Finding nirvana on the high seas

By Patti Pietschmann Travel Diva

Photo courtesy Regent Sevenseas

Wellness is the new industry buzz word

Cruise lines are jumping on the ‘wellness’ bandwagon big time.  While ship spas are nothing new, the treatments being offered are. And so is the special attention to fitness and healthy eating.  The transformation has turned some ships into floating spas. But don’t get me wrong, you don’t  have to get pampered, workout or eat healthy. But it’s there for the choosing.

Shipboard spas provide blissful (and even romantic) moments. That something extra that turns a cruise into a truly relaxing experience. It makes me tingle all over to I think about fabulous spa treatments I’ve enjoyed on cruises.

Transcendental times

I’m talking transcendental moments. Like being massaged at sea while the ship gently  rocks and rolls to sleep.  Or  feeling blissed out  during  a rejuvenating facial.

You can also have nails done, get your hair colored or styled and your makeup done.  Many passengers do just that before formal nights.  great.

Seeing the sign of aging? Lines, wrinkles or other facial flaws? Some ship spas offer non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox to get the lines out. After those treatments you will go home looking better  and younger than when you left.

Here are some top spas in which to accomplish it.

Crystal Cruises Symphony and Serenity 

Crystal Life Spa courtesy Crystal Cruises

Facilities:   Crystal Life spas  just feel good the minute walk in the door.  The eye-pleasing, fengshui correct treatment rooms are  serene and welcoming.

The facilities include primal pleasures such as steam baths and saunas. 

And adjacent to the spa are fitness centers offering all the right tools to stay in shape from classes to equipment. 

Pamper Possibilities:  The spa menu includes glorious head to toe maneuvers that please the senses. Facials and massages are exceptional.

So are the “Sole Delight” pedicures which turn your tootsies into mush. Also note worthy are the dreamy coconut rub and milk rituals and Aroma Stone Therapy.

A  Japanese Silk Booster Facial was one of the best I’ve ever had. And I’ve had several. But then  Every treatment I ever had on Crystal was top-notch.

Seabourn Cruises  

Facilities: the spiffy fleet of this high end cruise line features Seabourn’s Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil in stunning surroundings. Steam and saunas are open for passenger use, too.


Pamper Possibilities  a wide range of massages, facials and beauty treatments that blend  traditional practices from around the world with contemporary techniques. I have experienced some the best massages and facials on Seabourn. There is a well-equipped ocean-view gym and Motion Studio is staffed by professional fitness trainers, and a full-service salon for men and women complement the spa.

My husband I both had phenomenal massages and facials on Seabourn cruises.

Patti has a facial, aah

While shipboard spas are pretty much operated by one company  therapist do vary from line to line with the luxury ships often getting the cream of the crop.


Facilities:   posh, peaceful, heavenly-scented and pleasing to the senses.

Pamper Possibilities: a salubrious selection of therapies from the beauty experts from London’s House of Elemis, await.  You choices include deep hydrating facials, hot stone massages, seaweed body wrap massages, cellulite reduction treatments, and more. Again every treatment I ever had on these ships was wonderful. Even a pedicure was extra special.

RSSC Serene Wellness spa photo


Regent Seven Seas Serene Spa and Wellness

Facilities: Originally created for the launch of the line’s upcoming uber-elegant RSSC Splendor, the spa, which operates in collaboration with OneSpaWorld focuses  on restorative treatments.,

Pamper Possibilities:  exclusive head to  toe treatments  that employ techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world. The spa menu includes treatments found in many of the 450 destinations that RSSC ships sail. It features ELEMIS facial therapies, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, and luxury Kérastase salon services.

The new spa program offers fitness-conscious seafarers  a selection of workouts,  personal trainers, wellness tours and nutritionally mindful cuisine selections.

Windstar Cruises:

Facilities: Each of these four and five master sailing ships boasts greatly enhanced spas and fitness centers. Wind Surf leads the pack with a spiffy 1,895-square-foot facility filled with Nautilus equipment, an exercise gym, treadmills, stationary bicycles, free weights, elliptical machines, stair climbers and workout stations.  Other exercise options include aerobic classes, yoga, Pilates,  Cardio Kick-Boxing, and Kai Bo.

Pamper Possibilities:  choices include exotic face and body options. You can opt for am Aroma stones massage, ocean wrap, Reiki, Shiatsu, Reflexology, nail and hair care and much more. Personal trainers and diet consultants are available to measure your body fat (to avoid shock, do this early in the cruise) and offer weight control tips. Other ways to stay in shape include snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking off the water sports platform, or running around the jogging track (many times, these are small ships remember).

If you’re traveling with a significant other I highly recommend a couples massage for added bliss and well a little mojo juice.

What price pampering.

Spa treatments are pretty pricey. Some lines offer on board spending credits which can be used to defray costs.  In fact, Regent Seven Seas is offering $1000 ship board credit per suite that can applied to your spa tab.

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