When I embarked Norwegian Prima in New York City I thought I knew what to expect. I took my first cruise with Norwegian when I was 11 years old and I’ve been on 9 Norwegian ships since then.
It only took me a few seconds to realise though that this ship was very different to any of the ships I’d been on before!
As soon as I laid eyes on the ship I saw that there was a HUGE and terrifying-looking slide on the side of the ship. I almost didn’t believe my eyes, but I also saw that there was a massive race track on the top deck.
I’d later find out that this was a 3 storey Go-Kart track and I hoped that I would be brave enough to have a go on both the slides and the Go-Karts as the cruise went on.
When we boarded the ship we headed straight into the main Atrium, which definitely has a wow factor!
It felt very open and bright and is split over 3 decks with different things on each level. I felt as though I was inside a space ship and I loved the colours and the lights.
The Atrium stairs are just so much fun! It feels like you’re gliding up or down when you used them.
On the bottom level, there is a bar where we would often get a drink during the day, and they’d play live music here too.
All around the Atrium are funky glass vases, and art definitely is a theme of this ship.
Right beside the atrium is the Prima Theatre and Club. It’s not often that a theatre surprises me, most are pretty similar but this one really is different.
Walking into the lowest level of the theatre we were greeted with a huge – and completely empty – room!
Of course, it makes sense to wonder where the seats are, and it turns out that they fold away and this space is used as a nightclub in the evening and a theatre during showtime.
Later in the evenings, the theatre would change into an area called “Studio 54.”
The seats were actually very comfortable, which you probably wouldn’t expect for fold-away seats.
All the seats down here had cupholders too, which might not sound important – but it makes a big difference.
In the theatre, we saw some brilliant shows including “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” and “The Price is Right Live”
Every show had lots of set pieces that cleverly popped up and then disappeared when required.
The lights on the ceiling were so cool, they would spin and put on amazing light displays – especially when the area was being used as a club.
The theatre was also used for entertainment during the day, so you’d find games like “Deal or no Deal” happening here.
On the other side of the Atrium, there is a casino which is non-smoking – which makes a nice change from other smokey ship casinos I have been in!
It’s absolutely huge with lots of different tables and machines, including one which bounces the dice up and down, which I thought looked really cool!
I did do my usual $10 casino spend during the cruise, but sadly didn’t win anything this time!
There is a little room inside the casino for those who want to smoke, which I think is a nice touch.
This smoking room has all the usual things you’ll find in the bigger casino.
It means those who want to smoke and gamble can, but not everybody has to smell the smoke like they do on many cruise ships.
Norwegian Prima also has a cigar room, and there are other smoking areas outside.
There are LOADS of dining options onboard Norwegian Prima, and each one has its own distinct design.
Passing the casino we found the first of these restaurants “Cagneys Steak House.”
The design of this restaurant is very industrial and includes lots of concrete finishes. It’s quite different from the Cagneys I’ve been in on other ships, but we had a great meal here.
Cagney’s is a speciality restaurant that comes at an extra charge. There’s plenty of included food too, at the side of Cagney’s in “The Commodore Room” restaurant, if you don’t want to pay extra.
It’s a beautiful main dining room where all of the food is included in the cruise fare but in my personal opinion, the best main dining room is one level up on deck 7.
Between Cagneys and the Commodore Club is a bar called the “Belvedere Bar.” This was a great place for a pre-dinner drink, and my drink of choice here were the cocktails in a bottle.
Taking the stairs straight up from the Commodore Club you’ll find “Hudsons.”
I can’t confirm or deny whether Hudson’s restaurant was named after my cat and mascot “Captain Hudson” – but I like to believe that it was!
Hudson’s restaurant is beautiful and has floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around. I love ships that focus on the view and the ocean, and Prima definitely does that.
We enjoyed quite a few lunches and dinners here too, the service was always fast and friendly.
We sampled a variety of foods from what I think may be the world’s biggest menu!
Heading out of Hudsons there is “Hasuki” “Nama Sushi” and “Le Bistro” – all with their very distinct themes.
