Posted June 21st, 2013, 08:49 AM
Last edited by Fishbait17; June 21st, 2013 at 08:54 AM
For exact specific differences in massages, ask the spa, as sometimes the same massage can vary even throughout the NCL fleet, even from masseuse to masseuse. In general, a Swedish massage is more "open hand" rubbing, less pressure. Deep tissue is more intense, more kneading and more pressure directed deep into the lower layers of muscle - it can leave you feeling a bit sore or bruised, but really get those deep down knots out. Then they have "specialty" massages. Hot stone is exactly that, they rest smooth hot stones on your back and then massage with them, allowing the heat to get deep into your muscles. NCL has been offering two types of Poultice massages as well, Herbal and Coconut - a poultice is like a stuffed bag of herbs (think lavender, etc), heated in steam and rolled over your muscles. *Some* masseuses roll the poultices over your lymph nodes, draining the lymph and creating the most amazing detoxification which you can feel immediately, others concentrate more on muscles and are more "eh". The coconut poultice is more moisturizing, less intense. Aromatherapy is just scents added to the massage oils, which can greatly enhance the whole experience.
The main thing is to think about what you want out of the massage. If your body is feeling pretty good and you only want to relax, Swedish massage might be a good way to start. If you have deep knots or muscle spasms, go for something more intense - a good massage can relieve that tension for weeks. I personally think the hot stone massage is gimmicky, but lots of people enjoy them. The poultice massages are my favorites - they get the deep deep stuff, without burning my sensitive skin or making me feel too "bruised" - and if you can have one where your lymph system is drained, it's truly an amazing thing that I can't explain, you just have to feel it... Don't let the spa personnel talk you into something you don't really want, and tell them you DON'T want to buy any products before you start (be firm) (you can always change your mind, but the hard sell can kill the post-massage "buzz"). Plan your massage early in the cruise in case you decide you want another later. And always go for the extra time, it's a bargain on a minute per minute basis, and I think once you get comfortable in a massage, you always want more
Another thing I do is always wear a shower cap (ask for one) to keep the oils out of my hair - I LOVE the scents and feeling of the oils on my skin after a massage, so hate to shower them right off - the shower cap helps to keep my hair clean so I can go to dinner or whatever afterwards without showering. It's like basking in that post-massage high all night long..
The spa will have specials throughout the week. With very sensitive skin, I cannot do many of the "mixed bag" specials (facials, wraps, bundled with short massages), but a good long massage is always excellent, even with a less than perfect masseuse - so I usually get one with an extra 15 minutes thrown in for free.
As for the actual massage, try not to be self-conscious and just relax and enjoy it. These ladies (and you can ask specifically for a female) have seen it ALL, so there is nothing to be self-conscious about. I have been both totally naked (coming from the hot tub in a wet bathing suit) or left my undies on, and have never been "exposed". They are very professional. Tell them exactly what is bothering you (I, for example, have two very deep muscles spasms in my upper left back) and request specifically that they treat that. During the massage if you want more or less pressure, tell them. And most of all, just relax and enjoy what you are paying for!
Always planning my next adventure! Thanks CAS!
NCL Jewel - Family Alaska Adventure - May 2014 (Garden Villa)
NCL Gem - 9 Nights in Paradise - Mar 2014 (DOS +OV for daughter)
NCL Breakaway - Two Night Getaway for Two - Jan 2014 (Aft Penthouse)
NCL Breakaway - Brand new Ship with Hubby and Daughter! - May 2013 (Two Bedroom Haven Suite)
NCL Sun - Russia and the Baltic Sea With the Whole Family - May/June 2012 (Owner's Suite and Aft Penthouse for six)
NCL Epic - Eastern Caribbean Relaxing for Two - February 2012 (Two Bedroom Haven Villa S4)
NCL Jade - Croatia, Greece and Turkey with my MIL from Venice May 2011 - (Courtyard Family Villa A3/S4)
NCL Jewel - Shortened Florida, no Nassau, from NYC for Two December 2010 (Courtyard Family Villa A3)
NCL Jewel Bahamas and Florida from NYC with SIL July 2010 (Owner's Suite AA)
NCL Jade Egypt and Med Holiday with the Whole Family 2009-2010 (Garden Villa!)
NCL Dawn Two Nighter Quick Getaway for Two May 2009 (Aft Romance Suite AD)
NCL Jade Canary Islands & Morocco Adventure with Hubby March 2009 (Two Bedroom Penthouse Suite AB)
NCL Sun Alaska Relaxing for Two July 2008 (Aft Penthouse Suite AC)
NCL Pearl Southern Caribbean with the Whole Family March 2008 (Owner's, Penthouse, and Balcony all connected! AA, AC, BB)
NCL Sun Western Caribbean Christmas with the Family December 2007 (Owner's Suite AA and connected Mini)
NCL Dawn Two Nighter Quick Getaway for Two October 2007 (Aft Balcony Cabin BA)
NCL Jewel Mediterranean with my BFF August 2007 (Penthouse Suite AC)
NCL Pearl Western Caribbean with Daughter and Friend February 2007 (Two Bedroom Penthouse Suite AB)
Olympia Greek Islands 2003, Celebrity Galaxy Alaska 1999?, Dolphin Islandbreeze Cntrl/South Amer 1998?, Carnival Ecstasy Bahamas 1995?
The Big Red Boat - too many years ago!