Sunday, April 16, 2017

Carnival Vista Cycling Classes

Now that the honeymoon is over, I am back to reality, and finally healthy I wanted to post about my amazing experience with the cycling classes on the Carnival Vista.  I have to admit that my expectations were quite low since I had just taken a class during opening week at the brand new CycleBar studio in Chesterfield, MO the weekend prior to the wedding.  Despite the fact that Vista is Carnival's newest ship, I still expected lower-end bikes and a less-than-stellar instructor.  But what I got, ended up blowing me away!

The first cycling class of our 8-day cruise was at 8 a.m. on the first sea day, which was also the day after our wedding.  Needless to say, I missed that one.  But because I could not get my butt out of bed that early, I missed out on the best deal for cycling classes that cruise which was buy 3, get 1 free.  Oh well!

This was the class/lecture schedule for our cruise:

I didn't take advantage of the cycling classes until the day we were in Curacao, day 5.

As a result, I did not get any discounts and paid the full price of $20/class plus gratuity.  Now let me just tell you that even at full price, these classes were TOTALLY worth every penny!

Here's why:
  • The bikes on Vista are the same as CycleBar, minus the tubes on the front of the CycleBar bikes that hold the weight bars
Vista's bikes

CycleBar's bikes
  • Cycling shoes and towels were provided
  • You get a MyZone heart rate monitor to use during class which not only tracked pulse, but also calories burned

  • Have you ever ridden above a level 15 resistance in any cycling class you have ever taken?  Me either, until my first cycling class on Vista.  The instructor took us above level 20 resistance!
  • The instructor didn't ride his bike much at all.  He mostly went bike-to-bike and pushed riders beyond any limit they thought they had.
  • I sweated so much during class, that I convinced myself that I was sweating away all the calories from the tropical drinks and amazing, yet high-calorie foods that I was consuming.
  • I am attributing my lack of weight gain to these three super-sweaty cycling classes
There were six - seven of us at each of the three classes that I went to, with half being male and half female.  The camaraderie was actually better than any other class I had taken, probably because it was boot camp style and a consistently small group. 

At the end of the last class, I asked the instructor why he thought there were only ever six or seven of us in class on a ship that holds nearly 4,000 passengers.  He said it was because Carnival is known as having the fun ships, which means plenty of food and drink....everyday.....all the time.  He previously worked for Royal Caribbean and even though their cycling classes were essentially the same, they had better turnout because their passengers tend to be more health-conscious (his words, not mine), BUT they also charged $30-$40/class.  So considering that CycleBar charges a drop-in rate of $22/class, Vista's classes (even with gratuity) were really a great deal and time WELL spent.  

Outside of paying for classes, there are also free lectures throughout the cruise and you can use the fitness center for free.  Here is what the fitness center looked like:

I especially liked the LifeFitness recumbent bikes because you could choose routes to ride, like this one in France.

We re-entered the real world on Sunday, April 2 and I ended up returning to St. Louis with a cold/ upper respiratory infection/sinus infection that took me almost two weeks to overcome.  That meant plenty of rest, several packs of Alka-Seltzer Plus liquid gels, and missing the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon.  I was completely bummed, but I also knew that I needed the time to get healthy again. 

Finally today I feel like myself again and am ready to jump back into exercise classes and running.  My new reality is actually pretty great!

If you would like to learn more about the Carnival Vista, check out these blog posts from 
I Run For Wine.  She really does a fantastic job of documenting the food experiences available on the ship: