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Spa Hustle - Unrelenting

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It it just me? My wife and I are almost at the 20 cruise mark.
 
We appreciate all of the daily activities, especially on sea days. But the Steiner Spa unrelenting “activities” are nothing but dubious hustles of what in our opinion are of little value, are extremely costly and of course come with a gratuity added for your “convenience” On a recent day on the current World Cruise, there were no less than 7 of these “activities” 
 
From a recent issue of Relections:
 
10:00 am, Become Pain Free
10:15  am, Acupuncture Seminar
11:30. am, Medi Spa Seminar
 
2:15 pm, Pain Digestion
3:15 pm, Facial Rejuvenation
3:30 pm, Look 10 years younger
5:30 pm, Footprint Clinic
 
Although not offered in this issue, my favorite one is “Eat More to Lose Weight”
 
Most all of the “advisors” are mid twenty somethings from South Africa who have been to Steiner land based seminars. And of course if they don’t meet their “numbers” they risk not having their contracts renewed. 
 
I suppose some people must like what they have to offer, but stories abound about how unwitting customers have been sold thousands of dollars worth of services and products.
 
Lastly, I don’t get the sense their associates are treated very well.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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I also find all the "seminars' the Spa runs on sea days annoying. I never attend so it doesn't really affect me as such but on first glance at Reflections (in the early days) I would think "wow, look at all these activities" but of course when  you discount all the ones run by the Spa, which are not activities per se but selling opportunities, then the list is somewhat smaller.

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I remember when Crystal used to have Art auctions - although some defended them it never struck me as luxury cruise like.

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I'm not quite sure why this junk would bother anyone one way or the other. I have never attended any and am quite sure that I never will. There are many activities (non-Steiner) on the daily schedule that I've never done and never will do. I've learned how to read the daily schedule quickly and identify activities that interest me. Come on folks, we're on Crystal and this is your big gripe? 😳🙄😏😮

 

Patty

 

P.S. There's always the "lectures" from the salespeople in the jewelry store!!!

Edited by Texas Tillie

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You do not have to go! I never even notice nor counted them. Steiner is everywhere but NcL owned lines.So get over it.

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I do not like the Steiner model, and always note in my post-cruise comment form.   I wish Crystal would run their own spa/salon but I'm sure there are many reasons why cruise lines don't.  Hands down, the best ship-board spa I ever visited was a number of years ago on Seadream , with their fantastic Thai staff.   I'm not sure if they still run their own spa????

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2 hours ago, JOPA28 said:

I do not like the Steiner model, and always note in my post-cruise comment form.   I wish Crystal would run their own spa/salon but I'm sure there are many reasons why cruise lines don't.  Hands down, the best ship-board spa I ever visited was a number of years ago on Seadream , with their fantastic Thai staff.   I'm not sure if they still run their own spa????

Ditto 

I agree it would be a nice change to have a Crystal owned and operated spa. I also agree with your comment about the Thai spa on SeaDream. 

 

The so called seminars can be avoided, but what is really annoying is having massage time cut short so that the technician can try to sell products. I would give a tip to reflect my annoyance, but 18% is automatically added to the note. Grrrrr

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4 hours ago, ctjon said:

I remember when Crystal used to have Art auctions - although some defended them it never struck me as luxury cruise like.

Oh those art auctions.  I am not sure I can think of anyone who defended the actions.  Yes, many people participated in them but I am not sure if they would admit it on a social forum today.  :classic_biggrin:  But overtime I suspect not enough people participated plus I suspect that some people complained about things when they got home related to purchases that at one time the decision was made to drop them.  I think the last time I saw them was either the 2007 or 2008 World Cruise.  I remember this because there was a former basketball player who was involved with this (as much as I follow sports never realized he was in the NBA) who I saw on two or three Princess sailings and then saw on one segment of the World Cruise while we were sailing the Mediterranean.

 

I had first seen them on our Princess Cruises.  

 

When we first tried Crystal I was surprised to see them on board Crystal ships.  

