Gail Jessen, Live Voyage Reports
Cagliari, Sardinia is the port which replaced Tunisia (cancelled due to security concerns). Rather than going ashore to explore the city, I explored the Noordam’s Greenhouse Spa. One of my all-time favorite indulgences on land or sea is spa day. I travel far, I travel wide, I spa often. Pro Tip: One can make a reasonable judgement about a spa based on their product alone, assessing if the experience will be high-end, mid-range, or a recent massage school graduate will listlessly rub hotel-grade lotion on your back for an hour. The Noordam’s Greenhouse Spa utilizes primarily Elemis, but also La Therapie and Bliss. If you don’t speak spa, those words mean you’re in good hands. After six hours of thoroughly relaxing investigation (all for you, Dear Reader, for you), I can report with some measure of authority that the Noordam’s Greenhouse Spa is top notch.
I selected a bamboo massage, a treatment I’ve never received or frankly heard of before now. It sounded quite similar to hot stone massage, which is a long time favorite. As the Greenhouse Spa describes: “Imagine warm bamboo shoots of various sizes soaked in essential oil rolling, sliding, and tapping your muscles. This gorgeously indulgent massage will revive your senses in a new innovative way, inspiring the most relaxed state. Customized to your preference, our therapist will use deep tissue techniques or gentle strokes to melt away your tension and soothe your muscles into sweet oblivion.” If you successfully wades through the pretension and run-on sentences, you’re left with: Warm bamboo, essential oil, deep tissue. In other words, this is the ideal treatment to detox the knots left from 15 hours of flying, three days hiking around ancient port cities, and sleeping in unfamiliar beds. My therapist was the consummate professional. The essential oils were warm. The bamboo was smooth and dug deep. The massage was, in fact, sweet oblivion. I dare say better than hot stone, which is saying something. Carmelita went in between my toes with tiny bamboo shoots. She slid a large bamboo pole under my neck (I was on my back) and proceeded to paddle it up and down and side to side as though she were piloting a kayak. My head and shoulders rolled and flopped side to side beyond my control, I may have moaned at one point. It felt as though the bamboo shafts were secured to hand paddles for the leg and back massage, but I was too blissed out to investigate further. My apologies for being a derelict journalist.