Guest blogger, Julie Peasgood, attempts her version of ‘taking the weight off.’
I’m about to venture where no woman has gone before. Call it absurd, call it impossible, but I am going to try and lose weight on a cruise.
They say nothing ventured, nothing gained, but we all know cruises are synonymous with piling on the pounds and it’s more than likely I’ll gain a few.
I have, however, chosen to conduct this experiment somewhere that at least gives me a fighting chance.
Oceania Cruises’ delightful, mid-sized, luxury ship `Riviera’ boasts a paddle tennis court, a golf simulator, a state-of-the-art gym, a designated walking/jogging circuit, a putting green, a sizeable, heated swimming pool and the award-winning Canyon Ranch Spa. Surely enough to counter the calories?
Well, I’m starting with good intentions. After my ‘Abs Express’ and ‘Pathway to Yoga’ classes I pace two miles’ worth of circuits round the top deck, making me feel very virtuous.
The track bears a striking resemblance to Dorothy’s yellow-brick road, with a non-slip surface for walking barefoot, something I love to do. Feet are given attention on board – I could choose a full orthotics assessment but I opt for Yamuna Foot Fitness, which involves balancing on a small, knobbly, plastic dome that looks like a dog toy. I’m promised relief from foot pain, improved circulation and better posture, and strangely enough after only one workout my feet do feel warm, massaged and ready for squeezing into my stilettos.
But stilettos and ball gowns aren’t the required dress code. There are no formal nights – smart casual is the style, even though our surroundings are lavish. Polished wood, Lalique crystal and soft leather grace the public areas, whilst cabins (especially bathrooms) are unusually spacious. Comfort on board `Riviera’ is a priority, so all beds have chamomile-infused mattress toppers to soothe away the cares of the day.
Four days in, my only cares involve deciding which of the gourmet restaurants to sample (there are ten different venues to tempt me) and how I’m going to confess that my suggested fit/fat angle is veering more towards the fat than the fit. It’s not that I’ve given up on losing weight, but I find myself in a gastronomic haven as Oceania Cruises is the food-lover’s cruise line.
The French restaurant, Jacques, serves Michelin star-worthy cuisine; the vegetable tempura in Red Ginger is deliciously airy, and the Chesapeake Bay Lump Crab Cake in the Polo Grill has me drooling with delight. Plus I’m cruising around Italy – not a country known for its dietary restraint.
So it’s back to the gym with a vengeance (at least it’s easier to exercise enjoying panoramic sea views) backed up by ‘Body Blitz’, ‘Indoor Cycling’ and a Kinesis machine which uses resistance combined with movement to burn more calories.
I haven’t demonstrated much resistance myself but I brave the scales at my week’s end to find that for the first time ever on cruise, I weigh the same as when I started. All things considered, that’s what I call a result!
Julie is best known as an accomplished actress and TV presenter but is also an award-winning author, travel writer and columnist; as well as being a leading voice-over artist, public speaker and events host.
We know Julie, with her husband Patrick, as engaging fun company who we first met whilst both acting as guest speakers on board ship.
We hope you’ve enjoyed her humorous take on life on board.