28 Norwegian Joy Entertainment Cruise Reviews

NCL Joy was a very nice ship. Food in specialty restaurants was wonderful. We tried Cagney’s, le bistro, Q smokehouse, Ocean Blue, and la cucina but main dining Manhattan room was just ok. Don’t eat all day before going to Q smokehouse ... Read More
NCL Joy was a very nice ship. Food in specialty restaurants was wonderful. We tried Cagney’s, le bistro, Q smokehouse, Ocean Blue, and la cucina but main dining Manhattan room was just ok. Don’t eat all day before going to Q smokehouse it was a lot of food. My husband and I did not like the Local. Atmosphere was noisy and poor food. Also too many high top tables. We enjoy O’Sheehans much better. Entertainment was great. Our room 14780 was great but wasn’t expecting a tub which wasn’t good with a hurt foot. We had concierge service but never saw him again after first day. Room steward did an excellent job. Slow bar service in casino but casino was kind to us. Elevators are super slow but with a bad foot stairs were out of the question. Only bad thing was getting on and off the ship. Port of San Pedro was the worse anywhere. 2 hours for us to get on but I heard people waited 4 hours. Getting off was almost as bad. Will never go out of this port again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera and my first cruise. Norwegian offered an excellent package of incentives, good value for cost, very helpful personal consultant to help me put together a trip ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera and my first cruise. Norwegian offered an excellent package of incentives, good value for cost, very helpful personal consultant to help me put together a trip package that fit my needs. I just returned and am very , very happy. Our party was three, my two adult daughters and me . We chose a Mini Suite with balcony, mid ship on the 11th deck near the elevators. This made everything easy to get to. The food and service were outstanding everywhere we ate, both complimentary and speciality. The activities offered were diverse and fun and varied. Da nce lessons on pool deck or salsa lessons at Mojito Bar. Excursions were fun, varied for taste, The virtual reality offerings were a lot of fun and new to me. My daughters enjoyed the raceway and the giant water slide. The Winelovers Musical, Elements , and the Beatles Tribute Band in the Cavern were our favorites for shows. I am looking forward to planning my second trip with Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Chose because we wanted to navigate the canal early in the year when the weather is perfect..Could have been any cruise line! Negative points are embarking and disembarking both very long lines and close to 2 hours. New NCL terminal ... Read More
Chose because we wanted to navigate the canal early in the year when the weather is perfect..Could have been any cruise line! Negative points are embarking and disembarking both very long lines and close to 2 hours. New NCL terminal though looks nearly ready in Miami though. Had a mini suite because not much more expensive than standard balcony. First experience when we walked into our room and bathroom was WOW . Bathroom was as good as in any decent hotel with double sinks and large double length walk in shower. Also had a coffee maker which we made use of. Decent selection of films etc on the tv. Although only 3 years old ship had just had a multi million conversion from its original Chinese/Japanese market so everything new and clean. Food excellent especially the selection in the buffet where I was spoilt for choice. Had the 5 speciality meal/drink package at £100 each an absolute bargain. Can reccomend the filet mignon steaks I had 3 of them! Big Beatles fan so I can say the resident tribute act were absolutely fantastic. Watched them twice in the on-board Cavern and twice in the theatre with everybody singing along.. Almost a hidden charge why do most cruise lines add the 15% daily service charge?? Surely it should be included the the cruise price and then I could add a more personal gratuity if applicable e.g. to the cabin steward. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Panama Canal on our bucket list, awarded thru Casino for interior room so good opportunity to do this with small discount. I was hesitant going with another NCL bigger ship since our Thanksgiving Cruise on the get a way wasn’t that ... Read More
Panama Canal on our bucket list, awarded thru Casino for interior room so good opportunity to do this with small discount. I was hesitant going with another NCL bigger ship since our Thanksgiving Cruise on the get a way wasn’t that good. This ship however was a pleasant experience; the staff across the entire ship were welcoming, always greeting guests. I enjoyed the layout on this ship so much more than their getaway from Casino, decor, & staff. They were taking all precautions with the Noro & recent corona virus’s constantly cleaning, & really insuring folks we’re washing hands. The food in buffet was often better than their main dining rooms where service was still sometimes an issue. They had excellent shows on this ship from the footloose musical, Russian aerialists & especially the Beatles production. The local restaurant which is included served great food 24/7. Highly recommend the chicken pot pie! The water slide was fun. I really enjoyed the laid back vibe on this trip, anytime dining with no worry of dressing up too much. I had no complaints or bad experiences on this 12 day cruise & would Cruise again on Joy. Our bartenders on the aft end H2O bar Cristian, Juancho & Mike were awesome! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized ... Read More
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized and quick. From drop off to on the ship was 30 minutes. Cruise staff, entertainment, and food were all great. Ship is large and easy to find your way. Good cruise for solo travelers as there are plenty of outgoing people. Observation Deck on 15 was a great place to unwind at the end of the day, have a cup of tea, and meet people or read a book. Sign up for meals and entertainment prior to boarding the ship. Free style was great if you had those reservations. Staff in The Local were always organized, friendly and helpful. The TASTE was much more organized that The Savor. Manhattan was good too. Helpful hint--don't wait for your tag color to be called at the end of the cruise or you will, as did many people, miss you flight. Clearance was given about an hour behind schedule and If I had waited I would not have made a 2pm flight. Also, it is worth getting your bag and asking for the porter to take you in a separate line and you clear re-entry very quickly. Overall, the ship staff was amazing, friendly, interactive. The ship was clean and they made efforts to maintain hygiene. I would take the cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The good: It was a wonderful and festive cruise. We had never been on a Christmas cruise. The ship was decorated to the max. The crew was feeling the atmosphere and it showed in their interaction with the guests. The shows ... Read More
The good: It was a wonderful and festive cruise. We had never been on a Christmas cruise. The ship was decorated to the max. The crew was feeling the atmosphere and it showed in their interaction with the guests. The shows were outstanding. Footloose, Elements, and the Beatles show on the last night should not be missed. We were also treated to a special presentation on Christmas day that was right up there with the others. Excellent voices. Great showmanship. These were the best shows we have seen on any cruise we have been on. The food was hit and miss. Favorites: The filet mignon at Teppanyaki and the brisket and banana pudding at the Q. The low, the carving brisket at the Buffet that was inedible. It was like chewing on a rubber band. The weather was clear and warm at all three ports .North of Cabo it was cooler and windy. That's the way it is in the winter. The bad: At al the restaurants there was a long time between placing your order and when it arrived resulting in a lot of meals not eaten there by us. We had an aft balcony on the twelfth floor. Every evening from 9 to midnight you could hear/feel the boomba, boomba, beat from the nightclub above which was loud enough that we had to wear earplugs. The other problem was the soot. Little black spots that glob on anything on the balcony including you. One night at about 3am, I opened the slider door to get some fresh air. I was greeted with an aweful burnt stench. What were they burning? As a result, no more aft rooms for us! This was not a reflection on our rooom steward who was friendly and did the standard of keeping our room neat and tidy. The ugly: The embarkation was ugly. There was a 1 !/2 hour delay getting started. We got in a line that was moving through a tent, but when we got up to the tent we were told it was for Haven guests. Not a problem.They paid for it. The Port yellow vests told the rest of us to line up against the white tent going east. Most people did so. The line ended up being a big "U" that went well past the entrance to the port terminal. They had the black ribbon partitions. around the front of the opening of the tent and in front of the people in line against the white tent.. One of the port guys opened one of  the black ribbons not in front of the people in line. Then a wohle bunch of people not in line bum rushed into the terminal. People in line started yelling and.opened their ribbon. Then it was a free for all. Not a good scene. Nobody was hurt that I know of.but an ugly scene nonetheless. Signage was needed for guests to be in the proper line. Once inside and through security things went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My family of four just returned from our seven nights on the Joy, and we couldn't be more thrilled about our vacation! This was our first time cruising with Norwegian but our eighth cruise overall. We have previously sailed with Royal ... Read More
