Cruise Travel For Physical Fitness Or A Spa Vacation
by Mary Hanna
You really want to take a cruise but you also really
want to go to a spa for physical fitness and maybe a little pampering.
In the world today you can do both. Years ago you were lucky to
find a spa on a cruise ship. If there was one, it was in a really
remote area of the ship. As for physical fitness there was very
little equipment and most of it was tired. When people started to
become more conscious of their looks and health the cruise lines
revised their way of thinking. Cruise travel now can double as a
spa vacation as well as learning a new physical fitness program.
The newer cruise ships have gone to great lengths
to accommodate the cruise passenger who also wants to beautify and
tone up. The cruise lines have installed state of the art equipment,
added numerous exercise classes, and offer the newest beauty treatments
available. Many of the cruise lines have relocated their fitness
centers to the top decks of the ships with lots of windows so you
can have a view while you are on the treadmill, bike, or lifting
weights. Tucked up into the corner is a big TV so you can watch
the news from back home. The cruise ships now have three distinct
areas, one for fitness, one for spa treatments and one for the beauty
As mentioned, the fitness centers on cruise ships
are now a thing to behold. They all will definitely have treadmills,
Stairmasters, free weights rowing machines and bikes. Some cruise
lines even have complete Nautilus machines. Popular exercise machines,
especially on sea days, may require you to sign up for a particular
time of day and will limit the amount of time you can use the machine.
If you want to use your cruise travel as a vehicle
to start an exercise regime there are physical trainers onboard.
Their services, however, will cost you extra. The trainer will ask
you lots of questions about your health and diet and then will come
up with a personal regime for you. He or she will then book times
through the week for you to work together.
All cruise lines offer exercise classes, yoga, aerobics,
dance, water aerobics, even Pilates and kickboxing. Some of these
may require a slight fee. To find out when these classes are held
consult your daily bulletin for times and fees, if any.
Now, you're thinking why would I start a physical
fitness regime while on a cruise ship, especially since they serve
all that food, 24 hours a day? Well along with the newer, shinier
and better facilities the cruise lines have also instituted what
they call spa cuisine. Everyday they will offer a "lighter side"
menu if you are really serious about you new physical fitness regime.
Don't assume that if the ship is older, it won't
have a decent fitness and spa area. Check with your cruise travel
agent to find out what facilities are onboard the cruise ship you
have chosen. For instance, the QE2 is an older ship but it has a
beautifully outfitted spa with a large staff. Celebrity's slight
older Century has a Thalassotherapy pool for their passenger's enjoyment
and it has become quite popular among their cruisers.
When you board your cruise ship go to the spa area.
Usually on the first day the staff will be explaining their treatments
and occasionally demonstrate how it is done. Sometimes they will
raffle off treatments, so go to the demonstration just for that
reason. If you have definitely decided that you will be doing some
treatments, book them on day one to get the best times. Any beauty
salon appointments should be made then too, hair appointments for
formal night go very quickly.
Many times the spa and beauty staff will discount
their services on days when the ship is in port. If you are going
to a few cruise destinations that you have previously visited, take
advantage of these offers. You will find that you can pick your
time of day to get these treatments done with little or no competition.
If you are an early riser, choose an appointment in the morning
and then get off the ship to enjoy that port. Or, conversely, disembark
early to explore your new port, and then return to the ship in the
early afternoon to take advantage of a discounted treatment.
When you go to your spa appointment, do not wear
jewelry or fancy clothes. Most treatments are a bit messy and you
don't want to ruin any of your belongings. It is best just to wear
a robe. When you get there an attendant will give you a towel and
a private locker to put away your things. You may then be asked
to wait in a room. Your technician will come out to take you to
the room designated for that particular application. You will also
fill out a form on your health and any surgeries that you have had.
The room you are in will most likely have a shower. It will definitely
have a sound system to play soothing music and there will be an
array of exotic oils and creams.
The cruise ship spas have gotten quite creative.
They now offer couples massages where you and your partner are in
the same room with different massage therapists. Then there are
four hand massages where two people work on you at the same time.
Some of the cruise lines offer in suite massages and some even have
massages on the deck.
By far the highest percentage of staff are women
but there a few men. If you have a preference between male or female
spa technicians, state it when you make your appointment. Some people
are uncomfortable lying naked on a table with a therapist of the
opposite sex. Check the cruise ships policy on tipping. Some cruise
lines automatically tack on a 15% charge to your bill while on others
you may have to pay in cash. To save embarrassment, check at the
time you make your appointments.
There are three lines that allow you to make your
spa appoints before boarding the ship. Princess, Windstar and Celebrity
all offer this option. In some cases they even have packages that
you can book in advance. Be careful here though, they may give you
some very early morning appointments which means you have to go
and change them on the very first day. This is not the best policy
since they should be giving you prime appointments for booking ahead.
Beauty salons will offer a full array of services.
You can have your nails done, your hair colored or hand and foot
treatments aside from just a trim. Most of the beauty salons have
Europeans staffs. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Places like
Austria require their beauty students to go to the equivalent of
See, it is possible to turn your cruise into a spa
vacation or physical fitness week. Just follow what your trainer
or your beauty technicians tell you and eat the spa cuisine. You've
just achieved three goals, a little bit of pampering, a fitness
regime, and a light and healthy diet. This may be a new way for
you to view cruise travel.
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Mary Hanna has traveled the world by Air and Ship
while writing eBooks, Software Reviews and Practical Articles on
Internet Marketing, Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites
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