Seven Reasons Why Princess Cruises is Your Family’s Big Ticket to Adventure

Author: Olivia Sharpe

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Action-packed family itineraries are perfect for everyone from toddlers and teens to your mother-in-law

Explorers come in all ages, and that spark of adventure has the power to bring everyone together, whether you’re seven years old or 70. That’s why Princess Cruises has poured its heart and soul into its family voyages. With a passion for stoking the fire of discovery across different age groups, the award-winning outfit bagged the ‘Best Cruise Line for Multi-Generational Family Travel’ accolade at the Porthole Cruise Magazine Readers' Choice Awards 2018. So, what makes a Princess family cruise magical for all the family? Read on to find out.

1. More than just kids clubs

Instead of the usual amusement park attractions on board, Princess offers a variety of programmes that bring the colours, cultures and flavours of the countries your cruise calls at to life. Three age-specific kids clubs, staffed by an experienced team, lead a vivid array of mind-expanding activities through arts, crafts and inventions to help little ones see the world in a whole new light. From Discovery at SEA days inspired by Shark Week and Animal Planet to stargazing in the planetarium and learning how to be a space shuttle engineer or a Junior Ranger in a glacier park, kids will tap into destinations in a bright and engaging way. And of course, there are dance parties, basketball tournaments, Lego building contests, cake decorating sessions and enough PlayStations, Nintendo Wiis and XBOX Kinect consoles to keep even the most avid gamer happy. Three to seven-year-olds will have a blast in The Treehouse, while over in The Lodge, children between eight and 12 can hang out, playing table football and air hockey. The Beach House, exclusively for 13 to 17 year-olds, is a contemporary lounge for teens to socialise, ahead of events such as the teens-only dinner which takes place in a specially reserved section of the dining room. What's more, all kids clubs are included in the price of your fare, so you don't have to worry about any hidden extras.

2. Always stay connected across the ship

Clever technology onboard Princess MedallionClass vessels allows family members to find and message each other anywhere on the ship, thanks to a complimentary, wearable device known as OceanMedallion. It means you can always track down your loved ones in an instant, and chat to each other in different parts of the ship, staying in touch effortlessly (and for free). Unlimited Wi-Fi and OceanNow options, where you can order food and drinks to wherever you are on board at the touch of a button, makes life that little bit easier. Another popular feature of the OceanMedallion experience among both kids and adults alike is the interactive games, which can be played either through the digital wall portals or via the PlayOcean app. Those with the app can compete against other cruisers on board with multiplayer games such as Ocean Treks Adventure. Guests can even create their own OceanTagalong, a digital companion that appears on portals around the ship and can be customised by body shape, colour, pattern, marks (like tattoos) and special charms.

3. Shore excursions designed for families

Every exciting port offers the chance for families to learn something new about our world, and the creatures we share it with, through exclusive Discovery Family and Animal Planet tours, available only through Princess Cruises. Discovery Family tours are designed to give a window into the local culture, so you might find yourself learning how to play steel drums in the Caribbean or finding out how to make gelato in Italy. Animal Planet experiences are all about meeting Earth’s other inhabitants, with guests getting personally acquainted with sharks in Hawaii, sloths in Costa Rica, or majestic humpback whales in the icy waters of Alaska. Even more shore excursions provide the opportunity to snorkel in sparkling bays, feed stingrays or paddle through lagoons in a clear-bottom kayak. Better still, the Guaranteed Return to Ship policy means your ship will wait for you if your excursion is delayed, so you can focus more on the moment and less on the clock.

4. More moments to connect

The Reef Family Splash Zone is the perfect place for all generations to relax, have fun and enjoy the water. An interactive splash pad with a giant whale at the centre entertains all ages with showers, sprays and a water jet shooting from the whale's spout. Oversized games in the ‘game zone’ are a great way to while away an hour or two, and there are playful mocktails for the kids and refreshing cocktails for grown-ups at the child-friendly bar area. Keep an eye out for the roaming (and very friendly) Stanley the Bear throughout your voyage. Kids can enjoy storytime, bear games, and crafts with the cuddliest bear at sea, and even get their own mini Stanley to take home as a reminder of their journey. As night falls, snuggle up under blankets and watch family movies together on a big screen underneath the twinkling stars on deck.

5. Late-night babysitting

On a Princess cruise, it’s all about balance, so while there are countless experiences to bond with family, you’ll also find ample space to do your own thing. Late-night kid-sitting is a godsend for parents looking for some quality alone time. With night-time childcare from 10pm to 1am for children aged three to 12 years, you can enjoy a romantic meal for two and explore the Vegas-style casino, bars and nightclubs on board the ship, minus the sticky-faced tag-alongs. For just $5 per child (£3.56), you can roam the deck to your heart’s content. Or hole up in your cabin, whichever suits the mood. Fancy a couple of blissful hours to yourself during the day? Complimentary Camp Discovery kids clubs provide a chance to unwind with an indulgent massage in the Lotus Spa, or chill out in The Sanctuary – an adults-only haven featuring a pool, cascading waterfalls and comfy loungers.

6. Comfy, spacious family accommodation

Princess makes it easy to sail together in comfort. All stateroom categories come with space for four people, including the Interior and Balcony staterooms, while those looking for a little extra room and luxury can opt for Mini-Suites or Full Suites, offering a separate sitting area with sofa bed and a large balcony with loungers, table and chairs. There are also connecting stateroom options, as well as Two Bedroom Family Suites, with room for up to eight guests. Those families looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure are welcomed to discover Princess' Sky Suites on the line's two newest ships, Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess; this brand new accommodation choice offers all the amenities of a spacious luxurious Full Suite plus so many more exclusive benefits; your own dedicated Suite Experience Manager to attend to your every need and the largest balcony at sea, boasting 290-degree panoramic views.

7. Exciting family-friendly destinations

From the ice-blue sheen of Alaska’s glaciers and picture-perfect Caribbean beaches to the olive-tree-lined shores of the Mediterranean, Princess Cruises has some of the most exciting family itineraries going. On the once-in-a-lifetime ‘Voyage of the Glaciers’ cruise to Alaska, guests can see the Big Five (grizzly bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and grey wolves), watch a lumberjack show, or fish their dinner straight from the icy waters amidst imposing glaciers and stunning fjords. After something a little warmer? Choose from sailings across the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean to dive into turquoise waters teeming with fish, historic Mayan ruins and all the rum punch you could wish for. Itineraries include colourful ports such as St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Mexico, Jamaica, Belize and the paradise isles of Dominica, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. Not to mention Princess Cays, a private island resort exclusively for Princess Cruises guests, where passengers can feast on a delicious beach barbecue. On family-friendly Mediterranean cruises, kids can see their textbooks come to life with exciting tours through age-old cities and fairytale landscapes, home to Greek gods, Italian artists and fearsome warriors. Then head back to ship and chew over all the amazing sights you’ve seen during a perfect family dinner, with meals to suit all tastes. Dad jokes optional.

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