On modern ships, getting your daily exercise doesn’t have to mean a stroll on the promenade deck. Whether you like early morning yoga sessions, sweating it out at spin class, or getting your adrenaline pumping on a surfboard, there is something to keep everyone fit and active.
You won’t find a gym with better views than on a cruise ship. Why not work up a sweat before breakfast with a panoramic view of the ocean? As featured aboard most cruise ships, gyms boast a range of cardio machines, weight machines, classes and personal training. Carnival offers an outdoor workout option, SkyFitness, which includes bikes, step machines and punching bags up on deck. Available on the Carnival Vista, Breeze, Magic, and Sunshine.
Watch the Royal Caribbean Ice-skating spectacular featuring professional ice-skaters, then test your own skills, and balance, at the onboard ice-rink. Available free of charge on Voyager class ships.
Classes are offered on P&O, Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Princess, and are usually included in your fare. On lines such as P&O UK and Cunard, you can also practice the dances you learn during the ships formal evenings. Holland America offers dance classes inspired by TV show Dancing with the Stars, while Celebrity offers a variation called Dancing with the Stripes, an onboard game show where guests pair with an officer and are whittled down to the winning couple by a panel of judges. If ballroom isn’t your thing most ships also offer Zumba and other modern dance classes.
Whether you are six or sixty-six you will enjoy bouncing the day away on P&O’s bungy tramps. Part of the P&O Edge Adventure Park (extra charge).
NCL’s FightKlub, available on Breakaway class ships is a group boxing class using punching bags. Royal Caribbean’s Freedom and Oasis class ships offer boxing lessons with an experienced coach in a full-size ring (extra fees apply).
Yoga & pilates
Yoga, pilates and morning stretching classes are offered on many cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, MSC, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Azamara, and Crystal. Celebrity cruise ships offer a special program with seven different types of yoga.
Disney, Carnival, and Cunard all offer spinning classes. NCL and Royal Caribbean have upped the game, offering spinning like you have never seen before. The bike records your workouts and uploads them online so you can track your progress, it also adds a competitive edge, showing you the leader board as you cycle so you can compete against people in your class to see who can complete the most intense workout.
More of a water baby? Catch some waves on the FlowRider surf simulator. Whether you are an experienced pro or a first timer, the simulator suits all level of surfer and is certain to get your heart rate going. Available on selected Royal Caribbean ships (free of charge).
From basketball to tennis, croquet to shuffleboard, there are a host of team games available across the sports courts and games deck of each of the cruise lines. Play water polo on MSC, laser tag on P&O, dodge ball on Carnival, or bowls on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary.
Exclusive to Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships, and included in the price of your cruise, inline skating is offered on special sports decks with padded barriers.
Carnival, P&O, Royal Caribbean and NCL all offer a fitness option for the adrenaline junky. Clamber through obstacles high above the top deck, taking in the awesome ocean views.
Fly through the air learning to somersault with ease aboard the Royal Caribbean Quantum class ships. The flying trapeze is included as part of your cruise fare.
Most if not all ships have stairs between decks, and a promenade deck or jogging track. Walking is by far the easiest way to slip a bit of fitness into each day. Even just walking down the stairs, rather than taking the lift will help keep you fitter. Some cruise lines such as Crystal offer Nordic Walking, and programs such as WOW, in which passengers wear weighted jackets to increase the level of effort as they walk the promenade deck.
Virtual sports simulators
NCL ships all feature Nintendo Wii games on big screens in their atriums, while Celebrity offer virtual sports on the Xbox 360. Cunard offers a golf simulator with 51 different golf courses to choose from.
Rock climbing is becoming popular on cruise ships and is now offered by P&O (charges apply), Royal Caribbean, and NCL (included in your fare). Challenging for both the mind and body as you climb high above deck overlooking the ocean.