The cruise line has opted for something very different from Royal Caribbean and Carnival’s latest giant new ships.
Royal Caribbean International (RCL) has a clear bigger is better mantra when it comes to its namesake cruise line. The company has made its massive Oasis-class ships the centerpiece of its fleet with each new one being slightly bigger than the one that came before it.
Wonder of the Seas, the current largest cruise ship in the world, follows the blueprint of its sister ships. It has multiple neighborhoods including the outdoor areas Central Park (a literal park on a cruise ship) and the Boardwalk, which features a carousel, and the cruise line’s signature Aqua Theater.
Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) has followed the same philosophy with its latest ships Carnival Mardi Gras and the upcoming Carnival Celebration. It’s a plan where the ship is the destination because there’s more than enough to onboard.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival have literally changed what cruise ships are with their latest ships. Sure, you can get off the ship wherever they might stop – but it may not be as much fun as staying on board and riding the roller coaster (Carnival) or sliding down a massive dry slide (Royal Caribbean).
Norwegian Goes Smaller and Upscale
Norwegian has taken delivery of Prima, its first new ship since 2019, and the first in a new class of ships. It’s the first of six new ships planned for the class, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first new class of ships since the Breakaway class premiered in 2013.
“With voyages beginning in summer 2022, Norwegian Prima, the first of the six ships, will be 965 feet long, 142,500 gross tons, and able to accommodate 3,215 guests at double occupancy,” the cruise line shared in a press release.
To put the numbers into some perspective, Wonder of the Seas is nearly 1,200 feet long and can carry more than twice as many passengers (just under 7,000).
Norwegian, however, has decided to differentiate its newest ships by something other than size.
“Norwegian Prima will offer the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise category, delivering an unrivaled guest experience,” the company shared.
Prima will also have “the largest variety of suite categories available at sea with 13 suite categories as well as the largest three-bedroom suites of any new cruise ship and the brand’s largest-ever inside, oceanview and balcony staterooms,” the press release stated.
The new class will also offer Norwegian’s largest-ever bathrooms for standard rooms and more “outdoor deck space of any new cruise ship including more total pool deck space than any other ship in NCL’s fleet.”
More New Features on Norwegian Prima
The cruise line wants its new ships to be a bit higher-end than what Royal Caribbean and Carnival offer on their signature brands. That includes an elevated take on the traditional buffet.
“As part of the multifaceted experiences offered on Ocean Boulevard, NCL introduced the Brand’s first-ever upscale open-air marketplace with Indulge Food Hall. Created to elevate the guest-sensory experience on Norwegian Prima, Indulge Food Hall offers visitors diverse menu items from 11 culinary venues featuring indoor and outdoor seating.”
The ship will also offer the 44,000 square-foot Ocean Boulevard, which wraps around the entire deck of the ship. That area of the ship also offers “three additional dining venues offering both indoor and outdoor seating including Onda By Scarpetta, Los Lobos, and The Local Bar & Grill.”
Prima also includes a number of new venues/experiences for Norwegian:
- The Concourse an outdoor sculpture garden featuring seven installations that change as the sun sets.
- Infinity Beach featuring two infinity pools, one located on each side of the ship and close to the water line, which is an industry-design first.
- Two Oceanwalk glass bridges that provide photo opps.
- La Terraza, an open-air lounge, “features a quaint retreat for visitors to catch stellar forward-facing sea views.”