The Haven On Norwegian Prima: Perfect For Multigenerational Cruising

When it comes to cruising, ship size matters.

On megaships, cruisers may feel as if they’re immersed in floating cities, along with the hassles of crowds and queues. On small ships, they may feel as if they’re missing out on the excitement and breadth of onboard entertainment and other activities that help make cruising memorable.

Often, there are generational divides when it comes to ship size, too.

Last weekend, we took part in a media tour of the Norwegian Prima on its first U.S. voyage (roundtrip between New York City and Halifax). It offered us the opportunity to take a first look at The Haven, the newest iteration of the line’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship.

The Haven: Pioneering the concept of a ship within a ship

In an effort to couple the best of both worlds, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) pioneered the concept of a “ship within a ship” on its line in 2005. Now, NCL offers this exclusive, all-suite luxury enclave with restricted keycard access on most of its ships, a concept that has been continuously refined since its inception.

A stay in The Haven is somewhat akin to booking a suite on the concierge floor of a five-star hotel. Guests enjoy pampered butler and concierge service, priority boarding and disembarkation, a welcome bottle of sparkling wine on embarkation day, complimentary in-suite dining, and a host of other special perks and amenities.

Throughout the dedicated public spaces on The Haven, including private bars and lounge areas, the ambiance is sophisticated and serene. Every day feels like a “sea day” when all the other cruisers on the ship have gone someplace else.

The Haven Suites are a perfect compromise for those who can’t choose between big ships and small ships. They are also an elegant solution to meet the needs of multigenerational families with divergent lifestyles, routines, interests, and energy levels.

Families can book staterooms in The Haven and still have access to all the bells and whistles of the larger ship—including Broadway-caliber entertainment, a casino, themed bars and lounges, and more than 20 different dining venues. Alternatively, a large family can book a mix of Haven Suites, perhaps for older parents or grandparents, and one or more additional staterooms or suites elsewhere on the ship for other family members.

The Haven experience on Norwegian Prima:

Kicking it Up A Notch

Norwegian Prima is the first of six ships in NCL’s groundbreaking Prima Class. At 965 feet long, the ship can accommodate some 3,200 guests at double occupancy. (Prima is categorized as a large ship; megaships accommodate more than 3,500 guests.)

NCL made several strategic decisions in designing this new class of ships to make it feel more upscale: It decided to reduce guest occupancy compared to previous ships; to create more space for guests, both in staterooms and in public spaces; and to increase staff-guest ratios.

Another major change entailed doubling the proportion of Haven Suites (from 3 to 6 percent) to meet the growing demand for this type of stateroom.This turned out to be a prudent decision because requests for the Haven Suites represented some 20 percent of first-day bookings earlier this year.

Centralized at the aft of the ship, this exclusive enclave on Norwegian Prima now features 107 luxurious suites in eight different categories—ranging from two-person Penthouses to a Premier Owner’s Suite accommodating up to eight people.

Each of the staterooms is tastefully furnished with modern decor in neutral tones that offers the feel of a luxury apartment. Bathrooms have private lavatories, trough double sinks, jetted showers, and L’Occitane toiletries. Oversized balconies with expansive ocean views add to the spacious feel of the staterooms.

But the experience of exclusivity begins even before embarkation. Along with priority embarkation, guests are welcomed at a special lounge at the pier and once on board, reach their staterooms via private elevator banks. During the voyage, concierges help guests book reserved seating at shows and make reservations for specialty restaurants.

The reconceptualized Haven Sundeck has comfortable lounges and an infinity pool that overlooks the ship’s wake, along with a new outdoor spa area with a glass-walled sauna and cold room.

The Haven Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, is elegant in design and decor with an eclectic menu, nicely spaced tables, and gracious service. Another first for The Haven is the restaurant’s delightful al fresco dining space with ocean views.

Outside The Haven: Something for everyone

NCL’s first new class of vessels in ten years makes innovative use of outdoor spaces with walkways over the ocean, infinity pools, and abundant pool and deck space. Ocean Boulevard, located on Deck 8, allows guests to walk around the entire ship perimeter, soaking in the ocean views. The Concourse houses a multimillion dollar Instagram-worthy outdoor sculpture garden.

The new food court at sea, aptly named Indulge, has 11 different dining venues ranging from noodles to barbecue, and includes two authentic food trucks that were reassembled onsite. Convenient ordering takes place electronically from the tables with waiter service delivering the food. Those who “over-indulge” can work off extra calories or relax at the Mandara Spa and Salon and adjacent Pulse fitness center.

Among other noteworthy attractions, kids and kids-at-heart will delight in swimming in any of the ship’s six pools, surfing on inner tubes on the line’s first Tidal Wave Water Slide, and racing on the Prima Speedway, the first three-level, 3800-foot long racetrack at sea. To prevent envy of older siblings, cousins or adventurous parents, there are Go-Karts for younger children as well as technology-based minigolf for the golf-obsessed. Another standout attraction, The Drop, a 10-story free-fall dry slide.

The Galaxy Pavillion on Deck 17 offers electronic and virtual reality games including a Monster Truck with a full motion tilt system that will especially appeal to teens. The fun and games don’t end at sunset: Nightly entertainment options include live theater, vocalists, musicians, live game shows, and comedy improv. The state-of-the-art Prima Theater with excellent acoustics and stadium seating converts into a dance floor. Known for its Broadway-caliber entertainment, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” is now being featured on Norwegian Prima.

A chance to gather and reconnect

Whether celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary or vacationing, family members of all ages will find something to love when setting sail on this newly-built $1.1 billion ship that showcases the latest advances in hospitality, technology and entertainment․

One of the joys of multigenerational travel is the ability to spend time together and time apart. Norwegian Prima offers a wide array of options for guests of all ages to indulge in their passions or discover new ones, explore new destinations on interesting shore excursions, and reconvene for meals or entertainment.

And if older family members want downtime to truly relax and recharge, they can head back to the tranquility of The Haven, just steps away from all the action.

Learn more about sailing on Norwegian Prima.

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