2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We were first time cruiser with NCL but have traveled on other cruise lines I have to say NCL you do a great job from the start to finish. We went on the Joy to see Alaska and NCL did not disappoint us with the selection of excursions and ... Read More
We were first time cruiser with NCL but have traveled on other cruise lines I have to say NCL you do a great job from the start to finish. We went on the Joy to see Alaska and NCL did not disappoint us with the selection of excursions and the ports we visited. I reviewed a lot of the reviews about NCL and the Joy and were just a little apprehensive but I found everything above board so my advice don't let someone else stop you by going on the Joy or any ship. The food was great, The entertainment was as good a s a broad way show, I can't say enough about how the staff on the ship treated the guest very courteous and always willing to help. The restaurants on board were very good and the service at each was impeccable. Embarkation and dis-embarkation was so fast we were on the ship within 15 minutes and when it was time to disembark we had a early flight home and we were off the ship again by 20 minutes. I do recommend the luggage valet when dis-embarking you don't have to worry about your luggage till you get home and best of all it's free. NCL also arranged the flight to Seattle and back to Miami no problems at all made connections with no problems. Read Less
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had a roomy balcony room, starboard side. Fast and easy to get on and off. FOOD: Cagney's was the highlight, the only specialty restaurant I would do again. We saved Ocean Blue, the seafood restaurant for after our first ... Read More
We had a roomy balcony room, starboard side. Fast and easy to get on and off. FOOD: Cagney's was the highlight, the only specialty restaurant I would do again. We saved Ocean Blue, the seafood restaurant for after our first Alaskan stop, thinking they would stock with Alaskan salmon. Wrong. Only farmed, Atlantic...a disappointment. Food just ok. La Cucina, worst veal marsala ever. Only one small mushroom slice on generous serving of veal, ruined by regular, opaque beef gravy. We enjoyed Taste the most outside of Cagney. Buffet had yummy Indian food. Loved the crepes, but wish I could have had savory rather than only dessert. Despite this, we still ate. A lot. So it must have been better than ok =) Up 8 lbs at the end of the trip. Best bar was A-List, which has a different bar menu from the rest. The Napa Valley VT was refreshing and a must figure out how to do when we get home. Pina coladas are not on the menu but can be ordered if you need to get your tropical fruity drink on. Beverage service better at the beginning of cruise than at end, but there was never a long walk to a bar if noone came to refill. Bottled water is oddly not part of the bev service and complementary bottles are not provided daily for the room. You can get another package for that. Wish we had. SHIP EVENTS: Atrium game shows were fun! But crowded and hard to find a seat and if no seat, to see. Elements and magic shows were great. Comics funny and tailored to the trip. Audio/video talks about Alaska, wildlife etc were impossible. They should have been in the theater where people could hear and see as everyone talked over them so you couldn't hear in the observation deck and couldn't see in the Atrium. So know before you go as you won't be able to pick up any info on the cruise. They try to sell you on nutritional supplements (we signed up for the $149 couples body scan which also had a mandatory 20% service charge on top!) and walked away from the $900 per person 6 month plan after researching their product and website (tough to get the info from the personal trainer to research...for a reason!). Loved the wine cellar events, both the Riedel glass tasting and the wine and cheese pairing. Elena is a delight and a very good som. Enjoyed glacier viewing of Dawes Glacier. Captain moved boat so front, starboard and port...and aft! could all view for long periods of time. PORTS: Ketchikan was awesome. Plenty of time to tour, shop, with the best prices we saw. We had an amazing tour booked via Viator. Juneau: Speed dating only...Barely enough time to get to Mendenhall glacier, see the short movie in the visitor center and rush back. We used the $45/pp white bus shuttle and tour bought after arrival. No time to shop. Grabbed a salmon burger to go as time was too short to stay and eat it before getting back to the ship. Icy Strait Point: Tourist trap. Glad we shopped in Ketchikan. This is a good place to do nature tours or fishing. We separately arranged for a bear search and saw a HUGE brown bear. But tour groups are not friendly with each other, and the Icy Point folks aren't friendly with non Icy Point guides...kinda made it awkward for us. Got the impression guests are to be separated from their money rather than have a good experience. Even the comic joked what a horrible stop Hoonah was. We still loved seeing the big bear, but it was after 2.5 hour of driving around looking for it. Would have preferred to have gone to Skagway. Victoria: walkable to Empress Hotel and we splurged on a tea for two, which we reserved on Open Table when we booked the trip. Memorable and worth saving up for. SEATTLE: First and last - great location, near Pike's market where we did our final fish shopping which they packed up for our airplane back. Yum! