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

Sep 24, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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 theater that transforms into a nightclub, putting new spins on amenities we’ve already seen at sea.

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 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.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter.

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 theater productions, Norwegian Prima will include a three-deck theater 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 theater at night, and both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have run Broadway-style theater 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 theater 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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.