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THE EXPANSION OF PICKLEBALL BOTH ONSHORE AND AT SEA

Pickleball has recently taken the nation by storm, becoming one of the most popular sports in America and even sparking the creation of a professional pickleball league. In 2022, the PPA tour is expected to include 20 tournaments with a total cash prize of $2.5 million. Major League Pickleball (MLP) was formed in 2021 by Steven Kuhn in Texas and has been extremely successful and continues to expand. NFL legend Tom Brady and NBA superstar Lebron James have even bought their own MLP professional teams to be a part of the new sports sensation. 

So, what is Pickleball? 

Pickleball was invented in the 1960s in Washington state but only recently has the sport gained massive popularity. The USA Pickleball Association, which is headquartered in Surprise, Arizona, calls the sport “the fastest-growing sport in North America.” The sport most closely resembles a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. A pickleball court is a bit smaller than a tennis court. Like a tennis court, there is a net in the center where players must hit the ball over. During a game, each player uses a paddle and hits a plastic ball, similar to a waffle ball, back and forth across the court. Although senior communities had previously made up the majority of pickleball players, people of all ages have now taken up the sport.

RELATED: HOLLAND AMERICA LINE BRINGS PICKLEBALL FLEETWIDE IN 2023

What ships can you find pickleball courts on? 

Carnival Cruise Line

  • Beginning in May of 2022, Carnival Cruise Line started offering pickleball as an activity for guests on some of their ships and promises to expand. Guests can look forward to pickleball courts on any newly built ships from Carnival. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises

  •  Many Royal Caribbean ships already offer pickleball courts in their sports center. The most notable court can be found in the Odyssey of the Seas’ indoor SeaPlex sports area. You can also find pickleball courts on Adventure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and many more Royal Caribbean ships. Royal Caribbean also promises guests that even more ships will begin building pickleball courts for guests.

Princess Cruises 

  •  Princess Cruises currently offers make-shift pickleball courts on the following ships: Coral Princess, Royal Princess, Emerald Princess, and Regal Princess. The company’s brand-new ships (Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess, and Sky Princess) will also include newly constructed pickleball courts in their sports centers. 

Holland America Line 

  • Due to an enormous number of requests, all Holland America Line ships currently offer guests pickleball courts. Holland America Line’s Director of Public Relations, Erik Elvejord, said adding pickleball courts to the company’s ships was easy “because of many requests we were getting from guests.” The company promises that any newly constructed vessels will also contain fresh new courts for guests to enjoy. 

Norwegian Cruise Line 

  • Although the company doesn’t currently have any pickleball courts on its ships, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that pickleball courts are currently being built on their new ships: Norwegian Viva and Norwegian Prima. 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

  •  Regent Seven Seas Cruises already offers guests pickleball courts on its luxury ships, Regent Seven Seas Splendor, and Regent Seven Seas Explorer. 

Oceania Cruises 

  • Oceania Cruises offers pickleball courts in their sports centers for guests on both Oceania Marina & Oceania Riviera

So, whether it’s onshore or at sea, pickleball continues to expand across America and around the world. Are you picking up your paddle to play? Let us know in the comments!

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Colleen Devaney is a contributing writer for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Film & Television from The University of Arizona. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling the world and playing with her dogs, Bailey, Rocky & Lady.