We all love our pool time when on a cruise. Some of us even enjoy getting in a daily workout while sailing -- all the better to warrant my massive increase in calorie consumption when I'm on vacation, I rationalize.
How about being able to do both at the same time? I'm talking about starting your day with a challenging workout while in the pool. On a cruise ship!
I know, it sounds crazy. Well, you do a get a few odd looks of interest when taking part in the AquaCycle class on MSC Divina. MSC Cruises' signature U.S.-based ship sails out of Miami on weeklong cruises to the Caribbean and offers AquaCycle classes, which are fun 45-minute sessions that replicate the shoreside spin classes that you know from your health club back home.
Except on MSC Divina, the spin studio is the aft adults-only Garden Pool. Special spin bikes are dropped into the pool by the instructor, who must artfully negotiate the sensitive and potentially explosive task of telling morning swimmers that they must leave the pool because a AquaCycle class will soon be starting.
My instructor said some cruisers don't take that news too well. On my cruise, my small group of seven cyclists heard no complaints, though. Instead, we saw plenty of curious stares as we began our session (it costs $15). MSC Divina had the first AquaCycle classes at sea, and they were so popular the line also added AquaCycle classes on MSC Preziosa, which sails in the Med.
It's nice to be in the water that early in the morning (class started at 9 a.m.). It awakens the senses. The sun is hot even at that hour, though, because we were on a sea day on our Caribbean cruise in June.
And while things seemed easy pedaling against the resistance of the water during the early minutes of the class, the process grew more intense and grueling as the minutes passed. Our instructor called out for periods of faster pedaling speeds and for us to get up out of our seats and to simulate pushups off the handlebars. This variety of movements and his constantly imploring us to "push, push, push!" resulted in quite the challenging workout.
With my heart pumping and legs fatigued, I definitely was happy when it was time to ease off the pedals and start to cool down.
All the poolside observers of our classes also were smiling when the class was over. It meant they could get back to using what a cruise ship pool is primarily meant to be used for: relaxing in that Caribbean sun.
Thanks for reading.
Question: Would you be interested in a class like this during your vacation, or do you prefer to just relax when you're on a cruise? Let us know in the comments below.