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7 Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise

So you want to make sure you stay fit on your cruise vacation.

But you’re not entirely sure what options are available to you. Maybe you’ve heard the rumor that most people gain five to seven pounds on a cruise. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can keep in top shape. In fact, I often go home a few pounds lighter. Check out these helpful tips.

Eat Right

There are tons of healthy eating options on a cruise ship. From salads to oatmeal, you can find plenty of delicious and nutritional foods. Okay, okay, I know…you’re surrounded by a ton of amazing food on a cruise so how can you be expected to curb your appetite? I’m the last person to suggest you steer clear of the dessert bar, but remember that moderation is the key to keeping your waistline trim. If you have Fruit Loops for breakfast, consider a salad instead of fries at lunch. A bit of give and take can go a long way, especially if you do any of the other things on this list, too.

Take the Stairs

Cruise ships are like floating islands. Only instead of spreading out over vast amounts of land, they rise upward, which means they have lots of stairs to climb. You could always take the elevator, but if you take the stairs everywhere you go, you’ll get a great workout. I love to skip the gym on vacation, so this is my absolute favorite way to stay fit on a cruise.

Hit the Gym

If you can’t live without your daily workout, there’s no need to fear. Even the smallest river cruise ships have gym facilities. On most ocean cruise ships, the gym houses a host of treadmills, bikes, weights, and more. And the gym is usually near the top of the ship and features floor-to-ceiling windows. You can stare out at the peaceful surroundings while you work up a sweat. Often, the ship’s fitness crew will provide personal training or group classes for a small fee.

Take a Dive

There will be at least one pool on your ship. And most ships have one that is designated for adult use only. If you’re up early, it’ll likely be empty. Take advantage and swim a few laps.

Go for a Walk

If swimming laps isn’t your cup of tea, maybe walking laps is. Most ships have a walking and jogging circuit on one of the upper decks so you can get a bit of sunshine while you walk. Raining? No problem, walk indoors. I like to start at one end of a deck, walk to the other end, take the stairs up to the next deck, and so on.


Working out and eating right may not be on the itinerary for your vacation. You just want to treat yourself and have a good time. Got it. How about dancing the night away? It burns a ton of calories, and it’s fun. Next to taking the stairs, this is my favorite way to stay fit on a cruise.

Take a Hike

Cruise ships offer tons of active shore excursions. You can often find hikes, kayaking, and other fun outdoor activities on the agenda. They’re great ways to keep in shape while exploring new destinations.

How do you stay fit on a cruise? Share your ideas with the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group.

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