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Picked the Joy because I hadn't been on her and knew that the Observation Lounge (from my experience on the Bliss) would be a great place to view the Glaciers. The weather on the cruise wasn't great--too foggy to do much glacier cruising or viewing. Employees were very friendly on the cruise, the Joy is in excellent condition being a new ship. The biggest disappointment was that there are no Thermal Suites on the ship. When the refurb was done to bring the Joy to the US, no Thermal Suites were added. The outdoor pool is very small with lots of empty floor around the pool. No food service by the pool. Plenty of lounges and tables to handle overflow from the Garden Cafe. Room stewards no longer provide towel animals or ice buckets. I suspect I could have gotten an ice bucket if I asked but I didn't. I found the food in the restaurants I tried (Q, Teppanyaki, Cagney's, Le Bistro, The Local, Taste and Savor) to be very good to excellent. Service was consistently excellent. My experience in the Garden Cafe was on the first meal after embarking and getting fruit salad for my cell mate in the mornings. So I can't speak much about it. I snacked a couple times in the Observation Lounge...the olives were excellent. The two major shows "Elements" and "Footloose" were both very good. Like the Bliss, the theater is very plain and undersized. But that was forgotten for me with the shows started. I saw little entertainment in the other venues so I can't comment. I hiked around Ketchikan and visited the Salmon Hatchery area which was very interesting along with Creek Street. Icy Straits Point was a new port for me. The Nature Trail was great but could have been much longer. The hike to Hoonah and back was pretty lengthy (1.5 miles each way) and probably better taken on the bus. It was a fun way to see the countryside. The gym is quite spacious and not very crowded during my early (6 a.m.) visits. Well maintained with plenty of equipment.

Alaska with a good Observation Lounge

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by Mike D.

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Picked the Joy because I hadn't been on her and knew that the Observation Lounge (from my experience on the Bliss) would be a great place to view the Glaciers. The weather on the cruise wasn't great--too foggy to do much glacier cruising or viewing.

Employees were very friendly on the cruise, the Joy is in excellent condition being a new ship. The biggest disappointment was that there are no Thermal Suites on the ship. When the refurb was done to bring the Joy to the US, no Thermal Suites were added.

The outdoor pool is very small with lots of empty floor around the pool. No food service by the pool. Plenty of lounges and tables to handle overflow from the Garden Cafe.

Room stewards no longer provide towel animals or ice buckets. I suspect I could have gotten an ice bucket if I asked but I didn't.

I found the food in the restaurants I tried (Q, Teppanyaki, Cagney's, Le Bistro, The Local, Taste and Savor) to be very good to excellent. Service was consistently excellent. My experience in the Garden Cafe was on the first meal after embarking and getting fruit salad for my cell mate in the mornings. So I can't speak much about it. I snacked a couple times in the Observation Lounge...the olives were excellent.

The two major shows "Elements" and "Footloose" were both very good. Like the Bliss, the theater is very plain and undersized. But that was forgotten for me with the shows started. I saw little entertainment in the other venues so I can't comment.

I hiked around Ketchikan and visited the Salmon Hatchery area which was very interesting along with Creek Street. Icy Straits Point was a new port for me. The Nature Trail was great but could have been much longer. The hike to Hoonah and back was pretty lengthy (1.5 miles each way) and probably better taken on the bus. It was a fun way to see the countryside.

The gym is quite spacious and not very crowded during my early (6 a.m.) visits. Well maintained with plenty of equipment.
Mike D.’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF 11310
Everything functional. Not much room in front of the closet when the queen bed is split into two twins. Balcony average sized. Not noisy except when the slider was open. Good Samsung TV, able to hook up my DVR.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins