Tales from the Spa – Part One

by kelly

I mentioned our cruise ship experience at the Marjorie Glacier previously. 

But I haven’t elaborated on our on-board¬†Lotus Spa experiences.

Lotus Spa.¬† That’s the name that the Princess Cruise Line gives their fitness and spa treatment facilities.¬† And we tested them out on our trip.

We each had a massage, at the same time, but in different rooms, on one of the “at-sea” days.¬† Interestingly, Paul’s Swedish Massage was delivered by a Swedish man named Martin.

My Chakra Stone Massage was delivered by Regina from the Philipines.¬† And it was lovely.¬† Until the end.¬† I still haven’t fully recovered from the experience.¬† She informed me that I really had a lot of cellulite on my thighs for a woman my age, and then took advantage of my genuine horror to sell me an expensive “algae-detox synergy” bath powder.¬† I’m supposed to soak in it once per week to solve my problem (I haven’t yet).¬†

I was upset, afterwards, both because she said that out loud (I’m not saying it’s not true, buy hey, I get on the¬†treadmill three times a week), and, mostly, that I fell for her hard sale/shame tactic.¬† I made a perfect mark.¬† In one of the books I had time to enjoy on the cruise, a prominent modern cruise-line founder was quoted as describing cruise passengers as¬†captive consumers, and saying something along the lines of “a cruise passenger is a wet towel.¬† First you wring them in one direction, and then you wring them in the other.”¬† Well, Regina wrung me out pretty well.

The best part about the spa was that you didn’t have to have a specific “treatment” booked (so bye bye, Regina!) in order to take advantage of the facilities.¬† We purchased a “thermal pass” and so had unlimited use, for the week, of the Thermal Suite (you can get a view of it here).¬† The¬†Thermal Suite deserves a few words of commendation.¬† Apart from our Cabin (well, OK, I’ll play along with the cruise lingo, our “Stateroom” [view here]), it was one of our favorite retreats on the ship.¬†¬†To either side of the Thermal Suite entrance are two curved, ceramic beds of heated tile.¬† Reclining on those was incredibly relaxing.¬† But once you were ready for a change, there were several steam rooms,¬†each featuring steam in varying intensities and different decor/ambiance¬†to choose from.¬† When it was time to cool off from the steam, there were two showers to choose from.¬† I had read before our departure that these showers each¬†offered special tropical “rain storm” and “cold mist” features.¬†¬†¬†So of course, once I got to the showers, I was interested in trying out these features.

Unfortunately, this resulted in my giving a fellow traveler and Thermal Suite user the “best laugh [he’d] had in a long time.”¬†

It happened like this.

Paul, who is kind of chatty, and kept making friends in the casino and the thermal spa, had been talking it up with a beefy, confident, older guy from Pennsylvania who struck me as a hard-driving CEO/Executive type. 

After priming the CEO’s talking pump, Paul disappeared into a steam room.¬† Now I’m one who likes to enjoy my Thermal Suite in peace and quiet, but, to be polite, I¬†engaged in¬†residual chit-chat with the Executive and his wife.¬†¬†

The Executive decided to try the showers.¬† And from there, he had¬† a conversation with his wife about not being able to control the temperature of the water.¬† I asked if he could see how to activate the rain forest mist.¬† He couldn’t.

A curious soul, I then decided to try the other shower, and to see if I could figure out not only the temperature knob, but also the misting feature.

Since we were all good friends by this time, I announced, from the shower, the method I had discovered for controlling the temperature.  The CEO and his wife took this in stride.

And that was my last good move in the Thermal Spa that day. 

I then announced,¬†”Oh, I found the topical buttons right here!¬† Let’s see what these do.”¬†

I was shielded from the CEO’s sight, thank God, by the curved, green tile wall of the shower.¬† But what followed next was my blood-curdling scream – emitted in response to suddenly having ice cold “rain storm” water dumped in a mercilessly unending torrent upon my head and previously steam-warmed body.¬†

The horrible contortions of my body were unseen, but the scream, apparently, said it all.¬† And the green tile wall couldn’t shield me from what came next… the CEO’s long, loud, and mirthful guffaws.¬† That was really a funny thing for him.¬† I knew instantly that everyone at both his dinner table, that night, and in his board room, next week,¬†would be hearing about this one.

Just then, Paul emerged from the steam room, only to have his buddy, the CEO, give the play by play to him on what he had missed.  At the end of the recounting, the CEO laughed and laughed again. 

I tried to maintain my dignity, bruised though it was.  I continued to try out various features in the steam room.

But every few minutes, the CEO’s brain replayed for him the sequence of events (which he described to me as “let’s see what happens when I push this button…”, then the scream), and I’d hear the guffaws come, and last, again.¬†

So the Thermal Suite was lovely.¬†¬†But I guess it’s no surprise that for the rest of the week, Paul frequented it more than I did.

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