Cruise Ships: A Luxury Hotel at Sea
Norwegian Cruise Lines Prima
Every boater craves their time on the water, whether they’re heading out for a day of fishing or a weekend jaunt to the Bahamas. However, some avid cruisers enjoy traveling to new places that may be too far to reach with their own boat. Sure, you can charter a yacht, but what about going on a cruise? A cruise ship is likened to an all-inclusive luxury hotel at sea. Once on board the Norwegian Prima, all amenities are provided, and there is always plenty to see and do.
There are dozens of cruise lines that offer itineraries from three to 10 days, or longer if you have the time, to destinations all over the world. Go snorkeling in the deep-blue waters of the Caribbean, whale-watch off the port side of the ship in Alaska, see the Northern Lights in Iceland, relax on the beach in Mykonos, Greece—if there is a place you’ve dreamed of visiting, you will likely find a cruise ship that will take you there.
I recently spent the weekend on Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship, Prima. While the ship was built to hold more than 3,000 passengers plus crew, the areas on board were designed to feel comfortable and spacious without being crowded and overwhelming. In fact, there are two infinity pools, one main pool, four infinity hot tubs, and a Kids’ Aqua Park for water play and myriad lounge chairs and daybeds to relax and soak in the sun. A unique feature is the Oceanwalk, a glass bridge where you can see the ocean beneath your feet as you walk along.
Kids of all ages can take a spin on the Prima Speedway, a triple-deck racetrack, which also has a viewer’s platform to cheer on your favorite driver, or enjoy the fastest dry slides at sea, The Rush and The Drop (a 10-story plunge!). Reserve a spot in the Galaxy Pavilion, a family friendly virtual world with a flying theater simulator, escape rooms, and racing simulators.
Adults have their own special places on board too, such as the casino, the Humidor Cigar Lounge, and the Mandara Spa and Salon featuring a two-story pastel-lit waterfall and the first charcoal sauna at sea. Entertainment is nonstop: the three-story theater converts from a performance stage (I saw “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”) to a huge dance floor (which then became Studio 54 with a DJ playing all the ’70s Disco hits); Syd Norman’s Pour House has a hipster vibe with live music, leather sofas and chairs, and a full bar; and the Improv comedy club offers late-night laughs.
If there’s one thing I can say about this ship, it’s that you won’t go hungry. There are five complimentary dining venues and eight specialty restaurants. One complimentary option is the Indulge Food Hall, which offers 11 different dining stations with everything from Indian to barbecue. Be sure to save room for Coco’s dessert bar. There is a small fee, but it’s worth it for the super-sized sundaes and milkshakes that are made to share. (No one will tell if you don’t!)
For those who want a bit more privacy from the masses, Prima has an all-suite luxury complex called The Haven. This restricted residential-like area on the upper decks is accessed by private elevators and has its own restaurant, lounge and bar, sundeck, and infinity pool, as well as concierge and 24-hour butler service.
Some would say that there is so much to do on the ship, you really don’t have to get off until the cruise ends. As a boater, I suggest you pick an itinerary that takes you to ports you have never seen before so you want to disembark at each stop and explore the location. Let a cruise ship be the vessel to an immersive vacation that exceeds all your expectations. Explore Norwegian Prima
By Bonnie Schultz – Southern Boating