Cruise Ship Walking (Getting to 10,000 Steps a Day)

I had the chance to walk a few cruise ships between 2012 to 2014. There has been a tidal wave of changes since then, but still, there may be some "treasure nuggets," of walking tips for you.

Before Cruise Ship Walking

There may be a few things to consider when cruise ship walking. Since 10,000 steps a day is usually the goal, there are a few pieces of key walking gear to look at before the cruise.

Great Walking Shoes

I'm using the word "great," as in good quality walking shoes. Check around with your local shoe expert the could recommend a higher-end pair of walking shoes. 

In my experience, I walked many shore excursions in dressy shoes I would wear to dinner. 

That was a big mistake. 

If I were to go back into cruise ship time, I would get a pair of properly cushioned walking shoes with excellent ankle support and tread. 

Let's talk about tread. I've been on a few shore excursions where right after everyone got off the tour bus (Hawaii), we had to walk a fair distance to get to that amazing spot. Sometimes, it would be hilly and even gravel roads.

Good tread is good. 

Bring the Camera  

Smartphone cameras, Gopros, Polaroid cameras, you can pick. Try to keep it simple when it comes to cameras. Walking around on the cruise ship brings many Kodak moments that can happen in a flash. 

One time, I was walking up to Lido cruising in Alaska. The captain gave the go-ahead to enter a part of Glacier bay that had an active glacier (Margerie glacier). I turned my head, looked out the window only to see massive calving with clear blue skies (which is rare), and splashing water. Guess what? No camera. 

The moral of the story is, cameras are good. 

Pedometer (Activity Tracker) 

A pedometer would be a good idea to track the progress to 10,000 steps a day. Many devices track steps such as Fitbit, Google Fit, Apple Watch to name a few. When in doubt, find a professional to help you get a proper activity tracker. 

Warm Clothing

Although it may look amazing on the top deck, cruise ships on sea days may have crazy windy days. Not all wind is created equal. Having a sweatshirt around your waist, or even a windbreaker may help. 

Where to Walk on Cruise Ships?

There is some simple cruise ship lingo that is good to learn. The Aft of the ship is the back. Mid-Ship is the middle of the ship. Forward is the front of the ship. Some cruise ships may have different variations.  

The Aft of the Cruise Ship 

Some of the most breathtaking areas on the cruise ship (not all) are located at the aft (back). The ship wakes from the cruise ship's propellers are beautiful, and if lucky, the sunrises and sunsets are amazing. One thing to note, if completing those 10,000 steps, the aft of the ship may have quite a bit of walking stairs.  

A word of caution. Seas can bring rain and moisture on all outdoor decks. This makes them slippery. Walking on deck would not be a good idea. Also, because of those gusting winds, watch out for swinging doors going in and out to deck. 

Walking Stairs between Decks (Inside)

Getting to 10,000 steps between decks on the cruise ship was only enjoyable for a few decks. But, to each their own. Walking stairs near the atrium is usually beautiful. Try earlier in the morning or later at night for a more peaceful walk.

The Truth about the Cruise Ship's Outdoor Track

Surprisingly, although some cruise ships have walking/running tracks. They can be hit and miss. It depends where everyone is cruising. For example, if one is cruising from Florida to Aruba in the spring. 

The temperature may hit 30 degrees celsius. So, walking on the track at that time may not be a good idea. But, the evening time may bring comfortable conditions with amazing sunsets, which makes walking on the track an ecstatic idea. 

In Alaska though, the outdoor track may be out of commission due to moisture and rain. So, taking that needed walk around may not happen. 

Now heading down to Australia (New Zealand to Melbourne). Crossing the Tasman seas can be a rocky ride. This makes walking on the outdoor track difficult (for some). 

Walking the Promenade Deck of the Cruise Ship

The promenade area of the cruise ship is where most of the activities will happen day and night. You may see lounges, viewing areas, piano bars, karaoke bars, etc. 

Walking around during the peak times may be good to reach those 10,000 steps, but it will most likely be busy. Times the promenade is busy would be New Year's Eve, the first couple nights of the cruise, events where the Cruise Director is hosting, etc. 

From my experience, early in the morning, or later at night is a great time to walk. 

Port days (Staying and Walking on the Ship)

Port days can be busy when getting on and off the cruise ship. The gangway area is usually lined up, and it can be a "hurry up and wait," situation. If one is patient, the rush to get off the ship lasts for a couple hours, then, the ship is a walking paradise. One could argue, they could get most of their 10,000 steps at this time. 

Walking the Treadmill in the Gym on the Cruise Ship

Well, sometimes a treadmill will do the job. It might be raining outside and you may need a day to yourself. Most cruise ships have a gym. Port days would be a good time, or early in the morning. 

Well, there you have it, my take on getting those 10,000 steps on a cruise ship. Of course, I'm talking from my experience and I'm not a professional. 

Oh, here are some photos of my past travels.