I’ve just disembarked a cruise on one of the most exciting cruise ships in the world. I braved the 10-deck drop slide and raced other passengers around a three-storey race track on the top decks.
The cruise was onboard the newest Norwegian cruise ship, Norwegian Prima and even though I’ve been cruising with Norwegian since I was a child – this ship took me by surprise in every way possible!
We Sailed to Bermuda
On our cruise, we saw lots and LOTS of live music and entertainment, and did a lot of eating!
I saw and did things that most people wouldn’t imagine were possible on cruises. The cruise was anything but ordinary – but like many cruises, it wasn’t all plain sailing
When I saw a cruise onboard Norwegian Prima sailing to Bermuda from New York City I knew I had to give it a go! Sailing out of New York City is beautiful & Bermuda is a fantastic place to visit.
This itinerary had 3 days in Bermuda, which I was excited about. It’s rare to stay in a port for that long.
We also had 3 full days at sea to try and explore the ship. Ordinarily, I’d say that’s plenty – but on Prima, I wasn’t so sure! The tricky thing was to try and fit everything into the cruise.
As our cabin was ready we decided to head there to have a look around and to prepare for the sail away from New York City.
The sailing out of New York City is constantly ranked as one of the best sail aways in the world – so I didn’t want to miss it!
When I did arrive in Bermuda and opened the curtains, the beautiful sea was incredible! I knew I had made the right decision to book this trip.
I didn’t even realise the sea could be that colour, it is such an amazing greeny blue. I understand now why one of the most popular things to do in Bermuda is to go snorkelling!
As we were spending three days in Bermuda I had lots of time to explore. It was quite funny to see the boards that usually display an “all-aboard” time just saying “overnight.”
In theory, you could spend the full 3 days in Bermuda if you wanted without coming back to the ship at all. The gangway never closes and everybody is free to come and go as they like.
Norwegian does ask though that if you’re staying in a hotel or with friends rather than on the ship you give them your contact details.
If they needed to sail away early due to bad weather or some other reason, they would contact you. I don’t know of anybody who’s done that personally – but it’s cool that it’s an option.
The Size of the Ship
I took my first cruise with Norwegian when I was 11 years old and I’ve been cruising with them ever since – but always on the smaller and older Norwegian ships.
Norwegian Prima has 19 bars and 15 different restaurants, she is 20 decks high. She is as long as 13 tennis courts or 75 full-sized cars – so she’s a relatively big ship.
I knew that Prima had far more choices than I was used to at sea, so I did wonder if I would find it all a bit overwhelming.
I hoped that it wouldn’t feel too busy sharing the ship with over 3000 other people, and I wanted to come away from the cruise feeling as though it was worth the price tag!
I’d been told that Prima was a more luxurious and premium kind of ship, but I didn’t know if that would suit me and the way that I cruise.
For the sake of little Emma here who enjoyed her first Norwegian cruise – I hoped that the experience hadn’t changed too much from what I loved in the past. I was hoping for the same, but better!
First Impressions of the Ship
When we embarked the ship all we had to do was drop off our suitcases, head through security and then show our paperwork at the check-in desk.
I do have a loyalty status with Norwegian from all my years of cruising with them so I was given an early embarkation time of 11.30 am, which was fantastic.
I could see the ship out the windows of the terminal and was so excited to get on board!
Standing on the gangway I saw TERRIFYING-looking waterslides on the side of the ship!
I hoped that I would get up the courage to have a go on them during the cruise but I definitely wasn’t making any promises!
Walking onto the ship we walked straight into the middle of the Atrium. We were directed upstairs to check in for our safety drill – which is a legal requirement on all cruises.
We had already watched the safety video at home pre-cruise, and it was also available on our cabin TV so that made it all very easy.
The Atrium felt light and bright and open and I loved the design, particularly the ceiling and the areas that looked like giant ice cubes! It felt like being in a high-tech modern spaceship – and the chairs were so cool!
The colours and art felt very modern and completely different from my last Norwegian cruise on the older cruise ship, the Norwegian Sun.
Both were amazing and I loved my time on the Sun, but you can instantly see the differences in the last 20 years of cruise ship design.
