PassPorter Online
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
Articles Menu
PassPorter Articles
Disney Dreaming
What Keeps Us Coming Back
Disney for Veteran Visitors
Rumor Round-Up
Finding Answers
Best Disney Trip Advice
Getting Your Disney Fix
How Young Is Too Young?
Top Ten Disney Questions
Tipping (Gratuities)
Timeshare Vacation Offers
Disney World on a Budget
Credit Cards 101
Money-Saving Strategies
Preparing Kids For Disney
Taking Toddlers to Disney
Planning Trips for Others
Convincing Others To Go
Importance of Being Lazy

Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
Ten "Must Pack" Items
Touring With A Group
Chaperoning A Group Trip
Ten Travel Tips
Luggage Tips
iPhone, I Travel
Driving to Disney
Driving With Kids
Child Safety Seats
CARES Harness Review
Rental Cars
Amtrak Auto Train
Airline Security
Flying With Kids
Surviving Long Flights
Surviving Bumpy Flights
Surviving Bad Vacations
Surviving Long Airport Waits
Staying Healthy
First Aid on Vacation
Solo Travel
Pregnant at Disney
Dress For Travel
Traveling With Pets
International Travel
Taking A 'Greener' Trip to WDW

Orlando Sanford Airport
Choosing a Resort
On-Site Lodging vs. Off-Site Lodging
Disney Resort Primer
Reserving a Room
Key to the World Card
Fun at Resort Hotels
Disney Vacation Club
All-Star Movies
All-Star Music
All-Star Sports
All-Star Vacation Homes
Animal Kingdom Lodge: Perfect for Teens
Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club
BoardWalk Inn & Villas
Contemporary Resort
Ft. Wilderness Camping
Old Key West
Wilderness Lodge
Home Sweet Home
Grand Californian #1
Grand Californian #2
Grosvenor Resort
Hilton Resort
Orlando Airport Marriott
Radisson Resort Parkway
Shades of Green
Westin Century Plaza
Making The Most of Bell Services at Disney's Deluxe Resorts
DVC's Old Key West Resort
Preparing For Your Disney Cruise
New Ships!
Cruise Security
International Port Security
Convincing a Husband to Cruise
Palo Dinner Review
Vow Renewals Onboard
Cruising With Special Diets
Cruising St. Martin
One in a Million Cruise
Zip-A-Dee-Zip-Line: A Canopy Adventure
A 'Magic' Time In The Mediterranean
A Wrap-Up From DCL's Inaugural Mediterranean Cruise
DCL: Not Just for Kids!
Spa Villas Review
Laugh Floor Comedy Club
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Fantasyland For Adults
Mission: SPACE
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Star Wars Weekends
Animal Kingdom
Expedition EVEREST
Surviving the Parks as First Time Parents
Surviving the Holidays
Overcoming Kids Fears
Planning Park Days
Four Parks in One Day
Touring with Toddlers
A Kid's Perspective
A Teen's Take
Educational Epcot
Flower & Garden Festival
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Scary Places (Halloween)
Playing "Millionaire"
Winning "Millionaire"
A Day With Allie
Past Attractions at Magic Kingdom
Meeting Mickey
Disneyland at 50
Future of Disneyland
Beyond the Disney Parks
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Monorail System
California Adventure
Expanding Disney's California Adventure
10 Reasons to Love Disneyland
A WDW Veteran's First Trip to Disneyland
A Disneyland Veteran's First Trip to Walt Disney World
Disneyland Homecoming
Walt Disney World With Pre-Teen Boys
Keys To The Kingdom Backstage Tour
Pirates & Princess Party
WDW with Teens? Absolutely!
Disney Dining Plan
More Dining Plan Tips
Dining Plan Revisited
Dining Plan Answers
Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) Strategies
Artist Point Review
California Grill Review
Nine Dragons Review
Spoodles Review
The Turf Club Review
Crystal Palace Review
Yak & Yeti Review
Tutto Italia Review
Character Dinners
Dine With A Disney Imagineer
Eating Healthy at Disney
Food Allergies
White Water Snacks
MurderWatch Mystery Theatre
Disneyland Dining: Yamabuki
Disneyland Area Dining: Pirate's Dinner Adventure
Party For The Senses
Artist Point
1900 Park Fare Dinner Review
Making Magic
Romance At Disney World
Beating The Post Trip Blues
Discovering the Magic
Magic of Slowing Down
Unexpected Treasures
Wishes Fireworks Cruise
Backstage Tours
Epcot's Segway Tour
Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival
Taking Great Photos
Taking Great Fireworks Photos
Digital Photo Q & A
Souvenirs on a Budget
Pal Mickey
Birthdays at Disney
Reunions and Gatherings
Holidays (Christmas)
More Holidays
Disney Intimate Weddings
Disney Vow Renewals
Custom Events
Preserving Memories
Scrapbooking Supplies
Finding Scrapbook Supplies at WDW
Memories and Milestones
Scavenger Hunts
Hidden Mickeys
Hidden Mickeys Book Review
Richard Petty Experience
More Richard Petty Rides
Ft. Wilderness Trail Ride
Disney Podcasts
MouseFest 2006
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
Making of PassPorter
Rest of the World
United States:
Big Apple Greeter
City Pass Cards
Hilton Head Island #1
Hilton Head Island #2
Celebration, Florida
Key Largo & Islamorada
Miami, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
Space Coast, Florida
Tampa-St. Petersburg
WonderWorks (Orlando)
Knoebels, Pennsylvania
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
Anza-Borrego Desert
Grand Canyon
The Poconos
New York City
New York Splash Tours
New York City Dining
New York: Antiques
New England
New Orleans
Nashville, Tennessee
Adventures by Disney: Wyoming
Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Zoos of the World
Universal Studios Orlando
New Attractions at Universal Orlando
Seuss Trolley Train Ride at Universal Orlando
Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Universal: For Non-Thrill Seekers?
Madison County, Iowa
The Great Smoky Mountains
Discovery Cove (Orlando)
Busch Gardens Africa: SheiKra Coaster Review
NASCAR AllState 400
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Niagara Falls, New York
Blue Horizons at SeaWorld Orlando
International Travel:
London Museums
London's Globe Theatre
Kent, England
Bath, England
Great Britain via Harry Potter
Stockholm, Sweden
Helsinki, Finland
Quebec City, Canada
Prince Edward Island
South Africa
Leeds Castle
Windsor Castle
Dover Castle
Niagara Falls, Ontario


