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Cruise Lines Sailing Again!

Resorts Also Open Again: Some Ideas for a Luxurious Health and Wellness Vacation

The holidays and 2021 are in the past. I’ve never been one to wish away time, but I’m glad it's over. We love to travel and have missed being able to take off to the Caribbean, Mexico or go on a cruise. Cruise lines are sailing, and resorts are open, so in December off we went on our “health and wellness vacation.”

Our first destination was Sandals Resort Barbados. We took advantage of the award-winning Red Lane Spa, enjoying a couple’s massage and much-needed pampering. The spa was immaculately clean. You can have a private health consultant to guide you and customize an exercise program. Every restaurant at the resort has a “healthy menu.” 

Prior to leaving for Barbados, we had to have a negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours of traveling, but Barbados does not accept a Rapid COVID PCR test. We were grateful to be introduced to the Classen Urgent Care Center in Moore, which is open seven days a week. Then, as it turned out, we needed another test in Barbados at the airport. Believe me, all of this lends to quite a bit of stress because every travel location has a different entry policy. At one point prior to leaving home, traveling did not seem like the thing to do. You must be fully vaccinated to travel to most countries and on all cruises. We had to present our COVID vaccine card everywhere we went.

Our next “adventure” was to board the Regent Seven Seas Explorer in Barbados, where once again at the pier we were given a COVID test. I tell you all of this to let you know ALL precautions and protocols are being followed, so you can travel safely. It just takes some deep breaths and patience.

Once on board this all-inclusive luxury ship, we took a deep breath and pledged to enjoy every part of the voyage—which for me was to schedule services at the Serene Spa & Wellness. A hair treatment, facial and a couple’s massage were on my list. You can take advantage of the sauna, steam bath and infinity pool at no additional charge. The spa treatments began at $98 depending on the treatment. To me, they were worth every penny. As a Regent Seven Seas Cruises passenger, shore excursions are included. Masks were optional onboard for guests but all staff members are required to wear a mask and are tested weekly.

Cruising or staying at all-inclusive resorts does not necessarily mean unhealthy eating. Every menu includes healthy suggestions, sugar-free desserts and sugar-free beverages. They also offer lifestyle coaching, which includes a fitness instructor. There are always wonderful fruit and vegetable drinks, and they even offer sugar-free adult beverages; my favorite was the Mexican Butterfly, made with tequila.

Traveling will never be like it was two years ago. I believe the safety protocols are here to stay. This should only help you to feel safe while you are traveling.  

Traveling is a great way to learn firsthand about other countries. If you enjoy traveling like we do, we just have to learn to go with the flow, follow the protocols, then enjoy.

The skilled travel advisers at Bentley Hedges Travel can help you plan your next “Health and Wellness” vacation. Sometimes a change in scenery is enough to clear your mind. So, pack your bags and travel! I suggest you work with a local travel agency; online booking sites simply can’t personally answer all your questions or suggest where to go for the tests you need. 

Happy New Year. I wish you a wonderful 2022. Keep healthy.

  • Red Lane Spa at Sandals Resort Barbados (Photograph by Bonnie Hedges)