Contact Form

    News Details

    Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest ship caters to Gen-X crowd
    • December 20, 2023

    Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship Norwegian Viva has some serious Gen-X appeal.

    Cruise lines have juggled the tastes of mixed generations on board for decades, but contemporary lines like NCL cater to the latest generation making vacation decisions, and a good chunk of that clientele call themselves children of the 80s.

    So while the structure of Norwegian Viva, a sister ship to Norwegian Prima, and the second of six planned vessels that look to redefine NCL’s fleet, is somewhat generation-agnostic, the entertainment programming is definitely geared toward those who find themselves in their 40s and 50s.

    “Beetlejuice: The Musical” is the marquee show on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship Norwegian Viva, which arrived to Miami on Nov. 28, 2023 to begin its first Caribbean sailing season. (Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel)

    That includes the marquee stage show “Beetlejuice,” a visually intense musical version of the Broadway hit, although condensed down to 90 minutes.

    The stage show is based on the 1988 movie Beetlejuice directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. As the title character, the ship’s “ghost with the most” eats up the stage sort of akin to Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin,” except with F-bombs.

    For the sailing, the character honed his comedic crowd interaction to poke fun at NCL, and even the ship’s godfather Luis Fonsi, the Puerto Rican singer behind the hit “Despacito,” noting he didn’t even stay on board with the sailing after the ship’s christening ceremony.

    The show’s stage production includes some masterful, creepy puppetry including a massive sand snake just like in the movie. The story, though, is its own tale departing from the source material for an entertaining show.

    Press Your Luck Live is a game show on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship Norwegian Viva, which arrived to Miami on Nov. 28, 2023 to begin its first Caribbean sailing season. (Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel)

    The other major theater production on board also hearkens back to the ’80s with a version of the game show “Press Your Luck,” which originally ran from 1983-1986 hosted by Peter Tomarken, and saw a revival in 2019 hosted by Elizabeth Banks.

    Just like the game show, the cruise line’s version lets contestants answer questions to build up a bank of turns with which they can press the button to stop a random board hopefully on cash or prizes, but also trying to avoid the show’s signature antagonist, the “whammy,” an animated red character that comes on screen suffering some sort of silly calamity in cartoon form, but also taking all of the contestant’s accumulated cash.

    The show is known for contestants chanting, “no whammies,” between turns.

    Classic 80s arcade games can be found in The Local dining venue on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship Norwegian Viva, which arrived to Miami on Nov. 28, 2023 to begin its first Caribbean sailing season. (Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel)

    Other Gen-X touches can be felt during the sailing, such as the classical strings versions of early ’90s hits like R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” playing in the background like a Muzak station while dining in the main dining room Hudson’s, and the lineup of classic arcade games of Space Invaders, Donkey Kong and the Galaga-Pac-Man combo found for free play within the sports bar concept The Local.

    For those who like their gaming a little more modern, but still enticing to Gen-X, the ship has its own version of the Galaxy Pavilion, which is filled with virtual reality games and even an escape room.

    The ship is rife with options for those seeking an adrenaline fix as well.

    The three-deck Viva Speedway on Norwegian Viva is the fifth go-kart track on board a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. (Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel)

    At the top of that list is the three-deck go-kart track. Viva’s version is the fifth for the fleet, but only Prima and Viva have the triple-decker version.

    The course of electric vehicles with piped-in engine revving sounds that can go up to 27 mph during group races, but also allows for spectators to aim and fire guns that let riders speed up their carts with a boost of earned energy. It’s a $15 extra cost, although cruisers can buy an unlimited pass for $199.

    Norwegian Cruise Line’s second Prima-class ship Norwegian Viva arrived to Miami on Nov. 28, 2023 as it begins its first Caribbean sailing season. (Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel)

    The ship also features two twisting dry slides that drop riders 10 decks in seconds while also leaving room for a small, but satisfying tube ride called the Tidal Wave that quickly shuttles riders into a small half pipe and down a quick drop that allows for quick turnaround and invites repeat rides.

    The top deck also has a Vegas-style covered mini-golf course amid other gaming stations including dart board rooms.

    For those who eschew adventure in favor of food, beverage and music, the ship is not lacking.

    In addition to gratis dining at The Commodore Room, Hudson’s, The Local and normal ship buffet Surfside Cafe, the ship like Prima once again offers the food hall concept Indulge Food Hall, with little kiosks offering up Italian, Latin, Indian, barbecue and other cuisine that diners can order using touchpad screens. The food comes quick to both indoor and outdoor seating, and you don’t have to keep getting up to refill. Just tap, swipe and consume.

    It has eight specialty restaurants including global cuisine offering Food Republic, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Hasuki Japanese grill, French offering Le Bistro, Mexican option Los Lobos with its curious entryway of sculpted animals, Nama Sushi & Sashimi, seafood offering Palomar and fine Italian dining Onda by Scarpetta.

    The lineup of bars includes Syd Norman’s Pour House, which is like a hybrid of CBGB’s and a TGIF, and has cover band shows like “Rumours” featuring playing Fleetwood Mac hits.

    The Metropolitan Bar on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship Norwegian Viva features an interactive 52-foot long piece of digital art titled xe2x80x9cEvery Wing has a Silver Liningxe2x80x9d, by artist Dominic Harris. (Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel)

    For the environmentally conscious, NCL has brought back the Metropolitan bar, which stacks its cocktail menu with sustainable alcohols and even Prosecco.

    That’s also home to the 52-foot-long digital interactive mural called ” Every Wind has a Silver Lining by British artist Dominic Harris with thousands of silvery-blue butterflies that flutter into life as passengers walk by.

    Norwegian Viva made its debut this past summer and is amid a short set of sailings from Miami before it migrates to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from which it will be sailing through March on an intense set of Caribbean itineraries, each one of which will feature a new island port of call for each day of the sailing.

    ​ Orange County Register