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A Look at the New Entourage Teen Club on the Norwegian Viva

When Norwegian’s newest ships, the Prima and the Viva, first launched, many parents were confused by the lack of a dedicated teen space. This oversight seemed surprising from a cruise line known for being family-friendly. Last month, Norwegian addressed this issue by adding an Entourage Teen Club through a rare mid-cruise construction project. I had the chance to tour the facility during our recent Viva sailing, and I’ll give you an overview.

Norwegian Viva’s initial oversight: a lack of teen space

The original plan for the Prima and Viva was to have teen activities occur at various locations around the ship. Teens would meet with counselors and participate in activities, occasionally using a portion of the Splash Academy if a dedicated space was needed.

While the concept made some sense in theory, it ultimately failed in practice. Teenagers resented having to share space with children as young as three. Moreover, with no dedicated hangout spots, teens were often found wandering the halls and stairwells with nowhere to go.

I was fortunate enough to sail on one of the inaugural sailings of the Norwegian Prima when it first launched. At that point, it still hadn’t had a single guest sailing yet; it was mostly travel agents and media. During several of the question-and-answer sessions, one topic that was brought up repeatedly was the lack of a teen space. Even with no teens on board, travel professionals knew this would be a problem, but for some reason, it didn’t occur to Norwegian, or they chose to ignore it.

Norwegian converts Speedway Bay to Entourage Teen Club

Space is a precious commodity on the Prima-class ships. These vessels are smaller than their predecessors, and a significant portion of the space is allocated for additional-fee areas like the Vibe Beach Club, specialty restaurants, and The Haven lounge and suites. They’d have to get creative if they wanted to add a dedicated space for teens.

The solution they arrived at was to wall off the Speedway Bar located on Deck 18 and convert it into a teen club. While the Speedway Bar provided impressive views, it wasn’t the most popular bar. The location was hard to find; the bar was located on the back half of Deck 18, which was only accessible by stairs or elevator. To get there, guests would have to walk through the set of dry slides. While the bar provided convenient drink service to the mini-golf and The Stadium, there were no loungers or seating in the area, so the bar was usually abandoned…on most days, it didn’t even open.

Norwegian made better use of this space by walling off the area and installing one-way floor-to-ceiling glass all along the back. It creates a space with stunning views where teens can hang out with their new friends. Although the space overlooks the private Vibe Beach Club, the one-way glass helps guests in that area not feel like they’re on display. It’s also in a perfect spot, close to the buffet, the Speedway, mini-golf, the Drop and Rush dry slides, and The Stadium sports area.

Viva’s Entourage Teen Club tour

Typically, adults aren’t allowed in the teen club except for the first day’s open house. Fortunately, Norwegian allowed me access to this new facility, which had just opened for our sailing. I was impressed; you couldn’t tell it wasn’t part of the ship’s original design.

Norwegian created a new entrance off the elevator bank on Deck 18 for the space. The Entourage Teen Club has a trendy and modern look, with bright purples and neon signs creating an energetic atmosphere when kids enter. Inside, the atmosphere is similar, with bright yellow walls, colorful furniture, and LED lighting that can change as the day goes into the night.

Entourage Teen Club has many options for teens who are hanging out with their new friends. They can play air hockey or try some foosball, play a game of Sorry or Monopoly on electric gaming tables, or challenge their friends to a variety of games on the big-screen TVs (they have PS5 and Nintendo Switch setup). The club even has a virtual DJ station where teens can select the music playing in the space. Additional furniture will also be added in the coming weeks.

The club is open to guests 13 to 17 and is open for select hours. Whenever it’s open, it’s staffed by two Norwegian counselors. The lounge is open late on sea days, some days until 1 AM. It does have capacity limits, so teens have to sign in and sign out, but they’re free to leave whenever they want.

Events for teens still happen around the ship as well, and a schedule is posted on the door of Entourage. Here’s a breakdown from my sailing.

Entourage Teen Club is a welcome change for families on the Viva

Doing a new construction project on a ship during a revenue sailing when the ship is less than a year old is very rare. It shows the importance of helping improve the atmosphere of the Viva for families. Having a dedicated space for teens helps them have a more enjoyable vacation and frees up some space in the Splash Academy for younger children. During this time, they also renovated the Galaxy Pavilion, taking out some poorly performing Virtual Reality games and added in traditional arcade games. I’m happy to see Norwegian taking guest feedback so seriously and addressing some of the shortcomings of the Viva (Norwegian hasn’t commented on whether a similar change will be coming to the Prima). Still, it’s hard to believe all the people designing this ship didn’t see this problem coming in the first place.

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.