As promised, here is the second post in my detailed review of Princes Cruises Denali Explorer trip. See the last post here.
The first day was at sea, meaning we were just in the ocean all day headed towards Ketchikan, Alaska. I had two goals/plans this day. The first was to get signed up for the TRX class at the gym and take the first of the three classes. My second was my spa afternoon complete with hot stone massage, fire and ice pedicure and a manicure.
I'll speak to the gym first. When I arrived I found out that the class was full but told to wait as if there was a no-show they could fit me in. While I waited I scanned the equipment and free weight area. It was all nice but it was also FULL. Apparently a lot of people on cruises use the gym. I really hoped I could get in the class. TRX suspension training uses straps with handles attached to and hanging from the ceiling. Us use this to use your own body weight and do exercises like rows, pushups, biceps curls and more. Hits all body parts. There also are crazy exercises on the floor with your feet in the straps for hamstrings and core. Oh the core. So in the end they were able to fit me into the class and I found it to be a good workout. My advice to others is to sign up that first day to anything you might be interested in. It seems you can no-show and they don't take the money until the actual class so there is nothing to lose.
The photos above aren't actually from the "at sea" day as I was too busy at the gym and spa to take pictures. Plus it was just water and the cool clouds hadn't arrived yet. Above are various images taken from the ship of the views at different points on the cruise. The landscapes were breathtaking.
In the afternoon I went to the spa. I had the massage first. It was the hot stone massage. While I waited they had you fill out a form that asked a variety of questions from some health items that might be relevant to a massage and a whole bunch of other questions about your skin, stress and more. I honestly didn't really want to answer them all as I have no desire to discuss skincare at a spa. I know they do facials and have "experts" but I have rosacea and my skin is very sensitive and reactive to products plus I have a dermatologist to discuss skincare with.
So in my initial discussion with the woman who will be giving my massage (I apologize for forgetting her name) we talk about stress, where I have tension, areas to focus on during the massage. That's all good. She asks if I take baths. I say no. She really feels baths are important for my upper back and shoulder tension. I say my tub sucks and it's not gonna happen. She moves on to asking me what I use on my skin. As mentioned above, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the massage and I am not having a facial. I give the high level summary and mention I have rosacea. She replies "Yes, I can tell." Gee thanks. Then she informs me I need better eye cream for my bags and dark circles. And I need to use anti-aging products. Annoyed because I hate when they make you feel bad like your lacking in some beauty area to basically try and sell products, I simply respond great, and I'll discuss products with my dermatologist. Let's just get to the reason I'm here - the massage!
The massage itself was wonderful. Hot stones, good pressure and focused on my upper back and shoulders that always seem to be tight. After the massage she tries to sell me some expensive bath stuff to use in baths that she insists I need at least once a week. My muscles were shockingly tense. She did say she could tell I worked out and that I had muscles. Finally - thank you! I work hard for those. But that working out causes lactic acid buildup and apparently the only way to rid this is to detoxify through seaweed baths. And if I don't my blood will start to have acidosis. And cancer grows in acid environments. And this is where I bite my tongue and I just give her the "you are crazy" stare because if I start talking it's not gonna be nice and I'm to relaxed to get angry. I do not buy the seaweed. I'm sure it's nice but I have an old school little tub. It's not comfortable to take actual baths. But I really hate pseudo-science and scare tactics to sell stuff. I mean, really top of the line hate it. Even more than being told how baggy my eyes look to sell me eye cream.
Next I go to the salon area for my pedicure. I don't remember her name either but the same woman handled my pedicure and manicure. She was wonderful! The fire and ice pedicure was awesome. It had all the normal pedicure stuff plus super cooling oils and creams and hot stones. Yea. I left with pretty toes and nails.
I would have enjoyed the experience more if the massage part hadn't had such questionable sales tactics.
That evening I had dinner with my guys at the pizza place on the ship. It was delicious.