February 25, 2002
Princess Cruises’ announcement last week that it would expand to the rest of its fleet its unique-to-the-line Lotus Spa -- already introduced on Grand, Golden and Star Princess -- contained an intriguing omission. Nowhere is there a mention of the ubiquitous Steiner -- the U.K.-based spa company that virtually owns the cruise industry by operating facilities on nearly every line -- even though they will be operated by Steiner. The Asian-influence Lotus Spa, which Princess says is “custom developed” for the line, will, in effect, be the first consistent facility -- communicating Eastern themes in decor, programs and treatments -- to be implemented fleetwide. That means that passengers who used the spa on Grand Princess will find the exact same “flavor” on Royal Princess or Golden Princess. Like the franchising of a restaurant, for instance. “The Lotus Spas on each ship will offer the same philosophy and quality services on each ship,” says spokeswoman Susanne Ferrull, who adds that “most cruise ship spas and offerings vary from ship to ship. While Steiner typically handles spa design and operation -- with input from cruise line clients -- Princess says this time around the process worked differently. “Steiner has historically designed all of its own spa offerings, brochures, etc. and these elements are often very much the same across all of the cruise lines they serve,” Ferrull continues. “Lotus Spa is unique to Princess and we are directly involved in development of all aspects of the concept, facilities and treatment offerings.” Princess anticipates the Lotus Spa concept will wind-up its fleetwide expansion on most, if not all ships, by mid-March.