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August 20, 2017

Magnify the Sea’s Curative Properties with Anti-Aging Treatments!

All About Cunard Lines’ Ocean Liners & Transatlantic Experiences

Exclusive Savings on Shore Excursions
Featured: The Markets & Ruins of Ancient Athens Tour 
(Agora, Acropolis, Parthenon) 






Magnify the Sea’s Curative Properties with Anti-Aging Treatments

An Ocean of Healing & Restorative Powers on A Cruise Vacation

Throughout history, physicians have recommended a trip to the seaside to cure what ails us. The effect is undeniable- but have you ever wondered why you feel so much healthier and more relaxed in the sea air?

Simply put, breathing is easier- and better for you-  because sea air is charged with beneficial negative ions. These ions improve our ability to absorb oxygen, and help to balance levels of serotonin.

In addition, Hydrotherapy (water therapy) and swimming decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Cold-water swimming helps to release hormones - endorphins, adrenalin and cortisol. It can also benefit those with musculoskeletal conditions such as fibromyalgia, and leads to enhanced function of the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help to improve organ function. 

All of these benefits can be reaped on a cruise vacation.  And to make a very good thing even better, the cruise lines have developed a series of treatments and therapies that magnify the sea’s curative properties.

Here are offerings from 10 cruise lines that reflect the curative powers of the sea:

1.  Azamara Club Cruises

  • La Therapie Hydralife Facial: A special treatment that will improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in one treatment.
  • Acu-lift: acupuncture treatment to improve muscle tone, increase circulation and cellular metabolism, and stimulate natural production of collagen and elastin.
  • Cellulite reduction body sculpting spa treatments

2.  Celebrity Cruises

  • Canyon Ranch Aesthetic treatments include Botox, Juvederm XC
  • Medical Grade Peels: smooth and firm skin appearance. Can choose from peels to refine sun damaged skins or to treat acne or skin pigmentation.
  • Vitamin Therapy: Facial treatments that focus on fine lines and skin tone
  • Seaweed Leaf Wrap: Firms and softens skin

3.  Crystal Cruises

  • Dermal Filler Treatments
  • Thermage CTP skin tightening therapy-Uses radiofrequency to improve appearance of loose skin on face neck and abdomen

4.  Cunard Line

  • Advanced Age-Management Facial-one of the most advanced approaches to signs of premature aging

5.  Holland America Line

  • Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program
  • Ionithermie Cheek Lift Treatment
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial

6.  MSC Cruises

  • Anti-aging treatments offer minimally invasive and fast results:
  • State of the Art Q-Frequency radio frequency treatment and electroporation

7.  Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Med spa treatments
  • Botox, Restylane and Perlane offerings

8.  Oceania Cruises

  • Advanced Age-Management Facial-one of the most advanced approaches to signs of premature aging,

9.  Princess Cruises

  • Medi Spa Physician onboard provides services such as nonsurgical brow lifts, lip enhancement, volumizing skin treatments.

10.  Seabourn

  • Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program
  • Ionithermie Cheek Lift
  • Seabourn 24 Karat Gold Facial

All About Cunard Line: 

Cunard Line's vessels are more than a ship- they are a luxury ocean liner. Cunard has perfected the art of traveling well over many years; the ships are suffused with elegance and a sense of assured ease in every detail. Cunard's spacious, uncrowded ships set the benchmark in luxury ocean travel, providing a classic and refined experience for those with discerning tastes.

Cunard Line Cruise Specials
Cunard Line Shore Excursions
Cunard Line Reviews
Cunard Line Deck Plans

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Mary 2
Queen Victoria

Only the ships of Cunard Line evoke the nostalgia of the Golden Age of ocean travel. With a tradition of luxury and service that began in 1840, the line maintains that heritage – though a Cunard Line Caribbean cruise today is significantly different in tone and atmosphere from the ocean crossings of yesteryear.

All ships have a romantic aura of glamour that is different from the showy glitz of other big ships. Though the Transatlantic crossings come closest to replicating the historic voyages, the three Queens now travel the world and have a loyal following of repeat guests.

The very formal all-British crews have been replaced by a mix of British and international crew members, though service remains at a high standard, especially for passengers in the higher cabin grades. This reflects the old class system of the old ships whereby those traveling in the better accommodations could expect the best food, the best amenities and the best service. Today passengers in the less expensive cabins can enjoy the atmosphere of iconic ships, but expect service and food on a par with other (non-luxury) cruise lines.

