T Nation

Cruise ship gyms


Ok, I have a feeling calling them gyms is probably a little optimistic. Never been on a cruise before, but I'll be taking one in a little less than a month. I'd rather not disrupt my training more than necessary, since I finally seem to be making progress again, but I have no idea what to expect as far as the on-board fitness center goes.

I'm hoping someone who's been there can clue me in. I assume lots of cardio machines, and a few Universal-type multi-station machines. It says there's free weights, but do they just mean a set of pretty foam-covered dumbbells going up to a massive 15 lbs? If there are real weights (not that I need a LOT, I'm not terribly advanced) does the motion of the ship cause problems? Am I going to get yelled at when I deadlift? Anything else I should know?

In case it varies greatly by cruise line/ship, it's the Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas.


Just went on a cruise in May. They had db's up to 65 lbs, which was good. The machines didn't have weight, but rather used air pressure for resistance. Each handle had a button - one would decrease pressure, and the other would increase. Had about 5 treadmills, 5 bikes, 2 stairmasters and that's it for cardio machines. I can't remember any leg machine, besides one of those machines you see Frank Zane advertising, the safety squat or whatever. No bar work at all, all db's.

Most ships have a lap for running/walking, albeit a very small one and on a very high deck. Half the time you are running into a 40 mph wind, and the other half it is a tailwind. Good for sprints.

I didn't gain any weight. You'll have a sit down dinner every night, but you don't have to go. There's food 24/7, but you can EASILY be picky and eat healthy. Usually the fruit is really, really good. Breakfast was ok, lunch was burgers and then had some form of a sitdown, dinner was sitdown or buffet, depending on which one you want to go to. Pizza 24/7 along with room service, which is free. At night, if I was hungry I would get a BLT or a Turkey Sandwich with milk. As I said, you can be healthy on this cruise. Look around, you'll see TONS of fat asses around stuffing their faces with 3 desserts. It'll MAKE you want to eat healthy.

One more note - if you go to the sitdown dinner and don't like your original dinner, you can always order a 2nd one. I did this a few times, as the first order sucked or was absolutely tiny.

Have fun!!


have you tried contacting them to see exactly what your ship will have?

Personally.....it is your vacation.......you are going regardless of what they have so deal with it when you get there. A week or two will not matter. Keep your diet as clean as possible and train with what you have available. Enjoy the cruise and the person you are sharing it with. DO NOT let the lack of an adequate gym ruin the trip for you or anyone else. you have the rest of your life to train. Create great memories while you have the chance.

Post a pic of your happy relaxed mug when you return.



And here I was under the impression a cruise is a vacation.

Expect a sauna, but perhaps not a squat rack. I'm sure Ian King's various bodyweight exercises would be more than appropriate here.



The boat doesn't move. Not really.


right on. don't let your training dictate the rest of your life. just do what you can and don't worry.


I agree with Iron Maiden. You're going on a cruise, fer chrissakes. First, lifting weights in any kind of chop is impossible. Second, the best food I've ever had in my life was on a cruise, and it doesn't conform to Massive Eating guidelines. But what the hell. You only live once. Do some running and swimming to try and mitigate the fat that you'll gain, and leave it at that. Then hit the gym with renewed vigor after its over.

And yes, post a pic when you get back. A pic from the first day, before you turn into a lard-ass. :wink:


i agree-it is vacation, chill ou!
ships now days feel like dry land because of the stabalizers. as far as the time off, anything less than a week will actually let you come back stronger-especially if you take advantage of the buffets! if you are going for 2 weeks expect to lose about 10% of your strength.



It's a small ship, so don't count on much of a gym in particular on this one. But a cruise will be a true test for your clean eating skills. Enjoy it though. I've been on a lot and they all were incredible holidays.


Oh hell no! There's no way I won't be enjoying this cruise. It's been years since I've taken a real vacation and I WILL be having a good time. My life doesn't revolve around the gym, and if I have to change or even skip my workouts, I'm not going to be devastated, or even really bothered much. I was just wondering what to expect.

I don't see the problem with wanting to hit the gym on vacation though. I mean, it's not like it's work (well, it is, but good work...you know what I mean). I enjoy it and feel better and have more energy when I'm able to get my workouts in.


Two pieces of advice for you:

1) Don't lift weights. If you HAVE to then I suggest light intensity and light volume.

2) Consume as much food as possible, whatever it is that you want.

You will be on vacation and stressing out about your workouts or adhering to proper dietary guidelines is just absurd. The dinners usually have ridiculously good food and you can order as much as you want. Every night I got 2 to 4 appetizers and usually 3 entrees AND desserts. If you like to eat, then you'll be miserable when you're trying to make sure you get less than 10 grams of fat for all of your P+C meals.


Machine is right on the eating part, but I disagree with the lifting part.

I lifted or ran every day, and I felt good. It was a good start to the day.

Oh yeah, and Eric Crouch was on my cruise. Everybody remember him? Heisman trophy winner 2 years ago? He was a nice guy, too.


I was just on a cruise with Royal Carribean in May also. I was on one of the newest ships (Voyager of the Seas) and I was thoroughly impressed with the exercise facilities. It was actually very comprehensive.....free weights, dumbells up to 80's, plenty of cardio of course, and plenty of space. I don't recall a squat rack, but it was sufficient to get a decent workout in. As others have suggested though, have fun be your first priority.


The reason I suggest not lifting is because most people benefit from taking a week or at least a few days off of lifting every 12 weeks. Simply plan this time off while on vacation.

I have to admit though, when I'm on vacation I'll usually go lift once or twice if I'm craving it but I never plan on lifting. Your call...


I never understood the "I have more energy when workout" stuff. Im tired as shit when i get done. And usually a nap follows.


Goldberg: Probably has to do with my having a desk job that leaves me sitting in one spot all day, with the brain in neutral probably 7 out of 8 hours. If I don't get to the gym, I get NO exercise at all. When I hit a lazy phase and miss the gym for a week or so, I just want to come home from work and sleep, and I haven't done a damn thing. Oh sure, I'm tired right after a workout (I'd be doing something seriously wrong if I wasn't), but my overall average energy level is higher. And even when I'm tired from a workout, I still feel better for having done it, maybe it's the endorphins...


I would say endorphines goldberg.. Either that or just pure drive to stay awake.

I am noticing myself nodding off in middle of the day at times, but it's usually on my day off. Which leads me to believe the exercise is keeping me ramped up for a bit longer on those days.