Before I headed off on my most recent cruise, many had told me to prepare to the drastic weight gain that most experience, but I was determined to stay healthy on a cruise.
They had said that the average person gains 7 lbs on a week long cruise, so determined not to be beaten I decided to scupper this stereotype by putting on no weight during my trip and stay healthy on a cruise – balancing my food consumption with exercise and activities!
My cruise in the mediterranean on their 7-night tour including stops at Barcelona, Marseille, Gibraltar, Genoa and Pisa so food was going to play a large part in my trip, from pasta, to pizza, and paella to cocktails. Both onboard and offboard there are amazing cuisines and dishes, but it doesn’t mean you have to over-indulge.
There are so many ways to stay healthy on-board and cruises no longer have to be indulgent places. A ship like Crown Princess offers an array of healthy eating options, as well as places to keep fit such as their state-of-the-art gym, multiple exercise classes onboard including yoga, a running track and a smoothie bar in the Atrium.
The active cruisers out there will be delighted with how Crown Princess caters to their needs with modern equipment and upgraded salon and treatment rooms. The Sports Court offers a whole array of games from basketball to tennis, whilst the onboard 9-hole putting green will please golfers. The modern gym and jogging track are perfect for a morning wake-me-up, or perhaps try the unique pool with a current, so you can swim with a bit of a challenge.
AN OVERVIEW OF MY MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE ITINERARY
Day 1 – Embark in Barcelona, Spain
Day 2 – At sea
Day 3 – Gibraltar, Spain
Day 4 – At sea
Day 5 – Marseille, France
Day 6 – Genoa, Italy
Day 7 – Pisa, Italy
How I stay healthy on a cruise
1. Stop using the escalators and walk
This is the easiest way to up the steps count, and balance out the food with exercise. There are elevators everywhere on the ship to get you from deck 5 to 19 but making those small changes, such as ditching the elevators, means you can allow yourself more food each day without making much effort. Most days when we embarked back onboard I would walk from the gate on deck 5 to my room on deck 15 (remember there is no deck 13 – bonus!) and I always felt much better afterwards.
2. Get active with exercise
Of course, you want relaxation time – that is also important for your body. But make sure you schedule in some time to be active too! On board Crown Princess you will find a gym, exercise classes, basketball court, running track, swimming pools and much more. I joined a yoga class on one of the days, as well as working out twice during the week.
There are also basketball courts which were very popular with the young males on board. And there is a walking/running track on the top deck of the ship. You have endless options for staying active and engaged on board the cruise ship.
3. Use your Fitbit to work out how active you’ve been
My most useful way of tracking how active I’d been was using my Fitbit and recording how many steps I’d taken on each day. Due to our busy schedules and active excursions, we did on average 20,000 a day, so it was a great way to balance the high-calorie food we were eating onboard. At home I struggle to get my steps up to 7,000 as I work in an office so it means I have to watch what I eat more than any other time!
4. Spend a day at The Lotus Spa
Head to the spa for a treatment whilst you’re onboard and get a massage. Firstly, you deserve it, and secondly it’s a great way to get rid of all those toxins during your trip. Your body will feel rested, restored and loved. The cruise spa will have an array of deals for you during your trip so you can treat yourself.
5. Take probiotics
When you cruise you are exposed to much higher toxin levels so the best way to help yourself, especially your stomach is to take daily probiotics. You will have an abundance of food and alcohol to choose from and you are also often mixing different flavours and cuisines, or food that your stomach is not used to so this is a great way to overcome any stomach problems.
6. Steer clear of the buffet restaurants
This was the one thing I was worried about, as it’s harder to say no when you are provided with so much choice. But for me its nearly always too overwhelming so I prefer to eat in the dining rooms with service. I am always horrified at the amount of food that always goes to waste too, so it’s a good way to battle that. Your stomach can only fit in so much, despite how much your eyes want to argue against it. By eating in the restaurant, you can exercise more restraint, you pause more before ordering.
7. Choose active excursions
This is where I managed to get most of my steps in, during excursions. There are so many fantastic activities you can do when you arrive at your destinations so if you want to keep the weight at bay, make sure you opt for the more active options. I did hiking of the Mediterranean steps, walking tour of Pisa and explored Barcelona by foot.
8. Drink lots of water
Combine alcohol, heat and unhealthy food and you’re heading to a disaster. Make sure you have a bottle with you at all times onboard and get it filled up on various different places around the ship. And take a bottle with you when you disembark!
Be careful about drinking water, or drinks with ice in it, when you get off the boat to explore your destinations. Water can be unsafe to drink from the tap in many countries, and your stomach may not be able to handle the different water quality even if it is safe to drink.
Would you consider trying a cruise? Has my cruise experience and blog post made you think differently about cruising? I’d love to hear your opinion, so please leave a comment in the box below.
I was onboard Princess Cruises Crown Princess cruise around the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain to Rome, Italy taking place over 7 Days | 4 Ports of Call. Staterooms start at £849.99. For more cruise deals click here.
This post has been created as part of a sponsored collaboration with Princess Cruises, however as always all views are my own.