Last year, almost 23 million people on this planet boarded a cruise liner for their holiday, and every year, another 1.6 million more people will catch on. It’s twice as popular in the US as it is in Europe, so much so that a whopping 5% of their population casts off every single year! Aside from the Poseidon Adventure, I’d never seen the inside of a vessel this large, so when I was invited aboard by Cunard, my interest had been piqued to see what this experience is all about. Specifically, I wanted to know whether one could live a healthy holiday on the ocean. I was lucky enough to spend an entire activity-filled day on board one of the world’s most famous ocean liners (together with the lovely Emily from FashionFoieGras), The Queen Elizabeth, Cunard, to experience some unique fitness activities – a mini active escape if you wish! Click MORE to see what we got up to…
NEW YEAR’s GOAL; TREATS ALONG THE WAY…
A word of preamble, if I may. My ethos has always been to stay healthy throughout the year but I recognise that January is a new start for many, a marking point to execute change, setting down both big and small goals. It’s a great idea because it’s simply never too late; it’s about setting yourself challenges seizing the day and living more fully in the moment. However, in my view, as much as it’s about setting goals, it’s also about rewarding yourself along the way. Chances are, if you don’t, you’ll resent the change and not want to carry on. For instance, if it’s weight loss your looking to achieve an occasional pat on the back in form of a delicious reward is essential to keep you going.
PURSUE THE UNEXPECTED
This variety, or interruption to routine, doesn’t need to revolve around food necessarily but could be a spa trip, a manicure, a long hot bath, cinema, theatre – or all of the above with a trip abroad, or perhaps even onboard The Queen Elizabeth, as I was invited to do. A day on the ship was completely new to me and an awesome experience. I barely began to skim the surface of the variety on offer here…
Having never been on a cruise before I didn’t quite know what to expect. Upon doing my due diligence, I read that Cunard, the cruise operator, had been defining luxury travel for 176 years and my mind naturally wandered to yesteryear; old movies I’ve seen where ballgown-and-tux couples waltz languidly around ornate salons with cavernous ceilings and draped chandeliers, quaff champagne on deck and take high tea in the garden rooms. I wasn’t let down as these classic venues still exist, and speak to an era of tradition and Hollywood glamour. But with a twist – all the modern amenities one might wish for in a high-end hotel.
As a side note, something that totally blew me away is the scale of the logistics on such a vast ship! When full, she’ll hold almost 2100 people at one time, all requiring breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. She also recycles everything possible, and she even desalinates her own drinking water from the surrounding oceans.
WHAT ABOUT FITNESS?
After the seemingly endless amount of food on offer, fear not, you can burn it off in the ship’s huge glass gym which houses 35 machines (of which 11 are treadmills with a horizon view!) – unless you want to run around the Promenade Deck, that is! There’s also a free weights section, so you can get a full, diverse workout in, no problem. You can also choose from a range of classes including Yoga and Pilates sessions, Tai Chi, Aqua Tone as well as Aerobics or Spinning classes. Plenty of variety on offer then, to ensure you can try something different and have fun with your holiday fitness.
Yep, the ship has one! Get sweaty whilst catching a tan on court on top of the deck.
There’s everything from Lindy hop, Jitterbug or traditional ballroom on board! A proper calorie toaster…
Though this was my first time doing so, swimming in a pool on a boat is a bizarre experience (you’re in a body of water, floating on a body of water) – but there’s something quite special and tranquil about it! There are 2 lap pools and 4 jacuzzi pools in which to relax. Again, all with signature views…
The Royal Spa
It’s the only spa I’ve ever visited with views that change! Floor to ceiling windows of ocean sunrises and sunsets lend a romantic and unique flavour to the experience. Islands and cities – all depending on where you visit. I enjoyed a 50-minute ‘Sports Massage‘ session and emerged pretty well transformed!
My sports massage was fantastic and I’m fussy! It offered some deep relaxation and really got into my knots and tension points. If you want to know what Sports Massage is, see my post about it HERE!
This was truly a brand new experience to me. Like most things, once you tried them you find a great new appreciation the art form, and this was no exception. For me, a novice, this one-on-one fencing class was primarily about becoming conversational in the basic techniques – which I can declare is far more challenging than it appears. Fencing is a demanding activity on the joints and muscles, with a huge amount of static holding, lunging, and core engagement. Its pace ensures it’s an incredible cardio workout, whilst it’s also exceptional for developing coordination, footwork, motors skills and reflexes. What’s more, it will awaken muscles the following day which you’d have thought were lost at sea!
I’d presumed the fare would be indulgent at all times, but was glad to see a large selection from healthy to hearty, from light bites to gastronomique. For the traveler that just needs enormous variety in his/her life, I counted 7 restaurants. As well as the three main restaurants, there’s Mexican flavours at Aztec, Asian dishes at Jasmine, Asada’s South American Grill and indeed all-day buffets at the Lido restaurant. Then there’s the French cuisine of The Verandah restaurant, with what is supposedly a degustation menu of some repute!
So, for those passengers choosing their flagship World Cruise, departing from Southampton and then returning to Southampton some 120 days later, it is indeed possible to stay in peak shape throughout! You might get used to the routines, become a champion fencer, a Tai Chi master and an experienced Yogi along the way, but you will be fit and well rested!
THIS IS A SPONSORED PIECE OF CONTENT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CUNARD. PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE PAGE FOR MORE ABOUT WHY I TAKE ON SUCH PROJECTS.