A few quick questions about booking spa appointments from a first time cruiser:
1. can you book ahead of time either online or by phone, or do I have to wait until I board the ship? I can't find anywhere on the HAL website that allows me to . . .
2. can you see outside while receiving a spa treatment? We'll be on the Ryndam Alaska Inside Passage cruise and don't want to miss a minute of the scenery!!
3. from anyone's spa experiences, are there any recommendations of services to get or to avoid? I know little about spa services: we'll be on our honeymoon and this is something she definitely wants to do!!
Hello. We cruised last August on ms Oosterdam and my wife had several messages that she enjoyed alot. I had my first ever massage that happened to be a couples massage and yes we could see the ocean but my head was buried in the massage table most of the time. You can go to Hals wesite and look up your bboking # and will find massages for purchaces under thier gifts on board section. We found that while on the ship they offer great discounts for the spa during the lull times on board for instance while in port while others may be out on excursions. If you go to the spa they will give you tours of the different spa areas and varying types of spa services and will offer discounts if you book your massages the first few hours on board. Have a fantastic timer.....Mountain Dog
We did our first cruise in February on the Zuiderdam. We had a total of two couples massages, one on each sea day. Since we wanted to book them ahead for a time in the morning we contacte HAL. They told us they could not make specific reservations (answer to Q1). When we came on board we immediatly went to the spa and booked the massage for the first day. Since we were early we could choose our own time.
We had the couples massage with the bath just before it. In the therapy room we had we had wonderfull view of the ocean. Very romantic when in a jacuzzi (answer to Q2+3). The massage was excellent so we immediatly booked for the second sea day but then without the bath. It was worth the extra $28 but once you've done it, it's ok. Something we didn't because we didn't know: You can bring your own bubly or order some which is a nice option.
Next time out we will definitly book a similar package again.
February 2008: HAL Zuiderdam: Eastern Caribbean
November 2009: HAL Noordam: Caribbean Wayfarer
November 2010: Norwegian Jade: Western Mediterranean
January 2012: HAL Eurodam: Eastern Caribbean
May 2012 HAL: Noordam: Transatlantic Riviera
The services are usually pretty good, similar to what you would get on land. I've had massages and facials. Beware though, if you get a facial they will PRESSURE you into buying their products. The write up a list of what they think you need and give it to you expecting you to buy $300 worth of products. There products are good, but not worth the money. So go for a massage to skip the sales pitch.
When I was on the Zuiderdam the view during the massage was fabulous. But on my last cruise on the Veendam the massagees were in a room with no windows. I flet rather claustrophobic. During the second massage the people in the next room were so lod with talking and laughing that I never was able to relax. I was very disappointed. I mentioned it to the massuer and she didn't do anything about it. Just sort of giggled. I did report it to the manager after the massage was over. And the pressure to buy stuff is amazing and almost rediculous. You have to be strong or you will end up with several hundred dollars worth of stuff you'll never use.
I sailed on the Noordam last year and on day one they did an "open" day so you could check out the facilities and offered specials, so I booked a one hour massage for about US$130 .
In the daily news that was posted in our rooms, they offered different daily spa specials if they had excess availaibility - which the seemed to have. Also, treatments are cheaper when they are in port - rather than at sea!!