Cunard Line is best for:

Travelers seeking a traditional ocean liner experience;
Those who prefer educational pursuits onboard rather than Vegas-style entertainment;
Those who purchase higher-ticket cabins and are seeking a luxury cruise experience on iconic ships;
Those who wish to experience British-style travel;
Families who wish alternatives to transatlantic air travel (and who wish to travel with pets);
Those who desire a stylish world cruise.

The atmosphere and experience on-board Cunard Line:

The three Queens represent a marriage of modern technology and Old World charm and elegance. As it was in the "old days," passengers are segregated according the level of their accommodations. Passengers booked into Grills suites can expect accommodations that range from luxurious to spectacular – for example, the Grand Duplex, 2,248-square feet of glamour and style.

Passengers booked in suites or above dine in the Princess or Queens Grill, where requests for particular dishes can be fulfilled. Others dine in the elegant two-tier Britannia Restaurant, which features a dramatic grand staircase and some sumptuous menus. The Britannia has two seating’s, but passengers who book a Britannia Club stateroom enjoy single-seating dining in the cozier Britannia Club restaurant.

All three ships have other dining venues; the QM2 and Queen Victoria have Todd English restaurants.

Onboard enrichment on the Queens is equal (or better) than anything at sea. Passengers may be treated to performances by actors from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts; contemporary jazz by faculty and students of the famed Julliard School; planetarium shows created by the Royal Astronomical Society. There's more, of course, including the riches of the biggest libraries at sea. The spas on the Queens (especially the one on QM2) are simply beautiful.

During the day, shorts and beach wear are acceptable; however, after 6 p.m., these as well as sandals, denim, sleeveless T-shirts (for men) are not appropriate. Casual wear is acceptable in the main restaurants for breakfast and lunch. Dress code for the evenings is announced in the daily programs and generally falls into two categories: informal (jackets for men, cocktail dresses or stylish separates for women) or formal (tuxedos or dark suits or military uniforms for men, evening or cocktail dresses or dressy pants suits for women).

The clientele of Cunard Line:

Cunard Line attracts an international clientele (onboard announcements are made in English, German, French, and Spanish.) who prefer a traditional ocean liner experience. Passengers tend to be older, but Transatlantic crossings, especially during school holidays, attract younger passengers and families.

Regarding children onboard Cunard Line: Children at least 6 months of age are welcome on most Cunard Line voyages; on Transatlantic Crossings, Transpacific voyages (including voyages to Hawaii) and World Voyages (including Segment Voyages), the minimum age is one year. A full children's program, from nursery to teens, is offered. Certified British nannies will change diapers, bottle feed and engage young children.

Queen Mary 2 Travel Diary- Moments of Sophistication and History

By Heidi Allison Shane

Cunard never disappoints; their ships are unfailingly beautiful, luxurious and complete with amenities, yet they capture a glamour of days gone by.  I have been lucky enough to sail on this line several times, and am posting a travel diary I wrote during one of my voyages- a six-day sailing on the QM2.  I hope you enjoy my notes of a ship with the flair of a bygone era. -   Heidi


Wednesday – A Stroll in Olde Londontowne

We departed for London on British Airways (try the bed-seats in Business Class – definitely the way to go!) and arrived about six hours later. Check-in at the Four Seasons Hotel was surprisingly quick (instead of going to the front desk to register, the front desk came to us – a representative showed us to our room and checked us in there on the spot.) The hotel exhibited an Old World European charm, featuring ornate all-wood hallways, large guest rooms with soaking bathtubs and bidets, and windows that opened to a beautiful park below. We could see Buckingham Palace (and Her Majesty the Queen was home, no less.)

After a brief nap on a very cozy bed, we decided to explore the city. London is one of the most wondrous melting pots of nationalities and cultures found anywhere in the world. At Buckingham Palace, we saw the Queen swept away in her limousine with an army of guards. Her Majesty waved to us as they passed by. A quaint custom: when the Queen is residing in Buckingham Palace, they fly a flag different than the usual “Union Jack.” When Her Majesty isn’t staying at Buckingham Palace, she’s usually at one of her two other residences, in the English countryside and in Scotland.

We also wanted to see Princess Diana’s former home, Kensington Palace. It’s largely hidden in a residential area, with gates locked, along what’s known as “billionaire’s row.” We were able to see the driveway with a Rolls Royce sitting there in wait. The Palace was similar to a large mansion in the U.S. and nothing too elaborate from what we could see from the residential street. Later, we visited the National Museum of History in London. It left quite an impression and the price was right, as there’s no charge to visit any museum in London. “Jolly good show” as they’d say in Londontowne!

