Being healthy during a cruise vacation is typically a foregone conclusion. Cruise lines make food almost constantly available to their guests, making it as easy as pie to lay on a few extra pounds between the gourmet meals, overflowing buffets, and tasty midnight snacks. And guests certainly take advantage, considering the treats are mostly already covered in their cruise fare.
But for a growing number of cruisers, staying fit has become a significant part of their vacation plans. The good news is that in recent years, cruise lines have created innovative ways to help their passengers both have their midnight feasts and keep their waistlines, too.
Or if the treadmill's not quite your speed, consider taking a class. Most cruise lines offer yoga and pilates classes, and in most cases the sessions are free. If there is a charge, it's usually nominal at $5 or $10 per class. As Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association, attests, “The cruise industry has stepped up its offerings for cruise passengers with impressive fitness centers offering the same, if not better, equipment, personal trainers, and workout programs -- such as aerobics, spin classes, Pilates, and even kickboxing -- found at their home gyms, and often better than what’s offered at a resort.”
For a few examples: Princess Cruise Line provides free Zumba classes, while MSC Cruises offers free Aqua Cycling. On Norwegian Cruise Line sailings, guests can sign up for the high-tech Nexersys experience, in which they work out against an avatar. And as the Crystal Symphony revamps its indoor fitness center this fall, the ship's Promenade Deck will continue to offer several open-air fitness options, like the Walk on Water and Nordic Walking programs.
Finally, cruisers keen on staying fit can look to newer ships with dedicated outdoor sports areas, including basketball courts. Further more, Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas both have challenging climbing walls, while Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Magic features a ropes course.