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Dying To Go On A Vacay That Won’t Wreck Your Bod? Meet Celebrity Cruises

Written on May 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm , by

Full disclosure: I fall off the clean-eating wagon when I travel. Between the lack of healthy options at the airport, food chains and room service (eek) plus my mental shift to the “I’m on vacation!” mind-set, I go from feeling great pre-trip to indulging and bloating up after just one day. And when it comes to keeping up with my daily sweat sessions, I always feel torn when I’m at the gym in the middle of paradise. I feel like I should be exploring, sightseeing or relaxing. The pressure of trying to maintain my good habits when I’m out of my typical environment ends up stressing me out, which is the exact opposite of what a vacation should do. Recently, I stumbled upon a stress-free solution: a vacay that supports a healthy and active lifestyle without missing the fun that goes along with getting away on a Celebrity Cruise.

I recently took one of the company’s Reflection cruises to the Caribbean (tough job, I know). I had never been on a cruise ship before so I had no idea what to expect, but I was impressed. A Celebrity Cruise is a fit girl’s dream. There are several different packages available but their AquaClass caters to a healthy lifestyle. Here, the highlights:

Accommodations:
I assumed the rooms would be tiny with bunk beds. I blame it on watching Titanic too many times. But the spacious room—301 square feet—was almost the size of my entire New York City apartment and it included a 79-square foot veranda, perfect for getting fresh air and admiring the breathtaking views. It was exactly like a room in a luxury hotel. In fact, there were times I forgot I was on a ship! The AquaClass staterooms offer spa elements to help you relax, feel comfortable and stay focused on your goals.

Food:
In AquaClass, you get exclusive access to and priority seating at the specialty restaurant, Blu, which features “clean cuisine” (inspired by light dishes of the Mediterranean which change nightly) and complimentary breakfast each day. You also get a daily delivery of ice, bottled water, tea and fruit. Plus, like other guests, you have access to the main buffet. Now—buffets can sometimes be a nightmare, but this one had many healthy (not to mention yummy!) options.

Workouts/Activities:
No matter which class you are in, every guest gets access to the fitness center on board. This is essential for days when you are at sea. I went everyday and loved it! Instead of being stuck in a basement gym, the 12th story gym featured cardio machines facing floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked expansive and gorgeous views of the endless ocean and each port. This makes a “dreadmill” workout a whole lot less dreadful. Once docked, you also have the option (for a small additional cost) of touring certain destinations through different shore excursions. These vary from mild to strenuous effort and include fun activities like walking tours, snorkeling and swimming, bike adventures and zip lining. These activities offer ways to get in some fitness and enjoy your destination at the same time.

Spa:
As an AquaClass benefit, you receive a personal spa concierge to arrange spa treatments. Celebrity Cruises feature Canyon Ranch Spa Club, one of the world’s leading health and wellness brands, on 10 of their ships. Because I worked out everyday, I booked a massage (bonus: they were offering a discounted price during my stay!) to help ease muscle soreness. When I tell you this massage changed my life, I am not exaggerating. It was amazing! In addition, you get unlimited, complimentary access to the Persian Gardens, which is a relaxation room on board so you can chill out whenever you’d like. If your goal is to get healthier on the trip, you can also opt for various fitness-related services including a basic fitness assessment, an exercise prescription or an exercise program for weight loss for a small additional cost.

Bottom line: This was the first trip I’ve ever went on where I came back feeling lighter, fitter and healthier than before I left. So if you’re someone looking for a way to stay focused on your fitness while enjoying an amazing vacay, this getaway is for you. For more info., head to the Celebrity Cruises website here. For other fit vacation ideas and to get inspired to have your healthiest summer yet, pick up a copy of our July/August issue on stands this June!

Scrub Up to Wind Down

Written on March 4, 2013 at 9:43 am , by

The shower is my escape after a long, busy week. There’s nothing better than coming home on a Friday night, running a hot shower, and washing away the day with a handful of my favorite scrub. The steam and the fragrance create my own little spa-like experience. Here are a few of my new faves:

Exotic Scent

Soap & Glory Scrub ‘Em and Leave ‘Em Body Exfoliator ($20, soapandglory.com)

This scrub hits all the right notes: magnolia, sandalwood and mandarin. It has an oriental fragrance, and it caught the attention of my friends and even scored me a few compliments.

Worth The Money
Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub for Smooth Skin ($36, clarinsusa.com)

So this one’s a bit of a splurge but this scrub’s results make it worth it. The bamboo powders slough away dry, rough skin while the hydrating shea butter moisturizes my arms and legs so they look glowy and polished. Plus a little goes a long way so it lasts a long time.

Sweet Steal
Bath & Body Works Golden Sugar Scrub in Forever Red ($17, bathandbodyworks.com)

One whiff of this mouth-watering fragrance and you’ll do a double-take at the price tag. The spicy vanilla rum scent feels sultry (like some pricier options) and the sugar crystals mixed with sweet apricot and almond oils make it a real treat for your skin.

