Norwegian Prima Activities

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Entertainment
Colleen McDaniel
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Entertainment & Activities

Theater and Shows on Norwegian Prima

All of the big production shows take place in the Prima Theater and Club, located forward on decks 6, 7 and 8. The space itself is notable for its innovative design, which allows it to function as a traditional theater or a nightclub, depending on the need. This is done by essentially tucking away the chairs from Deck 6 away, creating a big, open space for dancing.

NCL has made a habit of bringing Broadway and West End shows to its cruise ships. On Prima, the show is "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical." It's an excellent biographical look at the disco queen, her life and her music. It's at times touching, occasionally raucous, and it will have you singing along to Summer's biggest hits, including "Last Dance" and "She Works Hard for the Money."

After the musical, the theater shut down temporarily, then reopened for a 70s dance party, carrying the disco theme late into the night.

The theater also hosts The Price is Right: LIVE Game Show. This one was a bit of a surprise, in that it felt familiar -- it's definitely the game show you watched as a kid when you stayed home sick from school, but it's absolutely hilarious. Contestants from the crowd are called to "come one down" and bid on prizes. There's even Plinko and a Showcase Showdown. Circle this on your daily cruise planner.

Finally, don't miss Noise Boys, a troupe that combines tap dancing, beat boxing and hip hop flow in one show. It's the type of thing that will even appeal to the jaded teenagers and 20somethings in your family.

Tip: Shows are included in the cruise fare but book up fast. Make a reservation via the app as soon as you can. If you find it's "sold out," show up early to join a wait list. Chances are, you'll get in.

Daily Things to Do on Norwegian Prima

Prima offers a solid selection of activities to keep you entertained during the day. Daily trivia sessions take place, usually in The Local, and you'll find lectures, often about the areas you're visiting, are offered, too. But much of the fun involves more active pursuits built around the ship's top deck.

All of the daily activities are listed on the Freestyle Daily, a calendar of events left each night in your cabin. They're also listed on the app, where you have the ability to favorite things you want to do, which will give you push reminders.

Nightlife on Norwegian Prima

NCL Prima is a ship that stays up late, offering a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of lounges to suit virtually any taste.

The ship's deck plan is designed to keep spaces intimate, which ultimately allows lounges and the like to develop their own personality and feel. The flip side is that many of them get crowded quickly, and you might struggle to find that quiet little nook for a late-night cocktail and conversation.

Norwegian Prima has a large casino that runs through the middle of Deck 6. A smoking casino is tucked away into a corner on the starboard side. Sealed off by glass doors, the smoke actually stays in the smoking section; we didn't notice any smoke seepage on our sailing.

Norwegian Prima Ship Bars and Lounges

While you can get what you want pretty much anywhere you want when it comes to drinks on Prima, we appreciate that each of its lounges really has a specialty or lane that goes along with its personality. Yes, you can get fine whiskey at any bar, but visit Proof for the perfect pour.

Drinks packages are often included in various deals when you book a NCL cruise, and many of the standard drinks are covered. If you're looking for something a little more premium, you might only pay the $1 or $2 difference in pricing.

Our Picks

For Something Different: The Metropolitan Bar on Norwegian Prima is a 180 from the typical bar. This "zero waste" bar focuses on sustainable beverage options, creating syrups and reductions from items like banana peels and cucumber skins -- things that otherwise would be headed for the trash can. Spirits, too, are sustainably focused. Order from a tablet, or simply tell the bartender or waiter what you'd like. But make sure to ask for the story on sustainability, as it's a fascinating tale that highlights NCL's emphasis on eco-friendly measures. Try the Primadonna, a rummy take on the old-fashioned, or the refreshing cucumber cool, made with Wheatley vodka and cucumber pulp cordial.

For the Serious Whiskey Lover: Visit Proof, located at the heart of the Penrose Atrium on Deck 8. Sure, Proof offers drinks other than whiskey, but why would you bother, when you can pick from a menu loaded with both standard and knock-your-socks off premium whiskeys, including The Kurayoshi 18-Year-Old Pure Malt Whisky, The Macallan Enigma and Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon. Can't decide? Try a flight.

For the Aft Views: It's tough to beat the Soliel Bar, located on the ship's wraparound promenade, Ocean Boulevard for epic sea views. This spot directly overlooks the wake below, and it's also great for people watching, the Ocean Boulevard is positively buzzing in great weather.

For the Forward Views: The Observation Lounge is simply beautiful, with floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping 270-degrees around the front of the ship. This place is always hopping during the day yet somehow feels quiet.

For a Rock Star: Syd Norman's Pour House feels like the garage bar a real rock fan would build, if they were into classic rock and obscure old beer signs. This small venue gets crowded fast, especially when there's live music. Don’t miss the Fleetwood Mac cover band, which runs through the epic album, "Rumours." Just get there early. We didn't, and we ended up enjoying the music from the hallway.

For a Laugh: The Improv at Sea is the ship's comedy club, with comedians performing several nights -- and days -- each cruise. Like Syd Norman's, this venue fills quickly.

