Fitness & Spas Food & Wine Lifestyle Luxury Hotels Travel

Keeping fit as a luxury traveller

Luxury travel writer Mary Gostelow in front of the Silver Cloud luxury cruise ship

Puerto Madryn

Some people think that staying in any luxury resort means putting on weight, and that going on a cruise invariably means you will come back twice as heavy as when you started.  This is absolutely not true.

Follow two rules, and you will return the same sylph-like Zero Zero as you were before you started travelling.  First, take the highest-calibre cruise ship you can afford.

Travel ‘up there’, say Silver Cloud, or any of the other Silversea ships, and the food is outstanding, with quality pre-eminent (and out of 207 passengers on this voyage, only one is heavier than ‘ample’).

Choose, by contrast, a mass-market Carnival ship, and, says the gal, you will find a host of overweight guests devouring all the buffets available.

luxury travel writer Mary Gostelow keeps fit aboard the Silver Cloud

At sea, at least one fit traveller runs, or power-walks, deck nine

The other golden rule is never use an elevator.  Silver Cloud’s passengers have 24/7 access to decks four up to nine. Going up and down – a total of 72 steps, each way – is excellent exercise.  Of course there are lots of other mini-rules.

Choose a middle- rather than a big-size plate when at a buffet counter. Keep off desserts. And take lots of classes with personal trainer Vlad.  This guy is sensational.

He used to play soccer professionally, back home in Romania, but injuries forced him to change direction in life.  His busy one-to-one programme on board shows how good he is.

Silver Cloud's sea-water pool

Silver Cloud’s pool is sea-water

What is my daily exercise routine onboard? 0630 wake up, floor exercises and then run deck nine, at least 25 circuits.  Head to the gym, in the former ninth deck Observation Lounge, and use the Pilates ball.

If the pool is operating, then I plunge in for what, here in the southernmost tip of Latin America, is a freezing experience, in and out as quickly as ten laps will allow.

I then recover in one of the two Jacuzzis, and shower and have breakfast.  At around midday it is time to walk the deck, power-walking to use more calories.

Silver Cloud's Maitre Jorge and luxury travel writer Mary Gostelow

Whenever he can land, the Portuguese Maitre d’ Jorge runs, and runs..

On days in port, you can always exercise on land.  Jorge the Portuguese Maitre d’ takes running beyond normal religion.  He swears that his innermost energy, creative thoughts and general philosophy of life all come from his running energy.

In Punta del Este he had run about ten miles, and he was not the only one.  In Puerto Madryn, Vlad the Trainer had run the same distance.

He has to fit his own exercise programme in, of course, with his clients’ requirements, and he has regular classes too.  Every evening at 1700 he leads a 40-minute programme, in abs (abdominal muscles), aerobics, pilates or yoga.

Silver Cloud's personal trainer Vlad and luxury travel writer Mary Gostelow

Vlad the Romanian trainer

And after that the gal will head for another swim, or perhaps a sauna.  There’s so much to do at sea.  (Right now, at sea at 1400, I have the option of bridge with Carol and Darrell (you must be JOKING), or a colour seminar with jewellery salesman Juliana of H. Stern…

I think back to my tour of Stern headquarters, with Ronaldo Stern, last time in Rio, when I stayed in the super-luxury Copacabana Palace.  Today there is more. Try easy German conversation, or Sudoku, or even take a seminar on ‘eat more – weigh less’.

After my sauna, exercise might be climbing up on to a bar stool, generally networking and talking. There could be dancing to come.  Honestly, staying in a luxury hotel that happens to be at sea can be jolly hard work.