Yes, Princess Cruises have a kid-friendly essence that permeates the whole of the ship. Moreover, this elegant cruise appeals to families worldwide, thanks to its flexible dining options and kid-friendly programming.
Princess Cruises make a concerted effort to provide a litany of family-friendly cruise activities to ensure that you have many ways to enjoy some fun family time. Moreover, parents don’t have to worry about their children getting bored, as there’s no shortage of fun to find on the ship.
Check out the many ways that families can be at ease if they’re bringing children along for the Princess Cruise experience.
- Top Activities for Kids and Teens
- Designated Areas
- Specialized Itineraries
- Family Zone
- Accommodations for Babies
- Physical Activities
- Dining Options
- Animals Aboard
- Themed Parties
- Movie Under the Stars
- Meet Stanley
- The Discovery at Sea Program
- Junior Chef Classes
Top Activities for Kids and Teens
There are many different things to get into, no matter the age aboard the ship. Let’s begin with the designated space to hang out and play.
Every Princess Cruise ship has a youth program with spaces uniquely dedicated to teens and children alike. Except for two ships, this program is available on all Princess ships, called Camp Discovery. The camp consists of three distinct clubs.
Many of the organized events will take place here. However, there will be other events that will take place in different venues around the ship.
Here, small children aged 3-7 have all the bells and whistles that amount to a fun experience for them. At the Treehouse, children can enjoy kid’s movies, crafts, toys, t-shirt coloring, a talent show, and much more.
Kids can also perform awesome science experiments through the Science on the Seas program, conducted by the California Science Center.
Kids 8-12 will love this space, as it garners inspiration from the great outdoors. This space is a supervised center that is replete with table games to places to hang out. Kids here are free to participate in sports tournaments, play video games, perform in talent shows, watch movies, and more. These children can participate in the “Science on the Seas” activities as well.
The Beach House
This lounge is for 13-17-year-olds, and it’s a beach-themed place where teens can meet new friends and simply hang out. Additionally, teens can watch late-night movies, learn to do makeovers, go to dancing parties, play video games and sports competitions, and more.
Princess Cruises offers a customized youth and teen program that provides children and teens with special activities for each age group. All of the scheduling is age-appropriate as well.
Kids 3 to 7 Years Old
For this group, the children can enjoy a fun fair, get involved in learning activities, participate in pajama parties and enjoy movie nights. And they can fill in the rest of the schedule by playing in the indoor and outdoor play spaces, playing games, doing crafts, and riding tricycles.
Kids 8 to 12 Years Old
These children will get accompanied by the ship’s counselors. The kids can use the DJ booth, the arts and crafts tables, the TV lounge, and any available games.
There’s even a space for the loners who like to enjoy their very own ice cream and pizza parties. Furthermore, they can take part in the Discovery Fun Lab, where they can discover what nature has to offer from a scientific perspective.
Kids 13-17 Years Old
Within this age group, teens have the freedom to dance or hang out, or even mix tracks. The lounge is full of entertaining video games to practice for the up-and-coming tournaments.
The activities tailored to their age group include late-night movies, formal dinners, hip-hop dance classes, and sports competitions. Teens can also go to the Curiosity Lab by Discovery which offers new and fun learning experiences even for the teens.
Not every ship houses dedicated facilities for these programs. In particular, the smaller fleet does not offer these facilities and will only offer youth programming if there are 20 or more participants. However, most of the fleet does offer teen lounges, pools, spacious rooms, and more.
The Reef Family Splash Zone is new to the Caribbean Princess, and it happens to be the ideal place to have fun, relax, and enjoy the water.
There’s an interactive splash pad designed to entertain children of all ages with sprays, showers, and an exhilarating water jet that emanates from the whale’s spout. What’s more, there are oversized backyard games that perfectly wipe to facilitate friendly family competition.
Accommodations for Babies
Yes, we welcome babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. The services on board make you and your children’s lives easier, with a variety of amenities. The young children can frequent Camp Discovery as well, so long as they come with a parent.
There are many accommodations on board just for the babies, such as cribs, booster seats, and high chairs, and more. There’s even complimentary jarred baby food filled with freshly pureed foods such as veggies, rice, and fruits.
These foods are available in the main dining room, World Fresh Marketplace, Horizon Court, and all specialty restaurants.
Allow your children to burn off some of that youthful energy by participating in the following activities:
- Miniature Olympics
- Mini golf
- Dance classes
- Group games
- Ping pong competitions
- Scavenger hunts
- Dance parties
- Basketball tournaments
- Test your skills on the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation, or the Xbox Kinect consoles
- Air hockey
- Board games
Virtually every sit-down restaurant on the Princess Cruises’ fleet is equipped with a menu filled with dishes that are popular among children such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken fingers, fish sticks, and burgers. There are even dessert options which include ice cream sundaes and fruit salad.
Young passengers can participate in two special dinners as a part of the youth and teen programming itinerary. During this dinner, kids along with youth counselors join their new friends for a nice meal at one of the many restaurants on the ship.
