It is supposed to remove stress, get rid of body aches and pains, and wash away harmful toxins. The 100-minute spa therapy is said to provide as much body and mind rejuvenation as eight hours of sleep.
I say: Bring it on!
So, while the Carnival Magic sails the blue Caribbean, I find myself heading to the ship’s Cloud 9 Spa. With so many wonderful choices, I’m trying the Elemis Aroma Spa Seaweed Massage with the Dry Float Bed Add On.
After stripping naked and tugging on the smallest G-strong I’ve ever seen, I’m ready. A day of flying and a day of touring the Magic’s new homeport of Galveston has me in need of some rest and relaxation. Spa 9 is the perfect spot.
The first step is for spa therapist Eirinn Sutherland to brush away dry skin with a soft cactus brush and apply a heated seaweed mark containing a blend of essential oils. Then I’m cocooned in a warm blanket and wrapped in foil with a heated covering. A rosemary-scented eye pillow rests the eyes and blocks out the soft light.
“We wrap you up like a burrito,” Eirinn said. “The wrap helps the seaweed nourish and detoxify your body.”
The strangest part of the spa treatment is not the foil wrap, it is what comes next. Pushing a button, Eirinn lowers my wrapped body into a sensory dry float bed. It feels as though I am weightless and floating in water. But no water touches me. It is all enclosed in an outer wrap sort of like being cocooned in a huge waterbed.
Combined with the ship’s sailing on the sea, the sensory dry float bed is like a double water experience. “A lot of people fall asleep because it is so relaxing,” Eirinn said. “I’ve had people tell me that it is like being back in the womb again. When they come out, they feel reborn.”
Shipboard spas have long been a popular part of the sailing experience, Eirinn says. “People live with so much stress in today’s world,” she said. “When they come on a cruise, they want to leave that stress behind and feel pampered. On a cruise ship, they may have more time to visit a spa and concentrate on their health and well being than they do at home.”
In fact, the new Carnival Magic now offers spa staterooms. With direct, private access to the Cloud 9 Spa, these staterooms and suites not only give guests a spa-like ambiance in the room decor but also exclusive amenities and privileges. Guests enjoy unlimited access to the spa and its facilities, priority spa appointments, complimentary fitness classes and use of special Cloud 9 Spa logo items such as bathrobes, towels and slippers during the cruise.
Spanning 22,770 square feet, Cloud 9 offers sweeping views of the ocean and a multitude of spa therapies. The Thermal Suite is based on traditional Turkish baths with different herbal steam and sauna grottos, plus heated chaise lounges and tropical showers.
The Thalassotherapy Pool is a therapeutic oasis featuring the concept of a natural bubbling spring. Thalassotherapy is a name derived from ancient Greek words for “sea water” and “healing.” It is credited with multiple beneficial properties, including skin cleansing and toning, improving metabolism, boosting the immune system and relief oaf muscle pain.
The Mud Lounge is a fun and interactive experience. In a private “temple,” guests apply a soothing chakra mud to their body as they inhale the steam infused by herbs. To complete the ritual, a warm tropical rain pours down from the dome of the temple to wash away the mud. Many guests complete the ritual with a full-body massage.
Other spa services include acupuncture, facials, reflexology, tooth whitening, pedicures, manicures, haircuts and coloring, shaves and much more. A Fitness Center offers yoga, exercise and other classes, as well as individualized fitness programs.
After my treatment – which also includes an herbal shower and massage – I enjoyed a leisurely dinner, a theatre production and a good night’s sleep. Don’t know if it was the ocean’s lullaby or the spa effect but I did sleep like I was on Cloud 9.
For more information: Contact Carnival at www.carnival.com.