CRUIS­ING TO GOOD HEALTH

A LUX­URY SPA CRUISE CAN SPELL DIS­AS­TER FOR WEIGHT WATCH­ERS, BUT SALONI PURI SWIMS AGAINST THE TIDE IN SOUTH AMER­ICA.

India Today - - SPICE - The au­thor is a travel writer and was a guest aboard the lux­ury cruise ship Celebrity In­fin­ity in March.

My suit­case lay open as I stared at it with trep­i­da­tion. Loose or fit­ting? The decision to pick which size of clothes to pack for the next 14 days as I sailed around Cape Horn, South Amer­ica, on board lux­ury cruise ship Celebrity In­fin­ity, was haunt­ing me. I had been warned that one pound a day was the nor­mal weight gain on board a cruise such as this and hav­ing re­cently put my­self through a gru­elling diet to keep my midlife-midriff in check, the an­tic­i­pa­tion of the im­pend­ing ad­ven­ture was over­pow­ered by the ap­pre­hen­sion of my weak will power.

Be­sides the rugged beauty of the Latin coast­line, I pic­tured four-course meals washed down with crab mar­ti­nis and fin­ished off with crème brulee; spe­cialty restau­rants serv­ing goat cheese flambé, Chilean salmon and New York steaks.

But I boarded this 90-ton, 2000 pas­sen­ger, 1000 crew, 11 decks float­ing five star ex­trav­a­ganza in Buenos Aires with my ocean farer’s com­mand­ment in place, “Thou Shall Not Put On Weight!” Was I plan­ning to stay in a diet dun­geon? No way, af-

ter all this was a sump­tu­ous va­ca­tion, not a fat farm.

While walk­ing around the ship on a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion tour I was in­tro­duced to a very tall, very ath­letic, very golden haired Nordic gentleman—kris—the ship’s on board well­ness man­ager. Kris could in­spire any woman to in­vest in fit­ness. As he showed me around the 25,000 square foot Aqua Spa— a sprawl­ing com­plex-fea­tur­ing state of the art gym ma­chines, floor space for fit­ness classes, a health food cafe, a tha­lasso-ther­apy pool, and a beauty shop with bay win­dows over­look­ing end­less blue hori­zons, I felt the first stir­rings of hope. Maybe the wel­come cham­pagne cock­tail, caviar canapés and pas­tries that I had al­ready gulped down could be bal­anced out af­ter all. This cruise would be a well­ness va­ca­tion for me.

The days off­shore were far eas­ier on the midriff—the hours flew by in ex­plo­ration of the amaz­ing ports of call-Puerto Madryn in Ar­gentina, Mon­te­v­ideo in Uruguay, Punta Are­nas in Chile- filled with ad­ven­tures; treks in search of pen­guins and vol­ca­noes, walks through na­tional for­est re­serves, strolls along quaint sea­side boule­vards and quays all kept the nib­bles at bay. The only temp­ta­tion was the dark South Amer­i­can choco­late, but I staved off crav­ings and headed to the spa in­stead. ‘Re­new’ is the Celebrity Cruise line’s new name for the spa and health as­pect of life at sea. It com­bines fit­ness classes, spa treat­ments and well­ness sem­i­nars to help trav­ellers “feel bet­ter, live longer and look younger.” I re­newed my fit­ness vow, laced up my train­ers and climbed aboard the body sculpt­ing boot camp.

The body sculpt­ing class en­tailed lift­ing heavy weights

and fit its mil­i­tary moniker to the T ex­actly–a boot camp. I was sweat­ing and moan­ing be­fore the first class was through but, in the ship’s par­lance, I was de­ter­mined to ‘stay the course.’ The next morn­ing as the sun rose ma­jes­ti­cally over the Chilean fjords I headed for Deck 11. Sprawled there lay a jog­ging track en­cir­cling a ship aglow with the morn­ing’s first sun-kissed rays. The wind was strong but noth­ing could beat the ex­pe­ri­ence of cours­ing laps with a golden orb ris­ing over the hori­zon. I felt hooked to this early morn­ing jog with just si­lence and the sea for com­pany.

Mo­ti­vated and recharged I headed straight for the healthy menu avail­able at the Aqua spa café. Mouthwa­ter­ing egg white om­lettes with spinach and mush­rooms, freshly squeezed orange juice, gluten free bread to boot, gra­nola and yo­ghurt- the spa café quickly be­came my wa­ter­ing hole, my refuge in dis­tress.

The Aqua spa also in­cludes youth-en­hanc­ing medi-spa cos­metic ser­vices with li­censed doc­tors, in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Resty­lane(r) for that sexy pout, and Bo­tox for all the fa­mil­iar uses. Anti-ag­ing fa­cials, acupunc­ture, yoga and tai chi are all avail­able to help those in search of their beauty on waves of the high seas.

Ex­er­cise apart, Blu, the con­tem­po­rary spe­cialty res­tau­rant, prom­ises low calo­rie meals for those with an eye on their waists. There’s al­ways a low-cal salad and leaner op­tion on the menu and it takes some re­straint not to pass it over in favour of the more sub­stan­tial gnoc­chi’s, lob­ster bisques, and shrimp cock­tails.

To­wards the end of the trip, we re­ceived a sur­prise in­vi­ta­tion to the cap­tain’s bridge to view the cross­ing around Cape of Horn on an un­be­liev­ably clear, sunny day. The rare sight­ing of ca­vort­ing Minki whales from there was the per­fect an­ti­dote to my rough work­outs. On to Ushuaia, the icy cold, des­o­late, and unimag­in­ably beau­ti­ful en­try port into Antarc­tica. We spent the day ex­plor­ing an­cient Tierra Del Fuego forests and pen­guin watch­ing around the Mag­el­lan Straits on a cata­ma­ran. Frozen stiff, I re­turned to treat my­self to yet an­other spa treat­ment called the bam­boo mas­sage, where bam­boo shoots are rolled and used to mas­sage tired mus­cles.

The daily pi­lates classes with Kris were work­ing magic on my tummy and my abs be­gan to tighten. As we set sail to­wards our last port, I took stock. I had nav­i­gated my­self away from car­bo­hy­drate avalanches, cruised to­wards sen­si­ble food choices, docked at the gym and de­scended in Val­paraiso, Chile, in top shape. In­stead of gain­ing a pound a day I stepped off the float­ing palace back onto dry land a whole two ki­los lighter. Now, where is my golden Nordic hunk?

EN­JOY YOUR DAILY RUN ON BOARD THE CRUISE SHIP ON A TREAD­MILL THAT OF­FERS AN IN­FI­NITE VIEW OF THE SEA

THE LOW CALO­RIE SAL­ADS PRE­PARED BY THE CHEF ON BOARD CATER TO HEALTH CON­SCIOUS TRAV­ELLERS WATCH­ING THEIR WEIGHT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.