By Jeff Bogle, of Out With the Kids
Spending 8 days onboard a floating buffet isn’t exactly a recipe for weight loss but I was steadfast ahead of my family’s first ever cruise. I even said as much on Facebook, which totally made it official:
I will lose weight while cruising on the Carnival Sunshine.
And then I heard about a 24-hour pizzeria and the soft serve machine that’s never turned off. Gulp.
It didn’t help matters, right off the bat, that we’d neglected to eat lunch upon landing in Orlando, before catching the 45-minute shuttle bus ride to Port Canaveral on Florida’s Atlantic coast. By the time we passed through security, flashed our boarding passes, and received our Sign & Sail room key cards at the Carnival cruise Terminal, we were famished. Once my family climbed aboard the ship, we bum-rushed its Lido Marketplace buffet like a pack of starving hyenas on the African plain. It was there where I scarfed down a double patty with cheese and bacon from Guy’s Burger joint. It would not be my last. I don’t care for that celebrity (…chef?) very much at all but man o’ man those cheeseburgers were mighty tasty. Too tasty, in the end.
The final score of Burgers vs. 5K Runs on the Deck 11 Jogging Track was a 4-1 thrashing.
But then a funny thing happened on the way to the scale, I didn’t lose weight (obviously) but I didn’t gain weight on the cruise either. Here’s how I managed to happily plateau, despite being surrounded by a meat parade and a caravan of sweets for over a week: I walked for days on end!
Now, I’m not a step-counting-hi-tech-wristband-post-my-stats-on-Facebook-every-single-day kind of guy, but I reckon I walked just about the length of Cuba over the course of my 8-day sea voyage and, while I was still getting a wee bit lost on the Sunshine on day 7, almost all of those steps were on purpose.
From that first inhaled burger, I knew I would be in trouble if I didn’t stay as active as possible, so I took advantage of being an early riser, and walked back and forth to the buffet, three decks up, at the other end of the ship, delivering a fresh breakfast to my daughters and wife, one at a time, as they each woke up. Those were football fields worth of distances being traversed, back and forth, multiple times each morning. In addition to acting as a glorified breakfast waiter, and because we packed light, and because I’m a bit strange in that I really enjoy doing laundry while on vacation (earbuds in, complete solitude – those are my little moments of Zen), I made numerous trips back and forth to the deck six laundry room to tend to the washer and dryer. Yes, I’m an odd one. Deal with it.
All those steps spent trekking the massive Carnival Sunshine in every which way, together with that singular 5K run, somehow managed to do the job of offsetting the all-day pizza party, the grab & go soft serve, and the carnival of burgers and other red meat which I indulged in far too frequently on board the Carnival Sunshine.
So allow me to be the proof you need when your Facebook friends openly mock you and your own “I’m Going To Lose Weight On My Cruise!” declaration. You may very well not lose any weight on a cruise ship, but you can certainly enjoy the deliciousness of the dessert table – even have ice cream cones for breakfast (!) and not gain weight. I know, because I did it. No lie.
Posted on February 4, 2016