After weeks of fresh sea air, endless sunshine, and having every whim catered for, it’s little wonder many cruise passengers return home with a sinking feeling.
But it appears they’re weighed down by more than simply post-holiday blues.
Most cruise passengers gain a pound a day in weight during a two-week holiday at sea, according to a poll - coming back a stone heavier than when they left.
Their broader waistlines are hardly a surprise - given the relaxing onboard lifestyle plus mountains of food available round the clock.
Many respondents reckoned they put on more weight cruising than they do at Christmas, having enjoyed the high-class, but often high-calorie and “all you can eat” dining facilities offered on most modern vessels.
The findings of the study, by independent cruise travel agents Bonvoyage.co.uk, are unlikely to encourage anyone watching their weight to sign up for a seaborne adventure.
They surveyed 1,281 Britons who had been on a cruise and found 52 percent said they put on up to a stone (about 6kg) during a two-week holiday.
One in 11 (9 percent) put on around four pounds while a further six per cent were even worse and put on up to 18 pounds. More than eight in ten (84 percent) admitted they ate a lot more than normal as they sailed the oceans and 31 per cent admitted they ate double their normal calories.
And more than four in ten (41 percent) struggle to shift the extra weight once they got home.
Steph Curtin, cruise development manager of Bonvoyage.co.uk said: “I am as guilty as these respondents when it comes to indulging when on a cruise holiday, as the delicious food and drink on offer can be difficult to say no to.
“This is particularly the case when on an all-inclusive cruise, where you know that all of the tempting food on offer has already been paid for.”
Most cruises contain a wide variety of eateries, from fine-dining restaurants to fish-and-chip-style takeaways. Many provide “midnight feasts”, while restaurants often stay open until the early hours to indulge guests. Some ships have recognised the difficulties for passengers and have begun to offer healthier alternatives.
Passenger Rosalie Nunn, 27, from Lincoln, joined a world cruise last year and was surprised to find a tailor on board whose main job was to adjust clothing that was becoming too tight. She said: “The tailor said most people will leave the ship at least one dress size bigger.
“One lady who is a regular cruise-goer said she brings larger-sized clothing to accommodate the inevitable weight gain.” She added: “The results don’t surprise me - the food is constant and you’ve got to be well restrained to resist it.” - Daily Mail