Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship Norwegian Prima offers several new and creative spaces and dining options that make this first-in-class ship stand out. Cruisers are going to find plenty to love about Norwegian Prima, as it is a ship that really elevates the cruise line and offers the feel of a floating resort instead of a traditional big cruise ship. The new design comes with a couple shortcomings, though.
I took two cruises on Norwegian Prima during its first few months at seas and found a number of really fun spaces and activities that cruisers are going to enjoy on this innovative new cruise ship. Norwegian Prima carries 3,200 passengers and is. the first ship in Norwegian Cruise Line's new Prima Class.
This is a super-fun attraction and in many ways the centerpiece of the ship's activities. The speedway facility takes up a huge amount of real estate midship on Decks 18 to 20. The three-deck go-kart track is the largest at sea (surpassing the race tracks on Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy).
Prima Speedway is a three-level track that is more than a quarter-mile long, and the cars can reach up to 30 mph with up to 15 drivers competing to lay down the fastest laps. The cost is $15 per ride, and avid racers can buy a cruise-length all-you-can-ride pass.
The Stadium is situated within the Prima Speedway complex, offering a variety of games for cruisers. You can play mini-golf, shoots darts, play ping-pong, shuffleboard and table soccer. At each side of the ship, cruisers can get a thrill from the two dry slides on Norwegian Prima, The Drop and The Rush.
Video: Full Ship Tour of Norwegian Prima
While we're showcasing the fun activities on Norwegian Prima, let's talk about Galaxy Pavilion. This is an interactive arcade (fee) where cruisers can try a broad range of virtual reality games (more than a dozen) to try. There is even an Escape Room at Galaxy Pavilion on Norwegian Prima.
This food hall lets you indulge, indeed. This massive cafeteria-style eatery in included in your cruise fare, and Indulge Food Hall on Norwegian Prima features 11 separate food stations and food trucks. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You take a seat, order from a tablet and can choose from all kinds of cuisine to be delivered right to your table.
The venues include Q Texas Smokehouse for barbecue, Nudls with a variety of noodle and ramen dishes, Tamara with its Indian specialties, The Latin Quarter and Tapas food trucks, Seaside Rotisserie highlighting all kinds of grilled meats and kebabs, The Garden with salads. The space also features Cocoâs, Just Ice Cream, Just Desserts and Starbucks (fee) for ice cream scoops, other desserts like brownies, cake pops and milkshakes (fee) and coffees.
Indulge Food Hall is a carnival of cuisine and proved to be one of the most popular spots on Norwegian Prima.
This is another casual eatery and hangout that I really liked. The bar and restaurant offer wonderful spots to watch sporting events and have a meal of delicious comfort foods. The food here is included in your cruise fare and includes items like gourmet burgers, chicken wings, Coney Island-style hot dog, loaded nachos, pretzel bites with cheese dip, spinach and artichoke dip, sausage slider, beef chili, Cobb salad, Reuben sandwich, beer-battered fish sandwich, fish and chips, fettucine carbonara and Cuban pork and plantains.
The dessert menu features hot fudge sundae, carrot and walnut cake, apple pie and brownie-raspberry swirl cheesecake.
You can see why I came back again and again to take a full tour of the menu.
This small and highly popular specialty dining restaurant on Norwegian Prima is in high demand, so it's highly recommended to make a reservation as soon as possible before your cruise or as soon as you board the ship. The intimate restaurant is located just outside the main dining room Hudson's and across from Hasuki (a hibachi restaurant) at the aft on Deck 7.
Nama's menu has a nice range of savory sushi rolls, selection of hand rolls, sashimi and specialty items like tuna pizza, tuna wonton volcano, beef tenderloin carpaccio, karaage fried chicken and rock shrimp tempura.
This is the wonderful Italian restaurant on Norwegian Prima. The venue is located midship on Deck 8 near the ship's Whiskey Bar in the atrium area. Cruisers can enjoy indoor or outdoor seating. The restaurant is one of several on the ship that feature al fresco dining by connecting to Ocean Boulevard just outside.
