Cruise secrets: Ex crew member reveals awkward side effect of cruises – are you at risk?

Cruise ship holidays keep passengers well entertained for the length of their voyage. There’s always plenty of entertainment available as well as opportunities to socialise or relax. There’s also always a plethora of food and drink for holidaymakers to tuck into.


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However, an ex cruise ship crew worker has shared an insight into what can happen to passengers on a cruise.

Sam Catling explained in his book Seems Like Smooth Sailing that many people put on a lot of weight during cruises.

“The over-feds were hard to miss, literally,” Catling wrote.

“They weren’t always over-feds though, as the old saying goes on ships, ‘Come as passengers, and leave as cargo.’

“To be fair who can blame them, food was on the go 24/7 and for a lot of people eating as much as you can is a great way to spend your holiday.”

According to another cruise ship worker, cruise passengers gain a “collective six tonnes” during their holiday.

Jay Herring wrote in his book The Truth About Cruise Ships: “Time on board was limited, and to get their money’s worth, passengers gained a collective six tonnes as they maximised their food intake.

“The same mindset, I think, is partly what made passengers drink more than they would on land.

“On a cruise nobody had to work the next day or stay sober to drive home.”

Jay added: “It was an environment tailor-made for heavy consumption.”

If you’re heading off on a cruise and don’t want to put on weight, there are steps you can take to avoid piling on the pounds.

Cruise experts Ben and David have share cruising advice with viewers on their Youtube channel Cruise with Ben and David.


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Their tips to beat the blue range from exercise options to smart food choices.

“All ships now have gyms on board and guess what, they are completely and utterly free,” said Ben.

“They’re open 24 hours a day. What you’re going to find at the gym is usually all of the latest cardio equipment, all very modern, and they usually have a weights area as well. As well as classes throughout the day, some are free some are paid.”

Alternatively, try taking the stairs whenever you can. “You can actually burn up to 150 calories a day for doing 10 minutes stair walking a day,” pointed out Ben.

As for food, “we recommend having a light breakfast and lunch and saving yourself for the evening meal where you can have a full four courses For breakfast you can have a lovely fruit plate, for lunch you can have salads – avoid those creamy dressings,” said Ben.

“Instead of ordering a dessert maybe go for a fruit plate instead. Avoid all of the bread on board as well because that just fills you up, it’s full of sugar and full of calories as well.

“But remember you are on holiday so do enjoy yourselves. You’re going to find more and more often now that cruise lines have sort of healthy food programmes.

“So healthy things on the menu which are pointed out and even sometimes it shows you the calories as well so you know exactly what you’re eating.”

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