by Sara Varney, PassPorter News Editor & Online Coordinator

With our 10th wedding anniversary approaching, followed closely by the MouseFest Cruise on the Disney Wonder, I decided it was time to convince my husband, Shawn, that there is more to the Disney Cruise Line's Vista Spa than the Rainforest Room. (Even getting Shawn as far as the Rainforest Room on our previous cruise had been a task -- three days of convincing followed by the typical male response, "This is great! Why didn't you tell me about this sooner? I would have been here every day!") Sigh ...

 So it was with great deliberation that I began my plan of attack. Leave copy of PassPorter's Field Guide to the Disney Cruise Line lying around the house -- check. Return from day at local spa and mention how romantic it would be to have a spa treatment together -- check. Leave web site with photos of new Spa Villas up on screen on laptop -- check! Needless to say, all of these hints went unnoticed. However, when I finally broke down and told him clearly how much I would like to do this with him, he was in.

We explored the options available in the Spa Villas for Two. (There are also Spa Villas for One which I will cover later.) All Spa Villa treatments include time in the hot tub on the spa villa's private verandah, a foot cleansing ritual, and a tea ceremony. There is the Romantic Retreat, which includes a 50-minute spa treatment of your choice (choose from the La Therapie HydraLift Facial, an Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Facial, an Elemis Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, a Swedish Massage or an Elemis Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow with half-body massage), at $449. The total time allotted for the Retreat is 120 minutes, so you have plenty of time before and after the selected treatment to enjoy the verandah. Next is the Couples Choice, which includes a 75-minute spa treatment of your choice and costs $475. There are more options here; the Elemis Aroma Stone Therapy, an Elemis Cellutox Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap, an Elemis Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap, an Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow with half-body massage, an Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap with half-body massage or an Exotic Coconut Rub & Milk Ritual Wrap with half-body massage). The Couples Choice lasts 130 minutes. Finally there is the Ultimate Indulgence, which is the longest option and gives you the most free time out on the verandah, with the total time coming in at 150 minutes. The Ultimate Indulgence includes an Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Facial followed by an Elemis Deep Tissue Muscle Massage and costs $589.

Our choice was clear. Shawn wanted the Elemis Aroma Stone Therapy so it was the Couples Choice for us! As Castaway Club members, we had the option of booking our spa treatments on the Disney Cruise Line web site 90 days in advance of our cruise. (Please note that only the following treatments are available to book online: Alone Time (described below) and Couples Choice. All other treatments must be booked onboard.) We knew we wanted to book our Spa Villa for our day at sea (not wanting to enjoy our verandah while docked next to the Carnival Cruise ships in Nassau or lose any time on Castaway Cay) and with limited spots available per day in each Villa, these appointments go quickly. I was successful and was able to book our appointment for 2:30 pm on Wednesday, December 5.

The months flew by and seemingly the next thing I knew we were en route to Port Canaveral and catching that magical glimpse of the Disney Wonder as we crossed the bridge to the Port. We enjoyed every moment of our cruise - exploring Atlantis in Nassau, snorkeling at Castaway Cay while our son enjoyed Scuttle's Cove, brunch at Palo with friends... Finally it was time! We left our son in the capable hands of his grandparents, changed into our bathing suits and headed to Deck 9 aft where the Vista Spa is located.

We were greeted at the desk by Lerissa, who gave us our locker keys and paperwork to fill out. Shawn was a little startled by the length of the medical forms but after assuring him that no, no blood samples would be required, we headed first to our separate locker rooms to grab robes and then to the Rainforest Room to await our turn. After a few minutes in the steam room for him and the sauna for me, we were greeted by the lovely Claudia and Sarah who led us to our Spa Villa.

