20 Great Ways To Keep Fit On A Cruise


Today I am going to share my top tips To Keep Fit On A Cruise. A big part of cruising is the food and drink right? I have to tell you, on our first ever cruise I went a bit mad! All that glorious food, delicious fresh pizza and creamy cocktails! Let’s just say fitting in my cruise clothes was a challenge on the second week! Thankfully it’s a mistake I have never made again.

Ok going on vacation is all about letting go and having a great time, but its a bit of a requirement for your clothes to fit you! Unless you plan to accept defeat and pack bigger clothes for the end of your cruise. However if you go by the good things in moderation rule and introduce a little exercise into your cruise routine there is no reason you can’t have the best of both worlds and stay fit on your cruise holiday.

How to keep healthy on your cruise vacation
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How To Keep Fit On A Cruise And Stay In Shape On Your Cruise

I am not saying do all of these to keep fit and healthy on a cruise, goodness no, you are on vacation. However integrating a few of these into your day will help you keep trim and feel great in your cruise wardrobe.

Take A Swim Every Morning

The pool deck is always so quiet in the mornings, its a great opportunity to grab a coffee and plate of fruit to enjoy as you read a book in the peace and quiet. But before you do, swim 20 lengths, it’s the perfect way to keep fit on a cruise. There is something amazing about having a morning swim when the deck is quiet.

The Sanctuary Pool On Royal Princess

To Keep Fit On A Cruise Swim As You Sunbathe

I do like to enjoy an afternoon cocktail, however I also like to cool off in the pool every 30 minutes. Combine this with a swim, just 2 lengths of the pool but they all add up.

Take A Stroll Around Deck After Lunch Or Before Dinner

Look out for the signs on the promenade deck, but usually as a rule of thumb 3 laps of the promenade deck is 1 mile, of course this varies by ship. In the morning or after lunch you can walk at pace and burn more calories. Before dinner, make the stroll more gentle and take in the view and glorious sunset.

Take a walk around deck to keep fit on a cruise

Running Is A Great Way To Keep Fit On Your Cruise Vacation

Most ships also have a running and walking track on one of the top decks for those who want to take a morning run.

Book Into The Cruise Ship Gym

Gyms are huge on cruise ships and so well equipped with everything from running machines to boxercise areas, some even have boxing rings. Thus are the ideal way to keep fit and healthy on your cruise holiday. Book in a keep up with your normal routine.

How to stay trim on a cruise vacation
The Gym on MSC Divina

Play Shuffleboard

This may be a gentle sport, but I have never been on a cruise ship that didn’t have shuffleboard. Its a great way to keep gently active and stay fit on your cruise and have a little family fun.

Book An Excersice Class

Check out the cruise news, there are always exercise classes going on, and they are so much fun and there is always something to suit everyone from step classes, hit classes to yoga and pilates.

Take Surfing Or Body Boarding Lessons

Surfing is unique to Royal Caribbean and a great way to keep fit. You can take part in freestyle FlowRider sessions or book lessons if you are serious about perfecting you surfing skills.

Their are two flow riders and that are open daily, you can try your skills out body boarding or surfing
Surfing On Symphony of the Seas

Play Ping Pong

This can get a little competitive in our family. It’s surprising how many calories you can burn playing ping pong and a daily game is always fun.

Use The Stairs To Stay Fit On A Cruise

I use this rule in the day time, its not as easy in heels! Using the stairs, all those stairs is a great way to burn the calories. I mean sometimes you can do 8-10 floors in one go and that has to be good for you. Think when you press that lift button, have I got time to use the stairs? If you have then go for it.

Take Part In Sports Such A Football And Soccer And Basketball

There are always sports tournaments going on on the cruise ship sports deck. Either book in or just head to the sports court at the free play time slots. There’s always someone around ready to have a kick about, its a great way to meet new friends and keep fit and healthy at the same time.

