Vacations are a time when we throw caution to the wind and imbibe in those well-deserved oceanfront piña coladas. But while we are treating ourselves to the wide variety of cuisines and craft cocktails on a cruise ship, it can also be a time where we start to carry a little extra baggage around our waists. But have no fear, I am here to share some tried and true methods for staying in shape on a cruise.

Fitness and travel are a combination that most don’t know how to mix, but I’m here to tell you that you can stay in shape and actually enjoy your cruise by adding in some activity and exercise. Travel is about immersing yourself in a new culture, going outside your comfort zones, making new friends from all walks of life, learning things about yourself, experiencing new adventures, and truly living life to the fullest. So on your next cruise ship, create your own endorphin high, meet the locals, and enjoy coming home with tons of memories and a whittled waistline.


Choose Your Activities Wisely: Most cruise lines offer endless adventures including hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Instead of hopping on a booze cruise, opt or an outdoor adventure that will get your heart rate up. The best part is, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t notice all of those calories that you’ll be burning!

Explore the Ship: Many ships offer walking tracks on the top deck where you can log some miles. You can also choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator while you’re on the ship. You can earn your miles simply by walking from one endeavor to the next. That means that even on your days at sea, you can accumulate upwards of 10,000 steps.

Hit the Gym: Many cruise ships have gyms on board for you to utilize. Don’t worry – I’m not asking you to spend your precious vacation days inside a gym, but try to dedicate at least twenty minutes for a few days of your cruise. Before you head out to the beach, pump yourself up with a good cardio or weight workout on the ships state-of-the-art gym facility. A little pump at the gym will make your beach ensemble look that much sweeter.

active cruise

Bring Workouts With You: There are hundreds of YouTube videos and at-home exercises that you can bring with you while on your cruise. Prior to embarking on your cruise, download workouts such as Insanity, BodyPump, and P90X that you can bring with you into the incredible fitness facilities onboard your cruise. It’s like packing your own personal trainer on board!

Choose an Active Cruise: Many cruises cater to active travelers. AMAWaterways has partnered with the active travel company, Backroads, to offer river cruises that also include activities like cycling and hiking.


Cherry-pick Cocktails: Not all cocktails are created equal. If you’re trying to watch your calories, stay away from frozen cocktails and instead choose beverages without sugary mixers and empty calories. Some smarter caloric choices for alcohol include martinis, vodka sodas, wine, and light beers. As always, please drink responsibly.

Select Healthy Food: There are always lighter fare options for those looking for less calorically concentrated meals. For breakfast, opt for wholesome options such as eggs, oatmeal, and fruit. For lunch, there are plenty of healthy proteins and salads. For dinner, skip the breadbasket and instead, choose a freshly caught fish or shrimp ceviche. For dessert, there is always a delicious cheese plate, which comes with fresh fruit. While you don’t have to make healthy decisions at every meal, you always have the option for healthier cuisine aboard a cruise ship.