Tourism & Cruises

Buffets or bikini bods? Passengers opt for the latter on Weight Watchers cruise

MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina. The ship will offer two Weight Watchers cruises this year, in May and November.
MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina. The ship will offer two Weight Watchers cruises this year, in May and November. Miami Herald Staff

Buffets or bikini bods? That’s the conundrum facing passengers on the first Weight Watchers cruise sailing from Miami next month.

Most cruise-going vacations are a ticket to pig out, with endless buffets and eat-all-you-want dinners, but this MSC Cruises voyage will focus on teaching passengers how to maintain a healthier lifestyle while on vacation.

That means menus will come with SmartPoint values to help passengers keep track of their meals the way they do on a Weight Watchers program. The seven-night Caribbean cruise will also include live cooking classes, group fitness classes, meetings for guidance and support and workshops with wellness experts.

“Our new cruise program allows our members and guests to see the livability of the Weight Watchers program — how easy it could be to maintain the holistic, healthier lifestyle they’ve worked to achieve, even while traveling on vacation,” said Ryan Nathan, vice president of products, licensing and e-commerce at Weight Watchers International, in a statement.

The 3,502-passenger MSC Divina, from the Geneva-based line, leaves PortMiami May 6 and stops in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas. The voyage, with tickets starting at $945, is sold out.

Turns out, the answer is bikini bods.

Demand for wellness travel is “growing fast,” said Andy Cohen owner of Boca Raton travel agency ShipShape Vacations, via a statement.

"Cruisers, in particular, are looking at wellness offerings — from activities to onboard dining experience — and want to know they have resources available to them while away from home,” Cohen said. “We worked with Weight Watchers to develop an experience that not only answers for that need but also guides guests on the path toward healthier living.”

The cruise line is planning a second Weight Watchers cruise from Miami on the MSC Divina for Nov. 11.