As if cruising wasn’t already a relaxing enough experience, top cruise lines are providing even more ways to chill out onboard with the addition of indulgent pampering experiences. As well as giving you access to the latest innovations in spa technologies from industry experts, you can also opt for fully immersive spa experiences complete with in-cabin treatments and healthy eating menus.

Which cruise spa is for you?

Generally speaking, there are two main schools of thought when it comes to spas on cruises. Firstly, there’s the tried and tested approach of putting a large spa and fitness centre onboard as part of a wider offering of services, which is championed by cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean® and Princess Cruises. This best suits people who want to dip in and out of the spa when it suits them.

Secondly, a newer way of doing things is the full-immersion approach to spa and pampering cruises. Here, everything from your room to the food – and of course the spa and treatments – are provided as part of an all-encompassing wellbeing package. Companies like Celebrity Cruises® and MSC Cruisesexcel in these spa resort style cruises for health and relaxation enthusiasts, where select rooms are housed right next to the spa. Your room and spa package can cover exclusive spa area access, healthy eating options, spa concierges and even in-cabin treatments.

Read on for details of the best cruise ship spas to find out which cruise line provides your ultimate pampering experience.

Feel like a Princess… or a Prince

Even if you don’t want to go all-out on a specialist spa cruise, the spa, fitness and health facilities of Princess’ Lotus Spa have got you covered. You’ll find the Lotus Spa on the majority of Princess ships, but for the biggest and best spa choose the Royal Princess or Regal Princess. Winning the Spafinder Wellness 365 ‘Best Cruise Ship Spa’ award, offerings include hair treatments, Elemis facials, manicures and pedicures, massages including aroma stone therapy, and detoxifying body therapies like ocean wraps.

Men are catered for with shaves, hair care and massages just for them. Teens get their own facials and massages, or you could go together with Mother and Daughter or Father and Son packages available. For an extra level of Zen just for the grown-ups, head to The Sanctuary retreat on the top deck where you can have an open-air massage in a private cabana while being served healthy food and drinks.

Big is best on Royal Caribbean

With some of the largest spa and fitness areas at sea, Royal Caribbean® certainly goes big on health services. Its Quantum and Freedom classes of ship offer the Vitality Spa, with the Freedom Class boasting the largest spas of them all. It even holds boxing lessons and other aerobic sessions in the ring, with separate rooms for fitness classes like yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, cycling and boot camp.

Other services include Swedish, hot stone and couples’ massages, facials, body wraps and even acupuncture. There’s also a salon for hair styling, manicures and teeth whitening. On all other ships the ShipShape spa serves up Elemis and La Therapie beauty treatments, facials and hair-care alongside Swedish and shiatsu massage.

Crossing over into full-immersion spa territory, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas® sails you away for The Ultimate Wellness Getaway onboard. As well as use of the onboard spa, Tai Chi, qi gong, yoga and pilates classes, there’s also a full programme of lectures and workshops on wellness topics including nutritional wellness and lifestyle planning.

Floating spa resorts, be treated like a celebrity

If your ultimate goal is to feel as though you’re sailing on a floating spa, opt for Celebrity Cruises®. Select staterooms have been styled with furnishings and decor specifically designed to promote calm and tranquillity, while the spa restaurants and cafes have specially-created healthy and nutritious menu options.

The Canyon Ranch Spa on Celebrity’s Solstice-class® ships has a classic green and white theme and provides more than 20 exclusive facial and body treatments. As well as two pools with accompanying whirlpools, The Persian Garden sauna and steam room is home to a tropical rain shower and heated relaxation chairs with ocean views.

For the whole hog in spa experiences, going AquaClass® will get you full use of all the spa facilities and a dedicated spa stateroom close to the action. AquaClass staterooms boast luxury bath products, multi-headed spa showers and even a room service menu that is tailored with a selection of healthy dining choices.

With exclusive access to Blu restaurant, you can eat similarly good-for-you grub like salads and lean meats here and at the AquaSpa Cafe. The final perk is a knowledgeable spa concierge who’ll recommend and book treatments for you, and advise on anything spa-related you want to know.

An exclusive spa experience

Providing two spa packages with varying exclusivity, MSC Cruises certainly know how to make you feel special. Their first level of luxury is the Aurea experience, available with suites and balcony cabins, where you’ll get a complimentary set of wellbeing products, an unlimited drinks package, a private wellness consultation, a massage of your choice from the spa menu and even a tanning shower. Additional perks include exclusive access to the adults-only sun deck, private solarium and thermal area.

If that’s not enough, the MSC Yacht Club is the most elite level available, giving spa enthusiasts direct and private lift access to the Aurea Spa. You get everything in the Aurea package plus a 24-hour butler service, free time dining at the private MSC Yacht Club restaurant and entry to the Top Sail Lounge.

Available with Royal, Executive, Family and Deluxe Suites, if you’re travelling on MSC Meraviglia you can also opt for an MSC Yacht Club Wellness Deluxe Suite. It comes complete with in-cabin Technogym Kinesis fitness equipment, a laundry service for your gym kit, healthy eating options and sports drinks, exclusive wellness shore activities and plenty more besides.

A spa and pampering cruise can be the ultimate holiday experience, so it’s worth taking a look around to find a package that really hits the right spot for you. As we’ve shown, choosing a cruise ship with good spa facilities can provide a rejuvenating onboard activity or be a holiday in itself.

Let us know which pamper cruise you’d choose!

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