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Ultimate pampering aboard floating paradise

AquaSpa on Celebrity SolsticeBy Dee Murray

As if being surrounded by soothing ocean waves, tantalizing food (Did you see our recipe for White Chocolate Mousse?) and amazing entertainment isn’t enough, Celebrity Cruise Line’s latest ship, Solstice, takes to the sea with a spa experience that goes beyond sheer indulgence.

But the experience of at-sea spa relaxation begins way before you even reach a treatment room. On Solstice, many areas are dedicated to the spa and to relaxation. A guest walks past the extra fun and exciting pool deck, into an enclosed hideaway, riddled with water fountains, soothing breezes and aromatic scents. This area, dedicated to luxury and relaxation is where a spa experience begins.

With loungers, enclosed daybeds a pampering pool and Jacuzzi area this adults-only solarium sets the tone for the most basic of services to the exotic.

AquaSpa on Celebrity Solstice A particular favorite – and new to the cruise line – is the hot bamboo massage. Never before offered, this massage consists of shafts of bamboo, soaked in oil and heated. The sticks are then rolled, with various ranges of pressure over the body, creating relaxing sensations and pressure-point therapy. The heat of the bamboo at times is intense, but necessary to achieve maximum benefit.

At times, the movement of the bamboo did seem slightly unnatural, but the various sizes of shafts used were adapted to reach areas behind the ears, on the neck and especially on the feet.

This massage is a blissful experience – not just for the obvious reasons (the joys of getting a massage) – but also the sounds this massage creates. The clanking together of the shafts of bamboo and the movement of the wood is very soothing to the senses. The movements of the sticks slapping together in the container used to heat them is melodic – hypnotic even and adds to the overall uniqueness of this treatment. It’s most definitely worth the price (A 50 minute treatment runs about $135).

AquaSpa on Celebrity SolsticeAfter the massage, the experience is continued by relaxing in one of the spa Relaxation rooms – an area of Aqua Spa equipped with chais lounges, pillows, blankets and freshly flavored orange water. It is quiet, beautiful and completely peaceful – perfect for a nap before hitting the ship’s nightclubs.

Pairing the spa life with high life
Indulgence probably isn’t even the right word for Celebrity Cruise Line’s latest offering on the all new Solstice. Known as Aqua Class, this offering is designed to be sophisticated, luxurious and perfectly grown up.

Designed by five boomer women consisting of a travel agent, a travel writer, a frequent cruiser, a hotelier and a cruise considerer, these women, known now as the cruise line’s ‘leading ladies’ were consulted on everything from accommodations to toiletries.

For four months, the ladies offered insights into what a true spa vacation should entail – the desire for more relaxed, intimate staterooms and connecting the sea and spa elements.

Of the 1,425 staterooms on Solstice, 130 of the double-occupancy rooms are Aqua Class and include a pillow menu, sound and aromatic elements to enhance the soothing power of the sea, daily teas and bottled water and special spa concierge. AquaClass also has its own specialty restaurant which touts ‘clean cuisine’ and soothing ambiance.

Celebrity says of Aqua Class: It is for guests “who are most passionate about pampering and getting away from it all.”

Celebrity SolsticeAbout Solstice
Solstice has 13 guest decks and at double occupancy, can accommodate 2,850 guests and 1255 crew members. The shop contains 1,426 staterooms and weighs about 122,000 tons. More than 90 percent of the rooms boast an ocean view and 85 percent of the rooms have verandas.

Other fun facts:
Solstice has the first-ever hot glass show at sea
First ever Lawn Club
10 dining venues
18 retail shops
3 new production shows

Cruise offerings: Eastern Caribbean itineraries out of Ft. Lauderdale

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“Ultimate pampering aboard floating paradise”