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    Next Princess Cruises ship to have baseball batting cage


    Princess Cruises' next ship, the Royal Princess, will have a sprawling, two-deck outdoor sports zone with such unusual-for-cruise-ship attractions as a baseball batting cage and a simulated laser shooting range.

    Princess Sports Central, as it'll be called, will revolve around a center court that can be used for basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton, and also boast a driving range facility for golfers.

    The plans for the giant sports zone, revealed today, also include a faux grass area called the Lawn Court to be used for golf putting, bocce ball, croquet and lawn bowling. Another nearby area, the Game Lounge, will offer such games as table tennis and virtual gaming with Kinect systems. The Sports Central complex will be located on Decks 18 and 19.

    Princess says Royal Princess staff will be on hand in the sports zone to organize competitions and group games.

    Princess today also revealed that the Royal Princess will have a large indoor fitness center and aerobics studio on Deck 17 that features sweeping ocean views. A private aerobics studio at the back of the area will be a first for Princess. It'll be home to TRX suspension training, MyRide indoor cycling and what the line is calling Body Sculpt Boot Camp -- a workout that burns up to 700 calories in the 40 minutes.

    The Royal Princess also will have a two-lane jogging track on Deck 18 with separate paths for walkers and runners. Outdoor exercise stations will be located around the track.

    Scheduled to debut in June 2013, the 3,560-passenger Royal Princess will be the largest Princess ship ever built and the line's first new ship since 2008.

    Princess already has announced several new features for the Royal Princess, including a glass-bottomed "SeaWalk" and a more open, spacious buffet restaurant. The Royal Princess also will have a (new for the line) adults-only pool area and an expanded adults-only lounge area. Read more about what Princess plans for the ship.

    By Gene Sloan, USA Today

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