Lose Weight on a Cruise
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Never in a million years did I think workouts would be part of my cruise itinerary. But on my recent Princess Cruises vacation, I vowed to not gain weight or, better yet, lose weight.

Luckily, my sister Mary was onboard (literally and figuratively) to help me stick with my healthy exercise routine, which made it all the more fun. The first pact we made was to only take the stairs on the ship—and we stuck with it even though our legs were burning the second day. Since I was wearing my Fitbit the entire time, I saw first hand the benefit of making this simple change! My legs were rock solid by day seven.

The rest of the time we fit in onboard exercise classes to keep our bodies challenged. When we weren't at port snorkeling in Honduras, zip-lining in Belize, or exploring ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum, we were on a mission to get our cardio and muscle-building on in the gorgeous gym on the ship. The space was equipped with treadmills with TVs, free weights, weight machines, and a studio for a variety of fitness classes.

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The two trainers onboard, Ryan and Dewald, who were both from New Zealand, kept us accountable by adding our names to the classes so there was no skimping. They both reminded us several times that we'd enjoy our cruise experience more if we felt good during it, and they were right. Our average "at sea" days or afternoons when we were back on board looked like this:

7 a.m. Stretch Class (30 minutes)
7:30 a.m. Abs Class (30 minutes)
10 a.m. Bootcamp (30 minutes)
4 p.m. Spin Class (45 minutes)

I had never taken a bootcamp class before this cruise, but I loved it. Every day the routine changed and consisted of several different types of exercises that the trainers would mix mix: burpees, pushups, planks, squats, abs, and free-weight reps. Talk about a head-to-toe workout!

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I'm pretty sure I missed a few reps during each set, but I did my best. By the end of each class, my body felt challenged. But despite this and the daily coating of sweat, in general I felt rejuvenated. My sister and I slept well and were energized from our time in the gym, and—the best part—we didn’t feel guilty when we did splurge. (Like when we had margaritas in Mexico!)

On the last day we swapped the bootcamp for the Susan G. Koman walk around the ship, which was a great way to give to a good cause and celebrate the end of our memorable week.

Will I opt for the stairs and take fitness classes like bootcamps on my next cruise? You bet! There was nothing better than dispelling the "you always gain 10 pounds on a cruise" myth and finishing a vacation lighter than I started—for the first time ever. I'm looking forward to cruising this way from now on.

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