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Old June 12th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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Default Not Exactly A Gripe - More Of A Suggestion

I have taken a number of cruises over the years. Like many of my fellow passengers - I can afford to lose a few pounds. At present I am four pounds over my goal of weighing 170 pounds at 5 ft 9. My weight has been an issue for years - and I have worked very hard to reduce it from over 200 pounds which it went up to a few years ago. Cruises always set me back a few pounds.

Many of my fellow passengers have much more than four pounds to lose before they make their doctors happy. Thus I would like to propose the following and read any responses.

A cruise has a nice corner of the buffet that offers a low cal substitute for a meal, or a sugar free dessert. Come on folks - how many of you out there in cruise-world can actually resist all the goodies that are also sitting on the buffet table, or the unlimited portions that one can obtain in the dining room while restricting yourself to the "dieter's specials"? Not me - I can assure you of that , and many times I have "diner's remorse" even if I take a few small extra portions of stuff I really shouldn't have.

I once took an "emergency" cruise up the Nile river. It was an "emergency" because my wife and I had to get away from all the vendors that were harrassing us all the time for a few days while we were roaming all over Egypt. It was a last minute thing, and the cruise was almost given to us for free.

That river cruise was very different than most cruises we Americans are used to. No buffet meals except for the second night, and no unlimited desserts or 24 hour food availability. While the food was great - the portions were reasonable- and no one was going to have their diet sabotaged by weak willpower.

I would like to see something offered for us dieters on some of the cruises that are offered. Rather than having access to an unlimited buffet of unhealthy food all the time where I feel I have to have everything to make sure I don't miss anything as well as getting my money's worth, I would like it somewhat controlled. Perhaps the salad and fruit can be unlimited, but only one portion of the main course and one dessert allowed per meal. The cruise industry has great chefs - I am sure they can prepare lots of foods that are low fattening and healthy so that cruisers can have nothing but great healthy dishes. If the bad stuff isn't available - I am not going to eat it.

In this way - the price of the cruise might be be reduced, as there will be less food consumed, and all of us can also remain reduced.

Does any of the above make sense, and would anyone go for it?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 01:13 AM
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This is a real question, right? Your not joking, Right?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 01:23 AM
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That is right - because for many - diet and what they eat is actually a serious health issue
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Old June 13th, 2006, 02:25 AM
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I have several thoughts here. None of what I say should be taken as critical, because I have about 70 lbs I need to lose so I would be the last to criticize.

1) At least on Holland America there were quite a few sugar free desserts. I tried them several times and found them to be pretty good.

2) One could just avoid the buffet by going to the dining room for breakfast and lunch. Then you do get more reasonable portions, although still more than we need.

3) I have seen many ads for diet cruises, mostly as them cruises with celebrities like Richard Simmons, or some other diet guru. Perhaps taking one of those would be an option.

4) You could also avoid the buffet area, easier said then done I realize since for some reason it seems like you end up crossing through it several times a day on most ships.

5) With all of the complaining I see with the nickel and diming that cruise lines are accused of these days, I think cutting the food back would meet with a large amount of resistance.

6) Not sure how a cruise line would monitor hoe many entrees you take. After all, most of the ships I’ve been on have several stations.

Ultimately, I’m not sure it’s the job of the cruise lines to control our eating. It really comes down to an issue of personal responsibility. One could take a different approach that in order to get the value from the cruise you participate in more activities instead of trying each food item that’s prepared. As I said earlier that is not intended to be critical, as I just went though this on my cruise to Alaska and also wanted to try each thing.

Rather we like it or not, cruises have been associated with food for most of the time cruise ships have existed. Like many of the other gripes on the board the way to get cruise lines to react is to speak with our $’s. If cruise lines sold out every specialty diet cruise, or if people expressed more interest in lower calorie, lower fat foods, the ships would comply. It’s just that they don’t see that as helping their business at this point.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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A theme cruise seems to be a good option for you to look into. I have seen one with Shape/Men's Fitness magazine. The focus is on health. Probably lectures etc.

I notice with 2,000 plus passengers on a regular cruise, not many go to the work-out classes.

