Cruise lines have tried hard to shed their
image as venues for sedentary vacations where overindulgence rules.
Royal Caribbean has climbing walls and Carnival has a fitness
cruise. But only Costa Cruises has passengers sleeping in the spa.
ship, the Costa Concordia, will debut in July, and the line boasted
that it is the largest spa at sea. The 20,500-square-foot Samsara
Spa will extend over two decks and incorporate 55 cabins and 12
suites for passengers who want to immerse themselves in the Samsara
Spa ambience, according to Costa officials.
You have good
treatments, enjoy life and lose pounds, which everyone is looking
at these days, said Costa Cruises CEO Pier Luigi Foschi.
Guests staying in
spa cabins will receive two fitness classes; a wellness
consultation with a spa expert; two spa treatments; two sunlamp
sessions; and unlimited access to the spa and thalassotherapy pool,
a saltwater-and-minerals mixture best known as a cellulite
The cabins within
the spa will have flat-screen televisions and a set of Samsara bath
accessories. Guests will be able to walk in bathrobes from their
rooms to the spa via a staircase or private elevator, where they
can head directly to the treatment areas or work out in the fitness
these guests will have exclusive access to spa-friendly cuisine
created by Ettore Bocchia at Ristorante Samsara. As executive chef
at Italys five-star Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni on Lake Como,
Bocchia is known for healthy molecular cooking. He shook up the
gastronomic establishment when he made ice cream with liquid
nitrogen. Foschi would not divulge what will be on Costas spa menu,
but he promised it would be tasty.
You dont want
people demoralized because they cant eat, he said with a laugh. Its
a complete food experience.
Costa said spa
treatments would be inspired by the meaning of Samsara, the path to
spiritual enlightenment, bliss and balancing of life energies. The
spa menu will include Ayurvedic treatments, including sea salt
exfoliation, body glow, massage and reflexology.
While Foschi was
not as exuberant about the Samsara Spa as he was the Concordias
Formula One race car simulator, he said the spa enables Costa to
penetrate a market beyond the traditional cruise
There is a high
demand in Europe for this type of experience, which is normally on
the shore side, he said. Offering that product within the overall
cruise product is a win situation.
His comments were
echoed by Joe Ewart, vice president of sales and marketing for
There is quite
likely a core of spa aficionados who would enjoy the atmosphere, he
said. If one looks at similar programs shore-side, such as at
Canyon Ranch and other upscale spas, the guests are totally
immersed in the spa environment.
Foschi said he
already knows people will want such accommodations.
They tell us
because they buy it, he said. Its selling well.
reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].