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Norwegian Joy Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
282 Reviews

Very happy with our Joy experience!

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by BayAreaCruisers4

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

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.

BayAreaCruisers4's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BF 10932

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!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Mendenhall Glacier

Good tour, but it rained the entire time. The glacier was beautiful, but we didn't get into the visitor's center till 7:15pm and they closed at 7:30pm. When they close, they close!

View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
Whale Watching

Good tour, but it rained the entire time. We saw humpback whales, orcas, eagles, and sea lions. Good guides.

View All 906 Whale Watching Reviews

Easy to get from SEATAC to Pier 66 using Uber or Lyft. ~$26 USD. Seattle is beautiful and the weather was sunny and warm. If you visit the Space Needle, know that tickets can sell out early.

White Pass Bennett Lake Adventure

Loved taking the train to Fraser. We went through rain, to fog, to snow, to sunny weather at the top. Beautiful scenery and good guides. Definitely book this before you leave, but not from the ship to save $$$.

View All 41 White Pass Bennett Lake Adventure Reviews
Yukon Van Tour

Great guide and trip up to Carcross and Emerald Lake. We had a great BBQ and got to hold husky puppies! A real highlight of the trip.

View All 137 Yukon Van Tour Reviews
Glacier Bay

Beautiful trip and the Joy did a fabulous job of pivoting back and forth so all sides of the ship could see the glaciers. Drinking Irish Coffees and watching glaciers calve off. Now this is Alaska!

Lumberjack Show

Kitchy, but fun! The weather here was great. Get here early to get in the middle, but all the seats are good.

View All 333 Lumberjack Show Reviews
Totem Bight State Park

Interesting state park. Our guide had interesting facts about the totems and the first nation peoples.

View All 114 Totem Bight State Park Reviews

We got here too late to really do anything. Only had a few hours here after 7pm just to make a foreign port before we returned.

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