Discovery Princess Activities

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Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features

Entertainment & Activities

Theater and Shows on Discovery Princess

The Princess Theater spans Decks 6 and 7 forward, and functions as the classic show lounge aboard Discovery Princess. Comedians, magicians, headliners and production shows like "Rock Opera" are held here, typically with an early show around 7:30 p.m. and a late show around 9:30 p.m. It pays to get here early; the room often fills to standing-room only.

Princess Live! offers plenty of fun throughout the day in its prime spot along the starboard corridor of Deck 7 midship. Here, passengers will find daily (well-attended) trivia sessions, game shows, and live music performances. The room itself is also a substantial improvement over past Royal-class vessels, opening attractively to the corridor running between the Piazza atrium forward and the Crown Grill Bar aft.

Vista Lounge. This room on Deck 7 aft is Princess Cruises' classic secondary show lounge. Here, passengers can take in game shows like the Love and Marriage Show and music events like 80's Hour and the late-night DJ, who spins the tunes from Midnight "until late".

Take Five Lounge is tucked away on the port side of the ship on Deck 6, adjacent to the much-more visible Princess Casino. And that's a shame, because this is one of Princess Cruises' hidden gems, offering live jazz performances each evening that soon become the talk of the ship. On Discovery Princess' maiden voyage, the Larry King Trio performed each evening, though pre-recorded ballroom dancing was also offered in the pre-dinner hours on select evenings.

Movies Under the Stars: Not a theater as such, but Princess Cruises' pioneering seaside movies concept (which the line debuted to the industry in 2004 aboard Caribbean Princess) is still a hit aboard Discovery Princess, complete with padded loungers, popcorn, and drinks at the ready.

Daily Things to Do on Discovery Princess

There's plenty to do aboard Discovery Princess, though much of the daily entertainment relies on trivia sessions and sales opportunities. Passengers, though, generally don't seem to mind -- in keeping with the line's more laid-back attitude, passengers are just as happy to cozy up with a book on the pool deck or enjoy a game of cards in the Piazza Atrium.

Live music, however, is where Discovery Princess excels, with performances beginning each afternoon in the Piazza atrium and up on the pool deck. The latter is the domain of the steel drum set, while the Piazza hosts pianists and vocal duos by afternoon. Evenings bring jazz and big band into the mix, with a healthy dose of hits from the house band that span the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.

For those who prefer things on the more active side, Princess offers plenty of ping pong tournaments, pickleball contests, and basketball shootouts, in addition to Zumba and yoga classes, and fitness seminars.

Other activities are for-cost sales events masquerading as entertainment options, but there's no pressure to join in (unless, of course, you really want to "Guess the Price of the Peter Max!").

Nightlife on Discovery Princess

Nightlife aboard Discovery Princess is more active and varied than one might expect from a Princess Cruises ship. Passengers tend to stay up into the wee hours, listening to the pianist in Crooners (always a tremendously popular lounge and watering hole), or taking in late-night comedians or the DJ back in the Vista Lounge on Deck 7 aft.

Nightlife tends to revolve around music, meals and drinking -- though not necessarily in that order. Casino tournaments are held on select evenings for those who feel like paying Lady Luck a visit, and entertainment continues unabated in the Piazza Atrium.

What permeates throughout the ship, however, is a feeling of laid-back camaraderie. Don't be surprised if you get caught up in conversation with the couple seated at the table next to you, or invited to a show by folks you just met. That's the way things are on Princess -- social and even a bit old-school. And that's not a bad thing.

Discovery Princess Bars and Lounges

There's a bar and lounge for most everyone aboard Discovery Princess, from clubby bars nestled deep within the interior of the ship to gorgeous poolside sipping locations that are sure to please sun-seekers and pool-goers alike. And while none of the bars aboard Discovery Princess offer robots or other gimmicks, what passengers get in return is a solid mixology experience, with several bars and lounges onboard offering their own unique cocktails, wines, spirits and other menu items.

You also don't have to drink alcohol to enjoy yourself; most bars offer a decent selection of mocktails, and bartenders are happy to whip up virgin libations upon request.

Our Picks

**For the Sun Seeker:  **The Wake View Bar on Deck 16 aft is one of the best outdoor bars on any Princess Cruises ship. Surrounded by both shaded and uncovered seating areas, the bar is bookended by an aft-facing swimming pool and offers some pretty spectacular sail away views. If you're looking to start your day early (you're on vacation, after all), good news: the Wake View Bar typically opens at 6 a.m. for your beverage needs.

For the Clubby Cocktail Lover: You can hardly do better than ambling up to the Art Deco-themed bar at the Crown Grill Bar, or sinking into one of the bar's plush oversized chairs, and settle down to one of the fantastic gin or whiskey concoctions. These cocktails can only be found at this bar, but if there's something you'd like, the fantastic bar team here will whip it up for you. Throw in the talents of some very experienced pianists during the dinner hour, and you've got the recipe for a great evening.

For A Jazzy Good Time:  The Take Five Bar on Deck 6 offers up custom cocktails (many of which offer Jazz-themed names to boot) to accompany the swinging tunes that kick off here each evening. Just don't tell too many people; it's one of the ship's great hidden secrets.

For Lovers of the Bubbly: It's easy to walk right past Bellini's Bar on Deck 7 midship, but this cozy little outcrop overlooking the Piazza Atrium offers some spectacular, bubbly-infused cocktails in a space that is perfect for those looking to see -- and be seen.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Discovery Princess

Pools and hot tubs are well laid out aboard Discovery Princess, with both fun and active pools near the heart of the ship's daily activities and quiet, more restful options on offer.

