By John Roberts
We've been taking a look at the best fitness areas on the major cruise lines, and it's time to explore the cross-training extravaganza on the high seas: Royal Caribbean.
In other posts, I showed you the cool ways to stay active on Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. Those ships work fitness activities into their layouts perfectly well, and they are getting better all the time with the newest ships.
But for a long time, Royal Caribbean has made physical and fun challenges a priority on its vessels. And Royal Caribbean keeps one-upping itself. The past two years saw the arrival of Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, with the inclusion of even more creative ways to keep you moving.
Trust me, you'll never be bored racing around one of Royal Caribbean's ships, trying to make sure you've tried everything at least once.
Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas offer simulated skydiving with the RipCord by iFly ride. Just got out of the swimming pool? Head on over to the attraction for a blow dry. The ride is included in your fare, but you can sign up for personal training sessions and more time to learn how to ride the wind like an expert. Even the most fit will feel the burn the next day (what a glute exercise!).
Royal Caribbean has eight ships that feature the super-fun FlowRiders -- simulated surfing and boogie-boarding. Stand up, kneel down or give any other version a shot while trying to stay on the board. You hop on, cool off and often wipe out. The FlowRiders are always a busy spot on seas days, with passengers gathering in equal numbers to hop on a board or just take pictures and videos trying to capture the most gnarly wipeouts.
Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas offer a circus school in which you try your hand at the trapeze. Swinging above the crowd below (depends on who wanders in, I suppose), you learn a range of high-flying daredevil moves (OK, probably a couple fairly tame maneuvers). The classes take place in the activity-filled and flexible SeaPlex area on each ship.
Royal Caribbean ships also are known for their popular rock-climbing walls (picture at top of page). Challenge yourself against friends and family members in a race to the top. As you scale the walls, be sure to glance around for amazing views, whether your ship is at sea or in port.
The outdoor sports courts on Royal Caribbean ships are home to fun activities. On my first cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship, I took part in an epic two-day dodgeball tournament. Other games include soccer and basketball (at SeaPlex court on Anthem and Quantum). You can really have a blast unleashing your inner youth and make a few new friends (or enemies if you play too rough, I imagine).
Did you know you can enjoy ice skating on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship? The line's Oasis class, Voyager class and Freedom class ships feature skating rinks with complimentary ice skating available (as well as ice shows). Anthem and Quantum also have open roller skating time available in the SeaPlex area.
Royal Caribbean's ships offer fitness areas with free weights and cardio equipment like most ships (you know, a good old gym), as well as a range of for-fee classes like yoga, pilates and spinning.
They also have jogging tracks. On the line's largest ships, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, the two-lane jogging tracks are located in their own space away from the often-crowded lido deck where most other cruise ship jogging tracks are located and where you have to weave around people wandering about on deck and lounging on chairs. In fact, the jogging tracks on Oasis and Allure are the longest at sea, only 2.4 laps per mile.
You see, the Royal Caribbean ships are loaded with all sorts of activities, equipment and areas to help you keep up your fitness regimen and have fun, too.
Thanks for reading.
Travel fit! Travel happy!
By John Roberts
You can use a weeklong cruise vacation as a way to recharge and refresh. For many people, that might mean laying on beaches or sitting poolside on a lounger on the lido deck soaking up the sun while sipping fruity cocktails.
For me, I like to make sure I get the right balance of exercise, rest and entertainment. Cruise ships provide tons of opportunities for all of these vacation styles -- and I'm talking about all the things that can all be enjoyed without even leaving the ship.
If you're more like me -- and you just might be because you're poking around this website, after all -- you need to start your day by revving up your engine with a good workout. It's the best way to earn all those extra cruise calories.
In the first of an occasional series on fitness at sea, let's take a look at what Carnival Cruise Line has to offer for its passengers.
Yes, you can take fitness classes on a cruise. They come with an added fee, and the classes are located in the gym onboard your vessel. The gyms are complimentary, but you pay about $12 to $20 for fitness classes -- such as yoga, pilates, spinning and boot camp -- which are available on all ships in the fleet. Personal training sessions also are available and typically cost about $50 to $75 per session.
Good news: the fitness center is often located right next to the spa, so you can get a soak or a massage after your workout.
All Carnival Cruise ships include an outdoor jogging track, where you can make your way around an upper deck for a few laps to start or end your day. Watch out for walkers and lounge chairs that tend to creep into your lanes, though.
You can also take your workouts outdoors. Cruise ships Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sunshine and the new Carnival Vista (debuting in 2016) include a SkyFitness area. The gym on top of the ship offers machines for body-weight exercises, heavy bags to give the once over and a selection of cardio equipment. You can sweat under the sun or in cooling tropical breezes while enjoying the views.
I like the variety offered on the Carnival Cruise ships, so I can change up how I start each day while on my voyage.
Travel fit. Travel happy.
Thanks for reading,
Best Fitness Areas on Carnival Cruise Ships
Best Fitness Areas on Royal Caribbean Ships
Best Fitness Areas on Celebrity Cruises Ships
Best Fitness Areas on Princess Cruises Ships