We did some shopping and were intrigued by a quaint little shop called “Taylor’s on Old Bond Street.” They offered my husband an old-fashioned shave using a straight razor (complete with hot towels and face massage) for USD $30. Then off to other stores, and plenty of other good “buys” that caught my fancy, including exquisite little perfume bottles and cashmere gloves. (My husband considered a kilt with a tuxedo top, although he already has two kilts.) Splendid little restaurants were everywhere, and we had “high tea” and scones that afternoon in one of them. The quaint formality of the experience was a joy – we almost expected “Prince Charlie,” as the cabbies call him, to stroll into our restaurant at any moment.

On our way to these shops, we passed the 5-star “Mandarin Hotel” packed with reporters and paparazzi clearly awaiting the arrival of someone very famous. Was it Her Majesty?  

Our cruise ship departed from Southampton, about 90 minutes south of London. We were told to allow two and a half hours for the drive, but light traffic and our rented BMW made short work of the trip. This allowed us extra time to digress through the suburban countryside of Southampton before heading to the port. The country homes had the same charm reminiscent of those in London, but more spacious size and lots.

Thursday – Entering a Bygone Era

Entering the port, our gaze was irresistibly drawn to the Queen Mary 2. It is simply awe-inspiring, even for the veteran cruiser. The QM2 is the largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive cruise ship afloat today – a blessing given that the high Atlantic seas can be a little choppy this time of year! At 14 stories tall, the ship sports a black hull, a bright red-and-black smokestack, with everything else painted white. We made our way on board and found our cheerful, immaculate cabin with our luggage already delivered. It was technically a B3 class cabin (a lovely room) that included a very private hull balcony. Halfway through the cruise we upgraded to a Q4 cabin, how could we sell this cabin without experience? This spectacular suite had amenities such as a deep, oversized whirlpool bath, a private butler and a private dining room. So this is what it feels like to be part of the Royal Family¦.

Our first dinner on board was at the Todd English restaurant, named after a famous chef known for Mediterranean cuisine. A small surcharge as part of this private-dining experience was more than offset by the exceptional cuisine and presentation of our meals. (We heartily recommend the beef tenderloin, and our sommelier showed good instincts with an excellent Chateau Segur Bedoc, 1999 vintage.) The piece de  resistance of our meal was a warm chocolate torte, the inside of which flowed out the moment our forks touched the desert – chocolate paradise! A champagne party was also taking place outside the restaurant and we sauntered out for a few moments between courses to view the lovely skyline we were leaving behind in Southampton.

Friday – Dining in a Bygone Era

Saturday – Total Relaxation (or, Chilling Out in the Spa, Not the North Atlantic)

Cruises are known for their world-class dining opportunities and the QM2 lifts this reputation to a truly new level with stellar cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus tea time on the British ship. My husband enjoyed caviar with nearly every meal – he seemed to think he could get used to it on an ongoing basis. We discovered there are three main common dining areas on the ship. Where you dine depends on your status, i.e., price of your cabin. Because of our cabin change, we received a special invitation to the Queen’s Grille, typically designated for those staying in suites and the premium-class apartments. Guests in junior suites typically dine in the Princess Grille, while balcony-class and stateroom guests eat in the Britannia Room, featuring a breathtaking three-story grand staircase. This area seemed especially “alive” with people who really seemed to be enjoying themselves and their companions. We dined in all three of the common dining areas and can report that the food is comparable in each. To be sure, there were subtle differences in the amenities offered by each, but diners will be more than pleased with their experiences wherever they dine on board. The ornate settings, lamps and strategically placed art featured in the dining areas and throughout the ship contributed to the aura of being a part of a bygone era.

The spa options on the QM2 seem nearly endless and can meet the needs of the most discerning cruise travelers. Today’s goal: to be pampered, and the acclaimed Canyon Ranch SpaClub did not disappoint us. This 20,000 square-foot facility features a range of spa options from traditional massages and facials to more exotic acupuncture and seaweed-wrap treatments. Guests can also enjoy special treatments for stress relief, anti-aging, and disease prevention.

I opted for a massage and fell into a blissful sleep halfway through the experience. After that, it was time for the thalassotherapy pool – in essence, a giant whirlpool bath complete with “deluge” waterfall (just like it sounds) and hot tub. We visited the thermal suite with herbal and Finnish saunas and decompressed further in the aromatic steam room. Ah, the relaxation: was I dozing, or was that really Prime Minister Tony Blair sitting next to me?

