Spa aboard American Queen was big surprise
I wasn’t expecting much when I booked a massage on the sternwheeler American Queen, cruising the Upper Mississippi in August. I heard that there was only one therapist who provided all the spa services – hair, facials, wraps and massages. How good could this be? But I hoped the treatment would get the kinks out and release some painful muscles around a knee injury. As long as I didn’t get hurt, what could be the harm?
I couldn’t have been more mistaken. What I got was one of the very best massages of my life, and living in New York with every imaginable modality available, that is saying something. And I have been known to get off the table and end the massage if I felt that the work was wrong or too rough.
Cheron Molina Adams, American Queen’s therapist, obviously has extensive training, but what she has in addition is fantastic hands. In her light-filled salon and treatment room, after discussing my health issues and sensitivities, she invited me to let her know during the massage if the pressure she used was too great. I never had to say a word, although she worked quite deep in some areas. She instinctively went with my body, using Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial, Reflexology and some indefinable techniques so seamlessly that after a few minutes I just drifted out with pleasure. When I came back at the end, I had a new body.
My chronic knee pain had all but disappeared, soreness in my back and shoulders vanished and my entire body was integrated. And three days later, the effects are still there, with uninterrupted sleep at night and practically no stiffness in the mornings.
Adams provides massage in 30-, 60- and 90-minute increments, and the longer treatments are a real bargain. Thirty minutes is $90, 60 is $110 and 90 is $140. River stone fusion massages run $115-4175. She also offers men’s and women’s haircuts for $35, cut with shampoo and blow-dry styling at $65, mustache and beard trims for $5. A 45-minute body scrub is $110. Hourlong microdermabrasion and facials run $100-130 and an express manicure is $35.
Probably not one of American Queen’s passengers had factored in top-notch spa services in booking the cruise. But they should have.