Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sampling Celebrity’s new spa provider

Sampling Celebrity’s new spa provider

By Tom Stieghorst
*InsightCelebrity Cruises had a nice reward for two of the 1,200 agents that attended CLIA’s Cruise3sixty event in Fort Lauderdale. They were picked for a free spa package aboard the Celebrity Reflection.

The two surprise winners were Rosie Perez, a Cruise Planners agent in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Marcia Finkelstein, a vacation specialist at CruiseOne in Long Branch, N.J. “They were ecstatic — beside themselves,” said Dondra Ritzenthaler, Celebrity sales V.P.

What made the prize a little more special was the changeover in spa providers at Celebrity. The two agents were among the first to be treated by Canyon Ranch SpaClub staffers, who replaced the previous team from Steiner Leisure at the end of March.

Other than signage and a new area for retailing beauty products, there wasn’t much physical change to the spa, which includes two decks of treatment rooms linked by a spiral staircase; a hair salon; a Persian Garden area of heated ceramic loungers; areas for acupuncture, weight lifting and aerobics; and a relaxation area with a panoramic view that is just down the hall from the spa-oriented Aqua Class cabins.

“It’s almost like their front room,” said spa director Daniel Foxcroft.

The difference between Steiner and Canyon Ranch will come in the products and the people, Foxcroft said.

Gloria Weller, a retired information technology worker from Orlando, was one of the passengers getting ready to cruise on the Reflection who headed for the spa even before sailing.

After a five-minute Thai massage sampler, Weller said the deep muscle massage was very relaxing for her but wouldn’t be for everyone. “If you just want a feel-good massage, you wouldn’t do this.”

Finkelstein said her 80-minute package, which included a sea salt bath and full-body massage, was a very nice treatment. She said the Canyon Ranch name would probably influence a lot of people to go on Celebrity.

Peter Smith, president of Canyon Ranch, certainly hopes so. He got his first glimpse of the Reflection spa at a dedication during Cruise3sixty and said he “loved” the space, which is perched on the forward areas of decks 11 and 12, with floor-to-ceiling views.

Celebrity was smart to reward a few of the more than 200 agents who signed up to tour the Reflection during the conference. There were 24 ships to tour at Cruise3sixty, and providing a little extra incentive will help gain more exposure for its vessels going forward.

“You never know what you’re going to see,” said Perez in explaining why she chose to tour the Reflection. “You can’t sell something unless you see it.”