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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Food is a huge draw for the cruise lines, being able to try different foods that you would not ordinally get or try at home. IF you have serious diet restrictions for medical reasons, the cruise lines special services department will work with your needs. Most cruise lines do offer some low-cal options, most cruisers do not want to diet while on vacation. Its up to you to decide to take that goody or not.
We walk as much as we can on the cruise, take the stairs not the elevators just so that we can enjoy those gastronomical offerings guilt-free.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:45 AM
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I've seen complaints on this board when the staff SERVES passengers on the Buffet line.

On our last cruise (Celebrity) we noticed that the staff was serving the main entree's (Meat, vegatable, etc.) Still the passengers would ask for larger/more helpings.

I think food is a big draw in the cruise industry, and passengers expect lots of it. (and not the diet/low cal stuff either)
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Old June 13th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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The first time we went to the welcome aboard buffet for lunch, my husband got a ton of food, had to try three desserts, etc. (I didn't skimp on my plate either, btw) By the second sea day, the urge to overindulge had abated and we enjoyed just making a big salad for lunch, with a bowl of soup or a small portion of whatever they were carving. There are a lot of healthful selections on board that still give you the opportunity to try new things and not feel deprived. We also took the stairs as much as possible, and walked a mile or two on the jogging track every sea day, used the gym. Let me tell you, walking through that wind definitely burns a few calories, and it's great to be able to use a stationary bike or treadmill while looking out at the sea!
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Old June 13th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Our weak point is the desserts other than that we eat smaller prtions if we eat in the buffet and order an appitizer or salad , entree for dinner .
People think you have to order it all on the menu ...friends of ours cruise & delight in telling us they odered 3 entrees for dinner.
I am just gald we don't cruise with them.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:20 PM
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i prsonal don,t liked your post
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Old June 14th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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I agree with a previous post--it's all about personal responsibility. I struggle with my weight constantly but at no time have I expected someone to *control* my portions for me. I sympathize with your plight but I really believe this is the wrong approach. We also take the stairs most times and do a mile walk onboard at least once or twice a day. There are so many options to stay active and away from the buffet line.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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My point is not to ban cruises with unlimited availablity of food. I believe in freedom of choice, and that extends to those who wish to decrease their life expectancy and reduce their quality of life by continuing to be significantly overweight.

I was shocked to learn about the number of health concerns that were directly related to being overweight.

For many - it is simply impossible to "avoid the buffet area". It is akin to an alchoholic going to a party where liquor is being served, and being told to just ignore the booze. It isn't going to happen.

My suggestion is to offer cruises specifically designed for those who want to maintain their healthy diets but at the same time have a variety of well prepared and tasty meals.

I know there are cruises that cater to specific dietary needs. For example - I ran across one cruise that was strictly kosher.

I hope cruiseline officials actually review these boards, and realise that a significant percentage of the public want to enjoy all the benefits of a cruise, while at the same time indulging in healthy cuisine. The cruise lines are most responsive to one thing - demand and the profits that can be made from that demand.

Thanks for your responses to this post - and see you at the salad bar!
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Old June 14th, 2006, 07:11 PM
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This is a really interesting.... on our last cruise the Cruise Director announced during one of the Theatre shows...that the average weight gain during a cruise was 8-12 lbs. Thats the average!!!! Yikes
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:38 PM
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I'm now putting on my "flameproof" suit!

When we're on a cruise we eat and drink what we want and when we want. If we gain a few pounds they're gone within a couple of weeks of coming home. This is not our time to worry about what we're eating or drinking.

We just don't worry about it! It's OUR vacation !

(Actually, we both generally lose a few pounds because of all the walking!)
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Old June 15th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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As one who constantly battles weight gain, I do understand the OP's post BUT.......do you then allow only one or two drinks for those who may be alcoholics and unable to say no to the endless battery of drink servers? or what about the excessive gamblers?.......should there be slot machines that will only take a few dollars from you before they shut you off?....or what about the people who risk skin cancer because they don't know enough to stay out of the sun?..........should there be a big canopy that comes over the deck areas at a certain time of day to shade the areas? At some point we have to take control of our own lives and not blame others for leading us astray.

