1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Joy
We selected this cruise because we were originally booked on a cruise to Cuba (with a different cruise line) which had to be cancelled due to our government's policy that US citizens can no longer travel to Cuba. And, our 20th wedding anniversary coincided with the cruise. This was our 72nd cruise. We have sailed on Azamara, Crystal, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Raddison, Royal Caribbean, and Viking. So, my opinions are based on comparing this cruise experience to those we have had in the past. First of all, I wrote a letter to NCL's CEO more than a month prior to the cruise and never received a reply. I also emailed two different customer relations staff prior to the cruise and never received a reply. I did not call because I have a hearing disability and email or mail works best for me - I mentioned this within my communications to all three of them. I felt the lack of a response reflected a lack of customer service and basic customer relations. In addition, on several documents, I indicated that we would be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary during the cruise and the date. On other cruise lines they typically bring a piece of cake to your dinner table on your anniversary and/or the Captain sends a card. Nothing was done and I found that disappointing. Embarkation was slow but considering the number of passengers I was not surprised. I can say, however, that our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. Given the number of passengers, my husband and I decided to walk off with our luggage at the end of the cruise to be among the first off the ship. Apparently, half of the other passengers shared the same idea and we stood in line - actually there were two long lines. It took quite a while to make it off the ship, to the terminal and through customs. We booked a mini-suite which turned out to be a waste of money. It was small by comparison to a Princess mini-suite and also regular balcony cabins we have had on other cruise lines. I never met our cabin attendant. The grab bar in the bathroom was broken and trim was peeling off the front of one of the shelves in the closet. A bottle of champagne was delivered to our cabin without ice or glasses. When my husband inquired about ice, he was told to go down to Deck 6 to get it! We were told the ship was refurbished in 2019. Staff could be seen cleaning throughout the ship. So, in general, things were in good shape - with the exception of the things I mentioned about our cabin. I was disappointed with NCL's policy banning passengers from bringing on bottled water. Also, I thought it was curious that they no longer have plastic straws (an attempt to save the environment) yet they use plastic disposable cups - rather than plastic reusable (washable) glasses. The dining in the three "complimentary" dining rooms was good, as was the service. We never had to wait to be seated. We ate at two of the specialty restaurants and they were both very good. We ate lunch one time in the Garden Cafe (buffet) and I got sick from something I ate there. So, we did not return to eat there for the rest of the cruise. I would have to say that there were more daily activities offered on the Joy than on other ships we have cruised on. That being said, the noise level was horrible when popular activities were taking place in the Atrium. The sound simply took over. It was often impossible to find a place to sit it is Atrium during popular activities. The ship apparently can accommodate 5000 passengers. We were told there were "only" 4200 on our cruise - I could not imagine 800 more people! I thought winter school break for kids was over but the number of children on board indicated otherwise. Elevators were very slow - again, due to the volume of people trying to use them. I did not care for the elevators because they did not have the typical illuminated floor information. Instead there was a TV type monitor with a continuous loop playing pictures of the production shows. The lack of traditional floor information was confusing for many people. One thing I thought was a good idea is that the hall carpets had schools of fish swimming in the same direction - the direction was pointing to the front of the ship. A gentleman from Cruise Critic, and his helpers, organized a very nice Meet & Greet as well as other activities. My thanks to Mark et al. I feel the Joy is really a ship for young families with children. Given that, and our experience on this cruise, it is unlikely we will book again.

Disappointed

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by Champagne Taste

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We selected this cruise because we were originally booked on a cruise to Cuba (with a different cruise line) which had to be cancelled due to our government's policy that US citizens can no longer travel to Cuba. And, our 20th wedding anniversary coincided with the cruise.

This was our 72nd cruise. We have sailed on Azamara, Crystal, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Raddison, Royal Caribbean, and Viking. So, my opinions are based on comparing this cruise experience to those we have had in the past.

