How to Have a Healthy and Active Carnival Cruise

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Hello, hello!

Remember the epic Carnival cruise that Mal and I went on during his spring break a couple of years ago? If not, here are some posts about our experience. It was awesome.

carnival glory day at sea

Well, I recently had the opportunity to work with Carnival on a special post for Carrots ”˜N’ Cake. When we started talking about what “angle” I would like to take for my post, I immediately remembered how much fun Mal and I had eating (obviously) and staying active while abroad Carnival Glory. (Remember all of those travel WODs?!) That said, here are four ways to stay active on a Carnival cruise!

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Book an excursion

A great way to stay active and have a whole lot of fun is by booking an excursion at one (or all) or the destinations you visit on your cruise. Mal and I spent a day exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum in Cozumel, Mexico and then zip-lining and tubing through crystal caves in Belize. Both were once-in-a-lifetime experiences that we will never, ever forget. Oh yea, and, of course, we managed to fit some CrossFit into our trip when we visited the Cayman Islands!

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Participate in onboard activities

Let’s just say Mal and I were never board bored on board Carnival! There were so many fun things to do! During our time at sea, we had a waterslide contest with friends to see who could speed down the fastest. We also played an intense round of mini golf (it was a friendly competition, of course) and we hit up the outdoor track multiple times for CrossFit-inspired workouts and leisurely jogs. It was easy to stay active on board while having a great time too!

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carnival track

Take a class

In addition to a variety of on board activities, Carnival offers a bunch of exercise classes””from yoga and spinning to sunrise stretches on the main deck””there’s something for everyone. Carnival also offers a number of health-inspired seminars, such as “Detoxing for Health and Wellness,” which will inspire and motivate you to make positive changes in your life. Who knew a vacation could do that?

Eat fresh food

There were so many healthy options on board Carnival. Surprised? I was too! For example, every morning, there was a huge spread of fresh and nutritious breakfast options: made-to-order omelets, whole grain cereals, low-fat yogurt, oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit, juice, and coffee. Mal and I were both pleasantly surprised with the selection and quality of foods, and we were happy to be able to keep up with our healthy eating habits on board.

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Additionally, the “formal nights” on Carnival really wowed us. Everything served was high-quality in both ingredients and presentation. Plus, there was such an interesting and gourmet selection of meal options. Veal, alligator, and frog legs? We were always in for something special at dinnertime!

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Question of the Day

Have you ever gone on a cruise? If so, how was it? Where’d you go? Were you healthy on it or not so much?

This post is brought to you by Carnival Cruise Lines. Click here to learn more.



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53 Comments

  1. Yes All over Caribbean – Celebrity cruiseline and Holland America seem to be the best. I don’t really go on the cruise to be active though – more to refresh and relax. Sunbath and lounge – not go go go lol. Always selection of fresh food. Something for everyone.

  2. I just went on a Royal Caribbean cruise for our honeymoon this summer. Reading this reminded me of it and how much I miss it! I loved all the activities there were to keep you busy and keep you moving. My husband and I had a blast, and got some runs in on the outdoor track, too!

  3. When we went on our cruise, we made a pact to NEVER take the elevator, and we didn’t. Our calves were sore after the first day, but it definitely helped us combat those delicious desserts. That warm chocolate cake hit the spot!

  4. I love cruises!! I’ve been on a few, but my favorite one was last summer to several countries in Europe. During the trip, I really didn’t stress about what I ate. But we did workout almost every morning. I didn’t feel like I HAD to, but I wanted to because the gym was so nice. And of course, we walked a ton! 🙂

  5. We did 2 cruises, and we loved it! But, we go on cruises more to relax and unwind than to be really active. We stay somewhat active by walking around the ship, going to the gym a couple of times during the week and by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

  6. I cruised on Norwegian a couple of years ago (I went to Bermuda), and it was NOT a healthy trip! Granted, this was before I really started to think about living a healthy lifestyle, but I–no joke–gained SEVEN POUNDS in the one week we were on vacation. And then spent the rest of the year trying to lose it again… sigh.

    These are such good tips! If I ever take another cruise, I’ll certainly approach it differently than stuff-my-face-five-times-a-day-and-get-no-exercise.

  7. My mom and I went to Greece in 2007, and we went on excursions at every island. We ended up losing weight on the cruise! lol!

    We are going on another one in March, and I’m so excited about it!

  8. I’ve been on Carnival and Disney (And have another Disney Cruise on the Wonder scheduled in 94 days!). The first cruise, on the Carnival Fascination, I tried really hard to eat healthy, and I think I did. Disney, I didn’t try as hard, but everything tasted so good!