When you first enter the Villa, the first things you notice are the side-by-side massage tables. Then your eye immediately goes to the wall-to-wall sliding glass windows that lead out onto a huge verandah. But before you are allowed out onto the verandah, you must first choose which treatments you will be getting. Shawn was clear that he was having the Aroma Stone Therapy and after consulting with Claudia, I decided on that as well. (I was tempted by the Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow with half body massage but Claudia explained that if I was looking for relaxation, then the Stone Therapy was the way to go!) We were then led out onto the verandah and asked to sit on the large teak day bed. Our feet were placed in shallow, gold colored bowls held on Claudia and Sarah's laps and then scrubbed with an exfoliating wash and rinsed. (It was at this point that Shawn began to look slightly uncomfortable prompting Claudia to ask if we had been to the Spa before. I explained that while I was a "Spa Vet", Shawn was a "Spa Newbie." Claudia teased him gently about his "first pedicure" and Shawn appeared to relax.) Then Claudia explained that they would now go set up the Spa Villa for us. While they were doing that, we should remove our robes, leave on our bathing suits and enjoy the hot tub. She explained that they would tap on the glass to let us know when our time was almost up and then, at our leisure, we should begin to exit the hot tub, remove our bathing suits and hang them over the edge of the tub to dry, put on our robes, then join them inside. She was very clear that at no time should we feel rushed or hurried. She inquired as to our comfort level with the temperature and wind as she could adjust the glass walls on the verandah to our preferences. We opted for the windows wide open as it was a beautiful day. Claudia and Sarah excused themselves, shut the glass doors to the Villa, and discreetly closed the blinds.

Shawn and I luxuriated in the hot tub for about 15 minutes, enjoying the contrast between the warm water and the cool breeze. After a while, we began to notice that the breeze was growing ever cooler and our exposed parts were getting chilly! So we hopped out of the tub, into our robes and headed into the Villa where Claudia and Sarah were finishing their preparations. They looked a little startled to see us so soon but recovered nicely and finished their preparations quickly. They said they'd step out for a moment so we could disrobe and slide under the covers, face down. We waved good-bye to each other, complied, and waited for their return.

Claudia and Sarah re-entered and our treatments began. Ahhhh -- heaven! 75 minutes of soothing warmth and massage. This was, hands down (pun intended), the best massage I have ever had. At least the part I remembered as I fell sound asleep until they asked me to turn over! Shawn swears that he did not sleep but I (and Claudia, his masseuse) beg to disagree. Either way, when the massages were over, we were both exquisitely relaxed. Claudia and Sarah stepped out so that we could don robes, then escorted us back out to the verandah where Shawn and I tucked ourselves in to the gorgeous day bed. Propped up on pillows, we were offered our choice of tea. (We both chose Orange.) Along with our tea, we were served a beautiful plate of fruit. We enjoyed our snack and promptly dozed off again under the comfort of the blankets, listening to the sound of the waves.

All too soon, the tap-tap-tap sounded on the glass and we rose to rejoin the rest of the world. Claudia and Sarah inquired as to our enjoyment and level of relaxation and we assured them that we felt fabulous. We were presented the bill and left to sign for it while they waited outside. We were then escorted back to the locker rooms and bid farewell.

At every point during our experience, we were treated with the utmost respect and discretion. I cannot say enough about the level of service and skill of the technicians. While the experience was definitely an indulgence (coming in at almost $600 including treatment and gratuity), the Couples Choice was worth every penny and then some. It felt like a once in a lifetime experience but I fervently hope that we do get to visit the Spa Villas again on our next cruise! And since Shawn enjoyed it as much as I did, it is a distinct possibility.

Other treatments can be booked for the Spa Villas, and champagne and strawberries are available for order as well. Contact the Vista Spa about customizing your Spa Villa experience. The Spa Villa for One treatment choices are: Alone Time -- a 50-minute spa treatment (choose from: La Therapie HydraLift Facial, an Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Facial, an Elemis Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, a Swedish Massage, an Elemis Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow with half-body massage, or the Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program), which costs $199 and has a total time of 105 minutes. Body Purifying -- A 100-minute body wrap (choose from: Elemis Cellutox Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap, an Elemis Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap, an Elemis Exotic Coconut & Milk Ritual, or an Elemis Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap) and full body massage. The total time is 155 minutes and this option costs $245. The last option is Sensory Awakening, which is the same as the Ultimate Indulgence described above. The Sensory Awakening lasts 155 minutes and costs $295.) 

Related Links: Vow Renewals Onboard

Return to | Ask a Question on the PassPorter Message Boards

Updated 10/23/08 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks

PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

PassPorter's Sidekick for the Walt Disney World Guidebook e-book

PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide

PassPorter's Disney 500: Fast Tips for Walt Disney World Trips e-book

PassPorter's Disney Speed Planner: The Easy Ten Step Program to a Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation e-book

PassPorter's Disney Weddings & Honeymoons

PassPorter's Festivals and Celebrations at Walt Disney World e-book

PassPorter's Treasure Hunts at Walt Disney World

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Clues: First-Class Tips for Disney Cruise Trips

PassPorter Disneyland Resort and Southern California Attractions guidebook

PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line guidebook