Ship Review: Norwegian Viva, NCL

Ship Review: Norwegian Viva, NCL

A Speedway racetrack and Broadway production Beetlejuice are among the attractions, finds Lucy Huxley

Key selling points for travel agents: 

  • Amazing Broadway-standard stage shows (Beetlejuice is currently running)
  • Highest crew-to-guest ratio on any NCL cruise ship
  • Speedway race track
  • Multiple water slides 
  • Indulge Food Hall – a new NCL concept that's winning over hearts and bellies 
  • Spacious standard cabins, and the Haven luxury accommodation quarters

Overview: The tagline for Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Viva, is 'Live it up!'. My teenage daughter and I certainly gave it a good go as we sailed for three nights from Barcelona to Rome on board the second vessel in the line’s new Prima class.

At 142,500 tonnes and with capacity for 3,099 guests, it’s not the biggest in Norwegian’s fleet, but the line claims the ship has the highest crew-to-guest ratio, the most spacious accommodation and more experiences to connect guests to the ocean. These include infinity pools, Norwegian’s legendary three-deck Speedway race track overlooking the sea and its Ocean Boulevard promenade deck, complete with quirky art installations. 

Viva Balcony Suite

Cabins: Our balcony cabin was light and airy, with a soft coastal palette, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, ample storage and plenty of charging points. The beds were heavenly and the rainfall shower a real bonus. For guests wanting a more luxurious experience, Norwegian’s Haven complex with private lifts offers the line’s largest suites ever, including the first three-bedroom suite in 15 years.

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F&B: My daughter loved the self-serve ice-cream stations, but we were also impressed by the Indulge Food Hall, serving everything from Indian and Thai to tapas and steak. You order using iPads at the table and service is quick – a great alternative to the regular Surfside Café buffet. 

Top of my list, however, were the speciality restaurants Hasuki for teppanyaki, with all the visual drama courtesy of our chef JC, and Mexican Los Lobos, where fresh guacamole was prepared on a trolley brought to our table. 

Ice-cold cocktails on tap around the ship or Sustainable Cocktails (made from the leftover fruit each day in the Metropolitan Bar), were also worth trying. Oh, and there’s a Starbucks on board.

Norwegian viva restaurant

Facilities: Kids (and big kids) won’t be bored, with The Drop, the world’s first freefall dry slide at sea, plummeting riders 10 floors down in an instant; The Wave, a water slide ridden in an inflatable ring; the Tee Time high-tech crazy golf, and the VR mega-arcade Galaxy Pavilion. For the less adrenaline-driven, the Mandara Spa, offering a vast array of treatments, is stunning and serene. 

At night, we watched a brilliant magic and comedy show and saw the theatre transform into a nightclub. 

I love go-karting and was sceptical about how good Norwegian’s Speedway racetrack would be, but it was brilliantly done. We also got a sneak preview of the first half of Beetlejuice, the new Broadway musical to join the Norwegian fleet. It will undoubtedly be a huge draw. 

To partner with NCL, email Rebecca Ransom, Business Development Manager Middle East,, Mobile/Whatsapp: +447961 300 729; for more information, visit

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