Prima sailed a shortened preview of its next winter itineraries over the weekend (27 to 31 October), a cruise which also served as NCL’s first sailing out of Galveston in the history of the line.
‘We intend to have a ship home-porting in Galveston over winter for the foreseeable future,’ says president and CEO Harry Sommer. ‘We look to gather places we haven’t been before and this has been an under-served market. We have a ship in New Orleans and that market has been good for us.’
Experiences on the Prima include a speedway over three levels, drop and rush slides, Infinity Beach, Oceanwalk, Mandara Spa and much more. Among the shows on now are Summer: The Donna Summer Experience, while a one-off highlight of the cruise that finished yesterday was a Kelly Clarkson concert.
Sommer says NCL does not consider itself competing with other cruise lines, but more with four and half to five star hotels – ‘the Hiltons, the Marriotts and the Hyatts’.
‘From a value perspective, we ask people to look at what it would cost to stay at a resort or top end hotel in Galveston, Miami or Cancun. You need to factor in the cost of accommodation, food, transport, attractions and experiences. A cruise will work out at least 40% less expensive and we think that’s fantastic value.
‘Added to that, guests are transported to fascinating destinations and the service on board is at an extremely high level throughout.
‘The oldest ship in our fleet was refurbished four years ago. That is as old as our ships get – I stayed in a hotel in Newark recently that was obviously a great hotel in the 1970s.’