  9. I love cruising so much! I’m a Royal Caribbean girl though. I think one of the big keys is to limit the drinking. There’s drinks available all day long from fruity frozen drinks lounging by the pool, rum punch on the excursions, wine with dinner and cocktails with the entertainment at night. Its easy to get sucked into all day drinking (and then all day snacking). We go on cruises for the relaxation, but try to stay healthy by limiting the drinking and just generally being deliberate with our food selections.

  10. Hey Tina! Please don’t take this as me being rude- if I didn’t want to read your blog, I wouldn’t and I would not be rude just to be mean…but I miss the Tina who used to blog about her weekly workouts with recaps, weekly meal plans, talking about intense crossfit workouts, etc. You were always my favorite Crossfit go-to blog, and I feel like it’s been ages since you’ve blogged about it. I understand you have to do sponsored posts, and I understand this is your job, so I’m not trying to complain about them but I feel like they are super frequent. And maybe this is just because I’m missing the other posts I used to love like your weekly fitness and meal planning, etc. Everything ok?

    1. Everything is great over here! I’ll be sure to bring back the CrossFit recaps ASAP. I actually have some fun workouts on the agenda this week! Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  11. I’ve never been on a cruise before because I Was always convinced I’d get clausterphobic…but I remember when you posted about your trip and all the amazing things you did, I HIGHLY doubt it’d be an issue.

  12. Great post – it’s SO easy to over-indulge on a cruise but also pretty easy to stay active.

    I’ve been on a couple of cruises – the first was a Carnival cruise in the Carribean over college spring break, and I definitely wasn’t healthy OR active (unless you count dancing all night at the club on board, which come to think of it I will). More recently I took a SilverSea cruise from Istanbul through the Greek islands which was the total trip of a lifetime. I did a little better job being healthy there!

  13. Such a nice closing pic! Once I can get some spinning in I’m happy! I’ve never really considered a cruise but it would probably suit me down the ground with all the variety of destinations!

  14. I was on a Carnival Cruise back in January with two girlfriends and we took advantage of a lot of the same things! With so much free time, we made it to the gym a few times during the week, and we walked (instead of taking a cab) almost everywhere when the ship was docked. We still had a blast and felt like we were on vacation – but also didn’t feel like we had gained weight or overdone it once we got home 🙂

  15. We used to go on a lot of cruises- I even worked on a boat through Disney back in the day. I LOVE cruises!! I have made a promise to myself that the next cruise I take I am going to try as many of the fitness classes as I can with disciplines that I have never tried before.

  16. I’ve never been on a cruise but I find that I’m usually pretty active on vacations, at least beach ones. I found it hardest to stay healthy when I was in Ireland and Scotland this summer since there weren’t a lot of diverse or healthy vegetarian options that weren’t salads and we spent a lot of time driving. I do really want to go on a cruise though, so these tips will come in handy when I do!

  17. I’m less tempted by cruises than other types of vacations and one of the main reasons are the scary stomach bugs that people get on them. When I first read the title of your post I thought it was going to be along those lines!

  18. I worked as the Fitness Director on board a cruise ship for 6 months, and it is 100% possible to be healthy on board the ship 🙂 There are always veggies, lean proteins, and a giant salad bar available…and I’m so glad you touched on the fitness classes! There are a ton offered so you can fit them into your schedule. What a fun post! I love cruising!

  19. I’ve never been on a cruise, but have traveled to Mexico and Punta Cana several times. There have always been fitness centers/gyms at the resorts where we’ve stayed, but I never pass up running on the beach.

    Usually, we go overboard with our food choices/consumption when on vacation. We are heading back to Punta Cana at the end of the year, and it will be interesting to see how I feel now that I’ve been eating cleaner. Either way, I can’t wait! 🙂

  20. I’ve been on a few Carnival Cruises! My oldest brother was the piano bar player on them for a few years so we’d always to go visit him/see him play! He actually enjoyed it so much that he’s made a career out of it…he’s a dueling piano bar player in Myrtle Beach! Did you make it to the piano bar while you were on the cruise?

  21. Thank you for this awesome post!! Too freaky though – my boyfriend and I JUST booked a cruise last night for March 2014 on the Carnival Glory to the same destinations. His brother and fiance chose this for their wedding. This post makes me even more excited! What is the name of the box you visted in the Cayman Islands? Did you and Mal like it? I was wondering if I would be able to visit any local boxes but have never cruised before so didn’t know if it would work with the port schedule.

  22. I have been on a dozen Carnival cruises and loved every single one. I prefer cruising to any other vacation because they do offer amazing food options and have great workout facilities on board.

  23. I’ve never been on a cruise and don’t have too much interest, though it looks like you had fun. Side note: The Mayan ruins of Tulum are actually in Tulum, Mexico and not Cozumel. Unless you visited both places?

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