I recently experienced my first cruise. It was definitely an eye-opening, and waistline expanding, 3 days. The purpose of the trip was simply to get away and relax…recharge the batteries and come back to reality ready to roll and tackle some  new, exciting projects.

Having never been on a cruise before, I didn’t really know what to expect. My overall impression… I’m afraid it was one of sadness. I got to see a real cross section of America…there was a wide range of age and race, and there were people onboard from all over the country. To say that 1 out of every 4 people were overweight might be understatement. It seemed to me that the cruise served two main functions: to have people eat as much of possible whenever they wanted, and to have people drink as much as possible whenever they wanted.

Here is a small sampling of the food choices:

  • At least 5 different cake choices
  • 24 hour pizza station
  • Chocolate sushi (for real)
  • Fried chicken
  • Fried fish
  • Fried mushrooms
  • Cheesy mashed potatoes
  • Mac ‘n cheese
  • Ice Cream
  • Burgers, french fries, hot dogs
  • Salad (yeah!)…the only lettuce option was iceberg.


I realize that there was a wide range of people onboard. It must be challenging to provide options for 2,000 people who come from all walks of life. And I will say that there was definitely plenty to do:

  • Plenty of alcohol for the bachelor and bachelorette parties onboard
  • Quiet areas to chill out and read
  • Spa treatments
  • Hairy chest contest (No, I didn’t enter)
  • Plenty of trivia games
  • Musical acts
  • Belly dance class (Maybe next cruise)
  • Teeth whitening services
  • Scrap-booking
  • Casino
  • Mini golf course
  • Indoor cycling and a Pilates class
  • A number of “On-Shore” excursion trips (We had a great time visiting two wineries outside of Ensenada)

This trip forced me in to a little self reflection…am I really high maintenance? Can I not have a good time on a beautiful boat out in the open seas with the sun shining all day? And, truth be told, I did have a good time. I really enjoyed the winery tour, the comedian on Saturday night was hilarious, and I did get to relax and read my latest book, “The Seed” by Jon Gordon.

I guess my biggest issue was the health of my fellow seamen, specifically their nutrition. It was nearly impossible to eat healthy onboard. I was excited to see an egg station, however, I knew the eggs for my veggie omelette were not organic, cage free when I saw the guy pouring my “eggs” from a large gallon carton.

I don’t want to come off as a total “Debbie Downer”. It just made me sad to see so many people care so little about their health.

Granted, this was just a quick trip to Mexico, I realize not all cruises are created equal and I want to keep an open mind; I’m just a little tainted. You could twist my arm down the road to consider another one…but I’m definitely bringing my own eggs.

About Doug
Doug Balzarini is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance MMA Fight Team in Chula Vista, CA. He is also the founder of DBStrength.com, which provides fitness-related articles and education. Previously, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 for 6 ½ years as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).
A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in dozens of fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.