One of the teens’ two special dinners is a formal gathering with their new friends in one of the main dining rooms. There, photographs are taken and a group night to allow them to see a stage production in the main theater.
Certain Princess cruises allow animals from the local farms to come aboard to interact with passengers. As part of their collaboration with Discovery’s Animal Planet, kids of all ages get a chance to be up close and personal with these furry friends.
There’s also a program where kids on the Alaskan voyages can pet the sled dogs and take pictures with them. They also get to meet the handlers that train the dogs to pull the sleds.
For Caribbean voyage passengers, enjoy the beautiful sounds and sight of macaws and parrots flying around in a protected environment. If your kids love animals, any of these cruises would be a cool activity for them!
Kids can transport themselves to a different time and place by attending one of the themed parties on the Princess cruise ship. Some of the youth clubs offer party nights with themes like Mexican fiesta, pirate night, customized birthday parties, and PJ night. During the party, they’ll engage in arts and crafts, music and dancing, games, and much more.
For the teenagers, there’s casino night, dance parties, and the famous scary movie night that has been a hit with this age group in times past. Often, there are deck parties for teens only, which gives parents a chance to let their kids socialize with others their age in a safe space.
Teens have truly enjoyed the Rock the Boat Party, which is an evening on the red carpet with elegant attire, awards, mocktails, and celebrity status for a night. But everything doesn’t have to be just for the children. Princess also holds occasions for the whole family, based on the cruise destination.
For example, for ships headed to the Caribbean, there’s an Extreme Sea Carnival, which features Caribbean trivia, dancing, music, and arts. For the Alaskan voyages, there are activities for all ages that focus on Alaskan culture and entertainment.
Movie Under the Stars
One of the most notable activities that passengers remember Princess for, is the Movies Under the Stars event. Grab a blanket, get comfy, and don’t forget your chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, pizza, and other snacks!
Passengers get to relax on the upper pool deck and enjoy a movie under the starry night sky. Parents won’t have to worry about the ratings, as the majority of films shown are family-friendly, often Disney movies recently released. Some nights more than one movie gets shown, one for families and the other for adults.
Another cool feature of this night depends on the cruise ship you’re riding. A few of the ships have an island area on the upper deck. That space showcases a water fountain show with a background of colorful lights and music. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, don’t hesitate to check if your ship has that and what time the show starts.
A few years ago, Princess Cruises decided to give Stanley a try. Who is Stanley, you ask? Stanley is a big brown bear with plenty of hugs and warmth to give!
The story behind Stanley is that he was a curious little bear that wandered around until he ended up on the Princess ship in Alaska. He walked around to get a better understanding of his new surroundings, and he stepped in paint along the way.
As he was trying to get the paint off, the ship began to pull away, and Stanley became sad as he saw his hometown fading away further and further. A small child saw Stanley crying and decided to give him a big hug. The child asked if Stanley wouldn’t mind traveling the world together.
Stanley happily obliged, and now he goes around on the ship making sure all the kids have a memorable experience aboard the ship. Children are allowed to partake in storytime with Stanley, take pictures, and play games and do arts and crafts that are bear-themed. You can even purchase a plush Stanley from the ship’s gift shop before you leave.
Stanley is named after the founder of Princess Cruises, Stanley B. McDonald.
The Discovery at Sea Program
Another fun program for young passengers is Camp Discovery. A byproduct of the partnership with Discovery, this program allows kids to participate in science activities and experiments on the ship.
Kids will love being able to create a solar system, make rockets, and listen to interactive science presentations by engaging personalities. During Shark Week they get to learn about the secret life of sharks, understand their anatomy, do art projects centered around sharks, and more.
They’ll even play games and participate in scavenger hunts. One of the best activities that have received rave reviews, is the opportunity for children to invent tools to aid in the survival of the cold temperatures in Alaska. For this event, they also get to come up with ideas for gadgets that can help them explore the ocean and discover nature.
Aside from the arts and crafts projects that may accompany other programs, kids have the option to participate in special craft events as well. There are LEGO boat competitions, bracelet making, paper airplane challenges, origami art, velvet art, thumbprint art, and more.
The young crew members will also get a chance to create animal masks, paintings, and puppets that reflect the wildlife in their eventual destination.
Junior Chef Classes
If you have any children that are 8 to 12 years old, they can join the junior chef workshops. These participants get to experience the behind-the-scenes action of the Princess chefs and make dishes in the process.
Some of the sessions usually offered include making a fruit pizza, a regular pizza, or decorating a cake. They not only get to make the food, but they also get to dress the part! They’ll don the aprons and hats, and receive a special photo and certificate at the end of their workshop to commemorate the day.
Parents are welcomed as well, but it isn’t obligatory. Later that evening, the kids get to eat their creations and share them with the whole family. It’s an awesome experience that continues to be a hit year after year. This activity does come with a small fee, however.
With so many interesting activities, Princess Cruises are an excellent choice for families both large and small. Whether you have an infant, a toddler, a young child, or a preteen/teenager, Princess has something awesome waiting aboard the ship.
It’s a great chance for the family to spend time together, and to make memories and new friends individually as well. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact your nearest travel agent for more information.