Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by L.A. Cruzr
- Sail Date: May 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
The food, service, crew, entertainment and balcony cabin were all very similar to the other Breakaway/Breakaway Plus class ships...very good. We did not love the Galaxy Pavilion (VR rides) as much as I hoped. The Vibe area is larger and takes up the bar and hot tub that used to be next to it (we did not buy a Vibe pass this cruise) and not having a Thermal Suite was also missed. I did like the canopy covered extra large hot tub in Spice H2O area. The pool area was better for an Alaskan cruise (with the pools off to the side) than for a hot weather cruise. The buffet was more crowded at breakfast than I remembered on the other ships, but the food was good (especially at the specialty restaurants, as usual). The elevators can be slow and crowded at certain times (embarkation/disembarkation and after shows), but this is common on all cruise ships (I am interested to try the "intelligent" elevators that Carnival is putting on its new ships).
The "Elements" show was the best show we have seen on a cruise ship (except for the broadway-type shows like Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia). We also liked "Footloose" (the male lead was excellent).
We had been to Alaska once before so I chose this itinerary to go to Icy Strait Point instead of Skagway to try something different (and to go on a Bear Search excursion). I would chose to go back to Skagway instead if we cruise to Alaska again. The food and shopping in Icy Strait was too expensive and limited excursions as well.
The weather was great and our excursions were awesome We loved exploring Seattle pre-cruise and post-cruise. The Port Valet service they offer in Seattle is a fantastic way to get your bags to you final airport destination without having to carry your bags around all day! The embarkation was slow but disembarkation was smooth.
The Joy might not be quite as excellent as the Bliss, but it was still very good. We would recommend it as an excellent value (Free at Sea drink package) and a very good mix of shows, activities, food options and modern style. Some people might not like the upcharges for some activities or dining (again, Free at Sea makes specialty dining possible) but this "nickel and diming" is quite common on most mainstream cruise lines.
We live in L.A. and love having another mega-ship option. We are excited for the Encore!
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