How to Eat Healthily on a Cruise

The year is quickly coming to an end and before we know it, we’ll all be making our New Year’s resolutions to exercise more, learn new skills and explore exotic destinations. If eating better and becoming healthier are two things likely to appear on your New Year’s resolutions list, it can be tricky to stay on track and make sure you know how to eat healthily on a cruise – especially when you’re on holiday!

How to Eat Healthily on a Cruise

With unlimited food, delicious cocktails and the temptation to never leave your sun lounger all day, it can be easy to forget about all your New Year’s resolutions as soon as you step on a cruise ship – but it doesn’t have to be like that! If you’re planning a cruise for the start of the New Year and don’t want to let yourself down by pushing your resolutions to one side, take a look at our tips on how to eat healthily on a cruise.

How to Eat Healthily on a Cruise: Avoid the temptation of grabbing all the desserts at the buffet restaurants and stick to the a la carte restaurants onboard
Avoid the temptation of grabbing all the desserts at the buffet restaurants: Photo GoToVan / CC 2.0

Avoid the buffet

Most cruise liners offer a selection of all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants and a la carte restaurants. If you’re trying to keep track of what you’re eating, you’re much better off dining in a restaurant which requires you to order from a menu. Whilst you might not be able to resist taking a little bit of everything from the buffet, you’re very unlikely to order more than one of each course from a restaurant menu.

Better still – in a buffet restaurant, you get to determine portion size and our eyes are almost always larger than our bellies! But in an a la carte restaurant, a qualified chef is determining the portion size for you.

How to Eat Healthily on a Cruise: You don't need to order one of every course
You don’t need to order one of every course: Photo Josh / CC BY-ND 2.0

Don’t order every course

When you sit down with the menu in an a la carte restaurant, don’t feel that you need to order one of every course. Generally, desserts pack more calories than starters. So if you must have two courses, you’re best off ordering a starter and a main dish. And if you do succumb to temptation and order a dessert, too, try sharing half with the person you’re travelling with.

How to Eat Healthily on a Cruise: Stick to no more than one treat each day - chocolate cookies
Stick to no more than one treat each day: Photo Isabelle / CC BY-SA 2.0

Limit your snacking

Whole days spent at sea will be your worst enemy if you’re counting your calories. Even if you’re good and enjoy a small healthy breakfast, just knowing that there are ice cream, cakes and biscuits just waiting to be devoured in café mid-morning can sometimes be too much to handle. Instead of depriving yourself altogether (you are on holiday, after all!) try and limit your snacking to one treat each day. That way, you’ll still get to satisfy your sweet tooth, but you won’t risk over-doing it.

How to Eat Healthily on a Cruise: Stick to a light, healthy breakfast after a big, calorie-packed dinner
Stick to a light, healthy breakfast after a big, calorie-packed dinner: Photo With Wind / CC 2.0

Balance it out

If you did go overboard one meal and ordered the shrimp platter starter, T-bone steak meal and triple chocolate cheesecake for dessert, try and balance it out with a small bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice for breakfast the next morning, followed by a veggie-packed salad – minus the dressing – for lunch. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll even feel better knowing that if you do over-indulge, you can always help counteract the negative effects a little bit the next day.

About Nicola Quinn


Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

Other posts by the Author

4 Responses

  1. Tips on Avoiding the Health Traps of Traveling | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] if you have a sensitive stomach or suffer from irritable bower syndrome, sticking to the food you usually eat is the best decision you’ll be making on your […]

  2. Top Cruise Ship Buffets - Go4Travel Blog

    […] ships boasting several speciality restaurants, some of which are even run by celebrity chefs, dining onboard a cruise ship is a real treat for any foodie. But even if your budget doesn’t stretch to cover […]

  3. New Year Cruise Resolutions - Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] a cruise ship ticks a surprising amount of boxes when it comes to New Year resolutions, whether you plan to become healthier, expand your horizons or make new friends. If you like the idea of achieving your goals whilst […]

  4. Cruise Dining Tips: Secrets to know - Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] more you cruise the more you find out about the hidden cruise secrets. These cruise dining tips will make or break your vacation, so it’s important that you pay attention to the small […]


Leave a Reply