If you are someone who is a fan of Norwegian Cruise Line you may be aware that a brand new ship recently launched just five months ago. This new ship is the second vessel in the Prima Class and is named the Norwegian Viva.
I recently had the chance to sail on one of the very first Norwegian Viva sailings that embarked from the United States in December 2023. During the course of the 4-night itinerary, I came to really enjoy this ship and everything that it has to offer.
Here are some of the exciting new features onboard Norwegian Viva and why it is now one of my favorites in the entire Norwegian Cruise Line fleet! These are just some of the things I noticed and took away from my first sailing win the Norwegian Viva and are listed in no particular order.
#10 - Great Food and Dining Experiences
One of the most notable features of the Norwegian Viva is the great food! Food and dining are important aspects of any cruise vacation, and Norwegian Viva certainly delivers on this front.
There are two main dining restaurants, a buffet, a pub-style venue, and an all-new dining venue space called the Indulge Food Hall. These complimentary dining locations have a plethora of great choices for guests to explore during their cruise.
One of my favorite dining locations onboard was the Indulge Food Hall. This space is unique and can only be found onboard Prima Class ships: the Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva.
The Indulge Food Hall features cuisine and dining options from all over the world, from India to Italy, Latin America, salads, burgers, and more.
One of the coolest parts of the Indulge Food Hall is that guests can pick a comfortable table, hammock, lounge chair, or other seating spot, and then order from a tablet. Once guests have made their digital choices, the food is quickly delivered to their table.
We thought the Indulge Food Hall was an awesome addition to the dining experience onboard Norwegian Cruise Line. Make sure to check out the Indian Cuisine; it is my favorite onboard!
The two main complimentary dining restaurants are beautiful and offer a luxurious dining experience. I appreciate the beautiful ocean views that guests can have while eating dinner and other meals at these restaurants. Hudson’s restaurant is a great place to visit for a sunset meal!
For guests who have sailed with Norwegian Cruise Line before, they may be familiar with the brand favorite O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill. Onboard Norwegian Viva guests will not find O’Sheehan’s, but they will find what I consider to be the elevated and sophisticated version now called the Local Bar & Grill. The same pub-style fare is served at this restaurant.
When it comes to dining onboard the Norwegian Viva, there is so much for passengers to choose from. Every guest will be able to find something that they enjoy, as well as food items that fit any dietary needs or restrictions.
We enjoyed every meal we had onboard the Norwegian Viva! Make sure to try out some of the awesome desserts at the main dining restaurants at Hudson’s and The Commodore Room as well!
#9 - Awesome Broadway-Style Show
For those guests who enjoy musicals and Broadway-style shows, they do not have to look far onboard the Norwegian Viva.
Currently, Norwegian Viva features one musical theater production show onboard. This show is "Beetlejuice: The Musical." I thought the show was great and featured some exceedingly talented performers and crew members! Note, however, that it is not a full-length show. It is a 90-minute adaptation.
It is important to note that this show does have some elements and themes that might be scary or alarming to young children and may not be suitable for all audiences. However, if you are someone who enjoys a good laugh, talented performances, and a theater show, we think this show could be a lot of fun for most guests.
"Beetlejuice: The Musical" is performed multiple times during a cruise; therefore, I recommend that guests check the Freestyle Daily ship schedule for the exact times when the show will be performed.
#8 - Beautiful and Modern Design
(The Norwegian Viva was decorated for Christmas during our early December sailing)
The Norwegian Viva is truly one of the most beautiful ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, if not one of the most beautiful cruise ships of any fleet!
I appreciate that with the newest Prima Class of ships, Norwegian Cruise Line has endeavored to bring a new and modern design and feel to these vessels. Immediately upon stepping foot onto Norwegian Viva, I noticed how different in design this ship is from every other Norwegian Cruise Line ship that I have been on before, including Norwegian Encore.
If you are someone who has sailed with Norwegian Cruise Line before, you may not see many similarities in the design compared to older vessels. While many of the classic venues, amenities, and activities can be found onboard Norwegian Viva, this ship brings a whole new level of sophistication to NCL's fleet.
One of the most notable design changes onboard Prima Class ships from other classes and ships is the main atrium. Onboard Norwegian Viva, the atrium features lots of open spaces, light Scandinavian colors, and an airy design.
Guests will find that the overall feel of this space is quite modern and chic when compared to the main atriums onboard many of the other Norwegian Cruise Line ships, such as Norwegian Star.
#7 - Multiple Pool Areas
(The main pool area onboard Norwegian Viva)
Something that we thought was quite interesting was how small the main pool area appeared to be. At first, this seemed like a disappointment; however, after further exploring Norwegian Viva, I think that the ship actually has a great solution for pool areas onboard.
While Norwegian Viva has a main pool area with a small stage and pool bar, there are actually two additional complimentary-use pool areas on the ship.
(The Infinity Beach area on one side of Norwegian Viva on Deck 8)
Located on deck 8, guests can find two Infinity Beach areas for guests to lounge by and take a dip in the pool.
Having the main pool seem smaller may at first seem like a detriment to Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship. After seeing the two Infinity Beach areas, however, I think these three separate pool areas mean that more guests can enjoy the pool decks without them seeming overly crowded.
(The Infinity Beach area on the other side of Norwegian Viva on Deck 8)
Of course, like any pool deck, both the main pool and Infinity Beach area lounge chairs will start to fill up later in the day. Because of this, I recommend grabbing a lounge chair early in the day. This may be easier near the Infinity Beach areas, as there are lots of great and relaxing lounge chairs nearby.
A pro tip is to make sure to look for the self-serve soft-serve ice cream stations near the Infinity Beach areas! These are a great spot to grab a sweet treat during a day exploring the ship.
