Top 5 spas at sea
By Terri Eaton | 14 Mar 2012
The cream of today’s cruise ship spas are up there with the world’s best. From calming retreats perfect for pure relaxation or hedonistic high-tech havens ideal for luxurious full-body pampering
1. MSC Aurea Spa
One of the top trends for the coming cruise season is an emphasis on wellness and rejuvenation and MSC do this spectacularly well. I checked out the spa aboard Splendida, which offers passengers state-of-the-art massage, fitness and beauty facilities. The welcoming reception area with yummy-looking drinks menu is only bettered by the treatment rooms which, with their floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the ocean and Balinese decor, are some of the most relaxing I have seen. The staff are knowledgeable and helpful and the whole place has such a welcoming atmosphere that you’ll want to go back again and again. Treat yourself to a stay in the Yacht Club, where you’ll have your own private lift straight to the spa.
- Standout features The spa boasts an impressive selection of Balinese-themed treatments including thalassotherapy scrubs and hot lava stone treatments. I can recommend the Relax Face Treatment and Bali Massage which were a wonderful way to kick off my cruise. Sailing near Malta we had some high winds, but my massage therapist wasn’t fazed and even gave me a perfect manicure before the gala dinner.
- Signature treatment Look revitalised after your cruise with the Q-Frequency treatments for tissue toning, treating wrinkles, reducing cellulite and slimming.
- Book now MSC offer a range of spa packages, which you can book with your cruise, including three new packages aimed at its luxury Yacht Club guests. Best bit I loved that there was no pressure to buy products after any of my treatments – the lack of hard sell, no bill to sign, and no gratuity to worry about made the experience even more relaxing.
2. The Spa at Silversea
Catering to all types of travellers, Silversea’s specialised wellness programmes are designed for specific concerns such as arthritis, poor circulation or cellulite. And with innovative body age assessment technology, the Spa at Silversea’s personal trainers can create a lifestyle programme to suit each passenger.
- Standout features With spas becoming increasingly popular among men, The Spa at Silversea has incorporated specialty grooming services, including facials and barbering, for men. It even offers a half-day of pampering for the face and body, specially designed for men.
- Signature treatment Featuring top brand name skin products from Elemis and La Therapie, Silver Shadow was the first cruise ship to offer the acclaimed Elemis Visible Brilliance Facial, an anti-ageing face and eye treatment that’s meant to firm, rejuvenate and plump up the skin, while reducing under-eye dark circles – after just one treatment.
3. Crystal Spa
For mind, body and spiritual wellness, there’s no better place to start than the world’s first Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea, a soothing retreat with Zen rock gardens and water fountains strategically placed according to ancient Chinese principles. The award winning spa is up there with the world’s best. Guests can focus on the face, hands, feet or full body, choosing from the latest in natural healing and beauty innovations.
- Standout features Crystal’s healthfocused lectures and workshops affiliated with the Creative Learning Institute expand the choices for guests who are looking to start lifestyle changes or maintain current health regimens.
- Signature treatment A dry-float bed suite contains an innovative sensory bed to create a feeling of weightlessness, ideal for the Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap and other treatments. The suite may be used by a couple, so convince your partner to go along with you.
4. Regent Seven Seas Canyon Ranch
- Standout features Try the Aromatic Steam Room where you can soak in the benefits of penetrating steam infused with pure plant essences and the Finnish Sauna lined with Nordic cedar, which is said to help with increased circulation, muscular relaxation and relief from aches.
- Signature treatment The Sjal line of skincare products featured on board is thoroughly recommended. Based on principles of ancient eastern medicines, they use the purest eco-ingredients and are charged with essential precious minerals and gemstones for the ultimate skincare. We love the subtlety and minimalism of the packaging, and our favourite products are the delicate balans (balance) deep pore cleanser that brightens and protects skin and the refreshing mineral källa (source) energy tonic that hydrates and counteracts stress.
5. Norwegian Mandara Spa
With over 50 land and sea-based spas worldwide, Mandara spas have developed a range of unique and exotic treatments. Norwegian Epic’s luxurious spa is the largest at sea and features 24 treatment rooms, a fullservice salon, two exotic steam Rasul rooms, two private couple’s villas, and 39 spa cabins – which include access to the hydrotherapy area and thermal rooms – while eight suites have their own in-room whirlpools.
- Standout features The Hydrotherapy Courtyard and Thermal Suite features a pretty tropical garden to relax in, a pool with massaging jets and waterfalls, a whirlpool and an outdoor relaxation deck.
- Signature treatment Mandara’s Hot Stone Heaven treatment is an experience not to be missed. Book it for the start of your holiday and let the warmed volcanic stones, specially brought from Hawaii, impart a deep soothing heat to sore and tired muscles.