New cruise ship to offer twist on tried-and-true fun with 3-level go-kart track and freefall slide

Sep 28, 2021

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Prima, will feature a slew of entertainment options, including the industry’s first three-level go-kart track, freefall dry slides and a theatre that transforms into a nightclub, putting new spins on amenities we’ve already seen at sea.

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The first of NCL’s six Prima Class vessels — which will be significantly smaller than the line’s largest vessels, marking a departure from current cruise line mega-ship trends — 3,215-passenger Norwegian Prima will offer a racetrack that’s nearly a quarter-mile long, allowing paying participants to reach speeds of up to 30 miles (50 kilometres) per hour.

(Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

After taking on more than 14 twists and turns — including one that goes around the ship’s funnel — drivers can relax with a beverage at the Prima Speedway Bar, a new watering hole found underneath the track.

The ship will also boast The Drop, a 10-story dry slide that, according to a statement from the line, provides more G-force than an accelerating F1 racecar.

Additionally, the vessel will be home to a list of interactive real-life gameshows, including at-sea versions of “The Price Is Right,” “Supermarket Sweep,” “Press Your Luck” and “Beat the Clock.”

In terms of theatre productions, Norwegian Prima will include a three-deck theatre that converts to a Las Vegas-style nightclub, as well as Broadway-caliber performances of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.”

The top deck of Norwegian Encore includes a sprawling go-kart track and an outdoor laser tag area. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

What all of these have in common is that we’ve seen them before.

Norwegian first introduced go-kart tracks on its ships beginning with Norwegian Joy, which debuted in Asia in 2017. Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore followed, adding tracks to their outer decks.

In 2016, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas debuted the Ultimate Abyss, a 10-deck dry slide that offers thrill-seekers a breathtaking ride, and Carnival has included live gameshows on its ships since Carnival Breeze began sailing in 2012 with “Hasbro, the Game Show.” Carnival’s new Mardi Gras also features live “Family Feud” competitions on its voyages.

Family Feud Live, a new game show on Carnival Mardi Gras, is based on the popular TV show of the same name. (Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

Mardi Gras also houses a space that converts from an atrium by day to a secondary theatre at night, and both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have run Broadway-style theatre performances for years, with Norwegian currently featuring “Kinky Boots,” “Six” and “After Midnight” and Royal Caribbean putting on “Grease,” “Mamma Mia!,” “We Will Rock You,” “Cats” and “Saturday Night Fever.”

What does stand out, though, are the twists Norwegian has used to differentiate itself from its competition — and from previous iterations of its own at-sea firsts. Its racetrack is longer with more turns, its dry slides have sharper drops and its new Broadway-style offering provides theatre buffs with another playbill from which to choose.

Contrasting slightly with these flashy entertainment options, the line previously announced that its six Prima-class vessels would focus less on size and more on luxurious suites, as well as a better crew-to-passenger ratio for enhanced service.

The living room of a giant suite planned for Norwegian Cruise Line’s next ship, Norwegian Prima. (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

“We’re not just elevating the guest experience, we’re giving it an adrenaline rush and multisensory overload,” said Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “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….”

Norwegian Prima is scheduled to begin sailing from Europe in August 2022 before relocating to Galveston, Texas.

Featured photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

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