#6 - New and Innovative Games Area
For those looking for the ultimate area to experience onboard activities as a family, The Stadium is the place to be onboard Norwegian Viva. Here, you'll find complimentary tabletop shuffleboard, pickle ball, subsoccar, and even a few twists on classic games like ping pong and foosball.
This spot on Deck 18 is a great place for members of the whole family to engage in a lively sports game or two while making great memories.
Additionally, guests can also find other fun games and activities onboard on Deck 18. There are two new additions to Norwegian's Prima Class called Tee Time and The Bull’s Eye.
Tee Time is an awesome mini-golf course onboard, while The Bull’s Eye is a modern twist on the classic game of darts.
Additionally, this is also where guests access the Norwegian Viva Speedway, the newest addition to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Speedways.
Because there is so much to do onboard on Deck 18, a family can spend a whole day on the upper decks. This means that there is no getting bored during a sea day on Norwegian Viva!
#5 - Comfortable and Spacious Staterooms
During our sailing onboard the Norwegian Viva, we stayed in a Family Inside Stateroom. There were three of us traveling together, and this room proved to be a great option for us onboard while sticking to a budget.
The Family Inside Stateroom came equipped with two pullman beds that lowered from the ceiling, making the room capable of housing all three of us comfortably.
Additionally, there was more than enough storage, closets, and shelving for the three of us to store our belongings during the cruise. In fact, one of the three closets was never used during our sailing!
Perhaps one of our favorite aspects of the stateroom was the beautiful, spacious, and modern bathroom. These bathrooms featured a large walk-in shower with a glass door, as well as plenty of shelving space to store toiletries.
Our room was quite modern with its amenities and even had USB and USB-C outlets for guests to charge their devices. This is rather uncommon, as the majority of newer cruise ships tend to just have USB ports, in addition to standard outlets.
#4 - More Outdoor Areas
When it comes to enjoying outdoor space and watching beautiful sunsets, there is plenty of space to do so onboard Norwegian Viva. From the lido deck to Infinity Beach areas, the Oceanwalk, La Terrazza, and Ocean Boulevard, there is so much outdoor space for guests to explore onboard.
Two of the most unique outdoor venues onboard that can only be found onboard the Prima Class ships are The Oceanwalk and La Terrazza. Similarly, the Oceanwalk is an exceedingly unique space onboard that allows guests to literally walk over the ocean waves.
I appreciate Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to bringing guests closer to the sea and the destinations they are sailing to onboard. This is evident onboard Norwegian Viva with the all-new outdoor spaces for guests to explore. Guests can find the Oceanwalk and La Terrazza onboard the Norwegian Viva on Deck 8.
#3 - Live Music and Performance Shows
When it comes to nightlife and nighttime entertainment onboard, Norwegian Viva has so much to offer its passengers.
For those who enjoy a good laugh, there is a specific nighttime venue just for stand-up comedy performances. This venue is called The Improv At Sea and is located on Deck 7.
Improv At Sea is where guests can catch adult-only comedic performances, as well as comedy shows that are meant for the whole family. Guests can reference the Freestyle Daily to find the times when comedy shows will be performed in this venue.
Additionally, there is a venue onboard right across the hall from Improv At Sea called Sad Norman’s Pour House, which is a great pub-style club, complete with a bar and stage.
During our particular sailing, there was a speakeasy-themed night inside Syd Norman’s that featured talented crew members performing various songs. I recommend checking out both Improv At Sea and Syd Norman’s Pour House at least once during a cruise sailing onboard Norwegian Viva!
Additionally, there is live music that is played all over the ship.
(Do not forget to check out one of the themed parties onboard, often put on by a live DJ)
Of course, one cannot talk about Norwegian Viva's entertainment without mentioning the Icons show, which was a concert experience that featured songs written over the last six decades by artists like Lady Gaga and Dolly Parton.
#2 - New Slides
When it comes to slides on a cruise ship, most people think of waterslides. While Norwegian Viva does have a great waterslide called The Wave, it also has two revolutionary dry slides onboard for guests to try.
These two dry slides are new to Norwegian's Prima Class and can be found on Deck 18 of Norwegian Viva.
The Rush is a racing dry slide that's 10 stories tall, whereas The Drop, the first free-fall dry slide in the world, features a trap door mechanism in which the floor drops out from under guests as they plummet down.
Our personal favorite of these two dry slides was The Rush. The Rush seemed to go a bit faster and was more of a thrilling experience. I expected The Drop to be thrilling but discovered that the actual drop of this slide is not that intense and many guests actually came to a stop when riding and had to shuffle down the slide a bit.
The thing I appreciate the most about these dry slides is Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to innovation. These slides are an example of how NCL is thinking of new ways to bring new experiences and activities onboard to its guests.
#1 - Exciting Itineraries
Not only is Norwegian Viva a great destination in and of itself, but it also visits some incredible destinations around the world.
Currently, the Norwegian Viva visits the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the Greek Isles, in addition to Transatlantic voyages.
This means that guests can see so many different parts of the world onboard Norwegian Viva. Whether a guest sails once or multiple times onboard, they are sure to find an itinerary that fits their desires and needs.
During our cruise with the Norwegian Viva, we sailed on a four-day cruise to the Caribbean. We visited two ports of call: Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's private island in The Bahamas.
Overall, I loved getting to cruise onboard and explore Norwegian Viva! This ship is one of the most beautiful in the fleet and quickly became one of my personal favorites
While Norwegian Viva is quite different from the rest of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, it does still have a distinct Norwegian Cruise Line flare and style.
Whether this is someone’s 10th Norwegian Cruise Line sailing or very first cruise, everyone is sure to find something onboard the Norwegian Viva that they love and enjoy.