All of the lobbies and corridors had the same sort of style, which I personally really love. Design is subjective of course, but I thought that the sparkly parts on the ceiling were so cool and I loved the colours and patterns of the carpets around the ship.
The sparkly theme continued into the lift and we headed up to the top deck to grab a drink.
It felt so good to be wearing a dress because to me, it felt like a warm summer’s day. To the locals, it wasn’t very warm – but hey, it was for me!
We got a drink from the bar and sat by the pool, with New York City as the backdrop. It was amazing!
I’m from England so had travelled a long way to get here and it was such a relief to finally be onboard, it felt like being in a movie to be honest, with amazing city scenery all around us.
Go-Karts and Massive Slides!
It was from here that I could see the Go-Kart track up on the top of the ship, and I realised just how huge the track was!
It looked Epic – that’s the best word to describe it. I’d seen pictures of it before but nothing really prepared me for the scale.
When I heard pre-cruise about a ship with a Go-Kart track on top I was imagining some bumper cars going round and round in circles. This really wasn’t like that, the race track was huge, and split over three decks.
I hadn’t been Go-Karting for years, and am not exactly known for my speed – but I knew that I had to get up the courage to try this later in the cruise.
I couldn’t come home from this cruise and tell you that I hadn’t been brave enough to go on the Go-Karts – that would have been awful!
The ship wasn’t busy because we had just embarked, but I did wonder if the Go-Karts meant that there wouldn’t be enough outside space on the sea days.
I’d heard that there was a lot of outdoor space on the lower decks but it wouldn’t be until later in the cruise when everybody was onboard that I’d see how this worked in reality.
You can pay to race against others on the go-karts, the speed is capped and it costs $15. Or you can book something that’s called ‘You and the track’ which means you go on the track alone, with the speed limiter off for $20.
I thought this sounded fun but I figured I would see what it was like with the speed limiter on first then decide if I wanted to go it alone!
I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly adventurous, but I hoped this cruise would bring me out of my comfort zone so I booked the Go-Karts for later in the day.
When I sat in one of the test Go-Karts and watched others racing around the track, they didn’t look that fast from the outside but I knew it would be a totally different story when I was in the car!
I could also see the top of the slides here, including the drop slide – where the floor drops out and you drop down 10 decks, which was also on my to-do list during this cruise.
I kind of regretted making the to-do list at this point – it is easy to make plans when you’re at home but harder to get up the courage when you can see it for real!
Looking on the Norwegian Cruise Line App I could see that my booking for the go-karts was coming up at 6.30 pm. That time soon came around.
This was group Go-Karting and all I wanted was to be fast enough that I wasn’t holding everybody up. I had visions of me being like the mother duck with all my little ducklings following me – and I did not want that.
We were all set off one by one and at first I thought “Oh my goodness, this go-kart is so slow, I could walk faster than this”, but then I realised that the speed was just controlled while we were in the pits area.
As soon as I hit the track the Go-Kart took off, it felt really fast to me! Although they say the Go Karts are speed-limited, it was very rare that I felt as though I needed to go faster!
The track is spread out over 3 decks so on the uphill I did want a little more power, but going around the track definitely felt fast to me!
When we were waiting to go on the Go-Karts I heard the other people who I was racing with chatting about how they had the unlimited Go-Karts pass, which costs around $200 for the cruise.
This meant that they were well-practised, and as a result, were much faster than me!
I did get lapped by a child at one point who skidded around me on a hairpin bend. No hard feelings from me though – that kid was great at go-karting!
I created a separate video about the Go Karts and slides, and you can watch it here:
So Many Dining Options
By now we were getting pretty hungry so we decided to head to one of the main dining rooms onboard for lunch.
The restaurant is called “Hudsons” and although I can’t confirm that it was named after my cat and our mascot Captain Hudson, I like to believe that it was!
Hudsons is a huge dining room with glass windows all the way around. I love cruise ships that focus on the view and letting in light, and Norwegian Prima definitely had big windows as a theme.
The dining room felt spacious and modern, I loved the light fittings and the space really did flow well.
It flowed so well that when I went to the toilet and tried to come back to find my friends again I walked way past them! At some point I thought “Hang on – I’m going to come out the other side if I keep going” – so I turned back and my friends were waving at me from across the restaurant!
