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The hardest thing about building a cruise ship or a hotel, travel insiders say, is envisioning just what luxurious customers will want five years from now. So perhaps it’s just plain serendipity that in 2018, when Norwegian Cruise Line executives startedmeeting with their design teams to draw up plans for their new Prima class ship, they came up with a vision of more space, increased luxury, and plentiful outdoor areas.

The Voyage

Fast forward to this month, when the most luxurious and open Norwegian Cruise Line ship ever built hit the market. This ship was looking for a little extra elbow room, ready to splurge, and hoping to adventure out into the sunshine and sea air. The ocean was not ready for all that this spectacular ship had to offer. Luxury cruise lines are taking over the seas in 2022 & 2023!

Sailing on the inaugural voyage last month was a treat for me in many ways. The ship is beautiful; the special appearances by Katy Perry were amazing; the stops in Iceland, Ireland, Paris and Amsterdam were
unique and enthralling. It was our pleasure to experience what the best minds in the business came up
with for NCL’s new signature upscale luxury ships.

 Norwegian Cruise Line

Prima

Indeed, she is definitely a new kind of product on the seven seas. From the curves in the stateroom
dressers to the floor-to-ceiling chandeliers in the Orca dining room; from her intimate and upscale little
nooks to her seven-deck, 107-suite Haven complex; from the $10,000 painting on the wall to the
$12,000 bottle of wine, Prima was designed to usher in a new luxurious vacation experience. Norwegian Cruise Lines will roll out a new Prima-class ship every year for the next six years. The Viva, debuting in October, will be much like this one. But the next four will take even another step up, Norwegian promises.
Even now, Prima is a new model for Norwegian Cruise Line, full of underplayed but beautiful firsts. The zig-zaggypattern of the atrium creates a focal point that draws people to its cozy nooks. The specialty  restaurants are works of art; The Bistro, for example, sports three giant chandeliers that took months to coordinate, with every piece of Austrian crystal individually fastened so it wouldn’t vibrate as the ship moved. There is $6 million worth of original art onboard, including paintings and sculpture.

For the crowd of Haven lovers, Prima’s ship-within-a-ship is larger and more elegant than ever, relocated
to the aft of the ship, with unfettered views of sea and sunsets from its infinity pools and bars. You can
order a specially infused vodka and tequila, or have a bartender create a cocktail just for you.
The new design of the theater, with retractable seats, makes room for a disco after the amazing Donna
Summer Show; during the day there are full-fledged versions of The Price Is Right, Supermarket Sweep
and Press Your Luck, where you can win a cruise or a car. Prima also soon will add Noise Boys, a new
production by the team that brought us the wonderfully entertaining and original Choir of Man.
The dining rooms, meanwhile, also have become smaller and more intimate, with set menus that do not
change, much like fine restaurants do. But you will not be bored. There are 20 other food venues to
choose from, including one where you can order from different food carts, with tasting menus from
around the world.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Activities

Norwegian Cruise Lines is also geared for those who love fun activities. For the kids and the young at heart who can get down to floor level, there’s a three-level race car track and a virtual-reality-heavy Galaxy Pavilion, where you can play soccer or drive a race car or hit a golf ball night or day. If you love adventure, be sure to check out the possibility of embarking on an expedition cruise. When cruising as a family, it is necessary to seek out activities that will keep everyone entertained, come cruise lines specialize in family based itineraries.

“When you throw so many new things together you have to cross your fingers a little,” said Norwegian Cruise Linepresident Harry Sommer. But Norwegian is feeling pretty confident that the cruise market—and indeed, the higher end of the market—will hold steady.

Conclusion

In the end, Sommer asked, what makes a great vacation? It’s a combination of great service (think one
crew member for every cabin), excellent food, excellent activities; and going to really interesting
destinations—and it’s difficult to find all those things outside of a cruise ship.

I will note that there is a growing trend toward more exclusive areas within hotels and cruise ships.
Royal Caribbean has launched the CocoBeach Club at its CocoCay private island; just this month Hilton
Hotels opened its first Hilton Enclave at the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort,
offering discerning travelers a private lounge serving three meals a day, a private beach, a
separate pool with lounge chairs, private check-in, exclusive amenities and benefits, and
“dedicated wellness and fitness activities.”

In addition to serving loyal customers looking to move upscale, exclusive areas like these work
especially well for intergenerational groups and destination weddings, where some guests
might want the option of taking an occasional break from the rest. Norwegian Cruise Line is definitely raising the standard in the cruise industry. Consider it for your next adventure on the open ocean!

So, will you be cruising with Norwegian? Down the rivers of Europe? Or on the next voyage of the Mediterranean for your next cruising adventure?

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Boutique Travel Advisors is a full-service, luxury travel agency. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries for discerning clients around the world. Please visit our website or call 480-787-1477 to speak with a dedicated travel expert. 

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