6 Ways to Stay on Course when Cruising after Bariatric Surgery

July 23, 2014

Cruise vacations are great getaways offering worldwide destinations, inclusive accommodations and activities and for all ages. There are many differences between cruise and land vacations and often the idea of being at sea can be scary scenario to those adjusting to a new lifestyle after weight loss surgery. I wanted to provide some information to help ease the concerns so you can rest assured you will have a fun and healthy vacation.

Will there be bariatric friendly food options?

There are many food options on cruise ships, and the staff are very accommodating to special requests. Vegetarian, vegan, even gluten free options are offered on board.

Buffet - While the buffet is often blamed for over indulgence, it also has numerous healthy food options.  During breakfast there are several protein options such as eggs: hard boiled eggs, scrambled, or omelet made to order. There is also oatmeal, various cereals, milk, and cottage cheese.  Lunch and dinner will offer a full salad bar with fresh veggies, soups, fruits, cold cuts, cheese and a carving station. There are also various other buffet option which vary day to day. Fresh fruits are available during every meal.

Dining Room — The buffet is not the only dining option. In addition to dinner every evening, the main dining room is also open for breakfast every morning and lunch on most days (usually sea/non-port days). The dining room provides a slower paced meal and portioned serving sizes. You may order any items you want from the menu, and inquire about other options and special orders. Lunch and dinner are three courses. Appetizers include salads, soups, shrimp cocktail, and other unique items. Many entrées are available in an appetizer portion. Again just ask your waiter, and they’ll be more than happy to accommodate you. Healthy food options are indicated on the menu.

Both the Buffet and Dining Room have healthy and sugar-free or no-sugar added options for dessert.

How can I stay active?

Fitness Center - most ships have a fitness center equipped with cardio machines and weights. Group exercise classes are offered (check the daily schedule of ship activities).

Walking Track — ships also have walking tracks or a deck dedicated for walking. Nothing is more beautiful than walking the ship deck during sunrise at sea.

Ship Activities — in general you will do a lot of walking during the cruise as you walk the ship from cabin to activities, and while sightseeing in the ports of call. Also, there are many fun activities such as swimming, mini-golf, rock climb wall, and basketball. Activities vary by ship, but there are many options to keep you moving.

Take the Stairs - unlike at a hotel where staircases might be for fire escape only, stairs on cruise ships are openly accessible and often the quickest way to navigate deck levels especially during peak times when elevators are full. Also a great way to get in some extra cardio exercise.

Have you taken a cruise after weight loss surgery? Leave a comment and tell us how you stay on course during vacations.



Sarah (aka Sarahlicious) has been an active member of ObesityHelp since 2003. Her specific areas of interests are Lipedema, Lymphedema, Obesity, and Health Insurance advocacy. Sarah writes about her life experiences at Born2lbFat. She is a member of the Board of Directors of both the Obesity Action Coalition and the Lymphedema Advocacy Group. Sarah has a Masters in Health Law.

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