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Our travel agent recommended this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. We have gone on 7 cruises before but this was our first on a ship this size. We didn't know what to expect but after reading several reviews beforehand, was ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. We have gone on 7 cruises before but this was our first on a ship this size. We didn't know what to expect but after reading several reviews beforehand, was worried that we made a bad choice. Not so! Everything was great and better than we were expecting. The only 2 things that were a little off, but certainly were not worth a bad review for were the Historic Gold Mine and panning for Gold tour in Juneau and the chaos at the Victoria Excursion area. Were there a lot of people? Yes but that was expected, it's quite clear the ship size right from the start. The elevators really were only super crowded after shows. We are in good shape and just took the stairs as much as possible anyway. The buffet was really busy but there was always seating, you maybe had to search a little but we always found seating. There was always plenty outside and there are heaters if you think you'd be too chilly. We ate at 4 specialty dining, Ocean Blue (our favorite. ) La Cuchina, Q and Teppanyaki. The main dining rooms were good too. Our cabin was great, lots of storage, more outlets than expected and constantly looked after. Our steward was in about 3 times a day. We never saw him, which I consider great thing but he always took care of things plus always made sure we had extra coffee when he realized we were drinking it. We really enjoyed the entertainment. Footloose and Elements were very good (make sure to reserve before you leave home) . The comedy shows were okay, not our favorite but were super crowded so it may have just not been our taste in comedy. I heard you can reserve those on the touch screens around the boat. We spent most evenings in the District. Jim the piano guy was very funny. And we saw him around the ship and he remembered us and actually spoke to us. Contrary to what we read about service before we went, we had very good service. In the main dining room we were always asked about any dietary restrictions and if we had show reservations, but service was never slow for us. We went on the fishing and wilderness dining in Ketchikan. We really enjoyed it. Saw Eagles. Our guide was making certain that everyone was catching fish or at least getting bites., The excursion mentioned above, Gold Mine and panning for gold...well there was no mine. You basically got on a bus, the guide spoke a little about the area and then took us to the creek and we "panned for gold". The pans were already premade up for us. Definately not worth the money. We were hoping for a little more history. Hoonah....Boring and way too long. I enjoyed my balcony that day after we were in town for a couple hours and had had enough. Victoria was nice, a bit long. There was a lot of confusion for our excursion because our bus was not there and they told us to go somewhere to wait but then never came to tell us and a few other groups when it arrived and where to go. Of course the Gardens are beautiful and we enjoyed the castle. I would recommend doing these on your own because the excursion only allowed you about an hour at the Garden and 30min at the castle. It was mostly driving time. I would say the highlight for me was the Holkham Bay Glaciers. Absolutely stunning. Even saw a few whale along the way. All in all we had an exceptional time. Of course the weather was close to perfect every day. Will we be back on NCL, for sure 2 more cruises as we booked 2 deposits while onboard for the price of one! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose NCL Joy for all the perks. The ship is beautiful. Excellent service. Housekeeping service is excellent. Overall the ship was kept very clean. My balcony cabin 14888 was average size for cabin, It did have plenty of storage space. ... Read More
I chose NCL Joy for all the perks. The ship is beautiful. Excellent service. Housekeeping service is excellent. Overall the ship was kept very clean. My balcony cabin 14888 was average size for cabin, It did have plenty of storage space. Food was good. We ate in Manhattan which food was very good but very busy. The buffet at the Garden Café was ok. It is a buffet. Don't expect to get crab legs or lobster on seafood night. Taste food was good and my husband had breakfast at Savor and was very disappointed so we didn't go back for dinner. The local on the 7th floor was a good place to hang out. You can watch a lot of the activities that were happening in the atrium. If you are a bingo player it was very expensive and disappointing because they only play 3 games. Long lines getting on and off the ship. Lines went fast but they were very long. Recommendation, don't try to eat when you first come back from excursion. It was a madhouse. Entertainment was excellent. Loved both the Elements and Footloose. Also remember Alaska rains a lot so the activities on deck gets cancelled. The waterslide and go carts limited hours due to the weather. Port Valet was definite way to go. They took care of everything including your luggage tags, checking you in and printing your boarding pass. I am ready to go back. Loved Alaska Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked a Haven suite on the Norwegian Joy to Alaska. The itinerary for this ship is awesome we loved all the ports! The ship is clean and staff very friendly! The Haven dining room has the same menu every night so make sure you visit ... Read More
