Revamped Princess youth centers spring from Discovery partnership

Themed on the great outdoors, The Lodge, for ages 8-12, is one of the new Camp Discovery areas Themed on the great outdoors, The Lodge, for ages 8-12, is one of the new Camp Discovery areas

Princess Cruises expanded its parnership with Discovery Communications to create reimagined youth centers with new themes, experiences and designs.

This multimillion-dollar investment is rolling out fleetwide through 2018, with program implementation taking place in early 2017 and new center designs planned for installation during scheduled ship renovations. There are three center themes catering to specific age groups.

Camp Discovery, for ages 3-12, includes The Treehouse (formerly Pelicans) for ages 3-7 and The Lodge (formerly Shockwaves) for ages 8-12. The Treehouse consists of a bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center with hands-on activities, while The Lodge is inspired by the great outdoors and filled with sports activities and fun places for kids to explore, hang out and lounge.

The Beach House (previously Remix), for ages 13-17, provides a contemporary, surf-themed lounge where teens can hang out and socialize.

New youth and teen center programming includes 'MythBusters' science activities, and new Camp Discovery destination-themed programs focus on the culture, nature and customs of the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

Camp Discovery's core experiences fall under broad categories like play (indoor and outdoor gaming, sports and physical activities), discover (places, animals and hands-on experiments), huddle (fun interactions with peers) and create (arts, crafts, science exploration).

Among the activities are investigating Caribbean sharks on a scavenger hunt, hunting for clues to the connections between Alaska’s animals and people, dance classes, friendly competitions, sports and games like PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, XBOX Kinect consoles, board games, air hockey and ping-pong.

'MythBusters' science activities entail three hands-on challenges featuring Tory Belleci from the show, while 'Animal Planet' uncovers ferocious secrets in 'Shark Attack.' Or kids can learn the science of magic or become an engineer for a day with programs from the California Science Center, home of the Endeavour space shuttle.

During a Carnival night, the whole family can take part in Caribbean dances, trivia and crafts, while a Wild Alaska Festival delves into Alaska nature. Other themes are Pirate Night, Mexican Fiesta and 'Challenge Night.'

In further activities, kids can make 'Animal Planet' puppets, masks and paintings inspired by regional wild life, compete in a 'Join the Klutz' paper airplane challenge or Lego boat-building contest. In JrChef@Sea they can learn cake decorating and share the results with their family.

Teen programming at The Beach House includes a Rock the Boat Party, an occasion to dress up, walk the red carpet, flash a VIP badge and have an evening of mocktails, awards and celebrating with friends. In addition, there will be movie nights, teen makeovers and glitter tattoos, dance classes and video game tournaments.

Plus, a family fair in the Piazza will feature carnival-like booths and activities, family trivia, stargazing with 'Discovery at Sea,' family game night and new soon-to-be announced family-themed programs.

Grand Princess, sailing year round from San Francisco, is the first ship to offer these programs. Next in line are Caribbean Princess (March) and Regal Princess (April), Sea Princess (October) and Island Princess (November).

The full rollout schedule is at princess.com/family.

Posted 20 December 2016

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review