I sailed on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ newest $1.1 billion ship with a go-kart track and 10-story slide — see why it was the first cruise I’ve ever liked

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The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
  • I was invited to attend the inaugural crusing of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest Prima cruise ship.
  • I’m a cruise journey cynic, however I’m shocked to say I genuinely loved my time aboard the Norwegian Prima.
  • The nice meals, household pleasant actions, and spectacular reside leisure saved me amused all 4 nights.
Norwegian Cruise Line invited me to sail on its newest cruise ship — the Norwegian Prima — throughout its roundtrip four-night inaugural crusing from New York City to Halifax, Nova Scotia in early October.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
And regardless of being a cruise cynic, I’m humbly shocked to say I really loved crusing on the Norwegian Prima.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
I make a residing out of writing about journey, which incorporates taking cruise ships. But satirically, I’ve by no means been a fan of cruises.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
I perceive why some vacationers gravitate towards the sluggish, enjoyable type of vacationing.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
But as somebody who prefers extra thrilling types of journey, the concept of being seasick, bored, and caught on a cruise ship for a number of days is way from interesting. And I’ve been pretty public about this.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
In December 2021, I introduced the cruise life-style was not for me after I was invited to attend the two-night naming ceremony of Celebrity Cruises’ then-new Celebrity Apex, which was constructed to focus on an older demographic.

the Celebrity Apex cruise ship at sea as photographed through the window of a tender
The Celebrity Apex.

Source: Insider

Five months later, I stated I in all probability would not sail on Margaritaville at Sea’s Paradise cruise ship once more after attending its one-night inaugural crusing.

The Margaritaville Paradise sailing at sea
The Margaritaville Paradise.

Source: Insider

Now, I’m shocked to report I really discovered myself having fun with my prolonged weekend aboard the Norwegian Prima.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
And this got here regardless of the unsteady web that saved me away from what might have been my most important supply of leisure: my telephone and laptop computer.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships are designed to enchantment to multi-generational vacationers and households.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
To do that, a lot of the Norwegian Prima’s onboard actions have been age-inclusive.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
There have been nonetheless sections of the cruise ship devoted to vacationers of particular ages …

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
… like the youngsters’s water park and adults solely out of doors lounge.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
But for the most half, I imagine Norwegian did a nice job of making areas for households to get pleasure from collectively.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Activities like the waterslide, freefall dry slides, and go-karts stereotypically enchantment to youngsters.

Norwegian Prima
But as I walked round the cruise ship, I discovered loads of adults leisurely having fun with these actions …

Prima mini golf
… though it needs to be famous most of the passengers on the inaugural crusing have been already adults. (I attended as a member of the press for free of charge, as the cruise was not accessible to the public.)

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Tech evolves shortly: The “Galaxy Pavilion” indoor digital actuality arcade felt extra superior than the first VR arcade I visited in New York City simply three years in the past.

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The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Wearing a VR headset turned an in any other case easy shooter sport into a absolutely immersive heart-pounding combat for my life …

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
… whereas a digital stroll by a haunted mansion shortly grew to become a scary expertise that left me nauseous.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Some video games, like the multiplayer racing sport, did not require a headset. In retrospect, these choices are greatest for people who find themselves simply nauseated (me).

Norwegian Prima
Back exterior, a number of holes at the flashy mini-golf course weren’t working as promised.

Norwegian Prima
But that did not cease me from having a enjoyable time trying to navigate every spherical.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Despite the heavy wind, I was nonetheless in a position to get a few rounds of darts in. If anybody was questioning, I did handle to drag off one stunning bulls-eye.

Norwegian Prima
I performed alone, however the stylized darts “court” made the expertise — bolstered by dart-tracking expertise — virtually as enjoyable as taking part in with another person.

darts
Of all the actions, I was most trying ahead to making an attempt the go-kart course.

go kart
But when I tried to enroll on our third day at sea, the journey operators instructed me the solely instances that have been nonetheless accessible would overlap with my dinner reservation.

go kart
And the following day, the go-kart track would solely be working dual-passenger automobiles. I was out of luck.

go kart
I left defeated. But not less than I might stand on the viewing deck and watch all the different drivers joyously taking their rounds on the track.

go kart
And not less than I additionally was in a position to strive the “Drop,” a freefall dry slide that plummeted me down ten decks in simply a few seconds.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
The flip in my abdomen and urge to scream made the slide really feel like an exhilarating seconds-long rollercoaster.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Was it the greatest concept to go on this after lunch? No.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Did I need to go once more? Yes.

norwegian prima
Because I traveled alone I could not benefit from the “Stadium,” a massive out of doors house with actions like shuffleboard, pickle ball, and ping pong.

ping pong
But for income cruise goers, this space is certainly one of the solely complimentary leisure sections aboard the cruise ship. Activities like mini golf and the VR arcade come at an extra price. It’s $10 per particular person for mini golf and $28 a la carte or $29 for one-hour at the Galaxy Pavilion.

Reel Vegas
I anticipated all of those onboard actions to be enjoyable.

Prima
I imply, who would not need to throw darts in a high-wind surroundings only for most of them to land on the floor as an alternative of sticking to the board?

shuffleboard
But what I did not anticipate was for the onboard reveals to be simply as strong and well-planned.

Norwegian Prima
For many cruise goers, attending the reside reveals are a must-do.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Yet by some means, as soon as once more, Norwegian Prima’s nighttime leisure was shockingly spectacular.

The Prima Theater
The Prima’s rendition of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” — which ended its stint on Broadway in 2018 — carried out like a true high-production musical with nostalgic throwbacks that had viewers members singing alongside. Unfortunately, pictures weren’t allowed.

