Have you ever wished to take a river cruise, however had been afraid it could be too arduous to handle your diabetes? Here are a few issues to know which will ease your thoughts.

River Cruise - Rhine and Danube
Photo courtesy of Viking River Cruises

My husband and I simply returned from a wonderful 14-day cruise down the Rhine and Danube Rivers in Europe. We began in Amsterdam and resulted in Budapest, tacking on a few days in each cities at every finish of the journey. I used to be a bit nervous about consuming an excessive amount of of the “wrong” issues, slacking off my regular health routine, and transporting three weeks’ price of Trulicity®. The excellent news is that I didn’t want to fret about any of it.

We cruised with Viking and I can’t say sufficient good issues about them. These of us have a system that works. You ought to know that the typical age of the cruisers skews a little older, so this isn’t a journey to take with children. There was one 18-year-old on our ship and she or he was fairly depressing being round “the olds” for 2 weeks.

River Cruise - Farmers' markets
Farmers’ markets are well-liked. Here’s fruit in Nuremberg and veggies in Vienna.

What’s the meals like on a river cruise?

Of course, I’m going to zero in on the meals first! As with ocean cruises, meals is considerable on a river cruise. On our ship, you possibly can get pleasure from breakfast or lunch on the terrace or within the restaurant. Dinner was solely served within the restaurant.

The workers was greater than prepared to accommodate particular diets. A pair we met had a few allergy symptoms they usually sat down with the maître d’ every night after dinner to go over their menus for the subsequent day. The ship’s cooks can put together meals which can be diabetic-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, low-salt, or low-cholesterol, however they do respect you giving them 30 days’ discover.

There was additionally a minimum of one vegetarian providing at dinner every night time (on the common menu), however it usually included pasta.

We additionally had the chance to go on two meals excursions – one in Vienna accompanied by the Viking chef and one other in Budapest with a native information. In each locations we tried native specialties like sausages, stuffed peppers, and pickled plums.

River Cruise - Stuffed Peppers in Vienna
Cheese-stuffed peppers in Vienna (the pink ones had been my favourite).

Breakfast

Breakfast on the terrace featured a Scandinavian-style buffet consisting of deli meats, cheeses, yogurt, fruit, and varied forms of breads and pastries plus espresso, tea, and juice.

In the restaurant, a chef cooked eggs to order as a part of a extra elaborate buffet. You may get scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes in a single part. In one other, there was oatmeal with toppings like dried fruit and nuts plus smoked salmon and typically different fish. Other choices included chilly cuts and cheese, a number of fruit, plain Greek-style yogurt, ship-made natural museli, and, after all, breads and pastries.

If you aren’t a buffet sort of particular person, you possibly can additionally order breakfast off a menu that featured Eggs Benedict and French Toast amongst different issues.

I usually had scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt with dried fruit and nuts, and a piece of fruit like a plum. I ate oatmeal or smoked salmon after I obtained uninterested in eggs. On one among our final mornings, I ordered the Eggs Benedict and was thrilled to be taught the portion measurement was small (half an English muffin and one egg). I want I’d found it earlier within the cruise.

Lunch

Lunch on the terrace throughout the river cruise was served buffet-style. There had been often small parts of a day by day sandwich (panini, membership, and many others.), steamed greens, French fries, a do-it-yourself soup, bread, and a chef carving some sort of meat (roast beef, pork, turkey, and many others.) You may additionally seize some recent veggies on the salad bar and a dessert, if desired.

River Cruise - Market Salad
Market Salad on the ship that includes inexperienced beans, carrots, zucchini, and hazelnuts

As with breakfast, within the restaurant you possibly can head to the buffet or order from a menu. The buffet included a lot of the similar issues that had been out there on the terrace, plus a few extras. The menu supplied a few requirements (cheeseburger, scorching canine, and many others.) plus one or two regional specials. For instance, sausage and sauerkraut had been plentiful whereas we had been in Bavaria.

The soups had been constantly a number of the greatest dishes on the ship. Frequently, lunch for me was the soup of the day (perhaps Roasted Carrot or Hungarian Goulash) and a salad.

