How to Stay Active on a Cruise

How to Stay Active on a Cruise

Going on a cruise vacation doesn’t have to mean only sitting around and eating from buffets. Enjoy some healthy fun in the sun with these suggestions for staying active on your cruise!

The temptation is overwhelming. You've paid big bucks for a cruise vacation. Gourmet food is seemingly at every turn, not to mention fruit-laced cocktails calling your name. It is hard not to gorge on everything you see simply because you know it's vacation and you want to get your money's worth. There's nothing wrong with that, but following these simple tips can help take the sting off of the caloric bulk that is sure to appear on your abdomen and thighs once you return home.

Staying active can be easy and fun, both on and off the ship. For one, working out on the ship can be done anytime, anywhere. No matter what the weather. Skip the elevator and earn your dessert the hard way by taking the stairs. Most ships have stairways at the front and back of the boat. Make the long trek to the stairway on the opposite side of your destination, climb or descend to the desired deck, and then back track to where you want to go on that deck. You can easily burn as many as 100 calories this way, depending on the size of the ship and where you need to go. Imagine doing that on large ships like Celebrity's recently launched Reflection that can handle upwards of 3,000 passengers! Of course, you can also take those stairs to the gym, which is usually positioned at the front of the ship to allow for amazing sea views that take your mind off the hard work. Or run/walk laps around the perimeter of the ship. As an incentive, many cruise lines offer prizes for attending as many physical fitness activities as possible in the health club, adding to the fun of staying active, so make sure to look out for those types of programs.

If working out in public is not your cup of tea, try doing sit ups or jumping jacks on your balcony to take in those exquisite views of the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Better yet, do pushups by leaning against a door frame (like the bathroom) or a desk. With no one watching, you can grunt and fuss all you want!

Swimming laps in the pool is another popular activity (You might want to ask the ship’s staff when the pool will be the least crowded so you’ll have as much room to yourself as possible.). Many Holland America ships, like the Veendam, have retractable roofs over their pools, allowing guests to swim even on colder days while sailing between Alaskan glaciers or along Canada's Saint Lawrence River.

You certainly do not want to miss out on exciting destinations when in port, but that is no excuse to be inactive. Opt for a hiking or nature-themed tour that has you biking, walking, climbing, or doing anything else to raise your heart rate a bit. If you would rather not overpay for cruise ship excursions, do your research in advance. There are many operators that offer discounted prices for booking directly with them. Biking through Barcelona's charming streets or hiking along an Aegean cliff on a Greek island can provide excellent views and a sense of local culture that no tour can match. Ocho Rios, Jamaica's popular waterfall climbs or scaling the Mexican ruins of Tulum near Cancun are exciting options that catch many peoples' eye – and get them moving!

Back in the dining room, opt for one of the healthy options (cruise lines like Holland America and Celebrity, for example, denote these by a special symbol). Celebrity even offers an entire room category, known as Aqua Class, designed to appeal to health-conscious travelers. In addition to special spa and health club privileges, guests in these rooms also dine in a private restaurant with other like-minded healthy travelers who may give additional motivation to keep active on a ship.

No matter where your destination or what your ship size, there are many opportunities to stay active without spending time in the gym. No one wants to work out constantly while on vacation, so incorporate some of these ideas into your next sailing to stay fit and active. Laps around the casino, anyone?

Related Links: 

5 Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road: http://blog.eaglecreek.com/read/travel-resourcestips/5-tips-for-staying-healthy-on-the-road/

7 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling: http://blog.eaglecreek.com/read/travel-resourcestips/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-traveling/

Cheapest Scuba Diving Destinations: 3 Super-Affordable Spots: http://blog.eaglecreek.com/read/adventure-travel/cheapest-scuba-diving-destinations-3-super-affordable-spots/