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5 Night Pacific Coastal Cruise from Los Angeles

5 Night Pacific Coastal 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
    San Francisco
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Vancouver
  • Day 6
    Vancouver

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

3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I have been on various itineraries of Alaskan cruises (Holland America, Celebrity, Norwegian). This ship is sparkling clean and beautiful and it rarely feels "jam packed" despite carrying so many people. What ... Read More
My husband and I have been on various itineraries of Alaskan cruises (Holland America, Celebrity, Norwegian). This ship is sparkling clean and beautiful and it rarely feels "jam packed" despite carrying so many people. What we liked: * Mini-balcony - love love loved our room. For us, the extra space in the bathroom was much appreciated. We spent hours on the balcony watching the exquisite scenery go by and kept our door open a bit each night to hear the ocean while we slept. * Food options - we're not buffet people, although we did take advantage of the small buffet option in the Observation lounge in the mornings. We like Norwegian because of its well developed specialty dining program. Our favorites were Cagney's, Le Bistro, La Cucina, and Food Republic. (Teppanyaki was ok but too much food/too loud for us.) * Amazing views and scenery. We weren't looking for excursions (been there/done that). * lovely service - service in all areas, from room steward to restaurants was respectful and sincere. * Observation Lounge - amazing views, comfortable seating, plus snacks & bar all day long. * embarkation/debarkation - about as easy as it gets, and we didn't have any standing to give us a special line or other edge. * activities. we were mostly interested in relaxing on our own and watching the scenery go by. But if we had wanted to play games or take part in other activities, we could have: something for everyone it seems! What we didn't care for: * The bed was too firm (but we managed) * Shows - definitely amateur hour, but what do you want "for free"? My husband was more ok with it than I was. I wouldn't waste my time on that again! * Internet package - the minutes in the package are only good for one device. I would've chosen a different freebie if I had realized this - maybe that's my bad. * No thermal spa. I probably wouldn't go on this ship again just because I love the thermal spa for this particular trip (Alaska). The facilities on this ship are laughable and not in sync with all of the other amenities. * Breakfast timing/brunch - while we loved getting a pot of coffee delivered to us (gratis) each morning, we wish there were one restaurant on board that would serve breakfast all day. We heard others comment on this, too, especially on sea days - where's the brunch option?? Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to run away from the heat of summer at least for a week and to experience the relaxing sights of Alaska. Ship: The ship looks amazing. Very clean and contemporary décor. Staff continuously cleans and maintains ... Read More
We chose this cruise to run away from the heat of summer at least for a week and to experience the relaxing sights of Alaska. Ship: The ship looks amazing. Very clean and contemporary décor. Staff continuously cleans and maintains the ship in neat condition. The onboard staff was always courteous and helpful. Bad experience with NCL air travel: We had a very stressful experience with our air travel arrangements booked directly with NCL air. Due to a last minute rescheduling of the our outbound flight, we almost missed our cruise and the NCL emergency assistance line/nor the air travel department were available to help! From the initial booking of the reservation, the staff did not bother to sit our family of four together, which included two small children. Our seats were assigned all over the plane. Ports: One of the ports visited was Hoonah/Icy Strait for an entire day and in my opinion, it would have been a better value as a customer to have that much time at different port (Ketchikan, Juneau). At his point, the town itself needs further development and the frequency of the shuttles from the port to town needs to be increase during ship arrival dates. There is a nice shopping area and some restaurants as you get off the ship plus shore excursions. We wandered into town via the $5 shuttle and found some street vendors but the area needs significant tourist development. Unless you're willing to pay for $hore excursion$ at this point there is not a lot going on there. Food: The food at specialty restaurants was excellent, specially Cagney's Steakhouse. We liked it so much that we ended up dining at Cagney's twice! The food was also good at the buffet, and to my surprise they also had a section for Indian food which seemed to be very popular. I tried some of it and it was delicious. The complimentary restaurants as well as the specialty restaurants offer a wide variety of food choices. For the specialty restaurants, we tried Teppanyaki (Hibachi). and Cagney's (Steakhouse) . Portions at both specialty restaurant were VERY generous. The Hibachi staff was fun but compared to a 'land' Hibachi restaurant the food wasn't 'great'. Cagney's steakhouse was exceptional. From the service of the staff to the quality of the food and drinks. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin and it was well worth it! Would definitely recommend it as we could see glaciers and at some point whales as the cruise sailed! Bed: The bed in our cabin was very uncomfortable as well as the bunk bed + sleeper sofa. We asked our steward for extra padding but still I was waking up daily with body and neck pain : ( Onboard kids club/arcade: For the nicer games (ex. virtual reality, race track, laser tag), you have to pay extra per use. I'd wish they had some sort of packaged deal as some are $7/use and some others are $20/use per person. They have a coloring interactive station free of charge in the galaxy room that was pretty cool. Be sure to check the daily schedules for other no-charge events. They had a shirt glow paint event where they provide T-shirts and paint so the family can create a souvenir with glow pain. Make sure kids wear clothes that can be stained with permanent paint! Useful tips; Make sure to download the NCL app PRIOR to getting on the ship. You will be able to check the daily activities from your phone and mark your favorites. There is no charge for connecting to the ship Wi-Fi to use this app. The only enhancement I'd do to the app would be to specify which activities have an additional fee (ex. wine tastings, etc...). They also have the traditional daily schedule of activities printed and delivered to your room. The ship provides a FREE port valet service in Seattle that allows to check in your luggage all the way to your airline from the ship! The paperwork is provided in your cabin but they will have signs all over the ship at around Tuesday/Wednesday for this service. This is particularly useful if you're planning to walk around Seattle. You will still need to take a cab to the airport but don't have to carry your luggage around. Unfortunately, we were not able to use this service due to issue with NCL air travel. There is also a concierge service outside the terminal that charges $5 per piece of luggage but must pick up by 3 pm. In summary: We would do it again, but would choose an itinerary that does not include Icy Strait, as this port still has a few years to go to warrant spending so many hours of my precious vacation time. Would much rather have longer stays in Ketchikan, Juneau or Skagway. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We booked this cruise about a month before sailing as a last minute vacation. I then began reading reviews and was hoping we had not made a mistake. This was our first Norwegian cruise. We have sailed on Carnival previously nine times, so ... Read More
We booked this cruise about a month before sailing as a last minute vacation. I then began reading reviews and was hoping we had not made a mistake. This was our first Norwegian cruise. We have sailed on Carnival previously nine times, so my comparisons are with Carnival ships not other Norwegian ships. I will try to address the major areas of complaints I saw in other reviews. Embarkation and debarkation - This was the quickest embarkation and debarkation I have ever had. The staff was very friendly. Passengers were directed to gangplanks on two different decks, so passenger were not all trying to crowd on to one set of elevators. Our cabin was already ready, so we could drop off our carry on bags and head to lunch. Decor - The decor of the ship is shades of brown, blue and green. Much more tasteful than Carnival ships with one huge exception. The atrium, color changing chandelier and staircase are small and kind of Vegas tacky compared to every single Carnival ship I have been on, even the older ones. In fact we walked through it twice before we realized that it was actually the main atrium. Dining - Overall I will just say if you want seriously fine dining - do not travel on a ship that is feeding 3,500 people every meal. That being said, I thought that overall the food was very good. Compared to Carnival ships, the buffet is enormous. Beyond the standard buffet fare, there are also stations for Asian food, Indian food, pasta, soups. The hot food bar had rotating menus including pot roast and Yorkshire pudding. In addition to soft serve ice cream, there is a regular ice cream station with eight daily flavors. There was a different specialty for dinner every night. We ate the buffet for lunch most days. We ate dinner there the night they had prime rib and it was as good as the steak in the dining rooms. I think the Norwegian buffet easily tops Carnival in both quantity and quality. I do prefer the Guys Burger Bar and Mongolian Wok on Carnival for non buffet lunch