The Ship Spa on most cruise ships, especially the
Royal Caribbean ships, and
MSC Cruises, are beautiful,
typically located in the bow of the ship on a high floor, near the fitness
center. If you want to assure space, you can book your spa appointment in
advance online, there is a full massage team, beauty and hair salon, on board manicures
and pedicures, plus skin treatments like Botox and teeth whitening. At
days tend to be more popular and higher priced on board, often coinciding
with Formal Nights when people book their spa time, hair up dos and blow
If you want a cruise ship spa deal, book when you are on the ship, and go for an appointment during an in port day for the best price. This will bring the best specials and deals. A facial on an in port day is about $100 versus almost twice that during an at sea day. I got a great haircut aboard Royal Caribbean for $74, including shampoo, condition, cut and blow dry and styling, by booking the first day on the ship while still in port. On MSC Divina a hair cut was only $25, the price on Port Days drops to $15.
The cost for manicures and pedicures on most cruise ships including Royal Caribbean typically start at $30-50 – a premium versus at home pricing but the staff and services are top notch. As a special, they offered a $19 manicure on the Promenade of the Independence of the Sea on our last day, along with 20 minute massages for $25. Apparently they weren’t busy in the Ship Spa, so that’s the best time to buy. Couples massages are available both while cruising and in port on certain beaches, booked through the ship – like at Castaway Key and at Labadee since these are Royal Caribbean’s private islands. They bring their own spa staff on island and you can charge the spa treatment to your sea pass card and on board ship account - so there is no tax, and no worry about being taken advantage by an island local.
Massages on board cruise ships start at $150, but the view is priceless. The spa and fitness center also offer free seminars for weight loss and detox treatments, promising you will lose inches and pounds (if you stay away from the midnight buffet). The spa seminars are free, they are hoping you will buy into a detox body wrap or buy some dietary supplements on board - guaranteed to improve your health. Remember the cruise ship is trying to make money at every turn, but it is quality.
Read our Cruise Reviews:
Carnival's got the fun ships
Royal Caribbean's Quantum - Anthem of the Seas
Cruising Royal Caribbean's Freedom
Azamara Cruiseline in the Adriatic - the ultimate adults cruise
MSC Divina cruises the Caribbean
Cozumel Mexico Cruise Excursions
Labadee, Haiti - Royal Caribbean's Private Island
Roatan Honduras Cruise Ship Port Review
Fort Lauderdale Cruise Ship Port Review
All Photography by Greg Burke