Norwegian Prima unveiled with new dining and entertainment venues for summer 2022 debut

Norwegian Cruise Line is preparing to launch an all-new class of ships that will redefine the line’s premium and contemporary offering, including many firsts not seen on other ships. In August, pop superstar Katy Perry, who loves cruising herself, will christen Norwegian Prima in Reykjavik, Iceland as her godmother. It is the first of six ships of the Prima class. Norwegian is the first major cruise line to hold a christening ceremony in the country.

The company officially took delivery of the ship this week in its final preparations for its maiden sailing in late August. Norwegian Prima can accommodate 3,100 passengers and the highest crew-to-passenger ratio in the Norwegian fleet.

Other exciting features of the ship include the largest and first of its kind, a three-level race track at sea (nicknamed the Prima Speedway) and “The Drop”, the world’s first free-fall slide, which takes you sends into a 10-story plunge down the side of the ship that achieves more G-forces than an accelerating F1 race car.

According to Fincantieri, it is the “most impressive and complex” vessel he has ever built given its onboard amenities and its skyline. She is the first Norwegian ship that was built at the Italian shipyard.

By 2027, the company will add five more of these new Prima-class ships to its fleet. Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Harry Sommer explains what this new class of ships will offer and why now is the time to introduce this new product.

What makes Prima different and why start now?

There are some cool new features on board the ship that will really surprise regular customers. This includes a new food hall, a completely redesigned theatre, new entertainment offerings like live game shows and plenty of glamorous interior design touches. Another feature is Ocean Boulevard, a 44,000 square foot deck that wraps around the entire ship, putting passengers in front of the ocean at all times.

Norwegian Prima will have the first outdoor sculpture garden for the cruise line as well as $6 million worth of artwork on board, including a collection of NFT pieces that guests can view online before, during and after their navigation.

These ships will also be larger than our other ships, offering more space for each passenger as well as more crew on board to care for them. Now is a good time as the world reopens and demand for cruising increases. In its first week, sales of Norwegian Prima cruises broke records by achieving the best day of sales and the best initial booking week sales in the company’s 55-year history.

What kind of entertainment is on board?

Entertainment is a big part of Norwegian Prima (and the brand as a whole), and many onboard shows are actually developed in-house. Norwegian is rare in that it has its own wardrobe department that also creates costumes and design material for the shows.

The three-story theater has special seating that can easily convert from a multi-level theater to a completely flat space to become a nightclub. The setup also allows artists to spend more time interacting with the audience.

Unlike most other cruise ships that only use theater space for evening entertainment, Norwegian Prima will host familiar large-scale game shows including “The Price is Right”, “Supermarket Sweeps” and “Press Your Luck”. These won’t just be cruise ship remakes; instead, they’ll be offering the full experience, including a full-size wheel of “The Price is Right,” and a full-scale supermarket layout for “Supermarket Sweeps.” The prizes for the winners will include cars and appliances, among others, just like TV programs.

Will the cabins be the same as on other ships?

The Prima class of ships will have the largest staterooms in the fleet, including inside staterooms and staterooms with a balcony or ocean front. It will also offer a variety of suites with 13 different categories, including the largest three-bedroom suite on a new cruise ship at this time.

Nearly 20% of bookings are for Haven Suites, indicating a desire for upscale experiences.

The suites are located in The Haven, which spans eight decks at the rear of the ship offering epic views of the ocean and the destination the ship is visiting. Guests of The Haven dine in a dedicated restaurant, have access to their own scenic spa facilities, and enjoy access to their own club lounge for refreshments throughout the day.

In the standard cabin category, Norwegian Prima will have the largest interior, ocean view and balcony cabins, as well as the largest bathrooms and showers ever.

The goal is to make this class of ships more premium and upscale in every way, from food and beverage items to accommodations and entertainment. It will be noticeable throughout the ship. Well-known designers are responsible for the look with dynamic light fixtures and art throughout, including a bespoke 7,300-pound chandelier hanging in the main atrium.

What’s new for the culinary scene on board?

It’s especially exciting because there will be more outdoor restaurants around the sides of the ship. Norwegian Prima is home to the company’s first food hall, which will feature a variety of international food stations. This includes a Texas roadhouse-style barbecue with rotisserie-prepared meat and brisket, a seafood grill, a ramen and noodle bar, and a tapas truck. These will all be free and in addition to the traditional buffet and à la carte restaurants on board. Two full-service Starbucks will also be available on the ship.

Passengers can visit the various food stalls or enjoy table service by ordering via tablets, much like you see in many airport terminals today. The new restaurants will include a Mediterranean outlet named Palomar, a Japanese hibachi-style venue and a new sushi house. Menus in the main dining rooms are also getting an overhaul, including a build-your-own pasta option where guests can customize their meal with their choice of pastas, sauces and toppings.

In the same food hall, Norwegian built its first Indian bistro, including two tandoor ovens. Indian cuisine has always been popular at buffets, and the line wanted to test it by offering a separate Indian restaurant.

At the Bistro, patrons can dine amidst three floor-to-ceiling Austrian chandeliers, each worth €70,000, and gold leaf wall coverings. This is one of many specialty dining options on the ship. Later this winter, the company will launch a new initiative by investing more than $100 million annually in the dining experience across all of its ships.

The ship will feature the first sustainability-focused cocktail and wine bar with zero-waste preparation for every drink. The drink ingredients use materials that are normally thrown away like coffee grounds and banana peels. There is even a “Mai Tai croissant” cocktail. Norwegian will also begin bottling its own cocktails on board for on-the-go enjoyment. Coming later this year is the company’s first biodynamic, sustainable house-brand gin on board.

Are there new attractions on board?

It’s hard to miss The Drop, the winding slide that hangs over the side of the ship. Many guests also like to walk around the circumference of the ship, and Ocean Boulevard wraps around the ship, giving them a close view of the ocean. There’s also a three-level race track for adventurers to zoom around the ship.

Spa enthusiasts will find new fitness and spa facilities onboard, including the first charcoal sauna at sea to boost circulation and metabolism, and a two-story indoor spa waterfall. Like the other ships, the spa area will also include heated loungers, an ice room and a flotation salt pool, among other services. This space is at the front of the ship offering panoramic views; the fitness center was also moved to the front of the ship.

New to the spa menu is the Welnamis bed, which uses computer-controlled sound and vibration therapy to bring the brain into deep relaxation. Norwegian Prima is a game-changer for the company and the industry, and now is the right time to launch such an exciting product as the travel rebound begins.

Joshua B. Speller