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Norwegian Joy Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
308 reviews


Review for Norwegian Joy to the Panama Canal & Central America
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2020
Cabin: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

We took the Norwegian Joy from LA to Miami on Jan 17, 2020 because it went through the Panama Canal, which was on out bucket list. We have done several cruises on various cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. It is also our last Norwegian cruise.


This was the worst embarking experience we have had in 15 cruises. Very long line and wait times. No explanations as to why. Worst embarkation ever.

Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

We decided to splurge and pay extra for a mini-suite instead of our usual balcony. Oops. The balcony was not any larger than a regular balcony cabin. The room was not any larger than a regular cabin. The space between the bed and closet was very narrow. The only plus was that the bathroom was a little larger and the shower was amazing. The thermostat did not work properly. The air conditioning setting would automatically shut off after 20 minutes, even if the room was warm. I don't think it was just our room as I have read other reviews complaining about this. When we complained about it, they disabled the air conditioning and just had air blowing constantly. When we did get too warm, we would prop our door open to get hallway cool air.

Port Reviews

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

90 minute one-way trip on a crowded bus ride with poor air conditioning and inaudible speakers, through litter strewn countryside to a small over-crowded town with people from all cruise ships. The excursion took us to local markets where locals badgered you to buy their wares. Not what we were expecting.

Cabo San Lucas

Had to tender here. NCL will not let you tender if you use a wheelchair or walker.

Los Angeles

The ship port is not very nice. The embarkation process was very unorganized. There was not nearly enough staff to help people.



Puerto Vallarta



We were afraid to get off the ship because of all the reports of drug wars in the area.

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)

This was a cargo ship container port with nothing around and no access to a town unless you paid for a shuttle or excursion.

Cartagena (Colombia)

There was a free shuttle to a very nice bird sanctuary and large air conditioned gift shop.

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