Ultimate Guide to Dining on the Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship

Ultimate Guide to Dining on the Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new ship in town and she’s called Prima.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has unveiled its newest Prima Class of ships, and the divergence from the usual linear interior design is obvious the minute you step off the elevator.


You will stroll along curvy walkways through the dining, shopping and entertainment levels, into smaller, more intimate spaces than you might remember.

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NCL has also taken a creative approach to dining on this ship. New and inviting complimentary options, plus additional specialty dining choices, are located on several levels with indoor and outdoor seating. Familiar names like Cagney’s, Food Republic and Le Bistro are still available with updated architectural designs.

The biggest change is the approach to complimentary dining. The size of the buffet area has been reduced by half, now called the Surfside Café & Grill. Casual multi-cultural choices are available as well as freshly grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza, with outdoor seating available.

If the buffet doesn’t work for you, head down to deck 8 and check out the Indulge Food Hall. Filled with eleven stations featuring global dishes, this space combines a food truck atmosphere with street food, catering to many tastes. Take a seat, indoors or out, and view your choices on the tablet provided at each table.

Indulge Food Hall Tablet Menu, Norwegian Prima cruise ship, NCL, Norwegian Cruise line, dining
Indulge Food Hall tablet menu onboard Norwegian Prima cruise ship (photo via Susan Young)

Sample one item from each eatery, if you would like, or zone in on one particular flavor and, within minutes, the plates will be delivered to you. Be it tapas, Asian noodles, or barbeque, among others, the options are many.

The complimentary main dining rooms have been renamed and restyled. The full-service experience is the same at Hudson’s on Deck 7, with its 270-degree views, and, on a smaller scale, The Commodore Room on Deck 6. The extensive menus include elegant options as Hudson’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while The Commodore is available for dinner only.

Another complimentary restaurant, The Local Bar & Grill, is open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will notice an updated style and location on Prima, compared to other ships, but it continues to offer its pub-style menu and casual atmosphere. This is also the place to catch a weekend football game on the big screen.

If you want to get away from it all, head to the Observation Lounge for a complimentary light breakfast or lunch while enjoying killer views and comfortable seating. A full-service bar is also located in this space which features privacy alcoves and lounge sofas.

As with most ships, Prima offers specialty dining, at added cost. A new concept of Mediterranean seafood can be found at Palomar, on deck 17. The menu includes Wild Mediterranean Sea Bass, Roasted Monkfish, as well as a Whole Fish for Two baked in sea salt with herbs. Steaks, veal chops and grilled Australian lamb chops are also offered. Seating includes inside and outdoor options.

Norwegian Prima Palomar, cruise ship, NCL,
Palomar on the new Norwegian Prima (photo via Susan Young)

For an upscale Mexican experience, head over to Los Lobos. Order the Guacamole prepared at your table for the freshest of ingredients chopped to perfection. This restaurant includes a full-service bar with regional offerings such as the Smoked Peach Margarita, which pairs perfectly with Chiles Relleno.

Perhaps, you are in the mood for modern yet old world Italian. Onda by Scarpetta not only offers a variety of menu choices, but the space is an architectural masterpiece. Onda is Italian for wave, which is the feeling you experience as you admire and get lost in the wavy lines of your surroundings. This is a special place for a special occasion. Salute!

Next on your global dining tour might be Hasuki. This upscale Japanese grill employs shared seating as you enjoy watching the chef’s creations prepared at your table. The grill sizzles as beef, chicken, shrimp, and scallops get flipped, veggies get chopped and rice gets fried. This Teppanyaki space is located directly across from Nama, a Sushi & Sashimi restaurant featuring all your favorites and more. Step up to the elegant Sushi bar and watch an Itamae create Shojin, California rolls and Hiramasa.

If your itinerary brings you to NCL’s exclusive island, Great Stirrup Cay, you will be treated to an island buffet at the open-air Jumbo Beach Grill. This complimentary eatery features burgers, dogs, corn on the cob, as well as barbecue items and seafood. A drink bar, adjacent to the buffet, provides soft drinks, beer, wine, and a dessert bar. You will not go hungry on this island.

Dining obviously plays a big part in the new Prima, but there is so much more to the overall experience. Bars and lounges are located all throughout the ship. If you want to get your heart pumping, check out The Drop, the first free-fall slide in the world, falling 10 decks on the side of the ship. The 3-level Prima Speedway is a must-see as well as the Galaxy Pavillion, an interactive, virtual reality experience.

Entertainment includes the Tony Award-nominated show Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which enters the world of disco including various stages of Donna Summer’s rise to stardom. As the musical ends, the stage is magically transformed into a Studio 54-type dance floor as the seating disappears and the disco balls sparkle. The dance party continues into the night with the music that defined the ‘70’s.

Prima is definitely different, and it’s all good. Once you get used to your new surroundings, just settle in, and enjoy the change.

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