Author: Sally White, Cruise118.com Marketing

We have just returned back from a spectacular 3 days in Venice, hosted by NCL, to get a first glimpse of Norwegian Prima. Alison Earnshaw, Cruise118.com’s Managing Director and I were treated to a visit to the Fincantieri shipyard where Prima is getting ready for her August debut and with less than 150 days until Fincantieri hand over Norwegian Prima to NCL, it was clear to see the team of up to 5,000 are busy getting her ready for her inaugural season starting in the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland.

We were introduced to Norwegian Prima by Harry Sommer President and CEO, NCL, who shared with us that Norwegian Prima will host 3,215 guests when she is at full double occupancy, and from what we saw they will be in for a treat. With a higher ratio of public space per passenger than any other NCL ship, NCL are building Norwegian Prima to deliver a next level of cruising experience, with beautiful interiors that take inspiration from the ocean and with many new food and beverage concepts that they feel confident will make the Norwegian Prima stand out from other similar ships in her category.

Norwegian Prima

There will be thrills aplenty on-board and we saw what was clearly recognisable as the brand new 3 storey racetrack and 2 new dry slides, The Rush. Spiralling the height of the ship, those brave enough can race down 10 decks! For those keen to put the pedal to the metal, the racetrack will be a chance to prove their racing prowess, and once they have finished racing, they will be able to relive the whole experience whilst enjoying a post racing drink in The Speedway Bar, a new bar with play back screens to watch yourself pretending to be the next Lewis Hamilton!

The 3 storey racetrack – Prima Speedway
The Rush – 10 Storey Dry Slide

But if relaxing in luxury is more your thing, then Norwegian Prima also has you in mind. With a brand-new spa concept, there will be opportunities to be pampered with multiple spa pools and 37 treatment rooms, to ensure there are plenty of appointments available, even on the busiest of sea days!

During our tour of the ship, we saw work in progress on the Atrium which promises to be a spectacular space to get your evening off to the best of starts, and then on to the new 3 deck Prima theatre which will transform into a night club when all of the seats retract. We were treated to performance previews by Noise Boys, a brand-new beat box and tap-dancing concept and also some disco classics from The Donna Summer musical, both of these will be sure to get everyone dancing! It’s clear to see there will be entertainment options for everyone to enjoy, from 7 to 70 and beyond!

The Atrium – Before

And of course, we could not complete our first visit of this new ship without sharing some of the details of the new food concepts that will be on-board. Indulge will be a brand-new up market food hall with indoor and outside dining, serving 55 dishes from 11 different food stations. These will include Starbucks, Texas BBQ, Gelato, a Noodle Bar and a new Indian food stand, following on from the ongoing popularity of Indian food on their existing fleet. This will boast not 1 but 2 Tandoor Ovens, a first for NCL, allowing guests to enjoy the very best of Indian Tandoori skewered treats including chicken tikka with a delicious Naan!

Here is the 2 Tandoor Ovens, already in situ!

The 2 Tandoor Oven

NCL classics including Los Lobos, Food Republic and Cagney’s still have a place on-board with brand new menu options. For Los Lobos this means grilled premium meat and whole fish to enjoy, as well as the old favourite tacos and tortillas. They will be joined by new speciality dining concepts including Palomar, a premium seafood restaurant with a Mediterranean twist. We were lucky enough to sample some Langoustines from the menu, amongst other delights, and I can promise that those lucky enough to try this will not be disappointed.

Dining

With the abundance of dining options on board, NCL have reduced the size of the new main dining room, Hudson’s, but this will not detract from it’s amazing views across the bow of the ship, spanning across 3 floors with expansive windows looking out to the ocean. With so many options and the ability for guests to enjoy speciality dining within NCL’s Free at Sea package, they predict that guests may only visit the main dining room twice in a seven-night cruise. Because of this, and to deliver consistent excellent standards, they are moving to a fixed menu, supplemented by several daily specials, taken from the best of their speciality dining menus. I think this is a great idea, after all how often does your favourite restaurant change their menu, almost certainly not every day?

Below is some samples some of the delights that will be on-board Norwegian Prima in the Palomar, Mediterranean Seafood Restaurant!

Dessert on-board Prima
Dining options on-board Prima

NCL are going to great lengths to deliver an even better experience for their suite guests in The Haven, a sumptuous ship within a ship with 107 guests suites, Haven guests will enjoy a private pool area complete with infinity pool and sun deck, accompanied by a separate Spa and an exclusive Haven restaurant. Haven guests will be able to enjoy exclusive drinks options including a supplementary special selection of rare vintage fine wines, including organic and biodynamic wines with an educational programme to support this. And if Whisky is more your thing, then NCL have an exclusive menu of American Whiskey’s and Bourbon reserved for their Haven guests which includes Pappy Van Winkle and The Screaming Eagle amongst other rare bottles. 

NCL are very proud of what they are aiming to achieve with Norwegian Prima, the first of 6 ships in the Prima class and it is clear to see why. Attention to detail is the mantra for this project and this carries through all areas of the ship. Over $6million has been invested in artwork across the ship, with original art works from Manual d Rita “Peeta”, a local venetian artist who took his inspiration from seascapes and the ocean, along with original sculptures for guests to enjoy by Alexander Krivosheiw. From puppy dogs to sea monsters, these sculptures have been designed so that guests can interact with the artwork, with a playful spirit and I am sure they will present some opportunities for Instagram worthy pictures!

Below is artwork by Peeta, this is the original piece that will be on-board Prima!

Artwork by Peeta

In Alison Earnshaw’s, our managing director’s words Norwegian Prima genuinely appears to deliver on NCL’s intent to revolutionise their on board offering with a step up in terms of the level of luxury across the ship – clever design changes providing more space, dining and different entertainment options. Having personally sampled some of the culinary delights that will be on board, NCL’s increased investment into food and dining experiences onboard is clear and I am sure that once guests experience the abundant dining options, they will return time after time.”


From the decks of Prima, we saw Norwegian Viva in the neighbouring construction bay. Viva will be the second Prima class ship and she is set to continue this new era of NCL cruising launching in June 2023. Viva will be 25 meters longer than her sister ship, with accommodation for 400 extra guests, but retaining the wide-open spaces and the standards of extra ratio of public space per guest that have been set by Prima. 

NCL Prima and Viva itineraries are now on sale for 2022, 2023 and 2024, and they are already proving popular with our customers, and I am sure as more details emerge and we get closer to the launch dates, this will only increase. So why not treat yourself and be one of the first to experience this amazing new NCL ships. Take a closer look at our Prima itineraries here, there are still some fantastic deals to be had but they won’t be around for long! 

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Bethany Ward

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