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Vacation So Hard: All Aboard the Fitness Cruise Ship

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Deep in the fiendish hearts of diabolical marketing geniuses sprang a torturous idea: Let’s combine a cruise ship vacation with an all-you-can-sweat exercise agenda.

The idea came from three CrossFit fans. And they’re positively giddy about seeing their dream of the “world’s ultimate fitness cruise” come true.

The WOD on the Waves Cruise embarks on its maiden voyage in January. It comes with typical big-ship activities like gambling, shopping, and rock climbing.

But there’s also a slew of CrossFit-inspired exercise options such as “penance” (pay for the class the night before) and “aerobic capacity” (intervals, long runs, and sprints) classes. There’s also a regular sandbag sesh, plus focus on barbell, dumbbell, and bodyweight technique.

WOD fitness cruise
Neptune, god of the sea; photo courtesy of WOD on the Waves Cruise

Fitness ‘All-Stars’ Train and Hang on the High Seas

A well-known crew of 16 intense athletes leads the high-seas, high-output classes.

Christopher Brauser, CEO of WOD on the Waves Cruise, called them the “cream-of-the-crop all-stars.” It’s a veritable who’s-who of Reebok CrossFit Games winners.

Cruisers can learn from and hang out with these fitness celebs. For example, there are group shore excursions, costume parties, and even onboard ice-skating mixers.

“I’m excited to get people to interact,” Brauser said. “Some of these athletes, they’re intimidating, right? But really they are some of the nicest, sweetest, funniest people I’ve met.”

fitness cruise Caribbean

All Welcome Aboard ‘Community of Fitness’

While the boat party is geared toward fitness fanatics, Brauser says no one’s checking BMIs at the door. In fact, attendees do not even need to own a pair of Reeboks or know what a WOD is. (Psst: It’s a workout of the day.)

“This cruise is for folks who generally enjoy the community of fitness,” he said. “Some are extremely focused, and others are just trying to fit a little health into their lives.”

Families, kids, and non-CrossFit athletes are welcome. These boats are huge, so there will likely be enough yoga, pilates, nutrition classes, and poolside lounging for all. Even solo travelers will fit right in. WOD’s Independent Traveler Program matches up independent cruisers, which cuts room fees in half.

WOD fitness cruise

CrossFit Cruise: What’s on the Menu?

On the food front, custom menus come with measured macros and Paleos. But, yes, it is still a cruise ship fully stocked with ice cream, all-you-can-eat bacon, and rummy mojitos.

“You can be as naughty as you want,” Brauser said. “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”

He should know. When he and co-founders Edward Ellis and Zak Leighton came up with this idea two years ago, Brauser quit his job to pursue the dream. “My previous world was in financial services compliance, and you can’t get less fun than that,” he said.

WOD fitness cruise

How to Catch This Fitness Cruise

The cruise sets sail from Miami to the Bahamas on January 21-25, 2019, on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas.

The publicists are letting everyone know that the boat just got a $120 million “amplification,” which may or may not be a fancy word for renovation. But it does include many “new experiences” like a tiki-chic Bamboo Room, virtual-reality bungee trampoline, escape room, and laser tag.

WOD fitness cruise

Rates range from $575 per person for a basic interior room when you book with four guests to over $5,000 for a single requesting the owner’s suite.

So far, the crowd is a somewhat even mix of younger Americans, older Americans over 50, and international travelers from a couple dozen countries. Brauser expects between 3,000 and 4,000 cruisers.

If you think you might want to be one of them, learn more here.

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