5 Big Changes Coming to Norwegian Cruise Line — Including Fixed Menus

Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship promises to be a game-changer for the line. As it makes a move toward a more upscale audience, here’s some of the changes you can expect to find on Norwegian Prima.

How Norwegian Prima Will Be Different

While Prima isn’t set to debut until August, already there’s big buzz about some of the changes that Norwegian will introduce with this particular ship. It’s the first ship in NCL’s new Prima class, and the company clearly has a lot riding on her introduction. So what changes can we expect when Prima joins the fleet?

norwegian prima rendering exterior
Norwegian Prima (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

1. Fixed Menus

You might recall that Norwegian shook mealtime up when they introduced the concept of “freestyle dining.” This meant that you didn’t need a reservation and could basically eat when you wanted, where you wanted. Now, they’re prepared to make another bold — and potentially controversial — move by introducing fixed menus in the main dining room on board Prima. In other words, the same menu will be offered each night of the cruise as opposed to having a different selection of items each night.

These new menus will be featured in both of the ship’s complimentary dining rooms — the upscale Hudson and the Commodore Room, which is described as “comfortable yet refined.” Norwegian says the “extensive” menus will “offer guests more variety to sample global dishes” as well as a build-your-own pasta section where, by mixing and matching ingredients, guests can create 24 different dishes.

hudson restaurant norwegian prima rendering
Hudson restaurant (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

2. A Three-Story Atrium

In recent years, several cruise lines have been taking a look at their atriums through fresh eyes. Carnival Cruise Line, perhaps the first to recognize the importance of the atrium to guests during the Joe Farcus design era, made huge changes to both the space and how it was utilized on its newest ship, Mardi Gras. Now, Norwegian is making a similar move with its first-ever three-story atrium.

The glass-walled Penrose Atrium, designed by Studio Dada, will feature a mix of bars, shops and, of course, the type of large-scale chandelier which has become a NCL trademark in recent years. In this case, the lighting fixture is inspired by constellations and features moving lights. The atrium will span decks 6, 7 and 8 and, based on the newly-released renderings, in some ways resemble the popular observation lounges found on newer Norwegian ships such as Bliss and Joy. And yes, that space will also be found on Prima.

penrose atrium norwegian prima rendering
Penrose Atrium on Norwegian Prima (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

3. Elevated Dining Venues

When Norwegian discusses its soon-to-debut ship, two words that come up repeatedly are “upscale” and “elevated.” That’s true with both new venues and old, as several longtime Norwegian Cruise Line staples get makeovers. Cagney’s Steakhouse will now feature a style designed to evoke the architecture of modern Chicago, while French restaurant Le Bistro will showcase floor-to-ceiling chandeliers and decor reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles. Even the look of the previously-mentioned main dining rooms will be more upscale than that currently featured in Taste and Savor, the venues found on most Norwegian ships.

norwegian prima viva cagney's rendering
Cagney’s on Norwegian Prima (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

MORE: Norwegian Announces Next Prima-Class Cruise Ship

4. A New Cocktail Experience

The Metropolitan Bar promises to feature “responsibly crafted zero-waste cocktails prepared with surplus ingredients” as well as “a fully-sustainable spirits menu and biodynamic wines.” The venue’s signature cocktail will be the Primadonna, described as being a play on an Old Fashioned which is “crafted using surplus banana peels” and a rum “produced with 100 percent renewable energy.” The ship will also introduce The Belvedere Bar, described as “a contemporary cocktail lounge featuring crafted cocktails with a modern, fresh take on classic drinks.”

norwegian prima metropolitan bar
Metropolitan Bar on Norwegian Prima (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

5. The Ultimate Haven Experience

Norwegian fans have long loved (or dreamed of sailing in) The Haven, the line’s ship-within-a-ship area. Prima-class ships promise to take this to the next level with the line’s most high-end experience yet. The aft-facing sundeck and infinity pool offer incredible views to take in while guests are being pampered by their personal butler. The area will also feature an outdoor bar to take full advantage of those epic views.

the haven sundeck norwegian prima rendering
The Haven sundeck on Norwegian Prima (Rendering courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

READ NEXT: More Norwegian Prima Details

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