It really felt to me as though attention had been paid to every detail on Norwegian Prima. The decor all over the ship felt elegant and modern.
I had a great meal in Hasuki towards the end of my cruise. We watched all of our food being cooked in front of us by the chef.
I’ve loved every Norwegian cruise ship I’ve ever cruised on but this ship really felt elevated in terms of luxury.
The design in the public areas almost felt Scandinavian, and I loved the natural colours with sparkly accents.
Near these restaurants is the “Metropolitan” which quickly became one of my favourite venues on the ship.
Most days we would end up here at some point, to listen to fantastic live music by Francis the musician – or to pick up a “sustainable cocktail” which is made with leftover ingredients.
Some “sustainable” cocktails onboard are actually made of leftover croissants!
All the menus are on tablets which is pretty cool, but this isn’t the best use of tablets on the ship, more about that later.
Beyond the Metropolitan Lounge is “Syd Norman’s Pour House” and “Improv At Sea.”
These venues are very popular, so make sure you get there early if you do want to take part in something happening here.
Again I loved the design of both and they do things like trivia and comedy inside the Improv Lounge.
We watched an amazing show at Syd Norman’s and the small size of the room made it feel like we were in a trendy underground club.
The singers – or should I say performers – because they did far more than sing, were so close to the audience. During the show that we watched, they sang the songs from the album “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac.
To keep the trendy feeling of the venue “Syd Norman’s” is quite small. Make sure you get there at least half an hour before doors open for the busiest shows.
Heading back to the Atrium and up the amazing stairs, you will pass a Starbucks for everybody who needs their coffee fix. There is also the guest services desk for everybody who had a question or wanted to book something.
We found that the guest services area would get pretty busy at some times of the day but at other times it was very quiet. If you do have a non-time-sensitive query I’d definitely recommend coming here in the evenings or on port days.
There was never anybody here at all on the port days – so that’s when we came to book our transfers.
Some people say this Atrium has the best location for a Starbucks in the world! It’s hard to argue with that when you’ve got huge windows and a great view of New York City outside!
Also around the Atrium, there are lots of shops, selling everything from jewellery to perfume and a photo studio where you can buy the photos that professional photographers take onboard.
Just outside the Atrium here, there is what is called the “Ocean Walk.”
It’s a glass walkway and although we didn’t actually stand here for the sail away, I imagine this would be a really good place to watch one from.
The glass walkways are on both sides, but you can avoid them if you don’t want to walk over them!
Heading up to deck 8 you’ll pass a Whiskey bar, and you can go out onto an area which is very different from most cruise ships.
In recent years a lot of cruise lines have stopped including promenade decks on their ships, which I think is a massive shame.
Norwegian has taken the promenade deck concept and pushed it further than any other cruise line.
I’ve cruised in the past on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway which have amazing waterfront promenade deck areas – but Prima’s takes it even further.
On one side there is an area which is filled with statues that light up at night. Beyond this is the “Infinity Beach” and the Infinity pools, which quickly became one of my favourite places to spend time.
We were on this cruise for a week and had 3 days docked in Bermuda. This was the perfect place to soak up some sunshine and people-watch – which is always fun.
This is the same on both sides so quite often the sunny side will be busy but nobody will be on the shady side – so it’s always worth walking around to check.
There are lots of very comfortable seats here and little things like the side tables I really liked.
They’ve clearly been thought about so that they don’t take up too much room, but also so that drinks don’t blow off the tables in windy weather. It’s the little things like this that really make a difference.
At the back of the ship is the “Indulge Outdoor Lounge” and the “Soleil Bar.”
It almost sounds too good to be true, that you can sit here and have unlimited food brought to you in a few minutes – it really did work! I tested it many times!
When my friends would ask me where I wanted to get food, I’d just have to give them a look and they knew that meant the Indulge Food Hall!
Inside “Indulge” looks and feels like a big market hall – the kind where you have to explore everything because you never know what will be around each corner.
Each section has its own distinct design that is themed with the food station. You can sit at any of the tables and order food from any of the food sections.
All food in “Indulge Food Hall” is freshly made for you. You can order it all on the tablets found on all the tables.
Also on the outside of deck 8 is the landing zone for the Rush and Drop Slides – which reminded me that I had to muster up the courage to try them out during the cruise!
On the other side of deck 8 are the speciality restaurants “Los Lobos” and “Onda” by Scarpetta.
We had amazing meals in both, and I loved how intimate the restaurants felt.
At “Los Lobos” restaurant, we sat outside on the promenade deck and ate as the sun set over Bermuda. It was just incredible!
To watch my full video about the food onboard, click below:
When I was 11 and I took my first Norwegian cruise my favourite place to go to was a bar called “The Blue Lagoon.”
I would get chicken wings and burgers here – and as a child, it was just fantastic. Now that I’ve grown up I still like the same things, but it’s also grown up too and it’s now called “The Local!”
The Local is a bar and restaurant that’s split over two sides of the ship.
Here you can get all of your classic cruise comfort foods, and it’s open late into the night – which is great if you’ve been partying in the nightclub or Syd Norman’s!
Heading up to deck 15 to the Spa, it’s probably a good idea to take a lift – or an elevator if that’s what you prefer to call it.
Ordinarily, I’d say that a lift is just a way to get from place to place, but I really enjoyed going in these amazing glass lifts. I did actually bump my nose on the glass at one point by accident because I was trying to look into the sparkly lights – and didn’t realise where all of the lights started!
I wish I could share smells with you through the computer but you’re going to have to trust me that the Spa area smelt fantastic!
The spa has these two huge pools and there are lots of different experiences, like an ice room (that I did try in my summer dress) the first charcoal sauna at sea and an infrared sauna too.
The area at the back was my favourite though. All of the plants here are real, which I think really makes it feel more luxurious and it was just so peaceful and beautiful.
The real problem is it’s so comfy you might fall asleep and miss your Go-Kart booking or your show reservation!
They have a hairdresser and a barber too, if that’s the kind of thing you like to do when you’re at sea.
In the Spa, they have lots of treatment rooms offering things like massages, facial treatments and acupuncture. If you have a health problem – they probably have a treatment here to help!
It’s worth checking if there are discounts on port days because it’s often cheaper to have things like massages when the ship is docked as the demand is lower.
On deck 15 there is also the kid’s area called “Splash Academy” and up a level there is a big gym that’s free to use.
I toured it for my ship tour video, but given how big the ship was I didn’t feel the need to use the gym during the cruise.
Walking up 10 flights of stairs or around the promenade deck is just as good exercise in my opinion!
Heading towards the front of the ship on deck 16 you’ll find “The Haven.”
This is an area reserved for guests who are staying in the Haven cabins.
It’s easier to think about The Haven as being like a ship within a ship. Staying in the Haven is like staying on a luxury yacht but with all of the added attractions of a big cruise ship
In the Haven, guests have their own reception desk, they have a bar and a restaurant where they can have all of their meals if they want.
They also have their own pool deck complete with hot tubs and an infinity pool.
The upper level of the Haven’s pool deck is alongside an area that is called the “Vibe Beach Club.”
This is an adults-only area where you can buy passes to visit and enjoy these facilities during the cruise.
It sells out incredibly fast so if you do want to get Vibe access during the cruise, it’s best to book it as soon as you get onboard.
Vibe has its own infinity whirlpools and bar, they even hand out cookies here on a tray which was just incredible!
There are a limited number of passes available during each cruise, so it always felt quiet up here even if it was a busy day on the rest of the ship.
Heading inside from “Vibe Beach Club” there is a buffet with a small area at the back which serves classic poolside food like hot dogs and burgers.
The buffet itself is pretty small, but that’s because there are lots of other included food on the ship.
It’s pretty common for a ship to just have the food in the buffet and the main dining room included in the cruise fare. On Prima, there’s also “The Local” and “The Indulge Food Hall”- with all of those amazing extra food choices!
From the buffet, I could see those slides and my goodness they almost looked more terrifying from this angle – If that is at all possible!
On the other side of the ship is “Food Republic” and “Palomar.” These are both speciality restaurants, and I had a great dinner in Palomar during our cruise. They actually prepared a big fish for two tableside.
Personally, I would have preferred it if the buffet was bigger, and on both sides, like it is on a lot of other Norwegian cruise ships – but like I’ve already said, I spent most of my time in “Indulge” anyway.
There was also another small buffet in the observation lounge, where we would often pick up breakfast or cookies.
Heading a little further out past the buffet and the outdoor seating area, you’ll find the main pool deck.
The pool itself is an average size but there isn’t a lot of seating out here actually around the pool.
At the start of the cruise, I did worry that there might not be enough outside space on busy sea days, but as the cruise went on I found more areas onboard with outside seating.
I spent a lot of my time down on the lower decks enjoying the outside space on the lovely promenade deck.
Most cruise ships don’t have that, so it just felt like the available outside space was more split up than on other cruise ships.
There is of course a bar on the main pool deck and hot tubs on the side.
In the far corner, there’s the bottom level of a waterslide called “The Wave.”
I did manage to get up the courage to try this one and it was actually a lot of fun! The drop is much steeper than it looks from down on the pool deck, but I’m glad I gave it a go.
If you think you’d be brave enough to give this slide a go and want to book a cruise on Prima – or any cruise for that matter – please don’t forget that you can get in touch through my website. We are here for you anytime and it never costs more than booking direct.
Click on the link below to get your personalised quote:
Heading back inside we went into an area called “The Galaxy Pavilion.” It’s a big room full of VR games, and I would have loved this when I was younger!
When I was a child and taking Norwegian cruises I used to spend most of my time playing Pac-Man in the arcade.
This is a serious step up from Pac-Man, and I did have a go on the VR rollercoaster simulator, and another game which was a lot of fun.
It’s amazing how scary VR can be, even though you know it isn’t real! I particularly liked the entranceway to The Pavilion – it feels like being transported into another world.
Around this space is the observation lounge, another area that focuses on views of the ocean. Bermuda made a beautiful backdrop when we spent our time in this lounge.
I think Norwegian did a great job locating things like “The Pavilion” arcade inside the ship. You wouldn’t see outside with a VR headset on anyway – window space was saved for the wonderful observation lounge.
The tables in the observation lounge actually have lots of plug sockets in them, and there are a variety of seats and different details around.
Heading back out and up past “The Wave” waterslide we found a kid’s aqua park and lots of seating. On port days we would often be the only people out here and we could have had 50 sun loungers each if we wanted to!
We would usually grab a drink from the pool bar and bring it up here to drink on one of the comfortable seats.
At the other end of the ship, there is another bar called the “Prima Speedway Bar” which overlooks the “Vibe Beach Club.”
It was here that I bought a cool bottle that looks like tyres! (A little side note here in the UK we spell the word tyres with a Y – not an I, so Tyres, not Tires!)
Following along the sides of the ship there was the starting point for both the Rush Slides and the slide that was called “The Drop.”
On the slide “The Drop” the floor literally falls away below you – and you drop 10 decks down to deck 8!
I would often hear people scream as they fell – which for some reason made me want to do it even more!
Also up here is an area that is called “The Stadium.” It’s full of free-to-play games, like Table Tennis and Pickleball.
There is a little darts area too and you can book these areas. There is also mini golf – which is free at the moment.
Our cruise was during the school holidays so there were a lot of families onboard but it never felt as though there were too many kids or teenagers hanging around.
Maybe it’s because I used to be one of the Norwegian Cruise Line kids myself – so when I see them I just think “awh, that used to be me!”
The kids now don’t get NCL kids clubs hats though, I used to love my NCL hat! I wonder what happened to it?
On Deck 19 there is another sun deck and the all-important Go-Kart track that extends over 3 decks.
I’m happy to report that I did get up the courage to go on the Go-Karts and the slides during the cruise!
To find out how I got on, watch this video next:
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