Two main pools are located on Deck 16 amidship, bordered by three hot tubs. These are the most popular pools aboard Discovery Princess, thanks to their location near Movies Under the Stars and the Seaview Bar.

The Wake View Pool is located on Deck 16 aft as part of the Wake View Bar. Less a swimming pool and more of a lounging pool to kick back with a cold drink on the side, this pool nonetheless offers some pretty fantastic views off the stern of the ship.

The adults-only Retreat Pool is hidden away on Deck 17 forward. In fact, it's on the more difficult side to find, accessible only though the forward elevator banks on Deck 17, or from Deck 18 forward above. But, thanks to this, it is one of the ship's quieter pools -- though there is no sea view from the pool's interior location.

Four separate hot tubs are located aft and amidships on Deck 17, with two additional hot tubs placed on Deck 18 forward. A further hot tub is located within The Retreat on Deck 18.

The Retreat aboard Discovery Princess

One of Princess Cruises' most popular for-purchase options is The Retreat, an adults-only outdoor enclave located all the way forward on Deck 18. Passengers can rent loungers or full cabanas for either half-or-full-day rates, with port day and sea day availability. Dedicated Retreat stewards bring forth drinks and an exclusive lunch and snack menu available only for Retreat passengers. When conditions are good, it makes for a relaxing and enjoyable getaway from the bustle of the busy pool deck.

Passengers take their chances on sea days, however: our own booking was marred by high winds, rough seas and colder temperatures, though we still toughed it out thanks to some cozy steamer blankets that were duly brought around.

Sundecks on Discovery Princess

Deck space is plentiful onboard Discovery Princess, and sun-seekers will naturally gravitate to the open deck spaces on Decks 16, 17, and 18 that form the basis of the ship's pool deck complex.

Of note, however, are the open partitions on Deck 7 aft that overlook the ship's side and stern. These can be accessed by the aft elevators on Deck 7, and offer seating on the ship's port and starboard sides for those looking for a bit of quiet relaxation at sea.

Services and Wi-Fi on Discovery Princess

Discovery Princess offers the usual lineup of services onboard, including guest relations and shore excursion desks, future cruise desks, gift shops, sundries stores, a photo gallery, and even a small internet café tucked away on the aft port side of Deck 6.

An ATM machine is located on Deck 4 midship near the tender embarkation entrance. Be wary though - it has a hefty user service fee.

Wi-Fi internet access aboard Discovery Princess (called MedallionNet) was strong in both staterooms and public areas -- though public areas did, by and large, offer the best connectivity onboard. Packages are affordable and prices vary depending on the number of devices you'll need to connect, and how fast you want your access to be.

As with any shipboard internet, connectivity depends quite a bit on geographical location: don't expect blazingly-fast Wi-Fi (or much of any at all) if you're surrounded by mountains in Glacier Bay National Park.

Spa & Fitness

Lotus Spa and Salon on Discovery Princess

Discovery Princess houses a substantial Lotus Spa and Salon complex all the way forward on Plaza Deck 5. A reception area is flanked by the large beauty salon, which offers window views looking out over the port side of the vessel.

The main part of the spa offers an abundance of treatment rooms for everything from facials to massages to more exotic treatments like seaweed wraps. In the center of the spa itself, though, is The Enclave: a hydrotherapy pool and thermal suite complex that is available for purchase either as a day pass or a cruise-duration pass, or included with the purchase of a qualifying treatment.

The Enclave is just that: an oasis of calm that is relaxing and enjoyable. It's not the largest or most dramatic hydrotherapy suite afloat, but it certainly gets the job done, with aromatic steam rooms and showers, heated ceramic loungers, and a central hydrotherapy pool.

Fitness and Gym on Discovery Princess

Housed on the aft starboard side of Deck 17, the Fitness Center aboard Discovery Princess manages to be large without feeling gargantuan while still offering some of the best views onboard. Separate Men's and Women's changing facilities are housed here, along with a wide assortment of equipment to suit any workout.

A jogging track is conveniently located one deck up, above the Fitness Center, on Deck 18.

For Kids

Is Discovery Princess Family Friendly?

Discovery Princess is a family-friendly ship that doesn't go overboard with its amenities for kids. You won't find waterslides or ziplines onboard, nor will kids have some of the more elaborate things like virtual gaming centers and go-kart tracks found on other ships.

Nevertheless, Discovery Princess offers dedicated kids' programming for children, tweens and teens, with dedicated onboard spaces for each clustered into a single, whimsical area on Deck 17 aft.

Camp Discovery on Discovery Princess

Camp Discovery is Princess Cruises' kids area aboard Discovery Princess, situated on Deck 17 aft adjacent to the aft elevator lobby and the ship's Fitness Center.

The Tree House at Camp Discovery is designed specifically for kids aged 3 to 7, and offers activities like a Lego boat-building contests, dance parties, movie nights, and creative art-themed projects in a space that is bright, airy and fun.

The Lodge at Camp Discovery is intended for kids aged 8 to 12 and comes with a full menu of daily activities. Charades, games, scavenger hunts, art programs and video game time are all on offer here, along with evening activities on port and sea days.

Babies and Toddlers on Discovery Princess

Babies and toddlers under the age of three do not have dedicated facilities aboard Discovery Princess, though children as young as six months can still set sail. Note that on select itineraries, such as longer cruises and those with multiple sea days, that minimum age rises to 12 months at the time of embarkation.

Teens on Discovery Princess

The Beach House Teen Lodge is still located within the Camp Discovery section on Deck 17, but comes with a decidedly more grown-up vibe. Teens can gather and socialize, play board and video games, participate in game shows and trivia, and hang out until the lounge closes at 1 a.m. each day.

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