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The top 4 things Karryon learned aboard Norwegian Viva’s post-christening cruise

From a sneak peek at what’s going into the new Norwegian Aqua to the best of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Prima Class, Karryon shares its top four takeaways from its recent cruise aboard Norwegian Viva.

From a sneak peek at what’s going into the new Norwegian Aqua to the best of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Prima Class, Karryon shares its top four takeaways from its recent cruise aboard Norwegian Viva.

Reporting exclusively for the Australian travel industry, Karryon was onboard Norwegian Viva for its post-christening cruise. Here are the top four things we learned and loved. 

They put just about anything into a cocktail

Leftover croissants? Banana peels? These are just some of the ingredients that go into the cocktails served at what quickly becomes my favourite bar, Metropolitan Bar

On Deck 7, between The Improv and Hudson’s, is Norwegian Viva’s industry-exclusive sustainable cocktail bar, Metropolitan Bar. 

Here, after you’ve swiped your hand along British digital artist Dominic Harris’ Every Wing has a Silver Lining (which shifts and moves under your touch), you can sip from an array of not only truly delicious cocktails, but some pretty unique ones too. 

Wes Cort, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations tells us that the cocktails are all produced with products that are found on board and are repurposed, like banana peels, pineapple rinds and coffee grounds.

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“Instead of throwing them in the garbage, we use them to make great cocktails,” he said. 

But this doesn’t mean you’re drinking mushy brown bananas and leftovers that have been sitting out on a buffet. Rather, surplus ingredients are collected and repurposed. For instance in the Croissant Mai-Tai, almond croissants are soaked in water and sugar for a day before being blended, strained and cooked. Cardamon is added and then the whole thing is strained again and mixed with Brugal rum and Cointreau. 

Or there’s the Pineapple Surplus. The skin of two pineapples is boiled for 30 seconds with turmeric, strained and mixed with honey. This sits for a day before being mixed with Jaja tequila, lime juice and pineapple juice and decorated with a pineapple rind. 

The Watermelon Twist features watermelon skin infused with sugar blended and strained into syrup. Other drinks use the sweetness of banana peels that are squashed, blended with sugar and cinnamon sticks and made into a syrup that can last up to seven days.

But my all-time favourite is the Cucumber Cool which features a cucumber pulp cordial mixed with lime juice, elderflower liqueur and vodka. 

It’s not just leftover fruits and veggies either. The other cocktail ingredients are carefully sourced based on their sustainability credentials. But most people at the bar aren’t aware of all this, they just love the cocktails. The sustainability angle is a tasty value add.

Food trucks on a cruise ship?

Forget what you think you know about cruise ship dining. NCL has thrown out the menu with its Indulge Food Hall, a must-visit onboard its Prima Class vessels. 

This isn’t just any food hall. There are actual food trucks on board (including an Airstream trailer). You can sit either in or outside and order from an iPad. And then order more. 

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I’m a sucker for the Indian offered with its made-to-order naan. It’s in this way that Indulge is perfect for those with dietary requirements as things are cooked to order. And the options change regularly. I even sneak down when my dining companions are indulging in some seafood at specialty dining venue Palomar for some solid veggie options. 

Blame an Aussie for BEETLEJUICE The Musical

I soon come to realise there’s a sense of community on board a ship (particularly if you’re travelling with a bunch of travel agents). And when that community gathers in a theatre to enjoy a night of music, comedy and the odd demon, it’s a great way to end your cruise. 

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When Beetlejuice himself goes off script and ad-libs a routine about the cruise and its MIA godfather the audience is almost in tears. He never leaves character and it’s naughty and funny and perfect for a cruise that while it has all the luxury and amenities you could want, doesn’t have a stick up its hull. 

I was a big fan of the late 80s film and didn’t realise it would translate into musical form so easily. But when the cast breaks out into Day-O, you realise all the ingredients were there. It just needed a musical genius to put it all together. And that musical genius is an Aussie. 

You might know Eddie Perfect from Offspring. Or there was his Shane Warne: The Musical. He’s even been on Play School. Perfect is behind the music and lyrics for the show and maybe it’s that irreverent Australian-ness that shines through (along with the odd profanity). Highly recommended. 

They’re putting WHAT on Norwegian Aqua?

How NCL is planning on beating its current Prima-class sisters Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva seems a tough ask. We knew Norwegian Aqua was going to be bigger, but the size also comes with the highest staffing levels of any new contemporary cruise ship.

Having screamed my way from Deck 18 to Deck 8 via The Drop, the world’s first free-fall dry slide, I didn’t think NCL could top its slide offerings. But apparently it can. 

They’re calling it the Aqua Slidecoaster and it’s the world’s first hybrid rollercoaster and waterslide. Featuring thrilling dual slides and a magnetic lift that propels daring guests through two distinct courses, this exclusive NCL experience includes three levels of exhilarating twists and turns around the ship’s funnel.

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And just when you think that’s the biggest thing onboard, you’re wrong. There’s something brewing that the team has yet to reveal. We did try and loosen their tongues with cocktails from Metropolitan Bar, but you’ll just have to wait…

For more information on Norwegian Viva and Norwegian Aqua, chat to your local travel agent. For agents, head to Norwegian Central.