Steve Odell, former boss of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas, scored the cruising equivalent of Taylor Swift tickets – the launch of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Viva.

With an exclusive invitation in hand, we walked through a tunnel of neon lights to a special concert on the incredible Norwegian Viva.

GRAMMY Award-nominated singer, songwriter, musician, producer – and Viva’s Godfather –  Luis Fonsi was the star act. There could be no better venue to celebrate Viva’s launch and its entertainment.

The Theatre and Club is a three-storey arena, and it is simply stunning with its perfect sound system, lighting, and LED video screen that dominates the stage. This was next-level entertainment with Fonsi performing his global chart-topping hit “Despacito’’.

Earlier in the evening Fonsi named and christened the new ship with a ceremonial champagne bottle-break across the ship’s hull. It signifies good fortune and safe travels for all who sail aboard.

The following evening the same venue played host to a high energy 90’s dance party. Complete with DJs and performers and a light show to match, it’s anything you would experience in the leading nightclubs across the globe.

As if not already impressed, on our third evening this space was magically transformed into a huge theatre for a superb production of the hit Broadway show Beetlejuice: The Musical.

This musical is a first ‘at sea’ for the show and is based on the Tim Burton movie. With a cast drawn from Broadway and London’s West End, these are highly polished performers who brought the audience to their feet and shouted for more.

At the more intimate Syd Norman’s Pour House we joined other musical theatre fans for an exceptional performance by two of the British stars of Beetlejuice – a classic experience with hits from Dear Evan Hansen, Grease, Little Mermaid, and Frozen.

The theatre onboard Norwegian Viva

Next evening a Fleetwood Mac cover band performed the timeless music of the best-selling album “Rumours” recounting stories that inspired each song off the record.

There is even more in store for Viva cruisers with ICONS – a concert experience featuring the songs of musical legends from the last six decades from Dolly Parton to Lady Gaga and Ocean Music Fest, An immersive concert experience where musicians merge their talents and styles on one stage.

Viva is ship of many choices and a stroll around bars and restaurants both indoors and out, presents a wide variety of other opportunities to experience incredible musicians both solo and bands, as well as great ‘standup-up’ comedy acts.

This latest iteration of the Project Leonardo-class vessels will be based in Puerto Rico from November to April, so there was a distinctly Latin flavour to the entertainment on board. An incredible upbeat atmosphere surrounded us the whole time!

With a capacity for 3,099 guests, Norwegian Viva has a surprisingly unique and intimate feel. We especially liked the Indulge Food Hall, an open-air food market featuring eleven unique dining choices from a barbeque smokehouse to Indian and Asian cuisine – this gave us more flexibility to enjoy as much of the ship’s entertainment as possible in the evenings.

Viva’s theme ‘Live it up!’ succinctly describes what is a world class entertainment experience. It certainly left us wanting more.

Norwegian Cruise Lines won our 2023 Best for Entertainment award.

See more here