Last week B and the kids and I returned home from a 10-day cruise that we took with my parents. On our journey we visited 5 different countries, traveled through the Panama canal, walked between rows of banana plants, snorkeled in crystal clear waters, drifted down a jungle cloaked river and spotted monkies in the treetops.
It was pretty amazing.
What was equally amazing was how life on a cruise ship completely revolves around food. If you’ve taken a cruise then you know what I mean!
A cruise ship is basically a 24-hr all-you-can-eat buffet that floats. I’ve heard that the average cruiser gains a pound a day.
I did find, however, that sticking to a healthy diet is not impossible, even while surrounded by grown men eating two ice cream cones at a time! (Yes, I actually witnessed that. Some guy had the double-fisted technique down to a science.)
First, speak with the dining manager as soon as you board to alert them of any special food requirements or requests. I did this and was able to have green smoothies delivered to our stateroom each morning. The simple recipe that I gave them was to blend 6 cups of mixed baby greens with 2 bananas and a cup of water. It was a great way to start each day with a boost of nutrition, and to approach the breakfast table with a half-filled stomach.
The second trick I used was to focus on all of the amazing fresh fruit available onboard. There were beautiful displays of fruit on the ends of the buffet lines, and each time I would pass through that deck I’d snag a big juicy mango. (Since then I’ve become crazed about mangoes…I eat two a day!)
The third trick was to avoid the buffet line as much as possible. Eating in the main dining room, where food is plated and served, makes portion control a no-brainer. I was also impressed that each menu contained a wonderful vegan option, delicious salads and always lots of fresh fruit.