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

Basics are Excellent, Details Not So Much

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by Ymc8

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

Like Norwegian’s Freestyle dining options and itinerary to Alaska covering a couple of places we had not yet bee. Staff is helpful, efficient and well trained in all areas we used (casino, bar, dining, stateroom). Stateroom 12308 as described with no view blocked even though we booked a BX category in which that was a possibility.


1. Tried 3 times to book next cruise but the Atrium area was so congested and noisy with music and game shows we left without doing so. No privacy, no noise barrier.

2. Message in booking stated we should plan on port disembarkation up to 2 hours after docking and embarkation 2 hours prior to departure. I called Norwegian to verify and rep stuck to this guideline. NOT TRUE, plan accordingly. Disembark usually within 30 minutes of docking and embark within 30 minutes of departure from any port. Had we known we would have planned additional or longer shore excursions.

3.Norwegian Joy has no quiet space. Library hours barely open, not usually more than 2 hours morning and 2 hours afternoon/early evening. This leaves no quiet space to read onboard other than in one’s room.

4. Dearth of activities, especially as it relates to education on itinerary, other than one 1-hour program that included the usual shopping stuff.

5. We’re wondering about the Park West affiliation with so many cruise lines, Norwegian being no exception. After the devastating New York Times article on Peter Max’s dementia and his inability to do nothing more than being led to sign his name on painted over lithographs, we remain surprised his items as well as Dali’s are still being sold ships in general. Ditto with the deceased Thomas Kincade.

Overall, we enjoyed the cruise but it could be so much better with a little effort on increasing the variety of activities and education, and a rework of some of the space. Not everyone enjoys game shows, art auctions, and karaoke after all.

Ymc8'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 BX 12308

Standard cabin, comfortable with a nice built in couch that is easy to lounge on or turn into an additional sleeping space.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Love Seattle and usually hit up Pike’s Market area. This time we made it to the Capitol Hill area about two miles up from Pike’s Market


Took a Lyft ride out to Totem Bight State Park with another couple and we split the $20 cost. Took the bus on the way back for $2/person, about a 30 minute ride running 13 after the hour. Enjoyed TBSP, $5/person admission. Ne need for a guide assuming you can read English. A nice walk and great water views along with the interesting history of the area, totems and clan house. Very leisurely.

Had time to go to a museum in town run by the National Park Service so entry was free with our National Park pass. Worth the time, about an hour or so, if you have it.


Walked around downtown then went into the Alaska State Museum, really wonderful and interesting, especially liked the special exhibit that detailed an Alaskan road trip taken by an artist and a paleontologist, as well as the amazing collection of native art and objects.


Touristy town to walk around but we’ll maintained and geared for tourists. A couple of National Park centers are easily accessible in town and include rotating movies and docent led tours that are worthwhile.


Took the 30 minute walk to downtown from the cruise port where we toured the Emprss Hotel, watched native performers, and strolled. Found our way vis taxi back at Fisherman’s Wharf where we had a relaxed and excellent dinner. Afterwards we enjoyed looking at the rows of boat house on the wharf, then walked back to the ship

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