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

Worst ship experience ever!

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by Wolfgirl29

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Family Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window

I have always cruised with NCL and have had great experiences! So was looking forward to this cruise as it was a late birthday present to celebrate my 50th! My last cruise I had gone on celebrity and that was just as horrible!

Thank goodness no Norovirus!

We were able to get free flights and it was with United Airlines ! Oh my goodness worst airline ever! Had a layover in SAN Francisco. Rudest air staff ever and racist. Stayed over night at Hilton so was ok and had transfer to the pier!

Embarkment was crazy! Good thing I was disabled so at one point I was able to skip to the front during security check! New rules no outside liquids allowed! So no bringing water or pop or juice! Where in the past we were allowed! There security check was a joke! They actually frisked a woman in a scooter! Wow! However didn’t touch me!

Room- our room was big and spacious as we had 4 of us in a room! Only problem was that our room was at the front of the ship! Being disabled somewhat I have problems walking it was a bitch to walk to the dining rooms or swim area! So if you are disabled make sure you tell them so they will put you near an elevator! Man I guess the one good thing was I actually lost weight on the cruise!

WiFi was terrible! Don’t recommend it at all if u don’t need it! It only works for one person per room! U have to sign out and the other person has to sign in!

Customer service was terrible! Half the time they didn’t explain anything ! Very rude!

Food - buffet was horrible, same food b/l/ d on previous cruises on the Pearl or Gem, Jewel or the Sun the food was amazing and never went to a restaurant! But on the Joy the food was gross! By the time I went to sit down my food was cold. I’m on a limited diet so it was hard enough. On the pearl they actually had a eggs Benedict station which was phenomenal! They had eggs Benedict twice for breakfast but was nasty and the hollandaise sauce was awful! So most mornings I had toast ! Normally I love eggs, bacon/ sausage for breakfast but the eggs tasted wierd or runny wet, bacon was cold! They did have selection of fruit and cereal which was a no brainer since they didn’t have to cook I

Lunch at the buffet was not appealing at all. Soup was too salty if I could actually eat it it had the same stations everyday - Indian Station - actually the only thing I likes was the butter chicken but they had no naan or roti to dip so I had to use regular bread!

Asian Station - my friend said it was awful the fried rice had old crunchie rice in it. Tasted nasty! The chicken teriyaki/ stir fry was a nightmare! According to my friend!

We didn’t even attempt to go there for dinner. I was so disappointed!

Desserts were not appealing Be aware as some were old and I heard from other passengers that they cheap out and buy in bulk old food for cheap so ch xl to make sure it’s not expired! Ice cream was ok

As on previous cruises they had different food stations every day!

Then I found out that all the workers are union now! So don’t feel sorry for them that oh they may be struggling they are not! They get paid very well!

The complimentary restaurants were good! Did take a long time to eat! But the food was pretty good most nights! Taste restaurant was the best! After one night of terrible food was cold and what not i complained and man after that I got free drinks and they made sure the food was hot when arrived and so on! However it does take time to eat ! The appys selection were different every night they had the basic main courses and then features of the night ! However they never posted the dessert so it was annoying but once they got to know us they would tell us!

Savor was just as good as Taste but the Manhattan room was terrible service so we just ate at taste!

Paid dining! We went to Cagney’s the first night and all I can say it was amazing! You do get what u paid for! We did go to Q which was like a Texas bbq it was ok the beef ribs were tasty but a bit salty but Peach Margarita was really good! I normally don’t drink but that was good!

Entertainment- we want and saw Footloose it was ok! Singers were very good. Didn’t see elements as it wasn’t on the last few days! They canceled footloose two nights as 4 of the main Characters were sick! They had lots of live music in the different bars and karaoke was only an hour and song list was so outdated they didn’t even have ABBA! I found the ship basically catered to drunk people and gamblers! The casino was terrible my friend said minimum was $25 to play ! I’m not a gambler. Apparently slots were very high !

Just a note for smokers smoking section was at the back of the boat only! And in the casino! Other passengers thought it was s terrible!

Pool- one small pool for adults 2 hot tubs which were not hot at all and one giant hot tub at the back of the boat was covered! Make sure if you want to sit in one get in early or all the kids get in! No regulation!

Considering there was 4000 ppl on this cruise all they had was 3 hot tubs! On previous cruises they had 4 hot tubs that actually were hot and then a kids hot tub!

Excursions- we did the horse back riding in Cabo it was fun but they didn’t give u anything to drink except out of a giant cooler! Yikes no thanks! In Mazatlán we went on a bus tour for $30 and got free water and beer! In Cabo the shopping was good and in Peurto Vallarta! Mazatlán Over priced jewellery stores everywhere!

Shops on the ship was horrible! Sold the same jewelry/ watches! No souvenirs to buy! They did have $ 10 day where they sold all the crappy purses, shawls tees u could get at a dollar store! Duty free was small and had limited brands of alcohol and tobacco. The one thing I liked was I got the free bracelet on the first day and then got the charms it looked like. A Pandora.

No souvenirs shop ! If you want a tee shirt or keychain that has NCL on it ur out of luck! The toiletry section was minimal!

NCL Joy I felt they were gouging people and only catered to the casino and alcohol!

The white hot party now known as the glow party was lame! People didn’t go as it was in the last port day so most ppl went to bed! Previous cruises when I’ve gone to the White Hot party it was literally packed! Plus on the Joy it was outside! Dumb !

Also don’t expect the towel animals I. It room they don’t do that! That’s all I have to say!

Wolfgirl29's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Family Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window

Was spacious for 4 people but you had to request many times to have bar fridge empties so I could put my meds in! Not enough towels for 4 people so once our steward guy knew he put enough towels.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Los Angeles

It was a bus tour! In Mazatlan for $30 it was a basic tour and so the touristy sites!


Saw the main tourist sites. For $30 we got free water and beer!

Cabo San Lucas

Was fun and saw the whales ! No water or food given! Only downside!

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