Why: On Royal Caribbean's newest ships, sundecks are incredible destinations for recreational pursuits. On Voyager, Freedom and Oasis-class ships, head up and aft to find the FlowRider wave pool for surfing and body boarding (on Oasis, there are two!). Rock climbing walls tower above basketball courts, miniature golf courses, golf simulators and rollerblading tracks. A jogging track overlooks the pool deck below. Just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't rain! Freedom-class vessels have boxing rings (where the workouts are incredibly challenging aerobically). On Oasis of the Seas, there's also zip-lining. And though not located on the sundeck, all ships' ice skating rinks feature open-skate sessions on sea days.
Best Water Sports
The Line: Windstar
Why: Windstar combines the best of small-ship cruising with the romance of a masted sailing vessel. Its three ships offer complimentary water sports straight from the ship in destinations like the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Greek Isles, with more limited offerings in the Mediterranean. Experienced sports enthusiasts can borrow kayaks, windsurf boards, Topper or Rumba Escape Sailboats, and inflatable boats. Snorkel equipment is provided free of charge though organized snorkeling expeditions cost extra. Waterskiing is also offered by the ship's staff; two people at a time can water-ski in half-hour increments.
The Line: Holland America Line
Why: We love Holland America's program of mind-body-spirit classes. Guests can now participate in yoga, tai chi and aqua aerobics free of charge, in addition to the for-fee classes like Pilates and spinning that are offered in the Greenhouse Spa's fitness center. Plus, many active seniors take advantage of the ships' wraparound teak promenade decks for leisurely strolls or brisk walks.
Best Spa Dining
The Line: Celebrity Cruises
Why: Dining is usually not an athletic event, but healthy eating often goes hand in hand with an active, healthy lifestyle. Celebrity Cruises was the first line to embrace this connection with spa cafes on its Millennium- and Solstice-class ships. Located by the spa pool, the cafes serve up healthy breakfasts and lunches, including smoothies, salads, fish dishes and low-fat desserts. In addition, the Solstice-class ships have Blu, a private dining room reserved for passengers booked in Celebrity's AquaSpa cabins. Its menu focuses on natural ingredients and healthy fare.
For more information on keeping fit at sea, see Cruise Critic's tips here.
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