Cruising Healthier


Australians are now the world’s number one cruisers (1),

  • 3% (>1 in 20 Australians) of the Australian population took a cruise holiday in 2016. This completely eclipses Australia’s nearest competition, the USA, which saw a still-impressive 3.6% of residents take a cruise in 2016.
  • Number of people cruising is growing at almost 20% year-on-year average growth since 2007. As a result, the number of Australian cruise-goers has more than quadrupled since 2008.
  • Australia is the only country that’s ever seen more than 4% of residents take a cruise in a single year.
  • Average cruiser gains 2-3kg on a 10 night cruise (2)

Here are 5 tips to ensure you can make your cruising healthier:

    1. Eat mindfully at the buffet. People over eat because they eat with their eyes, not their minds
      1. The further you sit away from a buffet, the less you eat
      2. If you sit with your back to a buffet, you eat less
      3. Peruse the buffet before you start. Identify what you want and only get that. Don’t be tempted to keep going back when you see something else
      4. Chew you food well, eat slowly, put your knife and fork down between bites.
      5. Consider getting your partner to get your food for you. They will often give you less
    2. At the dining room. The portions in the dining room are smaller. But be aware that there are multiple courses served which could add us to extra kilojoules
      1. Consider only two courses, not three
      2. Avoid the extras – bread rolls, sauces etc
      3. Pick the fish – it is lower kilojoules and contains omega-3 for heart health
      4. Avoid deep fried options
    3. Avoid the extra snack between meals. At home you are unlikely to have an energy rich cake with a cappuccino
      1. If you’ve had a big breakfast, consider skipping morning/afternoon tea
      2. If you do eat, have fruit or yoghurt as your mid meal snacks
      3. Schedule events (eg trivia) between meals which might keep you away from the buffet
      4. Do your exercise between meal. Most people do not feel like eating straight after exercise
      5. Brush your teeth after each meal. Most people do not want to eat after brushing their teeth
    4. Beware drinks have calories too. Alcohol stimulates your appetite and dullens your resistance to food
      1. Cocktails: Some cocktails contain >2500Kj. Choose less milk based ones
      2. Consider spirits with diet soft drink. A gin and diet tonic has only 400Kj
      3. A cappuccino on full cream milk has >1000Kj. Consider a long black and a dash of milk
      4. Drink water – often skipping the next drink with a bottle of water is a god way to slow your alcohol intake down
    5. Be active. Lounging around the pool all day only burns around 2400Kj. So you need to keep active
      1. Carry an activity tracker (eg Fit Bit or Garmon) to track activity. Aim to do 10000 steps in the day
      2. Use the gym. Some of the best equipped gyms in the world are on cruise ships.
      3. Walking around the track on the top deck early in the day is a good way to get you active. You also meet likeminded people
      4. Use the stairs and not the lifts. It is amazing how quick you get your 10000 steps on the stairs. And often it is quicker on the stairs than the lifts
      5. Do the shore excursions: walk as much as you can around the cities and towns


    2. Shirran, M., Shirran, M. and Graham, F. (2015). Cruise Yourself Slim. 1st ed. San Bernardino: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, page 47.