Tips for Sailing on Princess Cruises with Kids

While Princess Cruises may not especially be geared with kids in mind like a Disney Cruise, it's still a great option for families and less overwhelming than Royal Caribbean's massive ships too. 

We've been on four Princess trips so far with my twin boys since they were five years old. The ships they've sailed on include the Royal, Sky, and Caribbean Princess ships doing 5 to 14-day sailings. 

Below is what you can expect traveling with kids and toddlers and some tips for a great Princess Cruises vacation for everyone.

Princess Kids Camp - "Camp Discovery" 

Explorers ages 3 to 12 will make friends and learn at Camp Discovery™, while teens 13 to 17 have their own space to socialize at The Beach House. 

Don't worry though, the ages get broken up further with kids ages 3-7 in the "Tree House" with age-appropriate toys and activities. 

We would put my twins in the kids camp in the evenings, so we could have an adult dinner out. One night they had a PJ and Pizza Party, which they loved. So, plan to pack pajamas that your child is comfortable wearing out of the cabin too. 

There is usually a pirate-themed night for the kiddos, and although they will provide further accessories like the buccaneer hat eye patches, and balloons, but I was still glad I also packed their pirate t-shirts for the occasion. 

Kids cannot leave without an assigned adult picking them up along with providing a personal code you set when you register them on the first day. 

Meanwhile, "The Lodge" room is for kids 8-12 and has a video game center featuring a large collection of Nintendo Switch and PS4 games, Skee ball machines, air hockey, and more. They still have theme nights, crafts, and competitions. 

Register Your Kids Before Boarding

Register your kids for Camp Discovery ahead of time in the Cruise Personalizer website. Also, on the first day, there is an open house where you can tour the kids area facilities and register, which you won't want to miss.

Even after you register them ahead of time, on the first day of the sail there is a Camp Open House that you need to attend to check them in the first time. Don't miss this because it's also your chance to check out this kids area, because after that you're regulated to staying at the door. It's during the open house you'll set your pin and meet the counselors. 

Kids Dining Options

Princess Cruises offers Gerber® baby food and pureed fresh fruits and veggies so you can indulge in award-winning dining, knowing your loved ones are taken care of. Simply order in the Cruise Personalizer online. 

However, the first time I went with my little ones this service wasn't offered and we were always able to find fresh fruit, cereal, kid dishes and soup on board for our toddlers. 

The new medallion ships offer room service from your phone with a kids menu. I ordered PB&J, Pizza and Grilled Cheese several nights when my boys were still hungry even after the buffet. No additional fee for the kids menu items.

Also, if your kids would like to join you in the dining room for a fancy family experience, they also offer crayons and a kid's menu there. 

Now, my boys' favorite part - FREE ICE CREAM!! There are soft-serve ice cream machines at the "Swirls" station up by the pool. My boys helped themselves every day! It got to the point where the lady there knew them by name and would try to guess which twin which, lol. 

The Reef Family Splash Zone

A kids splash zone was recently completed on the Caribbean Princess called the Reef Family Splash Zone. The interactive splash pad features a giant whale that shoots water out of its spout. There are also slides, large outdoor games (Jenga and Connect Four). There are also shaded canopies and lounge chairs for parents to relax while kids play. 

Sky and Royal did not have this area, unfortunately, but of course, there are still pools. 

Princess' Key Kids Camp and Playground  

If your cruise includes a stop on Princess' own island, you'll be pleased to learn there is a playground on the sand that kids can be checked into as well. It's essentially an extension of their camp onboard. 

I actually wasn't planning on signing them up for it, but once we played on the beach together they were bored and were eyeing the playground area, so we ended up registering them for an hour in there after all. 

Bunk Bed Cabin Setup

My family of four has stayed in a balcony room and a mini-suite. 

In our regular balcony room, they had a pull-down bunk from the ceiling that the steward put down each night. The boys wanted to take turns going up there. 

While the benefit of booking a mini-suite is that it comes with s a separate area for the kids to sleep. Including a privacy curtain separating where the adult bed is, so you can stay up a little later. Plus, mini-suites have a bathtub, which is great for younger tots. They also have their own flatscreen TV on their side with on-demand kids movies to stream. Thankfully, during the day they put the top bunk and ladder away and returned it to the couch setup for all of us to use. 

Easy to Keep Track of Your Kids 

Once you set sail, the Princess app allows you to track your fellow cruise mates, which is especially helpful for your kids. They do not need a device either, their medallion, which is your key to your room too comes with a built-in tracker. 

Even if you left your phone in your room, you can simply tap your medallion to any of the screens near the elevators to access the current itinerary of events as well as where everyone is. My kids would use this often to meet up with us too. During our adult dinners, I'd look to make sure they were still in the kid's camp and it would put me at ease. So helpful! 

Go on a Duck Hunt

Have you heard of Cruise Ducks? It's a fun activity that many cruisers do, even adults who hide rubber ducks around the ship to be found. You then can choose to keep or rehide them. So, if you see someone looking through a planter, they aren't odd, they are duck hunters! 

Sometimes people will attach a tag to the rubber duckie with instructions on how to share a photo or with the ship's name, etc. 

Since one of our cruise itineraries had several at-sea days, we packed our own ducks to hide. I purchased a package of 20 pirate ducks on Amazon along with pre-made cards to fill out and attach with my boys' names on them. We had a blast hiding them throughout the ship and my boys got to practice their handwriting by filling out the cards too. 

Decorate your Door

While more popular on Disney Cruise Line, passengers still decorate their doors on Princess Cruises too. The doors are magnetic so bring some fun magnets. You can even order a custom Princess family magnet like we did. 

Along with displaying the different crafts and kids club art that we made while on board, we had a dry-erase board magnet up and someone even wrote on it that they liked our decorations :) 

Another advantage to decorating your door is that it makes it easy for kids to spot their room down the long hallways. 

More Family Cruise Travel Tips:

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas VIP Cruise TipsTips for Going on a Disney Cruise with Toddlers & Preschoolers

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