To See and be Seen: The Belvedere Bar, located midship on Deck 6, is sleek and sophisticated, with lots of conversation areas. It's centrally located, with traffic to and from the casino and dining options. They mix a good cocktail here, with heavy tumblers and even craft ice.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima's main pool is the Waves pool, located on Deck 17. It's flanked by two infinity hot tubs. The pool itself is surprisingly small for a ship this size, as is the surrounding sun deck. On a hot day, expect that this area will be jammed with people. It lacks a bit of the serenity vibe you might want on a cruise, in part because it's right below the three-deck go-kart track, and motor sounds and screeching tires can be heard when it's running.

A better bet is to head to Ocean Boulevard on Deck 8. Here, you'll find two beautiful, side-hanging infinity pools, plus lots of lounge chairs, sunbeds and chair swings. The views here are superior to what you'll find on Deck 17, which feels enclosed because of its proximity to the track.

If you're willing to spend a little extra, Vibe Beach Club is worth it. This adults-only space is gorgeous and serene, with hot tubs, lots of shade and full-service bar. You can book passes online before you go.

The Haven has a private pool area for suite guests only, featuring an infinity pool.

A colorful kid's aqua park featuring splash and play toys is located on Deck 18.

Slides, Racetrack and Virtual Reality Arcade on Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima is rich with activities that could keep you entertained for hours, no matter your age. We had fun feeling like kids again, playing with some of the cool features onboard.

The Drop and The Rush are certainly the most noticeable of the onboard features; you can't miss these 10-story dry slides when you first approach the ship. The Drop, a free-fall slide that starts when the floor literally drops out from under you, is located on the port side of Deck 18. The Rush, across on the starboard side, is actually dual slides, designed so friends can race each other down to their Deck 8 terminus. For those looking for something a little less heart-pounding, they can try the Wave, a tidal waterslide in which riders hop on a raft.

Tip: To watch and hear the fun without actually taking the plunge, plant yourself outside at the Local on Deck 8. You'll hear the screams and see the exhilarated expressions as riders exit the Rush.

The biggest go-kart track at sea, Prima Speedway, is three twisty-turny levels. Drivers race between Deck 18 and Deck 20, looking to cross the finish line first and maybe earn the fastest time. The speedway has become an NCL staple since the company launched its first one on Norwegian Joy in 2017. And people seem to love it. There's a fee to race, either per ride or a per cruise package.

Tip: Even if you aren't participating, you can watch from the Speedway Bar or viewing area, where you can shoot lasers at cars below, giving them "power ups" if you hit them.

Another favorite, the Galaxy Pavilion, returns on Norwegian Prima. This area holds 13 virtual-reality games, from shoot-em-ups to driving or flying experiences. In some cases, you'll wear a VR headset; in others, you'll simply be immersed via a big 4K screen. You'll pay a fee to play, either a per game or package, and those prone to motion-sickness might want to skip this attraction.

Inside the Galaxy Pavilion, you'll find the ship's Escape Room. This attraction wasn't open during our inaugural voyage.

One of our favorite play spaces is the Stadium, located Deck 18. This spot is loaded with included activities, like a pickleball court, tube ping-pong, mini-soccer table, foosball, table shuffleboard and beer pong. It's a fun spot for a laugh, and nicely blends kind and adult activities.

Across the way on Deck 18, you'll find the Bull's Eye and Tee Time. The Bull's Eye is a number of private dart suites, where guests choose from a variety of the classic game options (cricket and 301, for example). The board is cork, and the darts are steel tipped, but it's all hooked into a sensor system that does the scoring for you. A TV screen shows the score and makes fun of you when you have a bad round. Drink service is available, so you don't have to wander to the bar for a refill. The fee for this one runs about $1 a minute, but it's charged per group, rather than per person.

Tee Time is the ship's take on mini-golf, and it also integrates electronics and mini games into the nine-hole course. It feels more like a land-based goofy golf game than you might find on other cruise ships as there are obstacles you'll need to maneuver through and around. Golf comes with a fee as well, and packages are available.

Tip: Many of these activities come with an extra fee, so consider whether you're going to try something just once or if it's an activity you'll do again and again. If it's the latter, ask about packages, which could cut costs significantly.

Sundecks on Norwegian Prima

For the best sundeck, head to Ocean Boulevard. You'll have your pick of spots anywhere around the promenade, with full sun and shady options. It does fill up on hot days, but we found the turnover to be fast.

A dedicated sundeck is located on Deck 18, and it was little used on our cruise, perhaps because it feels a little out of the way of the action.

Services and Wi-Fi on Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima offers a number of shops onboard, from the typical Effy jeweler to a high-end handbag retailer, as well as logo and gift shops for fans of the brand.

A guest services desk, as well as an onboard credit desk, are located on Deck 7. You can book shore excursions at the desk on Deck 7. An ATM is located just outside the casino. Guests can browse photos taken of them or schedule a portrait session in the gallery on Deck 8.

Many of the ship's restaurants and activities are available through the NCL app, which includes the opportunity to get on a waiting list if venues or activities are overbooked. It also includes a PDF version of the daily schedule.

Internet packages are available for lighter use (emails, social media and apps) or premium (VPN access and streaming), charged daily. Be warned: While we had the premium package on our sailing, even minimal use took forever. We were unable to upload photo content or log into our company VPN. Some video meetings worked, others didn't, and we were unable to make Wi-Fi calls.

Spa & Fitness

Spa and Thermal Suite on Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima's Mandara Spa, located on Deck 16 forward, is an expansive spa with 20 treatment rooms that offers a wide variety of traditional treatments as well as new ones. Swedish and deep tissue massages are offered, along with a number of facials and wraps.

The spa additionally offers a zero-gravity bed, that allows for eight table positions and targeted tension release, as well as an Ocean Wave bed, that comes with a massage and sea plant wrap. The bed is a bit like a waterbed, and it is adjustable, offering vibration during your treatment.

Medispa treatments like acupuncture and injectables are also available. Prima has a salon that offers manis and pedis as well as hair treatments. A barber shop is also available.

The real blowout feature of the spa is the thermal suite. It's exceptionally designed from the second you walk in, as you descend a sweeping curved marble staircase and view the two pools (a vitality and a salt pool) and two-story waterfall walls.

Just off the pool area, you'll find a host of experience rooms, including a charcoal sauna, infrared sauna, experiential shower and ice room.

The most stunning part of the thermal suite, though, might be the lounge area, which is filled with sunbeds, heated ceramic chairs and loungers. Filled with natural light and serene decor, it's a spot where you can truly bliss out.

Tip: A day pass is not cheap: Plan to spend nearly $100 per person for one day. But you can purchase a full-cruise pass at a greatly discounted rate.

Fitness and Gym on Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima's fitness center is located on Deck 16 forward. You'll walk past/through the spa to reach this space, which stretches across the front of the ship. The gym offers plenty of cardio equipment, with a large number of treadmills, ellipticals and bikes.

It's got a small area with free weights, resistance machines and dumbbells.

When the gym isn't busy, it's plenty spacious. But at peak times -- late morning and late afternoon -- it fills to the point that moving around is difficult. We had no problem getting on cardio equipment at peak times, but it was virtually impossible to find space for weight training.

The fitness center offers classes -- yoga, Ryde cycling and HIIT, for example -- in one of its two studios. Classes come with an additional fee but offer a good, efficient workout. Personal training, for a fee, also is available.

Strangely, there's no jogging track on Norwegian Prima. Deck 8's Ocean Boulevard is a good spot for walking, but it's not appropriate for running.

Tip: Sign up for classes on your first day onboard, as they limit spots. If you cancel, you'll need to do so more than 24 hours in advance or risk being charged.

For Kids

Is Norwegian Prima Family Friendly?

You bet. You'll find many families on Norwegian Prima no matter what time of year, though expect more during the summer and holiday time.

Many of the activities offered appeal to families, and kids will be begging their parents for one more turn down the waterslide or one more game of mini-golf.

Connecting rooms are readily available, and Prima offers the spacious Family Suite with Master Bedroom and Balcony, which accommodates four. Likewise, the Family Balcony and Family Inside accommodate four people, though more snugly. The Haven offers even more options that accommodate more people, though with a premium price tag.

Norwegian offers its Kids Crew programming for kids, though children must be at least 5 years old to be left alone at the ship's Splash Academy. Private babysitting isn't available, but group sitting of those between 5 and 12 is, for an hourly fee. Infants 6 months and younger aren't permitted to sail, nor are pregnant people further along than 23 weeks.

Kids must be potty trained and out of diapers in order to take part in water activities onboard. Age, weight and size limits apply to waterslides and other activities.

Kids Club on Norwegian Prima: Splash Academy

On Norwegian Prima, the line keeps it simple: All kids 12 and under will be in the same club onboard. This is a bit of a novel approach, as many ships and cruise lines separate kids by age, and siblings often are separated into different clubs onboard.

Splash Academy is located on Deck 15, and it's a sizeable and colorful space filled with chairs small and large, bean bags and cushions. There's also a gaming wall, for older kids, and plenty of space for arts and crafts.

Activities include trivia, game shows, sports challenges and pizza making, among others. Youth counselors are on hand to proctor activities and keep an eye on the kiddos.

Babies and Toddlers on Norwegian Prima

Babies and toddlers are not permitted to use Splash Academy on Norwegian Prima.

Tweens and Teens on Norwegian Prima

Tweens on Prima will hang out with the younger crowd; they're lumped in with the 5 and older group in Splash Academy.

Teens have their own section in Splash Academy, called Entourage. This space is accessible only through the main entrance of Splash Academy, via a door in the back of the club space. The area includes bean bag chairs and gaming stations, and is set up for casual interaction, monitored, loosely, but youth staff.

Teens can come and go as they like, checking in and out with their cruise card. They also have a 1 a.m. curfew.

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