There is a price to use the Thermal Sanctuary Suite – the adults only area (Sports Deck). The pool has no charge but it is down the stairs from the actual sanctuary (Sun Deck). There is a $15 (???) charge to use the sanctuary for ½ a day on sea days and $10 for the whole day when in port. You can enter The Sanctuary for free with a spa treatment.
It is very peaceful and quiet. They have extra thick cushions on the over-sized chairs and ‘serenity stewards’ who serve you anything you may need to make you comfortable. They have a separate healthier menu for eating or they will happily get you anything from the grill or pizzeria if you prefer. (They will go to all three if you chose.) Of course soda and cocktails are no problem.
There are no children allowed – not even to come talk to their parents. The child can come to the rail or a steward will come get them and the adult can go to the kid if need be. On that same line smoking is no allowed in the area either. You can sit either in the sun or the shade and they also have ‘tents’ in there where you can get a massage.
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
You can enter The Sanctuary for free with a spa treatment.
You CAN??????? Oh drat!! No one told me that. I had my spa treatment and paid a pretty penny for it. Didn't much think it was worth it either. A half day at the sanctuary thrown in would had helped. Too bad they don't tell you that when you're at the spa!
Two clarifications: there is the "Sanctuary" which is a qiuet pool and tanning area, no kids allowed. That is available for $10 per person, morning session (about 9:00 to 12:30) or afternoon session (about 1:00 to 4:30). You can buy cruise long passes (about $10/day) or couples passes, (about $8.00/day per person).
The same is true for the thermal suite, which is a different animal. That includes hot ceramic beds, steam rooms infused with essential oils (two in the suite, Eucalyptis and Mint, or Lavender, depending...) - a hot saune, rainmist showers, and hot ceramic beds. You go in a get steamed up, the shower off, go in the dry sauna and get heated up, and then lay on the ceramic beds until you are infused with the subtle heat of the bed (it hits you all at ones). Then you go and take a long nap - its a great refresher.
We signed up for the thermal as a couple on about the fourth day out, and they will pro-rate it. It was still about $8/per person/day. It is definitely worth it. It is open from 8:30 tp 11:00 pm on port days, closes at 8:00 pm on sea days. (however, they did close early on a few of the last days of the cruise).
They might let you use the thermal suite (if you ask nicely) before your massage which is what I would recommend.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.