Regal Princess: Ship’s children’s programs offered for various age groups

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Regal Princess Cruise: Ship’s children’s programs offered for various age groups

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS – Carefully scooping sand into a pail, the boy looked as though he might be searching for treasure. Which he is.

As part of its children program, the Regal Princess offers a treasure hunt in the sandy playground of Pelican’s Perch on Princess Cruise Line’s private island resort of Princess Cays.

“One of our activities on Princess Cays is to hide things in the sand and the children search to find them,” said Olena Saltan, youth activities manager on Regal Princess.

Regal Princess offers a wealth of free children’s programs geared for each age group – ages 3-7 in the Tree House and ages 8-12 in The Lodge. Both facilities are located on Deck 17 aft.

The ship also offers programs for teens – ages 13-17 in the Beach House and ages 18-20 in Club 1820.

On my cruise, there are only 37 children traveling with their families, Saltan said. On the Thanksgiving week cruise, however, there were more than 500 children.

“We were very busy,” she said with a smile. “We always have more children on our cruises when school is on vacation.”

For the littlest ones, the Tree House looks like a whimsical forest with captivating creatures. The Lodge invites bigger kids to become explorers in the great outdoors. The contemporary Beach House is the place for teens to hang out, socialize and connect. For the 18-20 age group, the Regal Princess Club 1820 is more loosely organized, just a group of young adults deciding fun activities with no parents, no little siblings and no official hosts.

“Our concept is to bring the outside inside,” Saltan said. “We do a lot of nature activities whether we are on the ship or in port.”

For youngest children, activities include Lego building, face painting, T-shirt decorating, creating key chains, learning songs and playing games. Special events include Pirate Night and Pajama Party.

Activities for ages 8-12 include rocket building and launching, stained glass crafts, backpack decorating, games, dance classes, cake decorating and sports.

In the Beach House, ages 13-17 enjoy video game tournaments, basketball games, air hockey, foosball, Ping-Pong, dance classes, teen makeover and getting glitter tattoos.

Most of the younger children’s program run from 9 a.m. to noon, from 2-5 p.m. and from 7-10 p.m. when the ship is at sea. On port days the times change somewhat so check out the Camp Discovery schedule.

Group baby-sitting also is available from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for children ages 3-12. It costs $5 per child, per hour. The ship doesn’t offer private in-cabin sitting. On port days, parents can leave their children in the kids’ club while they go ashore.

Born in the Ukraine, Saltan joined the Princess Cruise Lines youth staff in 2007. “It’s something I always wanted to do,” she said. “I love working with children and traveling the world.”

One of the most enjoyable aspects of her job is seeing families return for more cruises and having children recognize her. “On the last cruise, we had 12 families come for a return cruise and the children were happy to come in and see me again.”

What she keeps in mind, Saltan said, is a quote she once heard. “The words were that if you like your job, you will never have to work a day in your life,” she said. “I love my job.”

Story and Photo Compliments of Guest Blogger Jackie Sheckler Finch

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