Like the other big mainstream lines, Princess has onboard activities designed to appeal to a wide range of ages and tastes. For active types, all the ships have traditional shipboard sports such as Ping-Pong and shuffleboard; more athletic activities such as aerobics classes and water volleyball; and virtual-reality golf simulators. The Grand-, Coral-, and Diamond-class ships all have basketball/volleyball courts and 9-hole miniature-golf courses, and the latter are also available on the Sun-class ships.
For something more cerebral, the line's ScholarShip@Sea enrichment program (one of the very best activity programs at sea) offers classes in cooking, computer skills (such as basic Web design, Photoshop, and Excel), finance, photography, scrapbooking, and even ceramics. Large-group seminars are free, while small-group and individual classes carry a charge of around $20 to $25 per person. Charges for paint-your-own ceramics are calculated based on the piece you create.
Sit-down activities include bingo, cards, trivia games, dance lessons, and recent-release big-screen movies on the ships' giant outdoor Movies Under the Stars movie screens, available on all of the line's megaships. A related program, the Leonard Maltin Movie Club, presents films specially chosen by (and with a special video introduction by) the noted film critic and historian. Showings take place at the Movies Under the Stars venue or in the theater, and are followed by an hour-long group discussion hosted by the cruise staff. The "Leonard Maltin Movie Channel" is another option, showing specially chosen films on your stateroom TV.
Activities designed to part you from your cash include art auctions and beauty and spa demonstrations. Others designed to part you from your dignity include belly-flop contests, the perennial Newlywed/Not-So-Newlywed game, an American Idol-style Princess Pop Star competition, and a reality-TV style makeover show called If They Could Sea Me Now. In Alaska, rangers, naturalists, and guest lecturers present talks and slide shows on such topics as the Iditarod sled-dog race, the wildlife and ecology of Glacier Bay and the Tongass National Forest, oceanography and marine life, glaciers, Native Alaskan cultures, and Alaskan history. For folks interested in how ships work, the Ultimate Ship Tour takes a small group of guests behind the scenes, taking in the engine control room, the laundry room, the galley, the bridge, and more. Along the way, they get to meet various crewmembers and get a series of small gifts. The price is $150 per person, and the tour is available on all ships except Sea Princess and Tahitian Princess.
All Princess ships have well-stocked libraries, 24-hour Internet centers (moderate prices, slow service), in-stateroom Wi-Fi and cellphone service, and Wi-Fi hot spots in various parts of the ship.
Travel page content provided by Zagat © 2013, Google.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.