Tag Archives: putting on weight

Put on a pound a day

If you wanted to gain weight and someone promised you that you would put on a pound a day you would be delighted. However the thought of gaining a pound a day on vacation is horrifying to many of us. Christmas is bad enough! But it is that time of year and all thoughts turn to New Years Resolutions and many out there will be vowing to lose weight and get healthy.

But let’s get back to this thought of putting on a pound on day on vacation and where does this come from? I know, I can hear all you cruising people out there yelling – THE BUFFET !!! Yes. That was the mantra in the old days when you went cruising. Go for 10 days – come back 10 lbs heavier. Don’t even talk about a world cruise. Would you even be able to walk off the cruise at the end weighing an extra 120 pounds?

It’s no surprise when you think of it – back in the “good old days” of cruising there was always the midnight buffet. Who the heck needs to eat at midnight. And of course the centrepiece was always that ridiculous chocolate fountain. Chips, dip, sliders and slurpings of chocolate …. at 1 am … and then off to bed because you know you don’t want to miss the breakfast buffet. Oooo I don’t feel well.

The good news is that things have changed in the cruising world – even on the more budget ships (to put it kindly!). Cruise menus are now starting to list low calorie, low salt items and are highlighting healthy options. Even the buffet is really healthy now – lots of salads, grilled options and even low sugar ice-cream.

There’s more exercise too – more than deck quoits but you can really have a good workout with modern gym equipment, very often with a great view of the sea. (Mmm I am wondering now why I don’t make it to the gym very much when I cruise – there’s my New Year’s Resolution).

C’mon Lesley – back on the stair master…. NOW!!!

But sometimes all that “free” food can be irresistable as stories from crew will show ….

“The craziest thing I ever saw while working on a cruise ship was a passenger putting sandwiches in her bra to try to sneak them off the ship at a port (since there is a restriction that you can’t take cruise ship food into the port),” says Kerrie Mendoza, who spent two years sailing the Mediterranean, Alaska, and the Caribbean and now blogs at FamilyFoodandTravel.com. “She got stopped but just the thought of it was pretty gross!”

I am still trying to figure out how she managed to put sandwiches (plural) in her bra????

What to eat when you cruise

OK so we have all heard the jokes about cruising.  Plan to put on at least a pound a day.  Can you imagine how overweight you would be if you did the latest and longest world cruise.  Viking Cruises is pushing hard to beat the world record for the number of days in a world cruise and I think they might just do that at 245 days.  Wow – imagine putting on 245 pounds.  We would all be rolling off the ship at the end and would not be admitted back to Canada because our passports would bear no similarity to our new pudgy post cruise figures!

Yes – cruising – It’s all about the food – that never-ending buffet that we religiously visit each day.  As the ships get bigger so do the buffet areas and it just takes that much longer to get yourself organized.   

So here’s the plan.

Out of the elevator and join the line up for the obligatory hand washing ceremony.  It seems that with the outbreaks of noro virus on the cruise ships have encouraged many cruise lines to install sinks with taps and soap so you can properly wash your hands before getting anywhere NEAR the food.

Now with clean hands carefully approach the buffet being mindful of the traffic flow as those exiting with full plates make their way to a table with determination and fierce concentration.  Then a quick squiz of the area.

SQUIZ ….. “a look or glance, esp an inquisitive one. Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers. Word origin of ‘squiz‘ C20: perhaps a blend of squint and quiz.”

Check out the salads – no need to do the desserts as I won’t be partaking – then on to the warming pans.  Usually the dish is written on a sign on the front of the pan but that doesn’t mean anything.  You have to look so that means easing the top off and taking a look at what “braised beef and vegetables” really is.  Sometimes you might be surprised – or disappointed.

Look, food is pretty important and can make or break your cruise – but one man’s meat is another man’s poison and you will find wildly differing views on cruise food.  Some reviews are so passionately angry they are almost funny.  Like this one ….

The XXXXXXX cafe offered cheap food. Lots of pasta & mac & cheese. Hot dog tempura??? Seriously? I asked a server what time the cafe closes, & she said 930pm. Along with a quip of “we have to sleep sometime”. At 930pm sharp, the lights go off & you are left with nothing.  Food tables are roped off. No kidding.

Oh dear – he or she sounds really hangry.  Maybe this review was written in the dead of night in an inside cabin somewhere on the high seas.

Others describe meals on the cruise ship as being akin to “school dinners”.    Honestly, growing up in England I loved school dinners so I can’t really see that as an insult.  However when you consider the thousands of meals that are prepared daily on the cruise ships of the world, spare a thought for the poor chefs down in the galley – it can’t be easy!