Katy Perry christens the “Norwegian Prima” ahead of her maiden voyage in Reykjavík

A different kind of christening: without fireworks and without a ship’s captain leading the godmother to the magic button that triggers the mechanism to bang the champagne bottle against the ship’s side. “I’ve never done anything like this,” says singer Katy Perry as she takes the stage at the theater aboard the new cruise ship Norwegian Prima. “What a special atmosphere.”

After the official speeches by the heads of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the blessing of the new building by the bearded Viking and Bishop David Tencer and the funny words of Rabbi Marc Labowitz from Miami, Katy Perry is the star of the evening. The ritual is completed in a few seconds and with one sentence: “I christen this ship the ‘Norwegian Prima’.”

The image from the outside of the bottle shattering and the champagne flowing down the ship’s side is transferred to the theater stage via the screen. NCL boss Harry Sommer jumps for joy, the invited guests cheer.

But that was just the beginning. Once again Katy Perry appears on stage, this time with her musicians. She swapped the shimmering blue dress from the christening ceremony for a toadstool costume with a bright red vinyl body and fringed chaps. And instead of half an hour, she sings more than twice as long as planned, pulls the audience off their chairs with her world hit “I kissed a girl”, goes into the crowd, shakes hands and gives one encore after the other, among other things the catchy tune “Firework” – so a baptism with at least musical fireworks.

The “Norwegian Prima” wants to be premium

With the ship christening, the US shipping company based in Miami would like to report back. “Norwegian is back, is better,” said Frank del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, in his earlier address. After a forced break of 500 days due to the pandemic, 36,000 crew members without work and wages – and for the shipping company without sales – NCL is also getting bigger with the “Prima”.

Because as the name implies, the new building is only the first example of a new class of ship. An identical model will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard near Venice every year until 2027. Together with these six ships of the Prima class and other newbuildings from the other holding brands, the shipping group is investing a volume of 9 billion US dollars in the future of cruise shipping.

What is special about this fair-weather ship is the Ocean Boulevard on deck 8, which runs around the entire superstructure, a promenade that is sometimes less wide and not intended as a jogging course, but as an open space near the sea. Here you can sit, lie, walk, marvel at the sculptures by the artist Alexander Krivosheiv, but also eat and drink. Because all the restaurants on Deck 8 also have an outdoor area on the 4,000 square meter boulevard. This is how you dine under the open sky – with the façade of the balcony cabins of the floating high-rise always above you.

In contrast to a central sun deck with loungers grouped around a large pool, the outdoor areas have been divided into many small areas with hot tubs to offer the up to 3,100 passengers more places to retreat.

New food concepts

NCL has invested enormously in the restaurants of the new flagship, not just in the quantity of 18 and a further 17 bars and lounges. For the first time there is a Nama Sushi House, the Mediterranean seafood restaurant Palomar and the Indulge Food Hall, a market hall with eleven different stands and food trucks – from Indian curry to Spanish tapas to an ice cream parlour.

Although the dimensions of the “Norwegian Prima” are somewhat smaller than the predecessors of the Breakaway Plus class, which joined the NCL fleet, the new building boasts superlatives such as the spiral slides The Drop and The Rush. In the tubes, the courageous rush down over ten decks.

For the first time there is also a kart race track, the track of which leads over three dirts on this ship. This not only has advantages: Those who are at the Main Pool have a view of this race track construction. The loud whirring of the electric karts not only drowns out the music on the decks, but also the sound of the sea.

From September 3, 2022, the “Norwegian Prima” will be sailing from the Netherlands, Denmark and England on her first voyages to Northern Europe. In late fall, she will cross the Atlantic and depart for Caribbean cruises from the ports of New York City, Galveston in Texas and Miami.

Also read:

– Shipyard visit to Fincantieri in March 2022: The “Norwegian Prima” under construction

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