For those who think you have only a few basic choices--massage, facial, body, hair, or nails--you are in for some real fun. There are usually at least half a dozen different types of massages, facials, or body therapies from which to choose. In addition to private treatment rooms, most cruise ships have saunas and steam rooms. A typical cruise ship spa "menu" might be several pages in length. My problem is that I always want to try them all! My last cruise, I limited myself to one facial, one body treatment, and one massage. That's what I call restraint. Here's a look at the Mandara Spa that is found on the Norwegian Cruise Lines.
The name "Mandara" comes from an ancient Sanskrit legend about the Gods' quest for the elixir of youth and eternal life. The Mandara Spas originated in Bali, and the company has developed many interesting and exotic spa treatments that might not bring you eternal youth or immortality, but will bring you restoration, relaxation, and rejuvenation. The Mandara Spas include facials, body treatments, massages, hair care, nail care, and waxing. Here are a few of my favorites.
When you first enter the Mandara Spa treatment room, the therapist will ask you to put your feet in a bowl of warm water. The bowl has small rocks in the bottom and flowers floating on top. I found this little extra touch to be a very peaceful, relaxing sensation. It also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with the therapist.
The Mandara Spas have a selection of seven different facials, and Norwegian and Orient Lines have similar offerings. Each of these can be enhanced with an eye treatment or a special mask. I had the "Intensive Renewal" facial on the Silver Whisper and enjoyed it so much that I had again the next year on the Silver Shadow! It is especially designed for "mature" skin and makes your face feel 20 years younger. The "Intensive Renewal" uses marine-based products, but some of the other facials use wonderful aromatic oils or even freshly-blended fruits and vegetables as a basis for the treatments. There is even a facial especially designed for a man's skin.
If you love facials, a body treatment might be the next spa treatment you should choose. The Mandara Spas offer five different body treatments. I had the "Javanese Honey Steam Wrap", a Mandara specialty, on the Silver Whisper. This spa treatment is the ultimate in self-indulgence. First, the therapist used a rub that smells of cinnamon and coffee as an exfoliant. Next, she lathers you with warm honey and wraps you in a sheet. It's off to the sauna to let the steam and the honey make your body soft and glowing. After a shower and some body oils, you will feel like a new person. Of course, you might also be hungry. I loved the many aromas and the pampering.
Another body treatment is the "Aromatic Odyssey", which is a combination facial and body treatment. After you are scrubbed, exfoliated, and massaged, the therapist wraps you in a silver thermal blanket cocoon. The heat intensifies the ingredients used. If you are claustrophobic, this might be a little much, but I came away with softer, new-feeling skin and without several ounces of dead, dry skin.
Once your body and face are refreshed, it's time to move on to one of the most popular treatments at a spa--the massage.