Royal Caribbean International (RCL) – Get the Royal Caribbean Group report In the case of its namesake cruise line, there’s a clear bigger is better mantra. The company has made its large Oasis-class ships the centerpiece of its fleet, with each new vessel a bit larger than the previous one.
The Wonder of the Seas is currently the world’s largest cruise ship, following the blueprint of its sister ship. It has multiple neighborhoods, including the outdoor area Central Park (a real park on cruise ships) and a boardwalk with a carousel, as well as the cruise line’s signature water theater.
Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get Carnival Corporation Report Its latest vessel, the Carnival Mardi Gras, and the upcoming Carnival Celebration follow the same philosophy. It’s a boat-destination plan because there’s enough on board.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival have changed the look of cruise ships with their newest ships. Of course, you can disembark wherever they might be docked – but it’s probably not as much fun as staying on board for a roller coaster ride (Carnival) or down a giant dry slide (Royal Caribbean).
Competing with these giant ships will be a huge challenge and a huge risk, so Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) – Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd report Decided to do something a little different with its newest ship.
Norwegians are getting smaller and more upscale
Norwegian Air has taken delivery of the Prima, its first new ship since 2019 and the first of a new class of ships. This is the first of six new ships planned for the class, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first since the Breakaway class premiered in 2013.
“As sailing begins in summer 2022, the first of six ships, Norwegian Prima, will be 965 feet long, 142,500 gross tonnage, and accommodate 3,215 double-occupancy guests,” the cruise line shared in a press release road.
For some perspective, the Wonder of the Seas is nearly 1,200 feet long and can carry more than twice as many passengers (less than 7,000).
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However, Norwegian has decided to differentiate its newest ships by other means than size.
“Norwegian Prima will offer the highest staffing levels and space ratios of any new cruise ship in the modern and premium cruise categories, delivering an unparalleled guest experience,” shared the company.
Prima will also have “the largest variety of suite categories offered at sea, with 13 suite categories, as well as the largest three-bedroom suite on any new cruise ship, as well as the largest interior, ocean view and balcony staterooms the brand has ever seen,” according to the release.
The new class will also offer Norway’s largest-ever standard bathroom and more “outdoor deck space on any new cruise ship, including more total pool deck space than any other ship in the NCL fleet”.
More New Features in Norwegian Prima
The cruise line wants its new ships to be higher-end than what Royal Caribbean and Carnival offer on their iconic brands. This includes an upgrade to the traditional buffet.
“As part of the multi-faceted experience offered by Ocean Boulevard, NCL has launched the brand’s first upscale souk and Indulge Food Hall. The Indulge Food Hall aims to elevate the guest sensory experience in Prima, Norway, offering visitors access to 11 indoor Food place with outdoor seating”
The vessel will also offer 44,000 square feet of Ocean Drive, which wraps around the entire deck of the vessel. This area of the ship also offers “three additional dining venues with indoor and outdoor seating, including Onda By Scarpetta, Los Lobos and The Local Bar & Grill.”
Prima also offers some new venues/experiences for Norwegian:
The Concourse is an outdoor sculpture garden featuring seven installations that change as the sun sets. Infinity Beach features two infinity pools, one on each side of the boat, near the waterline, a first for industry design. La Terraza, the two Oceanwalk glass bridges that offer photo opportunities, is an open-air lounge that “offers visitors a quaint retreat with stellar ocean views facing forward.”