The theater

Source: Playbill

And “Noise Boys” was a surprisingly cohesive up to date faucet dancing and beat boxing mashup not like any present I’ve seen earlier than.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Even the acquainted “The Price Is Right Live” sport present was well-executed.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
And not like the earlier two reveals, “The Price Is Right” was as a lot a present as it was an interactive viewers expertise with a splash of comedy.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
According to Peter Grant, Norwegian’s director of leisure operations, the set items on this reside sport present are the identical as the ones on tv.

Norwegian Prima
I’m not used to being wowed by the typically kitschy reside reveals aboard cruise ships.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
But these three high-caliber productions have been so entertaining, I solely discovered myself checking the time a few times throughout “Donna” and “Noise Boys.”

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
I know I’ll sound like a stereotypical cruise goer when I say this, however the reside reveals have been the excellent method to finish my lengthy days at sea.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
And what can be a cruise assessment with out mentioning the Prima’s meals and beverage choices?

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Like any cruise ship, there was a large number of bars and lounges.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
I skipped out on the cowl band bar, cigar lounge, whiskey bar, and comedy membership …

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
… though the bartender at the whiskey bar did get a good jab at me for ordering a very thrilling water. Let’s not neglect I was on this cruise for work.

drink
In my opinion, the Metropolitan bar was the ship’s most fascinating idea.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Here, the cocktail and wine bar used a few of the ship’s meals scraps — like banana peels and imperfect croissants — to make liqueurs and syrups.

drink
The bar prides itself on having zero-waste cocktails.

drink menu
But let’s be trustworthy with ourselves: Cruise ships aren’t recognized for being sustainable and low-waste.

cruise ship

Source: Insider

And Wesley Cort — Norwegian’s vp of meals and beverage operations — was unable to inform me simply how a lot meals waste was saved by implementing the Metropolitan bar, though he did say it was “not a large percentage.”

drink
Having one bar that makes use of a small amount of meals waste does not masks simply how wasteful cruise ships could be.

menu
But not less than the bartenders made stable drinks.

bartenders
Alcohol apart, Norwegian Prima additionally had a number of new-to-brand eating choices like the Indulge Food Hall, a Mediterranean restaurant, and a teppanyaki idea. The latter two come at an extra price.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
I was in a position to strive a number of small dishes from a number of “restaurants” by ordering on the touchpad …

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
… permitting me to eat iberico and pad thai at the identical time. Unfortunately, the pad thai wasn’t nice.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
The a number of kitchens and two meals vans made Indulge Food Hall Prima’s costliest and tough eating idea to drag off, Cort instructed Insider throughout a media panel.

indulge
But in my view, it was value the effort. The meals corridor was so fashionable throughout peak hours, I had a laborious time discovering a seat. It put the ship’s all-day buffet to disgrace.

indulge starbucks
Indulge Food Hall’s rooster korma was higher than any meal I had at Prima’s specialty eating places …

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
… however who am I to disparage the wealthy pappardelle bolognese I ordered at Onda by Scarpetta?

pasta
After persistently nostril diving into back-to-back meals comas, I tried to revive myself in the ship’s small gymnasium.

gym
The Prima’s gymnasium had nice views of the water and I by no means struggled to search out an open treadmill, even when the health middle was busy.

gym
Prima’s massive spa was situated simply down the corridor from the gymnasium.

spa
Here, there have been a number of saunas, two kinds of swimming pools, an ice room, and heated chairs. It was the excellent retreat from the crowded cruise ship.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
There have been additionally loads of out of doors rest areas, together with 4 sizzling tubs, the major out of doors pool, and a 0.33-mile strip of swimming pools, lounge chairs, and daybeds.

Norwegian Prima
But our chilly cruise to Canada meant it was too chilly to benefit from these out of doors lounges.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
I’ll preserve my complaints about the climate to a minimal. At least I might loosen up with views of the ocean on my very own balcony.

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima
I stayed in the ship’s household balcony stateroom throughout my time aboard the inaugural crusing.

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima
Like I famous in my assessment of the stateroom, I was pleasantly shocked by the well-designed 230-square-foot stateroom.

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima

Source: Insider

From the touchscreen that changed the “do not disturb” door hanger …

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima
… to the conveniently designed storage areas that saved me clutter-free…

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima
… to the garments line in the bathe that helped dry off my bathing go well with …

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima
… my household balcony stateroom was the excellent retreat from the activity-packed cruise ship.

Inside the family balcony stateroom on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima
However, this lodge room at sea comes at a steep worth.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
In 2023, the Norwegian Prima will at $780 per particular person for seven-day roundtrip sailings from Orlando, Florida to the Caribbean.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Compared to Norwegian’s cheaper 2023 itineraries crusing for below $80 day by day, a practically $800 cruise journey could look like an unreasonable funding.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.

Source: Cruise Sheet

But in a large flip of occasions, I’m going to argue that crusing on the Norwegian Prima is value this worth …

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
… as long as you’ve got the price range to pay for the speciality eating and extra onboard actions like the digital actuality arcade (which begins at $8) and go-kart track (which can run you not less than $15).

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
Unfortunately, the onboard Starbucks is not complimentary both.

matcha
But the distinctive meals, enjoyable actions, and plethora of out of doors lounges might make this cruise value the worth, particularly if you happen to plan on touring to a heat weathered vacation spot.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
And whereas I will not soar at the alternative to go on a cruise, if my cruise-loving mom determined to plan a household journey on the Norwegian Prima, I will not say no.

The amenities inside Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
And that will be a first.

The pool on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Prima cruise ship.
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