 

Interestingly enough on our first of two Silversea sailings we attended what I thought was just talks on art where the person walked us around the ship and explained various items from paintings to photography to sculptures.  Attended two of these with Anne Marie before we realized that this guy was there to sell us art work as he offered to take us around the ship one more time but this time without a group and then the hard sell began.  We politely said "thank you but no thanks:.  :classic_laugh:

 

On a serious note I think it's fine for those seminars to be offered.  Yes they are part of selling products and each person can decide whether or not they want to attend or pursue it further with whatever treatment is offered.  Being on holiday is a time for people to do things that they might not have the time to do at home including a massage.  

 

Certainly I am not bothered by the seminars being available and in Reflections. As Patty noted there are plenty of things in Reflections that I don't participate in but someone else does.  A poker tournament is designed to make money and while I don't attend enough people do that it is offered.  

 

Most cruise lines use one of two vendors; Steiner's (by the way they are no longer called that but I can't remember the new name.  I am sure someone will google it) and Canyon Ranch.  One line uses both companies.

 

The challenge for any cruise line doing it themselves are things such as the training and hiring of personnel.  That is a big deal.  

The only exception I am aware of is on the Crystal River Vessels where I believe there is one person per ship and they are hired by Crystal.  Likewise this is why most cruise lines outsource their retail shops because of items such as hiring the personnel and in the case of retail deciding on what will be sold and the cost for inventory.   Even on land, you will find that hotels don't hire all the personnel and actually outsource functions.

 

Keith

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5 hours ago, ellbon said:

You do not have to go! I never even notice nor counted them. Steiner is everywhere but NcL owned lines.So get over it.

Steiner is not on Regent.  It is Canyon Ranch.

 

Get over it is quite a rude reply.

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I just ignore them. Crystal has so many other attractive activities that I look right past the spa “seminars” on Reflections.  

 

 

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So glad that the art auction activity was dropped from Crystal. --

 

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Yes, I ignore them....but I do think it is unbecoming of Crystal to even have them on the ship.  Particularly since they are (at least some of them) in public areas of the ship.  It would be one thing if they were just in the spa area itself, but to see public spaces being used for these sales pitches of dubious information is sad.  Just like the jeweler can discuss the value of the workmanship in his pieces in his store, I understand if the spa folk want to discuss their hottest weight loss claim in their spa, but it should be in their facility so that it is seen a separate from the Crystal offerings.

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On many voyages we have been on, the Jeweler has gives talks in the public rooms and on many voyages they host fashion shows in the Crystal Cove.  On occasion the store that sells the clothes has had special programs in public areas and the same was true on occasion with the Photo Shop.  These are all concessions.  They are using facilities at the time of these events that would not be in use if they were not holding the session.  They usually do get a big turnout  (eg., people attending sessions in the Galaxy Lounge or being willing participants in the fashion shows.

 

At the same time there are some sessions that are held in the Fitness Center that fall under the concession that staffs the Spa/Salon/Fitness Center.

 

Keith

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Yes, the jeweler may offer a few events during a cruise. But not 6 to 8 times every day. And that’s fine. The current operator, Hubert, is straight up, knowledgeable, and very well respected. He and staff are never in your face. That’s not true of the spa operation. And their seminars are hardly “daily activities” 

 

I believe they operate under the name ELEMIS now. 

 

Go on to You Tube and google “cruise ship detox seminar”

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In general there are not many of these offered in one day.  You found one day but many days that is not the case.

 

Tomorrow is a sea day and there are three items listed all in the Fitness Center.

 

I don't know what the issue is that "some" people come from South Africa.  Is that a problem?

 

Sure some are from South Africa but others are from a range of countries including several from Europe.


The way the same is true of the rest of the crew .

 

Keith

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22 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

I'm not quite sure why this junk would bother anyone one way or the other. I have never attended any and am quite sure that I never will. There are many activities (non-Steiner) on the daily schedule that I've never done and never will do. I've learned how to read the daily schedule quickly and identify activities that interest me. Come on folks, we're on Crystal and this is your big gripe? 😳🙄😏😮

 

Patty

 

P.S. There's always the "lectures" from the salespeople in the jewelry store!!!

 

I absolutely agree! If this all someone has to complain about, then they really need to "get a grip"! I saw the same items listed in Reflections, and I ignored them. I have yet to see one of them in any public area that we frequent, and we frequent just about all of them daily. Truth be told, we usually get a pretty good laugh at the descriptions as they are so "over the top".

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Why does the spa marketing bother you so much? You don't actually have to go! I just skip them and when I go to the spa I just smile and nod and not buy. FYI all spas (at least the ones I've been to) do it, they all have their own products they want you to buy. No big deal.

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8 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

These are all concessions.  They are using facilities at the time of these events that would not be in use if they were not holding the session.

No.....they would probably be in use by passengers tucked away reading, doing needlework, or playing cards.  Just because there isn't an official use for the room doesn't mean it isn't used.  That was my experience in the Palm Court on several occasions where there was a sales hustle going on in one area (complete with white board and sales brochures) when I went in to settle in to read for a bit.  I heard enough the few times I passed by them going in or out of the room to get a feeling for the "hustle" dynamic going on.  In my opinion, there shouldn't be any sales pitches going on anywhere on the ship except within their own concessions.  Crystal should be allowing all their public spaces (i.e. not the concessions) to be free of marketing and sales pitches, for their passengers to enjoy at their leisure - well,  unless they're closed for maintenance.  Those sorts of things are no better than the fake lectures given on mainstream cruise lines marketing shopping opportunities at the next port.  Crystal should be better than that.

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Like most things this is one that we can agree to disgree.

 

In my case when I sail on a ship with 900+ other people we know that we won't have all rooms to ourselves nor will we have an interest in each and every activity offered revenue or non revenue for the cruise line.  In my case I have never had a problem with a program given by the spa or for that matter any concession (Jeweler, Clothing Shop, Photo Studio, or a few other concession previously on board or on board today) impacting my experience.  So speaking for myself I have no issues with these programs being offered and I realize their objective is two-fold; to educate and yes to sell and bring in revenue.

 

For those who do, I would make use of the Quality Assurance Survey and while on board also speak with the Cruise Director. I know that is what I would do.  If it is a big enough issue it will be addressed as was the case with the Bridge group many years ago.  When that happened and feedback was provided a change in approach occurred.  Groups still came on board ( I would say more today than ever before) but adjustments were made to minimize any impact on others.  Same would apply here if this is deemed to be a big issue and adjustments would be made.

 

I do want to add that my experience is that there are very few instance where more than a couple of these types of programs are offered on any given day.  I went back to the recent Reflections to reaffirm that.  On port intensive cruises of which the vast majority are there is no opportunity to do this to a large extent with many people off the ship.  On a long cruise and one with a lot of sea days you might see a good number of programs offered early on with several offered in various revenues such as the Fitness Center.


Keith

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It’s still solicitation for the outsourced venues.  When one wants to read and enjoy Palm Court and the view or wherever  

they want to be.  Retail venue events should be held in the areas they provide their service.  

Edited by MalbecWine

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It is not solicitation.  These concessions report to Crystal Cruises.  They are not there without the approval of Crystal Cruises and comply with all of Crystal rules.

 

Keith

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1 minute ago, Keith1010 said:

It is not solicitation.

Of course it is.  They are soliciting sales.......you said so yourself when you said " I realize their objective is two-fold; to educate and yes to sell and bring in revenue. ". 

 

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Just now, calliopecruiser said:

Of course it is.  They are soliciting sales.......you said so yourself when you said " I realize their objective is two-fold; to educate and yes to sell and bring in revenue. ". 

 

Their programs that have been mentioned are to educate.  They may or may not lead to a sale. 

 

Either way Crystal like all cruise lines does the schedule.  If one doesn't like it they can provide the feedback in the Quality Assurance Survey.  Given that many of these are well attended obviously there are many who do like the programs. 

 

Keith

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I was at the spa late afternoon. I was told two or three times my skin was dry. I was yes I know. Paid my bill and left. 

You move on..

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I've gone to spa lectures that were not a sales pitch until the end.  It was something to do when nothing else was interesting to me.  I don't do them regularly nor do I go to the Spa much onboard as I don't like the Steiner methods and find them over priced.  I did not like Canyon Ranch on Regent - same methods.

 

I love the hand soap in the public rest rooms onboard.  I wish that you could buy it.  Elemis products are hard to find and that one is not available even onboard.

 

 

As they say, Take what you like, and leave the rest.  I never went to the Art Auctions either.  Park West who was the vendor on most ships got caught for selling art that was not genuine.  You can google it.

Edited by ChatKat in Ca.

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