Why the New Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship Is Perfect for Families with Older Kids

With virtual reality, mini-golf, foosball, and a racetrack, Norwegian Prima is a tween and teen dream ship

When you step aboard the Norwegian Prima, you instantly feel the effort and care that went into launching the newest member of Norwegian’s fleet. Boasting a luxurious and thoughtful design, passengers can sit back and enjoy some of the finest food and entertainment the high seas can offer. From virtual reality to waterslides and a three-level racetrack, the Prima is ideal for people looking for a cruise with older kids. We had the chance to experience one of the first cruises aboard the Prima and want to share everything we know.

“When we launched Norwegian Prima, we aimed at going beyond expectations, providing our guests with more wide-open spaces, elevated service, thoughtful design, and a variety of unforgettable experiences, and this latest unveiling of our entertainment and onboard activities lineup is going to have the wow-factor they’ve yearned for in a much-anticipated cruise vacation,” says Harry Sommer, President, and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Details about the Norwegian Prima

exterior shot of the Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Cruise Line

The Prima is 965 feet long, hosts 3,100 guests, and has an impressive range of suites available to book. Choose between a suite with a view; the club balcony suite, which has more room and is perfect for families; a balcony room; an oceanview room; or an inside or studio. The Haven, Prima’s exclusive enclave, has its restaurants, pool, 24-hour butler, private elevators, and 107 spacious suites. For the first time, the re-imagined Haven has the first three-bedroom suite offered on a Norwegian cruise ship. The Oceanwalk is Norwegian’s first-ever glass walkway at sea, and the Concourse has several pieces of interactive artwork.

Activities on the Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Prima Speedway
Gabby Cullen

While there is a splash zone for little kids, we were impressed with all the activities that older kids and teens would enjoy more. 

The Prima Speedway
According to this writer, this racetrack is one of the best attractions on the ship. Once strapped in safely (wear closed-toed shoes!), you’ll race opponents around three levels at the top of the Prima. Be on the lookout for other guests with booster guns. If they “hit” your car, you’ll get a speed boost to help you race past others! Since there is a height requirement, this one is primarily for teens and adults.

Tee Time
This interactive mini-golf course has nine holes and has a fun retro vibe with a “drive-thru,” flamingos, a microphone, and giant dice. 

The Bull’s Eye
Designed with a lounge vibe, complete with comfy sofas, you can easily spend a few hours hanging out at one of the dart boards that come with a modern tech upgrade. Choose from many different dart games (some we didn’t know), and be ready for snarky but hilarious comments from the game if your throw is less than stellar. 

The Stadium
Here is where you’ll find active games like shuffleboard, ping pong, pickleball, foosball, and more. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon at sea.  

The Drop, the Rush, and the Wave
These 10-story tall slides are perfect for thrill-seekers! The Drop is a free-fall slide, and the Rush is a dual slide, so be sure to challenge a family member to a race. If you want water fun, try the Wave, the tidal wave slide on Deck 19. 

Galaxy Pavillion
From the flying theater to the Top Golf simulator, the Galaxy Pavilion is a must. There are 13 VR games and an escape room. Insider Tip: This is one of the Cruise Director’s favorite places on the Prima! 

Dining Aboard the Norwegian Prima

Hudson's dining room on the Norwegian Prima
Gabby Cullen

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its exceptional dining experiences, and the Prima takes that experience to the next level.

Hudson’s and the Commodore Room
In these main dining rooms, you’ll find a completely re-vamped menu that, in 2023, will roll out to other ships. The fixed menu focuses on preparing fewer menu items with higher quality and execution and includes globally-inspired dishes, vegetarian options, and a make-your-own pasta option where guests can choose their pasta style, sauce, and ingredients for a unique meal all their own. 

Indulge Food Hall
This completely new concept has never been done on a cruise ship. There are 11 different stalls in the food hall, ranging from Indian to Italian to Texas BBQ. Settle in at a table in the middle of the space and browse the available tablet to order your food. The chicken tikka masala and lamb chops were favorites, as well as shrimp Pad Thai, tuna tostadas, and French onion soup.

While you can eat here at all three meals, there are different menus at each time. There is also a Starbucks and a dessert stall, but these are not complimentary dining options. 

Surfside Cafe & Grill
At this buffet-style dining experience, you’ll find not only kid favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries but also a new wood-burning pizza oven, grilled veggies, a pasta station, a salad bar, and fresh seafood options. 

The Local Bar & Grill
You’ll find classic pub-style menu options at this favorite hangout, and it’s open 24-7! Think omelets, breakfast sandwiches, cobb salads, fish and chips, chicken sandwiches, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, pretzel bites, and more. 

Specialty Dining 
Palomar is Norwegian’s first Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and serves items like lobster, oysters, filet mignon, tableside fish, and more. At Food Republic, you can share plates like shrimp, lettuce wraps, pork belly dumplings, and beef skewers. Onda by Scarpetta is where you’ll find classics like spaghetti and ravioli offered alongside mezzelune and tagliatelle, followed by options like salmon, steak, and roasted chicken.

Los Lobos offers tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, chile Rellenos and more. The romantic vibe of Le Bistro French paired with wonderful meal items such as Coq Au Vin, sea bass, and lobster Thermador, is ideal for a parent's night out.  For a classic steakhouse experience, Cagney's is still serving up the grilled classic like the rib eye, the filet mignon, and a New York strip, with tempting sides such as potatoes au gratin, garlic mushrooms, and parmesan-dusted truffle fries. Asian cuisine can be found at Hasuki, which is Norwegian's new teppanyaki-style experience, and Nama Sushi.


Entertainment on the Norwegian Prima

Noise Boys show on the Norwegian Prima
Gabby Cullen

The Norwegian Prima Theater is where much of the nightly entertainment happens. With seating for 750 guests, an LED video wall, and a vibe that appeals to ages across the board, guests will go from a Broadway show to a nightclub all on the same night. As Norwegian Cruise Line Entertainment Director Julie Valeriote says "We want the experience to begin when you enter the venue."  Other live entertainment can be found at Syd's Pour House and other hidden gems on board the Prima. 

Noise Boys
Get ready to be wowed by the talent here! Straight from the Edinburg Fringe Festival, this incredible show is filled with tap dancing, award-winning beatboxing, and a hip, urban vibe that'll appeal to ages young and old.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Experience the same Tony-nominated Broadway musical found in New York, you'll find yourself dancing along to the disco icon's greatest hits on the high seas.  

The Price Is Right Live
That's right, guests will have the chance to compete on the legendary game show right on the Norwegian Prima! Will you get to spin the wheel and head for the Showcase Showdown? 

Improv at Sea
If comedy is your jam, this is for you. Laugh with your fellow guests at intimate stand-up shows. 

Live Music at Syd's Pour House
Each Norwegian cruise ship has a signature concept when it comes to live music, but what is the same across the board is the intimate, hidden gem vibe of each show. You might hear classic covers, rock music, or other fun music genres that'll have you leaving like you discovered the next big band. 

How to Sail the Norwegian Prima

exterior shot of the Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Cruise Line

Looking to book a cruise on the Norwegian Prima? United States ports include Port Canaveral, FL, New York, NY, Galveston, TX, and Miami, FL

Online: ncl.com/prima

This trip was paid for by Norwegian Cruise Line but all opinions here belong to the writer.

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