Imagine yourself on an exotic cruise, relaxing on your private balcony hearing only the muffled sound of the waves as the ship’s bow quietly cuts through the water. Think it can’t get any better? Think again. Designed for the ultimate in relaxation, the spa concept aboard a ship has transcended into the latest trend in cruising: the spa cabin.
Carnival Cruise Line: Conveniently located on Central Florida’s Space Coast, Port Canaveral is home to the new Carnival Dream. The Dream, along with her sister ship, the Splendor in California, sport the only spa cabins in the entire fleet. Accessible via a private elevator and with priority access to the Cloud 9 Spa, Carnival’s spa staterooms also offer a bit of luxury. On my inspection and tour of the Carnival Dream in December, I noticed that the spa cabins have Elemis bath and beauty products in your bathroom. There are only 65 spa staterooms on the Dream (68 on the Splendor) and they share the private elevator with the suite guests. Also, if you book a spa stateroom, you have unlimited access to the Thalassotherapy pool, Aromatherapy room, complimentary fitness classes as well as use of Cloud 9 Spa logo bathrobes, slippers and ultra-plush towels.
Holland America: Holland America’s newest ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam, will feature the first purpose-built spa staterooms. You can luxuriate in the serenity of a new Spa Suite or Stateroom, featuring modern spa amenities such as yoga mats, an iPod® docking station, and a countertop water feature in-room. Also available are exclusive spa treatments from the nearby Greenhouse Spa and Salon. On Statendam-class ships, twelve staterooms near the spa (on Deck 9) also will have verandahs added, and along with three inside staterooms, become ‘spa staterooms’ featuring a variety of enhanced spa amenities. On the Rotterdam, 23 staterooms on Verandah deck will become spa staterooms.
All totaled, six of Holland America’s ships will feature spa accommodations by the middle of 2010; the Eurodam, Ryndam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Veendam, Statendam and Rotterdam.
Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises Solstice-class ships (so far, it’s the Solstice and the Equinox, soon the Eclipse and Silhouette) will delight your senses with their Aqua Class. On the same deck as the Aqua Spa Relaxation Room, these balcony staterooms are similar to the deluxe balcony staterooms but have wonderful in-room amenities; oh-so-soft bathrobes, slippers, a special five-head Hansgrohe shower and Elemis bath and beauty products to sample. You can relax to spa serenity music via the in-room entertainment system. Perhaps the best kept secret is the privilege of having your own dining room. Guests in the Aqua Class have complimentary dining in Blu, a specialty restaurant featuring California and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and wines. Suite guests are the only other passengers with access this healthfully delicious restaurant (but they pay a $5 per person fee.) Feel like instant relaxation? Put on your robe and slippers and head down the hall from your spa cabin towards the Relaxation Room at the bow of the ship. Enter the glass enclosed quiet room, stretch out on the heated, curved, tile chaise lounges while gazing at the sea through panoramic windows.
If you’ve been there, done that AND bought the t-shirt on the usual Caribbean cruises, why not make your next cruise a spa vacation at sea? If you’ve experienced the joys of Grand Cayman with six mega-ships in port, stay onboard, book your spa treatment and stay far from the madding crowd. You’ll return home refreshed, renewed and hopefully rebooked for your next cruise!
See you in the spa!
Sherry is editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com. An expert on ocean and river cruises plus trains in the US and Europe, Sherry’s goal is to share her experiences to entertain, inform and inspire readers to travel the world.