Family and friends have accused me of simply wallowing in the luxury onboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam. But they are missing the point. Not only am I working from dawn to dusk, writing and taking images, but I am testing all the facilities the ship has to offer. And this includes a fitness boot camp with the ever-cheerful South African trainer, Kegan, as well as a deep-tissue massage in the spa, performed by a masseur from the Philippines named Queen. In fact, my cruise is rapidly turning into a good habit holiday! Both the fitness programs and extensive beauty and spa treatments are offered by the Elemis group. The boot camp is challenging, but fun and I would hate to think of the weight I would have put on had I not participated. The massage is brilliant, but perhaps I would have been smarter to have my muscles soothed after the 7.5 km paddle rather than before?
In all seriousness, the cruising holiday is often sold as a luxury getaway where one can simply veg out, relaxing by the pool, enjoying three full meals and a very decadent lifestyle. But that is a very narrow view of the onboard possibilities. For me it has been a chance to review my lifestyle choices – the food I eat, what I drink, and how I exercise, and to rethink my habits in an attempt to maintain a fitter, faster body for the future.