“I gained 10 pounds on my last cruise!”
How many times have you heard that? One of the highpoints of going on a cruise is the dining/eating experience. As a result, it’s not uncommon to gain weight on a cruise. So is it possible to enjoy eating to your heart’s content without gaining weight? Or even better, is it possible to lose weight while on a cruise?
First a Disclaimer
First things first, we’re not endorsing overeating. Nor are we asserting that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight.
That said, there are things you can do to expend calories while on a cruise ship that can compensate for potential overindulgence. Some things you might have already figured out. But we’re sure there are some you never thought about. And none of them involve going to the gym.
What Does It Take To Lose Weight?
How many steps does it take to lose weight? According to FitBit, you’ll need to walk 10,000 steps to lose a pound of fat. We’re going to make the assumption that if you’re reading this, you’re not a fitness junkie. There are cruise lines that accommodate active lifestyles.
So, if you’re the average Joe looking to destress from the regular grind but not have to buy bigger clothes once you get home, what can you do during and before the cruise to keep the pounds off?
Things To Do While On a Cruise To Lose Weight
Everything we’re going to talk about involves walking for weight loss. All ships have walking paths usually located near the upper decks. Depending on the size of the ship, and where the path is, you might be able to walk the entire ship with the exception of the front.
You’re on vacation. So I’m going to assume you don’t want to be on a schedule to exercise. So here’s an idea to get your walking in so you can lose weight and enjoy your cruise at the same time.
LiveStrong.com says that you should start slow. In other words, don’t shoot for 10,000 steps on embarkation day, although there is a way to do that (more on that later). After all, 10,000 steps are the equivalent of walking 5 miles a day or exercising vigorously for 30 minutes a day. Depending on your fitness level, you might only get 3,000 steps.
The Walking Path
Since you’re not going to be exerting yourself, enjoy the stroll. Cruising has some of the most picturesque scenes you could ever imagine. Wait for the sun to begin its descent. When the sky looks like it’s on fire, start walking around the walking path. It will likely be pretty empty since half the ship will be preparing for dinner.
It’s a beautiful sight. And if you’re vacationing with someone special, you’ll pass the time without realizing how many steps you’ve taken. Your walk around the path will help in weight loss. No, you won’t get anywhere close to walking your 10,000 steps. But it’s an awesome way to get your steps in.
Get Off At the Port of Call
This one is a great choice because you can do it for free. Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun.
Every port a cruise ship pulls into is just one big tourist trap. There are stores everywhere. And you can go pretty far away from the port on foot and still stay entertained. Not to mention you’ll get more steps in than you realize popping in and out of shops, walking around from display case to display case and just plain old exploration.
Go On An Excursion
The thing I don’t want you to forget is that you are on vacation. There’s plenty of time to go to the gym once you get back home. So take the time to book an excursion. Most excursions will have you get on some sort of transportation to get to your destination. But once there, you’ll be walking and exploring your surroundings. And let’s not forget, once you get dropped off to return to the ship, there’s usually a bit of a walk to get back to the gangway. If doing all that walking doesn’t help you burn fat, there’s something wrong with your step counter.
Visit the Private Island
This is probably the best and easiest way to get your steps in to lose weight. After all, we’re talking about walking to help you lose weight. So having fun is kind of a requirement.
If your itinerary includes a private island, this is perhaps the “funnest” (yes, we’re saying that’s a real word) ways to walk to burn fat.
No matter the cruise company, once you’re on a private island you’ll be doing a lot of walking. You might lose the most weight walking when you are on a private island. The reason is that in most cases, you’re docked at the private island for the entire day.
Not only can you simply walk around the island, but you can also zip line, go snorkeling, kayaking and a host of other things. And while yeah, your steps won’t technically be counted snorkeling, you will be burning calories even if you aren’t walking.
And just like getting off at the port of call, you’ll still have to make your way from wherever you are on the island back to your ship and stateroom. So being on the private island can help you lose weight while walking.
How You Can Lose Weight By Walking Before the Cruise
This might sound a little crazy. How can you lose weight by walking before the cruise? The answer lies in the choices you make before you book your cruise.
Your Ship Matters – Smaller Ships
Earlier when talking about walking paths, I said that the size of your ship can have an impact on how many steps you get in on your quest to lose weight walking while on your cruise.
The scenario discussed earlier about the walking path applies to smaller ships. Think of ships like the Norwegian Sun from NCL, MSC Musica from MSC Cruise Lines, the Carnival Fantasy from Carnival Cruise Lines and Brilliance of the Seas from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
On some of those ships, you can walk along the main deck (usually the deck where guest services are), past the people playing giant-sized checkers and folks laying on deck chairs reading a book. Much like parking further away from the building in the mall parking lot, you could walk along the deck on the outside to get to various activities onboard.
Your Ship Matters – Larger Ships
If you’re serious about walking for weight loss while you cruise, you definitely want to book a cruise on a large cruise ship. I can tell you from personal experience that you absolutely can lose weight by walking on a cruise.
Many of the newer ships are enormous. Some of them can hold almost 6,000 passengers. As such, just about anywhere you go will require that you do a lot of walking. Not convinced? Here’s my story.
We cruised on the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas. This ship is so big, you won’t feel the movement of the ship at all. It’s like being on land. It’s also a long ship. How long? That ship is 1,188 feet long. For reference, the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall not including the antennae.
Our cabin was located closer to the rear of the ship. The thing is, every time we went to breakfast or dinner, we had to walk to the front of the ship. I was tracking my steps with a smartwatch and discovered in one day I had walked over 5,000 steps! That was just going for my morning and evening meals along with my other vacation activities on the ship.
After the cruise, I noticed my clothes fit looser. That’s right; I actually lost weight with all the walking I did on that cruise. And that wasn’t on a day where we went off the ship. This was actually the inspiration to write this article.
So if you book one of the larger ships, booking a room on the opposite side of the activities you will regularly visit can help you get your steps in. This means you can lose weight just by walking where you planned on going anyway.
For that extra calorie burn, still go on those excursions, get off the ship at ports of call and take advantage of those private islands.
Track Your Steps
It’s not necessary, but if you want to keep an eye on your steps, you might want to invest in a pedometer. If you have a smartphone of any kind, you probably already have an app on your phone that is monitoring your steps.
That might not be the most ideal choice considering how large phones are these days. A more convenient option is to use a smartwatch. It sits on your wrist and counts your steps automatically. And it’s easy to check your progress. If you have a target number of steps, a quick glance on the wrist lets you know what you have to do.
A lower-tech option is to get a manual step counter that pins to your pants or shorts. It’s not as accurate as the first two options. But it’s a cheaper, much less expensive way to monitor your steps.
Need Help Getting Your Steps In On Vacation?
Not sure which ship to book to meet your walking goals? Not sure which private island to have on your itinerary to get your fun on and get your steps in?
Give us a call at 877-235-8061 or email us at DreamTeam@JsDreamTravel.com so we can book your perfect vacation and even get you upgrades you won’t get using a booking website.