In an unusual move, spa-goers no longer have to trek to a top corner of the ship -- the standard prime real estate for cruise ship spas -- for their pampering. On Royal Princess, the Lotus Spa has been relocated just off the atrium. (Royal Caribbean took a similar approach with the spas on Oasis and Allure of the Seas -- the result being less natural light in the facility.)
A Princess spokesperson explained the spa's move to Cruise Critic. "Based on the design of this vessel and our desire to expand the overall size of the Lotus Spa, the best location for us to accomplish this was on Deck 5."
She also said past passenger feedback indicated spa-goers wanted the space to be more visible. "By locating the Lotus Spa just off the main atrium, we believe passengers will have easier access to the facility and take advantage of the many amenities. Passengers can head down to the Piazza, enjoy a nice breakfast at the International Cafe and then walk over to the Lotus Spa for a visit to the Enclave and a relaxing treatment."
The fitness center will remain at the top of the ship because, the spokesperson said, the line feels the fitness center "fits in with the more active nature of the upper decks - pools, gym, sports court, etc."
Royal Princess' spa will cover all the bases with a full-service salon, teeth whitening stations, a barber shop and mani-pedi areas, a relaxation room (for a spot of herbal tea pre-massage) and 18 treatment rooms, some with windows.
New features include:
The Enclave will be the largest thermal suite in the fleet, complete with a hydrotherapy pool and accompanying rain shower. Within the suite, passengers can try out heated stone or water beds and sensory showers with mood lighting and therapeutic aromas. Three named rooms offer a variety of heat-based experiences: The Hammam is a Turkish-style bath, featuring a marble slab for mud or salt treatments; the Caldarium, a ceramic chamber infused with herbal aromas; and the Laconium, a dry sauna.
The Enclave will require a separate fee, the Princess Cruises spokesperson told Cruise Critic. Passengers may be able to pay a daily fee or a per voyage price, as is currently offered for the line's existing thermal suites. The actual pricing has not yet been established though. The Scrub & Shine Bar offers sugar and salt scrubs mixed for each passenger individually for a nominal cost (pricing still to be determined). Customization will be dependent on the passenger's desired experience. A scrub for relaxation will differ than a scrub for someone who wants to feel revitalized.
The scrubs can either be used back in a passenger's cabin, taken home, used in the Enclave's experience showers or used in the showers in the main changing rooms.
Two new Couples Villas are aimed at twosomes looking for side-by-side massages, followed by relaxation in a whirlpool path or sitting area with ocean views.
The 3,600-passenger ship is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Among the many features already revealed include an innovative SkyWalk, a cantilevered, glass-enclosed walkway that will extend 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and 128 feet over the water; Princess Live! television studio; largest ever Princess Theater; the addition of for-fee cabanas; a new approach to the Chef's Table; a sports complex featuring a laser shooting range and batting cage; and the elimination of non-balcony outside cabins.
Checkout our countdown to launch page for more information about Royal Princess.
--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor