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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Default Advice on Spa in Grandeur of the Seas

Hi,

This will be my first cruise, so I am needing some advice. I would like to use the spa for a little pampering, but am wondering about pricing. Could anyone inform me of "ballpark" pricing for 1 hour massages? Also, do they have steam rooms, saunas etc. that you can use in the spa? I've also read from other postings that it's best to wait until the last day at sea to book spa appointments because they offer good discounts then. Comments?

Thanks in advance for any answers!
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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I found this on a website for criticing spas & you can email Royal Carribbean to get their current spa prices; mine is from 2005 and not sure it is applicable


Suzi's Full Review: Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
Have you thought about booking a spa treatment on your next cruise? I do not opt for a spa package every time I cruise, but I do enjoy the therapies now and then. Steiner contracts with many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian to name a few, and operates most, if not all, spas on their ships. The staff seems to hail from the U.K. and the product line is Steiner's exclusively. The products are of very high quality, but somewhat expensive. Services aboard the Grandeur of the Seas for both men and women include facial treatments, aromatherapy massage, firming and toning treatments, hairdressing services, manicure and makeup.

The spa on the Grandeur is large and well equipped, compared to some ships. There will be pamphlets and price lists on their services in your cabin and you will often run into spa staff promoting their "specials." A beauty presentation/spa orientation or spa tour is usually held the first day and if you are interested in booking a spa treatment, this will give you an idea of what to expect, so I recommend attending. But don't book your treatment just yet, as prices go down and specials are offered a couple of days into the cruise. What you pay will ultimately depend on how full the ship is, and whether the spa expects to meet its weekly sales quota. During low season, when ships tend to not fill up, the prices will be somewhat less, offering the best discounts on days in port; whereas ships running full capacity (especially around the holidays) will tend to offer fewer discounts.

Throughout the week, 45 minute beauty demonstrations (aka sales presentations) are scheduled and often include prizes such as free spa treatments and beauty products. I attended one of these presentations and won a one hour aromatherapy massage. On sea days, the spa tends to do a lot of business, but towards the end of the cruise (or the last day at sea) offers of 25% discounts are common. At a beauty demonstration aboard the Grandeur, a special on facials was being offered for $35 (less than half price) on the last sea day.

Steiner products are used exclusively in both the spa and salon. I have made a couple of purchases, and each time found their merchandise to be of very high quality, albeit expensive. Their beauty products include cleansers, moisturizers and makeup as well as treatments such as masks and peels. One annoying aspect of the spa happens to be the sales pitch that's included with your treatment. I find the spas on Carnival to be worse, but I personally think if they were under less pressure to meet a sales quota, the service would be more enjoyable. It's customary to tip for services rendered, about 15%. As most treatments will run you around $100, that's a substantial tip, so figure that in your cost as well.

The charges for services at the beauty salon seem be around the same as better salons at home. As they use Steiner products here too, the cost for a 12 oz. bottle of shampoo will run about $15. Appointments for the salon go fast, so make yours early if the day of formal night is when you want to get you hair done. If they offer any kind of discounts towards the end of the cruise, it's usually on perms and colorings.

Although I can't recall exact prices for the treatments I'll list here, facials are between $60-$100; aromatherapy treatments (massages) are between $50-$150 (full body being the most expensive); firming, toning and detoxifying treatments are the most expensive, between $100-$225. The spa also has packages you can often book through the cruise line or your travel agent that's combined with an amenities package of champagne, breakfast in bed and a formal photo w/frame. Prices are about $175-$300 for two. My husband got this for our 10th anniversary cruise and it was wonderful.

Elemis Synergistic Therapy Experience

1 hour, 45 minutes. This is probably the most expensive massage package, which includes the entire body (face and feet also). I don't know much about massage, but if I remember correctly, it combined reflexology and pressure point techniques with aromatherapy. The treatment includes a facial, complete with exfoliation and a mask. I thought I died and went to heaven. My tab with tip and a purchase (including a discount!) came to $216! I've only done this once, and may again sometime in the future. But it's not something you'll want to do if you're on a budget.

Body Massage Treatments

Back, neck, shoulders and back of legs, 25 minutes or 50 minutes. This seems to be the best deal, often deeply discounted (25 minutes) by the end of the cruise. You have a choice of: aching muscle massage, de-stress massage or reviving massage (a minty, tingly treatment).

Ionithermie Firming, Detox & Toning Treatment

55 minutes, 80 minutes. This spa treatment is for inch loss and cellulite reduction. I have a hard time buying into this, but gave this a try once (convinced by a friend), and I have to say I did lose a couple of inches (dehydration) that came back the next day. I didn't care for the foil wrap, but I also didn't have to pay for this (it was a Christmas gift from a friend). Prices for these treatments are high. The sales pitch and their "scientific proofs" are questionable, but I found the experience fascinating.

La Therapie Facial

55 min, 80 min. The Steiner products were great, and included samples afterwards. They use electronic stimulators, which I found to be interesting, but wonder about its true benefits. The massage is wonderful, as are the treatments. The $35 discounted special I spoke of earlier was a basic facial and massage, just about 40 minutes in length.

Once you book a therapy, some spas allow you to use their facilities for the day not generally open to the public. The sauna and gym are usually open to the public free of charge.

All ships these days offer aerobics classes. Many publish a schedule and have the class times posted by the gym, and not in the daily bulletin. Classes include low impact aerobics, weights and other popular forms of exercise.

As a rule, spa treatments are expensive. I recommend checking out the spa and attending an orientation before signing up for a treatment. The best time to book a treatment is on the days your ship is in port, when specials are offered. Try to book on a day your ship has a full day and/or even evening in port, that way you won't have to rush to your appointment. Cancellation fees of 50% usually apply, so make certain you can keep your appointment. Thanks for reading!
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