Disney Cruise Spa Treatments: Yays & Nays

| September 23, 2015

When planning our recent Disney cruise in the Med, I decided to splurge on some serious spa time. I reserved four treatments. I’ll share them with you, as well as what I would do again or avoid like the plague. I’m going to go in order of when I had the treatment, 3 of which were different massages. Sorry there are no pictures. I was naked and incapacitated most of the time.


Now. I saw the words “cellulite reduction” and hit the button to schedule an appointment. I did not read the description. I just thought YES, let’s reduce some cellulite on Day One! I therefore showed up unsuspecting.

After making me look at bullet points to choose the description most resembling how I feel about my cellulite (thanks for that), the spa technician measured my flab in order to be able to show me the dramatic results I would see after the treatment.

Next, while I lay on a table, the woman scrubbed off about 6 layers of my dry skin with a large body brush. She attempted to explain the lymphatic system to me, but I was too busy wondering if I was bleeding from shoulder to toe, to retain the information. Since I learned more about body brushing later in the cruise, I will say this: learning about body brushing might have been the most valuable thing I took away from the spa treatments.

I honestly don’t remember the order in which the woman lathered me with algae, wrapped me in aluminum foil like a baked potato, and strapped electrodes on me. In case you’re wondering, I have used a TENS unit in the past for injuries. THIS TREATMENT IS NOT LIKE A TENS UNIT. The spa technician began increasing the intensity of the charges until my body was lifting off the table during the contractions. I suspect that this treatment is banned in Gitmo.

During the treatment, the spa technician attempted to sell me bottles of something. I don’t remember what, because my brain was attempting to survive the electrocution. The woman also tried to convince me to enlist for a three- to five-day treatment. You know, in case I wanted to cancel my shore excursions to Italy and the French Riviera to be electrocuted. I passed.

She might have applied moisturizer to my body after the torture ended. I don’t know. When I think of this treatment, all I remember is the convulsions, and staring at my naked body dejectedly in the mirror.

She re-measured me after the treatment was finished. Her math was a little off when calculating the allegedly-dramatic loss in inches that day; I saw no change. If I lost anything, it was the layers of skin she’d brushed off of me. My body was still an orange peel with hips that appear to be racing away from each other in completely opposite directions.

That said, I do fully believe that the combination of this treatment, an ocean wrap, the massages, and my own daily body brushing following the cruise, together have reduced the appearance of cellulite and improved my body tone*.

The verdict: Never again. Ever.


My husband has been interested in trying a massage for a while now, but thought he would feel more comfortable if his first massage was in a couples setting. So, I booked a massage for the two of us.

In the treatment room, I upgraded to a deep tissue massage while my husband stuck with a normal, lighter massage.

It turns out that I don’t find couples massages relaxing. I’m too self-conscious. Is he looking at me? What if I accidentally grunt or moan or sigh? What if my sinuses release and he can hear me attempt to control my snot? Is his therapist touching his wiener? It’s just not relaxing for me.

At the end of the massage, the massage therapist circled my table and then took my hand. My hand was being held for a very long time. “Why is she still holding my hand?” I thought. Then I heard the door close. I opened my eyes. I was holding my husband’s hand.

The verdict: Good enough massage, fine for people who enjoy couples massages, not for me.


This was a typical body wrap. During this one, the technician used oils (which, of course, she tried to sell me later) and then wrapped me like, again, a baked potato. It was warm. I like body wraps, so I found it relaxing.

The deep tissue half-body massage that followed was great.

The verdict: I would probably do this one again.


Guess who brushed my body? This spa technician. Whatever layers of skin had replaced themselves since Day One were now on the floor of a second treatment room. This technician further educated me on body brushing and it really seemed to make sense. Release toxins, stimulate lymphatic system, yadda yadda. Seriously: google Body Brushing.

The facial was nice, and I was very happy with the scalp massage that she gave me while we waited for the facial to do its thing. Did I later notice a difference in my face? It was softer, but I don’t know that it reduced the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles.

I then had one of the Top 3 full-body massages of.my.life. I would marry this woman.

The verdict: If I were to choose only one spa treatment for my cruise, it would be this one.

ONE SPA NEGATIVE: OMG they try to sell you something at every.single.treatment. I was most annoyed by this when, after a relaxing massage, I found myself at the receiving end of a sales pitch. That is the antithesis of relaxation. I bought nothing from the spa during the cruise and I did not appreciate them constantly hawking their wares.


*Body brushing: Despite the “yeah, yeah” reaction I had during my first body brushing, I have been using a brush since this cruise ended 24 days ago. In conjunction with the brushing, I began massaging my body lotion into my legs, kneading them (just over-the-counter, normal lotion, no special formulas). This combination has, I swear to God, visibly reduced the appearance of cellulite, improved the tone, and improved my circulation. No longer do I spend most of the day with an ice-cold ass. I had increased my exercise routine during the months before the cruise in the hopes that my body would not be dragging behind me on deck as I walked around in a bathing suit, but I did not experience the same results in the actual appearance of cellulite on my thighs and butt. I do still exercise a few times/week, so that is also affecting my tone and circulation, but I promise you: body brushing has made all the difference. Massaging the lotion into my lower body has made my skin much smoother, as well. Score! I cannot recommend dry body brushing enough.



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Category: Disney stuff, Family Travel, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles, Travel, US Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments (2)

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  1. Callie Edwards says:

    This was hilarious-thank you for sharing! Three years ago we did our first trip with DCL. It was great. I wanted to go to the spa, but was totally broke from paying for the cruise itself and couldn’t see spending a fortune on the spa. Instead, I went to the spa near my house (which is not dirt cheap but super amazing) and totally relaxed BEFORE my trip. It worked great. I’ll do it again-no sales pitches. But, I do want to book a treatment one time just for the experience.

    • Great idea to do it near home before the trip–I hope you did one after, as well! If you’re only going to do one, boy do I recommend the ultimate experience. It was amazing.