Vacation is a time to sit back, relax and unwind — especially when you’re vacationing on a cruise ship. And when you spend your time at sea, there will be plenty of time for rest and relaxation, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw your fitness routine out the window.
If you’re someone who enjoys exercise and feels better after spending some time getting in a good sweat, there’s no reason to feel like you can’t keep it up on vacation with Royal Caribbean. Cruises offer multiple opportunities for you to work out, stay fit and still enjoy your downtime. And the best part is — if you keep up your routine while you’re away from home, it's so much easier to get back on track when you return.
From group fitness classes to shore excursions, we’ve come up with our top suggestions for not letting your fitness get away from you on your next cruise. Plus, we recruited always-fit Gay Travel Celebrity Guru Davey Wavey to offer up some of his suggestions to stay fit while at sea.
Try the Activities
Yes, there are activities that don’t really require much physical work on a cruise ship, so we’re not suggesting you watch a Broadway show or high-flying aerial show and check off your workout for the day. But there are plenty of ways you can stay fit just by trying out the variety of thrilling onboard activities. Begin your morning with a sunrise stroll on the top deck of the ship while taking in the beauty of a 360-degree view of the open ocean or the destination you're visiting that day. Next, move on to a stretch class to warm up those muscles and get them ready for whatever your day has in store.
If you're lucky enough to be on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, you will be inspired by first-at-sea experiences such as the FlowRider (surfing), rock-climbing wall, roller and ice skating and the circus school with a flying trapeze! It might be hard for you to return home to your regular routine after you've tried the endorphin-revving activities on board these award-winning ships! You'll find there are tons of ways to challenge yourself and give your body a workout, making for some great photos and use of muscles you haven’t challenged in a long time.
Take a Group Fitness Class
If you’re someone who likes group fitness classes at home, why not keep them up while you’re on a cruise? From Pilates to spinning classes to yoga, group fitness activities vary from ship to ship, and generally speaking, you can find something that interests you. The best part about classes are the fitness trainers who will motivate and encourage you as you go. Once you get your first session in with the group, you'll find yourself squeezing in a 30-minute workout before brunch or dinner because you also are looking forward to seeing your favorite instructor and fellow classmates.
World-Class Fitness Facilities
If you are not typically a "gym" person, the facilities on Royal Caribbean will change your mind. The equipment is impressive and state-of-the-art. The view is nothing short of spectacular. The expansive locker rooms make it convenient for you to do a quick change from workout attire into something else.
If you're looking for a fun and challenging weights routine, try this: run the rack. It's something Davey Wavey suggests that involves lifting weights until you can lift no more. "Approach the rack and select a dumbbell that allows you to complete a normal set of a given exercise," Davey says. "For example, I would use the 55-lb dumbbells to complete 7 bicep curls. Immediately replace the dumbbells with a set that is 5 pounds lighter. Try to complete an additional set. Drop down another 5 pounds and continue on until completing the set is no longer challenging. It sounds easy. But I promise it’s not. As such, make sure that you don’t compromise your form as the intensity cranks up."
Note: Davey is a former gymnast and fit as a fiddle, so please adjust weight recommendations in his challenge according to your ability as our Gay Travel Cruise Guru so aptly demonstrates
Go for a Run or a Swim
If you like to run, there’s no reason to stop just because you’re on a cruise ship. Head to the jogging track, usually found on or near the top deck. Seeing new parts of the world as you run around on a cruise ship is half the fun. Not to mention, it is a great opportunity to get a good idea of the layout of the ship - this way of getting acclimated is especially helpful to first-time cruisers. If you don’t feel like running outdoors, there are always the treadmills in the gym with another jaw-dropping view of the ocean. Of course, one of the best exercises to keep your heart rate up and not put as much strain on your body is to swim. Usually, the pools are quiet in the morning or you can swim in nature off the ship - by all means indulge yourself! "Regular cardiovascular exercise is important for overall health," Davey says, and when a lot of vacation time can be spent doing activities that aren't terribly active, you want to make sure you get in your cardio."
Getting off the ship and stretching your legs unto itself can provide you with the exercise you need, and you can get an even better workout in depending on which shore excursions you choose. Trail hiking, rafting, snorkeling, kayaking — those are just a few of the ways you can do something fun with family and friends and give your body a good workout. Plus, it’s a unique way to experience new places while putting your body through a specific exercise it doesn’t get often at home.
Eat Healthy and Watch Your Drinking
Of course, fitness isn’t all about keeping your body moving — it’s about what you put in your body as well. On vacation, temptation can be at every turn, and it’s important to indulge and enjoy.
"I'm a gay man and I eat bread," says Davey Wavey. Why? "When you go to the gym, it’s carbohydrates that allow you to power through your workout and that provide the fuel. When you’re studying for a test, it’s carbohydrates that help you focus. Without carbs, fatigue, and even ketosis can result." So the key is to enjoy the food you want to eat while you travel but not over indulge. Once in a while.
Royal Caribbean provides healthy-minded travelers plenty of options such as Gluten-free, low sodium, vegetarian and more, and guests do not need to place special requests in advance for these types of meals which makes it even easier to stay on track. When you’re in the dining room, be sure to look for a Vitality symbol on the menu to guide you towards healthier choices. Oasis class ships serve up delicious smoothies at the Vitality℠ Café and you’ll find more healthful choices at the Solarium Bistro. Always remember to drink lots of water — that’s something a lot of people forget when they’re traveling."
Bring Your Fitness With You
If you’re the type of person who gets up early to do Yoga or Tai Chi or even a workout that you can do just about anywhere, make it a part of your daily routine while you’re on your cruise. Even if you don’t do your full workout, something is better than nothing, and if you couple it with a power walk across the upper decks, that’s going to keep your mind motivated and your body in shape.
Need some motivation — check out some of Davey Wavey's favorite ab exercises, most of which require nothing but a towel/mat and a floor.
Trust us, your body is going to thank you when you dock at your final destination and have to get back to the real world.View More Cruise ArticlesView More Davey Wavey Travel Blog ArticlesView More Gaycations ArticlesView More Top 10s, Rates and Reviews Articles