Sunday – World-Class Shopping at Sea

Never ones to miss an opportunity to shop, we spent time today perusing the QM2 shopping district. The mix of boutiques was guaranteed to accommodate every elegant taste, whether you’re in the market for jewelry, fine clothing and the like from luxury retailers such as Hermes. We were thrilled to get a “deal” on a pair of pink diamond earrings and a silver-and-gold bracelet. All items are duty-free (no taxes) and Cunard will pay any shipping/taxes anywhere in the world for purchases you’d prefer not to carry.

We decided to take a break from luxurious living today and experience the QM2 enrichment and lecture programs. No matter what your passion, there surely is something for everyone to expand educational horizons during this cruise. We started with a “Chefs at Sea” demonstration filled with culinary tips – do you know how to make Crepes Suzette? I didn’t. Later, we enjoyed a lecture part of the Cunard ConneXions program. ConneXions provides guests with the chance to meet a variety of eminent personalities from around the world invited on board to share their literary and academic experiences. Other enrichment opportunities include Oxford Discovery, Cunard’s unique “academy at sea” seminar series hosted by professors from the prestigious University of Oxford. Special readings and architectural design and horticultural workshops are hosted by editors of The New Yorker, Architectural Digest and House & Garden magazines, among others.

Monday – Back to School on the QM2

(Note: I wanted to take the acting class hosted by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but alas, there really was not time for everything I wanted to do on this fabulous transatlantic cruise.)

Tuesday – “Illuminating” Entertainment (or, From the Ocean to the Stars)

Our out-of-this-world experience on board the QM2 was taken to another level this afternoon with a visit to Illuminations, the ship’s full-scale planetarium. Here we enjoyed a virtual tour of the stars and other visual spectacles in outer space during a crash course in celestial navigation narrated by actor Harrison Ford. I learned how the QM2 crew’s predecessors used the stars of the night sky to navigate the seas long ago. (A nice back-up, perhaps, to the QM2’s navigational system except that they have not one but TWO sophisticated backup systems already in place, if required.) The planetarium also doubles as the ship’s grand cinema, 500-seat lecture hall and broadcasting studio. One way or another, you’ll likely spend some time in it during your cruise.

Wednesday morning – An Art Lover’s Masterpiece

From the moment we stepped on board the QM2, one of the first things we noticed were the many pieces of art on display in the public areas of the ship, as well as its art gallery. No matter what your artistic tastes, there seemed to be something for everyone. Our personal butler told us that more than 300 international artists were commissioned to produce original works for the ship, valued in excess of USD $5 million. My husband also snuck away for a while today to check out the Maritime Quest Exhibit on board that takes one back to the golden era of ocean cruising. “Not to be missed,” he assured me.

Wednesday afternoon – You, Too, Can Steer This Ship

We took a tour of the ship’s bridge, where all steering and navigational decisions are made. The information we learned was fascinating. Did you know, for example?

The ship’s radar can pick up objects from 12 nautical miles away. Even so, individual crew members are still used as “lookouts” since some objects – such as wooden ships – might not appear on radar.

The QM2 has the capability of being 100 percent on autopilot. This means that – at least in theory – a “captain” isn’t needed for steering and navigation unless problems arise. (I emphasize “in theory” – the captain is ever-present and very much in command of his vessel.)

In the event that danger is spotted on the route ahead (icebergs, etc.) the ship can stop or change/reverse course in less than one mile. For a ship this size, that’s the equivalent of “turning on a dime.”

Speaking of icebergs, we “mirrored” the route of the Titanic almost the entire transatlantic route. This was per “captain’s choice” – this (northerly) route is sometimes more dangerous late in the sailing season (i.e., near year’s end) but is usually not problematic in October. In the event of any concerns, the ship can switch to a “southerly” route, which takes it into warmer waters.

And lastly – if you were to fall off the ship’s deck into the North Atlantic, would the ship turn around to get you? Probably not, but don’t panic – a small jetty and the equivalent of a “SWAT” team would be quickly dispatched to pick you up, then rendezvous back with the QM2. However, the First Mate assured us that no one had ever fallen off the deck into the ocean. (But just to be safe, no more than one bottle of wine prior to that moonlight deck stroll, please.)

