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The Joy is, unquestionably, a beautiful ship. That being stated, there are several deficiencies as to the ability to handle 3800+ guests. The theater is not able to handle the crowds and unless you got there at least 30 minutes prior to a show, odds are that you wouldn't get a seat. I have never, ever experienced this issue on any other cruises. Additionally, both the Cavern Club (the Beatles tribute band venue) and the Social (stand up comedians venue) are woefully undersized. To go to a performance in the Cavern Club, you had to get in line a full hour before the show (which is 45 minutes!). Huge lines at the Social as well. It is clear that NCL has significantly (repeat - SIGNIFICANTLY) cheapened the offerings in the main dining rooms. Pretty much every night, you'd look at the menu and really struggle to find something appealing. No shrimp cocktails (ever!), no lobster night, and the utilization of really cheap fish varieties (swai, bluefish, etc). I guess that they really want you to buy additional nights in the specialty restaurants (which we did!). Additionally, even on a 16 night cruise, they never changed the limited lunch menu in the main dining rooms (or La Cucina, where Concierge Class could eat breakfast and lunch). Obviously, this is crazy! The specialty restaurants were wonderful. We dined in them 9 out of the 16 nights and loved every meal. It was clear to us that if we were ever to travel again on this ship, Concierge Class is an absolute necessity. Embarkation in LA was an absolute nightmare and the debarkation process in Miami was no better. Lines were beyond comprehension if you were not Concierge or guests in the Haven. You'd think they'd have these processes figured out, but it was utter chaos in both places. That being said, we had an absolutely fabulous concierge who did not have the word "no" in his vocabulary! This really enhanced the trip. Additionally, as noted in other reviews, the staff overall was as good as any we've ever had on a cruise. Kudos to NCL for what is obviously a terrific training program. Ports: Most were fine, but Acapulco is a disaster and there is virtually nothing to see on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. 40 years ago, we went to Acapulco a few times and it was "the" place to go in Mexico. Now, it's in shambles. No cruise ship should be going there. The cabin: Concierge Family Inside Suite. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! At 561 sq.ft., it was larger than our son's apartment in Brooklyn! It was comprised of 2 bedrooms, a living room, and 2 bathrooms (master bath with a double sink and bathtub). It is designed for up to 6 passengers, but as there were virtually no families on this sailing, NCL offered it at prices far below normal. While we occasionally missed having a balcony (especially while crossing the Panama Canal, we'd gladly sacrifice the balcony for this cabin any time. Now, we're spoiled!!!

We had a wonderful time, but..............................

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by lsnhc

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The Joy is, unquestionably, a beautiful ship. That being stated, there are several deficiencies as to the ability to handle 3800+ guests. The theater is not able to handle the crowds and unless you got there at least 30 minutes prior to a show, odds are that you wouldn't get a seat. I have never, ever experienced this issue on any other cruises. Additionally, both the Cavern Club (the Beatles tribute band venue) and the Social (stand up comedians venue) are woefully undersized. To go to a performance in the Cavern Club, you had to get in line a full hour before the show (which is 45 minutes!). Huge lines at the Social as well.

It is clear that NCL has significantly (repeat - SIGNIFICANTLY) cheapened the offerings in the main dining rooms. Pretty much every night, you'd look at the menu and really struggle to find something appealing. No shrimp cocktails (ever!), no lobster night, and the utilization of really cheap fish varieties (swai, bluefish, etc). I guess that they really want you to buy additional nights in the specialty restaurants (which we did!). Additionally, even on a 16 night cruise, they never changed the limited lunch menu in the main dining rooms (or La Cucina, where Concierge Class could eat breakfast and lunch). Obviously, this is crazy!

The specialty restaurants were wonderful. We dined in them 9 out of the 16 nights and loved every meal.

It was clear to us that if we were ever to travel again on this ship, Concierge Class is an absolute necessity. Embarkation in LA was an absolute nightmare and the debarkation process in Miami was no better. Lines were beyond comprehension if you were not Concierge or guests in the Haven. You'd think they'd have these processes figured out, but it was utter chaos in both places. That being said, we had an absolutely fabulous concierge who did not have the word "no" in his vocabulary! This really enhanced the trip. Additionally, as noted in other reviews, the staff overall was as good as any we've ever had on a cruise. Kudos to NCL for what is obviously a terrific training program.

Ports: Most were fine, but Acapulco is a disaster and there is virtually nothing to see on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. 40 years ago, we went to Acapulco a few times and it was "the" place to go in Mexico. Now, it's in shambles. No cruise ship should be going there.

The cabin: Concierge Family Inside Suite. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! At 561 sq.ft., it was larger than our son's apartment in Brooklyn! It was comprised of 2 bedrooms, a living room, and 2 bathrooms (master bath with a double sink and bathtub). It is designed for up to 6 passengers, but as there were virtually no families on this sailing, NCL offered it at prices far below normal. While we occasionally missed having a balcony (especially while crossing the Panama Canal, we'd gladly sacrifice the balcony for this cabin any time. Now, we're spoiled!!!
lsnhc’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Concierge Family Inside
Cabin CF
The most incredible cabin! See my remarks above.
Highly recommend!
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins