Love to eat on a cruise? How do YOU do it?

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North Carolina
941 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Ok Now I'm not gonna lie but I'm a big girl and yeah I like to eat hence that how I got to be a big I'm not huge but I do stuggle with my weight and I diet every day to try and keep weight manageable.....with that being said on a cruise I eat alot....breakfast I usually eat a pancake and turkey bacon and hot tea with cream(I love the cream on the ship I don't know why)
Lunch is usually a burrito or a cheeseburger or something like that....I don't eat alot in my daily life so things tend to fill me up faster BUT I go all out in the dining room...I love their soups so I get soup pretty much everyday! and then I get spring rolls everytime and I get a entree but I don't like alot of sides so I usually just eat the here's where I save my calories is I don't like desert give me bread and pasta anyday and you can keep your deseret! but where I get my calories are those yummy margaritas! I usually don't gain weight during cruises cause I refuse to take the elevator and I do workout once or twice while on the boat but on sea days I'm drinmking a fruity drink by the pool!
695 Posts
Joined May 2013
I'll be honest, on a cruise I tend to eat a bit on the heavy side. I don't go to the point of making myself sick, but do get full. I'm a good sized guy and I enjoy good food! That said, the most I've gained on any of our cruises so far has been about 6 pounds. Lost that inside of 2 weeks after returning home.

Me and DW have similar eating habits and tastes, so we really don't help deter each other from indulging! However, we only take the stairs and we are on the move a lot. Neither of us are big on sun worship so we don't lay around very much. I tend to move almost constantly as I'm a corrections officer and have to walk rounds at least every 30 minutes for a 12 hour shift, so I'm used to being on the move.

Hey, it's a vacation! I don't know about y'all, but I only get one a year so I gotta enjoy myself while I can!
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Ignorance can be cured, but there ain't no helpin' stupid! - Granddad

Past Cruises:
Carnival Victory - 10/9/16 - Freeport, Nassau
Carnival Valor - 9/19/2015 - Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya (Daughter's 1st)
Carnival Liberty - 12/7/2013 - Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk
Carnival Fascination - 12/3/12 - Key West, Nassau
Carnival Paradise - 12/12/11 - Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Carnival Sensation - 12/9/10 - Nassau (Wife's 1st)
Premier Atlantic - 6/2/91 - Nassau (My 1st)

482 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Our last cruise had the Piazza and that was our splurge. We usually were up very early and got a coffee and a breakfast sweet and then walked around the deck a few times. We would have a later breakfast, varied between the HC and the MDR and a light lunch usually from the grill. Or, a fun thing is to get a glass of wine,or a wine flight, at Vines and try their sushi and tapas. We ALWAYS eat in port if we can. We love to get a break from the cruise food and taste the local cuisine. For dinner we either eat in the MDR or specialty restaurant. We try not to look at the menu for the evening so we can be surprised. We love to use this opportunity to try new things. One other thing we have done in the past is go to the HC around 5 and get a little plate of cheese, fruit and crackers and have that with our cocktail on the balcony. I can't wait until September to do this again.
36 Posts
Joined May 2013
"When I get FULL, I just quit eating. There will be more tomorrow!"

Too funny! I'm going to gain poundage just trying all the fun cocktails I've been reading about on here. I'm thinking a dirty banana must have about 753,689 calories
New England, USA
257 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
For some metabolically fantastic reason, I always LOSE 4 lbs every single cruise! I don't know why a)that I lose and why b)it's always 4 lbs!!! Actually, I suppose that I do understand why I lose - 2 reasons, one being the extreme amount of walking that we do - first, on board the ship, just to get from point a to point b, back and forth, etc, burns a lot of calories. Plus, our biggest secret is that we never ever take the elevator - I mean NEVER, even if we get on the ship on Deck 2 and have to go up to our cabin on Deck 11 - use the stairs! That is HUGELY key in this whole formula. I know of course if that you are mobility impaired or have some sort of health issue, that is not possible! When we travel with our daughter who uses a walker, but is otherwise totally great, she takes the elevator and we take the stairs with the prior agreement that we will meet her at our destination - the cabin, a lounge, dining room, etc. So, right there, you have the walking across the decks and the no-elevator plan. And of couse I don't even need to mention all of the walking during all of the shore excursions - more exercise! Plus, some insight is that my husband and I are gym rats to begin with - we love to workout, we love to see our cholesterol numbers improve, we love to believe that our efforts are giving us a greater chance to live longer and to cruise more often!

Couple all of the walking and stair climbing with the huge range of ALWAYS EASILY and READILY available healthy food - and so we begin to see where the weight loss comes in. At home, I think, wow, it would be so lovely to have a bowl of fruit, but then I realize how I have to go to the store and buy all of the various fruits, wash them, cut them up, then have a TON of fresh fruit salad that will take days to eat and won't be fresh for long! (yes, I know, I could buy the precut fruit salad, but that is exorbitantly pricey!) Whereas, on board, BINGO, beautiful fresh fruit salad all day every day every venue, just waiting for me, just sitting there, love it! Grilled salmon? - all I have to do is ask, and my wish is my command. We always sail Celebrity and usually eat in Blu, which generally gives a wide range of healthier options, though that is really more hype than fact - but in any case, if I don't want a sauce, then have it on the side, or simply put, the chefs will make pretty much anything, so just ask! And there are so many healthy dessert options - yes, it is very easy to eat healthfully and to exercise even more than at home by simply walking and using the stairs, so to lose weight on board is not difficult at all - eat the healthy food that abounds, it is so fresh, so delicious, so easy because you are not cooking or chopping it!
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RCCL Sun Viking May 1989; Western Caribbean
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Maryland's Eastern Shore
6,079 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I start out the cruise sticking to my low carb diet. But, by the end of the cruise I have given in to the bread basket at dinner, and dessert. I do eat a lot of the fresh fruit, and salads. I stay away from the pasta and potatoes. I don't drink much, mostly wine, an occasional beer and drink of the day.
I haven't gained more than 5 pounds on a cruise and lose it quickly when I get home. We do use the stairs often, but more than 2 flights is difficult for DH.
But, ultimately it is vacation and you should enjoy it. Just remember all things in moderation.
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I learn something new every day!

Past Cruises
April 8 2016 RC Serenade of the Seas Caribbean
Sept 11 2014 RC Explorer of the Seas NE/Canada
Dec 3 2012 RC Explorer of the Seas Eastern Carribbean
June 20 2010 Carnival Pride Bahamas
Sept 2 2009 RC Jewel of the Seas TA
Jan 2009 RC Voyager of the Seas Western Caribbean
Sept 11 2008 RC Explorer of the Seas Canada
Jan 2008 RC Brilliance of the Seas Panama Canal
June 2 2007 RC Radiance of the Seas Alaska

Stone Mountain GA
9,475 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
If all of you are using the elevators then why is it so hard to find any room in one? Just asking. I eat what I want when I want on a cruise.

Breakfast in the MDR, I get my egg, maybe a slice of ham, lots of protein, little fat. But then I hit the Lido, grab some of that great guava fruit juice, and a croissant.

Lunch, I try to eat in the MDR when possible, get a salad and dessert. At least this way I am eating and not just grazing. But oh, there are better desserts on the lido deck.

I always attend tea.

Dinner-soup, entree, dessert, aoh but then I know about coffee and desserts up on the lido deck.

I think about walking laps. I do swim when I am in port, but unless everyone is in port, I dont use the swimming pool on the ship. Thing is I dont sit still for long. I am too old and achey, so I am constantly on the move. Drives the DH crazy. Will go down stairs, will walk all over the ship, will go up two levels on stairs, or three, and will walk a mile a day on the track-I take two sizes dresses, because it's the water that makes you gain weight, there are no calories in cruise food.
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival- Elation 1/14, 1/16

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.

2,043 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
I pretty much eat all day a little at a time. Love trying new foods. Very few things I won't eat, cooked spinach comes to mind but love it fresh in a salad. I'm blessed with a metabolic rate that is in permanent overdrive. 4 or 4000 calories a day and never gain or loose any weight. Been a pound or two off of 150 since I was in my 20's and will turn 60 next April while on a cruise.
Rocklin, CA
45 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I love the service on cruise lines. Being served breakfast on china with sliverware makes it feel special. It's all the little things that add up to make a fine dining experience. With so much good food available, it's nice to be able to have a taste here, a bite there, and enjoy all the little nibbles. I love eating multi-course dinners served with panache, the showmanship of a tableside Caesar salad or a flaming dessert! The pageantry makes me feel like I am away from my normal life and enjoying the moment!
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Past cruises:
1998 - Caribbean, Carnival
2004 - Honeymoon in Alaska, Celebrity
2007 - Hawaii, Island Princess
2010 - Panama Canal, Island Princess
2013 - Eastern Caribbean, Emerald Princess
50 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
We love to try new things when we cruise including the food. In the buffet I will get small portions of several things. So a full breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not much snacking in between. Usually gain 5-7 pounds on a 7 day cruise.

It would be more if we didn't stay active. We prefer to use the stairs as much as possible and do a lot of walking and exploring on our shore excursions.

We enjoy eating lunch onshore. Again it's fun to try new things, including the local drink.

By the time we are close to the end of the cruise we seem to eat less, guess we stuffed ourselves too much in the first few days.
Honolulu, HI
681 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I'll usually have some fruit for breakfast and then the buffet for lunch (i'm a sucker for salad bars).
Usually a specialty resraurant for dinner, i skip dessert but love having a midnight snack at O'sheehans.
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NCL Epic 1/2017
NCL Escape 1/2016
NCL Getaway 4/2014
NCL Epic 11/2013
NCL Epic 1/2013
RCCL FOS 2/2012
1,020 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
There is way too much food on a cruise. We order room service for breakfast (because I don't want to start my day over eating). Keep fruit in the room for midmorning snack and afternoon snack. Eat what we want for lunch and dinner. No elevators, walk everywhere we can and visit the gym. I have lost weight on cruises and I have gained weight on cruises..... have to say it is way easier to gain, then to lose

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[size="1"]"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than the things you DID do. So sail away from the safe harbor. Cast off the bow lines. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."--Mark Twain

RCI - Nordic Empress 1994 - Bahamas - Honeymoon
CCL - Imagination 1996 - Caribbean - Family Vacation
RCI - Monarch of the Seas 1999 - Caribbean - Family Vacation
RCI - Empress of the Seas July 2004 - Bermuda - Anniversary Vacation
RCI - Enchantment July 2005 - Nova Scotia - Graduation Vacation
RCI - Explorer of the Seas April 2008 - Bermuda - Family and Friends Vacation
RCI - Enchantment of the Seas April 2011 - Bahamas
NCL- Jewel - June 2011 - Bahamas/Florida - Family Surprise Vacation
RCI - Explorer of the Seas - March 2012 Caribbean -Ken and Connie's Birthday Celebration
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RCI - Enchantment of the Seas - April 2013 - Caribbean - Friend's Getaway
RCI - Grandeur of the Seas - December 2013 - Family Christmas Vacation
RCI - Quantum of the Seas - January 2015 - Friend's Getaway
RCI - Anthem of the Seas - December 2015 - Family Christmas Tradition
RCI - Anthem of the Seas - April 2016 - Friend's Getaway
RCI - Anthem of the Seas - January 2017 - Friend's Getaway
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
For me, the only way I can stick to a diet is not having tastier options. Hence on cruises I don't even try! Generally have a small but fatty breakfast - a pastry or a pancake.

Lunch is buffet bits, and portion control only happens because I know -

Late afternoon - buffet again! Sushi as soon as available, or cake and coffee.

Dinner - 3/4 courses, whichever look yummiest. Luckily I don't love creamy sauces, but my choices are based on taste not health.

11/midnight - sneaky snack time - cookie, mini cake, or a luxury hot chocolate, it always happens!

And none of this mentions the drinks! Lots of sugary drinks with or without alcohol, piling on the calories with abandon!

The reality is that only fullness stops me eating on a cruise. I'll generally put on a few pounds, and rely on all the extra exercise (dancing all night, walking or swimming all day - nothing on purpose!) to keep me from ballooning. But hey, with 51 weeks til the next cruise I will generally lose it all again!
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Past cruises on RCI and X

Next cruise Norwegian Epic - 7/4/16!
12 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We did very good on our last cruise on eating and basically stuck with what we do at home/work which is a continental style breakfast, sandwich of some sort for lunch with a side and an evening meal in the main dining room or buffet. The food items on the buffets and other venues are sometimes hard to resist but what the heck we're on vacation. The comment from our head waiter Viroch to me one night was when I said "I'll pass tonight on the desert menu" he opened it and handed it to me again and said "I do not see I pass on the menu". Everyone at the table got a really good laugh out of that one and I ended up with desert after all. So enjoy yourselves and work it off when we get home or use the on board gym
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54 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
I love this thread! I totally enjoy the food on a cruise. I usually work hard a couple weeks prior to the cruise so I am under my "fighting weight" by 5 lbs or so. I also work hard on the cruise (walk on the track in the a.m.), burn 750 calories in the gym once a day. I always take the stairs, usually 2 at a time. I don't drink a lot of alcohol so my calories are mostly consumed by things I want to try. I don't eat a lot of bread normally, but I love that bread basket that comes around at dinner so I do indulge. I also ALWAYS have dessert at dinner, even if it's just ice cream. I try to eat when I'm hungry and if I'm not hungry, and I still want to try something, I have a small portion knowing I can have more if I decide it's worth the calories. I also indulge in soda on a cruise. Just don't attend one of the "flat belly" seminars or you'll feel so awful about drinking the soda you may not have another one .
New York
142 Posts
Joined May 2008
I always eat what I want on a cruise, after all I'm on vacation. A week or two of veering away from my regular eating habits at home will not make me ill. I usually put on about 5 pounds but I use the gym a couple of days on the ship and will lose all of it when I get back home. DH usually does the same but never gains any weight. Different metabolism I guess!!!
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2004 Celebrity Century
2005 Carnival Miracle
2006 Carnival Legend
2007 Crown Princess
2008 RCCL Jewel of the Seas
2009 Caribbean Princess
2010 Celebrity Constellation
2012 Star Princess
2013 Emerald Princess
2015 RCCL Quantum of the Seas
2015 RCCL Anthem of the Seas

Northern California
3,153 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by OCruisers
When I get FULL, I just quit eating.

What an odd idea! I think you may be on to something here.
Northern California
3,153 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
We try to keep moving, eat only at meal times, and I try to hold it down to one dessert at lunch and dinner. My husband tries to hold it down to no more than 3 desserts.
461 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
I've always struggled with my weight and tried pretty much every diet out there . My last cruise I was on ( and still am because it really does work :-) ..) that program that JHUD promotes .. I was so determined NOT to gain wait I downloaded ALL of the menus and planned out all my meals for the week, made sure I exercised everyday on vacation and jogged up the stairs not walk I jogged haha .. Yes overkill I know .... BUT THEN ... I was introduced to Thirsty Frog Pints ... Mmmmmm delicious :-) ( and I HATE beer , but thus is so good especially when it's really hot out ) so yes I ate very sensibly for my 7 day cruise but ended up gaining 2 lbs because of all the beer I drank . So will I plan every meal I eat on my next cruise ?? Probably .. Will I drink as much alcohol as I did .. Probably not Maybe only 1 glass a day . Haha