We booked a Haven suite on the Norwegian Joy to Alaska. The itinerary for this ship is awesome we loved all the ports! The ship is clean and staff very friendly! The Haven dining room has the same menu every night so make sure you visit the specialty restaurants on the ship too! Although we loved this ship, she is not made for an Alaskan adventure as the activities are mostly geared to outside and the temp during the cruise was 50 degrees. The pool slides were shut down and no one used the pool on the main part of the ship. One good thing about being in the Haven is that you have your own indoor heated pool and 3 other hot tubs! There are 3 Haven suite rooms TO BE AWARE AND NOT BOOK! Rooms 15734, 15736 and 15738 are all BELOW the Garden Cafe outside seating area. The noise starts at 4:00 am when the staff starts to clean and set up the area. It continues from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm when the guests are pulling out and pushing in their chairs the dragging noise is so loud in the cabins it's like nails on a coffin. The Haven concierge was made aware of this on the 1st day of the cruise and did nothing. She admitted it was a problem and would speak to the restaurant. Day 2 I went to Gues services Manager who also said she would look in to the situation. Day 3 I had to threaten the restaurant Maitre D that I would physically move the chairs and tables myself if nothing was done. Day 4 I went to the Cruise ship manager and the area was finally roped off so no one could use the area. Mind you now 4 nights of HELL in the Haven of no sleep and hearing scraping chairs all day. I know I am on a cruise and I don't expect 100% quiet but I am 100% positive that that area should not be above any kind of room on the ship. Yes I cried a lot, complained a lot and was sad, frustrated that the staff would not do anything about it for those 4 days. I am hoping this helps someone not to make the same mistake. The area that was roped off for the 3 suites is in full use again. Just so you don't think I am a complainer, the guests in the other 2 rooms joined in my complaints to management. We even had the manager in our rooms listening to the noise and agreed we were justified in our complaints. We were offered so graciously an $800 shipboard credit and $1000 credit for a future booking made within 24 months. NOT HAPPY. I just hope the next cruisers don't have to ever suffer like we did in this room. Overall we enjoyed our cruise/trip sans the location of the room! We would do this cruise again. I definitely recommend the helicopter tour with sled dogs, whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier. There is a cool hiking place called Yakutania point in Skagway which is about 10 minutes walking distance from the ship and it's free and absolutely gorgeous! Take lots of pictures and stay off social media!!! Enjoy all the beautiful scenery and everything Alaska has to offer! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise.We saved for 4 years to be able to afford a wonderful experience. I am so disappointed, I don't know if we will ever go on another if this is what it is like. Embarkation was easy, Our room was beautiful, ... Read More
This was our first cruise.We saved for 4 years to be able to afford a wonderful experience. I am so disappointed, I don't know if we will ever go on another if this is what it is like. Embarkation was easy, Our room was beautiful, although the step up into the bathroom was difficult to get used to. Our steward "Cassi" was amazing. Most of the staff were helpful, unless they were trying to sell us extra stuff. The ship was nice, new and always spotless. It seemed there was never anywhere to just sit and be quite, The observation Lounge was always full of people, I never once got to sit there and enjoy to view. I was told that there would be lots of gluten free items, as I am highly allergic, and there was not, No sweets, no special deserts, no cookies. Nothing was marked on the buffet as gluten free, if I wanted simple toast I had to order it and wait 20 to 30 minutes. The food quality was sub par at best, We tried all the different options, dining rooms, even paid one night at La Bistro, which was no better. They always wanted me to pre order my food the night before, which I did once, it had been sitting on the steam table so long it was inedible. We ordered room service, same thing, so gross. I couldn't even cut into the "waffle". The coffee on was awful, the iced T was all from a machine. The water from the tap was better than the coffee. Over all the food was our biggest complaint. The others being that there was no "HOT" tub. The ones on the pool deck were 86 degrees and the one on the 16th desk was 88 degrees. In what world is that hot? Not when its cold in Alaska. The water slides never seemed to be open and the lines for the GO-cart track were so long we never got to go. Our other complaint was the amount of time in port. We were only given 5 hours in Juneau. Which after wasting an hour getting to the tour bus, getting on the bus, waiting for the stragglers, we were only at the Mendenhall glacier for an hour. The walk out to the falls took the entire hour,but was totally worth it. We took the tram to the top back in Juneau, and were there for 15 minutes had to wait in line to go back down, we missed our bus, had to walk over a mile back to the ship. That night we