Dinner

After a briefing within the lounge in regards to the subsequent day’s actions, the crew served dinner within the ship’s restaurant. Everyone ordered an appetizer, entrée, and dessert from a menu. On the left aspect of the menu had been gadgets supplied day by day – caesar salad, steak, salmon, rooster, crème brûlée, cheese plate, and ice cream. On the precise aspect of the menu had been the day by day regional specials, often three appetizers, three entrées, and three desserts. More than as soon as I ordered a second appetizer as my entrée as they usually featured extra greens and I obtained uninterested in consuming pink meat.

We tried attention-grabbing issues like bitterballen (Dutch), wiener schnitzel (Austrian), and eggplant involtini.

River Cruise - Bitterballen (Dutch)
Bitterballen

And, sure, I splurged on dessert a number of occasions. I’m a sucker for something with cherries and chocolate, so I couldn’t resist the Black Forest Cake. I additionally needed to strive the Viennese traditional Sachertorte (say “SOCCER tort”), a wealthy chocolate cake with apricot jam filling. I’m glad we obtained to strive it on the ship, as a result of the road at Café Sacher in Vienna was manner too lengthy.

River Cruise - Cafe Sacher
The line to get into Cafe Sacher in Vienna

Can I train on a river cruise?

Yes, I ate a lot on the river cruise, however I additionally obtained fairly a little bit of train. Just about day by day featured a strolling tour. And castles sit atop hills by design, so there have been a number of steps and steep inclines. Whenever we had the choice to stroll again to the ship as a substitute of taking a bus, we walked.

The ship additionally had a solar deck with a observe. One mile was 12.75 laps across the observe. On days I didn’t stroll a lot, I logged a mile or two on the observe (strolling a lap, then jogging a lap). My husband and I had supposed to maintain up with our GlucoseZone exercises whereas we had been away, however there simply wasn’t sufficient house in our stateroom to tug it off.

When I obtained dwelling, I had gained 2 kilos. I didn’t assume that was too unhealthy after a Three-week trip!

River Cruise - Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey was one of many spots we walked again from to get extra train.

Is medical help out there on a river cruise?

While there was no physician on board the ship (which stunned me), the crew is skilled to help with medical conditions. One passenger on our cruise had a mishap on the cobblestones they usually obtained him to a physician whereas we had been in port and despatched somebody alongside who spoke fluent German. (He tore a ligament in his knee and spent the remainder of the cruise in a forged.)

Regarding medicines, one among my Trulicity® pens failed throughout the journey and I hadn’t introduced alongside a spare (poor planning on my half). Fortunately, I had introduced alongside a copy of my prescription. At one among our all-day stops, a crew member advised me the place to seek out a pharmacy (Apotheke) in Germany. “You can’t miss it, just look for the big A,” he mentioned.

When I arrived round 11 a.m., the pharmacist advised me he wanted to order the Trulicity®, however would have it round Three p.m. When I confirmed up at Three:02 p.m., somebody was wheeling it via the door in a cooler. Not solely did they fill my prescription, no questions requested, in addition they gave me a cooler pack so I may transport it safely dwelling. (My prescription was for 12 pens, so I obtained 12 pens.) The excellent news? I solely paid 306 euros (about $338 USD). At dwelling, it could have value me greater than $2,000 USD! I discovered a cooler bag in a German division retailer additional down the river and introduced all of it dwelling with out incident.

River Cruise - Vienna Market  spices
Spices on the market within the Vienna Market

Can I take a river cruise with diabetes?

Absolutely! You received’t have any bother discovering meals that suit your meal plan, particularly when you request a particular food plan forward of time. You might want to exert some willpower, nevertheless. Cookies, muffins, and pastries are just about out there 24/7. But so are apples and different fruit!

You will be capable to get some train too, though you might need to hunt it out when you’re arduous core. You’ll have loads of cardio alternatives, however not as many resistance coaching choices. I took a set of train bands (affiliate hyperlink) with me – a “gym in a bag” as Christel Oerum from DiabetesRobust says. I additionally tried to do the legs-up-the-wall yoga pose earlier than mattress every night time.

If you may have any questions on managing diabetes on a river cruise, I’m completely happy to reply them. Journey on.



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