Have you ever been on a cruise ship for a work function/conference or holiday? After a recent trip to the Caribbean with the Navigator ship (Royal Caribbean) there are several items you should be aware of with respect to working out. My cruise stopped at three different locations during the 7-day cruise (Honduras, Belize, Mexico).
Top 4 Considerations
1. The ship workout facility is perfect training for a hot weather race! Although there are plenty of treadmills, bikes, weights, etc. there is almost no air movement within the facility and it’s a sweat fest. Plan accordingly as water is not free on a cruise (tap water is horrible tasting chlorine) and if you’re doing a long ride, etc. you will need water.
2. The treadmills (dreadmills) will feel like your moving back and forth because of the motion of the boat. Personally, I noticed some back tightness every day and it was clearly from the slight torqueing of the lower back.
3. Run on the outdoor tracks early in the morning or when the sun sets as it’s almost impossible to run without stopping to run around people during the day. Also, the track on the Navigator ship is not an oval and includes some crazy turns to watch yourself as it can be damp in the morning and easy to take a nice sprawling fall (I know this one well!)
4. Consider joining in one of the workout sessions – Cross Fit was the theme of the ship. There are many Pilates, Yoga, and body weight fitness classes to choose from.
Roatan, Honduras – After porting the best option is to head left after leaving the souvenir shops along the coast for an out and back run. Be aware, there are serious safety concerns and expect to be hassled non-stop by locals asking for money, etc. However, it’s spectacular coastline.
Belize City, Belize – The only option is to run short out and backs on the pier. Keep in mind that the boat will not dock and you must take a small boat from the ship to Belize City. Belize City is a scary place and my recommendation is to catch a quick flight to Ambergris Caye or boat ride. Ambergris Caye offers beach running or you could run a long out and back on sandy roads (the island is around 25 miles long).
Cozumel, Mexico – Clearly the best option of the stops on this cruise. The popular Cozumel Ironman is held every year and offers plenty of great running, swimming and cycling options. Consider grabbing a cab from the port to escape all the shops and ask the driver to take you out on the island toward the beach coast and Ironman bike course area. Spectacular beaches, roads to run, etc. As with any destination use common sense to eliminate potential safety issues.
Cruising does provide many benefits while traveling. It is relatively easy to be consistent with your workouts especially to wear off all the extra calories with the never-ending food supply!