The overall design of NCL’s Prima Class ships means Viva offers a more elevated ambiance than the cruise line’s larger Breakaway and Breakaway Plus predecessors. Public spaces are more intimate, and the sophisticated décor features details that are eye-catching rather than flashy. Many of Viva’s restaurants have outdoor seating areas along deck 8’s Ocean Boulevard and the ship’s bars and lounges — which include the convivial Whiskey Bar, the chic Belvedere Bar, the panoramic Observation Lounge, and the Metropolitan Bar (which serves sustainably-sourced craft cocktails and features a striking 52-foot-wide interactive digital art piece) — are posh in an understated and appealing way.
That’s not to say that tweens and teens (and grown-ups who are kids at heart) won’t have fun onboard Viva. Decks 17 to 20 are home to activities that include Galaxy Pavilion with its virtual-reality gaming and Escape Room, the Viva Speedway racetrack, interactive mini golf at Tee Time, The Rush and The Drop corkscrew dry slides, and The Wave waterslide. While the slides are free the other activities incur a charge (generally between $10 and $15).
Adult guests interested in tossing back a few beers while watching sports also have a spot to call their own. The Local Bar & Grill with its big screen and pub-style menu is open 24/7. Late-night revelers can also check their NCL apps or the Freestyle Daily print schedule to see when the Viva Theater & Club is hosting a midnight dance party with a live DJ and Vegas-style lighting effects. During nights when the club isn’t open, however, entertainment tends to be more low-key, consisting of comedy acts at The Improv and live rock performances in Syd Norman’s Pour House. There are also sometimes midnight DJ sessions in both venues and an ‘80s dance party on the pool deck.
The Viva Theater is the setting for the ship’s major production shows, including the Broadway version of “Beetlejuice The Musical.” Unfortunately, the show wasn’t ready during Viva’s inaugural sailing on August 10, but was scheduled to debut later in the month.
Bottom Line: Viva has a cool vibe, but isn’t always as vivacious as some of NCL’s Breakaway Class ships.