The Sports Court on the Liberty of the Seas cruisingkids.co.uk
Sports Court On Liberty Of The Seas

Take Walking Tours In Port Or Just Go For A Walk Around Town

When you are choosing your cruise port day excursions choose walking tours, or something that requires a little physical effort. I find tours in coaches make me sleepy and lethargic, ok you may need coach trip to get to a destination, but once you are there, do some walking.

If tours aren’t your thing, just get off and go for a walk, cruise ship port towns have so much to offer, there is so much history to discover and keep fit and healthy at the same time.

top things to do in Bilbao port

Choose Healthier Options On The Menu Is A Great Way To Keep Fit On A Cruise

All menus have a key with healthy options, which are generally delicious alternatives. It ok to not go for the healthy option, but I try to at least choose a healthy dessert.

How To Keep Fit On A Cruise
Vitality Lounge On MSC Divina
Ways To Keep Fit On A Cruise
Vitality Juices On MSC Divina

Limit Creamy Cocktails

This is my downfall, the good old pina-colada, they are just tooooo good! I totally blame them for my huge weight gain on my first cruise. To keep fit on a cruise I now limit them (not having one is just not an option) and try out frozen cocktail alternatives with less cream in.

Do Morning Yoga On Deck Or In Your Cabin

Cruise ships usually have a yoga lesson you can take part in, however if you have the onboard wifi you can stream your favourite lesson, or just have a set of daily yoga moves ready to practice each day.

Go Dancing

You will find lots of choice, ballroom, salsa, country there are always dance lessons somewhere on ship, bookmark them and go along its a great way to keep fit on a cruise and also have fun.

Dance to keep fit and healthy on a cruise

Explore The Ship

This is an obvious one, but cruise ships are huge, there is so much to see. Explore a new floor or 2 every day. You never know you might even learn something or find an exciting bar or shop.

Play Mini Golf

Lots of cruise lines have mini golf courses, crazy golf or golf simulators. This is a great way to exercise keep fit on a cruise and also work on your technique.

Crazy Golf on Independence of the seas.
Crazy Golf on Independence of the seas.

Climb The Rock Climbing Wall Or Assault Course

The list of ships that offer some kind of climbing wall or course is growing all the time, this is a great way to stay fit on a cruise vacation and the views are incredible.

  • Royal Caribbean have Rock Climbing Walls
  • Carnival Cruise Lines have rope courses
  • MSC have rope courses.
Climbing Wall on the Navigator of the Sea www.cruisingkids.co.uk

Play Bowling

Bowling is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening on a cruise. It’s still something our family enjoys as the boys grow up and a great way to get your stretches in a get moving, you can expect to find bowling alleys on NCL and MSC on the following ships.

  • Norwegian Epic
  • Norwegian Gem
  • Norwegian Pearl
  • MSC Magnifica
  • MSC Meraviglia
  • MSC Preziosa
  • MSC Seaside
  • MSC Seaview
  • MSC Splendida
  • MSC Bellisima
  • MSC Grandiosa
  • MSC Virtuosa
Bowl to keep fit on a cruise

And there we have it, 20 ways to keep fit on a cruise holiday. This list is not one of party pooping methods, but mostly fun ways to keep moving and exercising to not only make the most of the cruise ship facilities, but have fun whilst still being able to have all those delicious cruise food and cocktails.

How to stay fit on your cruise vacation


  • Sarah Christie

    Sarah also writes for Mini Travellers Family Travel Blog and Extraordinary Chaos Craft and Lifestyle Blog. Both are award-winning blogs with a travel and family focus. She is married and has two boys, aged 18 and 22, who all love cruising as a family. Nothing is better than waking up every day in a new port with new and exciting things to explore. She aims to share how cruising as a family with young adults is the perfect choice for family travel. Her boys are sporty and love the activities, sports and dining options cruising offers. Sarah has worked with brands such as Walt Disney World, Mark Warner, Ikos Resort, Center Parcs, Laura Ashley, Belling and Next.

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