My family of four just returned from our seven nights on the Joy, and we couldn't be more thrilled about our vacation! This was our first time cruising with Norwegian but our eighth cruise overall. We have previously sailed with Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and after reading about how much Norwegian has improved over the years, we couldn't wait to give them a try. Think NCL is the red-headed step-child of the cruising industry? Think again! From our experience, and while there are some areas that can be improved, they are right up there with the other top dogs, and I'll explain why. -Embarkation Day- We flew into LAX from Chicago the day before we set sail as it is always nice to have a cushion in case anything decides to go crazy. When we arrived, we took an hour long Lyft from the airport to Long Beach where we were staying, conveniently located about ten minutes from the port. With the airport being so far from the our hotel (and the cruise port), it was a good $50 to get us there, and you can expect to pay more on peak travel times during the day (more on this later). Finally its the day we've been waiting for for MONTHS, and we couldn't wait to get going! On the morning of our sailing, we took another Lyft to the port around 10am and arrived with no issues. After handing off our bags, we walked into the terminal to find a massive amount of cruisers already there. Overall, the embarkation process was pretty smooth. They separate you into lines based on which deck your stateroom is on, check over your documents, give you your sailing cards, and send you on your way. However, since we arrived before the ship was ready to board, we ended up waiting a little bit which was the only minor drawback. For this sailing, we booked a Concierge level stateroom (in between a regular stateroom and The Haven), so we were given a dedicated line and area to wait in. Still, there were many other excited cruisers waiting in a small corner, along with those in regular staterooms waiting in chairs in the main area. Given the size of the terminal, it can fill up quite quickly if the ship is not open yet, but if you arrive after opening, you should have no problems. When they opened the gates, we were the first to board, so it was a pretty painless process. -Ship- Stunning. Elegant. Beautiful. CLEAN. So many great words to describe the Norwegian Joy. Being just recently refurbished after relocating from Asia, everything looked, felt, and smelled brand new, and the crew made sure it stayed that way. We always saw crew cleaning, polishing, you name it. As for getting around, the Joy is easy to navigate for the most part, although there are some quirky spots. Along with NCL's app, there are touch-screens located on every deck by every elevator bank to help you get around. Need to look at the daily activities? They are there. Need to find where the closest restroom is? It'll tell you. Had too many drinks and don't remember how to get back to your room? It'll give you step-by-step instructions and a map on how to get back, and so much more. See how full dining rooms are, make reservations, and view menus all at your convenience. -Activities and Entertainment- This is where the Norwegian Joy really shines. There is so much to do aboard the ship it is nearly impossible to be bored. Let's list them: Two water slides, two pools, hot tubs, go karts, laser tag, Virtual Reality Arcade, mini golf, casino, music, bars, lounges, shows, games, competitions, comedy, and the list goes on! When was the last time you saw go karts on a cruise?! These things were FAST and so much fun to drive. We did them during the day and night, and being on the top deck, it was neat to see the track and ocean at the different times. If you choose to do laser tag, definitely book it at night. We were highly impressed with the setup and quality of the game. One area many reviews complained about was the up-charges for these activities. Go Karts will put you back $15/person, laser tag $10/person, the Galaxy Pavilion (VR) $7/game (or $20 for four), and Wine Lovers The Musical ($12/person). At Wine Lovers, you receive SEVEN generous wine tastings and a three-course lunch all while enjoying the comedy musical put on by the Footloose leads. It was an incredible value that'll leaving you laughing and feeling good on your way out. We loved all four options and definitely found them worth-while, plus you're on vacation! Experience what the ship has to offer if you would enjoy these things. On the same note, if these activities were free, I couldn't imagine the lines and headaches it would cause trying to get four thousand people a chance to participate. The small cost helps control the flow which we found to be quite painless. A few other can't-misses are shows Footloose and Elements with a fantastic and talented cast, Deal Or No Deal game show, Bejeweled Heist, and countless other activities found at any given time around the ship. Lastly, don't forget to make reservations! Shows can be reserved in advance, but go karts, laser tag, Bejeweled, and comedy shows need to be reserved as soon as you board. Reservations can be made in The Social, a process that could certainly stand to be improved, but we managed. -Dining- And here we find some criticism. Norwegian offers a unique take on dining called Freestyle Dining. Essentially, you eat what you want when you want without any set dining times or attire. This sounds (mostly) great in theory, but it did raise a few problems. To understand why, we need to compare to how other cruise lines do dining. Traditionally, you receive set dining time (either earlier around 5 or later around 8), and you are assigned the same table and waitstaff each evening. This allows you to be seated right away, the waitstaff to gets to know you and your preferences, and it provides plenty of time to dine before the next seating. What we experienced on this cruise was quite the opposite, while admittedly we could have planned better. The Joy has three main dining rooms: The Manhattan Room, Savor, and Taste. The Manhattan Room is the largest of the three, but each one offers the same menu every night. On the first evening, we arrived at The Manhattan Room around 6pm to discover a huge line of people waiting to be sat. Granted this is peak dining time, so we were quoted a 45-minute wait, while the other two dining rooms had a wait of an hour. We did not expect waits to be this long, especially because we were used to just walking in on previous cruises. Eventually we were sat, and we found these dining rooms to operate like normal restaurants. They were focused on getting tables in and out, with little to no personability from the waitstaff. Sure they were pleasant, but we felt rushed and like we were in the way. Every evening in the dining room was like this, although we planned better on following nights. From a food aspect, it was delicious, fresh, and prepared perfectly. We also had a dining package for three specialty restaurants. We chose to eat at Ocean Blue, Le Bistro, and Cagney's Steakhouse. The experiences here far outshine the main dining rooms, and I would HIGHLY recommend buying this package if your booking doesn't already come with one as it as a great value. Our final bill we would have paid came out to be over $300 for four people at Cagney's, but we actually paid around half that with the package. Overall, we were happy with our dining experiences even though we were caught off-guard the first evening. You CAN make dining reservations for the main dining rooms (and specialty if you choose) online before you sail which I absolutely recommend doing. Other free dining options include The Observation Lounge for lite bites, The Local for 24-hour options (free but with a 20% automatic gratuity added), and The Garden Buffet which