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Cruise Ship Spas

Get blissed out with a spa vacation on the open seas

You can shop till you drop and zip line nine ways to Sunday, but pampering treats while cruising is GoGirlfriend's fav way to sail away from stress. What we love - you can enjoy the same facial, pedicure and deep tissue massage as your fav spa at home - or you can try something unique.

Spa DetoxSpa DetoxBooking a spa treatment is like booking a shore excursion. It takes research and planning before boarding the ship. If you want to take stress relief to a new level, have a look at our spa treatment cheat sheet.

Spa services

Steiner Leisure Company manages and staffs spas on more than 16 cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Carnival, P&O and Celebrity. If you're like me and like to hop from cruise line to cruise line, quality of service is assured. On the downside, finding truly unique treatments is a challenge.

Onboard the Caribbean Princess, I enjoyed the oxygen facial. A little pricy for a 50 minute facial, it did what they said it would do - erase all those hard-living lines that were gathering around my eyes. You know the ones you get from dining, drinking and dancing your way through a cruise...

And don't forget your guy when booking your spa treatment. He may turn his nose up at the thought of a pedicure, but Adam (GoGirlfriend's Captain Awesome) is a secret Spa Tramp.

Pick your treatment

Start by looking at what the cruise line offers (Steiner operates Elemis, Mandera and Bliss spas) and then hone in your ship of choice. Each ship offers at least one unique treatment that may inspired by the itinerary.

For the girl who books her cruise based on the spa, Girlfriend Spa ExperienceGirlfriend Spa ExperienceCosta's Serena is your ship.

This Mediterranean liner boasts 99 treatment rooms (bliss) and all treatments begin with a shanty foot cleansing to relax the mind, body and soul. From there, enjoy the oversize thalassotherapy pool, rock sauna, Turkish bath, Oriental Deluxe House. In other words, you never need to leave the ship.

Book your treatment

Most cruise lines encourage online booking prior to boarding. If you have your heart set on a specific treatment, such as a couples massage, book early. At-sea days fill up quickly, as do treatment times after embarkation.

If you're not excited about exploring every island your ship docks at, wait until embarkation or watch the daily cruise newsletter for upcoming specials. You'll be surprised at the deep discounts and treatments bundled together at off-times.

Tipping after your treatment

At the end of your spa treatment, you'll need to present your cruise card to pay for services rendered. Bear in mind that spa staff are not employed by the cruise line - so they don't receive any portion of your tipping package at the end of your cruise.

Escape Completely at the SpaEscape Completely at the SpaLike any service you receive, tip based on your gratitude. No tip is ever required and should be based on what you can afford and how you'd like to say thank you to your attendant.

Do you spa when you vacation? What's your favorite treatment?

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