Thursday – Hakuna Matata (Swahili for “No Worries”)

We decided to spend an unstructured day, with nothing scheduled (or “winging it,” as it were.) With the weather in the 70s (Fahrenheit) we decided to enjoy both the indoor and outdoor pools situated on three QM2 decks. I counted at least seven hot tubs (we can speak for enjoying five of them.) I finished the book I was reading and visited the ship’s well-stocked bookstore for another title to tide me over (no pun intended) on the way home. If you’re disinclined to accumulate your reading material out-of-pocket, note that the QM2 also features the cruise industry’s largest floating library.

Later in the afternoon, we enjoyed the view from our balcony and played a very spirited game of Monopoly before packing our bags for our upcoming arrival in the “Big Apple.

Friday Morning

Around 5 am we were up on deck, (surprised so many were up early) to view the breathtaking skyline as the ship entered the port of New York. The Statue of Liberty, truly an awe inspiring sight, a view that has encouraged the millions who have come to the USA to make this their new home. Plenty of cabs and drivers await those departing to take them to the city or airport. We opted for a quick trip to the city and this ends my little diary of a very glamorous and wonderful trip. What a feeling to have been a part of a history-making voyage aboard the Queen Mary 2.

More About This Fabulous Cruise

Little Important Items – We Noticed

The Wedgwood China and Waterford Crystal are extremely beautiful. Cunard did not miss a thing in designing the dining rooms. Breathtaking heights, small lamps, pieces of art strategically placed throughout the dining areas – you do feel part of a bygone era when people had time to sit and watch life go by.

Extremely nice laundry rooms with soap provided – no charge for anything in these cute launderettes.

What Will We Do for Six Days at Sea?

If you are worried about what you will do for 6 days at sea, worry not. I sat and watched the wave’s hit the ship from a hallway with window seats and little chairs scattered about. Almost each evening we were late for dinner as there were so many things to do.

From lectures given by learned Oxford Professors to accomplished physicians to art exhibits from some of the masters (the art on the ship is museum quality) to Latin dancing, we could not fit in everything we wanted to do.


There were certainly a few, yet this is probably not the type of cruise for little ones. But this would be a fabulous ship for a Caribbean cruise for the entire family.

The Guests

Our cruise was from London to New York. The guest list was diverse with people from all around the world and all were extremely friendly, as was the more-than competent crew.

The Weather

The weather at sea changed drastically. The first day it was quite chilly and then the second day it was at least 72 degrees Fahrenheit.




Cruise Shore Excursions

CruiseCompete links you to third-party shore excursion providers, giving you access to higher quality cruise shore excursions at substantially lower prices than the cruise lines. Enjoy a more intimate tour experience away from the crowds. 

Be confident in your choice with 24/7 support for travelers, a full refund if you miss your shore excursion due to itinerary changes or weather, and guaranteed return to your cruise ship! 

Click here to find available excursions, or call 1-866-578-7508 or 954-449-6309 for expert advice to help select the best excursions for you. 


Featured Cunard Line Shore Excursion

Markets and Ruins of Ancient Athens Tour (Agora, Acropolis, Parthenon) 

Price: $90.00
Special Sale Price: $74.00

Take a guided tour around Athens to see the best of the city's many attractions. This Athens tour gives you an extensive look at city life and takes you up close to the Agora, the Acropolis, and other major sights around town. Each Athens walking tour is capped at 12 people, ensuring an intimate time in the city. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Your Athens sightseeing tour begins at Kotzia Square in the middle of the city. There you'll meet your group and prepare for a lively start to the business day. Athens is known for its food markets, where you can find all sorts of local fruits, veggies, and other fare. After getting a glimpse of just how lively these markets can get, you'll continue to the next stop of your tour, Monastiraki Square, a famous shopping district. Although the flea market is the main attraction, there are other notable sights including Pantanassa Monastery and the Adrian Library. Don't forget to pick up a souvenir or two while in the market; you will find everything from Greek instruments to handmade jewelry.

In addition to shopping, expect plenty of sightseeing. The Agora and the Acropolis are just two of the city's attractions you'll encounter during this Greece tour. These ancient locales are full of history, and your tour guide will recount the many tales surrounding these epic sites. The Agora of Athens was an open public area dating back to 6th-century BC that served as the center of town; everything from city announcements to theater productions took place in the Agora. The Acropolis is an ancient citadel that houses many of the city's historic structures like the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess of wisdom Athena. Seeing these ruins up close will make your jaw drop; it's as if you traveled backed in time. You will be dropped off at the Acropolis area where you are free to enter the site for further exploration. More...

Take a look at all the Shore Excursions available for Cunard Line through CruiseCompete:



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