As written by my husband, Chris.
There was a time in my life when I would have laughed at you if you told me that I’d be a fan of spas. When Jess talked me into trying a spa near where we live six or seven years ago I was hesitant to say the least. As with many things though, all it took was that first “taste” so to speak and I was sold on the experience.
I don’t often find myself in a spa during our normal, work-a-day lives but it is one of the indulgences that I truly look forward to when we have an upcoming cruise. While a spa treatment on board a cruise ship is (like everything else except maybe for food) more expensive than a similar one on land, I still think that it is something that spa fans should try at least once. There is much to be said for the combination of a spa environment, the treatment itself and just being on the ship whether it is moving or not.
When we did our spa villa on board the Magic back in 2006 it was an amazing experience but I did wish there would have been some choice involved as to what treatment you would get. That was one of the things that I really appreciated about our villa treatment on board the Dream. Not being a huge fan of facial treatments I was thrilled to be able to choose what was essentially a ¾ Lime and Salt Ginger Glow with half body massage and a ¼ mini facial (including a short scalp massage on my bald head).
As Jess already mentioned, the villa room contains two treatment tables, its own bathroom as well as a shower with access points from both the room and the deck. The best part of the villa is, naturally, the Jacuzzi tub on the deck.
We started with our “private” time in the Jacuzzi on the villa deck. Ok, let’s be honest here. They never really tell you whether to wear a bathing suit or go without when doing this. They are smart enough to know that people are going to do what they want in the Jacuzzi so there is no point in telling them otherwise. When we did our first villa I felt like our therapists were, and I’m not kidding, encouraging us to….well…..not exactly relax during our time out there. Jess and I being ourselves, we relaxed, then messed around with every blessed setting on the jets and then just had a great time looking over the amazing houses in Nassau.
This was my first experience with a salt scrub. My beloved other half had amply prepared me for what to expect from the experience but of course, it’s different when it is actually happening. The oddest part of this type of treatment (hard to believe it was NOT the paper underwear they give you), is the fact that you have to lay on what is basically a large piece of mylar or foil. While I knew that the purpose was to be cocooned in the mylar at the appropriate point in the treatment to keep the heat within, it’s tough to escape feeling like you’re a trout about to be wrapped and chucked on a grill.
After being thoroughly scrubbed and wrapped (and feeling wonderful) I was told to make my way to the shower and rinse myself to remove all of the salt and oil. The one thing about this part of the treatment is the fact that, to thoroughly clean one’s self of this material you must be completely unclothed and the shower does have glass panels that open into the villa’s treatment room. The door is positioned so that it’s not as though everyone could see into the room but it’s still a concern. Before I even realized this, while walking into the shower, my therapist had draped a large towel over the glass door giving me the requisite privacy. Ironically, as I was finishing up with the shower and JUST as I had pulled my towel around the vital parts, the towel fell off of the door. Ultimately the timing was perfect. Had I taken a few seconds longer I would have been humbled and my therapist (if she happened to be looking in that direction) may have been scarred for life.
Well, I was now scrubbed, exfoliated and ready to be massaged. The massage was perfect. I’ve had massages that seemed to end too fast and I’ve also had those that went on so long that I almost said “Please stop touching me.” With this in mind, I really need to compliment my therapist on the rhythm of the entire experience. By this I mean that no one part of the treatment went on too long or ended too quickly. As with a good meal in a nice restaurant, everything just flowed. At the end of my half-body massage, I was treated to a mini facial. In our past spa villa on a Disney ship we had full facials which I didn’t really enjoy. There was nothing wrong with the therapist or the treatment; I just felt that it went on for too long. I had told my therapist this much this time around and she said she would trim it down so that it would be effective, felt refreshing, but wasn’t painfully long.
I can’t say enough good things about the villa experience on board the Dream. Our therapists were amazing and that is, of course, the majority of the experience but I feel like the spa itself is set up very well. Is a spa villa cheap? Goodness no, it’s a splurge. Valuing that kind of relaxation is important and knowing what you are paying for is even more so. So, what can I say? Jump in, enjoy, relax and don’t let signing the receipt at the end ruin what amounts to an amazing couple of hours! ; )