Lose Weight on a Cruise

Vitamin Sea: Can You Lose Five Pounds and Get Fit on a Cruise?

Does going on a cruise always have to be an indulgent vacation? Can you go on a cruise and not gain a few pounds?

How about going on a cruise and losing five pounds and getting fit? Is that even possible?

“I think it’s absolutely possible!” said Byron Blackwood, Director of Fitness Operations with OneSpaWorld, the Steiner company that manages the spas and gyms on 18 different cruise lines and more than 50 hotels and resorts worldwide. “If you want to lose some weight and jump-start a fitness program, it doesn’t matter which cruise you go on, it’s always an option. Temptation is the problem.”

Is it possible to lose weight on a cruise?

Ah yes, temptation. That’s always the problem isn’t it?

But when you compare the price of a week at a land-based spa with a week on a cruise ship, a cruise is just a fraction of the price and offers almost all the same elements. Luxurious accommodations? Check. Great gym with classes and personal instruction? Check. Healthy food available? Check. Active daytime activities? Check. Active daytime activities in different, interesting places each day? Only on a cruise. Great entertainment options every night? Only on a cruise. Dancing every night to burn more calories? Definitely only on a cruise.

Going on a cruise has traditionally been regarded as an unhealthy vacation — think 24-hour buffet lines, late-night partying, and sipping big fruity cocktails around the pool … not swimming laps in it.

Even if you’re already in decent shape, I know a lot of people who would love to go on a cruise but don’t want to break their diet or their fitness plan that they work so hard on all year long. They don’t want one week to blow all their hard work.

But why can’t you make your own spa week on a cruise?

Like many people I struggle with a stubborn 5 or 10 pounds that I always seem to be trying to lose. While I’d love to spend a week at a luxurious land-based spa, the price can be outrageous — ranging from $5000 to $10,000 a week, not including transportation! A week on a cruise can be a fraction of that price, even in the nicest cabin on a luxury cruise line, especially in the off-season. And if you decide to go alone, more ships are offering single cabins, which avoids that dreaded single supplement.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Keep Your Weight in Check While on Vacation

So why don’t more cruise lines promote cruising as a healthy alternative?

“I think most cruise lines are behind the curve in this area,” says Blackwood. “The perception has been that people go on a cruise to intox rather than detox — but that may be changing.

“We find there’s more and more demand for the services of our personal trainers and for classes. You can now pre-book your personal training sessions, your body composition analysis, and your nutrition analysis.”

Rule #1: Investigate your options thoroughly online and then pre-book!

You don’t want to just show up for your spa cruise only to find you can’t see a personal trainer to develop a plan until the third day of a 7-day cruise.

And non-traditional fitness is increasingly ….

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By Sharon Kenny

Photo: Dave Denby Photography/Alamy Stock Photo

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!