were supposed to see a glacier, but there was too much ice in the channel, I would think they would have known this and given us more time in Juneau. The next day was Icy straight point, When I booked the cruise we were supposed to go to Skagway, but were sent to Icy Straight instead. what a tourist trap. We were there for 10 hours, after walking around for a little while we were in line for the shuttle to Hoonah, a man who had just got off the bus told us not to waste our time or money as there was nothing open and not much to see. We wanted to walk in nature, the one trail basically was under the ropes course and not at all what we wanted. The Zip rider ($169 for ONE ride) was loud and dominated the whole area. We were told we would get fresh Crab, that was not their fault as it was not in season, we ordered the king crab, although large, 2 legs, 2 tiny red potatoes, one piece of sausage and 2 sodas was $82. We had planned on doing our 20th wedding vow renewal in Icy Straight, we waited till the afternoon hoping to get a small part of the beach to ourselves. It turned out beautiful. We got to see the clams spitting and a bald eagle pair flew over head. Buchard Gardens is a must see. Although we had to pay a lot I think $60 for our taxi ride out there. It was amazing and I am so glad we blew off the other excursion we had paid for to go see it. We were so glad we did. We rode the city bus back into town, which was crowded and the driver was crazy. We walked over 8 miles that day. I was so hungry when we got back on the ship and there was no food. The dining rooms were all closed and the buffet was too. Disembarkation was a nightmare, waited in a very long line for a very long time. We didn't have our little stickers on for Port Valet (a great service) and was yelled at by employees. I do not understand why we had to give them our luggage the night before, only to get it as soon as you got off the ship. If you can use the valet service, they take your luggage straight to the airport for you. If you can afford it, book a Haven suite, they seem to cater to those people much more. Special lines, special seating at shows, ect. The sugar cane mojito bar is amazing, Lorelei is the best bartender. I was looking forward to seeing the amazing stars, but the ship is so lit up outside everywhere, there was little to no stars to be seen. I brought a small battery operated candle for a night light for the bathroom as the light was too bright on sleepy eyes. I also decorated our cabin door to make sure we always had the right room. I also brought lots of small bills for tips. Even though tyou are charged a gratuity for every little thing, it felt good to give a little extra for excellent service, it worked. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Thought this was going to be a trip of a lifetime! Not so much. The cabin was awesome-as was the butler and steward. Well except for the thermostat. You had to literally reset this every couple of hours. The butler said it was controlled ... Read More
Thought this was going to be a trip of a lifetime! Not so much. The cabin was awesome-as was the butler and steward. Well except for the thermostat. You had to literally reset this every couple of hours. The butler said it was controlled by corporate. Really? We spent a ton of money on this trip, I really wanted it to be special. Not so much. We got the same room service as everyone else. The same treats as everyone else. The food was blah. The Haven was ok for the first day. After that the same menu got really tiring. We ventured out to the other restaurants. Do NOT waste your time at La Cicina. The Taste, Savor and The Manhattan room all have the same menu. I do recommend Cagneys. It made us feel special. Tepenyakis was good except our chef was SICK! Sad the DR. Told him not to sing. He had a few coughing fits but was nice enough to turn his head. We tried the Local. Do NOT think you will get a grilled cheese sandwich here. It’s two pieces of toast with a piece of cold cheese in between. Sorry my husband offered to show the chef how to cook it, but they just kept saying sorry and sent us a bottle of wine. Room service was ok, but everything was cold. I really enjoyed the balcony and the views. Ship was rough the first night, my 27 year old daughter got seasick. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We we're past cruisers with other lines but wanted to try Norwegian. They offered a good enticing deal with their pick five promotion. Reduced airfare. Free bar. Money back on shore excursions bought thru Norwegian. 120 min ... Read More
We we're past cruisers with other lines but wanted to try Norwegian. They offered a good enticing deal with their pick five promotion. Reduced airfare. Free bar. Money back on shore excursions bought thru Norwegian. 