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I just completed a Cruise to Alaska on the NCL Spirit 2 days ago. I booked a hot stone massage for myself and my husband. Massage was mediocre at best. Never touched my feet or my left hand and spent only a few minutes on my neck. Tip is automatic so it was $172 for what was billed as a 50 minute massage. However, the first 5 minutes are spent on a "consultation" basically reviewing the questions you answered on your intake form. A lot of time is wasted during the massage fiddling with the stones and then there is 5 minutes at the end allowing you to just rest and relax while the masseuse leaves the room and on her return she spends another 5 minutes hawking their line of massage oils and herbal remedies. I felt fine when I went in the massage but 15 minutes after it was over I got a cramp in my neck which still has not completely resolved. After a few hours of this I went back to the spa and complained to the manager who did not seem to concerned that I was not happy with my treatment. She then spent a few minutes applying "soothing gel" to my neck while I sat in one of the hair styling chairs. The gel is a topical lidocaine and peppermint mixture which did help a little but my neck still hurt for the remainder of the cruise and my experience with the spa put a real damper on my day. Any other respectable spa with professional therapists would have taken me into a treatment room and worked on my neck and or offered me a discount or an additional treatment. My impression was that they really did not know what they were doing. I did not see any professional licensure posted anywhereI heard 4 other women on the cruise complaining about the poor quality of their treatments as well. One woman that complained about her lousy foot massage was told that sometimes the therapist that was trained in a particular treatment was not always the one available for an appointment.
- Save your money! You can get a longer and much better massage for half the price in what ever city you live in.
I gotta say (but didn't quite know where to put it) that my spa experience on NCLA's Pride of Hawaii was less than impressive as well. (Not sure if it's the same spa vendor or not).
I was warned to skip the spa stuff on cruise ships in general, particularly NCL... and perhaps opt for a day spa or hotel spa in port. I'm thinking that's not a half bad idea, now.
I felt as though the facilities were okay...but nothing to write home (or cruise critic) about. Very plain, very utilitarian in my opinion. The staff was ALL about getting people in and OUT quickly, and not particularly skilled. There was little encouragement to actually USE the spa facilities at all. I sort of toured them on my own when my treatment was done - until I was hunted down by my therapist to sign for my charges. I was spared the hard sell on products (my companions, were not), but I still feel like I sort of wasted $175.
Sorry to hear you had a unsatisfying experience too.
I can only say I had great experiences! Had many massages and facials on different NCL ships. Yes there were some, where I had better before, but as well on my last cruise on the Pearl the best treatments I have ever received. It is totally up to the Therapist and I tell them up front not to do the sales call, since i use better products then they have in the spa anyhow.
So glad to hear you received some good treatments on the Pearl. I will be on the ship in Sept.. We plan to use the spa daily. We are both massage therapists in Maui, and definately take time for our bodies where ever we go.
Was wondering if you had anymore info at all on the spa. Weekly spa pass, specials, recommended therapists?
As I understand it, you can purchase a spa pass to use the special hot tub/sauna/rain shower facilities. I've heard it's $15/day, or a full cruise pass for $50-$90, depending on the length of your cruise. I definitely plan do tuse it at least one day, maybe two.