we were highly impressed with. -Ports and Excursions- Cabo: We chose to do Norwegian's Luxury Day Sail and Snorkel which was so much fun! We shared a very nice sailboat with about 10 other people and were accompanied by a photographer, captain, and two guides. The sailing lasted about three hours, and they provided a snack, lunch, and unlimited drinks, as well as stops at popular spots and some time to snorkel. While we didn't really spend any time on land, we got some beautiful views of the port, delicious food, and high-quality service from everyone on board. Highly recommend! Mazatlan: We chose not to book an excursion for this stop, but we ended up getting an open-air taxi once we arrived. The driver charged $25/person to drive us to some hotspots which lasted around 4 hours. The port itself is beautiful, and we got to see a great deal of it. Puerto Vallarta: For this spot we booked the Vallarta Outdoor Zipline Adventure, but it ended up being SO much more! We began with a 20-minute speedboat ride to a secluded location to begin our journey up the mountains. We then rode in an off-road vehicle up to base camp where we found our absolutely excellent tour guides. After getting suited up, we rode mules the rest of the way to the first zip line. In the end, we completed five zip-lines, a repel down a waterfall, a free-fall down another waterfall, two water slides, and a zipline "roller coaster." The entire thing lasted about 6 hours, with time for refreshments and viewing pictures afterwards. Our tour guides, especially Edgar, were incredible and quite possibly the best I've had anywhere. If you choose this adventure, you MUST bring a swimsuit and change of clothes. You do get fully submerged in water, so bring closed-toed shoes you don't mind getting wet or water shoes. I would give this excursion 15/10 stars. Incredible time! -Disembarkation- For us the disembarkation was a non-issue, but I imagine it was quite the headache for others. The deboarding process was supposed to begin at 7am, but the ship was not cleared by customs until around 8:30. For anyone with early flights this was probably a nightmare. Luckily we stayed in LA another two days so we weren't pressed for time. The only small annoyance was once we were in the terminal. Since disembarkation was behind 1.5 hours, all of those people were released into the terminal when the ship was cleared, so we ended up waiting in line for customs for nearly an hour. We got off the ship at 9am and weren't out of the terminal until after 10am. Grabbing a Lyft outside was quite easy, and we were on our way. -Summary- While improvements could be made with dining, we were highly impressed with the Norwegian Joy and the quality of service that Norwegian offered. We had an amazing time and were constantly taking part in different activities around the ship. As I always say, your vacation is what you make of it, and Norwegian makes it easy to make it great! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Good: Food was excellent. Footloose was excellent. The Beatles revolution was great but make sure you show up an hour early if you want a seat at the cavern. Magic Show was okay. Elements was great! Go Karts surprisingly a lot of ... Read More
The Good: Food was excellent. Footloose was excellent. The Beatles revolution was great but make sure you show up an hour early if you want a seat at the cavern. Magic Show was okay. Elements was great! Go Karts surprisingly a lot of fun. They were faster then I expected. Most of the singers in the restaurants were not that great except for Katie Weddle who was one of the best singers I have ever heard. The ports of call were great except for Cabo San Lucas which kinda sucked because people were really aggressive trying to get my business. The Bad: I found myself bored often on this ship. between 6pm to 11pm there is stuff to do. Other times it's very hit or miss. The nightlife was terrible the first few days on the ship. If you like to always have something to do I would not recommend this ship. Also the specialty restaurant Q is not that great. The portions are way to big and quite frankly there are much better barbecue places in the world. The fact that Go Karts, Laser Tag and the Arcade cost extra is a bummer. The 7d game in the arcade is awesome though. I really missed not having a sports complex. They didn't have a ping pong tournament. Lots of little extra things like that seemed to be missing which made it boring at times. The dance lessons offered on the ship were not that good. The Gym seemed a little small. The public bathroom doors were left open all the time every day on the ship. It was gross. You could both hear and smell things at time. Not to mention I don't enjoy people being able to see me use a urinal. Also, you better bring your own band aides because they will charge you an arm and a leg if you need one. Ridiculous. Overall I enjoyed myself but would not do this ship again as I like to have more things to do on a ship. I've done the Norwegian Getaway which I believe is the same class of ship and liked that boat a lot more! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I won this cruise. I LOVED this cruise. My go to people were at the atrium bar in 6th floor...Mateo, Leo, Sal and even Bruce were top shelf like the liquor they serve. I felt like royalty when I went to the bar. Our every want or need ... Read More
I won this cruise. I LOVED this cruise. My go to people were at the atrium bar in 6th floor...Mateo, Leo, Sal and even Bruce were top shelf like the liquor they serve. I felt like royalty when I went to the bar. Our every want or need readily anticipated ...patience with us when we were demanding were met with a smile or joke each and everytime. We felt like family when we went there. Very personalized and awesome treatment and concern about our experience. They deserve a raise! Those guys can make or break a guest experience and they were expediting drinks and bringing joy to each person they interacted with. I was sick..cold..while there and they tried to help nurse me back with tea honey recommendations and soup. Tired to help me to participate with ob stage events and give confidence but I was too shy...love them guys .Job well done! Thanks for my amazing trip while I was there. Cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My friend actually won this cruise and asked me to go with her. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful ship and meet new friends along the way. I was a little shocked when we were boarding the ship and they handed ... Read More
My friend actually won this cruise and asked me to go with her. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful ship and meet new friends along the way. I was a little shocked when we were boarding the ship and they handed us a piece of paper that explained the situation regarding the nonavirus but was quickly calmed by the explanation of them scrubbing down the ship before we could get on it. When we were finally able to enter we were greeted by sanitation stations all over the ship, some were people physically squirting sanitation on our hands and others were do it yourself stations. I was amazed at seeing the employees literally scrubbing down the walls and handrails to our stateroom twice a day. We were lucky enough to have a cabin with a balcony and the cabin was great. Honestly I was thinking it would be so small you could barely move but it was spacious and well thought out. Despite the situation I thought that the crew really did everything in their power to keep all of the people on this ship is safe as possible. I had a really great time on this beautiful ship and would diffidently recommend anyone to enjoy this ship and crew. The cruise director Roberto and Assistant cruise director Bianca were amazing at keeping everything so lively, fun, and entertaining. I have to give a shout out to a couple workers in the Garden Cafe. The food was surprisingly good with a good selection for different pallets. The special shout out has to go to June, Clyde and Mark because they were friendly and kind and were always willing to help whenever they could. Thank you all for making this cruise amazing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The price for the cruise was great and always wanted to go though the Panama Canal. The room was nice size and the aesthetics of the ship were great. The dinning rooms looked nice and the main theater was nice and beyond my ... Read More
