vacation? What’s your favorite relaxing spa treatment?