Cruise Ship - Paleo/Crossfit maintenance

by (290)
Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 19, 2010 at 9:53 PM

In about 2 weeks I will be going on a cruise that departs from Spain, hits Italy, Malta, Turkey, Egypt, and Greece. I've been paleo for about a year now and have been highly successful with weight loss and maintenance. As stoked as I am to travel to these destinations, I'm a bit worried and unsure of how to forage on the cruise ship in terms of fitness and nutrition. If anyone has had experience or been in a similar situation, could you provide some information and/or tips on how to deal? Thanks!

-Amy :)

1932 · December 20, 2010 at 7:43 PM

As a side note: I recently took a cruise on a ship that had just arrived from the Mediterranean. At breakfast, my eyes would not believe the color of the eggs! I would have sworn the yolks were dyed orange! Then someone mentioned that there were a lot of European supplies left over and I realized - those were European eggs I was eating! I was hoping they would last the week, but on day 3, bummer: back to pale yellow American eggs. They were certainly good while they lasted, though!

834 · December 20, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Agave is fruit just like grapes are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequila

8868 · December 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

The wine I get. But tequila?

8270 · December 20, 2010 at 6:58 AM

Thanks for the link Resurgent, very handy.

3895 · December 20, 2010 at 4:21 AM

there are some more answers here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/14418/cruising-with-celiacs-intolerance/14437#14437

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6 Answers

7073 · December 20, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Use the gym and SWIM in the pool on board......every cruise liner nowadays has at least a small pool...larger ships usually have huge indoor and outdoor pools. All you need to make sure of is that you use it and swim swim swim.

Most cruise liners have buffets and you will be able to pick and choose. If you are on a big ship from P&O Lines for example like Oriana, you will be spoilt for choice for food, the breakfasts are AMAZING and will set you up for the day (make sure you load up with eggs bacon, ham, and all the trimmings). Dinner in the evening will always have a choice of good cuts of meat and veg, so just have lots of that and cut out the things you don't want like potatoes and bread products.

On shore, you can head for the local eateries and try some Mediterranean food which is great - and there will be so much choice in the way of meat especially SEAFOOD which will be inexpensive and straight from the sea that day. In fact, you could eat wonderful fresh seafood every day alone and remain 100% paleo without much effort.

Things may get a little trickier in Egypt if you are going along the Nile, but there should still be wonderful fish dishes on offer and you will also be able to find spiced meat dishes which are usually delicious, the trick is to get deep into the souks and taste the LOCAL cuisine. You want to do that anyway, hey? ;)

I have found that the staff on cruises are always on hand and very ready to prepare food in the way you want it, and here in Europe staff care very much about how food is served to the customers, even if you stick with meat alone, you will find that they may be able to prepare a different sauce for you, offer you a different vegetable option and cook the meat exactly to your liking. I think you will be OK!

Have a great trip.

317 · December 19, 2010 at 10:13 PM

What cruise line? We did Celebrity last year and they have a small buffet in the spa area with some healthy/fresh choices. And any cruise line I've ever been on has a gym, so you're good to go with fitness, just print out some WODs to take with you.

While the staff can be very accommodating, you're probably not going to be able to go perfect paleo on board, do the best you can and relax and enjoy your vacation!

834 · December 19, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Roast beef carving station will be your BFF.

At the dinners make as many special requests about anything you'd like.

At midnight buffets be sure to ask the chef any questions you might have go for all the yummy meat.

Avoid all the booze except tequila and wine.

Have fun!

834 · December 20, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Agave is fruit just like grapes are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequila

8868 · December 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

The wine I get. But tequila?

1172 · December 20, 2010 at 2:30 AM

when I travel, even if there will be lots of food and even potentially acceptable food, i always bring a few favorite non-perishable paleo items anyway - i hate that panicked feeling of "nothing to eat, oh my god!"

as far as fitness - my advice is to take a freaking vacation from working out. your body will thank you. if you are a crossfitter, you need to walk away completely from it a couple times a year for at least a week. otherwise, you will burn out and/or get hurt.


you might be the kind of person, as i am, for whom exercise also functions as a stress reliever. if that's the case, satisfy that urge on the cruise in whatever way works. go to the yoga classes they offer or swim laps or run up and down stairs or whatever will make you feel better, and/or stave off those feelings of laziness.

i have found since i found crossfit and improved my diet that i am MUCH more willing to take a REAL vacation - laying around and doing very little - than i was before. it's natural to me now.

1811 · December 20, 2010 at 1:38 AM

I just went on a Mediterranean cruise, you will love it! Not sure what your cruise line will be like but I took Princess and was very happy with the experience. My survival strategy involved eating breakfast and dinner only. Breakfast was easy since I'm a bacon and eggs kind of guy. For dinner, I explained to the waiter that I was gluten intolerant and he allowed me to order dinner a night in advance so the chef could prepare special gluten-free versions of my choices. As far as exercise, I found the gym was adequate for doing some short, intense weight sessions that I combined with some tabata work in my state room and some sprinting/jogging on the deck (there was one level that wrapped around).

Hope this helps. Have an excellent time!

20807 · December 20, 2010 at 3:21 AM

Food varies greatly according to the cruise line you will be one. Some have a great variety of fresh food and some don't. My advice is do some googling on the cruise ship you will be taking and get the lowdown from previous travelers. That way you will know what you are in for and what steps you will want to take as far as bringing your own snacks.

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