For true spa aficionados, visiting the spa for a treatment or two (or six) and daily visits to the spa's thermal suite or relaxation room just isn't enough. What they really want is to take up residence in the spa. The good news is that, on several cruise lines, you can -- or at least get a cabin that's close enough to the spa and designed for relaxation and tranquility so you feel like you're there.
Spa cabins are typically located within steps of the ship's spa (or have some sort of direct access), and all feature Zen-like decor inspired by the onboard spa. They range from inside cabins to suites, and they're often the same layout as their standard cabin counterparts, but with added amenities and a higher price tag. Beyond those basic similarities, spa cabins are not created equal. Some, like those found on Holland America ships, simply are regular cabins with more tranquil decor and a few token cabin amenities but no real spa benefits. Others, however, provide real value to spa-lovers with in-cabin extras like pillow menus, aromatherapy diffusers and more upscale toiletries, as well as included spa services.
The best spa cabins come not only with a variety of specialized bath amenities, ranging from name-brand toiletries to DIY scrubs and aromatherapy, but also include free visits to a thermal suite or relaxation room, one or two fitness classes and discounts on and priority access to spa treatments.
Of the ones found on major cruise lines, Celebrity's AquaClass spa cabins offer the most included perks like multiple in-cabin amenities, free bottled water, complimentary and exclusive access to a health-conscious specialty restaurant and unlimited access to the spa's relaxation and thermal rooms.
See below for a line-by-line guide to available spa cabins.
Carnival Cruise Line's Asian-inspired spa cabins and suites are located next to the Cloud 9 Spa. Only the first and second passengers in a spa cabin receive the special amenities and access privileges. And unlike staterooms in any other category on Carnival ships, spa cabins are completely smoke-free, including on the balconies.
Cabin Amenities: Amenities include Cloud 9 Spa logo items, such as bathrobes, towels and slippers; a do-it-yourself scrub kit for use in the thermal suites; and personal fitness bands and yoga mats. (Items, except the slippers and DIY scrub kit, are only for use onboard the cruise.) Toiletries in spa cabins include Elemis shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion and soaps.
Exclusive Access: Get priority access to spa appointments through a pre-cruise spa concierge.
Discounts: Cloud 9 spa suites come with unlimited access to the thermal suites and the thalassotherapy pool (only thermal suite on Sunshine). Plus, each passenger staying in a spa stateroom gets a free body composition analysis metabolism test, two free fitness classes (either Pathway to Yoga or Pathway to Pilates), and 20 percent off the first spa treatment, 30 percent off the second treatment and 40 percent of the third treatment received while ship is in port.
Celebrity's spa cabins, known as AquaClass, are available on all but two ships in the Celebrity fleet.
Cabin Amenities: AquaClass cabins each feature an aromatherapy diffuser; pillow menu; specialized spa bathroom amenities, including shower gel, facial spray and lip balm; plush bathrobes and slippers; oversized cotton bath towels; and free daily delivery of bottled water and tea.
Exclusive Access: Passengers in AquaClass cabins have exlusive access to the specialty restaurant Blu, as well as access to a spa concierge. On-demand wellness TV programming, including meditation and yoga, is only available in AquaClass cabins.
Discounts: Perks include unlimited access to the AquaSpa Relaxation room (on Solstice-class ships only) and the Persian Garden thermal suite.
Costa's Samsara Spa cabins have direct access to the Samsara Spa via a glass elevator surrounded by a waterfall.
Cabin Amenities: The Samsara cabins and suites come with bathrobes, towels, slippers, and sheets and pillowcases made from organic cotton, as well as an aromatherapy diffuser and wellness shower filter.
Exclusive Access: Samsara Spa cabins come with a personalized wellness consultation with a spa expert and an invitation to a special Japanese spa tea ceremony. Passengers in these cabins may also dine in the ship's Ristorante Samsara without restriction or surcharge.
Discounts: Spa cabin residents receive two free spa treatments, two free fitness and wellness classes, and two sun-lamp sessions in the solarium, per cabin.
Holland America's spa cabins differ slightly by ship, but all are located near the Greenhouse Spa and Salon. On some ships, spa cabins are available as suites, while others offer only standard balcony, oceanview or inside spa cabins.
Cabin Amenities: All Holland America cabins feature Elemis toiletries, but spa cabins also come with a loofah mitt and bath salts, along with an organic robe and slippers, yoga mats, two pedometers and a countertop water feature for a relaxed ambience.
MSC Cruises does not have specifically designated spa cabins, but its Yacht Club suites come with exclusive spa amenities and services, thus acting as de facto spa cabins. Additionally, Yacht Club passengers can arrange to have massages done in-cabin.
Cabin Amenities: Toiletries in Yacht Club suites include a selection of brands from the MSC Aurea Spa, such as Escents.
Exclusive Access: There is a direct private elevator and entrance to the MSC Aurea Spa from the Yacht Club. Within the spa are two massage/treatment rooms reserved only for Yacht Club passengers.
Discounts: The first four people in each Yacht Club cabin get a free one-time-use pass to the thermal suite.
Seabourn's penthouse spa suites are located directly above the Spa at Seabourn and have direct access to and from the spa via a spiral staircase located in the spa's lobby. The suites each feature a living and dining area with seating for four, a separate bedroom, walk-in closet, glass door and floor-to-ceiling windows onto the balcony.
Cabin Amenities: Spa amenities include a spa shower and bathtub for soaking, as well as a menu of Molton Brown spa products that include exfoliating body wash and polish, and thermal salts body soak. Upon arrival, passengers are asked to select from a menu of bath sponges, as well as designer soaps by Hermes, L'Occitane, Baudelaire and Salvatore Ferragamo. An in-suite bar is stocked with flavored water and fruit juices, as well as a selection of mixed nuts, dried fruits and healthy snacks. In the evening, spa penthouse passengers can choose a calming fragrance from a selection of four by L'Occitane to be diffused throughout the suite.
Exclusive Access: Penthouse spa passengers can book priority spa treatments with the onboard spa concierge.
Discounts: Receive unlimited access to the spa's Serene Area, a relaxation space with heated loungers, meditation pods, exotic showers and more.