For some, the ideal cruise consists of a lounge chair,
gourmet food, and many, many drink umbrellas. And while I
admit that sounds wonderfully seductive, there are those
whose ideal cruise is a bit more active.
Some of you might want to spend a week immersed in your
favorite sport, or engage in some sporting activities you
haven't done in a long time - if ever. At the very least,
you may want to do something to help ease the guilt of
excesses at the ship's bountiful tables.
Staying healthy aboard today's cruise ships is fun. Modern
cruise ships are equipped with some of the largest and
most sophisticated fitness facilities anywhere. On
Carnival's Victory, for example, passengers are making a
beeline for the ship's vast two-level health club where a
collection of every conceivable gleaming exercise and body-
toning device awaits them. And it's always free.
The view from the deck-to-ceiling ocean view windows in
the Nautica Spa is spectacular. The state-of-the-art
gymnasium, with its two whirlpool baths and steam, sauna,
massage and loofah rooms, provides a fitness center that
rivals most land facilities.
If you desire to start a fitness program during your
seagoing vacation, you can turn to the trained
instructors. More experienced workout-aholics can look
forward to keeping fit with the most modern high-tech
weight and workout gear. From exercise bikes to
treadmills, step and rowing equipment, the spa has it all,
ready to raise your heart rate and tone your physique.
And of course, there's the jogging track high above the
ocean, and indoor and outdoor aerobics classes. Some
ships now offer you in-line roller blade tracks as well.
Cruise lines are rewarding you with prizes based upon the
number of physical activities you participate in
throughout your cruise. You may even go home with a new
fitness wardrobe from your Cruisercise programs and
For you ultra-conscientious, most cruise lines offer heart
smart alternative dining choices, identifying menu items
lower in sodium, cholesterol, calories and fat but full of
flavor and delightfully presented.
Not enough? Too regimented? Many cruise lines offer you
a combination of ship and shore activities to keep your
land game sharp. On Royal Caribbean's Voyager and
Explorer of the Seas (and others) you can experience a
rock-climbing wall towering 200 feet above the sea. Not
long ago, anyone who suggested ice-skating on a cruise
ship would have been laughed out of the room. Not
anymore, the Voyager, Explorer and Adventure of the Seas
feature Center Ice at Studio B, which accommodates
professional ice shows, and open skating (complete with
skate rentals). Now at sea you will find million-dollar
state-of -the-art golf simulators where you can play
courses around the world and golf cages to fine-tune your
long game and a small-scale course to assist with your
For realism, you and your friends can tailor a unique
combination of a world-class cruise and championship golf
on courses. You can choose from a variety of different
courses in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Bermuda, the
Bahamas, Mexico and Hawaii. You will play only the best
golf courses each port has to offer. Just imagine
driving a golf ball cleanly down a lush tropical fairway.
Looking for more? Tear yourself away from the wonders of
your ship for in-port activities that include snorkeling
in crystal clear waters, scuba diving along vibrant reefs,
or just plain walking miles of beaches. Imagine yourself
taking scuba diving training right on board combined with
graduation dives in areas with stunning underwater
beauty. Certified divers are offered even more exotic
adventures to the home of 14 million varieties of fish and
Why not rides a raft over river rapids, or bicycle down
the side of a 10,000-foot volcano? You can go horseback
riding, and leave miles of hoof prints along secluded
If you would rather be above the water than in it, you can
take to sea aboard a world class sail ship and be part of
the crew for a few wonderfully exhilarating hours. If
there's still time (and you aren't ready to rest yet) play
tennis or basketball, catch a record marlin or just swim
the soothing waters.
Just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious
and wonderfully tempting food, doesn't mean you have to
come home out of shape. Burning calories was never so
Sid Kaplan -
Mr. Kaplan has extensive experience in the travel business having owned and operated a successful cruise only travel agency in Canada.
Cruise Vacations Guide
A great resource for those planning a Cruise Vacation! Information for getting the best cruise deal, family cruises and kids vacations, cruise ship layout and more. Free Cruise-Zine Newsletter with tips and ideas for memorable cruises and vacation adventures!