It is a common and often lamented phenomenon that people gain weight while on vacation. Especially cruises are known as food traps where travelers tend to quickly lose control over their calorie intake. With all the fantastic culinary displays, all included in the prepaid fare, how could anyone resist overindulging? Well, it depends on your itinerary. Nowadays, you may come home leaner and fitter than you left.
Just take Celebrity Cruises, for example. The 2,850-passenger “Celebrity Eclipse” offers highly intensive weight loss programs on the scale of NBC’s reality show, “The Biggest Loser.” Participants can join all-day exercise classes, wellness lectures and healthy cooking demonstrations. Bob Harper himself, one of the show’s principal trainers, has been hired to give keynote speeches about getting motivated and adopting a health-promoting lifestyle. Those who sign up for the “Loser Cruise” will also have access to special weight-loss-friendly meal choices that are not part of the regular menus on board.
Today’s Cruise Ships Offer Fitness
Facilities Like No Health Spa Can
It’s a great concept. You learn to eat better, lose weight, pick up a few tricks from professional health experts and still feel you’re on a vacation of a lifetime. Who says you can’t have it all?
To make diet and lifestyle changes, it is important to get away from your everyday environment once in a while, said Harper. “The biggest obstacles to healthy living are bad habits we fall into over the years. We hope that people will jump at the chance to take a fun vacation and learn how easy it is to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle.”
Celebrity is not the only cruise line that has discovered this new travel niche. Royal Caribbean’s star ship, “Freedom of the Seas,” has one of the largest and most sophisticated spa and fitness centers at sea today. A 17,000-square-foot workout arena, a rock-climbing wall, ice rink, luxury spa and boxing ring offer a playground the size of a supermarket. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 with its Canyon Ranch SpaClub® and Costa Cruise Line’s Costa Concordia, whose spa and fitness center covers two entire decks, are even larger.
And it’s not just the mega-ships that do their utmost to accommodate a new breed of fitness seeking passengers. Smaller-size ship operators follow suit, too. Windstar Cruises, best known for its dramatic display of white triangular sails, has expanded its fitness facilities and provides many healthy meal options, including all vegetarian menus.
Obviously, the opportunities for breaking some sweat are not limited to onboard activities. Cruise operators offer programs in almost any sports category imaginable, including many onshore daytrips for hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, climbing and more.
The bottom line is that getting heavier on vacation is no longer as inevitable as it once seemed to be. “With all the exercise offerings on board of today’s cruise ships, you no longer have to leave your workout regimen at home,” said Anita Dunham-Potter, a travel columnist. “Health and fitness is the new wave in cruising, and that’s something to jump up and down about.”