My virgin cruise experience was quite possibly a little more than 10 years ago and to be honest, I can’t quite remember what in the world happened then. So the only opinions I could form about cruises were merely from what people tell me. Buffet. Chill. Sleep. Casino. Food. And did I say buffet? Pretty much most of what I’ve heard about it is that they’ve gained weight cause they were either lazying it up on the deck or going all out on buffet all day every day.
But after going on an 8-day cruise to the Mediterranean, that was not my experience. In fact, I very much could have. But I chose not to. To laze around and eat whatever I want with no consequences was not my intention. I wanted to enjoy myself, taking in every bit of experience as I can while still having my dose of healthy routine.
Why would you want to be so healthy while on a holiday, you ask? Cause health is not a destination, it’s a vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling and I love food and I love indulging. But if these healthy choices on the cruise are right there in front of me to choose, why not? It’s not like you have to cross bridges and walk 5,000 steps to find a good wholesome meal. If it’s there for the taking, I say take it!
Buffet does not mean ALL YOU CAN EAT
I don’t know what kind of buffet you went to, but I’m pretty sure they have the salad bar and fruit bar basics. Start off with those. And I don’t mean slathering them wholesome platters with creamy dressing and sugary yogurt. Stick to good ol’ olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the salad and do I really need to say anything about how to eat fruits? Now onto the proteins and carbs, I’m sure you can find yourself some good steak or chicken or even fish with some potatoes or even pasta. I know I know! Before you start questioning, PASTA? Like I said, it’s not about restricting yourself, go get em, just PORTION CONTROL. If most of your meal is made up of fruits and veggies, then that bit of space left for your stomach is fine for a small portion of pasta or mashed potatoes.
Cruises nowadays have great healthier options. I don’t mean the Ben & Jerry’s on deck 6. Find yourself some fruit salads or healthy sandwiches. The liner I was on even had a salad bar! A little tip, if the buffet is closing and you predict you’re gonna get hungry later on, try slipping out some fruits back to your room. I was too much of a scaredy-cat to try but throughout the week, people were slipping more than just fruits but big food platters back to their rooms. Just don’t say I was the one who told you that. 😛
Get on the gym wagon
I’m pretty sure there is a gym in every cruise ship. Pretty. Darn. Sure. It’s free for you to use so why not? You paid for this cruise, so why not make full use of it? Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weights, yoga mats, med balls, dumbbells, it’s safe to say they’re well equipped. Well enough for your week long vacation that’s for sure! Since the pool is right outside, you can reward yourself with a splash in after that gym sesh so why not? If you’re looking for something else, the gyms usually have an array of classes for you to choose from like Yoga, Bootcamp, Spin, Stretches, some of which you may need to pay extra for but hey, when else are you going to do a sunset yoga outdoor on a cruise deck overlooking the Mediterranean Sea? Sold.
The cruise ship I was on had a rock climbing wall which I was so psyched about. Again, when else are you going to rock climb at the back of a moving cruise ship at the Mediterranean Sea? If not, then there are other ways to get active. Like taking the steps. Get from deck 4 to deck 9 by taking the steps. I was panting by the time I reached 7. Get a swim in and do laps before laying out there under the sun. Or simply walk participate in activities the cruise has planned like learning to Tango or Cha Cha Cha. So. Many. Choices!
Try to stick to a schedule. TRY.
I tried my best to stick to a schedule even on days we were at sea. Try to get a good 7-8 hours of sleep, hydrate as much as possible and put on your phone calendars what you plan to do that day. From taking a class to simply going to a casino, sticking to a schedule time makes sure you don’t lose track of time and with that, you get to accomplish everything you planned for the day. You won’t have to say “I still have tomorrow” every day.
Go easy on yourself.
It all sounds way too perfect isn’t it? I know that’s not what holidays are about so I say go easy on yourself too. Try to make a point in eating healthy, getting active and sticking to a schedule. Try to as much as possible. But even if you indulge on that plate of desserts or wasted half the day sleeping, it’s okay! Try again the next day and if you still want to do the same, know what will make yourself feel better. Truly.
Health isn’t a destination, it’s a vehicle. It’s a lifelong journey that only you yourself can go on for yourself. Nobody else can do it for you. But most importantly, have fun doing it!