2015 Spartan Cruise Review

I’ve already blogged about the Spartan Cruise Sprint Race Recap on the blog but I wanted to also review the Cruise. The weekend trip was amazing but the highlight of the trip was definitely the race vs. the ship. Here’s how the weekend went down…

My partner in crime for the weekend was my friend from Alpha Obstacle Training, Richard Lee Yuen. We flew to Miami on Friday, March 6th and boarded the ship mid-afternoon. We had an inside stateroom that was fine for a weekend but nothing to write home about. Limited space. No place for our luggage on the floor but the bathroom was surprisingly large for what I anticipated.

Pre-Boarding Photo

We took a #theface photo as we boarded and proceeded to explore all the decks of the ship. There were 12 decks in total. We had a cabin on deck 10 which was one level below the pool deck. The ship left the dock a little after 4:30 pm and we were spoiled with an amazing front deck yoga class with Anna Arsenault (Mom Strong) as we left the port.

Spartan Cruise View
Mom Strong Yoga

Later that night we were asked to show up at the basketball court for bib pick-up for the race. We thought this was going to be an easy process. Little did we know, everyone else and their mother were going to be lined up at the same time. This became an hour process standing in line with really drunk guys behind us. I wished them good luck sarcastically for the race the next day! 😉 I actually saw them the next day and asked if they survived. I got a resounding “barely”.

Bib PickUp

On Friday night they had a bunch of keynote speakers presenting in the theatre. We caught part of Dean Karnazes, ultra-marathoner, Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World (pictured below) & Evan Dollard, American Ninja Warrior & American Gladiator.

Bart Yasso

Saturday morning we got up at a decent hour. Usually, race days are spent getting up before the sun to get breakfast in. We headed down to deck 3 to grab the first tender over to Great Stirrup Cay. A couple recognized my cooling vest bag from my blog and we chatted quickly. We soon arrived and I didn’t catch your names! Message me in the comments if you read this! I’d love to stay in touch. We didn’t race until 10 am so we even had a bit of time to explore. We had a chance to chat with Richard Diaz a bit. He asked me about my vest and we planned on attending his VO2 max testing session Sunday morning.

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Our boat looked pretty from the tender.

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After the race we ate lunch on the island, I saw Erin Beresini (pictured below) whose book I reviewed in November! We sat with her and her husband and had a lovely chat.

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Rich then attended the Parkour Workshop hosted by Dan Edwardes and then we headed back to the ship to shower & eat dinner. There was also post-race health with Ben Greenfield, post-race yoga with Jules Lindsay & Myzone Fitness with Richard Diaz.

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The food on the cruise & the island was decent but nothing impressive. I had emailed the cruise line ahead of time to discuss my dietary needs and was assured I’d be able to find dairy-free & gluten-free cuisine which was not the case. I was able to eat salad, fruit & protein all weekend but there were no healthy carbs to be found. I thankfully brought packets of oatmeal with me that I put in a bowl with hot water for my breakfasts. Needless to say, I had to come home and reset my nutrition and get my gut health back on track.

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The staff was super friendly. One day when leaving our room we were greeted by a staff member. “Hello Mr. Richard & Ms. Alyssa” (he thought my middle name was my first) and that was lovely & slightly creepy all at once.

Saturday night after the race we attended what everyone was calling “the best dressed Spartan awards ceremony”. The joke was because usually, the awards ceremony happens right after a race and everyone is still dirty & muddy. We watched the top 50 women & men being announced. They pooled the results & I missed the top 50 by 6 mins. Damn you burpee penalties. But according to the elite heat, I came 25 & 5th in my age group. All about perspective. Below are the top 3 women & men! So proud of Canadian, Ryan Atkins for taking 3rd place!

Top 3 Women Spartan Cruise
Top 3 Men Spartan Cruise

Then we headed over to the gym to watch Mike Wardian attempt the world record of a 50K on a treadmill. Yup, that’s crazy. We watched him finish in 3:06. The next morning we showed up for VO2 Max testing with Richard Diaz. Mike came down for his test and announced he posted his time on Instagram and found out it was beaten by someone else earlier that year by 1 min. So do you know what he does? Rests all of Sunday and then gets up Monday morning at 3 am to try again and he did it! You can read about it here.

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Sunday on the boat kind of sucked as we weren’t allowed off the boat to explore the island. Rich and I had booked a stingray excursion with snorkelling and were slightly disappointed to be stuck on the boat. There was nothing really to do. The highlight was spending 2 hours in the fitness centre with Richard Diaz and his wife first thing in the morning. They taught Richard and me proper running form and drills to improve. I can’t wait to fix my awful heel strike which is probably the cause of my horrible ankle problems. We also watched the Burpee Contest later in the day and I donned a bikini and headed to the pool deck for a few hours to get some vitamin D & sun.

So I’ll give the Spartan Cruise a 3 out of 5 ship rating. I think it can be improved in years to come by choosing a better boat. In addition, all those who were on deck 10 had to deal with loud booming music coming from the pool deck (deck 11) which made sleeping on Saturday night difficult (yes I’m an old woman), better food (healthier choices) and telling Mother Nature we can’t be stuck on a boat for even one day!

I remedied the stingray cancellation by finding the Miami Seaquarium for us to explore after we docked on Monday. Dolphins, stingrays & other sea creatures galore made us smile before we headed back to cold Toronto.

Miami Seaquarium
Dolphin Jumping
Miami Seaquarium
Dolphins

Here is a recap by Obstacle Racing Media for another perspective

Will you attend next year?

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