Feeling stuck in the same old routine? Adventure calling? Put your vacation in cruise control and sail off for exotic ports of call while having a diverse array of experiences that feel more like fun than a workout! While there is certainly no limit to the number of dining options that come to mind when you think of cruising, one of the things I love most about taking a cruise vacation is how easy it is to explore different and exciting activities. Stepping aboard can also give you a chance to relax and recharge.
For my summer vacation, I opted for a family cruise to Bermuda. As a fitness enthusiast, I was very happy with the fitness center on board our ship, the NCL Gem. I’m always disappointed how hotels tend to put their gyms in the very bowels of the building, but cruise ships take full advantage of their spectacular ocean views with floor to ceiling windows in their fitness facilities. The gorgeous window views weren’t just limited to the gym, as they were also included in the spa, sauna, and on the walking/jogging tracks on board which I loved to use for a post breakfast walk. The fitness center also offered group workout and spin classes, yoga, Pilates, and personal training. The outdoor Zumba classes poolside were a highlight. The music and atmosphere felt more like a party than a workout!
While sailing to Bermuda, there were plenty of other offerings on the ship to get your body in motion. The Gem boasted an outdoor rock-climbing wall, a tennis court, basketball and volleyball courts, bowling alley, water slides, a driving range, as well as several pools and hot tubs to relax and unwind. There were even dance classes so you could show off some of your new moves in one of the many lounges or nightclubs.
Once in Bermuda, there are so many incredible things to do. My sons couldn’t wait for the jet-skiing excursion. While getting off the ship, we met a family that was off to swim with the dolphins! If you haven’t been to Bermuda, my son’s comment that, “The island looks so beautiful that it was almost as if it was photoshopped!” sums it up nicely. The turquoise water, pink sand beaches, lush greenery and pastel colored homes really are the setting for paradise.
Our greatest adventure on the island awaited us at the Grotto Bay Resort & Spa. We took full advantage of the beach and pool which was complete with a swim up bar! Right off the beach was an inflatable water park with a trampoline, catapult, and other fun obstacles that turned the ocean into a playground and kept my sons entertained for hours! Snorkeling gear was also offered, and there was a shipwreck right off the beach which was teeming with incredible and colorful marine life. We took advantage of the kayaks and stand up paddleboards as well.
Within the Grotto Bay resort is the Cathedral Cave where you can walk down to admire the stalactites and stalagmites or go swimming inside the cave. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience to swim in the crystal-clear waters found in this natural wonder that is over 500,000 years old! Next to the Cathedral Cave is Prospero’s Cave, which houses the Natura Cave Spa offering a full array of spa and wellness treatments on a raised pergola over the crystal waters inside the cave.
I prefer my vacations to be both relaxing and rejuvenating. I tend to steer away from what I call “glorified field trip” style vacations. Taking a cruise gave my regular workouts a vacation, made me feel in shipshape, all while I gave my body and a spirit a strong dose of vitamin sea!