Vacations for Canadians

Earlier in November, I had the opportunity to sail on the inaugural voyages of the Norwegian Prima and the Celebrity Beyond. Now that I’m back home, I’ve reflected on my experiences on both and have put together the following comparison.  


Beyond: The vibe on the Beyond was just what I expected from a new Celebrity ship. It was modern and chill and most definitely a luxurious experience.  


Prima: The Prima offered a very different ambiance than the Beyond. I’d describe it as amped and fun – more high energy.  And the ship itself – beautiful.


Ambiance Winner: Celebrity Beyond

Celebrity Beyond Grand Hall

Main Dining Rooms

Beyond – There are four Main Dining Room Restaurants to select from on the Beyond. The menu changes nightly and there is minor variation between the restaurants.


Prima – Hudson’s is the one Main Dining Room on the Prima and it has amazing aft views.  The menu is very large, but it doesn’t change night-to-night. There is an option, however, to “add on” speciality dining menu items for an additional cost.  


Main Dining Winner: Celebrity Beyond

Main Dining Room


Beyond – While the buffet is large and offered a lot of options, there was little variation night to night.  There is pizza available all night, however. 


Prima – This NCL ship featured the Surfside Café buffet plus the NEW Indulge Food Hall which is made up of 11 restaurants with options including tapas, Barbecue, and noodles to name a few. So many delicious choices!


Buffet Winner: Norwegian Prima

Indulge Food Hall


Beyond – There is one pub on the Beyond, Craft Social.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of seating, and even less for dining.


 Prima – The pub on the prima is called The Local.  It has a relaxed atmosphere, classic pub fare and an expanded menu is included (i.e., free).


Pub Winner: Norwegian Prima

The Local Pub Norwegian Prima

Sundeck & Outdoor Space

Beyond – The main pool on the Resort Deck has outward facing Cabanas. The beautiful Rooftop Garden has two plunge pools and extra hot tubs and the Sunset Bar at the back of the ship that is a terraced, two-deck area with gorgeous Moroccan and Mediterranean decor.


Prima – The top deck where pools are most often located on ships does have a small pool and infinity hot tubs, but not a lot of lounge space. If you want more space and additional pools, Ocean Boulevard on Deck 8 is gorgeous and has additional pools and more of a lounge area.


Sundeck and Outdoor Space Winner:  Celebrity Beyond 

Rooftop Garden on Celebrity Beyond


Beyond – If there’s one thing that I love to find in a cruise ship stateroom, it’s lots of storage and the Beyond delivered.  The room was also beautifully appointed and redesigned, and features in-room automation that allows you to adjust everything from the window shades to the AC with the tap of a screen.  


Prima – The feeling and décor of my stateroom on the Prima was contemporary and airy with a neutral colour palette and floor-to-ceiling glass doors to access the balcony.  


Stateroom Winner: Beyond

Stateroom with veranda


Beyond – We stayed in a Sunset Veranda stateroom and the balcony was furnished with two chairs and a small side table. The balcony was larger than typical and had an aft view to die for.


Prima – The balcony for our stateroom was big and had very comfortable lounge chairs that we wanted to spend a lot of time in.


Balcony Winner: Norwegian Prima

Balcony on Norwegian Prima


Beyond – My favourite, the Martini bar is three levels and is in the middle of the Grand Plaza.  In the World Class Bar, watching the bartenders make cocktails is as exciting as drinking them. And the Magic Carpet is an experience you won’t get on any other cruise line.


Prima – Bars on the Prima include, The Local which is a pub, mentioned earlier in the review, the Whiskey Bar, where you can indulge in a large selection of American whiskeys and internationally inspired mixed drinks, and the Belvedere Bar which is great for a pre-dinner cocktail since it’s right next to two restaurants.


Bars Winner: Celebrity Beyond


Beyond – There are three different shows in the state-of-the-art Theatre that provide a unique immersive experience. The Club offers several experiences from gaming to live DJ performances to other productions. Wonder at Eden offers nightly events that are unique and exciting.  You’ll often find small duets playing around the ship during the day/night at well.


Prima – Syd Norman’s Pour House is an interactive experience that involves singing along with a  house rock band while Improv at Sea will keep you laughing.  The Prima Theatre and Nightclub headlines the amazing “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” and NoiseBoys.


Entertainment Winner: Celebrity Beyond

Theatre on Celebrity beyond


Beyond – There are many traditional activities on the Beyond like trivia, Deal or No Deal, and other activities led by the entertainment team.


Prima – There are so many activities to do on the Prima including the three level Prima Speedway (go-karts), The Drop, a 10-story water slide and other water slides, Tee Time mini golf and The Galaxy Pavilion – a flying theatre simulator with everything from escape rooms to racing simulators.


Activities Winner: Norwegian Prima


Both ships offered fantastic service, but the crew on the Celebrity Beyond just went a little bit above and beyond (pun intended).

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these ships and depending on what you’re looking for, they each can offer something different. I would definitely sail on either again without hesitation. If you have any questions or you’d like more information about the Celebrity Beyond or the Norwegian Prima, please contact us.