So I was warm for something like 11 days. 10 really, the second day of the drive home was cold and insanely rainy and foggy depending on where we were. Managed to not fry my skin or drown in the spa. Seriously, that was nearly a thing. We got the spa access package this cruise which we never do, but Nikki's injured back benefitted greatly. So we tried new things. Here's how that went, feel free to laugh.
1) Heated Ceramic Loungers - big ceramic lounge chairs designed by a chiropractor to help align your body properly and they are heated from within. Being hard ceramic covered in pretty shimmery tiles sounds rather uncomfortable, but holy cow those were comfortable. And warm. So this only went a LITTLE wrong for me, as in...got stuck. They are easy to get onto, but weirdly hard to get back off. You have to push up in a weird way and the first day I couldn't figure it out. Of course Nikki rescued me, laughing like a crazy person. And mid week I might have fallen asleep and had to be woken up as I was snoring rather unfortunately. Other than that they were easy to use, and I realized while I can't quite recreate the chiropractic curves to force the alignment at home, I can take a heating blanket on the recliner and recreate the lounge/heat effect for sore backs at home. So that's a win. Really did end up loving these warm comfy trap couches by the end of the week. Nikki hates the heating pad, even with the cover the plastic part under it somehow makes the skin sweat a lot, and it moves around constantly, so I think this might be a better solution with the blanket/recliner.
2) Dry Sauna - what it sounds like, a sauna room with no steam. There was a little fountain emitting the pleasant running water sounds nad pretty. The benches were the inner heated ceramic covered in shimmery tiles like the loungers, but shaped like normal benches. The room was VERY warm and nice. And you didn't have to be in a swimsuit to use this one, so it was nice after walking in the winds on the promenade. Getting out was easy, just go through the door. Until you realized the the door makes a dying walrus scream in the quiet lounger room and everyone is not glaring at you. Really like this, and am aware it's possible to have one in a home, so must look into costs on this thing. I might actually like one.
3) Steam Sauna - Pretty much what you expect, but holy cow those were wet. So very very wet. It really felt like you were drowning trying to breath. You could choose different scents for the steam by pushing some buttons, but I was too busy trying to get oxygen in with all the water in the air. I thought maybe it was an issue with my lungs from the asthma, but Nikki has no such compromising damage to his lung tissue and he couldn't breath either. So we are apparently not steam sauna people. The feeling of drowning while sitting on pretty shimmery tiles with a pretty lovely sounding flower fountain was really disconcerting. On the plus side, the door was quiet to this. No steam if I ever do get a sauna in my house, just no. No more steam. Another cruiser later said her spa gives you chilled wet washcloths for your face and that helps with the breathing thing, but I don't think I would like my face being covered like that. I'll stay dry.
4) Jungle shower. So I paid for access to this stuff, I was gonna try it. What could go wrong? This was a shower in a circular wall of that pretty shimmery tile on just about everything else in this area, you're inside a column with part of an arc missing for a door. You shower in your swimsuit, no doors. There's a soothing green light in the top. SO I'm in the warm shower, and notice there are buttons. So what could go wrong? I push the first button, and woosh! A monsoon of cold water in the middle of my cozy warm shower. I shriek because I'm that started and leap out, Nikki thinks I've burned myself, and busts out laughing when he realizes I just ran away from a little cold water. In my defense it was a LOT of REALLY cold water. So there is a second button, and now I'm really wary, but I push it anyway. Maybe it's the warm jungle rain right? Nope. A whole bunch of little hidden nozzles drench me in icy cold fog. So I am definitely not a jungle shower type of person. Silly me thought maybe the buttons did light shows in the top, or jungle sounds or something. Maybe aromatherapy jungle orchid scents or something. It shoulda been called the surprise arctic shower.
5) Hydrotherapy tub - this is a big tub, 3'9" deep, with water heated to the body temperature and filled with calcium and sea minerals. There are three sections. The first is a tall pipe you stand under, and it forces water in a flat sheet down on you, good for shoulders, neck, and back. That went reasonably well, until the boat shifted suddenly and I got a face full, but easily corrected. Then there is a metal circle in the middle with a small opening to get inside it, and what looked like a steering wheel in the middle that you apparently grab onto and hold. The whole area works like a hot tub, with energy saving buttons, so as I was entering the metal circle in the middle of the pool it all shut off and Nikki went to push the button. So I can see the buttons starting up from the holes in the floor in the metal circle, and I'm ready for bubbles. Spa lady said this part was good for legs and hips. Great, I have hip issues. Bring it on! Well, it did come on. This REALLY strong bubblestorm rises up, and swirls around the metal circle. I was on the far side from the start point, so I had a moment to contemplate this frothing mass coming at me. Then it hit, and I was standing at some weird angle and managed to force all that frothing bubblestorm not to my hips, but strait up my body and into my face and I'm drowning myself standing up in a tub that only is a little over my waist. Only me, honestly. And before all these facial dunkings I had tied up my hair to keep it dry, that was funny. NOw I look like a drowned rat with a crooked, odd updo. But...once I figured out what I was doing wrong and altered my stance, it really did do wonders for the legs and hips. Wish I had one of these things at home! So now it's time to try the last part, this 'couch' of metal tubes (so the bubbles can come through) that puts you in a reclining position in the heated water. Remember, I'm clumsy. I managed to bang up my happily bubble massaged legs, hips, shoulders, and head trying to get on to this thing. But I did finally get in position, and was less impressed. So I just did the first two, and then sorta free floated in the water loosely outside the metal circle of face water attacking, because I cannot even tell you all how much that calcium and sea minerals did amazing things to our skin. I had never felt skin so TOUCHABLE. So very very touchable. So I was sitting at dinner probably freaking people out around me by petting my own arm in awe.
So...I think it was more or less a success. The treatments helped Nikkis back a lot, and I managed to use them without killing myself or ending up permanently trapped by them. Which is kind a major victory for me. WOOT! So now I'm going to look at our local spa options and see what sorta lounger/sauna/tub options they have. They can keep the jungle showers though. But I was heated, relaxed, steamed, watered, and massaged within in inch of my life. We possibly overused the stuff, but it was kinda addicting and easy to get to on a ship with the spa just a short elevator ride up. It was on our side of the boat!
I have to figure out something to do with my hair though. All the pool, spa, and seawater stripped out the dye really fast. It's hard(so far impossible) to find permanent dye in the shades of green I favor, so I'm thinking getting a clear cassia (jic sorta like henna, doesn't chemically alter the hair but wraps it in a sheath of clear protection that slowly washes out) after I use the semi-permanent dye to protect it for a few weeks against being stripped out by the pool this summer. I used to use it when I was younger, it made it incredibly shiny and soft, but stopped when I moved here as it's not easy to find locally, but I have located several online options. Meanwhile, must hit the supply store tomorrow to get more green.
Side note: The current one I'm using has argan oil in it. So I got a bottle of leave in conditioner with this argan oil (after I looked it up on Wikipedia to even know what this stuff is) and I'm totally a convert. Argan oil is amazing for hair. It won't work crazy miracles, but it has done wonders detangling my cotton candy hair and dealing with the bleaching damage. Supposedly it also helps strengthen hair, but I don't have a lotta breakage issues so I can't really tell. On Nikki it's done wonders reducing his somewhat unmanageable frizz into soft smooth waves. I'm often late to the party on these things, but in case I'm not for once I wanted to share.