First Cruise Tips and Staying Fit (Part 2)

| July 20, 2009

Two budding cruise writers have sent us their recommendations for cruisers; Tips for first-time cruisers, and how to stay fit on a cruise ship.

Staying Fit on a Cruise Ship Melissa Barto provides some handy advice for staying in shape while onboard.

The recent slashing of cruise prices is likely to encourage more people to cruise in 2009 than the 13.2 million that did in 2008. And why not? The draws of cruising are undeniable: a great value for the price, unrivaled ease of travel, and enough onboard and onshore activities to keep even the shortest attention span entertained.

Yet the health-conscious traveler realizes that the all-you-can-eat buffets, bottomless drinks and lounging by the pool in between ports can really pack on the pounds.

Sheila Cluff, fitness celebrity, world-traveler, author, and owner of fitness destination spa The Oaks at Ojai, knows this doesn't have to be the case. For the past 35 years, Cluff has been leading Wellness Cruises focused on fitness and healthy eating aboard some of the world's best cruise ships. Below are some of her "healthy cruising tips:"

  1. Book a room that is as far away from the dining room as possible. Not only will you be required to walk more each day, but it will also give you an opportunity to meet more of your shipmates as they stroll to dinner.
  2. Never take an elevator if you can help it. Stairs are fitness tools.
  3. Locate the spa and gym as soon as you get aboard, perhaps even before the life boat drill. Talk to the staff in the fitness center or spa about special classes such as Pilates and spinning (there's usually a small, extra fee) and book right away to ensure a space.
  4. Before booking a cruise, make sure the ship has a spa cuisine and vegetarian menu.
  5. Concerned about seasickness? Don't be. Talk with your physician about prescribing medication so you won't even think twice about it.
  6. Choose onshore activities that will keep you active. Hike Mr. Vesuvius in Naples, cruise through the Port Olimpic in Barcelona on a bicycle, or work out those arms as you power a transparent kayak through the Sea of Cortez in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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