If you have taken a cruise, then you know how wonderful the experience is when the housekeepers, dining stewards, and staff make your vacation the best ever. A ship is the ultimate nurturing environment with full service from boarding until departing. With quality entertainment, a great menu, lots of activities and amenities – and plenty of space when you want it – cruising can be the best form of therapy for revitalization. During the summer, I set sail with an organization consisting of mainly educators and recently retired individuals. I met people from all over the country and participated in activities while enjoying the magnificent beauty of Alaska. As a gregarious individual, I had a blast engaging in conversation while dining or dancing with new partners during the evening programs. Of course, most of us talked about our teaching programs with one another and were energized by new twists on similar themes to take back to our classrooms.
I did have two luxurious massage treatments using hot stones penetrating my tightened muscles with fragrant oils worked into my skin. After an intense, rigorous year, I was in heaven under the touch of a very talented massage therapist who pampered and nurtured me. The spa products and services refresh, relax, and rejuvenate one’s overall well-being. Other services include blissful pampering with a facial therapy. I enjoyed a thermal suite of steam, cold, and sauna. Then I bathed in herbs – aaaahh. These therapeutic treatments are a signature feature of luxurious cruise lines.
A Beauty Experience
Elemis is one of the world’s leading companies in aromatherapy skincare and spa-therapies. Each product is infused with essential oils and exotic plant extracts to treat the skin and re-awaken the senses.
Therapy at sea
The best therapy is to get out of one’s head and appreciate the beauty of new environs. A cruise allows guests to take advantage of the sea air and the gentle glide that a large cruise ship provides. The views are spectacular, and the anticipation of seeing whales or porpoises or seals or otters keeps us on our toes while searching the horizon. It’s mesmerizing to sit by a window while traveling, especially by open sea and being somewhere else and far away from the regular chatter in one’s head. Watching the wake, spotting wildlife like eagles and jumping fish, enjoying a sunrise or sunset, and being lulled to sleep by the gentle movements are just what we need to feel refreshed. The ports of call are enchanting, and people seem to be respectful of this gorgeous landscape by enjoying its pristine environment. Everywhere we turned was a breathtaking photo opportunity of the mountains covered with intricate designs of snow and ice interlaced with thick forests. In some locations, the horizon was dotted with tiny islands of thicket; occasionally a large cabin and a dock for its motorboat were visible to our ship. How different were our lives at that moment. For me, photography has been my recreation of choice, and I certainly had a lot to shoot on and off the ship. I feel so uplifted when I look back at my photos and have people ask me if I took those gorgeous shots.
Bonds of friendship
I made many new friends and acquaintances on board as dinner companions and through wonderful activities that the ship and my group provided. Sometimes it’s a bit of a stretch to strike up a conversation with someone we don’t know. However, educators are in the business of presenting and communicating. Teachers do make good traveling companions because we are interested in telling about what we know while learning new things.
Workshops on Wellness
The ship provides activities and workshops in which to participate, and I went with an organization of over 200 participants that brought workshop leaders as well. The workshops met the expectations of their titles very well, such as the healing power of wilderness, holistic remedies for self-care and wellness, yoga: becoming present through practicing, the world is my stage: the power of improvisation, the power of walking, and several dance classes, among others. The bottom line for each class is to participate in life by opening up one’s eyes to what’s around us and how we have the personal power to improve the quality of our lives to be productive, meaningful, and enjoyable. All instructors were attentive to their audience in their caring and nurturing way. They are professionals at what they do and it showed in the quality of their information and in their persona of their specialties. I encourage you to take advantage of participating in such a cruising experience to enjoy the opportunity to optimize one’s personal well-being.
Exercise on the ship
I shared the deck steps with many people who had the same idea about walking from Deck 1 to Deck 10 several times each day to earn their ability to eat at the excellent buffet spread. On my first two days, I was puffing at Deck 6, but by the end of the week, I made it to the top with greater energy. Also, walking the decks in the cool, fresh air was delightful and entertaining. As you can imagine, the views were spectacular. The exercise facility on board is state of the art. It was packed with people on treadmills, yoga exercise mats, and weight resistance equipment.
Believe it or not, I managed to eat well without gaining a pound! The temptation is extremely great to overindulge, but I know better than that. The dining room serves continental portions for which I am very grateful. Since I make it a rule not to indulge in dessert for at least an hour after eating a meal, most likely I wind up not having dessert at all. This means that after dinner, I didn’t go up to the Lido Deck for a chance at having more to eat at the scrumptious dessert buffet that is open until midnight.
Rest and recreation
After a wonderful vacation, I feel rested and eager to share over 400 beautiful pictures of new friends, beautiful scenery, and wonderful experiences. If I were to choose my vacation destination for next year, I would be happy to go anywhere on a cruise experience once again. What a great respite before starting another active year of facilitating others in learning. Most importantly, I look forward to continuing my experience of strengthening the bonds of respect, responsibility, and caring with the people around me. I look forward to reliving these cruising moments over the winter months and planning for my next major vacation getaway as my therapeutic rejuvenation.
So, when planning your next vacation getaway – not the obligatory visits to family and work-related locations – research months in advance for choosing a cruise line with an itinerary that visits a part of the world you’d like to explore. Travel agencies can help pick cruise lines that go everywhere and with land packages to explore the inner regions, too. Cruising happens during the winter months, too –in warm and exotic climates. Start doing your homework and plan that floating holiday for any time in the year. Getting out of the cold during winter, and on a ship, is a glorious venture.
Relaxing treatment rooms offer breathtaking views where guests enjoy exotic skin, body, and hair treatments ranging from hot stone massages and pedicures to hair styling and facials.
- Hydrotherapy pool bubbling with warm, therapeutic seawater
- Heated ceramic lounge reminiscent of an opulent Turkish bath
- Private treatment rooms, including couple’s massage rooms
- Massage therapy inspired by an exotic blend of cultures – from Hawaiian Lomi Lomi to Chinese Tui Na
- The latest exotic skin, body, hair, and nail treatments
- Knowledgeable, professional therapists trained to guide you through your spa experience
Spas offer fitness classes to help achieve optimum health and vitality. Yoga, Pilates, *spinning, aquarobics, and cardio circuit training are available for participants at all levels. Treadmills, stationary bikes, stair steppers, rowing machines, weights, and weight machines. Staffed with professionals, the tranquil Spa and Salon invites guests to embrace sensory indulgence on a luxurious cruise vacation to remember.