I read reviews of the joy before I went and honestly was a little nervous about the experience. I've cruised NCL, Disney, and RCL a few times. What I've learned is so many people get on to give not so great reviews and those who had good experiences just go on with their lives. This review is more what to know before you go to have a good experience.
Here is what to know. The buffet is not fun. There is a great variety but by the time you get through the crowds and all the options and get back to your seat, the food isn't exactly warm anymore. People in the buffet act like the food is going to run out. Know what you are getting into. Get your table before your food as tables aren't always easy to find. Or, skip the buffet and look into other options. Not extra charge options, just other options. The dining rooms are nice. A reservation at night helps but you don't absolutely need one. The food there comes hot to you and the service is good. The local is also another great option. it is pub style food but it comes out hot and tastes good. If desserts interest you, you definitely want to get the anywhere else but the buffet. The observation deck is a great place if your happy with an expanded continental breakfast and a lighter lunch. If not, go up to the buffet on the 16th floor, get the food you want, then simply walk down stairs and eat in the observation lounge. This is a better fit for adults and older children than younger ones though as you are eating more on couches than tables. Young kids running around the observation lounge isn't what it is for.
The cruise itself was nice. Easy embarkation and disembarkation. We did self disembarkation.
What can I say here? We booked this trip a few weeks ahead and blew tons of money on excursions so we went with the cheap room. Would I have liked a balcony? Sure, but I blew a ton on the excursions and do not regret it. Somedays it would have been too cold and windy to be out there anyway. They looked nice from what we saw. Our room was small. It was just me and my 2 teenage daughters. The bathroom, however, was better than most cruiseships. Lots of storage.