A Look at Some of the Best Cruise Spas
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The variety of spas and wellbeing centres are immense no matter where you travel to. The difference leans towards the products used and the visual surroundings. There are many benefits of signature spa treatments offered on cruise ships. Fit in an appointment or two at the onboard spa as it is the perfect opportunity in trying out the latest treatments.

Even if you haven’t visited a spa before, take advantage of the tour the cruise lines have on the first day to introduce their facilities. The staff will explain the types of services and treatments available and welcome questions.

Canyon Ranch SpaClub®

Celebrity Cruises have decided to up the ante. Their innovative new idea of having a pair of special spa restaurants that focus on healthy eating and luxurious spa cabins coincides with their partnership with the exceptional Canyon Ranch. Many therapies are offered with an all over holistic healing carte de jour for the entire body.

The traditional offerings are still featured just like those found at the top notch spas in London and Ascot.  Botox® injections, a men’s barbershop, a solarium and a sauna/steam room hybrid which feature items such as tropical rain showers are designed for relaxation and complete the spa experience.

Mandara Spa 

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Mandara Spa offers some of the most agreeable treatments including a multitude of natural remedies ranging from the aesthetics of anti aging to maintaining good health and a cellulite reduction program. Massages tend to zero in on those knots and kinks that build up during a period of time. Aromatic massages will appeal to the fine senses with the  use of luscious oils.

Massages are Norwegians source of pride and there are numerous types to indulge in such as Balinese, Swedish, hot stone and spa seaweed massage amongst others. For the undecided, the “Seven Seas massage” incorporates several types.  Being a client in the Mandara spa is like being treated as a celebrity. Facials, massage, body treatments, Botox®, Restylane®, laser hair removal, manicures and pedicures are just a few services available on their extensive menu.

Samsara Spa

Costa Cruise Lines was one of the first cruise lines to offer spa treatments for healthy living on board. Their Samsara Spa has become quite a hit with their returning guests. Two stories high, this spa contains an Oriental theme that is very pleasing to the eye. The spa offers ayurvedic therapies which are known for the wide variety of herbs, oils and salts and are applied by qualified therapists.

Samsara spa

The latest craze to hit the spa scene  is also available on a Costa cruise holiday –  the under water pressure massage. It is not a standard dip in the Jacuzzi, although the procedure takes place in a tub with powerful jets of water. Costa has a special package consisting of personal consultation, two treatments, two fitness classes and unlimited use of the thalassotherapy pool for those who book a spa cabin.

The Spa at Seabourn

Besides being a luxurious cruise line in every way, shape and form The Spa at Seabourn is no exception. This spa offers an international menu of treatments native to ten locations throughout the world. These spas are located on two entire decks and treatments are made to order with nothing artificial ever be placed upon the skin. Shangri La may be out there somewhere, but this spa is as close as you can get.

Spa Villa Massage

There are also Spa Villas, an interesting new invention that has an oversized bathtub, balcony, living area and even a day bed. The gym on board is fully equipped, so there’s never an excuse for not staying in shape. Whilst waiting for an appointment, take advantage of the heated loungers in the relaxation room.

Vitality@Sea

Although Royal Caribbean International has been known for their enormous fitness centres for years, that certainly doesn’t mean one has to miss out on their spa services. Massage treatments are freely available and are particularly good for the commonplace aches and pains. A recent development in the Vitality@Sea spa is acupuncture and other derma fillers such as Perlane® and Dysport®.

Vitality@Sea spa

Of course, there are also traditional salons offering cuts, styling, colouring and paraffin manicures, pedicures and teeth whitening for that dazzling smile. For teens that worry about the condition of their skin, RCCL’s spa has a treatment program for acne.

Drift away with relaxation whilst enjoying the peaceful moments devoted to pure pampering. The main objective behind many cruise ship spa treatments is to relieve stress, offer a total feel good attitude and show great results on the face and skin. The cruise lines even sell the products used in the treatment room, so follow ups can be performed at home.

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New Cruise Line Rules to benefit Non Smokers
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Smoking is one of the most challenging habits there is to change. Over the years, it has been banned from the workplace, pubs and restaurants and almost all public places across the UK. The aim was to reduce the exposure of non-smokers to second-hand smoke, which has a harmful effect on all. After six years with the ban in effect, enforcement officials claim to have seen the benefits and estimate that the next 20 years will halve smoking rates.

cigarette smoke

Cruise ships were not left out and had created dedicated areas smoking areas. However, there is a major change on the high seas for even more restrictions to smoking passengers.

Since August, Cunard and Seabourn placed in restrictive rules pertaining to smoking areas on their ships.

Commencing in February 2014, Seabourn will also ban smoking in staterooms on its six ships. Smokers will still be able to light-up a cigarette on verandas and in designated public areas on deck.

On Cunard’s ships, there has been a ban on smoking in cabins and public places onboard for some time, but smoking on balconies will also be banned beginning with the Queen Victoria on the 28th of April 2014. There will still be designated areas for smoking on the open decks. There is a no-smoking policy in all Cunard ship’s restaurants.

queen victoria queens grill

Image courtesy of Cunard Cruises

P&O Cruises also announced a ban last month that as of March 2014, smoking will no longer be permitted on balconies.

This move has pushed many more cruise lines to implement increasingly stringent regulations towards smoking.

Last week, one of the major players in cruising, Royal Caribbean surprised the industry by following Cunard and P&O Cruises stance, to forbid smoking in their cabin balconies.

The ban on Royal Caribbean ships will go into effect starting 1 January 2014 and will apply to its entire fleet with the exception to those based out of Asia.

RCCL is planning on fully enforcing the ban and those caught smoking on a cabin balcony will be hit with a £190 ($250) fine. Inside stateroom have already had a smoking ban imposed for a while.

The new restrictions apply to electronic cigarettes also.

This ruling on smoking for Royal Caribbean passengers will be extremely restrictive. The only areas that will allow smoking on most Royal Caribbean ships are the Casino (only at designated times), on the outer decks on the starboard side of all ships and in Connoisseur Club on selected ships.

In a public notification, Royal Caribbean says its new non-smoking policies are the result of “careful consideration and review of guest feedback.”

MSC Cruises has changed their smoking policy prior to RCCL’s announcement. The line announced it would expand its smoke-free policy. Commencing 2 November 2013 on MSC Divina’s transatlantic voyage from Venice to Miami, smoking will be restricted to the Cigar Lounge and the port side of designated outside decks.

msc divina cigar lounge

Image courtesy of MSC Cruises

There’s been no word from Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line as of yet. They appear to still allow smoking on balconies, but there may be a few tweaks to their existing policies in the upcoming weeks.

Instead of taking the new rulings as a negative, turn it into an opportunity. A great many smokers say they would happily stop smoking if they could only find a way of doing it.

This is easier said than done and one of the hardest parts of quitting is filling the gap with something that will encourage a person to actually want to abstain from smoking again. Perhaps a cruise holiday is the best way to start. With all the activities and destinations that a cruise holiday provides, make it a stop smoking program that is much easier to endure.

For non-smokers, it allows a cruise holiday with more breathing room. For smokers, it will be a great way to take the cure.

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