Norwegian Cruise Line just released a major update on Norwegian Prima — its first of six ships in the upcoming “Prima” class of ships. The ship looks like nothing else in the fleet and is a dramatic departure from the current style of Norwegian ships. Based on the latest details shared by NCL, it’s going to also push the envelope of what’s possible on a cruise ship.
As we explained a few months ago, Prima is smaller than previous newbuilds in the fleet, coming in at 142,500 gross tons and carrying around 3,200 passengers. Compare that to 169,000 gross tons and 4,000 passengers for Norwegian Encore (the newest NCL ship at the moment).
Despite being a smaller ship, NCL is putting a tremendous amount of amenities and features on the ship. Here’s what the cruise line just announced that passengers can expect when Prima begins sailing in summer 2022
Homeport in Galveston for Winter 2023
When Prima debuts, the plan is for her to begin sailing in Europe, but then the ship will make a world tour. She will sail from Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Southampton. In addition, stateside she will depart New York, Port Canaveral, Miami, and one cruise from Galveston in 2022.
But in late 2023, Prima is now scheduled to return to Galveston, sailing 7-day cruises from December through March 2024 from Texas. This marks an important milestone for the port, which until now has been primarily served by Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
Those two cruise lines have seen business boom in the port, which is now among the busiest departure ports outside of Florida. In fact, a third terminal designed for Royal Caribbean’s largest ships is currently under construction. Adding Prima to the lineup in Galveston gives NCL an important foothold in the Texas market.
A New “Transforming” Theater
On a cruise ship, space is always at a premium, so it makes sense to have spots that can serve multiple purposes. In this case, Prima will have a three-story theater that will transform into a nightclub. According to the cruise line, “the three-story venue, designed to seamlessly convert the space from a state-of-the art performance stage to expansive dance floor, will feature a customizable seating layout and awe-inspiring moving LED screen that lowers from the ceiling and is nearly half the size of the venue.”
Disco Entertainment: Donna Summer Musical
Over the past several years NCL has made a name bringing big-production Broadway-style shows to sea. On Prima, passengers will be treated to “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” The show tells the story of Donna Summer’s rise in the disco scene, and NCL says the theater will convert into a “full disco” where guests can dance to the music of more than 20 of her hits, including “Hot Stuff.”
Dance Troupe Light Balance Will Be on Prima
Those who have watched America’s Got Talent likely have seen the work of Light Balance. The unique take on dancing combines dance moves with colored lights to create a one-of-a-kind visual effect. It’s high-energy and highly entertaining… and it’s coming to Prima. Guests will be able to watch one of the most entertaining acts from AGT live while on their cruise.
FOUR Game Shows Will Allow Audiences to Play for Prizes
Always wanted to be on Price Is Right? What about Supermarket Sweep? Now is your best chance. Norwegian Prima will have four different live game shows played on the ship. Taking the theater and transforming it into a production set, Fremantle Media (who produces the actual Price is Right) is behind the shows. And yes, NCL says that passengers have the chance to win prizes.
In total, there are four different shows for passengers to watch and participate:
- The Price is Right
- Supermarket Sweep
- Press Your Luck
- Beat the Clock
The Longest Racetrack on an NCL Ship
Norwegian made headlines by being the only line to offer go-karts at sea. But when the first renderings of Prima were released, there was no mention of a racetrack and one wasn’t shown. It turns out the ship will have the largest track of any NCL ship.
In total, the course on Prima will be nearly 1,400 feet long (more than 20% longer than what’s found on Norwegian Encore). It will also feature 14 turns and three different levels. All told, NCL says that racers can reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour.
New Thrill Rides: The Drop & The Rush
If racing cars isn’t enough adrenaline for you, what about a 10-story plunging slide? Prima will be the first NCL ship to have The Drop. The slide takes riders around and down, on an experience that NCL says features more G-force than an F1 car under acceleration. There are also twin slides (The Rush) where two people can race each other down.
Topgolf Makes an Appearance
On Norwegian’s newer ships is Galaxy Pavilion, which features gaming options for passengers, including escape rooms, virtual reality and interactive games. On Prima there will be 14 different attractions, including two different escape rooms and a new Topgolf Swing Suite. Here, passengers will be able to play Topgolf games and virtual courses on a golf simulator.
A New Style of Waterslide
Of course, on any cruise the pool area is always a major draw. And cruise passengers certainly expect each new ship to offer something bigger and better than what they’ve seen before. In this case, Prima will debut its first Tidal Wave waterslide.
While details are short, renderings show an innertube ride that takes guests out over the edge of the ship before swinging them back into a wave. According to NCL, riders can “catch the perfect wave” on the slide.
What Else We Know About Prima
All of these features are in addition to what’s already been released about Prima. This includes infinity pools, a new Indulge Food Hall (with 11 different places to eat), a greater emphasis on the outdoors, and an overall design that seems more luxurious than mass-market cruise ships.
Despite not pushing the limits when it comes to size, Prima certainly sounds like it will set new standards of what’s possible on a cruise ship.