2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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: 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
6 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my third cruise with NCL to Alaska, first on the Joy. The boarding process was a breeze! We were greeted by very friendly staff and our rooms were ready when we got on the ship. The stateroom steward was very friendly and ... Read More
This was my third cruise with NCL to Alaska, first on the Joy. The boarding process was a breeze! We were greeted by very friendly staff and our rooms were ready when we got on the ship. The stateroom steward was very friendly and attentive. We saw the live shows Footloose and Elements. Both were beyond amazing!!! I wish we would have seen them more than once! The buffet food was decent but never seemed to be hot by the time we got to our table. It was impossible to find a free table, even during slower times. If we did find a table we would have to track down a busser to clear the table from the prior people because they weren't cleared in a timely manner. I felt the ethnic options were better on past cruises. There wasn't a lot of options in the buffet, just numerous stations serving the same things. The Local was a good place to stop for a quick bite. Service was good. We ate one meal at Savor. We sat over 5 minutes before even getting water. The menu options were very limited. I ordered a fish sandwich with waffle fries. It was served without the fries initially and the waitress said she would get the waffle fries. 15 minutes later I was served a dish of cold regular fries. We had to practically beg to get our drinks refilled. Needless to say we didn't go back there. I was traveling with a cigar smoker and a cigarette smoker. On past cruises with NCL they allowed both in the Cigar Lounge. This time they were not allowing cigarette smokers in the cigar lounge and only had one spot on the entire ship for all cigarette smokers to go. It was outside with no covering or tables. There was no drink service in the cigar lounge like there has been on prior ships and to purchase a cigar, there was a phone number posted on the wall but no phone to use so you'd have to go back to your room and call and run back down to meet the person to get the cigar. One member of our group has limited mobility and uses a walker. There were flatter handicapped accessible ramps when we got off in ports but at one Port when we came back the ramp was down but not able to be used because they didn't have adequate staff to work it. They had us wait for over 20 minutes and still didn't have staffing. I finally ended up pulling the walker and the family member with limited mobility up the very steep ramp to get back on the ship. They were also using the same ramp as an exit ramp which caused some major issues. The staff at the District bar was incredible. I can't say enough good things about them!!! The variety of onboard activities was limited. There were a lot of singing/dancing options. On prior cruises there was a lot more options such as Crafters meet-ups. I spent hours over the week cruise in line at guest services. My first cruise was under my married name, all cruises since have been under my maiden name. For some reason this time they kept trying to use my old married name. I showed them my certified divorce paperwork with the name change, photo id with the correct name and they couldn't seem to get it fixed. Almost every day I'd have to go to guest services because of another name issue. Disembark was a disaster to say the least. I have never seen such a disorganized mess of a disembark process. It was not a great way to end the cruise. I will definitely cruise Norwegian again but will be avoiding the Joy and if issues like this come up again I'll be switching to a different cruise company. That's a lot of money to deal with that many issues. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was the most disorganized cruise we have ever taken. From embarking to disembarking it was a mess. Service was not the best in most areas and the main dining buffet had the worst layout for flow and not the best food. The other ... Read More
This was the most disorganized cruise we have ever taken. From embarking to disembarking it was a mess. Service was not the best in most areas and the main dining buffet had the worst layout for flow and not the best food. The other complimentary restaurants had about the same food as buffet just fewer choices and service was not good there either. We ate twice at the specialty steak restaurant. The first time was amazing food and service. The second visit we were half finished with our steak before our baked potato/ side made it to the table. Service for drinks was very slow as well. Shopping onboard was very limited and they only had 2 evening shows where most cruises have a show every night. We enjoyed Footloose but Elements was not our thing. People trying to settle their account on the final night of the cruise were met with long lines and only 3 customer service representatives. There were lots of unhappy customers. First and last Norwegian cruise for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The cruise was a spontaneous decision to fill the gap to our next trip in September. The ship was recommended by the travel agent. It seemed to be a good decision not to stay in a heaven suite because compared to a loft suite on Royal ... Read More
The cruise was a spontaneous decision to fill the gap to our next trip in September. The ship was recommended by the travel agent. It seemed to be a good decision not to stay in a heaven suite because compared to a loft suite on Royal Caribbean it's just a standard stateroom. The concierge suite seemed the right choice. . Priority boarding . Private dining for breakfast and lunch . Concierge lounge Well this is what we expected. Priority boarding didn't work. Disembarking only because we asked a crew member. There's no signage. Private dining was at la cucina. With a non changing menu and only a few choices it wasn't really working for us. The staff felt extremely unsure about their duties and the manager held debriefings in the middle of the restaurant. I understand it's a "new ship" in terms of the area their cruising but the amount of untrained staff or staff having conversations about desperately trying to find another job was annoying and sad. The concierge lounge was apparently removed or transformed into the public lounge. Here you see folks laying with their hiking shoes on couches and using the facilities as a getaway from their windowless cabins. We felt like they've done the right thing, besides the shoes or barefoot on the couch thing. They spent a fraction of the trip heaving the best space on the ship during the day. Maybe we should've gone for the heaven for a bit of a luxurious feel. We experienced a large number of extremely bad service mishaps, the fun stuff as . go karts ( bored staff, no timing for laps) . the loop slide ( only open for 2 hours in the morning!? Not during really nice weather. Staff next to the slide said that I had to go back to my room and check my daily newsletter for timings. After a little conversation he said it's closed for no reason.. thank you) . Laser tag ( we didn't even try as the crew was busy chatting to each other) This reflected on my cruise survey and after reading a long standardized apologies letter from NCL I found a 125$ offer for on board credits. This wouldn't be enough to buy a internet package which will not work anyways as it is either super slow, doesn't connect or disconnect and the webpage based login is so 1980s. So thanks for the offer. As I wrote into my answer. Spent it on staff training and I hope the next cruise will be better for other passengers. We will definitely not come back. A last word. Of course there were some very talented people amongst the staff but they were not enough to give it a welcome feel. Thanks to those Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
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
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 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.4
Family 3.5 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 2.9
Service 4.5 4.0
Value For Money 3.5 3.2

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