This was really not a flame to the original poster as I do see her point.....
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Old June 16th, 2006, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popsec
As one who constantly battles weight gain, I do understand the OP's post BUT.......do you then allow only one or two drinks for those who may be alcoholics and unable to say no to the endless battery of drink servers? or what about the excessive gamblers?.......should there be slot machines that will only take a few dollars from you before they shut you off?....or what about the people who risk skin cancer because they don't know enough to stay out of the sun?..........should there be a big canopy that comes over the deck areas at a certain time of day to shade the areas? At some point we have to take control of our own lives and not blame others for leading us astray.
I agree ...
Good points about the alcohol, casino, sunbathing, etc.

If a person has "issues" with food -- making poor choices or overeating -- then he/she has some alternatives to consider.

1. Take responsibility to control those issues. Plan what you will eat for your meals before you sit down to dine. Know that you will have fruit and an eggbeaters omelet for breakfast -- no bacon or hash browns! No muffins or danish. Plan on eating a salad with fat-free dressing on it for lunch. Maybe have half a sandwich, soup or pasta with it. Order a single entree for dinner, and see if there is a low-calorie dessert.

2. Eat in the dining room whenever possible, as someone else suggested. That way you don't control the portions. The temptations aren't in your face as they are with a buffet.

3. Consider taking a different kind of vacation if you know you have absolutely no control over what you eat.

4. Or accept that you will overeat and blow your diet. Live with it. Maybe commit to getting back on the wagon when you get home.

5. Take Easycruise -- they make you pay for the food.

Me? I'd go for making healthy choices.
I don't look at eating everything on the buffet as "getting my money's worth."
I make sure I walk at least a mile a day on the promenade deck. I use stairs almost exclusively.
I try to find things to do that are fun and do not include food ... and I never let myself eat out of boredom.
I remind myself that alcohol has calories too!
On my last cruise I gained 2 lbs.
Not the end of the world, and I lost in the next week.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 11:43 PM
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I have seen on some recent cruise they have WW groups or OA groups for those that have a problem.
Just check the daily program.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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After two years of following the Weight Watchers program, I’ve dropped close to 30 pounds and have seen my cholesterol drop from nearly 300 down to 240, and then down again at my latest doctor’s visit to 205. I will be taking my first cruise later this summer, and have been a little concerned with finding healthy options on board!

While I agree that many passengers would be up in arms if food portions were restricted for everyone, I think there are more and more people out there who are becoming aware of the connection between diet and good health.

What I would love to see the cruise lines do is make nutritional information available for a select number of menu items offered on the buffet line, in the dining rooms, and as part of room service. (Ideally, I’d like to see them include a sampling of “regular? items as well as low-calorie items). If I remember correctly, I think it’s around $1000 to do a full laboratory analysis of one entrée. I would presume that the menu is fairly consistent from cruise to cruise, so it would pretty much be a one-time investment. Maybe even make it so that passengers had to ask for the info – so that the folks who would prefer NOT to know don’t have to see the info right on the menu (or on the buffet line!)

I do plan to indulge somewhat on my upcoming cruise, but I know I need to be making healthy choices *most* of the time. Sometimes the appearance of an entrée can be deceiving. If I have the nutritional information available, I can decide whether to have the item…take only a half of a portion…or skip it completely.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTEKKE

I do plan to indulge somewhat on my upcoming cruise, but I know I need to be making healthy choices *most* of the time. Sometimes the appearance of an entrée can be deceiving. If I have the nutritional information available, I can decide whether to have the item…take only a half of a portion…or skip it completely.
Most cruiselines off "healthy choice " items on the menus some are called by different names according to the cruise line but they are the low cal entrees

Some are called "spa cuisine" "Heart healthy" etc...

If you are not sure just ask the waiter.
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Old June 17th, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Default Way To Go Luna!!