I ordered a Veggie Burger which was good, and my friends had a French Dip Roast Beef Sandwich and the Fish and Chips. The service was fast and I was looking forward to coming back here again for dinner one day.
There are two main dining rooms onboard and in both of these everything is included in the cruise fare.
Also included is a buffet, yet more included food in a place called “The Local,” and a huge food hall with tons of options called “Indulge.”
“Indulge” would quickly become my favourite place onboard. It has a food concept that I’ve never found on a cruise before – or on land for that matter!
There are also lots of speciality restaurants that serve specific types of cuisine, these restaurants do come at an extra charge.
I wanted to try as many as I could during this cruise, so I bought the dining package that let me have 7 speciality meals.
Our first dinner onboard was in “Onda” by Scarpetta. This is a speciality restaurant that costs a little extra, but you can either pay “A La Carte” or you can buy a dining package when you book.
Onda serves a variety of pizzas, pasta and seafood dishes, all of which were great and beautifully presented.
I’m personally not a fan of Octopus, but for you octopus lovers out there I was told that it was very good!
I loved how intimate the restaurant felt too, there were over 3000 people on this cruise and she was at full capacity as were sailing during the school holidays, but you’d never know that sat here.
We had booked a couple of speciality restaurants for later in the cruise which included “interactive” elements so I was looking forward to that.
When we walked into our cabin I honestly had to check that we had been assigned a standard balcony because the cabin felt HUGE!
I’ve stayed in smaller ‘mini suite’ cabins in the past. I instantly loved the design of the cabin.
At this point, I hadn’t noticed little things like the USB C and A’s in the lamps and it wouldn’t be until later that I’d notice that all of the drawers were soft close and that there was tons of storage.
What I noticed pretty quickly though was how big the bathroom was.
The shower area was massive and the door folded back and inwards, in the most amazing way. I hope all cruise ships copy this design because it makes so much sense – and made me happy every day!
There was also a drawer here in the bathroom which was perfect for putting away all the things that I used daily.
To see more of this amazing balcony cabin, watch this video:
Heading out onto the balcony, I realised that we had already started to sail away from New York City!
I often get asked about how much you can feel the movement on cruise ships – and I think the fact that I didn’t even notice we were sailing out of New York City Harbour says a lot!
This happened to me multiple times on this cruise, at one point I was sitting on the balcony and didn’t even realise that we were sailing away from Bermuda!
For some reason I didn’t wonder why the land was getting further away, I was too comfortable in the lovely balcony chairs!
We headed up to the top deck as we sailed away, and I did expect it to be crowded because the main pool deck area wasn’t very big.
This wasn’t the case at all! There were two higher decks that I hadn’t noticed earlier and there were lots of sun loungers and seats up there.
To me, it felt as though the main pool deck was broken up across multiple sections, rather than everything being around the pool.
At this point, I still hadn’t discovered the outside areas lower down on the ship. This would be where I spent a lot of my time during the cruise, and where I assume a lot of people watched the sail away from.
Prima does have a high percentage of cabins with balconies. I’m sure many people watched the sail away from there.
The number of balconies available is one of the big benefits of newer ships. If you look back at ships from 20 or so years ago, they had far fewer balconies.
Even if you look within the Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet, the Norwegian Spirit – which I took my first cruise on – has more inside cabins and oceanview cabins than balconies.
Norwegian Prima has more balconies than any other cabin grade.
From the top deck, we had a great view of our sail away from New York City.
It was far windier than I had expected and so I spent a lot of the time holding down my dress until I realised that I could wrap a towel around me instead!
This worked brilliantly and I wasn’t the only person who did this. I’d highly recommend this approach!
This was made much easier by the fact that the pool towels were already laid out on each of the sun loungers. A lot of cruise lines don’t do that, so it was a nice touch.
We sailed away from Manhattan, past the Statue of Liberty and then under the bridge that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. We only had a few metres of clearance between us and the bridge!
Even though you do know that the crew have a good idea of how high the water is and how high the ship is – you still do almost hold your breath waiting for the bridge to go over the top! It feels as though the bridge comes so slowly – but goes over so fast!
Once we had sailed under the bridge we went back inside to find somewhere less windy. The closest place was the observation lounge and this would quickly become one of my favourite lounges onboard. But more about that later.