First of all, I wrote a letter to NCL's CEO more than a month prior to the cruise and never received a reply. I also emailed two different customer relations staff prior to the cruise and never received a reply. I did not call because I have a hearing disability and email or mail works best for me - I mentioned this within my communications to all three of them. I felt the lack of a response reflected a lack of customer service and basic customer relations. In addition, on several documents, I indicated that we would be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary during the cruise and the date. On other cruise lines they typically bring a piece of cake to your dinner table on your anniversary and/or the Captain sends a card. Nothing was done and I found that disappointing.

Embarkation was slow but considering the number of passengers I was not surprised. I can say, however, that our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. Given the number of passengers, my husband and I decided to walk off with our luggage at the end of the cruise to be among the first off the ship. Apparently, half of the other passengers shared the same idea and we stood in line - actually there were two long lines. It took quite a while to make it off the ship, to the terminal and through customs.

We booked a mini-suite which turned out to be a waste of money. It was small by comparison to a Princess mini-suite and also regular balcony cabins we have had on other cruise lines. I never met our cabin attendant. The grab bar in the bathroom was broken and trim was peeling off the front of one of the shelves in the closet. A bottle of champagne was delivered to our cabin without ice or glasses. When my husband inquired about ice, he was told to go down to Deck 6 to get it!

We were told the ship was refurbished in 2019. Staff could be seen cleaning throughout the ship. So, in general, things were in good shape - with the exception of the things I mentioned about our cabin.

I was disappointed with NCL's policy banning passengers from bringing on bottled water. Also, I thought it was curious that they no longer have plastic straws (an attempt to save the environment) yet they use plastic disposable cups - rather than plastic reusable (washable) glasses.

The dining in the three "complimentary" dining rooms was good, as was the service. We never had to wait to be seated. We ate at two of the specialty restaurants and they were both very good. We ate lunch one time in the Garden Cafe (buffet) and I got sick from something I ate there. So, we did not return to eat there for the rest of the cruise.

I would have to say that there were more daily activities offered on the Joy than on other ships we have cruised on. That being said, the noise level was horrible when popular activities were taking place in the Atrium. The sound simply took over. It was often impossible to find a place to sit it is Atrium during popular activities.

The ship apparently can accommodate 5000 passengers. We were told there were "only" 4200 on our cruise - I could not imagine 800 more people! I thought winter school break for kids was over but the number of children on board indicated otherwise.

Elevators were very slow - again, due to the volume of people trying to use them. I did not care for the elevators because they did not have the typical illuminated floor information. Instead there was a TV type monitor with a continuous loop playing pictures of the production shows. The lack of traditional floor information was confusing for many people. One thing I thought was a good idea is that the hall carpets had schools of fish swimming in the same direction - the direction was pointing to the front of the ship.

A gentleman from Cruise Critic, and his helpers, organized a very nice Meet & Greet as well as other activities. My thanks to Mark et al.

I feel the Joy is really a ship for young families with children. Given that, and our experience on this cruise, it is unlikely we will book again.
Champagne Taste’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Joy price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA
We have been on over 70 cruises with most cruise lines. So, our point of view is based on comparing what we have experienced in the past. Our "mini-suite" was smaller than most balcony cabins we have had on other cruise lines. The bathroom, however, was nice. A decent size glass enclosed shower and double sinks. The grab bar in the bathroom - adjacent to the toilet - was broken and the trim on the shelves in the closet was coming off (the grab bar was reported and repaired). The mirror above the desk/counter top was smeared and remained that way the entire cruise. A bottle of champagne was brought to the room but without an ice bucket or glasses. My husband asked about ice and was told to go to deck 6 to get ice! The balcony was very small. We could have saved money by simply booking a balcony cabin rather than a mini-suite. No special treatment for being in a mini-suite. I liked the switches inside the cabin which, when activated, signaled outside the door if you wanted the room cleaned or if you did not want to be disturbed (rather than the plastic over the handle notices on most ships). I never met our cabin attendant ...
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews