Norwegian Cruise Line is preparing to launch an entirely new class of ship that will redefine the line’s upscale, contemporary offering, including numerous firsts not previously found on other ships. In August, cruise-loving pop superstar Katy Perry will christen Norwegian Prima as godmother in Reykjavik, Iceland. This is the first of six Prima class ships. Norwegian is the first major cruise line to hold a naming ceremony in the country.
The company officially took delivery of the ship this week in final preparations for its first departure in late August. Norwegian Prima accommodates 3,100 passengers and has the highest crew-to-passenger ratio in the Norwegian fleet.
Other exciting features on the ship include the largest and first of its kind, three-story sea-based racetrack (dubbed Prima Speedway) and “The Drop,” the world’s first free-fall dry slide that sends you down a 10-story drop down the side of the ship , which achieves more G-forces than an accelerating F1 race car.
According to Fincantieri, this is the “most impressive and complex” ship it has ever built given the onboard amenities and high skyline. It is the first Norwegian ship built at the Italian shipyard.
By 2027, the company will add five more of these new Prima class vessels to its fleet. Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Harry Sommer explains what this new class of ship will offer and why now is the right time to introduce this new product.
What makes Prima different and why start now?
There are some exciting new features aboard the ship that will really surprise regular customers. These include a new dining hall, a completely redesigned theater, new entertainment options such as live game shows and many glamorous interior design touches. Another feature is Ocean Boulevard, a 44,000-square-foot deck that wraps around the entire ship, connecting passengers with the ocean at all times.
Norwegian Prima will feature the cruise line’s first outdoor sculpture garden, as well as $6 million worth of artwork, including a collection of NFT pieces that guests can view online before, during and after their cruise.
These ships will also be larger than our other ships, offering more space for each passenger, as well as more crew on board to look after them. Now is the right time as the world opens up again and the demand for cruises increases. During the first week, sales for Norwegian Prima sailboats broke records, achieving the best sales day and first booking week sales in the company’s 55-year history.
What kind of entertainment is on board?
Entertainment is an important part of Norwegian Prima (and the brand as a whole), and many of the onboard shows are actually developed in-house. Norwegian is rare in that it has its own wardrobe department, which also produces costumes and design supplies for shows.
The three-story theater features special seating that can be easily converted from a multi-story theater to a completely flat space to become a nightclub. The setup also allows performers to spend more time interacting with the audience.
Unlike most other cruise lines, which only use the theater area for evening entertainment, Norwegian Prima will host full-fledged, familiar game shows, including The Price is Right, Supermarket Sweeps, and Press Your Luck. These won’t just be cruise ship remakes; Instead, they offer the full experience, including a full-size money wheel from The Price is Right and a full-scale supermarket layout for Supermarket Sweeps. The prizes for the winners include cars and household appliances, as well as the TV shows.
Will the cabins be the same as on other ships?
The Prima class ships will have the largest cabins in the fleet, including both interior and balcony or ocean view cabins. There will also be a variety of suites across 13 different categories, including the largest three-bedroom suite currently on a new cruise ship.
Nearly 20 percent of bookings are for Haven suites, indicating a desire for premium experiences.
The suites are located in The Haven, which spans eight decks at the back of the ship and offers epic views of the sea and the destination the ship is visiting. Guests at The Haven dine in a dedicated restaurant, have access to their own panoramic spa facilities and enjoy access to their own club lounge for refreshments throughout the day.
In the standard cabin category, Norwegian Prima will feature the largest interior, ocean view and balcony cabins ever, as well as the largest bathrooms and showers ever.
The focus is on making this class of ship more upscale and premium in every aspect, from the food and beverage elements to accommodation and entertainment. It will be felt throughout the ship. Renowned designers are responsible for the look, with dynamic lighting fixtures and art throughout, including a bespoke £7,300 chandelier hanging in the main atrium.
What’s new for the catering scene on board?
This is particularly exciting as there will be more al fresco dining along the sides of the ship. Norwegian Prima hosts the company’s first food hall, which will have a variety of international food stations. These include a Texas roadhouse-style barbecue with rotisserie meat and brisket, a seafood grill, a ramen and noodle bar, and a tapas truck. All of this is complimentary and in addition to the traditional buffet and a la carte events on board. Two full-service Starbucks will also be available on the ship.
Passengers can browse the various food stalls or enjoy table service by ordering via tablets, much like you see in many airport terminals today. New restaurants include a Mediterranean outlet called Palomar, a Hibachi-style Japanese restaurant, and a new sushi house. Menus in the main dining rooms are also being revamped, including a pasta option where guests can customize their meal with their choice of pasta, sauce 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 whether it would offer a separate Indian restaurant.
At Le Bistro, guests can dine amidst three floor-to-ceiling Austrian chandeliers, each worth €70,000, and wall coverings in gold leaf. It is one of several specialty restaurants on the ship. Later this winter, the company will launch a new initiative that will invest more than $100 million annually in the food and beverage experience on all of its ships.
The ship will feature the first sustainability-focused cocktail and wine bar, with zero-waste preparation for every drink. Beverage ingredients use materials that are typically discarded, such as coffee grounds and banana peels. There’s even a “Croissant Mai Tai” cocktail. Norwegian will also begin bottling its own cocktails for onboard to-go consumption. Later this year, the company’s first bio-dynamic and sustainable gin will come on board as a private label.
Are there new attractions on board?
It’s hard to miss The Drop, the winding slide that dangles from the side of the ship. Many guests also enjoy walking around the ship, and Ocean Boulevard meanders around the ship, giving them a close-up view of the ocean. There’s also a three-level racetrack for the adventurous to race around the ship.
Spa-goers 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 other ships, the thermal spa area will feature heated loungers, an ice room and a flotation salt pool, among other things. This room is located in the front part of the ship and offers a panoramic view; The fitness center was also moved to the bow of the ship.
New to the spa menu is the Welnamis bed, which uses computer-controlled acoustic and vibration therapy to induce deep relaxation in the brain. The 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 recreation begins.