options. The three main dining rooms appears to have the same rotating menu. Taste and Savor are smaller with lower ceilings. I liked the atmosphere. The Manhattan Room has a higher ceiling, more similar to dining rooms on Carnival ships. Freestyle dining means that you can eat whenever you want, but you are not going to have waiters who know your name and preferences. There are no nightly dancing waiters and no last night Baked Alaska. I would say the food was at least as good as food on Carnival ships. The only specialty dining we did was the Japanese restaurant. The chef put on a very good show and was friendly and entertaining. The food was very good, but a little garlic heavy for my taste. Entertainment - The Footloose and Elements shows were much higher quality than anything Carnival has to offer. I can't rate the comedy because we were never able to get in to see a show. Small comedy clubs are a huge problem on every Carnival ship I have been on. However, with Norwegian's reservation system, you are probably not going to get in if you can't get a reservation. There are stand by lines if you want to try. I booked our show times two weeks before sailing, but the comedy shows were already full. My advice - book your entertainment, specialty dining, race track times long before your sail date. Service - I was concerned after reading the reviews about service. I made a point to go to guest services on two occasions, ask for assistance from store clerks, and random crew members. Every single time I was met with courteous and friendly assistance. Ports of Call - In general, I have booked my own excursions with local companies for years without problem (until this trip). The cruise ships keep 70% of the fees they charge, and I would rather my money go to local companies. Ketchikan - Went on sight seeing tour with Aurora tours which is run by a life long native Tlinglit. We saw a ton of eagles, salmon, and beautiful sites that the large tour groups did not. It was too hot and the tide was too low to see bears that day. But no one else did either. It was a great tour and we got great photos including an eagle carrying off a salmon. Juneau - We took the shuttle in to town and bought tickets for the bus to Mendenhall Glacier. We spent three hours there which was plenty of time to walk to the Nugget Falls and also take the path to the photo point. There were a ton of people almost running to the falls and not taking time to look at the beautiful scenery on the trail. The park is a rainforest, and it is gorgeous. We still had about an hour to walk around downtown. I agree that this stop should be longer than it is. The afternoon was spent cruising Tracy Arm Fjord. We saw lots of floating ice, beautiful mountains, and a glacier at the end. Icy Strait Point - Here is where I have to agree with the critical reviews. This is a Norwegian only port owned and run by the Icy Strait Point Corporation. I had booked a whale watching trip through Trip Adviser. The company was owned by a member of the ISP Corp. Their boat broke down several days earlier, but they did not leave us a message on our phone, so we sat there for an hour before another local guide helped us figure out what was going on. Now, this is not Norwegian's fault. However, in any other port there are plenty of booths offering tours. Because this is a privately owned stop, there are NO other options to book a tour. Everything was sold out. We spent an hour walking through the museum and gift shops and went back to the ship. It is billed as a native village, with native crafts. Only one store had some actual local wood crafts, everything else was over priced typical tourist ware. There is a nature walk and beach walk, but my husband has a bad knee, so that was not an option. Overall, I agree that this stop is a disappointment, and way too long. This is one stop I would say book a tour through the ship, and book it early. Victoria - We booked a last minute whale watching excursion with Eagle Wing Whale tours. It was absolutely wonderful. We saw a pod of killer whales, and watched a humpback whale breach repeatedly for ten minutes. This tour and the trip to Mendenhall Glacier were the highlights of the cruise. A few other points: 1. The casino is non-smoking except for a glassed in enclosure 2. The push to sell photos, spa treatments, etc was much more low key than on Carnival 3. There was a complaint about no educational opportunities in some reviews. There were three audio lectures about various aspects of Alaska and Alaskan wildlife a day for the first four days on the observation deck. 4. There were indeed movies shown on deck several nights in the evening. There were also a 3D movie in the theater one afternoon. 5. There are several sit down bars with live music, and a nightly dance club. Overall, we were very happy with this ship and this cruise and would sail Norwegian again. We would pick a different itinerary next time to avoid the Icy Strait Point. Read Less
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