Norwegian recently launched the newest addition to its fleet, Viva, with a spectacular debut earlier this month. The ship, launched from Trieste, Italy, and finishing its inaugural run in Lisbon, Portugal, is the second in its Prima Class of ships, set to give family travelers the ultimate vacation experience.
When it comes to families, NCL thought of every detail in the design of Viva, from on-board entertainment to shore excursions. For the first time at sea, a 90-minute adaptation of the Tony Award-nominated show, Beetlejuice the Musical, will be performed, giving guests entertainment while introducing kids to the magic of Broadway.
The Galaxy Pavilion, a virtual reality gaming center, is fun for kids of all ages, with experiences like virtual roller coasters, shooting games and racing simulators. It is also home to an escape room, a great way to have fun together as a family as you work to solve puzzles to help free magician Mystere from the alternate dimension he accidentally sent himself to.
On top of the ship is one of Norwegian’s signature activities, Viva Speedway, which lets you race go-karts while enjoying a sea breeze and incredible views of the ocean. The racetrack takes you on a course spanning three separate decks, making it an experience unique to Norwegian Cruise Line and great for competitive families who like an adrenaline rush.
Viva will offer shore excursions at each port of call, each carefully curated to offer activities for all age groups. A great example is the Let’s Take a Selfie excursion families enjoyed while Viva stopped in Ibiza on its inaugural voyage. The tour, designed with social-media loving teens in mind, visited some of the most Instagram-worthy spots on the island, carefully paired with available WiFi, and featured a guide who shared great tips on using lighting and composition to take the perfect selfie.
On board, kids can participate in activity programs customized to their specific age group, giving them the opportunity to make new friends with kids their own age. The Entourage Program is designed for teens aged 13–17 and lets them take part in teen-friendly games and activities, spend some time in the digital world or just hang out with other teens. While adults have plenty of space to enjoy themselves (Viva has more outdoor deck space than any other new cruise ship and gives guests up to 35 percent more space than any other ship of its kind), kids have their own place to hang out at, like Kids Aqua Park and Splash Academy.
There is even a program for infants, babies and toddlers aged 6 months to 3 years called the Guppies Program. While this program doesn’t allow you to drop your little ones off for the day with NCL staff, it does give parents a great place to interact with their children in play.
These programs not only keep the kids engaged and entertained, but they also let parents rest comfortably knowing kids are safe, in good hands and having fun while supervised by NCL Youth Staff. These crew members are fully ADA-trained and background checked, so parents can be at ease while their kids have fun.
After the inaugural cruise, during which Viva stopped in ports of call like Split, Croatia, and Cannes, France, Viva will spend some time visiting ports like the Greek islands before eventually making its way to its home port of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It seems everywhere you turn on this 3,099-passenger ship, there is a new way to have fun, whether it is world-class dining, go-kart racing in the middle of the ocean or playing mini golf and pickleball.
Insider tip: Be sure to book activities like the escape room and the speedway early, especially if the whole family wants to participate together, as time slots for these popular activities fill up early!
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