. The Best Fitness and Nutrition on Cruise Ships : ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine

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Cruising for Fitness

Cruise Ships Offer Fitness on the High Seas

New Year's resolutions are still in overdrive, and thankfully your next cruise vacation won't get in the way of the svelte, new you.

For a growing number of travelers, vacations are no longer a time to leave their daily health and fitness habits behind. Paradise can now include spas, fitness facilities and even nutritious, healthy cuisine. These healthy paradises can even be found on your vacation cruise ship.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), approximately 175 member cruise ships have added updated health and fitness facilities since 2000. These cruise ships not only include a traditional gym, but also full-sized luxury spas and shipboard sports facilities. Additionally, CLIA says its member ships now offer delicious spa cuisine and other healthier dining selections. Many lines even offer wellness-themed cruises featuring some of the world’s top fitness, health and culinary experts. These changes now give travelers exciting opportunities for rejuvenating their mind, body and soul while vacationing.

In 2008, cruise lines are offering fitness, holistic or wellness programs — both on board and on land. Also, wellness-themed cruises are available throughout the world, from the Caribbean and Europe to Asia, Scandinavia, the Pacific, Alaska and Canada.

The completely revamped Spa Carnival Fare culinary offerings incorporate the latest trends in gourmet preparation, ingredients and presentation, creating the ultimate in healthy dining options. The new selections are featured on all dining menus and include nearly 50 salads, appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts.

Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 features the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea. The spa offers 24 massage, body and skin care treatment rooms, a gymnasium, weight room and juice bars. Canyon Ranch SpaClub also offers a vast selection of spa treatments, fitness classes and chiropractic services. Complimentary Canyon Ranch lectures take place on every voyage and cover subjects including exercise, nutrition, osteoporosis, digestive concerns, aging, cancer and motivation. All three main dining rooms offer specially designed Canyon Ranch SpaClub menu choices for those that want delicious and nutritious meals.

Fitness and health are high priorities on all Holland America cruises, with each ship offering a comprehensive fitness program and activities such as Pilates, indoor cycling, yoga and Tai Chi. Shipboard Greenhouse Spas and beauty salons offer a full menu of massage, skin therapy, body rituals and water therapies. The ships’ Fitness Center classes include Kickboxing, Step Aerobics, Fit Ball, Core Training, Fab Abs, Circuit Training, Total Body Conditioning, Stretch & Relax and Sit & Be Fit. Fleet-wide dining offers healthy lifestyle options at every meal.

Guests on MSC Cruises are offered numerous opportunities for cruises with wellness, fitness and organic food and wine themes. Shipboard programs include in-depth study of massage techniques and beauty treatments, well-being packages with Balinese and Thai massage, reflexology and ayurveda, group fitness programs, special healthy menus and even well-being cocktails.

Healthy cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) encompasses nutritious dining options and fitness activities for every type of cruiser. NCL’s Freestyle Cruising allows guests to enjoy up to 10 restaurants on each ship with cooked-to-order meals and healthy menu options thanks to a partnership with Cooking Light. The ships’ 24-hour, state-of-the-art fitness centers, swimming pools, basketball courts and putting greens are complemented by activities such as Pilates, aerobics, yoga and spinning. On NCL's newest ships — Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem — guests can try their hand at on-board rock climbing walls and bowling alleys.

Princess Cruises offers passengers opportunities for staying active during their vacation with exercise classes, fitness programs and gym supervision. Specialized fitness opportunities include personal training and consultation sessions and a series of health and nutrition seminars. Classes include Step Xpress, Total Body Conditioning, Xpress Circuit, yoga, Pilates, pulse cycling, KickBoXpress, aerobic dance and power walking. More advanced options include one-on-one training, body composition analysis and a Chakra balancing capsule. In addition, shipboard restaurants offer a diverse selection of Lotus Spa meals.

Royal Caribbean gives cruisers a total mind, body and soul vacation through its new Vitality program. Introduced on the line’s two newest ships — Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas — the program provides an integrated approach to wellness incorporating all aspects of the cruise experience. Vitality pairs new fitness classes and spa treatments with food choices such as trans-fat free menus, energy bars, protein shakes and Tazo teas. Other features include seminars on stress, relaxation, weight management, health and fitness.

Pure Pampering is a complimentary program of "shamelessly sybaritic services” on Seabourn yachts. The program includes a menu of five soothing and revitalizing Molton Brown therapeutic bathing experiences with the option of having the bath drawn by the guests’ personal suite stewardess. There is a Sensual Bath that is perfect for sharing, an invigorating Ginseng Bath featuring the restorative powers of Brazilian ginseng, a warming Eucalyptus Bath, the Yuan Zhi Peacemaker Bath for calming and soothing the mind and the Oceanic Stress-Relieving Bath.

Integrating classes in nutrition and exercise, fitness activities, spa therapies and healthy dining options, Silversea’s new Wellness Program creates the opportunity for complete rejuvenation of mind, body and soul while at sea. The program is incorporated into the line’s new Spa at Silversea concept, offering personalized and holistic spa experiences focused on guests' individual needs. Additionally, the fitness centers aboard Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper have been expanded, adding 300 square feet for new cardiovascular training equipment. A comprehensive fitness regimen includes aerobics, Pilates, circuit training and yoga. Also included is a daily collection of light and low-carb menu selections.

Learn more about healthy cruise options from Cruise Lines International Association cruise ships.

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