By Mimi Kmet
Staying in shape onboard a cruise ship can be a real challenge. It seems that every time I go on a cruise, I suffer from what I call the “floating five.” You know, those five extra pounds you can count on gaining while at sea. And this voyage, a Pacific Coast luxury cruise (Vancouver to Los Angeles) aboard the Crystal Symphony – with its new Modern Cuisine menu, not to mention premium wine, beer and cocktails at no additional charge – is no exception.
But then, I found fitness nirvana at the ship’s recently redesigned fitness center. I tested my strength on the TechoGym Kinesis training equipment, which has double-weight stacks, cables and pulleys to allow for more than 250 exercises and 360-degree movement. I pushed my arms to the limit with free weights. I gave my heart and lungs a workout on a LifeFitness treadmill while watching “The Big Bang Theory” on the machine’s personal TV monitor. I stretched on a yoga mat. All while taking in the scenery through panoramic windows.
I got so carried away, in fact, that I forgot to check out the ship’s new, outdoor Fitness Garden, which is spread out among Decks 7, 8 and 12. The stainless steel strength training equipment there is pretty jazzy, and it combines to create a “Movement Journey.” Next workout, definitely.
In addition, there are two walking programs that take advantage of the 360-degree Promenade Deck: “Walk On Water” (WOW)®, where Crystal will lend me a lightweight vest with weight pockets around the mid-section, and the Nordic Walking Program, where Crystal will provide Nordic walking poles. Jogging is allowed on the Promenade Deck, too, and there are paddle tennis courts and a putting green.
I also picked up a schedule of complimentary classes, like Stretch, Core Conditioning, “Tour de Cycle” (spinning) and Yoga, as well as seminars like “How to Increase Your Metabolism” and “Secrets to a Flatter Stomach.” And, while the Crystal Symphony’s restaurants offer plenty of choices for healthy eating, for which I am incredibly grateful, I do indulge occasionally. So it’s nice to know there’s a place onboard where I can alleviate my foodie guilt and decrease that “floating five” to an “at-sea three.”