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7 Night Mexican Riviera Cruise from Los Angeles

7 Night Mexican Riviera Cruise from Los Angeles

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Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Los Angeles
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cabo San Lucas
  • Day 4
    Mazatlan
  • Day 5
    Puerto Vallarta
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Los Angeles

Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Great selection of dining venues, plus fun activities like go-karts, laser tag and a VR arcade.

Cons

Most dining venues and activities cost extra; and everything requires reservations.

Bottom Line

A fun ship that has plenty to keep you busy.


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: June 2019
The cruise was amazing for the views, service, and ports of call. Just wish the time spent in the ports of call were longer. If you signed up for an excursion, that didn’t give much time, if any, to explore the port towns. As far as ... Read More
The cruise was amazing for the views, service, and ports of call. Just wish the time spent in the ports of call were longer. If you signed up for an excursion, that didn’t give much time, if any, to explore the port towns. As far as the food, the options were great, as long as you weren’t vegan...I was limited to eating mostly Indian food at the buffet, which I happen to like, but not a lot of variety for me. I was very limited in what was available on the menu at the main dining rooms as well, and they ran out of tofu 2 days before the cruise was over. Only vegetarian options on the menu, and no vegan options. My husband and I loved the balcony room! Our only complaint about the room was the mattress...felt like sleeping on a box spring with a thin layer of cushion on it, so our lower backs were hurting throughout the night. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We flew into SEA the night before and stayed at a hotel near the airport. The next day we took a Lyft to the port which cost around $28 before tip. Embarkation: I sent our luggage to the porters and headed into the Terminal. We are ... Read More
We flew into SEA the night before and stayed at a hotel near the airport. The next day we took a Lyft to the port which cost around $28 before tip. Embarkation: I sent our luggage to the porters and headed into the Terminal. We are Platinum so we were able to get priority check-in. After we received our key cards, we boarded the ship for lunch. We were disappointed that Savor wasn't open until 12:30pm even though all the staff was saying it was already open. This came from one of the waitstaff at The Local, when she saw the line up waiting for tables. She even checked her Freestyle Daily but you can't doubt someone who was just on Deck 6. The ship is well kept for its age. I know she's only a couple years old, but I've sailed on newer ships during their inaugural season and they are already showing age of a 5 year old vessel (rhymes with Harnival Corizon). I digress. The ship was clean and well looked after. Staff were always clearing plates and pushing water around so there were no slip hazards. Not many instances where cups or dishes were sitting for any length of time. Cabin review below. Dining: Folks in my party said, "Good Food, Good Food, Good Food." There was an abundance of Indian cuisine and the lines there proved that the quality was high too. The variety at lunch in the Garden Cafe is second to none. This was a great change from my Harnival Corizon cruise. You'll have to read that review if you want to know more. We did feel that the MDR food selections were not as good as previous NCL cruises though. This is the first time I had the dining perk so we had a total of five specialty dining nights at a total of four restaurants (La Cucina, Teppanyaki (2x), Q, Cagney's). I think I would be more disappointed in the MDR if we ate there five times and only had the two Platinum specialty dining options. Entertainment and Activities: I know it's about the bottom line for all cruise lines, not just NCL, but it would've been nice to have a rock wall to use or even a basketball court/soccer play area. The mini-golf was laughable at best but my kids were there every day. Up-charges for laser tag, Joy Speedway, Galaxy Pavilion. The water slides were fun, especially Aqua Racer after my 6 year figured out he was tall enough to go. Minimum height is 40". I didn't bother with the free fall slide as I've done it before. I love the fact that NCL heats the water in the pools and Kid's Aqua park. Makes it more comfortable considering the area of the world you are vacationing in. We participated in the Behind the Scenes Tour for Platinum and above. There were 18 of us and it was definitely one of the more disappointing tours. However, after speaking with the Executive Chef and asking why there were no almond croissants in the Garden Cafe, he sent 6 to the room the following day. On previous BTST, we would ask and the chef would take our cabin number but no croissants. There was a "Vacation Hero." I took in one comedy show, David Graham. He was very entertaining! We saw Elements, Footloose and PJ Wen (magician). My 6 year old son watched PJ Wen first and when he found out he was in the Elements show, he wanted to go to see that too. He enjoyed both nights in the Joy Theater. We hung around the Atrium a bit and caught whatever was going on at that time on the big screen. Deal or No Deal, Canada Day and July Fourth celebrations, CruiseNext talks, dance classes, dance off and trivia. Splash Academy: My kids 6 and 8 were finally in the same group in Splash Academy. I don't know if that matters (since they're always at each others throat on land) but they were usually reluctant to go but all smiles on the way out. They even asked why we picked them up so early on a couple occasions. Service: This is an area where NCL excels over its competition. Much more attentive and detail oriented at meals in specialty and in the Garden Cafe. There was one MDR night that was very slow and they weren't busy with all the empty tables that were around us. Dioni at Q even asked if we were in a rush to catch a show. Nice touch. Ports and Shore Excurions: With two young kids, we rarely booked excursions not knowing if the kids wanted to participate in the past. Since we had the $50 per port shore excursion credits, we decided to book a few. I had booked in advance by calling the toll free number so I didn't have to pay for the excursion until it was completed. We chose Ketchikan Duck Tour (which I ended up cancelling on board since the kids didn't want to do that after all). You would need to cancel that by 6pm on embarkation night to be eligible for a refund or not be charged a penalty since it is less than 48 hours before you reach Ketchikan. We did gold panning in Juneau and since it was done before noon, we wen to the main part of town and also bought