Regal Princess family friendly cruise ship

The SeaWalk: Spectacular glass bottomed walkway over the sea. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

Princess is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. And if you ask me the first place I’d like to take my family on vacation the answer is always cruising. The destination is secondary. We all love being on-board a ship.

When Princess Cruises named its Regal Princess, the original cast of “Love Boat,” christened it. Your youngsters won’t remember the 1970s TV show, but I know a few teens that are fans of the re-runs that are syndicated worldwide in 23 languages and 93 countries.

In 1977 when the TV show premiered, cruising was something that old, wealthy or infirm people did. These days, family friendly cruise ships are everywhere. The new Regal Princess is one of the best.

Here are 5 reasons why you will want to cruise the Regal Princess with your family:

Family Friendly Cruise Features

The Regal Princess, sister ship to the Royal Princess, took its first cruise in the Mediterranean on May 20, 2014. The Atrium & Piazza areas (the social hub of the ship) have been expanded by 50 percent. That’s more room to roam, more room to find private spots to relax, more fun for kids.

Regal Princess Family friendly cruise ship

The Piazza: A view from above of the ship’s atrium area. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

Expanded youth areas

Princess Pelicans (ages 3-7):  Youngsters have movie nights and pajama parties, Jr. Chef@Sea programs, a mini air hockey table, an outdoor play area with a new playground.

Shockwaves (ages 8-12): This age group has an outside area complete with comfy chairs and games such as air hockey and skeeball, plus an indoor lounge with a giant TV, DJ booth and arts and crafts tables.

Remix (ages 13-17): The teen area features a Princess DJ booth with cool tracks where teens can create their own playlist. The lounge area has foosball and current video games. The outdoor lounge is tricked out with club lighting, a wading pool, plush seating and hip music.

Fabulous spa and private pool for adults

The top deck features The Sanctuary and the adults-only pool. Retreat Pool Cabana rental is available beginning at $50 for a half day.

The Sanctuary features four private Sanctuary Cabanas plus two Lotus Spa Cabanas for a range of spa treatments.  (Space in The Sanctuary can be reserved for $20 for a half day/$40 for a full day, per person.)

Regal Princess Fitness Facilities

Regal Princess Family friendly cruise ship

The Sanctuary: Top-deck adults only swimming and spa area. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

Facilities include an outdoor jogging track with circuit exercise stations, a fitness center stocked with cutting-edge equipment and a private aerobics studio for special classes.

Princess Sports Central: The multi-sport area on decks 18 and 19 is designed to offer a collection of options, including court games, lawn activities and a lounge for virtual gaming. The Center Court can be used for basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton. For golfers there’s a driving range; there’s also a baseball-batting cage.

Discovery at Sea Family Activities

Discovery at Sea, a recent collaboration with Discovery Consumer Products, offers interactive onboard events and family shore excursions.

Regal Princess Family friendly cruise ship

Chef’s Table Lumiere: Dine under the lights on chef’s special tastings. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

Activities include Shark Week at Sea, Baking at Sea with pastry chefs, and excursions such as the Gold Rush tour with the opportunity to pan for gold; Animal Planet tours that let you get up-close with each destination’s native animals; and Science Channel “How It’s Made Tours” that show how popular foods and beverages go from farm to table.

What makes Princess Regal so special?

Movies Under the Stars poolside theaters (blankets and popcorn provided)

The SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway that extends more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the ships and gives views of the sea 128 feet below!

Chef’s Table Lumiere, an extra-fee dining experience that lets guests dine at a table surrounded by a curtain of light and taste the chef’s special menu.

This post was written by Holly Reich, a lifestyle, automotive and travel writer based in New York City. Although her kids are now young adults, they still love to travel with the family.