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How to enjoy a cruise - guilt free

Friday, January 18, 2013

My family and I just returned from 2 week cruise of South America. It was a dream vacation but one we've been looking forward to for over a year. Now cruising is synonymous with temptation. Each meal the waiters and waitresses are offering you one delicacies after another. According to the gym the average person gains 1-2 pounds a day on a cruise. Taking a 14 day cruise could result in the addition of 14-28 pounds. So how do I survive this glorious vacation without returning home to deal with my many transgressions.
1. Every ship has a gym - find it in relation to your cabin. 3 decks up - deck 15 - pass the salon.
• Before you even board the ship locate your cabin online. We were on deck 11 towards the bow of the ship. Make sure you pack workout clothes. (shorts,T-shirt and sneakers and socks)
• Each day at sea I would get out of bed - put on my workout clothes and hit the treadmill. Surprisingly it was very busy in the morning - days where we purchased excursions meant the workout had to wait until evenings.
• A few days I tried the lap pool - which was next to the gym. This is different than the other pools as it is setup for lap swimming and often I had it to myself which was nice.
• I kept a log of my exercise each day
• Many ships have a track around one of the decks so you could walk outside and get your exercise.
2. Simple steps to help get in those work outs without working out.
• Decide to not use the elevator -with main meals on the 6th deck, activities on the 7th deck and sunshine and pools on the 14th deck we were often going up and down the stairs. Each deck was 16 steps (except the 7-8 was 22 steps).
i. So to go to my workout each morning 3 flights 48 steps up and then back
ii. breakfast 5 flights 86 steps down then 86 steps up
iii. dinner again 86 steps down then back up
iv. miscellaneous trips to the shows and activities add a few more steps to your day
• Whereas as walking was no problem - just coming up the 5 flights of stairs left me winded each time. Something I still have to work on when I get home.
3. Food and more food
• Many cruises now have free style eating which is a temptation in itself. The one we chose had traditional - or fixed time seating. We would often use the breakfast and dinner traditional and then lunch use the free style.
i. Traditional - we kept our breakfast simple - avoiding the many pastries the waiters would offer you - continually. Dinner - is where I would splurge after having an appetizer and main meal I would have a desert. After all it is vactaion.
ii. Free style - you walk in and they offer you a platter or a small plate. I always chose the regular size plate. I would fill up with mostly fruit - watermelon was my fruit of choice but I also had some of the other fruits.
iii. Food is available from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. During the few times we were hungry between meals - I would rely on more fruit as its usually in abundance. Knowing I was going to have my splurge at dinner with a desert helped me say no to temptation throughout the day.

So returning home - how did I do? I'll know tomorrow when I weigh in.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I want to go on one soooo bad....... I would love to do all that just to get away!
    1882 days ago
    way to go
    1886 days ago
    I know you had a wonderful time and your plan there was a good one. Even if you gained, it will come off quickly. My sister and husband are going on a 7 week South America cruise. THey will roll off the ship.
    1886 days ago
    Keep Sparkin'!!
    1886 days ago
    We've been cruising every year since 1993. The first year I didn't understand about the abundance of food, so 14 days and a 14 pound increase. Yikes! The second year I figured out I could only have three things at dinner. If I wanted an entree and dessert, then I could only have an appetizer or soup or salad or pasta. Result was a 7 pound gain in that 14 day period. I was getting better. The best I ever did was our trip through the Panama Canal. It was 21 days total (San Juan to San Francisco) and I only gained 1.5 pounds. Woohoo!
    We always take the stairs, I make friends with the gym instructors on the first day, I walk the walking course (some are only 3 laps to the mile; others are 13 laps) daily sometimes even twice daily. We do traditional/fixed seating and after the second night our waiter knows exactly what I want. I always ask for steamed vegetables, even if it's not on the menu. Desserts are usually fruit or sherbet/sorbet. The waiters will tease me about it for a few days and then admire my dedication. My biggest weakness is "cookies and ice cream" in the afternoon. If possible I try to arrange an excursion at that time or we go ashore for shopping.
    As Ginny said, it can be done, but you need a plan and a bit of determination.
    1887 days ago

    when we took our cruise 1-1/2 years ago, we walked outside on the track, or walked around the ship on one of the other decks where you would go for the life boats. We ALWAYS took the stairs!. I also found that the portions in the main dining room were sensible - not as much as a regular restaurant - so we never felt stuffed. I think we only gained a pound or two.

    I can't wait to take another cruise! emoticon
    1887 days ago
    great plan - it is definitely possible t o come away with no weight gain!! I'm sure you did well.
    1887 days ago
    Good luck with your weigh in.

    We did an Alaska cruise several years ago and we did several of the things you suggested, but we tended to walk outside on the deck rather on the treadmill. That way we could enjoy the scenery as we walked.
    1887 days ago
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