There is more than one way to be revitalised while cruising. From the wacky to the downright tasty, Jac Taylor takes a look at some of the spa treatments available.

It’s a wonderful feeling. You’re in your cabin perusing the onboard spa treatment list, imagining all the pampering you’ll experience during your voyage. But something has changed. You might have noticed the ingredients in those treatments are starting to read more like a pantry rundown or gardening manual than a wellness menu. However outlandish some of these treatments may sound, there’s no denying their relaxation value. Here is a taster.

Poultice power

A simple massage with oil is so old hat. Laying herbs, minerals, fruit and other goodies onto your skin is now the done thing. P&O’s AQUA Spas o er massages using steamed coconut poultices that drizzle coconut milk all over your body as your muscles loosen, or heated ai herbal poultices (also available on Seabourn) applied to pressure points in a “rhythmic, dynamic way” to release pre-cruise stress. Crystal Cruises and some P&O vessels o er the Elemis poultice-powered muscle release, performed on a bed of warm amber and quartz crystals that mould around the body to “tame tension” with an amber poultice. And one of the tastiest indulgences is on the menu at the Lotus Spa on Princess Cruises – chocolate spa treatments employing the “hydrating, anti- oxidant” powers of chocolate.

Unplug and unwind

In 2015, Celebrity Cruises put together a new Take Care of YourSelfie wellness program in partnership with “digital trailblazer” Randi Zuckerberg, encouraging passengers to switch off while they are on holiday in more ways than one, to find that elusive tech-life balance. Passengers can enjoy cleverly named spa treatments that give a cheerful nod to technology, such as a Texticure for hands and the Control ALT Delight yoga experience. More way-out ways to tune out include an InstaGlow cleanse of Moroccan mint tea and a body scrub of red flower, coffee, olive stones and fresh lemons followed by quince and orange blossoms, or the Get WrAPPed, a body wrap concocted of a mixture of seaweed and peat.

Top to bottom

To revitalise your crowning glory, Phyto treatments available on Seabourn, P&O and Carnival vessels include a Thirst Quencher treatment, that drenches hair with jojoba, sage and rosemary essential oils for half an hour. Meanwhile, at the other end of proceedings, a 50-minute Ionithermie Cheek Lift on Seabourn or Royal Caribbean ships literally improves your bottom line with a clay, algae and pine mask applied to your buttocks, followed by “gentle stimuli” of the muscles.

Massage magic
No longer simply an ingredient for stir-fries, warm bamboo shoots are now soaked in essential oils, rolled and taped along your muscles in the heated bamboo massage available on P&O, Holland America Line and Seabourn ships. On a more invigorating note, you may prefer to be “polished” with an exfoliating sea-salt scrub infused with lime and ginger – the stir-fry could use those, too. Follow the scrub up with your choice of massage – all part of the Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow offered by lines including Seabourn, Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

Romancing the mud
If you are looking to reconnect with your partner, many of these therapies can be organised as a couple’s experience, depending on room availability and your cruise line. The somewhat infamous Couple’s Rasul, offered both on sea and land all around the world, is based on an ancient Arabic ritual performed for sultans in their harem. It involves a couple applying clay muds, scrubs and oils to each other, and Princess Cruise’s mud-room version adds many of their spa’s best therapies, including organic muds, a lime and ginger scrub and exotic blends of oil, to the experience. Couples are encouraged to pamper each other with these before having a cleansing herbal steam treatment – with plenty of alone time in between. Could this be the greatest way to relax together on board? There’s only one way to find out.