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NCL goes upscale with first of new class Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima will have more open deck space than other NCL vessels. Located on Deck 8, the 44,000-square-foot Ocean Boulevard (seen here right above the ship's name) wraps around the entire deck and offers indoor-outdoor dining/activities. Rising above: The Haven, with its sun deck infinity pool
For the first in its new six-ship series, Norwegian Cruise Line is going upscale with Norwegian Prima.

Prima, which means 'first' in Italian, will have the brand's most outdoor deck space, most spacious accommodations and an Ocean Boulevard (enlarged from The Waterfront concept on prior ships) packed with indoor-outdoor dining choices.

Frank Del Rio-guided design

This is the first NCL newbuild under Frank Del Rio's design guidance, and the man is known for Oceania Cruises' sumptuous Marina and Riviera and Regent Seven Seas Cruises' extravagant Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor.

It's also the first NCL ship by Fincantieri, and will be built at the Marghera yard.

'Norwegian Prima personifies everything our guests love about NCL and raises the bar,' President and CEO Harry Sommer said. 'This will absolutely rival anything in this part of the market in terms of service, space, beauty, amenities, entertainment ... NCL's going upscale.'

The 142,500gt ship has double-occupancy capacity for 3,215 passengers.

Standing up to Celebrity

This makes it smaller than the latest Breakaway Plus newbuilds at 167,800gt and 4,200 lower berths and slightly larger and more spacious than the enlarged Celebrity Beyond at 140,600gt and 3,260 lower berths.

'I think these ships will stand up well to Celebrity ships,' Sommer said. 'Our space ratio is a little better than theirs, our service ratio is a little better than theirs. We have far more dining choices than theirs ... I think these ships exceed Celebrity's in many respects and certainly will compete well with them.'

That said, NCL will be be staying squarely in the family market. Norwegian Prima will have activities that appeal to younger clientele, to be announced over the summer. Sommer quipped that he 'can't confirm or deny a go-kart track.'

Artists and designers     

Norwegian Prima will have mind-bending hull artwork designed by Italian graffiti artist Manuel Di Rita, known as 'Peeta.' For the first time on an NCL ship, this decoration extends to the forward superstructure.

Interior designers include Piero Lissoni, Rockwell Group, SMC Design, Tillberg Design of Sweden, YSA Design and Studio DADO.

NCL asserted Norwegian Prima will offer the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any new ship in the contemporary and premium sectors. There will be 13 suite categories, the largest three-bedroom suites of any new ship and NCL's largest standard staterooms and largest bathrooms and showers for standard categories.

Roomy accommodations

Inside, ocean-view and balcony accommodations will be up to 50% larger, with inside rooms ranging from 160 square feet to 254 square feet, ocean-view from 186 square feet to 370 square feet and balcony rooms from 231 square feet to 358 square feet.

NCL also claimed Norwegian Prima will have the most outdoor deck space of any new ship including the most total pool deck space of its fleet, multiple infinity pools and vast outdoor walkways.

The Haven, elevated

The Haven by Norwegian will offer NCL's most exclusive and centralized suite complex, all styled by Piero Lissoni, one of Italy's preeminent designers. Spanning eight decks of suites and public areas, this keycard-access ship-within-a-ship locates all 107 Haven suites aft, within close proximity of private elevators.

The Haven will be more open to the sea than in the past, with every public space offering views. The Haven Courtyard was transformed into a sun deck with an infinity pool overlooking the ship's wake and a new outdoor spa with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

Ocean Boulevard and Indulge Food Hall

NCL reimagined The Waterfront by doubling the space and adding a greater variety of experiences and dining options, creating the new Ocean Boulevard. This 44,000-square-foot walkway wraps around all of Deck 8. 

Indulge Food Hall on Ocean Boulevard gives a variety of venues and indoor-outdoor seating. The 11 venues include returning favorites Coco’s for sweet treats, Q Texas Smokehouse and Starbucks.

New venues are Seaside Rotisserie for an array of rotisserie-cooked dishes; Nudls, an emporium serving noodle dishes from around the world, Italian to Thai; and Tamara, for classic Indian dishes and multiple vegetarian choices. The Latin Quarter serves classic Latin food with a twist, and Tapas Food Truck provides elevated Spanish-inspired street food. At Garden Kitchen, diners can order customized salads. Just Desserts features classic desserts like pies and cakes and Just Ice Cream serves all guest favorite ice cream flavors and decadent creations.

Hybrid dining

Three additional dining venues on Ocean Boulevard offer indoor and outdoor seating. They are Onda By Scarpetta, which debuted on Norwegian Encore, Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill.

Studio Dado created an elegant atmosphere, modern design and expansive views for Onda by Scarpetta, and a contemporary atmosphere for Los Lobos, NCL's premium Mexican restaurant.

The revamped Local Bar & Grill is set in an upscale beach club atmosphere that will showcase live music to accompany cocktails and classic American cuisine.

The Concourse, Infinity Beach, Oceanwalk and La Terraza

Other firsts for Norwegian Prima include The Concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden with an art wall by David Harber and six installations by Alexander Krivosheiw. Valued at more than $2m, the seven sculptures have stunning effects that change as the sun sets, making them ideal for photos and social media posts.

Travelers can relax at Infinity Beach with its two infinity pools, one on each side of the ship and close to the sea. Two Oceanwalk glass bridges, also new to NCL, give breathtaking views over the water. La Terraza, an open-air lounge, provides a retreat for forward-facing sea views. 

Norwegian Prima is scheduled to debut in August 2022 with NCL's widest inaugural showcase ever, stretching from Northern Europe to Bermuda, the Caribbean, Galveston and Miami before settling for a season at Port Canaveral.