If you’ve read my previous posts about my Viking journey on the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land, exploring ports in Greece, Cyprus and Israel, it’s now time to take a break for our days at sea. My boyfriend L and I were traveling courtesy of Viking Cruises.*
There’s much to do on the Viking Star during days at sea and I (with L by my side some of the time) was eager to discover all that the ship had to offer. From morning workouts at the gym to walks around the upper and middle decks, from visits to the spa to lazy lounging by the pool, from afternoon tea to a behind the scenes look at the galley below, I was on a mission to completely consume these peaceful and pleasant hours.
Wellness at the the LiV Nordic Spa
The team at Viking didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to book a massage and facial at the LiV Nordic Spa. LiV has a full service spa menu including massages, body scrubs, facials, skin analysis, and hair and nail salon. There’s also royal Nordic grooming available for men.
My first treatment was a Swedish mindful massage. Ewa, my therapist was from Poland. “You have a PRC,” said Ewa. She was referring to my “personal rock collection” in my back with tight muscles and trigger points. I had never heard such a phrase, but it made me laugh. She got out all my knots. Ewa suggested I use Epsom salts and baking soda with lavender oil in my baths at home.
On my second day at sea, I selected a Nordic Classic facial. It was organic, anti-aging, and tailor-made. Shayle was my esthetician and brought me into full serenity, exfoliating with a papaya and vitamin C mixture and then applying a jasmine and honey mask. She ended with cupping on my face to help with lymphatic drainage, plump the skin, and stimulate my circulation system. She said it is very detoxifying and soothes the skin.
Shayle said my skin was extremely dehydrated, which it always is thanks to my post-menopausal body! She recommended I exfoliate twice a week to take off dead skin so the moisturizer can penetrate my face better. (Shayle, I listened to you and now exfoliate several times a week.)
I saved skin care analysis for my last full day at sea. It was a shocker when my face went under the screen.
“Your skin’s age is like you’re 69 years old underneath the pigmentation,” said Hanna, the esthetician. “The pigmentation is 66 years old. You have darker pigmentation coming through so you need to continue to protect the skin. Your hydration level is like a 70 year old.” (OMG! OMG! My face is 10 years older than I am. That’s scary!)
“Drink more water and eat enough oils. Olive oil and fish oil is good,” said Hanna. “Try different moisturizers, exfoliate and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate your skin.” At least my skin tone came out at 63, closer to my age. I continue to always use SPF 50 sunscreen on my face every day.
A Peek Behind the Menu
It was fun to go down under to tour the galley with Executive Chef Donald. It’s where all the food is prepared for the entire two weeks. Chef Donald has been working at sea for 22 years. That’s a long time to be cooking on an ocean liner!
He told us that there are 99 cooks on board. Wow-o-wow! “We keep track of everything we serve so we have history to know what quantities to prepare. We know a majority will go for the veal tonight. Not that many for the vegetarian,” said Chef Donald.
According to Chef Donald, 120 tons of food are brought on board at the first port for each 14 day cruise. There are segregated refrigerators to keep the food fresh. In addition, they buy local fish at ports where they can. They make all their own gelato. L and I can confirm that the gelato is so good, so good, so good.
It’s an amazing operation. “The baker gets up at 4:00 a.m. to bake bread for breakfast each morning,” said Chef Donald. “Nothing is prepared in advance.” I can absolutely confirm that the croissants are so good, so good, so good.
I had a new appreciation for the food as L and I dined that evening and every meal afterwards.
Afternoon Delights Are There For The Taking
Afternoons are very restful during days at sea. L liked reading and taking naps after lunch and after our walks around the deck. For me, I found it meditative to simply sit and watch the Aegean blue waters make waves as the ship picked up speed.
From 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. was especially nice with Afternoon Tea in the Wintergarden Cafe accompanied by Resident Guitarist Luis. It was a classic tradition with freshly brewed tea, warm scones and butter and jam. The scones were so good, so good, so good.
Dance classes, lectures, movies and even cooking classes were on the agenda during days at sea.
Almost to Italy
It was our last day at sea and we were approaching Italy. Naples and Rome would be our final ports before going home.
L had never been to Italy before. I couldn’t wait to share Rome with him. The Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori, and the best ever pizza. The grand finale awaits.
P.S. In case you missed my earlier posts about my Viking Ocean Cruise, check them out below:
♥ My First-Ever Ocean Cruise On The Luxurious “Viking Star”
♥ My Viking Journey: A World of Ancient Treasures in Athens ”
♥ My Viking Journey: A Visit To The Beautiful Island of Mykonos
♥ My Viking Journey: A Visit To Cyprus & The Goddess of Love
♥ My Viking Journey: A Day To Remember in Old Jerusalem
♥ My Viking Journey: Sightseeing In The Beautiful City Of Haifa
♥ My Viking Journey: The Secrets of the Ancient City of Acre
*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” Viking Cruises provided me with a complimentary press trip on the Cities of Antiquity and Holy Lands Ocean Cruise. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.