Ship shape

Have you avoided cruises because they seem too tame, boring, or sedentary? Perhaps you fear putting on pounds while at sea by indulging in bountiful midnight buffets, high-cal poolside cocktails, and doing nothing but lying around 24/7.

If you’re the type who’d rather go rock climbing, now you can cruise and climb. And hit some golf balls, shoot some hoops, play volleyball, go ice-skating—all while staying on the boat. The Royal Caribbean line—whose CEO is a marathon runner—offers abundant sports and fitness activities with its newly launched Navigator of the Seas, the world’s most action-packed cruise.

The enormous onboard fitness complex features a mini-golf course, basketball and volleyball courts, and a jogging and walking track. There’s also a full-size rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, in-line skating track, gym, and yoga studio. By year’s end, all Royal Caribbean ships will have the climbing walls, and the company’s largest ships already offer ice- and in-line skating—not offered by any other cruise line. Every time you participate in an activity, you collect “ShipShape dollars,” which can be redeemed for awards, such as water bottles, T-shirts, or backpacks.

Along with the standard midnight buffets, lighter fare, including vegetarian, vegan, and low-fat and low-cholesterol choices, is also available in cafés and restaurants throughout the ship. (Chilled papaya bisque, anyone?) Eating, drinking, and napping by the pool are still options, but it’s nice to know that, if you feel like it, you could burn calories and build biceps on a boat.

—Maryann Hammers