Way to go - you have gotten the same results as me over the years!
Keep it up - and hopefully it won't be too painful experience to pass up all the goodies on the cruise!
I love your idea about posting the exact information about each course - some of the fast food places do exactly that. And the reading at the fast food resturants makes for frightening reading indeed!
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Old June 17th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty2
Most cruiselines off "healthy choice " items on the menus some are called by different names according to the cruise line but they are the low cal entrees

Some are called "spa cuisine" "Heart healthy" etc...

If you are not sure just ask the waiter.
The challenge, though, is that having a "healthy" label doesn't always mean the dish is "low calorie"! Foods like nuts, olive oil, avacados, etc. have great nutritional value -- but the calories add up pretty quickly.

That's why having the nutritional information available would be a great option for those of us trying to watch what we eat. Plus, this approach would help folks on all types of food plans -- whether they were monitoring "POINTS", "Carbs", or "Sugars".
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Old June 18th, 2006, 10:16 PM
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Intresting reading! I just think it is an individual thing and one just needs to follow the menu for themselves. There's certainly enough choices one doesn't have to gorge themselves or eat rich foods every night.

I watch what I eat, portion size, way things are cooked, sauces, and don't really think the cruise lines need to change anything. People are going to do what they want in terms of what they eat and I can't see them wanting the cruises lines to control their habits/portions.

I exercise, never use the elevators and sailing single, I'm always on the lowest deck, quite the hike to the buffet!

I was on the Sea Princess for 21 days last fall and gained maybe 2 or 3 lbs., only because my cabin was around the corner from the lobby bar and I couldn't pass up the cookies and pastries!!! :-)
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Old June 19th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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On the Carnival cruises, one can go to the dining room to eat every meal and the menu DOES contain a suggestion for a COMPLETE meal that is low in calories and fat. So, stay away from the buffet and go to the dinning room.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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I find it most interesting that there are those people who have such an aversion to what others eat ... and yet seem to care not what they drink, smoke or otherwise do to the body ... why is this ...

I had a teacher once tell me that that which we hate the most is also what we fear the most will become of us ... could this be what is actually the reason so many are critical of those that are not of average weight ...

It is a cruise ... hence for most a vacation ... as long as one is not doing any thing that is illegal what should it matter what they eat, drink, wear, smoke or even do ... If you want to wear an outfit that some may find less then appropriate, or maybe you want to smoke 3 packs of cigs a day, or have a bar bill that is more then the cost of your cruise ... that is up to you ... there are guidelines that are hopefully followed, but utimately, I am not going to be concerned with your manner of dress (I have my own style and am quite happy with it), the number of cigs you smoke (smoking is not for me but you have the right to smoke as long as you are not blowing it in my face), drink as many drinks as you like (ok, so I will have the DOD and a Miami Vice most each day) ... I am going to be concerned with having fun, enjoy watching what people are wearing ... watch with interest the variety of drinks that are served and be thankful for those that smoke and are thoughtful of those around them ...

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Old June 19th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Default Limiting intake

We discovered, by the 2nd day of our first cruise, that there is way too much food available in ships. Starting with day #2, we no longer eat 3 meals per day. We have found that 2 (breakfast and dinner) are sufficient. If we get hungry aroung 12 noon - 1 PM, we eat a small snack. We both found we were much more comfortable eating this way, rather than packing in 3 meals a day. Neither of us gain any weight during our cruises, probably partly due to reduced intake plus all the walking we do onboard and on shore. The other benefit is that we don't go around feeling overstuffed and uncomfortable.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:23 AM
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When the phrase "Cruise Vacation" is uttered.....the first thing that pops up is "UNLIMITED FOOD"! Most of us eat to live....others live to eat! I just returned from 8 days on the Legend out of NYC and of all the 2,100+ guests on that cruise I'll bet 40% of them never left the Unicorn Cafe from 7 am til long after midnight! No matter what time of day I passed through the buffet area (walking from one end of the ship to another searching for my family!) I saw the SAME people stuffing their mouths in an endless feeding frenzy! I doubt if any of them ever left that area, except to go to dinner at the Truffles Dining Room! The same faces over & over again - morning, noon & night! Most of the people I noticed were older than I am (60 yrs) and already obese beyond any health standards. I am not a dieter or a particular health nut, by any means, but the amount of food these people consumed continuously qualifies as "obscene" in nature! When one plate emptied, they went to another section of the buffet area for a mound of refills that would choke a horse!