tickets on our own for the Mount Roberts Tramway. The adult price is $35 and the child price is $18. NCL charges $25 for a child, so a bit of savings there. There was a small line up to get on but not unbearable. I would check the line before buying tickets just in case you are too close to your ship's departure. In Skagway, we did the White Pass Summit Train ride. It is definitely a nice time and very scenic. It was hard to hear the tour guide over the PA system. Rest rooms are a sight to be seen since you have to pump the flushing system a couple times. Disembarkation: I can't say enough about Port Valet. That is a godsend. I'm not one for checking luggage but since we had a 1:30pm flight and I wasn't concerned if I received my luggage late on my trip home, I decided to sign up. I'm sure glad that I did. We were worry free without luggage for a few hours in Seattle after leaving the ship. We went to Pike Place Market, Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee's graves before picking up some food before another Lyft to SEA which was another $28. I hope you enjoy your trip! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is our fourth cruise on NCL, and it has left us wanting. After getting on the boat my wife and I instantly noticed that the Joy was lacking compared to the other ships. Below is a list of glaring issues that made our overall ... Read More
This is our fourth cruise on NCL, and it has left us wanting. After getting on the boat my wife and I instantly noticed that the Joy was lacking compared to the other ships. Below is a list of glaring issues that made our overall experience less than desirable. 1. Despite the fact that the website shows pictures of a thermal suite on board, we asked the staff where it was and they informed us that this boat didn't have it. 2. The Starbucks cost extra, despite us having the drink package, which already cost a fortune, and the free coffee in the buffet was terrible. 3. The water slides were never open, the Ocean loop was only open 2 days from 9am to 11am, which is just stupid. Although my wife and I both got stuck on it, and it seemed like every other person got stuck too, so I guess that's why. 4. The Aqua Racer slide now has a 300 lb. weight limit on it, and despite the fact that after my wife and I were weighed and showed a combined total of 295 lbs the staff would not let us ride because we were too close. Also the fact there are only 2 slides on board, and the fact they are never open together made the line for this one way too long. 5. The whole top deck front part of the boat was closed off for the Haven guests, and Vibe beach club, so everyone else had to share 3 hot tubs, 2 of which always had screaming children in them. 6. The pool deck has 2 pools (one filled with children) and a giant open space with nothing in it, just making me wonder what it is there for. 7. There are two giant TV screens on the deck areas, but no movies were ever played on them. My wife and I loved NCL when we first cruised for the movies in the pool and spa areas, but nothing was ever played. 8. The mini golf course is terrible. A flat green with some pieces of wood to form obstacles. No statues, no challenges, no theme, just an uninspired second thought. 9. The race track after watching it for 2 days is not good. People were constantly getting stuck on one of the corners because it was too tight, so everyone has to stop and wait for it to get fixed. Also it costs way too much, and its not a race track if you can’t pass. You can only go as fast as the person in front of you, so my wife and I decided not to do it. 10. The laser tag costs way too much and looked really lame. 11. The galaxy pavilion costs way too much, and the people we talked to who said it was an overall bad experience. 12. La Cucina was gross, the pizza was soggy and had way too much cheese, and the staff gave us a hard time for not having a reservation, despite the fact no one was there, we were quite literally the only people outside the entire meal, and the inside had a bunch of empty seats. 13. Tepanyaki was not nearly as good as last time, the waiter was in a bad mood, and the cook seemed tired and was not putting on a great show. Also the entire dinner took about 2 hours, which is just way too long. Long periods of waiting with no food. 14. Everytime the cruise director introduced a show they were trying to sell the raffle scratch off tickets, which after the 3rd show was really annoying. 15. The comedians weren’t very good. Our first 2 NCL cruise comedians were so funny, and the ones on this boat were not very funny. Long awkward pauses, lots of failed audience interactions. Billy Anderson the intro comedian, was way funnier than the two main guys, and he had a very limited time onstage. 16. The overall entertainment during the sea days was abysmal. No movies outside, no movies in the theaters, no game shows that didn’t cost you extra. We really miss the NCL that didn’t nickle and dime you at every chance they got. The Escape, Breakaway, and Getaway all had so much to do (Ropes Courses, 5 water slides, tons of hot tubs, great mini golf, rock climbing walls, shuffle board) but the Joy is severely lacking in included experiences. A good indication of people being bored is when you go to the board game cabinet and quite literally every single game is gone, and people are waiting in the area to take the games from you when you return. 17. The observation deck was always packed, with people leaving stuff on the couches to reserve them. 18. The Haven guests always had there own gangway entrance while everyone else had to wait in giant lines, despite the Haven line always being empty. Just let them go to the front when they come! 19. Ketchikan and Juneau, were both great ports, but the time spent there was too short. Icy Straight point was a dump, ($160 per person to go on a zip line!) and Victoria was way too long of a time to be there. 20. Our balcony cabin was in the back of the boat, and when the wind blew right all the exhaust made the balcony unusable. 21. The food in the dining halls has gone way down hill, and the buffet food was pretty poor overall. I loved the Indian section, but everything else was only mediocre to poor on most days. Overall my wife and I used to love NCL, hence why we have gone on 4 in a row for the past 4 years. We even got engaged on the NCL Escape because we had both loved our first cruise so much. But the past two cruises (Breakaway and Joy) we have been on show the company has changed, and moved away from everything that used to make it special and a great value. We seriously hope NCL changes their business model for future cruises, and looks to provide more complementary experiences to its guests in the future.But until then this cruise was the nail in the coffin, and my wife and I will be looking at Royal Caribbean for our next cruise vacation. Read Less
View All Norwegian Joy Reviews
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