The Onda by Scarpetta menu offers a la carte (per item) pricing for delicious traditional Italian dishes like appetizers of yellowtail crudo, beef carpaccio, short ribs, braised octopus and burrata. You can also get pizzas and pasta dishes like spaghetti, short rib ravioli and tagliatelle with lobster.
Main courses include seafood preparations of salmon, black cod, tuna and branzino. Cruisers also might like the ossobuco, roasted chicken or beef filet. There also is a wide array of sides. Waring: The a la carte pricing runs up the dinner bill pretty quickly.
Video: Walking Tour of Ocean Boulevard
This is the spectacular promenade on Norwegian Prima. Ocean Boulevard blends the indoor and outdoor spaces on the ship, with a number of eateries offering pleasant outdoor seating in the fresh air and sunshine.
This promenade also ends up being the true hub of outdoor life on Norwegian Prima, a distinct change from the traditional top deck lido areas on most big cruise ships. The pool area on Deck 17 is quite small because of the footprint that is dedicated to the race track at the top of the ship.
Ocean Boulevard, instead, might be considered the main pool area, with two infinity-style pools located on each side of the ship. These two areas are called Infinity Beach and offer loungers, day beds and two small pools.
This bustling and eye-catching promenade also offers many other attractions and amenities. The Soleil Bar is located at the stern of the ship and is flanked by the Indulge Outdoor Lounge seating areas with all kinds of comfy seats and conversation areas, designed with vibrant colorful fabrics.
The Drop and The Rush landing zones are midship on each side of the ship, and this is where riders emerge, often after screaming all the way down 10 decks from the Stadium on Deck 18. The Oceanwalk glass-floor attractions are located on each side as you walk to the front of the ship, giving a thrilling view below your feet right to the ocean. La Terraza is a serene walkway space at the front of the ship with stylish banquette seats and fixed binocular stands to use to grab a view of the scenery. On the starboard side midship is The Concourse, which features a beautiful sculpture park.
The main theater on Norwegian Prima, Prima Theater & Club, is an innovative and flexible space the cruise line has designed so that it can be the location for a number of events and activities. The three-deck theater spans Decks 6 to 8, and it is an elegant space for shows like the headliner "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" and the audience-participation game show "The Price Is Right."
In the evenings, the space transforms. The seats in the lower level retract to create space for a dance floor, and a large movable LED screen lowers to create a pulsing energy-filled nightclub where cruisers can dance and party into the wee hours.
The massive spa, fitness center and thermal suite on Norwegian Prima offers a wonderful facility for people aiming to mix a little bit of wellness and relaxation into their cruise voyage. The Pulse gym offers a huge amount of cardio equipment, as well as a cycling studio for spin classes and two other studio rooms for individual training sessions of yoga and Pilates classes.
However, the free weights area for resistance training is quite cramped for a ship that can carry more than 3,000 cruisers. The weight area was often crowded in the mornings, and I would have to go for a lift in the late afternoons on order to have any space and find available equipment in that spot.
The spa offers a full range of massage treatments and other therapies, as well as salons for facials and hair care. The real treat in the Mandara Spa and Salon is the thermal suite, a massive facility one deck down from the spa entrance -- on Deck 15.
The thermal suite weeklong cruise pass costs $339, and cruisers can enjoy the large therapy pool that is also the central design feature with a two-story waterfall. The complex also offers thermal loungers, day beds and a quiet space to relax in between time spent in the sauna, steam room, salt room, charcoal sauna, infrared sauna, ice room and experiential showers.
This is a bar serving sustainable craft cocktails. The concept involves using food waste such as day-old croissants and banana peels to infuse into the boozy creations. You can see the selections and order from the digital menu tablet.
I liked the Bananaruma, made with syrup from banana skins and Flor de Cana rum. You also can try the Cafe Replay (spent coffee grounds), Watermelon Twist and Croissant Mai Tai, among others. The venue is stylish but located in a corridor that gets quite noisy. I found it way too loud to have an easy conversation with my fellow cruisers.
Thanks for reading,