Cruising is an amazing way to travel! Get my tips on how to stay healthy on a cruise along with a review of my fabulous vacation aboard the Norwegian Escape!
Thank you to Norwegian Cruise Line for providing me with complimentary internet onboard the Norwegian Escape along with some special invitations and perks in exchange for writing this post. I was not directly paid for my time and all opinions are my own.
My family loves cruising! With endless food, activities and entertainment around the clock, there’s something for everyone. That also means the opportunity to slip up on your health and fitness goals while vacationing. I’ve got lots of tips on how to stay healthy on a cruise while enjoying an amazing getaway.
I just returned from an incredible week on the Norwegian Escape with 7 of my family members as we sailed from New York to Bermuda. The food, service and entertainment were excellent!! While I could go on WAY too long about every aspect of the trip, I’m going to focus on how to stay healthy on a cruise based on my experiences. Plus, a bit of an inside look at the ship including the dining menus!
Tip #1 Washy-Washy!
Don’t get sick, it’s the quickest way to ruin your vacation. Hand washing is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! There are enthusiastic crew members everywhere happy to squirt you with hand sanitizer. One crew member is nicknamed “Washy-Washy” because he walks through the Garden Café singing the “washy-washy” song with his tambourine to jovially remind everyone to keep their hands clean. Also helpful are probiotics, making sure to get enough sleep and exercise, and trying to eat a balanced diet.
Tip #2: Be Smart at the Buffet!
Buffets don’t have to be a diet disaster- simple tips can help you build a delicious meal while staying on track. Find the veggies first. There are several different veggie dishes and salads available at meals. One day in the Garden Café, I counted 9 different vegetables on my plate. Then add protein and small bites of other interesting treats like a few fries or a small portion of rice and maybe a small ice cream. The soft serve is quite addictive, just keep your portion to a small cone.
And don’t forget breakfast!!! We know that’s my favorite meal of the day, and having a healthy, balanced breakfast on your cruise with protein, whole grains and fruit/veggies can start your day off right and give you sustained energy for your morning activities. Check out a few of my choices from the Garden Cafe:
Tip #3- MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!
MOVE and do it often throughout the day. Yes, there is a gym, but it’s often crowded on sea days and maybe the activities you wish to do make it difficult to carve out that time.
Take the stairs, EVERYWHERE. My cabin was on deck 9, the Garden Cafe where we ate breakfast and lunch was on deck 16 along with the pool and gym. That’s 7 flights at least a few times per day (actually, more like 10 since each deck is about 1 ½ flights apart). Walk to explore the ship, go across one deck, take the stairs up and go across the next deck until you’ve made it to the top. That’s quite a workout with some scenic entertainment and it’s independent of the weather. You can also take advantage of fitness classes both in and outside of the gym.
The Norwegian Escape features:
Pathway to Yoga, Pure Form Pilates, RYDE Indoor cycling, Trilogy Boot Camp, TRX Suspension Training and Norwegian Fight Klub classes for a fee. There are also free classes such as Stretch and Relax and Fab Abs. Throughout the week I spied Zumba class at the pool and hip-hop and musical theater dance classes in the indoor Atrium. Plus, the Waterfront on deck 8 is a beautiful, less crowded spot where you can circle the entire length of the ship for a power walk.
Don’t forget the water slides, those babies are 4 flights up which means more calorie burning. Play some basketball, do the ropes course, maybe even some Guitar Hero or Skee-Ball in the arcade. We even participated in “Escape the Big Top” which was an escape room themed activity that had us moving all around the room frantically trying to solve puzzles. (We WON!) There’s always a way to move more.
Tip #4- Eat Everything- Just Not Too Much
Small portions are key. Multi-course meals can be calorie bombs, especially when you dine over a 2-hour period so you can digest in between courses. Fortunately, portions on cruises are generally not tremendous since people consume so many courses. The food on the Norwegian Escape was excellent. We dined at 5 of the specialty restaurants throughout the cruise thanks to a package offered by Norwegian at the time of our booking that included 3 specialty meals for only the cost of the gratuity. Each was delicious and offered some healthier choices.
The main dining rooms including The Manhattan Room, Savor and Taste, signified vegetarian and gluten free items on their menus too.
Desserts are amazing and so easy to share. Try to stick to the 3-bite rule to make the most of your choices without overdoing the portions. My top 3 recommendations for the week are the Key Lime Cheesecake with Mango Sauce in the main dining rooms, Profiteroles covered in chocolate sauce in Le Bistro restaurant and Affogato (espresso poured over vanilla ice cream) in La Cucina.
Tip #5- Don’t Drink Your Calories- Mostly
Be smart with your alcohol. We all know that drinking lowers your inhibitions and tends to make you eat more. Plus, tropical drinks can contain hundreds of calories each. Pick a couple that you love to have during the week, just be wise about your choices. Wine and champagne will contain far fewer calories than mixed cocktails. There are also Nestle Vitality zero-calorie flavored waters in the café in tropical mango and strawberry kiwi flavors. I made DIY iced coffee every day by filling a cup with ice, adding decaf coffee, milk and my own sweetener.
Tip #6- Pay Attention to Some Personal Care Items
Bring and use sunscreen! It’s really easy to burn in tropical climates and it’s amazing how quickly that happens, especially when it’s breezy and you don’t feel the full brunt of the sun on your skin.
Bring some Bonine for motion sickness. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but you’ll be happy you have it if the seas are unfriendly.
Menus from the specialty restaurants we dined in on board the Norwegian Escape
Affogato (Espresso poured over ice cream) at La Cucina.
Cagney’s Steakhouse menu on Norwegian Escape
A sample menu from the last night of the cruise in the main dining rooms (Savor, Taste, and The Manhattan Room)
Just had to share a bit about the fabulous entertainment on board!
At the time of this post we were privileged to see the Broadway show, After Midnight and For The Record: The Brat Pack, a review of all our favorite songs from popular 80’s movies.
Howling at the Moon- Dueling Pianos is our family favorite! These folks are incredibly talented and play not only the piano but guitar, bass and drums as well. There are several shows to attend throughout the week.
There are also multiple comedy shows and a fabulous magic show with Matt Johnson.
I wish I could share each and every wonderful moment and all the photos taken throughout our cruise. I want to send a special thank you to two amazing people who made our vacation extra wonderful: Hotel Director, Deepak Punia and the Hotel Director’s Secretary, Denielle Reyes. Your hospitality will not be forgotten!
Have you cruised with Norwegian? Please share your favorite moments with me!