Although Princess Cruises might not be the most well-known for its family-friendly offerings, the line's fleet -- particularly Royal Princess and Regal Princess, its newest and largest ships -- offers a slew of programs, amenities and accommodations for children and their parents.
Thanks to a partnership with Discovery Communications, Princess Cruises rebranded and expanded its kids club facilities, which are now called Camp Discovery. The kids clubs are divided by age: The Treehouse for ages 3 to 7, The Lodge for ages 8 to 12 and The Beach House for ages 13 to 17.
Each offers standard cruise youth activities like scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, and video games, but also features a number of enrichment-style activities like interactive "Mythbusters" challenges, magic classes and junior ranger programs. Plus, there are options for kids and teens to enjoy independently, like foosball, skee-ball, late-night movies and dance parties.
Royal Princess and Regal Princess also offer some surprising kid-focused activities and entertainment options outside of the kids clubs, including outdoor play areas, complete with jungle gyms for younger children, and a separate teen space with a hot tub. In addition, the ships offer programming for the whole family to enjoy -- like the Jr. Chef@Sea Program, which offers kids and their parents the chance to take a cooking class led by a professional chef -- as well as special Shark Week activities and other entertainment based on Discovery Channel shows. Passengers can even book shore excursions from the Discovery Family Tours series, which are interactive and designed with children younger than 12 in mind; Animal Planet tours are a must for nature-loving little ones.
Royal Princess and Regal Princess are still quite traditional cruise ships where parents can find plenty of spots -- like the adults-only Sanctuary -- to enjoy the peace and quiet while their children are entertained at the kids clubs. Both ships also offer a large variety of dining options, so there's sure to be something even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy. Cabins are on the small side, so you might consider booking a suite or adjoining cabins to accommodate your family.