The Promenade Deck
It was on deck 7 that we found an amazing promenade deck.
It’s pretty common for modern cruise ships to not include a promenade deck at all which I think is a real shame, but Norwegian has taken the promenade deck concept and taken it even further.
I took a cruise a few years ago on the Norwegian Getaway. That ship has a fantastic promenade deck with restaurants lining it. Prima’s promenade deck is similar – but even better!
The promenade deck stretches all the way around the ship and starts with statues that light up at night.
I was so busy on this cruise that I actually never saw them lit up – but maybe that’s enough of a reason for me to book another cruise on her!
Just like the main dining room Hudsons, the Observation lounge has huge windows on all sides and it always felt very relaxed and calm.
You’d often find people here in the afternoon sitting with a book, and enjoying the view. We would sometimes come here for breakfast as they had a little buffet where you could grab a pastry or a banana.
I loved the attention to detail and all of the little ornaments that were located around the lounge. They had board games and other things here too.
The Mandara Spa
We still had a little bit of time before dinner so we decided to go and have a look around the spa.
Usually on the first day of a cruise, the spa is open for guests that want a tour, and I’d heard that Prima had an amazing spa so I didn’t want to miss it.
Walking into the spa I was instantly amazed by the huge pools with a running water feature on the side.
There are some other cruise ships where the main pool is actually smaller than the pool in this Mandara Spa area! The size of it was incredible! The Spa area also smelt fantastic..
The spa has an ice room that I did try very briefly (in my summer dress!) an infrared sauna, a charcoal sauna and a salt room.
They offer lots of treatments and have this amazing area where you can relax. The biggest problem I find with areas like this is not falling asleep, because they are so relaxing!
Galaxy Pavillion – VR Arcade
I think Norwegian does a great job of giving the spaces that need windows, big windows, and keeping the areas like the Spa and the Virtual Reality arcade inside.
In the Galaxy Pavilion, you can go on various VR games. A far cry from the arcades where I used to play “Pac-man” when I was a child!
Going on the rollercoaster simulator with other people definitely made it feel more realistic, as I could hear them screaming and making noises when the rollercoaster dropped! It was great fun!
We headed to the metropolitan bar next and I ordered a “sustainable cocktail.”
These are made with leftovers from the ship’s menu! In theory, they could make these from anything – so one day there might be a sustainable cookie cocktail!
(Probably not though because that would require some cookies to be left over and that’s not likely if I’m onboard!)
It was a Norwegian cruise that started my love of cookies. and I was determined to find some onboard Norwegian Prima!
Later that evening, we decided to head back to the Metropolitan Bar because we wanted to catch a performance from a singer called Francis.
Francis played here most days and had a list of over 400 songs that we could request!
All the drinks menus in the Metropolitan Lounge are on iPads. They would often have live music here in the evenings.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a performer play such a variety of genres, and he would also use a loop pedal to layer up the sound – which was so cool!
As well as being a fabulous musician he was a great entertainer too – which is important when performing on a cruise ship.
He would always have the crowd interacting and laughing, and I decided to request “The Arctic Monkeys” to hear Francis’s best British accent – which was actually pretty good!
Francis’s sets were always very popular I’m sure he could have filled a show in the theatre if he was put there. I’d have gone for sure!
Syd Norman’s Pour House
One of the most popular things to do onboard the Norwegian Prima is to go to a show in a bar that is called “Syd Norman’s Pour House”
Syd Norman’s itself is beautifully decorated, it feels very trendy but the room is small for the number of people that want to come and see the shows – so make sure that you get there early!
I did wonder why everybody was so keen to line up to see live music when there was live music all over the ship. I didn’t understand it until we actually queued and watched a show.
We watched “Rumours” which tells the story of Fleetwood Mac through their album – also called Rumours.
It was more like a story told through live music, rather than just a live music performance. Because the room was so small everybody standing around made it feel more like being in a gig in some underground bar – which was really cool.
Sid Norman’s also has real rock memorabilia on the walls too, so it’s worth taking some time to have a look around – even if you don’t watch a performance here.
You don’t pre-book tickets for Syd Norman’s, and listening to the other people in the line, I found that some people had already been multiple times during the cruise – they loved it that much!
We decided to join the line about half an hour before doors opened and that seemed about right for standing, if you do want a seat you’ll probably have to get there earlier than that. It was well worth the wait.
The show starts half an hour after the doors open and in that time they’ll serve drinks and get everybody settled.
“Rumours” was by far the most popular show in Syd Norman’s, if you want to check out the venue but don’t mind so much about what you see, another show might be a good idea.
First Full Day At Sea
I slept so well in my big comfy bed and when we woke up we decided to head out to explore the outside spaces on deck 7 – and I found what would become one of my favourite included food venues onboard.
The weather was a little rocky on our first sea day over to Bermuda, but we were luckier on the way back.
They did have to close the outside pools for obvious reasons, but it wasn’t exactly the weather for swimming anyway, so that was okay.
We actually weren’t heading through the Bermuda Triangle on this itinerary. Many ships do sail through there regularly – and no, they don’t all go missing!
A little further on along the promenade deck are the infinity beach and infinity pools.
As I walked down here I noticed that two slides called “The Rush” ended here, I thought to myself “Oh yeah, pre-cruise I said that I would do that….” But that was before I realised just how tall they were!
At the infinity beach area, there are infinity pools on both sides that are really quite big.
It’s always funny to see people in these pools when you are on land – their legs look so funny just floating there – and I’m pretty sure that people forget that they can be seen by everyone on the shore!
They have comfortable sun lounge-type beds here, and the water actually comes right up and around the beds so that you can cool off on hot days.
Carrying on along the promenade deck I came across the “Indulge Outdoor Lounge” and the “Solei Bar.”
The area was full of comfortable seating and again, lots of real plants which I thought was a nice touch.
You can order food out here from the “Indulge Food Hall” or you can just sit and enjoy a drink – which we did most days on the cruise.
Indulge Food Hall
Heading into “Indulge” was like going through the curtain into Narnia or something equally as magical!
Indulge food hall is like a market hall, every time you go around a corner you don’t know what you’ll find!
Each area is decorated in a way that matches the different food themes. There are 7 included restaurant sections here, and I was so excited to try them all out!
One day, as a reward for trying the scary slides, I decided that I would treat myself to lunch in the Indulge food hall.
We found a table outside and ordered the most random selection of food to the table. We did eat inside later in the cruise, but as the weather was nice outside we thought we’d try this first.
It was pretty windy so they didn’t have the iPads set up for ordering outside – that was useful though because they gave us a big paper menu that gave us an idea of just how many dishes were available here.
My personal favourite dish was the Topolos but everything we had was good. I particularly liked being able to mix and match and order from all the stations inside.
In that way, it was kind of like a buffet, but so much better because you don’t have to queue up to pick up your own food, it just arrives like magic!
In “Indulge” we usually didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes for our food – and sometimes it would arrive in as little as 30 seconds! Amazing!
I loved being able to see the different areas preparing food and it seemed like a really good way to feed a lot of people fast.
It was a very popular venue, but with all the extra seating at the bars and the outside seating area, we never had a problem eating here. Sometimes we might wait to the side slightly until we saw somebody leaving a table, but we never were unable to find a seat.
You could order some drinks here too and you could just tap your cruise card if you needed to pay for anything like a cocktail.
On a cruise like this, your cruise card is the key to everything, this is what lets you in your room and it’s how you pay for things. At the end of the cruise, your account is settled either with cash or with a credit card.
Theatre and Nightclub – All in One!
When I was a teenager cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines, one of my favourite things was the number of different activities on the daily schedule. There was always something going on somewhere!
The first time we headed to the theatre I saw that “Deal or No Deal” was being played.
This was our first look at the theatre and I knew that it did change into a nightclub – but looking at this I had no idea how they could transform this space. It felt huge and was spread out over 3 levels.
I’ve seen other cruise lines try the “theatre-to-nightclub” concept before – but never with much success, so I was hopeful that on Prima it would be better!
I’d also heard that there was a big Broadway-style musical onboard, and “The Price Is Right” game show -which I was excited to see.
I absolutely was not prepared for “The Price Is Right” game show – my heart rate reached 125 while watching it – which is what it’s normally like when I’m jogging!
I decided around now that we would try to go to the theatre tonight, but due to the bad weather, the show was unfortunately cancelled and moved to the next night.
When the seas are rocky I sometimes find it hard to walk in a straight line so I absolutely do not expect the theatre team to be able to dance and jump and do everything that they usually do!
How they jump and dance in heels blows my mind even when the ship isn’t moving, let alone when the floor will move slightly between each jump.
It’s amazing! I have so much respect for anybody who performs on a cruise ship – or just works on a ship in general. It’s seriously hard work, and not appreciated enough.
As the night went on, and the cocktails flowed we decided to head to the club onboard. Most cruise ships have a club area of some sort, but I’ve never seen a space quite like this.
The room was full of people having a great time and even just walking into the lower level with the cool lights was awesome.
The lights do change – like mood lighting. They had a DJ here and a big screen where they’d share the music videos or whatever else they wanted to share.
On a lot of cruises, you’d be out of luck if you were hungry after going to the onboard nightclub – but that wasn’t a problem on Prima, the food quite literally never stopped!
The local is a bar and grill, and Norwegian have a restaurant like this on all of their ships.
The restaurants are usually open late, and serve things like Reuben sandwiches and Fish & Chips.
The local on Prima is slightly different from the other ships because it’s split into two sides – one for the sit-down restaurant, and one for the bar.
Having it split worked well, as they’d often show sports in the bar side. Our food always arrived fast and was very good.
Trying Out The Slides
I decided that I would be brave and when most people were off the ship in Bermuda, I would give the slides a go. This turned out to be a great idea as there was almost nobody in the lines at all!
First on my list was a slide called “The Rush.” These are two slides that twist around each other and drop down 18 decks from Deck 18 to Deck 8.
They are dry slides so there’s no reason you couldn’t use these slides as an alternative to the stairs or taking the lift if you wanted to!
It would be quite funny to use it to go and meet somebody in the local, which is at the bottom on deck 8. If you looked a little flustered they’d never guess how you got there!
I was nervous about trying the slides but I kept seeing them everywhere I went – so I knew I had to give them a try!
“The Rush” slide was actually really quite relaxing, and not scary at all! I laid back and just enjoyed the ride, there wasn’t much to see – but I’m quite glad I couldn’t see out, that would have been far scarier!
It was good fun and afterwards, I was encouraging everybody else who looked up nervously at the slide that really it wasn’t that scary and that they should give it a go!
I’d been watching people do the “drop slide” for days – and I was nervous about doing that but felt more confident now I’d tried the ten-story regular slide.
The height wasn’t the problem, it was the drop at the top that I was nervous about. I’d heard plenty of people screaming on it already!
The next day I knew that I had put it off long enough and so I decided to give the drop slide a go. Again, as we were in port there was no line at all and there was only one person in front of me.
I’m not sure if watching somebody else do it made it better – or worse – but either way, I was brave enough to get into the slide.
The worst part by far was the countdown and waiting for the floor to drop. When it does drop, you fall very fast into the slide – but the floor drops in a way that tilts you back, so it only takes a few seconds for you to be sliding down what feels like a normal slide.
Later on in the cruise, I did also brave the waterslide, because after the drop slide, I felt like I could do anything!
Other Bars and Spaces Onboard
We headed inside and decided that now would be a great time to explore some of the spaces inside the ship that we had not yet seen.
On the lowest level of the atrium, we found the “Penrose Bar” and it was here that I had my first cocktail that was available “on tap.” The “Red Bubbles” was my favourite – although they were all pretty good.
Norwegian sell a variety of drinks packages. Usually, I am a fan of the soda package, on this cruise though I had the premium plus package that gave me access to almost everything – so I did my best to try as many as I could!
You can pay as you go if you would prefer, but I got the impression that most people onboard had a drinks package of some sort.
They would have live music in this bar in the evening, and that was very popular.
I think it would be a bit better if they moved the music into the middle, so the people on the higher decks could see and hear it more – but maybe that’s something they’ll do on a future ship.
I loved the design of this bar and it was a great place for a pre-dinner tipple.
(A tipple is a small alcoholic drink and it usually refers to your favourite drink. It’s a social drink that you typically drink in small quantities. For example, you might say your favourite tipple is a Gin and Tonic.)
Bermuda is actually made up of 7 small islands. The longest is 2 miles wide at the widest point.
When you are in Bermuda you’re never further than a mile away from the ocean!
To step off the ship here was amazing. It was around 25c or 79f – which was just glorious!
We were docked by a smaller Norwegian cruise ship called the “Norwegian Pearl.”
I haven’t been on the Norwegian Pearl – but I did cruise on her sister ship The Norwegian Jewel when I was 14. We didn’t have the same sunshine on that cruise though sadly, as we were cruising in The Baltics.
We decided to head to the beach and play a game of mini golf. I know it sounds a bit odd to get off a ship that has golf on it, to go and play golf on land – but it was recommended to me by a friend and it was great fun.
It was within walking distance of the ship, and the fear that I may accidentally hit the ball off the side of the course and into the ocean just made it more exciting!
I am from the UK and Bermuda is a British overseas territory. There were a few things in Bermuda that felt strangely familiar!
Familiar – but totally different as we rarely have skies that blue, and I’ve never ever seen such blue seas around Britain! Usually, our seawater is greeny-grey and murky!
Los Lobas Speciality Restaurant
Back on the ship we got to properly enjoy the promenade deck by having a meal at the restaurant “Los Lobos.”
Los Lobos restaurant serves Mexican food, and we ate as the sun went down over Bermuda – it was just beautiful!
I’ll never forget this meal, and for me, this is what cruising is all about! If I could have shared just 5 minutes of cruising with somebody who hasn’t been on a cruise – these five minutes would be it!
We had guacamole made at the tableside – and a whole tower of churros – which was fantastic.
Theatre Shows and Other Entertainment
I was really excited to go to the theatre because some of my favourite shows I’ve ever seen have been on Norwegian cruises in the past.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert onboard the Norwegian Epic was my favourite show for years. I actually went to see it twice on that cruise because it was just brilliant.
Onboard Norwegian Prima you do have to book a space to go and see the theatre shows, I’d recommend doing it as soon as you board.
If you aren’t able to get a booking you can still watch the show. They release the empty seats five or ten minutes before the show starts, as lots of people who book the show don’t always turn up. So even if you don’t have a booking it’s worth going to the theatre just before showtime.
We sat on the middle level which gave us an amazing view of both the stage, the lower seating and the upper seating. I think I’d describe the lower seats as like stadium seats.
I thought they might be uncomfortable as they have to fold away, but that wasn’t the case at all.
They all have drink holders too which I think is very important – especially as they do have bar service inside the theatre, which was always very quick.
I’m happy to report they stop serving drinks just before showtime so you don’t have to try and watch the show through the heads of waiters delivering drinks!
The musical that we watched was called “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” and I have to admit, before watching this show I wasn’t really familiar with Donna Summer’s story.
I’d heard a lot of her songs, but for me, the show was not only entertaining but also educational.
The quality of the show was just incredible, there wasn’t a single foot out of line at any point, every note was hit perfectly and it really was like watching a show on Broadway or in the West End.
It was almost 90 minutes long and had lots of clever set design pieces and changes of costume – which kept me entertained all the way through. My attention span is pretty short normally, but I was constantly entertained.
Later in the cruise we also watched “The Price is Right” game show, which was quite an experience for me!
We do have our own version of “The Price is Right” game show in the UK – but I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never watched it and I wouldn’t dare have said that to everybody else in the audience of this show! They were all hardcore “The Price is Right” fans!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show audience so excited for anything before! When you go to see the show, it is assumed that you want to get up on the stage and take part – which I think is quite a big cultural difference between us Brits and the Americans who made up most of the passengers on Prima.
In the UK it is assumed that we don’t want to take part in something unless we have specifically opted into it, in the US it’s assumed that everybody wants to go on the show and take part.
In true British style I was hoping I wouldn’t be called up – not just because I didn’t want to have everybody looking at me – but also because I didn’t want to take away the chance from somebody else who really really wanted to have a go!
All the other guests had these crazy dances ready to walk down the aisles, they were whooping and cheering – some had custom t-shirts made! The energy in the room was just crazy and it was so much fun. I’ll never look at that show the same way again!
Cruising at Full Capacity
Our cruise was sailing at full capacity, and we were sailing in the school holidays so the ship definitely did feel lively but we never had any problems finding somewhere to sit or somewhere to eat.
We never saw everybody together in one place and it felt like the ship nicely distributed everybody across the different venues.
There weren’t any particular points where everybody got bunched up as you find on some cruise ships.
Prima felt as though it was split up into lots of little separate areas – and I’m sure that some people never managed to find all of the different places onboard.
We would often find that some areas – like beside the pool would be busy – but other areas just one deck up would be almost empty. It was like nobody else knew they were there. Maybe they didn’t…
Vibe Beach Club
There is one area onboard that was always quiet. That was the adults-only area called “The Vibe Beach Club.”
This part does cost extra and there are only a certain number of passes per cruise sold, so if you would like to come here, make sure you book it straight away on the first day.
The seats here are super comfortable, there’s a bar and there are a couple of hot tubs on the side.
This might all sound very nice but I haven’t actually got to the best bit yet – the best bit is that they bring round cookies on a tray! That might be worth trying it just for that! 4 types of cookies too!
From the Vibe Beach club, I could see another pool deck that looked very interesting. I knew that there was an exclusive area onboard called “The Haven” – but I’d never been able to get into the Haven before.
Actually, that is a lie, you need a special cruise card to get into the Haven and once when I was about 13 I went into the Haven with my friend who was staying there so had the special card.
I was so scared that I was going to get in trouble that we just ate some sweets from a jar and came right back out. Since then I’ve always wondered what it was like inside The Haven and if I would get back there.
The guests inside The Haven basically stay in an exclusive ship within a ship, they have their own reception desk to sort everything out for them and to book them into the shows.
They have their own bar and a restaurant where they can eat all of their meals if they want to. There’s also a huge pool deck, and to be honest, I don’t think I’d leave this area if I was staying here!
Every guest I asked said that they recommended staying in “The Haven” and that they’d never go back to cruising outside of the Haven now that they’d tried it.
This area absolutely isn’t for everybody, and I usually cruise in inside cabins so it’s quite far out of my usual reach – but it was amazing to get to have a look around.
I was surprised to see children in there too, I don’t know why but I didn’t think that people would bring their whole families to stay in the Haven – but it seems like they do.
If I was one of these children I’d just leave to go on the Go-Karts and the slides and then come back. I would also probably make the trip out to have a go on some of the Virtual Reality games too!
Lots of Tech Onboard
The Norwegian Prima has a lot of tech onboard, not just VR rollercoasters but also in the cabins, on the tables where you order your food on tablets, and the WiFi – which worked really well during the cruise.
I did a live stream on my YouTube channel during this cruise and the stream never once went down or froze – which is incredible. I usually have to turn off the WiFi and use 4 or 5G to stream, but the WiFi was great.
Norwegian does have an App too which worked pretty well during our cruise, it would update instantly with purchases like the VR games, or if we bought anything in the gift shop.
I always recommend that you keep an eye on your onboard account so that you don’t get any nasty surprises when your bill arrives at the end of the cruise.
The App also had the daily schedule in it, deck plans and information about other venues like the speciality restaurants.
Around the ship, there were also big screens that had the same sort of information on them.
If you were lost and needed to get to a certain place you could ask the screens and they would show you the fastest route. That was very clever.
I could do with a little robot that pops out the bottom of the screen and physically takes me to where I need to go, but maybe we will see that in the future!
Other Restaurants Onboard
The food that I’ve mentioned in this article is just a tiny section of the amount that we tried during this cruise.
To find out what it was like to have our food cooked in front of us in Hasuki, and to see where else we ate. Check out this video next:
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Before You Go!
If you are considering a cruise onboard the Norwegian Prima, you’ll need somewhere to stay. I stayed in a balcony cabin and to find out if I’d recommend it, check out this post next: I Stayed in a Balcony Cabin on The Norwegian Prima (Full Review)
Other things you’ll need to think about:
Not sure what to wear on a Norwegian cruise?
Norwegian Cruise Line Don’t Have Formal Nights – Here’s What They Have Instead
Considering doing some laundry onboard?
Norwegian Cruise Line Laundry – Price List, Services, and Packages
Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources
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