Posted by: Jerry Garrett | May 4, 2012

Postscript: Adventure of the Seas Trans Atlantic Cruise

Am I really hungry enough to climb those 6 floors to get to the buffet? (Jerry Garrett Photos)

Good post-cruise news: It doesn’t appear I gained any weight while on my fun-filled and food-filled two-week Trans Atlantic Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas.

It seems I beat the odds! According to a new survey released this week, a majority of passengers report gaining a pound a day while on their cruises – an average of 14 pounds for a two-week cruise! A small number reported gaining 18 pounds or more. The survey, released by Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, found 84 percent of respondents said they consumed more calories on the cruise than they did at home; more than 30 percent estimated their daily caloric intake more than doubled. Duh. You have unfettered 24-hour access to unlimited amounts of food – at no additional cost. (It is possible to quibble with this survey’s methodology, relative lack of scientific rigor, and small sample size. But it is interesting to note passengers were honest enough to admit that much weight gain.)

When I got home and when I got out my scale and weighed myself, and the digital display showed me an even 300 pounds, I was shocked. That has to be some kind of malfunction, right? I only weighed 185 when I left!

Seriously, I’m still wearing the same jeans, with the belt hitched up to the same notch.

Don’t supersize me!

Same t-shirts. Same shoes. Etc. Sherry says she came home feeling like a pinata, but I can’t tell much difference in her shape.

I always say you can eat whatever you want on a cruise, as long as you always take the stairs, instead of the elevator, wherever you are going on the ship. That works for me on a short cruise – especially when you get some shore days thrown in. Walking is important; Adventure of the Seas, like most large ships, has a walking track – although strong winds made it unpleasant most days on our crossing. We “mall-walked” inside the ship instead; trudging the stairs from floor 1 to 14 was the ultimate challenge! We also walked all around town on our six shore days.

A surprising number of passengers didn’t even get off the ship at ports; the buffet remained open even on those days, although sometimes with reduced hours or offerings (the subject of some whining).

Those passengers who needed to take the elevator to get down one floor from the free ice cream machine to the buffet were duly noted, and tsk-tsked. (Or worse.)

Also, we didn’t eat when we weren’t hungry. We seemed to be in the distinct minority on that one. The buffet was only closed a few minutes a day, so that different lines could be set up between breakfast, lunch and dinner. But anytime the doors closed, the crowds would build outside. When the doors would re-open, it was like the morning of a new Apple product introduction.

Our incredible, edible cruise.

In addition to the platters of food consumed inside the buffet hall itself, many people would carry out plates piled high with food, to take back to their rooms and consume in private.

Please let me continue to believe that people go on cruises for nobler purposes than secretly feeding an eating disorder!

I seem to recall a video that was showing on the in-house TV loop that said the ship, when booked full, goes through something 35 tons of food per week. I apologize if I got that wrong, but whatever the exact number is, our ship when through food by the truckload, with which our galleys were re-stocked at each port along the way. (Kudos to the ship’s culinary crew for doing an ingenious job of producing imaginative and compelling spreads at each meal.)

Is this ship riding lower?

But golly, folks, if you calculate that all the 2,800 passengers gained an average of 14 pounds on the cruise – that’s almost 40,000 pounds of human weight gain during the course of our two-week journey.

No wonder I thought the ship was riding a little lower in the water when it pulled into port at Malaga than it had been when we had left Puerto Rico two weeks earlier!

To its credit, Royal Caribbean offered a “Vitality” menu, with low-calorie dishes and combinations of courses. But many of them seemed a little too heavy in carbs for my diet (as prescribed by my physician).

Melon art

I avoided breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, desserts and other carb-heavy or sugar-added confections. Basically, eating some fresh fruits, vegetables and little meat was a good plan for me.

I felt I ate well. The food was generally pretty tasty. And I kept active between meals.

My one culinary regret during this cruise was passing on the fried chicken the first night. I told Sherry, “This chicken is the best. I like their recipe. They have it most every night, and so I had better not OD on it the first night. It’s kind of my old stand by, whenever I don’t like the other choices on a particular day, I can always fall back on the fried chicken!”

Stupid boy. They never offered it again, the entire cruise. I’m still having recurring thoughts of loss and regret. Maybe counseling would help. Or another cruise.

Jerry Garrett

May 4, 2012

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