The price for the cruise was great and always wanted to go though the Panama Canal. The room was nice size and the aesthetics of the ship were great. The dinning rooms looked nice and the main theater was nice and beyond my expectations. The issue is the basic design of the boat. The central bank of elevators were always packed and had to wait a really long time to use. The issue is the second bank of elevators were in the back of the ship not used often because of location, so the drawing board design was wrong from the start. The other design issue was the main buffet dinning area did not have enough seating. We heard the ship was not full, yet we often circled for a 10 to 15 minutes looking for a place to sit. That problem was compounded when the buffet food was not hot to begin with. Speaking of the food, there was plenty of room for improvement. The salad bar was a joke. Of the 10 items I might put on my salad it contained one..... Lettuce. And the dressing was very watery. Most of the "hot" dishes were not. Generally the proteins were dry and only fair taste. I don't eat hot dogs but I had plenty on this trip because of the poor options. We took a Celebrity trip last summer and the food was GREAT. They need to do something about checking into and out of the ship at the end of the trip. Getting off at the port of call worked well and was well thought out. However over 2 hours to check into the ship and over 3 hours to get off the ship was a nightmare. I must commend the staff on switching to serializing mode when the ship had a flu outbreak. they seemed to stop the spread of illness and we heard only 200 people got sick. The issue became the staff wasn't available to take orders and serve meals so dinner took 2 hours. Would I take another Norwegian cruise... Nope Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
we chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the various "perks" Well, regarding the free perks: Go for the free liquor package or the Specialty dining package and you could find yourself with a 5 to $600 service charge ... Read More
we chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the various "perks" Well, regarding the free perks: Go for the free liquor package or the Specialty dining package and you could find yourself with a 5 to $600 service charge added to your checkout bill If you want to take advantage of the "Free shore excursions" you might find that you have to add in a few hundred $$ as the tours typically cost more that the allowance. For those of you readers who don't know what happened with this trip, here goes. After about 6 days on the ship several people came down with Norovirus. The illness spread rapidly and many passengers and crew became ill to various degrees.We were told to remain in our cabin. We were forced to miss out on our last 3 excursions. In addition, We missed out on our last Specialty restaurant dinner in the steakhouse. We were told that a nurse would come to our stateroom to evaluate our situation. She never showed up after we made 3 additional requests. We were told that the medical staff was totally overwhelmed. We were VERY disappointed with the disembarkation process. Yes, we escorted off of the ship quickly, but then we were herded like cattle onto lines that took over 2 1/2 hours to clear. There was NO PLACE to sit and NO RESTROOM facilities . There were people onboard with explosive diarrhea. It was very unpleasant. In addition, due to all of the shoe excursions that were cancelled, It was difficult to get to the airport for our return home. I asked the customer relations department at NCL for some form of "compensation" for a future trip and they said NO. Therefore it will be a long time till I consider NCL for another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a very fun cruise because we were traveling with several family members. The Norwegian Joy is a fairly new ship and had many good things about it. However the ship only had two banks of elevators and two stairways, which made it ... Read More
We had a very fun cruise because we were traveling with several family members. The Norwegian Joy is a fairly new ship and had many good things about it. However the ship only had two banks of elevators and two stairways, which made it seems very congested. The food was very good and the dine any time/any place policy was enjoyable. We didn't like the constant efforts to sale us something and get us to buy stuff. - "See it, like it, but it". They were always trying to "sign up for our next cruise". A little of the sales pitch was fine, but it because very annoying. The ship had a very nice 900 seat theater and good entertainment. The Footloose and Elements productions shows were by far the best we have seem on any cruise. We wish there were more activity options during the day like dance classes that were at a different time other than 5:00 PM. My wife was disappointed that there were not any Zumba classes. We were on a Princess cruise to Alaska in May 2019 and they had a great variety of Zumba and dance classes - which were very fun for my wife. We wish there were more and better lectures about the Panama Canal and other ports of call. There was one short lecture about the canal held in the small Atrium area. It was packed with people and many could not hear or see the lecture. This should have been held in the large theater. This was very poor planning. We also had to listen to a long presentation about signing up for our next cruise before the lecture started. Going through the Panama Canal was the highlight on the trip. The Customer Service staff, housekeeping staff, and waiters were all very friendly and helpful. We were also disappointed that there were no places to play games with my family. We had a group of 8 people and the ship had a very small game room. We had use the tables in the buffet area when they were not busy. This was certainly not ideal. Our cabin was very nice. The bed was great, and the bathroom was a little larger than many ship we have been on. The shower was especially nice. After many difference cabin types on many curses, we decided that a balcony room works best for us. It makes the room feel a little larger and certainly more bright and sunny. Even though the balcony was small it was very nice to go out side and see what was happening. It was especially nice when we went through the Panama Canal. We when on three shore excursions. Two were good, but the Cartagena Hop on Hop off tour was very poor. the bus was late arriving and we stand in the heat for about an hour. One passenger had heat stroke problems while waiting. The bus was so crowded and the various stops where we were supposed to "hop off" had many people waiting to "hop on" so we didn't dare get off because we could probably never get back on and would miss the ship departure. The narration on the bus was very poor. Not a good tour. The disembarkation process was a disaster. The crew seemed confused on what was happening and where we should go. We needed to disembark early and we were delayed for about an hour. The ship computer system failed and delayed passengers for 1 and 1/2 hours. This is not impact us, but it did cause problems for others in our group. Overall the cruise was fun but I thought Norwegian could have done many things better. I would travel with Norwegian again, but they are not my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Alaska was a bucket list trip for my mother and father. Unfortunately, my mother passed away and my father is starting to lose mobility. So, this was a very important trip for my sister and I to take with my father, and Alaska did not ... Read More
Alaska was a bucket list trip for my mother and father. Unfortunately, my mother passed away and my father is starting to lose mobility. So, this was a very important trip for my sister and I to take with my father, and Alaska did not disappoint. The embarkation went smoothly, we were on the ship by 11:30 am which is a very impressive turnaround time. The ship is amazing as always. NCL ships tend to have a very similar layout, so I already knew my way around the 19 deck (20 if you include laser tag) floating luxury hotel. On the Joy they also have Galaxy Pavilion which is a virtual reality arcade. I walked around it with my sister and it seemed really interesting and an unique idea for a cruise ship. Spice H20 has a huge hot top much bigger than their other ships. Of course, I was most impressed by being able to sit in a hot top while staring at glaciers. The dinning I have mixed views on: Buffet: Convenient, easy to grab something quick, great for an easy breakfast, the omelette station is good for getting fresh eggs, but the food did not really stand out. Observation Lounge: Great place for getting a snack! The first day I had a spinach focaccia bread that was delicious, I kept going back hoping they would have more, but it was only there the first day. Surprisingly, the deserts they had there were different than the ones at the buffet and better! If you like carrot cake look for it at the observation lounge! Local: Their appetizers are great; they have a Greek watermelon feta salad that's good. Their burgers are burgers and a bit over-cooked to my taste (I was surprised that they did not ask me how I wanted it) Taste/Savor/Manhattan Room: Their main dinning is