July 19, 2012
Among the usual sweaty suspects, the under-construction ship will feature a few fun twists: a portable batting cage, laser shooting range and a new take on the at-sea jogging track. All three activities will be offered in the multi-sport area on Decks 18 and 19, appropriately known as Princess Sports Central.
While the portable batting cage is pretty unique within the cruise industry, it is not completely brand new. Norwegian Epic is host to a batting cage, though their batting is only erected for a few hours on port days. Similarly, Royal Princess' take on the double lane jogging track features an unusual, but not unique, circuit program with outdoor exercise stations set at intervals along the track. Sister operator Carnival Cruise Lines was the first to offer al fresco gym equipment; Carnival Magic and Breeze feature a Muscle Beach-style mini-gym by the ships' mini-golf and high ropes courses.
Royal Princess' laser shooting range may be a first for cruises however. Though all Carnival ships feature laser tag, an actual shooting range would be new. At press time the line had not responded to a request for more information.
Royal Princess' Sports Central will also feature golf driving facility and a center court that can be used for basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton. On the upper deck, a Lawn Court features an artificial grassy area for bocce ball, croquet and lawn bowling. A game lounge will offer up Ping Pong and virtual options via Kinect for Xbox gaming systems.
One deck below passengers will find the fitness center with an array of standard gym equipment like treadmills, elliptical, recumbent bikes, free weights and more. At the back of the gym the ship will offer a private aerobics studio and a selection of fitness classes like TRX suspension bodyweight training, body sculpt boot camp sessions, MyRide spinning and Chi Ball Yoga, which uses aromatherapy-scented balls to help participants relax .
As on other Princess ships, the fitness center is part of the ship's Lotus Spa.
The ship is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Among the many features already revealed are a new Princess Live! television studio, largest ever Princess Theater, the addition of for-fee cabanas, a new approach to the Chef's Table and the elimination of non-balcony outside cabins.
Checkout our countdown to launch page for more information about Royal Princess.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor