5 Easy Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise.

By Posted in - Caribbean & Islands & cruise & Travel Resources & Vacation Exercise Tips on December 8th, 2014

I think I’m unlike 95 percent of the population–I actually lose weight when I travel. In fact, it’s usually the only time I can lose weight. I always tell Randy that traveling for a year would be one of the healthiest things I could do for myself, not to mention the easiest, and undoubtedly the most fun way for me to get to my goal weight.

I was looking forward to our Carnival cruise for a number of reasons, but, if I’m being honest, it’s because I wanted to use the time to set up a healthy routine before the holidays officially started. With that in mind, I treated the cruise ship like my own personal health and wellness resort, except this resort moved, so I also got to play in some pretty incredible places too. This turned out to be a fun way to cruise, and I came up with these five tips that you can use to stay fit on your next cruise.

Eat Healthy

You can do this anywhere, even at home, but the best thing about cruising with the intention of eating well is that all of the work is done for you. In many ways it’s like having your own personal chef, something I’ve always wanted. Forget having to wash and cut veggies or even cleaning up, it’s all taken care of. With a myriad of healthy options on board, this is the easiest way to stay fit while cruising, just remember to watch your serving sizes.


Get Physical

This was our second Carnival cruise, so I knew going into the trip that the workout facilities onboard would be top notch. At our disposal we had a world class gym, basketball court, jogging track, and a studio for classes like Yoga and Pilates, all of which we made use of. At the start of the cruise, we had back to back sea days, so we did a morning Yoga class ($11 per person) on the second day, and found it to be a great start to our day at sea. Plus, walking the length of the ship alone will help you to rack up your daily step count, and by opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, you’ll be able to get a nice little work out without even knowing it.

Play Hard

From bobsledding in Jamaica to learning to dive at a Grand Cayman reef, there all types of excursions that you can do once you’re in the port. Personally, my favorite types of exercise are ones that are so much fun they don’t feel like exercise at all. If you feel like I do, then chose excursions that include physical activity, such as snorkeling, exploring ruins, and city walking tours.


Do Nothing

If you only remember one tip, make it this one. Taking time for yourself is important for your well-being. And one of the best things about cruising is that you have all the time in the world to simply do nothing, if you so choose. There were so many ways to relax on the Carnival Dream that I could dedicate an entire post them. I guess, though, if I had to pick my favorite then it would be the Dive-In Movies on the Lido deck, where we watched movies on the big screen under the stars while enjoying fresh popcorn.

Drink Smart

I’d tell you to drink less but let’s be honest, this is a cruise. With more cocktails than there are letters in the alphabet, it’s safe to say you’ll likely be tipping back the glass more than usual. So the best thing you can do is drink smarter. Stay away from the creamy or sugary staples, like the pina colada, and chose drinks with fewer ingredients, such as a gin and tonic with a few limes–my personal favorite–or a glass of wine or  light beer. Also, drinking smart applies to non-alcoholic drinks too. Treat soda as just that, a treat, opting instead for water and iced tea (unsweetened, of course), both of which are free onboard.

A couple on the Carnival Dream toasting to a great day in the Caribbean.

Got an awesome tip that we missed? We’d love to hear it. Let us know what it is in the comments!

Want more cruising stories, check out our recent stories:

The Great Caribbean Cocktail Trail Challenge

5 Awesome Tips to Help You Travel Better

26 Cocktails and Tips for Your Next Cruise

Disclosure: This story was created as part of our collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are our own.

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(6) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • De’Jav -

    December 10, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Simple and helpful tips yet sometimes harder to follow. I love being on a cruise with access to so many things.

  • Alex -

    December 11, 2014 at 5:10 am

    I actually lose weight while traveling as well. I like to get up in the morning and bust out a few pushups to get the day going. Good tips on everything else!

  • Andrew -

    December 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    You have far more willpower than I … I go all zombie-like when I see all that free food and drink!

  • Paul Sale -

    February 1, 2015 at 5:12 am

    I either lose or maintain my pre-embarkation weight while cruising. I attribute it to the “Play Hard” graf above. I always select the most physically challenging shore excursions … whether its Dunns River Waterfall in Jamaica, ascending the precarious stairs inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa or hiking to the top of Mt. Vesuvius … they all provide quite a workout therefore I can indulge myself in the great eateries after returning to the ship.

  • Deena -

    February 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    My husband and I lose weight on cruises also. We walk the track at least 3 miles each day, unless (and sometimes in spite of) we had a very active excursion day. It’s easy to choose healthy-ish foods from the wide variety and still feel full and satisfied. We often get the desserts at dinner time, and don’t feel we’re missing out on anything, we just make healthy food choices and keep active! So want to go on another cruise and get in better shape while seeing and doing awesome things at each port!

  • Tazz -

    March 20, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Psychical fitness has been an issue for me in some of my trips…. these are some really good tips ….I will keep these in my mind…