good. Their steak/beef menu options are nothing to write home about. (Granted I have to take into account that I may have been a bit spoiled by my first two nights at specialty restaurants) I was however impressed by their appetizers in fact one night I order 3 apps instead of getting an entree. Their deserts were fabulous! NCL knows how to do desserts across every restaurant that they have on board. Temppanyaki: Was spectacular! The show was good, the fried rice and vegetables were good, but most importantly the filet mignon melted in your mouth. This restaurant is a must! I love hibachi and NCL out does most if not all of the hibachi places I have been to. Cagney's: The service here was beyond compare. You can tell NCL takes pride in this restaurant! The steak was great and do not even get me started on how amazing the truffle mash potatoes were. La Cucina: This was my least favorite out of the specialty restaurants. It was good and better than main dinning (though the service was not anything special, and I had some great waiter in the main dining rooms that were more attentive) The burrata was my favorite part and the pesto gnocchi was also very good. Entertainment was pretty good. I really enjoyed elements it was different, engaging, and had amazing special effects, it is a must see! The performers were also friendly and fun! The game shows were always nice to stop and watch in the atrium, I love the shows that include guests, they are always funny, and a good time. There were some days that not much in the itinerary seemed interesting, but I grabbed some friends I met on board and started a game of cards in the observation lounge which was just as fun. Dan Dan the cruise director was great, and I really enjoyed him in late night entertainment. If you like dancing the social is the place to go however, I do have some mixed feelings there. For the most part the service was spectacular. However, I did have an unfortunate incident (which happened to be on my birthday) where a crew member yelled at me, then my sister and it caused my sister to get upset because she is shy and quiet. (Which made me more upset) The next day my sister ran the cruise critic and I met the officers. Martin Ivanov the general manager said to come with him to with any concerns, and without much detail I told him it was my Birthday and this crew member was a jerk and provided him with a picture of the crew members badge. I have to say both him and Ana Maria Malata really took care of me and helped make my birthday special, I was blown away. My cabin Steward was amazing I some how do not have a picture of his badge but I his name was Joevi (I probably misspelled that) He decorated my cabin and hand wrote a birthday card for me. I felt bad about making a compliant and was so impressed by the crew that I thought “whatever everyone has bad days.” Unfortunately, the second to last night at the 80’s party in the social. The crew member that I said was a “jerk” confronted me saying that I got him in trouble. (I am not using his name because I really do not want anyone to be in trouble) He might have meant well, but he was in no way apologizing and, even kind of threatened me, so awkward. I work in corporate management and it made me cringe to think of employee confronting a complaint/ threatening a client. It is a bit sad that I had to avoid a crew member on the ship, but at that point the cruise was almost over and I really did not want to be involved, I just wanted to enjoy my vacation. The rest of the crew was amazing, and I really hope if I go on another NCL cruise that I will not have to deal with an angry crew member, and that no other future passenger does either. Excursions: Juno: Canoeing/Glaciers Fun but there was no wildlife, they did provide rain gear which was a bonus Skagway: Kayaking Cold, but beautiful. I saw bald eagles, a bear, and tons of salmon! Ketchikan: Lumberjack Show/ Totem Park Lumberjack show was a bit cheesy but fun and learning the history of clans in Alaska through Totem stories was a cool experience. Glacier Bay: Not an excursion but still an amazing day on the boat. NCL opened the bow of the boat for close viewing, provided blankets, and even had an expert on board to talk about the glaciers. Disembarkation was well organized even though there was a line/wait to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm so glad we went despite some of the negative reviews. I have not one complaint! Although every trip has a snag or two, I just don't sweat the small stuff. We loved our mini suite. Yes, it may be as big as other ships suites, ... Read More
I'm so glad we went despite some of the negative reviews. I have not one complaint! Although every trip has a snag or two, I just don't sweat the small stuff. We loved our mini suite. Yes, it may be as big as other ships suites, but it was certainly big enough The larger bathroom with the nice shower was great! The room steward was nice and friendly and we were obliged in every request I read lots of complaints about food before we left but I thought it was excellent. So many choices we didn't hit them all. We could find something 24 hours a day. The bars were great! We had the drink package and felt it was well worth the money. I'm not even a big drinker but 7 days I sure put some away and it was worry free. Some people I met did not have the package and regretted that in about day 5. The excursions were well organized and we had a great time on each one. We had the sea plane excursion and it was canceled due to weather. Once again, although disappointing i just didn't sweat it. We just picked something else and I was happy I could go on and on but I just feel if everyone could just relax and remember the staff are trying to please about 4000 people at once it brings things into perspective. You may encounter that one crew member that isn't as friendly or helpful as they should be but that is just a one off. Don't sweat it, find someone else to ask Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our third NCL Cruise. Our first ever cruise to Alaska. I should change my CC handle to "CigarCruiser" because, I will always address cigar related issues to cruising. Cruise ship musts for us include cabin comforts, ... Read More
This was our third NCL Cruise. Our first ever cruise to Alaska. I should change my CC handle to "CigarCruiser" because, I will always address cigar related issues to cruising. Cruise ship musts for us include cabin comforts, specialty restaurants, and a reasonable cigar lounge. NCL continues to meet these criteria for us. We had a mini-suite category cabin on deck 8. We ate at 7 of the specialty restaurants (5 for dinner and 2 for lunch). I visited the Humidor Lounge daily. We chose the "sail away" rate, as opposed to the more inclusive rates. Our rationale is that we don't drink that much. In fact, I'm pretty sure the "Gratuity/Service Charge" of $154 per person was greater than the amount we consumed on the voyage. I didn't use the ship's internet. We bought a 4 meal specialty dining plan. The Restaurants: La Cuccina, Italian. I had Osso Bucco, my wife had Veal Scallopini. Very good dinner. American Diner. We had lunch. Its kind of open air, so, it was chilly. I had skirt steak chimichurri ($15). My wife had their cheeseburger ($11). Cheeseburger gets vote for best burger at sea now, surpassing previous #1 of Carnival's Guy's Burger and HAL's made to order burgers. Yeah, you have to pay for it, but, its worth it. The skirt steak was great, also. This one isn't expensive enough to use your meal plan, so, I don't think many people are eating there. But, its worth it. Q, Texas BBQ. I had the Texas sampler with brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and chicken. My wife had the ribs. This was surprisingly good. I've never been a brisket fan (I guess, being from Alabama). The brisket was very tender. Everything else was very good. We'll go back. Our bill total before being zero'd out by the meal plan was about $70, so, it justifies the meal plan, but, just barely. Teppanyaki, Japanese Hibachi show dinner. This was fun. I had filet and scallops. This specialty actually costs more than our local similar restaurants at $39.95 apiece. So, this one and Q, I think seem to be unsubsidized by the dining portion of your cruise fare. Increasingly, the costs of the specialty restaurants appear to be comparable to similar quality restaurants on land. But, its worth using the specialty plan here. Cagney's, Steak. This was the best Cagney's we have experienced. Both of our steaks (a filet and a porterhouse) were cooked pretty accurately. This was very good. I'd say half way between Outback and Flemings or Ruth's Chris on my quality meter. The cost (without the dining plan is also about half way between. Great choice for your specialty plan. Food Republic, Mostly Asian. My wife loves this place. Its all small plates. We tried a few, and spent $70 (didn't use specialty plan). It was all good. I particularly liked the pork belly with ramen and the scotch eggs. Le Bistro, French. We had 8 oz filets. They were different from Cagney's, which surprised me. Also very good. Just a little less expensive than Cagney's, but, not much. Probably your second best choice for specialty plan. The Humidor Lounge, Cigars. If you enjoy a cigar or two while on vacation, this is a nice hideaway on the 8th deck. Unlike other ships, its not attached to Malting's Whiskey Bar. There were signs (3 of them) prominently displayed, stating that this lounge for for cigars only and that cigarettes were prohibited there. Well, that didn't matter, which shouldn't matter to anyone other than cigar lovers and cigarette smokers. If you like cigarettes, then this place beats the pants off of the corner of H2O Spice, where it was cold through most of the Alaskan Cruise, and many smokers were only too happy to adopt this as their home at sea. I was fortunate to find a seat in the lounge for my cigar. I didn't complain, and I don't think anyone else did, either. But, NCL, to their credit, did make a few attempts at enforcement. But, too many staff came through to provide implied consent. My fear here is that this is fast becoming an airport smoking lounge. When the ship realizes this, they will just re-purpose the room. The cigarette smokers will go where they are allowed. And, cigar aficionados will abandon the line. There are 18 comfortable seats in this room. You have to use the telephone to order drinks or cigars. One decent smoking bar would generate more revenue, and it would show more concern for their cigarette smoking/paying guests. IMHO. Entertainment. We skipped the Footloose show. This is notable, because the Broadway type shows on Breakaway and Bliss (Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys) were amazing. We went to the opening Theater Entertainment Sampler. They did 2 numbers from Footloose, and, I want to be charitable here, but, they just weren't good. We did go to Elements. This show was amazing. It is not to be missed. The Russian aerial acrobatic and ballet couple were awesome. The magician (PJ Wen) provided spectacular illusions. We were mesmerized throughout this show. Finally, the Beatles Tribute Band did a long set concert covering the Beatles career on Friday afternoon before we landed at Victoria. What a great show. The Cavern Club is just not big enough for the quality of their shows (also true on Bliss). But, I get what they are trying to re-create here. On both cruises where they have a Cavern Club, the band has done a long show in the theater on the final day or night of the cruise. The theater was packed for their show, demonstrating why it was so hard to get into the Cavern Club during the week. The final point on entertainment. You might be surprised to learn that the best singer on the ship is probably the cruise director, Dan Dan. He was on the Bliss earlier this year before transferring to the Joy. He is a brilliant singer. He should do a show. He will sing toward the end of your cruise. You should not miss it. Our cabin was a mini-suite, which seems a lot like a balcony cabin, except it has 2 sinks. I see some traditionalists complain about the less personable approach to housekeeping, but, I don't try to get to know maids at hotels. The guy cleaned our room, replaced our towels, got us ice, and he was courteous when he saw us. I don't think I want any more than that. The ship is like other large ships. It's beautiful. We found our way around pretty well. Once embarkation was done, it was pretty easy to get around. We didn't go to top decks much, because it wasn't really warm enough for pool activity. But, we were able to get elevators when we needed them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have never cruised in the past so we did not know what to expect or to compare. I don't know what everyone was complaining about. Nothing is perfect but the staff tried to do what ever they could to make it perfect for you. I ... Read More
We have never cruised in the past so we did not know what to expect or to compare. I don't know what everyone was complaining about. Nothing is perfect but the staff tried to do what ever they could to make it perfect for you. I made reservations before we left for all the specialty dining and shows so were did not have any issues with reservations. They tell you well in advance to make these reservations for if you didn't, then you missed you opportunity. Getting on and off the ship for excursions was seamless. You need to listen to what they tell you about getting off which most people did not and then you grumble and complain. Yes the elevators where crowded but over 3000 people are trying to move through the ship on 18 floors, but this was not an all day occurrence. It would only happen during the busy times such as getting on and off the ship. Out bed was very comfortable. It had a nice pad on it and the pillows were very soft and supportive. We had a balcony and really enjoyed except someone again was not following the rules and was smoking on the balcony and butts would land on ours along with the smell. We did excursions on all the ports so enjoyed that. Icy Straits was truly Alaska as far as I'm concerned. I didn't go to Alaska to purchase items from china or give my money to vendors that go from one port to another. If you would go into the town of Hoonah you might not find the fancy store fronts but talking to the local residents you would get the true Alaskan experience. That is why we went to Alaska, The specialty dinning we had was fabulous. You could find food anywhere you went. The Buffet was ok if you wanted something quick. My biggest complaint about the buffet was the rudeness of the people cutting in front of you to grab the food. I never knew what the hurry was as we were sailing and had no place to go. You are on vacation so take a chill pill for petes sake. Entertainment was fair to good. We are not no Broadway so I didn't expect Broadway shows. Footloose was like a High School musical but it entertained us. Elements was excellent. We couldn't see the Glaciers as it was to foggy, no fault of Norwegian. If something would have happened if we would have entered the area then people would have something to complain about. The staff was always attentive. Our housekeeper steward was wonderful. Would always greet us with a warm smile and hug. Jing jing made us feel very special. We enjoyed trying all the different drinks offered. I really had to complaints and we really enjoyed our vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise to run away from the heat of summer at least for a week and to experience the relaxing sights of Alaska. Ship: The ship looks amazing. Very clean and contemporary décor. Staff continuously cleans and maintains ... Read More
We chose this cruise to run away from the heat of summer at least for a week and to experience the relaxing sights of Alaska. Ship: The ship looks amazing. Very clean and contemporary décor. Staff continuously cleans and maintains the ship in neat condition. The onboard staff was always courteous and helpful. Bad experience with NCL air travel: We had a very stressful experience with our air travel arrangements booked directly with NCL air. Due to a last minute rescheduling of the our outbound flight, we almost missed our cruise and the NCL emergency assistance line/nor the air travel department were available to help! From the initial booking of the reservation, the staff did not bother to sit our family of four together, which included two small children. Our seats were assigned all over the plane. Ports: One of the ports visited was Hoonah/Icy Strait for an entire day and in my opinion, it would have been a better value as a customer to have that much time at different port (Ketchikan, Juneau). At his point, the town itself needs further development and the frequency of the shuttles from the port to town needs to be increase during ship arrival dates. There is a nice shopping area and some restaurants as you get off the ship plus shore excursions. We wandered into town via the $5 shuttle and found some street vendors but the area needs significant tourist development. Unless you're willing to pay for $hore excursion$ at this point there is not a lot going on there. Food: The food at specialty restaurants was excellent, specially Cagney's Steakhouse. We liked it so much that we ended up dining at Cagney's twice! The food was also good at the buffet, and to my surprise they also had a section for Indian food which seemed to be very popular. I tried some of it and it was delicious. The complimentary restaurants as well as the specialty restaurants offer a wide variety of food choices. For the specialty restaurants, we tried Teppanyaki (Hibachi). and Cagney's (Steakhouse) . Portions at both specialty restaurant were VERY generous. The Hibachi staff was fun but compared to a 'land' Hibachi restaurant the food wasn't 'great'. Cagney's steakhouse was exceptional. From the service of the staff to the quality of the food and drinks. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin and it was well worth it! Would definitely recommend it as we could see glaciers and at some point whales as the cruise sailed! Bed: The bed in our cabin was very uncomfortable as well as the bunk bed + sleeper sofa. We asked our steward for extra padding but still I was waking up daily with body and neck pain : ( Onboard kids club/arcade: For the nicer games (ex. virtual reality, race track, laser tag), you have to pay extra per use. I'd wish they had some sort of packaged deal as some are $7/use and some others are $20/use per person. They have a coloring interactive station free of charge in the galaxy room that was pretty cool. Be sure to check the daily schedules for other no-charge events. They had a shirt glow paint event where they provide T-shirts and paint so the family can create a souvenir with glow pain. Make sure kids wear clothes that can be stained with permanent paint! Useful tips; Make sure to download the NCL app PRIOR to getting on the ship. You will be able to check the daily activities from your phone and mark your favorites. There is no charge for connecting to the ship Wi-Fi to use this app. The only enhancement I'd do to the app would be to specify which activities have an additional fee (ex. wine tastings, etc...). They also have the traditional daily schedule of activities printed and delivered to your room. The ship provides a FREE port valet service in Seattle that allows to check in your luggage all the way to your airline from the ship! The paperwork is provided in your cabin but they will have signs all over the ship at around Tuesday/Wednesday for this service. This is particularly useful if you're planning to walk around Seattle. You will still need to take a cab to the airport but don't have to carry your luggage around. Unfortunately, we were not able to use this service due to issue with NCL air travel. There is also a concierge service outside the terminal that charges $5 per piece of luggage but must pick up by 3 pm. In summary: We would do it again, but would choose an itinerary that does not include Icy Strait, as this port still has a few years to go to warrant spending so many hours of my precious vacation time. Would much rather have longer stays in Ketchikan, Juneau or Skagway. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Offer received through Latitudes Rewards. Loved the ship itself. Much better than the Star. Everything was clean and shiny new. Loved how many options you had available to keep you occupied. Decent pricing on cruise itself, but a ... Read More
Offer received through Latitudes Rewards. Loved the ship itself. Much better than the Star. Everything was clean and shiny new. Loved how many options you had available to keep you occupied. Decent pricing on cruise itself, but a nightmare upgrading the drink package. Got a cocktail when I got on ship (Long Island) which was absolutely awful. Switched to Vodka Cranberry and then got the receipt for it. Almost $26 per drink!! I went to upgrade and had to pay over $800. Paying that much, I still got charged extra for drinks from the mini bar!!! With that much money spent to drink anything anywhere I want, I should be able to get a drink in my room without paying through the nose for it. NOT happy about all that. There was a total of 1 smoking area on the ship. Yes....ONE! We were put in a corner like a child being put in time out. The area was very small too. In my opinion, doing this will make smokers (lepers of society now) to not want to take a cruise again. I'm not asking to allow us to smoke inside, but having a small space without proper coverage (rained on many times) is just not very nice! On that note....the bartenders and staff by the Leper's corner (17th deck) were absolutely wonderful! Especially Michael! He always checked on me and the others there constantly and made us feel welcome every day. Warm welcomes every time I got there made me feel a bit better about the whole "corner" situation for us smokers. He remembered everyone's name and what we drank. Very impressive! Thank you Michael!! Dining was ok at complimentary restaurants. Deserts were questionable at times. In my opinion, Boston Cream pie should be made of cream, not gelatin. Peach Cobbler was also off a bit. Q was absolutely wonderful. Best salmon I had on the ship. Hibachi restaurant was amazing as well. Best fried rice I've ever had! All in all. Good food options. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first cruise and will definitely not be our last! Everything was fantastic! Every staff member thanked us for being there, was welcoming and treated us so well. We ate almost somewhere different every day and could not speak ... Read More
This was our first cruise and will definitely not be our last! Everything was fantastic! Every staff member thanked us for being there, was welcoming and treated us so well. We ate almost somewhere different every day and could not speak more highly of it, especially Carney’s, Q, and Teppanyaki. The ship was spotless, and our balcony room was spacious in comparison to the things I read prior to cruising on other ships. We saw Footloose, the game shows, Arvin, Marie Hawkins Band, The Beatles cover band, and thought they were all so talented. Our times in port were great as well too. We checked out a few breweries, the lumberjack show, and Ketchikan was my favorite, Skagway my husband’s. I think I went in with an easy going attitude that just was there to enjoy anything the ship had to offer, and it was even better than I expected. Biggest tip- go to Sugarcane Mojito Bar! We sampled ALL of them, and took a rum class where we learned to make 5 cocktails. It was a great week! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the ... Read More
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the NCL line, so I spent many hours researching excursions and additional charges prior to leaving. However, some items are not obviously a good or poor value until you experience the cruise. More on additional costs later. My family arrived in Seattle early to visit local sites of interest to use prior to the cruise. The day and a half in Seattle ahead of the cruise was completely worthwhile. Pike Street Market, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Microsoft Visitor's Center (pretty far afield but of great interest to techies), the Space Needle, and trying local foods were all worthwhile. We used Uber to get to the ship from our hotel. Drop off and pick up at Pier 66 in Seattle is a rather scary and dangerous proposition. My family observed one fender bender and several near misses during drop off and pick up. The lanes for pick up and drop off have three minute limits with no clear enforcement and many drivers making their own lanes. I liked the staggered embarkation and debarkation. Although the lines were still quite long during both events, I suspect a less structured handling would have led to much worse lines. Getting on and off the ship at each port throughout the cruise was probably one of the best experiences I could imagine. The ship card for all services is another useful aspect of the cruise. Other than getting back on in some ports, the ship card was all anyone needed to get off or on the ship, to eat or drink, or to take advantage of any amenities. Unfortunately, the amenities often cam at an extra cost. If you wanted really amazing food, you pretty much had to go to one of the specialty restaurants, which cost extra. NCL offers the ability to prepay for these restaurants allegedly. It seemed like a good deal at ~$26 per person for each meal. Unfortunately, we found out that the prepaid meals were not honored by Food Republic, American Diner, or Teppanyaki. It turns out that American Diner SHOULD have been accepted but good luck getting that money back. I spent 30 minutes waiting in line a guest services to get the $42 spent credited back to my account only to find out the restaurant has to handle the refund. The restaurant staff never bothered to answer the call from guest services. So my ~$300 prepaid meals for four meals got me exactly one meal at Le Bistro that even with the choices my family made would have set us back a whopping ~$25 per person. Every place we had complimentary food was mediocre at best. The foods that were best were pastries and any Asian style foods. Eggs and Southern or Southwestern US foods were generally terrible. Another huge disappointment was the onboard activities. The ship offered game show after game show every day and the occasional dance party. The comedy shows were good and the Elements show was okay if you like modern dance mixed with magic. Footloose was a terrible movie and