One woman was behind me at the fruit salad bar and insisted that I wasn't moving the line fast enough for her, then she kept ramming her tray into my back with each forward step! I asked her to stop bumping me with her tray and she said, "Hurry up before all the pineapple was gone!" I assured her that there was at least one more pineapple in the kitchen and offered to let her go in front of me just in case they ran out of fruit - to which she replied, "Don't be snotty....just walk faster". At that point, having put a spoon of cottage cheese and peaches on my plate, I lost what was left of my appetite and settled for a tall glass of lemon iced tea to complete my meager lunch meal! As far as I know, she is still on some line in the buffet harrassing some other s-l-o-w guest!

2 meals a day: A decent breakfast and dinner in the dining room. Occassionally a small fruit plate with cottage cheese if breakfast was taken before 7 am......then a few gallons of water during the day on aft deck (adult pool-side). I bring a 20 oz. water bottle, fill it with ice and water and add a packet of Crystal Light on-the-go to the water for flavor refilling it all day long; curbs the appetite and keeps the "plumbing" in top working order! (sorry if anyone finds my last statement offensive)After dinner at night.....nothing until the next morning...except water or tea. How much can one human consume in a day without exploding???? And the 24 hour Pizza & Ice Cream stations.....it's an artery clogging suicide mission! These people sacrifice sleep for food! Do they physically deflate between cruises?

To each his/her own.......just be thankful you're not their cabin steward or the person who cleans up behind them.

I saw more used room service trays lining the halls day and night on this cruise than any others I've taken......like soldiers guarding the cabin doors - food dripping from all sides onto the carpets, sometimes 2 & 3 trays piled atop one another - and almost every door handle displayed the "Privacy, Please" placard above the trays - even in the middle of the day........you could spot the culprits by their pale skin or as my dear Mother used to refer to the look "Prison Pallor".

We all could save a few dollars on these cruises if they cut down on the over-abundance & endless availablity of food.....it is overkill, at best.

Just my opinion........thanks for listening!
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 10:23 AM
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I am enjoying the responses to this post. No one is suggesting that cruises with unlimited amounts of food be prohibited. I am just asking if there would be enough demand to have a cruise or two out there in cruiseland that would have the option of a totally healthy cuisine. As cruise ships travel to different destinations for different tastes and interests - perhaps they can also have menus and food for different tastes. I think it would really be a challenge to the cruise industry to actually prepare and present a totally healthy cuisine for its passengers. Much harder than just putting all and anything out there! Of course - it there is no interest - the cruise industry won't respond
Bon Apetite - and by the way - which way to the gym?
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Old June 28th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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to ESS, i believe your post started 100% seriously, and when you found that most of us enjoy the chance to sample different foods, and some of the cruisers do overeat, you tried to inject a little humor into your post. not gonna fly. most of the world population has common sense. the rest of us go on a cruise to eat, relax, and eat some more. its up to the individual to choose a path to the food area or the workout area. unless there is only one type of food available, people will eat till they are satisfied, either quantity, or trying new foods. if there is only one type of food available, prices will skyrocket, the ship will sail only 1/4 full.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 07:40 PM
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As I have stated before - I am suggesting a few cruises be offered with this option. The idea of having nothing but healthy choices for cuisine would be even a great challenge for the food department. I would never suggest that most cruises abandon the selections of food that are available to everyone, even if weight is the number one health issue facing the United States.

By the way - I reached my targeted weight goal - I am not one pound overweight

I will be on the Carnival Victory leaving Miami on December 3. Just look for the good looking skinny guy!
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Old June 29th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Good for you, reaching your goal!

Even if a ship were to offer only "healthy" foods, you'd still have some problems.
First of all -- healthy for whom? Someone on Weight Watchers, for example, can eat a lot of fruit. Someone on Atkins or SoBe can't. They'll be chowing down on bacon instead -- but a WW person would avoid the bacon!

Also, you still have to deal with portion control. Too much fruit is not good ... for a variety of reasons!
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