Thursday, June 29, 2023

NCL's Viva inaugural offers classic ports, artful design, dining delights


Norwegian Cruise Lines is known for its flashy artwork and distinctive designs on the ship. 
Here, NCL's Getaway is photographed on a recent trans-Atlantic cruise from Orlando to Lisbon. 
The new NCL Viva has an artful design, too, in blues and aquas conjuring ocean waves. 


Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
leave Orlando recently on a trans-Atlantic
NCL cruise to Lisbon aboard the Getaway.
They're excited to be on Viva's inaugural.

a fan of cruising and follow "cruise news," you know about the newest Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, Viva. 
She's making quite a splash, at 142,500 gross tons and a length of 965 feet, about a fifth of a mile. She's a luxurious floating resort, the latest NCL "Prima Class" vessel. Viva boasts a staggering selection of activities and entertainment, from an array of musical options to a global offering of restaurants, elegantly designed areas to relax and unwind, and a thoughtful itinerary of favorite cities and less visited ports. 
NCL's Viva offers an Infinity Beach area with inviting places
to relax, swim, read, enjoy a beverage and watch the water.

OUR RECENT crossing on NCL's Getaway previewed the offerings we'll enjoy on Viva. We booked the inaugural over a year ago when we heard of it from a fellow cruise enthusiast.  Special events are planned for Viva's first passengers. Joining us to salute the ship will be Viva godparent Luis Fonsi, five-time Latin Grammy-winning singer. We're excited about this Labor Day cruise because we'll visit favorite cities like Naples and Venice as well as cities not often visited: Syracusa, Koper, and Zadar.  
ON OUR Atlantic crossing earlier this month, we lazed about our Deck 10 balcony, enjoyed first-rate entertainment including Latin dance and a Broadway show, and strolled deck 8 with its lovely indoor and outdoor dining and relaxing spaces. 
Find dining and decadent desserts are
part of the allure of an NCL cruise.
 Viva's welcoming design follows suit with this novelty, also on deck 8. Features include the Oceanwalk glass bridge, infinity pools and an inviting space called "Infinity Beach." With its floating resort motif, a firepit and dining options await at Indulge Outdoor Lounge and Indulge Food Hall, billed as an "upscale open-air marketplace."
 As on our Getaway, NCL prides itself in a range of dining options, several centering in Viva's Ocean Boulevard seaside restaurants. The beautifully designed outdoor promenade is a 44,000 square foot walkway wrapping around the ship. Besides enticing dining options, the area boasts a three-story speedway and pulse-pounding slides for the daring. 
CRUISE LINES vie for "over the top" offerings, new ways to attract the world's growing cruise clientele.  Style, luxury and innovation are the bywords. Wealthy cruisers look for a high staff-to-passenger ratio to increase their service.
Dining can be a classy affair on the new Viva,
with elegant tables and views of the ocean.

NCL    attracts these high-end cruises in the way the liners of yore did.

NCL offers quiet, relaxing places to unwind,
here Getaway's Vibe Beach Club on deck 17.
 Viva sports a Vibe, too, for guests 18 and older.

 While Cunard's classic ocean liners offered first-class areas exclusive to "deep pocket" travelers, NCL ships have a separate "ultimate luxury" area called The Haven. It's the equivalent of Cunard's "Queen's Class" travel, a separate area for travelers who expect the best in luxury cruising. On Norwegian vessels, including the new Viva, the Haven includes personal concierge and butler service, luxurious suite accommodations and many amenities. Haven guests enjoy a private sundeck with its own infinity pool, hot tub, sauna and cold room, lovely lounging areas, a private restaurant and exclusive bars.
Top entertainment awaits on Viva, as on Getaway, with
Broadway caliber shows, such as "Million Dollar Quartet." 
A range of entertainment includes ethnic bands, piano, vocal
duos, comedy, game shows and specialty acts including magic. 

OUR GETAWAY general manager, Mario Markovic, noted that Haven usually quickly sells out but that all NCL guests have access to fine dining options and ship entertainment. Guests in inside cabins save money by utilizing handsomely designed public spaces. NCL cares about environmental impact, and Viva's Metropolitan Bar is Norwegian's sustainably-focused bar. 
Because dining is a big attraction for cruisers of all budgets, myriad options await on Viva, including the Mediterranean-inspired Palomar, traditional hibachi-style Hasuki, gourmet French fare in Le Bistro, a contemporary sushi house Nama and American fare in Surfside Cafe and Grill. Specialty restaurants cost a bit extra, but some visits are often included in the fare. It's worth it to augment the fine dining available to all cruisers.

NCL WAS AMONG the first line to offer "freestyle cruising" where guests dine when and with whom they choose. The globe-trotting line cruises Alaska, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand, Hawaii, Bahamas, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and more in options ranging from world cruises to weekend getaways. NCL transits the Panama Canal and offers a popular week-long Hawaiian itinerary on Pride of America. Watch for specials at

Christene "Cookie" Meyers and Bruce Keller aboard
a vintage caboose on Dunedin Railways in New Zealand.
A mutual love of trains takes them on many fun trips.

UP NEXT: Train, train, train. Wherever we go in the world, we look for an opportunity to travel by train. Trains get us "up close" to enjoy the countryside, historic sites, rivers, peaks, fields, animal life and gardens. We see how people live in a relaxing and colorful way, and at a slower pace than air travel affords. We "look" without the strain of driving a car, and get a leisurely feel for a new city, state or country.  All aboard trains in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Europe, Japan and San Francisco, where our nephew James is our knowledgeable guide, a youthful aficionado of train travel. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for  a fresh spin on travel, nature, the arts, family and more:


  1. We are booked on Viva and so excited. Let's have a coffee or cocktail.

  2. We are booked on Viva late September. She sounds so inviting.

  3. When we leave our kayaks, we try to cruise NCL for its class, artful comfort and value. Love this and your Bliss piece earlier. Have fun on beautiful Viva. Slightly jealous.

  4. We will be on this exciting inaugural, our third "virgin" cruise. Always fun to be the first ones on board, exploring the spaces, enjoying all the hoopla. Thanks for a fun read.