Most cruise ships nowadays have some form of spa, although the majority of these are ones where anyone is allowed entrance to a limited amount of facilities that usually just include a pool, hot tub and sauna or steam rooms. We’re scoping out the best cruise spa experiences you can have on board a cruise if you’re looking to get away from the worries of the world and indulge in a taste of luxury on your travels, because as we’ve said before, cruising is one of the best ways to relax away from the world.
Costa’s Samsara Spa
Costa and Celebrity’s newer ships all feature something very exciting: the brand new concept of the “destination spa”. Focusing on the Costa ships, Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica and Costa Luminosa all have the pioneering spa which offers a full spa package with access to thermal suites, restaurants with specially designed menus for lighter and more healthy food and a zen-like atmosphere that you’d be lucky to find even on land.
The Centro Benessere Samsara on board the Costa Serena is a huge 6000m² and spreads over two levels. Not only will you find all the typical facilities such as a gym, hot tub and pool, but you’ll find specialised areas including the thalassotherapy pool which pumps warm mineral enriched sea water through hydrotherapy jets around you to help relieve general aches and pains. The massage experiences are not to be missed with the option of scented oils or volcanic rocks. There are yoga, pilates and spinning classes that come with an extra charge of around 9€/$16 which seems to be around the standard rate at the moment. Overall the Samsara spa has a hugely relaxing atmosphere with elements inspired by feng shui practices with gently splashing water, Buddhas and tinkling wind chimes.
MSC Aurea Spa
With the trend in wellness cruises only just starting to take off, Italian cruiseline MSC are newly emerging into the industry with their Aurea Spa onboard their ships. Promising a serene experience among the hassles of daily life and stress, their motto is Salus per Aquam, “Health through water”, providing therapeutic encounters via authentic Balinese massages combined with traditional ancient Roman bathing techniques.
Treatments to be highlighted from the Aurea Spa include the hot lava stone massages as well as Bali massages and Relax Face Treatments. The ships each have differences in their décor, but the Spendida is highly recommended due to the treatment rooms with floor to ceiling windows with views out over the waves.
Cunard’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub
Found on board the Queen Mary 2, the Oceania and the Regent Seven Seas ships, the Cunard Canyon Ranch Spas provide energising experiences and opportunities for ultimate relaxation while traveling. Bonvoyage.uk has recently announced the refit of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 which will see renovations to the staterooms, including new single cabins, as well as to other areas of the ship. We cannot yet comment on it, but we hope the spa has been updated to the standard of Cunard’s other Canyon Ranch Spas.
The knowledge and expertise of the spa’s staff is often highlighted and the treatments are frequently described by reviewers as being exceptional and unique to the cruise line. While there are more standard treatments such as Thai Massages and beauty treatments including manicures, pedicures and hair styling, you can also experience the Ashiatsu, a unusual deep tissue massage in which the therapist hangs on to a bar on the ceiling and uses their feet to release your tension. Other more adventurous treatments include Reiki, acupuncture, Ayurvedic and an “Ice Cream pedicure”! Aside from the treatments, you can also experience the Nordic cedar Finnish sauna to keep aches and pains at bay and help to increase your circulation, or test out their signature range of Sjal skincare products using eco-friendly ingredients and packed with cleansing minerals.
The Spa at Seabourn
Three of Seabourn’s ships, the Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, are home to their infamous health and wellness centre, the Spa at Seabourn. Their concepts aspire to take the option for relaxation on board from excellent to outstanding. As the first luxury ships to be built in more than a decade, the spa facility sprawls over a huge area in the ship with two floors.
Despite the ships being fairly small in stature, the spa offers a unique feature: Spa Villas, which feature a small living area and day bed with a balcony and oversized bathtub. These can be booked for two and a half hours and include a treatment from the spa. If you’re looking for something not quite so pricey but just as indulgent, you’ll love the Finnish sauna, Thai floor massages, quiet area on the deck and Kinesis Wall in the yoga room of the gym
Crystal’s Spa and Salon
Crystal Symphony and Serenity are the ships you want to be travelling on if you’re looking for the ultimate in peaceful relaxation with an exotic feel with their Spa and Salon. Designed around the concepts of Feng Shui and Zen, the Spa areas on the ship feel balanced and calming. Couples or singles can spend time on the luxurious dry floatation bed suite where you can experience the unique feeling of weightlessness (find out about these more here), or just chill out under the canopy of the private teak sun deck.
Operated by Steiner, the staff are experienced and knowledgeable, using only the best products for you with hair styling, pedicures and manicures. If you’re looking for a stand out treatment, there’s an energising salt and ginger scrub as well as acupuncture and massage.