Enjoy Shipboard Spa Treatments for Less: 12 Secrets That Will Stretch Your Dollars
Let’s talk about how to get some serious well-deserved pampering on your next cruise. Shipboard spa and salon services include massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, hair styling and more. Treatments such as acupuncture and teeth whitening may even be among the many options.
The further you can stretch those vacation dollars, the more treats you can enjoy! Seasoned cruisers who spend a lot of time in the spa know how to make those dollars stretch. Now we’re outing those secrets for you….
- Attend the Spa Tour on embarkation day. You may get the opportunity to be the model for them showing a sample treatment. You also may learn of specials available for those who attend the tour.
- Enter the contest. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t receive a contest entry blank to win a spa treatment on the first day of a cruise. Sure, they are doing it to get you to visit the spa to drop off the card. But someone is going to win a treatment so complete that entry form… and drop it off at the spa.
- Book for “port days.” When most of the guests are off the ship, the spa is still open and even more eager for business. That translates to “specials.” If you are not planning to go ashore, check promotions for a treatment (or two!) that day.
- Read the daily newsletter when it’s put in your cabin in the evening. It will mention any advertised specials that you can book before most people read their newsletter over coffee the next morning.
- Use coupons. You may have coupons in your cabin because of a promotion under which you booked your cruise or perhaps because of your repeat cruiser loyalty program. Before booking appointments, check to see if there are any coupons which could be useful.
- Get your hair and nails done at home before your cruise. Use your shipboard budget for the more decadent and unique treatments aboard the ship.
- Bring your own. If you fear the mani/pedi you get at home before the cruise may start to chip before the end of your trip, purchase your own bottle of nail polish for your “home” nail salon to use so you can then take the bottle with you on the cruise for simple touch-ups. The investment in that bottle will save some serious money over having your nail polish changed on your ship.
- Just say “no.” Most of the cruise lines subcontract their spa and salon services to Canyon Ranch SpaClub® (Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Queen Mary 2) and Onboard Spa by Steiner (Carnival, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea, The Yachts of Seabourn and Windstar) are well trained technicians. And part of that training (in addition to giving some seriously good pampering for your body and spirit!) is in how to cross-sell their services and products. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy products. That’s great IF you want the products. If not, plan to “just say no.”
- Know your perks. If you are in an upper category, you may have special privileges to spa areas. For example, AquaClass guests on Celebrity Cruises have complimentary access to the Persian Garden.
- Take advantage of a chair massage. I’ve only seen this on MSC Divina and I thought it was brilliant. At a cost of $10 for a 10 minute chair massage in Le Sirene covered pool area, it’s a great income generator for the line while being an inexpensive and convenient way for guests to indulge between activities. I gave my name and waited about 10 minutes for my turn.
- Ask for the gift. Is someone asking you what you would like for a Christmas, birthday, wedding or other special occasion gift? Most cruise lines allow others to purchase a gift in the form of a shipboard credit. If a spa treatment is more enticing than a knick-knack, ask for a gift toward your spa experience.
- Batch it up. Sometimes there’s a promotion offering discounts if you purchase more multiple treatments. If that’s not the case, why not point out the multiple treatments in which you are interested and ask for a discount if you commit now to them?
Enjoy a vacation with the extra attention…. At a savings!