El husbando and I just got home from a week-long, 25th wedding anniversary Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Magic and I am happy to report that I also did some running on the ship’s outdoor track. The cruise — and the chance to run outside with a beautiful view — were glorious.
If you’re booked on the Carnival Magic, or are considering scheduling a vacation on this beautiful ship, here’s what you really need to know about getting your outdoor runs in while cruising:
Don’t expect to do any speed or significant distance training. The Carnival Magic’s outdoor track, on the ship’s Spa and Sports Deck 12, is on the aft (back) side. This means that the track is very short, so you’ll have to go around seven times for each mile. While handy to have an outdoor option in addition to the treadmills in the fitness center, it also means a lot of running around in circles. Very short circles.
Bring your patience. I ran in the morning, between 7 and 8, before a lot of people were out and about (even the deck-chair hogs don’t come out in force until after 8!). Still, other passengers meandered onto the track, and many ignored both the unwritten rules of having walkers on the inside so runners can pass on the right, and didn’t mind the big arrows showing which direction to face. I saw full families enjoying being outside, wearing flip-flops, walking side-by-side, also blocking the entire track. I tried giving them a friendly “on your right/left” warning, but it only served to startle them, so I just did my best to go around them. The mini golf course is in the center of the track, too, so you’ll be picking up kids’ wayward foam balls. Remember: you’re on vacation, so just go with the flow.
It will be hot. Unless you’ve been training in the south, or were born on the sun, doing anything in the Caribbean is going to cook you. And because you’ll likely be running much slower than normal, you’ll want to wear sunscreen and a hat or visor because you’ll be out there longer than usual. That said, when the ship’s moving, you’ll also benefit from some resistance training because the area is ridiculously windy.
You can’t beat the view. Despite the aforementioned inconveniences, running on the outdoor track means gorgeous views. Whether it’s on a day-at-sea or a port-day, you’re surrounded by blue skies, azure waters and, sometimes, even mountains.
But wait, there’s more! The Magic also has an outdoor gym in the area called the Sport Square, with weight-lifting machines and even some spots to do sit ups and pull ups. The area was big enough that I was able to do a shortened version of my post-run yoga routine to stretch. Signage in the area includes some very basic instructions on how to use the equipment, but I didn’t want to risk injury by trying something new as I’m getting back to running after a calf injury.
Sure, being on vacation is a great excuse to take a break from your training plan. But it’s also a great opportunity to enjoy this particularly welcoming area if you’re fortunate enough to sail on the Carnival Magic, even if only to balance out all of the chocolate melting cake you’re enjoying in the dining room.
Are you booked on a cruise? Have you gotten to run on the Carnival Magic or another cruise ship? Do you have other tips to add? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)