On Princess Cruises' 18 ships, there's music and even yoga for kids and teens along with the regular activities. Families love the private island and family-friendly shore excursions. Be forewarned that the line’s smaller vessels (Pacific Princess,Ocean Princess) don’t have dedicated youth spaces, but children’s programs operate when 20 or more children ages 3 to 17 are on board.
What’s new: Introduced in 2014, the new 3,600-passenger Royal Princess features a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel, a pastry shop, expanded space for youth centers where all age groups enjoy dedicated outdoor areas, including a new teen lounge. Toddlers can also join the fun with a special play area just for kids under 3. Princess family-friendly itineraries cruise from the West Coast homeports of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Guests can enjoy sailings to Hawaii, Mexico, the California Coast and even Tahiti and Samoa sailings.
To celebrate the line’s 50th anniversary, a fleetwide sale is underway from now to February 26, 2015. Great rates, 50% discounts on third and fourth passengers in a cabin and onboard credits are among the extensive savings for those who want to trade up to Princess. The anniversary also includes a “Love Boat Disco Party” for the nostalgic among you. And since this cruise line sails 3-day to 11-day weekend to around-the-world itineraries to 300 ports on six continents, there’s a destination for everyone.
For babies: There is a special outdoor deck exclusively for toddlers and their parents.
For kids: Princess Youth Programs start at age 3; younger children are welcome to use the youth center facilities as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There are three, age-specific programs, starting with Princess Pelicans for ages 3-7. Some special group dinners and activities such as pizza and ice cream parties are offered, but generally the kids centers are closed during meal hours when at sea.
For tweens: Shockwaves includes talent shows, backstage tours, PJ parties and a [email protected] program for 8- to 12-year-olds. There is also“Science on the Seas, an award-winning program developed in conjunction with the California Science Center, as well as the regular programming.
For teens: For 13- to 17-year-olds, Remix offers teen-only deck parties, hip-hop dance classes with the ship’s professional dancers, DJ workshops, hot tub parties and more. Princess also offers the cruise industry’s only Teen Makeover program, where young participants can learn makeup and skin care techniques. On the Grand and Golden Princess, teens have a separate hot tub and deck area.
Around the ship: Families love the giant outdoor movie screens, kids pools, the line’s private island Princess Cay, arcades, basketball court and more. Afternoon tea is a time-honored tradition on Princess ships, but is now offered on the Promenade Deck from 3:30 to 4:30 pm daily. Guests can now get moving with Zumba Fitness at sea, the exhilarating dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music and contagious choreography. In-room babysitting is not available, but there is late night group sitting for $5 per child. On shore days, youth programs are offered.