Fitness Aboard a Cruise Ship

For most cruises, use of the fitness center (gym), jogging and walking tracks, and wellness classes amounts to a token effort. We say this because the length of an average cruise is short enough that missing your normal daily workout during your cruise won’t have a major impact on your overall health.Where this might be a little different is on “back-to-back” cruises, where you combine more than one cruise into one giant vacation, or on a re-positioning cruise like an Atlantic crossing, where you find yourself a resident of the ship for longer periods of time. Our current Atlantic crossing, for example, left Miami Florida and ends up in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since it’s an Atlantic crossing back-to-back with a Baltic Sea cruise, we’ll be residents of this ship for a total of 23 days. Since we’re used to a daily exercise routine, we think an exercise routine is in order for a cruise of this duration.

Another reason to consider using the exercise facilities aboard a cruise ship is because it represents a chance to reset and start over. If you’ve been considering starting a fitness program, this might be the time to get it moving. You’ll be in an environment where you can concentrate on your fitness for a few days, and you’ll have access to professional trainers who can help get you started in the right direction.

Most cruise ships – and the Norwegian Star is no exception – offer many different options for exercising. For starters, there is a really well equipped gym complete with free weights (dumbbells), individual weight training machines, treadmills, bicycles,and stair machines.

Jogging Track on board the Norwegian Star Cruise Ship. Image by Donald Fink

Jogging Track on board the Norwegian Star Cruise Ship. Image by Donald Fink

For folks who like to walk or jog, there are two areas aboard this ship that are designated for walking and jogging. First, on deck 13, there are two tracks; one for walking and one for jogging. Four laps around the tracks are 1 mile. These tracks are actually a lot of fun because they’re nearly at the top of the ship and offer exceptional views of the ocean while walking and jogging. On Deck 7 there’s another walking track. Four laps on this track amount to 1.4 miles. This track is also fun in that it offers a somewhat different view of the ship. Your path will give a continuous view of the ocean as you make your way around, but also offers views of the ship that’s different from the more popular areas. Deck 7 is where all the lifeboats and rafts are stored. For those who like to see the more technical side, this is probably the best place without actually taking a guided tour. The path on deck 7 goes all the way aft and allows a unique view of the ship underway as viewed from the back. Interesting.

For guests who like to have a more holistic view of their fitness, the spa offers all sorts of treatments from messages to acupuncture, to hot rocks wrapped in towels. You name it, it’s there. These activities seem to be quite popular. There are also classes in fitness training that are offered by the staff, from basic spinning classes to workouts involving various muscle groups.

During the first couple of days aboard ship, the gym and walking/jogging paths seem to be quite busy. After that, most folks seem to get down to the more serious business of eating and drinking, or just sleeping in from the previous night’s eating and drinking. The gym and other facilities seem to open up quite a bit, and we’ve rarely found them to be crowded.

Whether your goal for your fitness is simply to continue your daily routine or if you see a cruise as an opportunity to reset and begin a new fitness program, using the fitness facilities aboard pretty much any cruise ship is a good way to go. Unless you’re used to the most intense workouts, you’ll not be disappointed with the facilities you’ll find aboard ship.


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