Relaxin’ To The Max

More African Americans are finding that active vacations are key to total relaxation, and what better place than the Caribbean?

to frolic for hours with the curious mammal. There’s a snorkel shuttle that leaves a nearby marina to the diving area. The cost is $75 per hour including rental of scuba equipment.

Grand Cayman’s tame but ominous-looking stingrays will eat fish from steady human hands. Several dozen of the creatures with venomous tails swim the shallow waters of Stingray City on North Sound (800-422-9626). For $20, Bravehearts can venture a silky touch or just watch them glide by.

Scuba diving with reef sharks off the coast of New Providence, Bahamas, is so popular that operators encourage reservations months in advance. One of several tour companies is Stuart Cove’s Dive South Ocean (809-362- 4171). The in-your-face dives are highlighted by orchestrated feeding frenzies. Shark dives cost $115 per person.

Whatever activity you choose, shipscan help to bury your stress at sea
Taking a cruise can make traveling to the Caribbean as therapeutic as actually being there. Now cruise lines are tailoring their trips to include fitness and pampering activities to help travelers unwind. Your travel agent can recommend an all-inclusive cruise. Here’s just a sampling.

Holland America’s Passport to Fitness program is one of several programs offered by cruise lines that allow guests to earn and redeem points from onboard activities including dance classes, aerobics and volleyball. Indulge in a massage or facial, or order a “light and healthy” item from the menu for more points, which can be redeemed for fun prizes. If you’d rather sit back, you can enjoy passenger talent shows, watch the chefs prepare complex dishes or take advantage of the warm weather with low- energy pool side and deck activities.

Royal Caribbean Cruises offers fitness options through “ShipShape,” the original incentive-driven fitness program. Start the day with Sunrise Stretch, a gentle flexing class, and move on to Walk-a-Thon. a stroll at your own pace around the deck, or Fun Fitness, a light aerobics class that doesn’t stress the bones and joints. Cool off with aquadynamics, a fun water workout for swimmers and nonswimmers. If you’re watching your diet, choose low-fat, low-cholesterol meals from the menu. ShipShape Dollars are awarded and redeemable for prizes.

For fitness and pampering, enjoy the Crystal Spas and Salons on Crystal Cruises. After an aerobic workout, playing tennis on a full-size court, driving a few golf balls or unwinding in the steam room, spoil yourself with relaxing body and skin-care treatments such as aqua meditation (a hydrotherapy treatment), aroma therapy milk baths for dry or problem skin, or a relaxing seaweed bath. Hair, nail and makeup services can complete the star treatment. As a plus for joggers and walkers, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony offer two of the few full-promenade decks at sea.

Princess Cruises features the Cruisercise program, which includes walk-a- mile, aerobics, aquacise or a personalized program. Regal Princess, Crown Princess and Star Princess have a health and fitness center called Images that features high-tech exercise equipment and a top-deck outdoor track. The new Sun Princess has an ocean view fitness center and a

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