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Are you afraid to gain weight on a cruise?

Everyone talks about food being available 24/7 on a cruise ship which could be very tempting.

Our first cruise was 10 days and my husband and I both gained 10lbs each! Horrifying right?

In the old days of cruising, there was always a ‘midnight buffet’. We would eat in the dining room at a later time and get out of there around 9:30, make our way to the theatre for the show and then hang out until the buffet was open!

What can I say? We were first-time cruisers and wanted to experience everything.

We got better after that, but still, it’s so tempting.

But over the years and many more cruises, I’ve found a system that works for me.

Like the year I was on Weight Watcher’s.

I had lost about 20lbs by the time February came along and we were going on another cruise in the Caribbean.

I was determined to not gain weight.

And I didn’t!

Want to know how I managed that?

Keep on reading for my tips that help me still to this day while on a cruise.

Choose your food well

Gelato Eatery on Regal Princess
On Regal Princess

I prefer to go to the buffet for all our meals. It makes it easier to pick the right and healthier food.

I don’t choose food I would normally eat at home.

Example, I don’t eat rice, or mashed potatoes or bread. Why waste calories on these when I can taste different items I would not normally cook.

I’ll eat shrimps, Asian food, Mexican food, lots of vegetables. Hey! I don’t have to slice, chop or cook them. That’s why they taste so much better!

And maybe once in a while I’ll splurge on fries and a slice of pizza (really good on Princess)!

I remember that year I was on Weight Watcher’s, one choice for dessert was a huge bowl of fresh strawberries. They look so good. I filled up a big plate and enjoyed them.

On Princess ships, there’s always delicious no sugar desserts. You don’t even know they are better for you.

There is so much choice that it’s easy to be good! You don’t need to deprive yourself.

Drink lots of water

I always bring a water bottle from home and I fill it up either in the cabin and add ice from the ice bucket or in the Lido buffet.

I will carry it around the ship and also bring it ashore in my bag.

When having my meals, I always ask for a glass of water. Weird though that I home I forget to do that!

No need to bring aboard cases of plastic water bottles, like some do. Which frankly I don’t understand. The water on a ship is perfectly safe to drink.

Walk more around the cruise ship

Promenade deck on Emerald Princess
Promenade Deck – Emerald Princess

Cruise ships are really big, something like 3 or 4 football fields long.

The best opportunity to do a lot of walking without even thinking you’re exercising.

My knees are bad, so I don’t go up stairs, but I will go down them.

Usually our cabin is almost at the center of the ship, which means whether I’m going to eat at the Lido (top back of the ship) or to the show in the theatre (middle front of the ship) or go shopping (middle of the ship) the steps add up.

I have a Versa Fitbit. At home I manage to walk 5500 steps a day. On a ship, I’ll rack up at least 10,000 steps a day when at sea and closer to 17,000 steps if we’re in port.

The Promenade deck is one that usually will go around or partially around the whole ship. If you walk it like 3 times it will equal close to a mile. Look for a plaque on the wall of the deck that will give you the exact equation.

Use the Gym

You’ll find that the gym aboard your ship is fully equipped with many machines/weights and also offer all kinds of classes.

Some are located on a top deck in front of the ship with floor to ceiling windows with a great view.

Sadly I can’t use the gym because of my bad knees.


There you have it. My 4 tips on how to not gain weight on a cruise…or at least not too much 🙂

Enjoy your cruise!