Too often, we tend to think a wellness retreat is only needed after a traumatic experience or a bad day at work. Once we suffer any disappointment — a breakup, losing a job, or just feeling a general sense of feeling lost — then we’ll say to ourselves, “Okay, I need a mental health break.” The reality, though, is that wellness vacations aren’t just meant for times of distress. They’re actually a crucial part of balancing your mental and physical health. You don’t need to be in crisis to benefit from a therapist, and you don’t need to be emotionally distraught to deserve a relaxing vacation.
Wellness retreats come in a variety of forms. They’re not always lodges tucked away in the mountains, with glassy-eyed holistic gurus spouting inspirational phrases, a keto-only menu, and meditation workshops that expect you to hit at least three phases of enlightenment. The best wellness retreats aren’t about rigidity, they’re about giving you space to breathe and decompress. They’re about choices. The choice to take a 7:30 am workout class, or stay in bed till noon. The choice to splurge on a spa day, or get some good old fashioned sun therapy on the pool deck. And unlike a traditional resort, we think the best wellness retreats don’t stand still, but bring you to new places – physically as well as mentally.
Peace of mind included
Part of what makes peaceful vacations so refreshing isn’t the destination, or even the activities you do. It’s being able to completely de-stress, forget about the minute details that govern a traditional vacation, and feel like everything is taken care of. That’s why Virgin Voyages cruises are designed for maximum relaxation, which means all the stuff you usually worry about in your daily routine? Taken care of.
Everyone hates budgeting for food on vacation. When you’re traveling, you want to focus on delicious local delicacies, not worry about breaking the bank because you sprung for dessert. We give our Sailors culinary peace of mind by including all food and basic beverages in your voyage fare.
Put down the spatula, tear up the grocery list, and let us cook for you. We have over 20 eateries onboard, from a gourmet pizza parlor and ice cream shop to a Korean BBQ and elevated Mexican cantina. We’re talking Michelin-level dining and 5-star culinary experiences – all included. Want to try the salmon and the veal parmesan at Extra Virgin? Go ahead. Can’t decide between the roasted duck, ribeye steak, and smoked pork at Pink Agave? Get all three. And get all the desserts too, while you’re at it. Though we don’t exactly recommend eating 12,000 calories (unless you’re training for the Olympics? But look, we’re not doctors), there’s something freeing, and yes, even calming, about looking at a menu that without a single dollar sign. Apart from our eateries, there’s also the Dock House, a chill outdoor lounge serving small bites, where you could easily spend an entire sea day in peaceful repose under the sun.
If burning calories is more cathartic to you than packing them on (hey, to each his own), a range of fitness classes are also included with your fare. Choose between Growth and Guided Meditation, HIIT Class, the 80s-inspired VHS Workout, a Spin-Out spin class, On-the-Upswing Bungee Class, and others. There are also punching bags on the pool deck, and a fully-stocked gym with weights and treadmills.
Turn sea days into spa days
If there’s one thing all the best wellness retreats have (or should have) in common, it’s a spa. Engineered for maximum pampering and relaxation, spas are the antidote many of us don’t know we need until we’re there, under the hands of a masseuse or feeling the exfoliating effects of a mud treatment. That’s why the Redemption Spa is the true heartbeat of a Virgin Voyages cruise.
The spa isn’t included in your voyage fare, but Sailors seem to agree it’s totally worth the splurge. “We booked a massage at the spa on our day at sea, and it was fantastic,” said Alison Presutti, who sailed on the Scarlet Lady. “We had a Swedish massage and a quartz bed massage. We [also] loved yoga and meditation on the Perch.”
You can also book a hot stone massage, bamboo massage, acupuncture, a variety of facials, or simply reserve the spa lounge itself for a day. The spa includes an indoor swimming pool, hot tubs, sauna, steam room, salt room, and mud room. Those truly committed to their relaxing vacations can do the full circuit, hitting each room to get the full rejuvenation experience. Or, you know, you could just let six hours drift by in the hot tub while you watch the waves through the window.
If you feel like adding a little beautification to your tranquility at sea, check out the Dry Dock salon, where you can experiment with that hairstyle you’ve always wanted to try, and get a much-needed mani-pedi. To up the beauty ante even further, our Chief Entertainment + Lifestyle Officer, Jennifer Lopez (maybe you’ve heard of her), just released JLo Beauty, a new skincare line designed to keep your skin looking as ageless as hers. Exclusively available at the High Street shops on Scarlet Lady, it’s the perfect way to extend your vacation glow.