Avoiding the “Normal” Cruise Weight Gain

We took the stairs, not the elevator 

When we found out that we were going on our first ever cruise, my family and I of course wanted to brag as much as possible. One thing that we were told over and over again was to expect to gain weight! I often heard that at least five extra pounds would come home with you after a cruise. My daughter and I are avid fitness walkers, and there was no way that either of us were going to let that happen. We also did not want to feel like we were missing out on some of the cruise experience by not enjoying the food. We came up with a plan that kept those five pounds away. I thought that I’d share our experience with you.

This was my favorite dinner 

Before we even boarded the beautiful Disney Magic, my daughter and I made a pact. We vowed going to take the stairs instead of the elevator. We were staying on Deck Six, which was perfect. A lot of what we would do on our five night cruise was on Deck Three, and more was on Deck Nine. Since we were right in the middle we often did three flights at a time. That was enough to feel it, but (usually) not enough to wear us out. The whole trip we took the elevator only twice. According to an app on my phone, we climbed between 25 and 32 flights of stairs each day of our vacation.

We skipped the desserts at Palo 

We were also very careful with what we ate. There is plenty of food on a cruise, but you don’t have to try everything. On our first full day we had brunch at Palo, and while we tried a little bit of everything that sounded good we made sure that we didn’t overdo it. With Palo brunch you have an entree plus there’s a buffet. We tried some of the buffet foods, but it was just to have a taste. We stayed away from the desserts at brunch, we had already decided that we could splurge and have dessert only at dinner. Since it was brunch we didn’t have breakfast or lunch that day.

The last menu 

Some days we skipped breakfast totally, and had lunch as our first meal. A couple of times we had fruit for breakfast. The only day that we had a full breakfast was the day that we left, and that was more because we wanted to see our serving staff one more time, because they were incredible.

You never know who you’ll run into while walking! 

We also made sure that we did a lot of walking. There is a fitness center on the ship, but we decided to walk and explore instead of using it. There is so much to see and we did not want to miss anything. Spending some extra time walking helped us to find things that we might have missed otherwise. We also ended up with some great character pictures because there were characters out while we were on our walk.

What a view at the fitness center! 

On Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island), we went for a bike ride. I had not ridden a bike in well over a decade, and I apologize to everyone who thought that I was going to run them over. It was fun, though, and I could feel it in my legs when we were done.

We allowed one dessert each day 

Because we were careful with what we ate the rest of the day and we also added in some extra exercise, we allowed ourselves to totally enjoy our dinners. These included an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. The dinners were honestly my favorite thing about the trip. We became friends with our servers, and the food was delicious. We allowed ourselves to splurge a bit at dinner, which meant that we would have dessert. Since we hadn’t been eating sweets all day, we truly enjoyed them.

Room service 

Most room service items are included with the cost of your Disney cruise. That does not mean that you have to use it. We ordered room service one time, and just got fruit. I also ordered coffee that evening and saved it for the next morning. It was still hot, and I enjoyed sipping coffee on our veranda during the sunrise. Yes, that was as awesome as it sounds. My point is that we could have been ordering full meals or desserts through room service, but we didn’t.

This was heaven 

There are soft drinks available all day and night. We spent a lot of time at these machines, but we didn’t add in extra calories. We would usually get water or ice. There are also coffee machines at the same spot, so I spent a bit of time there. Speaking of drinking, we don’t drink alcohol, so that was not a temptation for us.

These were the Marvel Day at Sea drinks 

This is how we avoided coming home a larger size than when we left on our cruise. We got lots of exercise, still looked forward to the meals, and took plenty of steps. It’s a good thing that we both bought new sneakers before the cruise. We definitely broke them in.