Here at Nicely Travel, we believe that cruises can be excellent (and luxurious) wellness vacations. All it takes is selecting the right cruise line and itinerary, plus careful planning of the details. In our experience, paying special attention to the following 7 things is key to crafting a relaxing and rejuvenating wellness cruise:
1. Pick a ship with nice spa facilities
Not all shipboard spas are created equal. If you're seeking plenty of spa and R&R time, it's important to know which ships have the most expansive spa facilities and treatment offerings. Even within the same cruise line, spa size and quality can vary greatly.
2. Carefully select your itinerary
Look closely at potential cruise itineraries before deciding on one that works best for you. In addition to considering the desirability of the ports you'll be stopping at, it's important to evaluate specific time frames as well. When we're planning a wellness cruise here at Nicely Travel, we look for itineraries that provide ample time in port. It's definitely no fun when you have an early afternoon port departure time and have to rush to make it back to the ship! We're especially fond of long days or overnights in port, as they provide the opportunity to thoroughly explore, and to sample delicious, local cuisine for dinner. You'll also want to look out for tender ports. At these stops, the ship cannot dock directly in port, so you'll have to board smaller, "tender" boats to take you to shore, meaning you'll have to allocate extra time to get off and on the ship.
3. Mind your dining choices
Oftentimes, a wellness vacation goes hand-in-hand with eating fresh, healthy, local foods. While the nature of cruising entails a bit of culinary indulgence, if you pick the right ship and cruise line, you'll happily discover that some have excellent healthy options, as well as the ability to cater to various dietary restrictions. For instance, Celebrity Cruises offers spa-themed "AquaClass" cabins that are assigned to their own special dining room called "Blu." Blu serves tasty meals that are lighter than typical cruise fare.
4. Maximize your port time
Making the most of your time in port really rounds out a wellness cruise vacation, and it opens the door to experiencing amazing new spa treatments unique to the area you're visiting. At Nicely Travel, we generally advocate skipping the ship-sponsored shore excursions in favor of independent exploration.
5. Book treatments in advance
To ensure you're spending each day of your vacation the way you want to, it's a good idea to schedule your on-board spa treatments in advance, or on the first day of your cruise. Popular time slots on sea days can fill up quickly, as can early mornings and afternoons on port days (when treatment prices are typically discounted). If you book your cruise with Nicely Travel, chances are you'll have some on-board credit, and spa treatments are a great way to spend this credit. We can work with you to book appointments tailored to each day of your vacation. For instance, a foot massage can be absolutely heavenly the morning after a walking-intensive port stop!
6. Integrate fitness in fun ways
A hallmark of wellness vacations is staying active in some way, and cruises offer a variety of fun-filled options to do so seamlessly, without it feeling like a chore. From morning yoga classes at the on-board fitness center, to after-dinner walks around the promenade deck, to ambling through beautiful cities, there are many methods of integrating movement into every day of your cruise.
7. Ease in & out with pre- and post-stays
The rush of cruise embarkation and debarkation can be a bit stressful -- why not take time to settle in beforehand and decompress afterward? We like to create relaxing pre- and post-cruise land-based stays for Nicely Travel clients. It's a great way to further explore a particular region of the world, and to ensure you're heading home feeling relaxed and restored. Plus, we've found the best way to beat the post-cruise blues is to be immediately whisked away in a private car to a luxury hotel -- it's a wonderful thing to look forward to, and so much more fun than heading straight to the airport!
Ready to book your own personalized wellness cruise? We'd love to help. Reach out to Nicely Travel today to get started planning. You'll be saying "bon voyage" in no time!