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Norwegian Joy Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
282 reviews

It seems like just about every activity costs extra

Review for Norwegian Joy to the Mexican Riviera
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2019
Cabin: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

I chose this cruise because of the 3 ports - Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta. I had never been to any of them. We had 2 full days at sea after the last port (why didn't we stop in Ensenada?), and it got pretty boring because so few activities were free. Yep, you could play trivia, or learn to make an origami bird, or even sushi for free, but the pools were so tiny, they were jammed with the enormous ship full of cruisers. You couldn't use the jogging track because lounge chairs were always on top of it. It cost extra to drive the race cars on the top deck ($15), play in the galaxy lounge ($7 each activity/ride), or do the large number of tastings available each day. There were 6 bingo games at $39-69 for 3 games at each session. The ship is nice but crowded everywhere, and there are only elevators and stairs at mid-ship and the stern (back) of the ship. Nothing forward like most ships. This made for long walks and crowded elevators. The food in Taste and Savor was decent and we resisted the constant encouragement to pay to eat in a specialty restaurant. The buffet was monotonous but mostly edible. The pizza was good, but I was amazed to see there was no lox to put on a morning bagel. First time I've seen this in 30 cruises. The entertainment was very good, especially Beatles Revolution, and the $29.44 each we paid for Wine Lovers: The Musical was worth every penny. One of the major annoyances was not letting us know the time in Puerto Vallarta was one hour later than ship's time, so people were frantic to reach their private tours when they discovered this AFTER they got off the ship. Why couldn't this have been mentioned in the newsletter? They waste SO much paper and couldn't include that information? Also, their "free" app is free, but if you want to use it to make reservations or message other people with the app, you have to pay $9.95! It was clear to me on this cruise that NCL stands for "nickel and dime you to death." I enjoyed all 3 ports, and it was easy to get on and off the ship. I'd like to see these ports again, but it won't be on NCL.

Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

The only difference between a balcony cabin and a mini suite is about 4 feet, and it's all in the bathroom. Four people could have used it at the same time. The shower had a large "rain" showerhead and 6 jets you could set several ways. The beds were too soft for me but still comfortable enough.

Port Reviews

Los Angeles

I did not spend hardly any time in LA.

Cabo San Lucas

Very clean but also very American. Decent restaurants, nice beach.


Mazatlan was a perfect mix of modern and old world. Friendly people, wonderful food at excellent prices.

Puerto Vallarta

A beautiful city with lovely waterfront areas and beaches.

40 Helpful Votes

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