Relaxing on the High Seas

Written By: Amy Yacullo

When Anthony and I booked our honeymoon on the Disney Dream, we had absolutely no idea what to expect. Neither one of us had ever cruised before, so we wanted to do anything and everything we could in our short, 4-day Bahamian cruise. However, we were also on a tight budget and wanted to spend a lot of time together relaxing—after all, it was our honeymoon!!

For me, relaxation=spas and pampering. During the booking process, I took a peek at what the Senses Spa offered. When I checked out the “menu” I was shocked at the astronomical prices—$70 for a pedicure? Get real!! There was no way I was going to shell out that much for something I could get done at the mall for a fraction of the price—sure, this was a special occasion and yes, it was Disney cruise, but I knew I’d already have a great pedicure for my wedding. The costs of the massages were even higher, so I quickly put the idea of a honeymoon spa treatment out of my mind.

The day we arrived at the ship was a flurry of activity, from waking up and packing our bags, to getting on the bus and riding to Port Canaveral, to checking in and waiting to board, to lunch at Cabana’s, the Spa was merely a blip on the radar of my mind. I knew where it was, but I also knew how much it cost, so I stayed away (even though they offered a complimentary spa tour with possible giveaways). I didn’t want to tempt myself.

Our room was on Deck 7 at the front of the ship, so we frequently took the forward elevators up to Deck 11 to get to Cabanas or to enjoy the Quiet Pool (which meant we were walking by the spa every time). Shortly after the Sail Away party, Anthony and I were headed back to our room when I said, “Hey, let’s check out the spa since we’re walking past. I don’t intend on booking anything, but I’d just like to see it.” The textured pebble flooring outside the spa had caught my attention and after all, we didn’t know when we were going to be on another cruise, so I figured it was worth a peek.

We walked into Senses and were greeted warmly. The staff were anxious to give us a tour, so we decided “What the heck, let’s just do it, it’s free.” They started with the salon, which we weren’t too interested in (we’d both gotten our hair cut prior to the wedding, and there was no way I was going to book any mani/pedis this trip) and then moved on to the fitness center—anyone who knows me will tell you that there was no way in hell I was going to exercise on my honeymoon. We were getting antsy to leave when the spa attendant brought us to what turned out to be our favorite part of the cruise: the Rainforest Room.

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The most important aspect of the Rainforest Room is that there’s no one to give you treatments—it’s a completely self-guided experience, which is nice if you want spa relaxation without getting a massage or other treatment (or paying treatment prices!). My husband doesn’t like the idea of someone he doesn’t know touching him in the “intimate” way a massage necessitates, so the Rainforest Room was a great way for him to enjoy some much-needed relaxation. Occasionally you will see an attendant come in and refresh the towel stock or refill the flavored water that is provided, but other than that, you’re on your own.

You’ll get a complimentary robe every time you go to the spa and put it in the laundry before you leave. You have to turn in your room key to get the robe and the key fob that unlocks the Rainforest Room door; I like that because it means I don’t have to worry about losing my room key while I’m trying to relax. The only things you need to bring with you are a pair of flip-flops, a bathing suit, and (if you wish) a book. There are lockers available, but they are shared with the fitness area, so they can fill up quickly depending on where you go. There are also showers in the locker room with lovely complimentary shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that are completely different than the ones offered in-room and are absolutely amazing.

When you first enter, you walk into one three rooms that encompass the Rainforest Room. There’s calming music and a lovely water feature right when you walk in, which promotes a sense of calm right off the bat. On the right, there is a beverage station with flavored water (lemon and cucumber, which are both very delicious and very refreshing) and a large selection of teas and some extra towels. If you look up at the ceiling, you’ll notice that the tiles have clouds printed on them to make it look like you’re gazing at uninterrupted sky.

To the left are four different themed showers, each with their own light effects, sounds, and scents (which aren’t overpowering; I actually haven’t ever noticed a scent coming out of any of them). Each shower has three water cycle types (things like “Caribbean Storm” and “Siberian Night”) with varying temperatures of water—I personally found most of them to be too cold, but that’s a personal preference.

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Past the showers are 3 different kinds of saunas: a Hamam (Turkish steam bath with beautiful marble walls and benches and lovely aromatherapy), a Caldarium (your standard steam room) and a Laconium (dry sauna) with a window looking out to sea. My favorite is the Hamam—it’s the perfect mixture of warm steam and heat; it isn’t suffocating and dry, but it doesn’t make you soaking wet either. I recommend bringing an extra towel into the Hamam to sit on, as the marble seats and floor get very, very hot.

Through another set of doors is the lounge room. This room as 10 lounge chairs with a lovely view of the ocean (through another set of glass doors). They’re made of ceramic tiles, so you can’t adjust them, but they are gently heated and all feature a book light and a view of the ocean. I’ve never used one, but I’ve seen plenty of happy customers (including a sleeper or two).

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Through a final set of doors is the last large room—the hot tub room. Each hot tub fits 2 people and both of them look out to sea. The room has a few open (but barred) windows, so you can hear the ocean and seagulls—the first time I went in there, I thought it was a soundtrack being played over speakers, and then I realized that it was real! I love that the windows are open to the sea, which allows for a light breeze to come through the room. There are signs in the area that ask that you keep your soaks to a 15 minute max to allow other spa-goers the chance to enjoy, but we’ve never encountered any other guests waiting for their turn—although Goofy did visit us one day (all dressed up in his coat and tails) and tried to get in the hot tub with us!

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The cost for all of this bliss? $16 a day. They also offer a length of cruise pass—I don’t know what the individual price is, but for couples it was $99 (for a 4 day cruise). There’s also a “deluxe” package available that includes your choice of scented scrub to use in the Hamam, but we’ve never purchased it; I believe it’s $120 for couples (again, I don’t know the individual price). I would recommend that you go to the Senses Spa and ask about pricing, because as with everything else in life, it’s always subject to change.

The best part is that you can pay for as many days as you want—only want to go on your sea day? That’s totally fine! Want to go every day of your cruise? You can do that too!!

We have never experienced a problem with over-crowding –I’m not sure if there are only a limited amount of passes available per day or if people just don’t know about it (either way, I’m not complaining!). The Rainforest Room is open during Spa hours, so you can go early in the morning, later in the day, or in the evening if you want; you can even pop in and out at your leisure throughout the day.

For $16 a day, there is absolutely no question in my mind that the Rainforest Room is worth every penny. There is nothing like having a quiet area away from all the action to relax, rewind, and rejuvenate. Plus, it’s one of the only places my husband will truly relax—he doesn’t like the idea of a stranger massaging him, so the Rainforest Room allows him to unwind and spend time relaxing with only his thoughts and me—you can’t argue with that! We now budget for the experience every time we plan a Disney cruise and so far, it’s been one of the best uses of our time and money.

If you’re looking for that “one more thing” on your Disney cruise that will push it from “great” to “amazing,” I definitely encourage you to consider the Rainforest Room—once you walk through those doors, I can almost guarantee that you’ll never want to leave.

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