120 min free of wifi. And three free add on dinning package. We chose the Joy. First dissapointment if you fly into town before the day of the cruise you have to stay at the downtown Hyatt to receive the discounted airfare. The rate of the room is excessive compared to other rooms. We had never been in Seattle before and wanted to have a little extra time. We chose not to spend all the money on a hotel before the cruise and didn't use the airfare. Got on the ship and compared to other ships it was clean and nice but the overall staff seemed to struggle to set a standard for service. For example at taste we were seated by the hostess prior to two other tables on either side of us. We waited twenty min before notifying the hostess and manager that we had not been seen by a single waiter although both tables either side of us had already been served. She apologized saying there must have been a mix up in wait staff. Our room routinely took over four hours to have cleaned. There was not stuff on the floor or extra towels or extra work to do in the room. It was a overwhelming lack of urgency or care on the crews part. Also should be noted. While Norweigan touts it's freestyle dinning on your time. Don't expect that for the shows. If you don't reserve show times. You have to stand in will call lines for everything. So now a week ahead of time you have to decide if you will be up for the late comedy on Thursday Really ? We decided this must be because the venues that they hold everything in are incredibly smaller then comparable cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal. Dinning effort seemed to be given to the upcharge restaurants such as Cagney's and Tempanyakis. The service there was inpeccable. As for the main dining rooms it seemed that the wait staff had been rotated the venues thru the cruise as opposed to working one venue. While the food was okay, the staff seemed to struggle at times to know where tables where or where they we're supposed to be working. We saw this time and time again in the main dinning areas. Food in the main buffet was okay for a buffet though our concern was that repeatedly there was not enough seating so you just gave up waiting to find a table we very rarely ate at the buffet do to the congestion. Compared to other ships it feels like there is less space dedicated to actual tables so that when you do fight your way thru the shoulder to shoulder crowds that you struggle to find a place to sit. Entertainment. I don't think the entertainment ranked as high as royal carribean shows. Either in originality or quality. The big show that everyone talked about was elements. The theatre this was in was the main one that seats maybe five hundred people. Compare that to Carnival and Royal that seats many.more than that and it feels more majestic. The show was.basically a smallagic act interspersed with Cirque du Soleil acts. Not that the performers weren't good. It was that this isn't original or new. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have cruised on NCL several times (Pride of America, Escape, Breakaway and Bliss) and looked forward to getting on the Joy after the refurbishment and relocation to the USA. I had followed the refurbishment closely so I knew what to ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL several times (Pride of America, Escape, Breakaway and Bliss) and looked forward to getting on the Joy after the refurbishment and relocation to the USA. I had followed the refurbishment closely so I knew what to expect and the Joy did not disappoint. The food, service, crew, entertainment and balcony cabin were all very similar to the other Breakaway/Breakaway Plus class ships...very good. We did not love the Galaxy Pavilion (VR rides) as much as I hoped. The Vibe area is larger and takes up the bar and hot tub that used to be next to it (we did not buy a Vibe pass this cruise) and not having a Thermal Suite was also missed. I did like the canopy covered extra large hot tub in Spice H2O area. The pool area was better for an Alaskan cruise (with the pools off to the side) than for a hot weather cruise. The buffet was more crowded at breakfast than I remembered on the other ships, but the food was good (especially at the specialty restaurants, as usual). The elevators can be slow and crowded at certain times (embarkation/disembarkation and after shows), but this is common on all cruise ships (I am interested to try the "intelligent" elevators that Carnival is putting on its new ships). The "Elements" show was the best show we have seen on a cruise ship (except for the broadway-type shows like Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia). We also liked "Footloose" (the male lead was excellent). We had been to Alaska once before so I chose this itinerary to go to Icy Strait Point instead of Skagway to try something different (and to go on a Bear Search excursion). I would chose to go back to Skagway instead if we cruise to Alaska again. The food and shopping in Icy Strait was too expensive and limited excursions as well. The weather was great and our excursions were awesome We loved exploring Seattle pre-cruise and post-cruise. The Port Valet service they offer in Seattle is a fantastic way to get your bags to you final airport destination without having to carry your bags around all day! The embarkation was slow but disembarkation was smooth. The Joy might not be quite as excellent as the Bliss, but it was still very good. We would recommend it as an excellent value (Free at Sea drink package) and a very good mix of shows, activities, food options and modern style. Some people might not like the upcharges for some activities or dining (again, Free at Sea makes specialty dining possible) but this "nickel and diming" is quite common on most mainstream cruise lines. We live in L.A. and love having another mega-ship option. We are excited for the Encore! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The check in process went fairly smoothly besides for the long lines. The employees were all new and since this was the first cruise of the season they were very nervous. We were pretty relaxed at this point so the experience went well. ... Read More
