The existing partnership between Princess Cruises and the Discovery Channel (which also includes the Animal Planet network) will be expanded significantly in the next 18 months as the line rolls out new youth-oriented features into its onboard Kids and Teen programs.
Educational programs in line with Discovery Channel content have been designed to welcome and encourage people of all ages to learn more about the world they live in and everything around them in outer space. Themed activities retain a collaborative element in which kids are able to interact with each other and make new friends while cruising.
A number of changes have been made to the rooms in which these activities will take place.
Formerly known as ‘The Fun Zone’, the area for kids aged 3-12 has been renamed Camp Discovery, with the narrower age groupings of ‘Pelicans’ now known as The Treehouse (3-7) and ‘Shockwaves’ now going under the title of The Lodge (8-12). Both rooms will receive a new colour scheme, with The Treehouse taking on a floral theme with trees and animals painted onto the walls, and The Lodge taking on a mountain base camp feel and loaded up with sports activities such as Skee-Ball and Air Hockey.
Team activities have also been revamped, with a new ‘Shark Hunters’ game seeing kids embark on a supervised scavenger hunt across the ship, learning about the world’s mysterious shark population along the way. An ‘Alaskan Explorers’ activity invites kids to work together to find clues connecting the frozen state’s people with its native wildlife.
For older kids, the teen area formerly known as ‘Remix’ has been renamed The Beach House and decorated with warm seaside colours and furniture designed to foster new friendships and group harmony.
These slightly more mature cruisers can take part in more age-appropriate activities such as three different ‘Mythbusters’ challenges which feature stars from the show. ‘Survive Alaska’ sees teens placed in make-believe conditions reflecting the harshest Alaskan winter and needing to invent tools and shelter in order to “survive”. The Animal Planet network will also step up its involvement here, with a number of fauna-based games based on exciting animals including sharks and other marine life.
Kids can take part in ‘The Greatest Catch’, an activity where kids devise and design their own invention to help them explore the ocean.
Families can also get involved with their little ones at the new ‘Extreme Sea Carnival’ – effectively a big family party at sea with lots of music, dance contests, trivia and crafts. A family theme night has also been developed where kids and parents are encouraged to dress up as an Alaskan family and enjoy a themed experience at the Kids Club.
The new features are in addition to the existing kids programs in place, which include dance classes, movies on the poolside big screen, science experiments, cooking classes, LEGO building, star-gazing, teen makeovers and temporary tattoos, video game and sports tournaments and supervised age-appropriate parties.
While the program of activities is now in place across the fleet, more in-depth design centres allowing children and teenagers to be fully immersed in the theme will gradually be installed on all ships in the Princess fleet. These new centres are already available on some ships and will be coming to the line’s Australian ships Sea Princess in October 2017, Golden Princess in March 2018, Sun Princess in May 2018 and Emerald Princess afterward.