Spa Services for Men: Cruise spas try to keep up with demand from men

Spa services on board the world's cruise ships aren't just for women anymore. International Spa Association (ISPA) research shows that 36 percent of spa travelers are male. While most cruise lines offer unisex spa services that men enjoy, Crystal Cruises (www.crystalcruises.com), Cunard Line (www.cunard.com), Holland America Line (www.hollandamerica.com), Princess Cruises (www.princess.com) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises (www.regentexperience.com) have created male-specific spa services.  A Crystal Cruises Spa and Salon massage

"Men really do enjoy the spa services, and with so many baby boomers now cruising, the trend is growing," says Ruth Turpin of Fort Worth, TX-based Cruises Etc. Similarly, Paul Goodwin, Holland America Line's vice president of onboard revenue, says male interest in spa services "really used to be zero, and we didn't offer men's services in any realistic manner." Now Holland America does, and Goodwin says that client demand is off the charts.

Men who patronize spas at home want to maintain their regimen or want to try a new treatment on vacation, notes Juanita Wolfaardt, manager of the feng shui-style spa operated by Steiner Leisure on Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony. For example, Crystal partnered with Elemis to develop a new Time for Men male-centric spa services program. A Frangipani Hair Conditioning is $62, a Skin IQ Facial is $152, while a 75-minute Aroma Stone Therapy massage is $213.

Crystal's intake of male spa guests has soared by 20 percent since the luxury line added Time for Men. Notable are the new shaves, which are more like mini-massages. A full-body, 55-minute Pro-Collagen Grooming Treatment with Shave costs $89; it combines an anti-aging mini-facial with a face, scalp, hand and arm massage.

On board Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub offers a 50-minute Men's Fitness Facial at $129. It includes cleansing, toning, steaming, exfoliation, extractions, relaxing facial massage, mask and paraffin hand application.

Introduced earlier this year, Holland America's new Time Out for Men program is available at the Greenhouse Spa and Salon on the Maasdam and Noordam. The male-specific spa menu is being expanded to spas on other ships as they return from drydock maintenance.

Three different shave treatments are offered by Holland America, and Goodwin says "having a shave [with massage elements] is not as common as in the past, so it's a new experience for a lot of men." Topping Holland America's list of most popular shaves is the Shave of All Shaves at $85, including a professional shave, skin treatment and scalp, facial, hand and arm massages.

On nine Princess Cruises (www.princess.com) ships, male spa guests might opt for a Pro-Collagen Grooming Treatment with Shave for $85. Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Carita Spa has multiple For Him Only services that include a Deep Cleaning Fitness Facial at $110 and 25-to-80 minute sports massages priced from $60 to $160.

How do lines get men in the door? When women book treatments, many spa employees simply ask them to talk to their spouse or significant other about also coming in.

Turpin books many male-specific services on Crystal, mainly because that line has a policy that if customers pay in full for their cruise fare six months out or book Penthouse or Deluxe Stateroom accommodations, they can pre-book the spa services.

"I've had men [not that comfortable yet with the notion of a spa as a male activity venue] say to me that they don't want to stand in line with a lot of women to book, so they really like the pre-booking aspect," notes Turpin.

More cruise lines also have added or are planning to add barber shops, often a first step toward offering male-specific spa services. Frankly, "the dilemma used to be making men aware that our spa wasn't just for women," says Wolfaardt. "Now the biggest challenge is having sufficient staff and treatment rooms to keep up with the growing demand."

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