When Marella Cruises announced its partnership with upmarket land-based spa Champneys, it became the first cruise line to feature the brand on one of its ships.
The link-up, which debuted on Marella Explorer and will follow on sister ship Marella Explorer 2, allows cruise passengers to enjoy some of the same luxurious treatments and amenities found at Champneys' locations ashore.
But nothing, short of seeing the spa firsthand, can convey the sheer magnitude of the space and what it offers to passengers.
What It Is
The onboard spa was retrofitted to better reflect the Champneys experience, featuring a full treatment menu of facials, acupuncture and massages; as well as hair and nail services for men and women and a fitness centre with a variety of cardio machines, weights and personalised classes.
In terms of size, it's the largest spa in Marella's fleet, boasting 13 treatment rooms, including two for couples. The latter feature ensuite saunas, hot tubs, floor-to-ceiling windows and even a balcony overlooking the bridge.
The Thermal Suite is up there with the best at sea. It features a central shower area with different types of showers (rain showers etc.), two steam rooms -- one dark, one salt, a herbal sauna, two hammam rooms, a rasul room, a dunk bucket room with ice and a relaxation room bathed in blue light, as well as plenty of warm tiled seating, including basins for foot bathing.
Right across the corridor is the piece de resistance -- a vast sauna with floor to ceiling windows. Next door are an open-air Persian garden relaxation room (a Champneys addition) with swinging basket chairs and another relaxation room, with loungers, waters and teas.
Marella is also one of only a few lines to offer at-sea athletic taping, cupping and food intolerance testing.
The spa also has a small outpost in Deck 7's shopping area, offering express treatments. These abridged versions of standard services -- such as a 15-minute nail file and polish for £10 or a 30-minute eyelash extension session for £39 -- cost less and take less time to complete.
Most of the 55-minute treatments start at £75 and will include a lava shell massage and a Thai massage. The signature £99 Marella massage comes in at 80 minutes. The couples rooms cost £389 for the day (which includes four treatments) or £249 for a half day. In addition to listings from the menu below, passengers can opt to spend time in the spa's thermal and relaxation area. The one-time use cost is £10 per person following a treatment or £15 without one. Cruise-long passes are available for £77 per person; they're good for the entire week.
Editor's Note: This spa menu is a sample. Offerings and prices are subject to change at any time.
Champneys can only be found on Marella Explorer and Marella Explorer 2.