 

—Jessica Carter, beauty intern

A Tribute to the Bubble Bath

Written on January 8, 2013 at 11:15 am , by

Today is, well, National Bubble Bath Day. And though you don’t have to celebrate, we encourage you to use it as an excuse to pamper yourself. If your New Year’s resolution was gym-oriented or if it was simply to indulge in a bit of relaxation, a bubble bath is a foolproof way of relieving both muscle aches and stress. For most of us, the issue with this luxurious act: a bath takes much longer than a 10-minute shower. If you don’t have time during the week (we understand), set aside one hour this weekend for some “you” time and run yourself a bubble bath—maybe even slather on a face mask while you’re at it. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.

Here, a few of our favorite bubbles depending on your mood:

An instant tension soother:
L’Occitane Lavander Foaming Bath ($34, Loccitane.com)

A fake spa escape:
Fresh Rice Sake Bath ($80, Sephora.com)

An uplifting energy boost:
Neutrogena Rainbath Revitalizing Grapefruit Shower and Bath Gel ($9, drugstores)

 

—Jillian Ruffo, beauty intern

Treat Yourself: Your Guide to Some of Spa Week’s Hottest Deals!

Written on October 15, 2012 at 11:00 am , by

Pamper yourself during Spa Week.

It’s one of my favorite times of the year—no, not Halloween—it’s Spa Week! And you don’t have to live in New York City to experience it. Spas across the country are offering full-service treatments for discounted rates (think $50!) from October 15th through the 21st. Indulge in a massage, facial and even a yoga class. Here are some of the highlights:


Where:
Fresh, New York City
1367 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10021
212.585.3400
http://www.fresh.com
What: 60 Minute Correct & Protect Facial Experience

Where: Exhale, Miami
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131
305.423.3900
http://www.exhalespa.com 
What: 
5 Pack of Mind Body Classes: Transform your body with your choice of 5 of Exhale’s Award-Winning Core Fusion and Yoga Classes.

Where: Jurlique, Santa Monica
1230 Montana Avenue, Suite 105,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310.899.1923
http://www.jurlique.com
What:
50 Minute Signature Revitalizing Facial

Where: Stript Wax Bar, Los Angeles
8218 West 3rd Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.951.9517
http://www.striptwaxbar.com
What: 
60 Minute Plant Stem Cell Glycolic Facial

Where: Eshe Day Spa and Salon, Chicago
633 South Plymouth Court, Unit 1,
Chicago, IL 60605
312.675.0200
http://www.eshedayspa.com
What: 55 Minute Aveda Signature Organic Facial

Where: The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel, Houston
1300 Lamar Street,
Houston, TX 77010
713.652.6219
http://www.fourseasons.com
What: 60 Minute Specialty Pedicure with Foot Massage

Where:Nurture Spa & Salon at Luxor, Las Vegas
3900 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89119
702.730.5720
http://www.luxor.com
What: 50 Minute Nurture Swedish Massage

Where: Red Door Spa, Seattle
700 110th Avenue Northeast, Suite 290
Bellevue, WA 98004
425.455.3700
http://www.reddoorspas.com
What: 50 Minute Spa Week Stress Melter Body Treatment, includes Exfoliation, Aroma Therapeutic Body Wrap and Scalp Massage

—By Daniella Araujo, beauty intern

Wellness Retreat at the Pacific Waters Spa at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort

Written on May 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm , by

Last weekend, I jetted across the country to California (tough job, I know!) to check out the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and its Pacific Waters Spa, taking part in the resort’s Wellness Retreat. The daylong hybrid healthy-lifestyle and pampering program includes:

  • A 60-minute wellness consultation, where they tailor the day to your needs and give you a private fitness assessment
  • A 30-minute fitness activity
  • Spa cuisine lunch (The fruit and vegetable-heavy, locally-sourced menu offerings are both good-for-you and delicious— we swear.)
  • Two (!) 60-minute spa services (We recommend the super-indulgent Pacific Waters Rhythmic Massage and leaving time to soak in the jacuzzi, lounge in the cozy relaxation room, and sweat it out in the spacious sauna.)

The spa offers treatments using products from locally-sourced, handmade and USDA organic-certified Kimberly Parry Organics. Our favorites were the Body Oil in Ocean blended exclusively for the spa (a unique mix of lime, lavender, basil and fir essential oils) used during the massage, and the intoxicating lemongrass and ylang ylang-scented Soft Hand and Foot Balm infused with a healing combination of shea butter, olive, coconut and jojoba oils that we took home and can’t stop applying.

Tell us: Have you gone on a spa wellness retreat or are you planning one? If so, where to and what did you think of it?

Favorite Find Friday: Jurlique Jasmine Shower Gel

Written on February 25, 2011 at 10:51 am , by

We’re suckers for a big bottle of drugstore body wash, but every once in a while we treat ourselves to a post-workout rinse with Jurlique Jasmine Shower Gel. The honey-like formula and warm, rich floral scent make a humdrum shower feel like a luxurious spa experience. Plus, the softening suds contain a laundry list of skin-coddling natural extracts, like chamomile, grapefruit and rosemary. What’s your favorite beauty indulgence?

Jasmine_GEL_flat

Behind-the-Scenes: March Spa Shoot

Written on February 16, 2011 at 7:10 am , by

Take a peak at this behind-the-scenes footage of our March “Bliss Out” feature photo shoot that took place at a gorgeous, antique-filled brownstone in New York City. And be sure to read the story on page 50 of our March issue, out this week!