FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Ship Shape: Playfully Relax and Recharge with Virgin Voyages’ Wellness and Fitness Offerings

by Kelly Magyarics

Sep 8, 2023

© Virgin Voyages

September 2023

Among the many temptations on board Virgin Voyages’ vessels, somehow many of them involve my weakness: Champagne. During my two sailings on the flagship Scarlet Lady (Mayan Sol and Riviera Maya), I could shake my phone to deliver a chilled bottle of Moët & Chandon and two flutes to my exact location. I could also enjoy pre-dinner bubbly at Sip Champagne lounge or in the hot tub during happy hour at Richard’s Rooftop, the lounge reserved for suite guests. A neon sign above the main pool deck even advised us to “Save Water, Drink Champagne.” Challenge accepted. Thankfully, there are ample spa and fitness options to counter all that indulgence.

Treatments at the aptly named Redemption Spa have names like Salvation, a Swedish-style massage, and Absolution, in which a spa goer reclines on a bed of amber crystals while a therapist uses quartz poultices to literally knead out the tension and toxins from that extra round of day drinks. I booked the Atonement, a deep-tissue massage that did wonders for my eternally stiff neck, the product of too much time spent pounding the keys on my laptop. All massages are available in durations of 50, 75 or a glorious 90 minutes.

Several facials combat your skin woes, whether you’re concerned about sun exposure or aging. Remedy is chock-full of superfoods and essential minerals to ramp up nutrition and radiance; Restoration smooths fine lines with padina pavonica, an antioxidant-rich brown marine algae; and Rejuvenating pulls out all the stops with oxygen, light therapy, galvanic stimuli, microcurrents, a sonic peel and Elemis BIOTEC products.

sauna

© Virgin Voyages

Before and after my treatment, I had access to the features of the spa’s Thermal Suite. A relaxation area is outfitted with built-in window seating under portholes, so I could watch the ship cut a path through the Caribbean Sea — what I consider one of the most soothing and mesmerizing parts of a cruise. You can also purchase a pass to the Thermal Suite without booking a treatment; keep in mind sea days are the busiest, with everyone partaking in onboard activities while awaiting the next port of call.

In fact, the Thermal Suite is so popular, starting next year the line will begin offering Spa Soirées once per voyage. The $99 option provides access from 8 to 10 p.m. to the Thermal Suite along with Prosecco; mini-massages; and D.I.Y. body scrubs, masks and mini facials. It also includes a $50 voucher to use toward any spa service.

I found the mud room the coolest part of the Thermal Suite. (It’s also the largest space, something to keep in mind if the rest of the area seems crowded.) A sign next to the door instructed me to sit for a few minutes in the aromatherapy steam to warm up my skin before applying a Moroccan mud mask to my face and body, which I rinsed off with cold water after 10 or 15 minutes. It definitely left my skin feeling soft and smooth, so it’s best to do this at the end of the treatment for maximum benefit.

The Himalayan Salt Room offers perhaps the most unique feature: a heated room covered in white marble and bright pink to engage in halotherapy (breathing in salted air) to improve breathing and promote purification. There’s also a dry sauna with cedar seats, and an aromatherapy steam room scented with calming lavender and invigorating eucalyptus essential oils.

While the space lacks a full hydrotherapy circuit, several small hot and cold plunge tubs and a heated pool do the trick. The Thermal Suite is all-gender, so bathing suits are required. I also spent some time lying on a heated marble hammam bench inspired by Turkish bathhouses, which felt so nice on my just-worked-on muscles. You can also choose to luxuriate on chairs and ottomans.

If you want to keep the wellness vibes going after leaving Redemption Spa, two bars feature health elixirs — with or without alcohol. The Athletic Club’s Hit the Gym Smoothies include Re-Fresh with cucumber, celery, lime, mint and dehydrated beet (you can kick it up with rum or gin); and the Elixirs & Energy section touts kombucha and shots with spirulina, turmeric and ginger. Gym &Tonic serves cold-pressed juices; fresh-extracted juices; and Reset Cocktails with ingredients like activated charcoal and aloe vera juice. Hydration Nation shakes blanco tequila with lime, coconut water and agave, served with a ginger rim. And yes, there’s a Gin & Tonic menu, with mix-and-match gins, mixers and botanical garnishes. The quinine in tonic, after all, is said to ease leg cramps and varicose veins.

spa

© Virgin Voyages

In between sampling the amazing food and drinks on my sailings, I was equally inspired by the fitness options. Opportunities to sweat it out include HIIT, SUP yoga, Geezers Boxing Ring, MyBeast equipment, and strength and gymnastic installations. A dance class on the basketball court midship during which we learned the choreography to NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” was so much fun, I almost didn’t realize what a grueling cardio workout it was. And during a throwback exercise class called VHS (Videotapes Headbands Simmons), led by instructors clad in leg warmers and leotards, I grooved to a fun 1980s soundtrack, and the commentary during a Shake Weight segment was gold. Irreverent, unexpected and playful, it sums up Virgin Voyages’ approach to wellness on the open seas.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Feb 23, 2024

The Radical: A New Boutique Hotel, Opens in Asheville, North Carolina’s, River Arts District

Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

February 2024
Feb 23, 2024

Pickle Up: Get in on America’s Fastest Growing Sport

Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

Hôtel Norman Opens Near the Top of Champs Elysées

Located a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe, Olivier Bertrand recently opened Hôtel Norman for those looking to explore the city.

MORE TO TRAVEL

There’s more to travel than just getting there.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco Completes Renovations

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.

Daily
Feb 21, 2024

Make Alberta, Canada, Your Next Wellness Getaway

Rich in mountains, prairies, forests and hot springs, Alberta, Canada, takes nature and wellness travel to a whole new level. Combine the beauty of this western Canadian province with relaxation and you’re in for a treat.

Why Buy Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:

eFlyer Reviews
Feb 21, 2024

Amantaka Review

You know what you’re going to get at an Aman hotel, and also you don’t. Expect peerless service, obsessive attention to detail, architectural elegance worthy of a fashion magazine, a holistic approach to wellness and astounding levels of comfort. But each property is also intimately connected to its setting, and that’s where the surprises lie. For instance, finding yourself on your knees on a sidewalk in Luang Prabang handing out sticky rice to Buddhist monks at 5:30 a.m. isn’t something we expected.