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9 Things You'll Love About Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)
Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

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Cruisers curious about Norwegian Joy, the line's high-tech ship that was the first to boast such intriguing options as an at-sea go-kart racetrack and virtual reality pavilion, will find more than just high-adrenaline activities. Also onboard is an impressive array of restaurants and evening entertainment. Add it all up and there might be too much for any one cruiser to do in just a week.

Before you risk missing out, Cruise Critic highlights nine of the most exciting things to do and see.

Updated January 8, 2020

1. Footloose

What's life without dancing? This Broadway musical, based on the 1984 movie of the same name that launched the career of Kevin Bacon, will get you itching to bust a move. Showing in the main theater several times per cruise, the show lets you follow along with main guy Ren and his friends as they stand up for what they believe and challenge the too-strict rules that ban rock-n-roll and, worst of all, dancing.

2. Go-Kart Track

Norwegian Joy's Go-Karts (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Norwegian Joy was the first ship in the world to feature a two-level electric go-kart track when it launched in 2017, and it's as exciting as ever to navigate the hairpin turns while trying to stay ahead of the pack. Whether you got 10 miles per hour or max out at 30, you'll get your adrenaline pumping as you zip along the nearly 755-foot-long racetrack.

3. Starbucks

Like sister ship Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy will have a full-service Starbucks onboard, so you'll never have to go without your iced white chocolate mocha or vanilla latte. Plus, the baked goodies make for a good snack any time of day.

4. Laser Tag

The special effects at this outdoor laser tag course will blow you out of this world -- which is appropriate considering the game is set in an abandoned space station. Join forces with your fellow passengers and battle against another team as you (and they) try to get from one end of the station to the other. Even with no running permitted, you'll get your heart pumping in just a few short minutes.

5. Concierge Cabins

Concierge Family Inside Stateroom (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Unique to Norwegian Joy are Concierge Staterooms. Falling just outside of the suite category, Concierge rooms come with upscale amenities and offer the services of a private concierge to help you make plans onboard. Options include a 500-plus-square-foot family inside cabin with two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one with bathtub), a living area with double sofa and a virtual balcony (essentially an oversized LED screen that shows outside views), as well as three styles of room that come with actual balconies and range in size from 381 square feet to 452 square feet.

6. Virtual Reality

The Dark Ride in the Galaxy Pavilion (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Another first at sea for Norwegian Joy was the introduction of the Galaxy Pavilion, a virtual reality playground with such features as race car, hang glider, roller coaster and Star Wars cockpit simulators, plus a 4D cinema, interactive video wall and plenty of Xbox console stations. Just be prepared to elbow a teenager or two out of the way, as it's located right next to the teen club!

7. Texas-Style BBQ

Cruisers loved the first-ever outpost of the Texas-style barbecue eatery so much on Norwegian Bliss, the cruise line is rolling it out on Norwegian Joy. With a pop-country band on stage and mouthwatering barbecue favorites (smoked over your choice of hickory, oak or pecan wood) on the menu, you just may need to come back more than once to try it all.

8. Twisty Waterslides and Splash Park

The Aqua Park on Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Whether you're a kid at heart, or an actual kid, the Aqua Park on Norwegian Joy will satisfy your every waterslide desire. Test your nerves on the double loop slide that juts out over the side of the ship, or shout your way down the 360-foot Aqua Racer in an inner tube. For a tamer alternative, the Kids' Aqua Park has lots of splash elements to keep the kiddos happy.

9. Views Galore

You won't believe the views from the massive Observation Lounge, which takes up nearly the entire front half of Deck 15. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows line the space offering 180-degree views from just about anywhere in the lounge. The sights will be especially spectacular in Alaska, where panoramic sightlines are a must.

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