Set Sail On A Wellness Vacation At Sea

Set Sail On A Wellness Vacation At Sea
If you’re dreaming about taking a break from the stresses of today’s hectic world, it might be time to take a wellness vacation. These kinds of trips allow you to decompress, reset, and focus on your well-being. You’ll come back relaxed, rejuvenated, and in a happier state of mind.

Some cruise lines are ideal for wellness vacations, offering ships with world-class spas, fitness centers, and programs focused on physical and mental health. If you’d like to plan a relaxing wellness vacation at sea or on some of the world’s most beautiful waterways, here are ten great tips.

1. Make A Plan.
Think about your goals for your wellness cruise vacation and plan your activities. Consider activities and specific features you’d like to access, such as spa services, fitness centers and pools. With those in mind, look for cruise lines that best meet your needs. Some cruise lines that are excellent choices for wellness vacations include Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and AmaWaterways.

2. Choose The Right Ship.
Cruise ships vary substantially in features, amenities, and programs offered. It’s essential to pick a ship that best matches your needs and interests. A good cruise travel advisor can help. Look for ships with outstanding spas, fitness centers, indoor and outdoor pools, wellness programs, and a variety of excellent dining venues. Some cruise lines offer healthy choice menus and other wellness advantages.

After you’ve selected your ship and reserved your cruise, book your spa treatments and wellness classes. It’s important to reserve your dining times and shore excursions in advance as well. Plan out your days and bring your schedule with you on your cruise. Make sure to allow plenty of time for relaxation as well.

3. Pick Active Shore Excursions.
If you’ll be going ashore in ports of call, plan to participate in an active tour. Shore excursions incorporating hiking, biking, swimming, snorkeling, or plenty of walking will burn up calories. Research your options in advance and make reservations for any "must-have" excursions in advance to avoid disappointment. Popular activities and excursions often sell out quickly.

4. Get Out And Walk.
Today's cruise ships are often huge, and there's so much to see and do onboard. Once your cruise has started, don't just sit around. Take a walk around the ship and check out all the different venues. If you own a Fitbit or a pedometer, take it with you and set a specific goal – like walking 10,000 steps. You'll be surprised to see how far you've walked as you circle around the ship. If you have a specific exercise routine at home, like a morning jog, stay with it on your cruise. In addition, spend time out on deck relaxing and taking in the sea views. Being out enjoying nature’s beauty is good for the soul.

5. Enjoy The Spa And Wellness Programs.
Many of today’s cruise ships feature world-class spas and treatment areas. If you plan to include spa treatments and activities in your wellness vacation at sea, make sure to choose a ship with the kinds of facilities and spa treatments you’re seeking. Relaxing thermal suites are available on some ships. A limited number of passes are available, so make sure to book access early to avoid missing out. Lower prices on spa treatments may be available pre-cruise, and special spa promotions are typically offered on port days and other times throughout your cruise.

Cruise ships also offer free wellness-related classes and lectures, particularly on days at sea. These sessions are a great way to learn new approaches and meet other like-minded guests. Visit your ship’s spa and check your ship’s daily program to see what’s on the schedule.

6. Hit The Fitness Center.
Exercising at a gym can be challenging to fit into an everyday routine, but it’s much easier on a cruise ship. After all, you’re on vacation and there’s a state-of-the-art gym located just a few floors away. Pack your exercise gear and bring it along on your cruise. Remember to wipe off surfaces with sanitizing wipes to eliminate germs and viruses when using fitness equipment. Make a commitment to yourself to exercise a certain number of days during your cruise and build it into your schedule.

If you’re considering participating in some of the fitness classes offered onboard, check out the daily program to see what’s available. Ships often offer yoga classes, Pilates sessions, and other fitness-related activities. Make sure to determine which ones are free and find out about any additional charges before signing up.

7. Avoid Buffets.
Most cruise ships feature massive self-serve buffets that are very tempting and can wreak havoc on your willpower. It's hard to exercise self-control when faced with so many delicious choices. Even when trying to be disciplined, it’s easy to overfill your plate.

Rather than opt for the buffet, head to the main dining room or a specialty dining option for your meals. Main dining rooms on cruise ships often feature spa menus, and reasonable portions are served. When in doubt, have it your way. It’s easy to custom order your meal in cruise ship dining rooms. Just ask your waiter to serve items simply grilled and leave off cream sauces, fattening salad dressings, and other calorie-heavy fare.

8. Take The Stairs.
While riding the ship’s elevators is tempting, choose the stairs instead. Walking up and down the stairs to the gangway, meals, shows and other onboard events will burn up calories and provide some of the exercise needed to stay in shape. Taking a Fitbit with you on your cruise can provide added encouragement to use the stairs. The device will track how many stairs you’ve taken each day, helping you to reach your goal.

9. Choose Your Drinks Wisely.
It’s tempting to order a tropical pina colada onboard to celebrate your cruise as you sail away from shore. But that single pina colada can be packed with as many as 500-600 calories, making it a poor choice. Avoid sugary sodas and cut back on alcoholic drinks while on your cruise. Taking a wellness cruise doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding alcohol altogether. Just take a look at a calorie-counting website before you leave on vacation and make appropriate choices. Many cruise lines offer a wide array of mocktails and other non-alcoholic options.

10. Get Plenty Of Rest And Stay Hydrated.
Make sure to drink as much water as possible and get plenty of sleep. Staying hydrated and getting lots of rest are essential parts of any wellness plan. It will help you avoid getting sick on your vacation as well. Make sure to get plenty of sleep before leaving on vacation, too. It’s common for people to stress out, run around like crazy, and stay up late working prior to traveling, only to get sick once on vacation due to a run-down immune system. So pack and prepare for your vacation in advance, then sleep well before departing.

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This content was written by Nancy Schretter. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Nancy Schretter for details.