story, so we skipped that show. The various musicians were good but you can only listen to so many Rat Pack songs before those get old, too. The activities that were most enjoyable...cost extra. Go-kart, VR and Laser Tag all received high marks but were costly. Nearly everything extra also needed a reservation. We ended up spending at least a thousand dollars above the cost of the cruise for the meals, soda package, and onboard activities that were extra, The shore excursions were a mixed bag. I was happy with my decisions to manage my own excursions in Ketchikan and Victoria. We did a self-guided walking tour in Ketchikan and had a great time doing that but it was a significant physical effort even if the walk is only a couple of miles. We did a tour in Juneau to see the gold mine. It was informative but too short. Thankfully, when we ended up at the Alaska equivalent of the cruise line private island, we had a whaling excursion. This was probably the most valuable and enjoyable excursion we could have selected and at the right stop -- the stop designed to make more money for the cruise lines. Finally, in Victoria, we took the $10 CAD Victoria cab to downtown then walked around ourselves. For $20 CAD plus tip you can see the old hotels, the legislative buildings, an amazing park, and even set up a high tea (extra cost). Unlike the expensive trip to the Butchart Gardens, Beacon Hill is 55 acres of free beautiful park with flora and fauna to enjoy two blocks from the parliamentary building. The cruise staff and officers were all very nice and helpful. The ship was kept very clean and the crew took cleanliness seriously unlike some of the passengers who needed to learn proper buffet etiquette. Some of the highlights of the trip: Beautiful vistas at every stop Clean, well-kept ship Spacious cabins with good storage and steward service Excellent ship service Negatives outweighed the positives: Many extra costs Terrible value for meal packages Pepsi products for mixers (Rum and Pepsi, Bourbon and Pepsi, 7 and Sierra Mist?? These do not make sense) Terrible free activities onboard Limited shopping Mediocre free foods Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this particular cruise to try out the bigger ships (had to try the go Karts) The embarkation out of Seattle was not a good experience, not even taking the construction into account. Of course there were huge lineups, but only ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise to try out the bigger ships (had to try the go Karts) The embarkation out of Seattle was not a good experience, not even taking the construction into account. Of course there were huge lineups, but only The Haven and the regular line was available. What happened to Platinum and suite lines? There also seemed to be 2 levels and one Haven couple was sent from one level to the next only to be told go back. Very confusing. We were not given a Group # card, I assumed because Platinum got on early. But when I asked as handicapped were getting on, I was told "you must have gotten here really late.....no actually we were among the first to arrive.. Once onboard everything went smoothly. We had an Oceanview at the very front overlooking the bow. Great view of the "burgy bits" while staying warm. Trick to get a window in the dining rooms, go right at opening. Love being able to make reservations. There were computer screens all over the ship to make or cancel reservations, or see how the restaurants were filling up. The observation lounge was really nice, windows all across the front and quite a few loungers (although I never managed to snag one). The 2 shows and 2 comedies we saw were excellent. Costumes were incredible. Food was great no matter where you ate. All in all a great trip. Did not do any excursions because we have been to Alaska many times, but would go again, just for the trip...lol Disembarkation went much smoother I'm glad to say. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Alaska was on our proverbial bucket list and Norwegian is our preferred cruise line. Neither disappointed. As anticipated, the service, food and shows on the Norwegian Joy were tremendous. Not a bad experience to be had. Alaska was ... Read More
Alaska was on our proverbial bucket list and Norwegian is our preferred cruise line. Neither disappointed. As anticipated, the service, food and shows on the Norwegian Joy were tremendous. Not a bad experience to be had. Alaska was everything we expected and more. Beautiful weather, spectacular views and an overall outstanding cruise. We did seaplane, whale watching and helicopter excursions. Although rather pricey, we loved them all. We have found out that excursions in Alaska are much more expensive than other locations, but with this being a unique location, that is to be expected. We did the concierge suite which was nice to have the larger room, but we question the need to spend the extra money. The only downside I can think of was the casino was not very accommodating to my wallet. Seattle was a great city and a lot to see. I would however like to see the city do something with the homeless population. Unfortunately they were everywhere we went. They didn't bother anyone, so it wasn't a big problem. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Went on the Alaskan cruise on the newly refurbished Norwegian Joy. The ship has a very modern interior and from the first glance appears to be great. However, their lack of attention started to show quickly after embarkment. The biggest ... Read More
Went on the Alaskan cruise on the newly refurbished Norwegian Joy. The ship has a very modern interior and from the first glance appears to be great. However, their lack of attention started to show quickly after embarkment. The biggest issue I had was the width of the hallways by the staterooms. Some floors, if you had gotten off in the wrong set of elevators, required you to walk through the stateroom hallways. This would be okay if the hallways were large enough to permit a wheelchair or walker, which in the Joy’s case they were not particularly when the housekeeping’s carts were scattered every forty feet. In the main areas the doors opened via a touch panel. I failed to see any consistent placement of these panels even on the double entry doors. There was some cool extras like go karts, mini golf, and laser tag. Unfortunately, there were no elevators to these floors making it difficult to accommodate parties with mobility disabilities. I looked forward to these attractions but refused to use them because of this deficiency. In addition, the embarkment and disembarkment days were handled poorly. Both boarding and leaving the ship had us joining multiple lines, had us leave the ship and badge back in only to leave the ship a second time, & because of the delays caused in the confusion many people ended up running to catch flights (including myself). The best thing about the Joy was their show Footloose. This is a great thing too since seeing the show meant we had to miss out on their main dance party. They had some trivia, but the cruise director and team lacked luster and the games fell flat most times. The Starbucks located in the atrium where most activity occurred was nice. In short, unless Norwegian decides to invest in training, the ship’s ergonomics, and time management; I would not suggest this ship. Alaska’s inside passage cruises are some of the best, but do yourself a favor and pick a better ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Try to avoid seeing the ship Dr. at all costs, they charged 2 consultation fees of $150 for the same visit. The medical staff wanted to push all kinds of unnecessary tests on our mother. We went in for an Azo pill and left with a $1431.00 ... Read More
Try to avoid seeing the ship Dr. at all costs, they charged 2 consultation fees of $150 for the same visit. The medical staff wanted to push all kinds of unnecessary tests on our mother. We went in for an Azo pill and left with a $1431.00 bill! We were given the run around about the crazy expensive billing. That alone will cause us to not use NCL again! The food taste the same in every restaurant, it was typical buffet food. Book your specialty dinners as soon as you can. The good spots fill up quick. Book your excursions directly with the tourist company’s and save about 40%. Make sure you close out your bill early and question the charges. Several people were held back on the ship just to find out their bill had been paid. The process to disembark was not explained well and caused confusion and frustration. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Norwegian Joy Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 3.7
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.3
Family 3.5 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.5 3.0
Service 4.5 3.9
Value For Money 3.5 3.2

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