We chose this cruise to preview it for an upcoming cruise in 2024, Iceland/ Norway, to see if it would be a good fit for our travel group. We haven’t cruised with NCL in about 15 years, we have cruised mostly on RCCL and Viking most recently. The Prima is a beautiful ship, having read lots of reviews here, we knew that there were going to be some negatives. I will say this first, the positives did outweigh the negatives but I think knowing this can let you be prepared. Since we had not cruised with NCL for such a long time, we were unfamiliar with the way they do things. We booked this trip very close to sailing and was confused a little with the free at sea packages, especially the beverage one. We, on other lines, don’t spend the extra money on beverage packages, I am good with a one drink a day, so we chose other “free” packages. I guess we must of been the only ones who did not by the constant chaos at every single bar throughout the ship. The Prima has beautiful bars with lots of seating areas, what was very apparent to me, was that they are all understaffed and workers overwhelmed with not one smiling face amongst them. Not once could we get a drink from the lovely seating areas, plus if you were able to get a seat at the bar, there was a line of people squeezing in between to order. This is a pretty big negative and I think NCL needs to fix this according to the percentage of passengers with drink packages.
My opinion on the food/dining, some of the best food we have had on a cruise ship, a positive for sure. A negative is the size of the Surfside Cafe, very small, it fills up quickly and you have to cut through there to get to pool, crazy design. We are early risers and did enjoy our breakfast there with no problem. Indulge Food Hall is a great concept, we had several lunches and one dinner there, there again seating is limited. We had dinner in each of the included Main Dining rooms and were pleased with each meal. We had lunch in the Commodore Dining room on embarkation day and it was nice and relaxed. We had 2 free at sea packages for a total of 4 dinners in the specialty restaurants, loved them all. Cagney’s, Le Bistro (my favorite), Paloma’s, and Onda, top notch service, excellent food and atmosphere. Being that we booked late, the online reservations were mostly taken with only very late times left, on embarkation day you can go to the Prima Theatre and change or make reservations so it seemed like they leave openings for just this reason, they were very accommodating and we were able to get earlier times.
We enjoyed the Donna Summer show, and the Price is Right was fun. We were able to see 2 shows in Syd Norman’s, needing to stand in line about 45 minutes prior, it is a small venue but now that I have been, understand the coffeehouse vibe for intimate shows. I wasn’t going to miss the Fleetwood Mac “Rumors “ show, totally awesome and for me worth waiting in line and having to stand in the back. The comedy shows were so so, now they do them in the Prima Theatre as the Improv venue is also too small. The go cart track was awesome, did not do the slides but those who did looked like they were having fun.