Last updated: 03:57 PM ET, Mon August 22 2016

Ultimate Onboard Relaxation: 5 Best Cruise Ship Spa Thermal Suites

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line | Jason Leppert | August 22, 2016

Ultimate Onboard Relaxation: 5 Best Cruise Ship Spa Thermal Suites

 Photo by Jason Leppert 

You might not first realize the vast array of ways guests can pamper their bodies onboard a cruise ship, and besides a plethora of spa treatments like traditional massages, more and more elaborate thermal suites invite guests to experience ways to regulate their temperatures and humidity via therapeutic rest and relaxation.

Here are our top five ships to dive right in.

Carnival Vista ~ Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has always had extensive spa facilities, and on its newest Carnival Vista, the Cloud 9 Spa thermal suite steps up yet again with various wet and dry rooms. Its Steam Chamber with Aroma Steam and Aromatic Grotto takes an herbal approach with cinnamon, orange or apple aromas, and its Laconium Dry Heat Chamber promotes circulation sauna-style. Exclusive to the Vista is also its Hammam Chamber to benefit joints and muscles by pouring warm water over the body, gradually upping its temperature, and its Infrared Heat Chamber.

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Norwegian Escape ~ Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line touts that the thermal suite in the Mandara Spa aboard its newest Norwegian Escape is the largest at sea, and its position over the bridge ensures it has one of the best views ever as a wraparound observation venue. The space is filled with 17 heated loungers, padded chaise lounges, a hydro-therapy pool, whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, sanarium, salt room and the line’s first snow room. Guests can take a warm dip and then literally chill out in a 21 to 32 degree Fahrenheit snow flurry.

Koningsdam ~ Holland America Line

Even though I was surprised to discover that access to the thermal suite at The Greenhouse Spa & Salon on Holland America Line’s new Koningsdam was not included with my massage treatment, the space is nonetheless impressive. Its central reclining pool with massaging jet streams is surrounded by heated ceramic lounges with window views, a steam room, sauna, cold water bucket and therapeutic showers including a unique horizontal variety to lay flat under.

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Queen Mary 2 ~ Cunard Line

The Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 features a fine thermal suite (pictured above) – available with a treatment or pass – with a thalassotherapy pool and whirlpool lined with comfortable chaise lounges. The central pool alone features high-pressure jet streams, a shower deluge, bubble massagers and a reclining section, and just off to the side is a sauna, herbal and traditional steam rooms, foot wash basins and two therapeutic showers.

Viking Star ~ Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Ocean Cruises introduced its fantastic LivNordic Spa thermal suite aboard the Viking Star and repeated it on the new Viking Sea as well. Male and female changing rooms each house a dry sauna and chill dip pool, introducing nordic bathing, the alternation from hot and cold environments to better circulation. From there, the thermal suite continues the formula with a jetted heated pool with recliners, whirlpool and steam room ahead of a cold water bucket, shower and the first snow room at sea. There are also relaxing ceramic loungers as well as padded chaise loungers for additional relaxation. The best part is the thermal suite is entirely free of charge to passengers.


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