My wife and I booked this cruise at the last minute (Wednesday before we sailed on Saturday). We got a good deal on vacationstogo, packed out bags, and left!
This was the first public cruise of the Joy after its $55mil refurbishment. The ship was beautiful and the staff was outstanding. We've been on 6-7 cruises, the first was on Norwegian's SS Norway for our honeymoon back in 1993. We've been on RCL, Carnival, and Princess. I'd say NCL is between RCL and what I'd expect Celebrity to be. Lots of stuff to do, most cruisers a little older than us.
Our cruise included two upgrades, the Premium Drink Package (used to be called the Ultimate) and three specialty dining credits. Even though the PDP was included we had to pay an extra $138 pp for gratuities. Still, it was great having that package.
The food on-board was very good, for the most part. We only ate in the MDR 3-4 times. They were OK. but the service was spotty and/or slow. Cagney's was the best meal I've ever had on cruise. Q (the BBQ place) was only fair - wouldn't recommend that. Le Bistro was very very good and the service was great.
The buffets were generally very good, but the seating can be tough. We had one bad night where the food was off and there were too many people. Lots of variety. We preferred to eat at the buffet for breakfast, when the food was consistently good.
We were in a balcony cabin in the aft of the ship, but didn't really feel much rock-n-roll even in the open seas. Cabin review below. We really liked our room and the balcony.
The Elements show was super good. I highly recommend that one. We happened to go to the show that concluded with the captain and staff doing a thank you presentation. It made us feel special.
We were booked in cabin 10932, which is an ADA room aft on the starboard side, even though neither of us are disabled. At first, we were unhappy about that and went to guest services for a room change. The Joy was sailing at capacity, so they couldn't change us. On the way back to the room we peeked into a regular balcony room and discovered it was half the size of our room, so we were much happier about it.
The starboard side was the best for our Alaskan cruise. We were facing inland the whole way up and could enjoy the scenery. The sliding glass door on the balcony was open or ajar most of the trip. The cabin was a little warm for us, so this helped cool it down and added the sounds of the ocean to the room.
The bathroom was huge to accommodate a wheel chair. A small bench was folded up against one of the shower walls. The shower had a large curtain that went around the shower instead of doors, as in the other cabins. The shower head was more traditional than the rain shower heads on others. Water pressure was weak, but adequate. Soap and shampoo dispensers in the wall.
The room includes a large close with full size mirror, many drawers, and several cupboards with a mini fridge and safe. Next to the king size bed is a desk and chair with more drawers, a large mirror, and a hair dryer. There's a 34" flat screen TV across from the foot of the bed. There's also a nice chair next to the closet.
The steward and room service were great!
You can see a video review of the room on YouTube at https://youtu.be/9AGsCx4blKo
If you have any questions, please let me know!
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