When I set off on the ocean on a great Princess Cruise ship, I had no idea I would return a truly renewed woman: healed, healthy, and stronger than before. I should have anticipated something big, what with the hashtag #comebacknew the cornerstone of Princess Cruise’s social promotion. What I didn’t realize was what Princess hashtags, Princess means.

The cruise ship scene has evolved, and this higher level of traveling seamlessly brings together adventure, luxury, and wellness. And Princess Cruise is leading the way on this new wave of cruise travel that is tapping into a more discerning travel market.

Forget what you think you know about cruise ships: lengthy lines for a subpar buffet, crowded decks and pools, loud and unruly children. Make way for true serenity at sea.

When I departed on a Princess cruise, I had been suffering from a painful shoulder tear. One year of numerous doctors’ appointments and failed treatments had left only one option left: surgery.

What I hadn’t tried, however, was alternative medicine. As part of the Princess Cruise offerings, I made sure to visit the spa — an essential, not optional, component for a proper rejuvenating vacation — and was pleased to see some unique offerings on the menu. I didn’t expect them to have a life-changing impact on my injury, but I hoped they might relieve some of the discomfort.

First, I enjoyed a unique Thai Poultice Massage by a highly skilled therapist named Lindy. The poultice was filled with herbs, such as tamarind, lemongrass, and patchouli. The on-board Lotus Spa offers discounts and incentives, and the more services you book, making it a full day out of the spa with treatments that rival many esteemed European spas.

Then, my shoulder was treated with acupuncture by the ship’s Australian-Chinese medicine doctor, Gerry Brumm.

When I left the spa, I was amazed. My shoulder was nearly 100 percent better. There was no way surgery would be needed. If I hadn’t taken the Princess cruise, and if Princess hadn’t made it so easy for me to access these services, I would have never tried the combo of these two therapies, and right now, I’d be typing this with an unnecessary gash in my body — one that would require physical therapy and may cause problems, due to scar tissue, for years, if not for the rest of my life. Instead, I’m almost as good as new.

I set off expecting a fun vacation. I quickly discovered a sanctuary at sea. And I left a new person, stronger than before I left. Princess’s royal treatment on the water was a game-changer — for my life, and also for the rest of the travel industry.

Crazy-busy seems to be the status quo for many people these days, making it more important than ever to carve out some time for a time-out. Consider a Princess cruise for your next wellness vacation and experience firsthand how the cruise ship industry has leveled up.

Beyond the spa treatments and acupuncture, here are some other ways that Princess Cruise brings zen to the ocean

No need to Plan

One of the most exhausting parts of a vacation can be the planning before you leave (and while you’re there): trying to find the best restaurants, activities, and relaxation nooks. Princess has vetted through the options for you and offers the best of the best. Instead of prepping, follow your whim and desires, day by day. If you want to go wine tasting, there’s an option for that. If you wake up another day and you want a facial, or to go gambling, or to experience food tasting, sign up on the spot. Even if you arrive with a bucket list, expect to toss it out. Adventure awaits.

Get a New Perspective

There are plenty of ways to expand your brain and perspective while on Princess Cruise. A memorable option is to visit “The Bridge,” where the captain’s chair sits. From here, you can get a unique, expansive view of the waters — and if you’re lucky, you might get to sit in the captain’s chair and sport the special cap.

Rest up

The Princess Cruise rooms are brilliantly arranged with a smart space for everything. The centerpiece of the room is the bed, developed by board-certified sleep expert Michael Breus and HGTV designer Candice Olson. The cozy cloud-like bed with luxe bedding makes it easy to fall asleep — and OK, maybe take a nap later, too. Pack your Karen Neuburger loungewear for ultimate comfort; they’re my travel go-to’s.

Entertain and Enrich Your Life

The cruise offers an impressive list of demos and events to keep you entertained, but my favorite features were the cooking demonstrations by guest celebrity chefs, Ted Hopson and Joel Miller. They offered useful tips to bring home and incorporate into your own kitchen. The host: Love Boat star Jill Whelan, who played Captain Stubing’s daughter Vicki on “The Love Boat,” but of course. How fitting that she’s an ambassador for Princess Cruise.

Get Away and Find Some Peace

When you think of a cruise ship, you might not immediately think about quietude and Zen, but the Sanctuary is where I found peace abounding. This adult-only, spa-inspired, luxurious top-deck retreat features plush furniture, great service, chill music, and healthy food and drinks, such as smoothies and spa water.