Aboard the Dream: Senses Spa

Senses Disney Dream (At Disney Again)I’ve never been the kind of person who goes to spas. A couple of times a year, I do the daughter-thing and go get a pedicure with my mom and sisters, but … meh. It was never really my thing until Dan and I headed to Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs, and then Disney spas became my thing. So when we were at sea on the Dream, we knew we wanted to visit the on-board spa …

Wow.

Some quick basics: Senses on Disney Cruise Line is just like Senses on land, meaning there are a wide variety of spa services available, including manicures, facials and massages. The ship’s gym facility is also located in Senses. One very key thing that’s different aboard the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy: Senses has a Rainforest Room.

What’s a Rainforest Room, you ask? Well, it’s a delightful suite of private rooms featuring scented showers, steam rooms, heated loungers and private Jacuzzis with incredible views and even more incredible opportunities for relaxation.

Senses Disney Dream (At Disney Again)

Right there at that front desk, we signed up for a single day pass: $16 per person for unlimited use of the Rainforest Room. You can also purchase a cruise-length pass, which allows unlimited use for every day of the trip–on our voyage it was $198 for a couple or $115 for a single person.

We’d decided to get a single-day pass rather than a full-voyage pass because we weren’t 100% sure if we’d like the services. Plus, our room was aft (the back of the ship) and Senses was fore (the front of the ship), and we weren’t sure how those logistics would work out. So, we did the single-day pass.

When we signed up, we were also offered the opportunity to purchase a salt scrub for an additional $11. They had four scents–Vanilla Orange, Chocolate Peppermint, Lavender Herbal and Tangerine–and each came with an exfoliating sponge. I wasn’t sure … but Dan encouraged me to try it, and we each picked one–he went for lavender, and I chose the vanilla orange. Mmmm … relaxation …

But, before we could enter the Rainforest Room, we first visited the locker rooms. They’re single gender, and the photos you see above are from the men’s, since Dan had the camera with him. But the women’s was very similar: Lockers, toilets, long vanity tables and luxurious shower stalls. And everywhere you looked, there was plentiful shampoo, soap, razors and other bath products as well as soft, plush towels. And hair dryers. And complimentary flip flops.

The locker rooms were very spacious, so even when there were other people in there, I never felt crowded or uncomfortable. In the locker room, we each changed into our bathing suits (the Rainforest Room is co-ed, and everyone must wear swimsuits), locked up our belongings and headed to the Rainforest Room.

Senses Disney Dream (At Disney Again)

Inside the Rainforest Room, which we key’ed into with an RFID bracelet (more like a thick Silly Band than a Magic Band, although it did have a Mickey head in the center), we were greeted by a waterfall, bar with spa waters and lots and lots of towels. From there, we had a choice: We could head down a short hall to the showers and saunas or head out to the balcony for the hot tubs and lounge chairs.

We decided to start with the showers. There are four of them, each with different temperatures, water flows, scents and sounds.

The Cool Mist Experience, which has two settings, was first. Both were very, very cold. It was refreshing to the point of being life affirming.

In Rainforest, there were three options. Waterfall was a cool, thick ribbon of water, flowing from a spout. Warm Rain was like a delicious hug. The third option was Kneipp–a combination of both Waterfall and Warm Rain. It was definitely up there with my favorites.

In the Water Fun stall, the three options included a Cold Mist (brrrrrr …), Tropical Rain and Southern Storm. I loved the lightning and sound effects on the storms–very soothing.

Finally, in Tropical Thunder, the options are Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Storm and Mediterranean Rain. They were a great mix of warm and cool water with different aromatherapy and pressure settings. Very soothing.

[[You can check out lots more photos of the various areas of both the Rainforest Room and Senses Spa treatment rooms on At Disney Again]]

After hopping in and out of the different showers, Dan and I hit the Caldarium, the ship’s steam room. We didn’t get any interior photos of the steam room because it was way too steamy in there. And hot! Very hot. It’s designed to open up your pores, which is why it’s so hot, but we couldn’t stay in there for more than 5 or 7 minutes.

In the second room, the steam bath, we luxuriated on stone benches and applied our salt scrubs. There were three or four beautiful sinks in the Hamam, as well, for rinsing your hands after application. This room was hot, but it didn’t feel nearly as stifling as the Caldarium. I could have relaxed there forever, but they don’t recommend spending more than 15 minutes in the Hamam (and we probably spent more like 20). After awhile, we reluctantly hit the showers again to rinse off the excess salt scrub.

The final room was the dry sauna. The heated benches looked out over the ocean, and it was deliciously warm and relaxing. But it was also very dry. We didn’t spend more than 10 minutes here before heading back to the shower for another rinse. Then it was time to explore what was out on the Rainforest Room’s balcony …

The infamous heated loungers, which are pretty much my favorite thing in life. I’d had the opportunity to try a similar lounger at Sararoga Springs’ Senses Spa, and I was so excited to see them again in the Rainforest Room. It’s basically a giant heating pad that cradles you as all of your stress melts away. Dan took a nap while I did a bit of reading. Heaven.

The balcony atrium also contained two hot tubs that look out over the water. Each can hold two or three people. And you’d think … well, room for only four or six people … that they’d be crowded or that there’d be a line. But there never was the entire time we were there. I can tell you one thing: Even if there had been a line, it still would have been 100% more relaxing than the loud, overcrowded hot tubs in the public areas of the ship. And it had way better views.

All told, we spend about two hours and 40 minutes in the Rainforest Room. After a final relaxing few minutes on the heated loungers, I hit the (large, luxurious) shower in the women’s locker room and Dan took some time to walk around the Spa and capture photos of the other areas.

The photos above are from the Senses Relaxation Room, where you go to wait for treatments or relax between treatments. Dan has more photos of Senses Spa, including photos of absolutely incredible treatment rooms with ocean private decks and ocean views, on At Disney Again today. I am 100% sure you’re going to want to check that out.

Have you experienced the Rainforest Room? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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