The check in process went fairly smoothly besides for the long lines. The employees were all new and since this was the first cruise of the season they were very nervous. We were pretty relaxed at this point so the experience went well. The craziness started shortly after. Our room was ready when we arrived but our luggage arrived sporadically. The ship was late leaving the port as goods were still being delivered and loaded after our departure time. Our balcony faced the dock so we watched as the trucks pulled up. There were specials and give aways advertised for the first afternoon. Everyone went to deck 8 at the time specified just to learn that since they were late leaving then everything else would be late. A large group went back at the new time designated just to be told they were wrong. We were then told to go ahead and stand in line as they would be open shortly. They served the first 25 people and sent everyone else away until the next day. I was standing in line for a free charm bracelet that you could buy charms each day on the ship. After getting my “free” bracelet and standing in line 6 times we were told that we could have just come the last day and bought the whole set at the same cost. Instead of having numerous sales people helping they had a single person and a single line for the charms while about 10 other sales people stood by to jump out at you when you were done to see if you wanted to buy any of the overpriced jewelry in their cases. They should have had more stations and tried to up sell not have everyone get grumpy standing in line. This would be the theme of the cruise. Standing in line for terrible food, standing in line at guest services because of issues. Little things like my soft-drink package was advertised with a commemorative cup. I say people walking around with totem pole cups but we did not have them in our room. I stood in line for 45 minutes to ask and was told they decided not to do that with the soda package. REALLY??? The shore times and excursions were not as promised. We paid for a 5.5 hour fishing trip ($500/person) that was cut short to 3 hours with no notice and no explanation. There were no cabin amenities like we are used to on Royal Caribbean. The littlest thing, like no towel animals, you could, however, purchase one in the gift shop for $25. We were there for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were told by our NCL booking agent that we would get to choose dinner in one of the pay restaurants for a night. When we tried to use our certificate, we were told that this was only for a cake in a free restaurant and reservations were needed for the pay restaurants even though the onboard NCL app stated that no reservations were accepted. Because of the lack of organization we cancelled our airport transportation by the cruise line. We were afraid we would miss out flight. My fears came true the next day when they couldn’t even tell us what deck we were leaving from. We were in line with numerous others at 6:30 am, just to find out we were told the wrong deck, so new line and we did not get off the ship until 8:30 am. I tried to contact customer service but after holding for 39 minutes and 17 seconds I was told to fill out a form on the website. Did that and was given a message that someone would get back to me in 12 days. One highlight: the production of Footloose was amazing!! Sum it up, poor organization, poor communication and rude staff when you told them they screwed up. Learned a very important lesson. Don’t cruise Norwegian. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were on the first Alaska Cruise of this ship on May 4 2019. This is the sister to the Bliss and while a lot of things are similar, there were some big differences. The Good/Great - The shows (Footloose and Elements) were ... Read More
We were on the first Alaska Cruise of this ship on May 4 2019. This is the sister to the Bliss and while a lot of things are similar, there were some big differences. The Good/Great - The shows (Footloose and Elements) were phenomenal. Do not miss these shows! - Our Cabin Steward Mark was amazing! Service in Savor/Taste/Buffet/Manhattan and Teppanyaki were good. Food was beautifully presented, temperature appropriate and yummy! - Excursions in all ports of call were spot on! - The shaded areas on deck 17...you can sit outside and not be in direct sunlight or rain depending on the weather. - Mini suite layout we loved. - No towel animals...yes this is good...it allows cabin stewards to go to bed earlier...they work hard enough. I requested a towel animal just for 1 night and our cabin steward was happy to do it and did it during the mid day shift. - The Cruise Director Dan Dan and his group were really fun! I miss Silas (Bliss) and Richard (Jade) though. The Bad - Embarkation - this was the first official cruise in the US market (not counting the TA cruise) and boy could you tell...almost everyone at check in was saying it was their "first day". Why they didn't train them extensively ahead of time is beyond me. - Disembarkation - horrible...absolutely horrible. We did the Port Valet in Seattle. Our boarding passes/luggage tags did not come together which caused me and a couple of hundred other passengers to wait in an hour + long line to get the other boarding pass on the last night of the cruise. The walk off the ship lines were extremely long and completely disorganized. - Arrival/Departure time changes - almost every port we went to had changes after we were on board to arrival and departure. We got in to Victoria, BC 2 1/2 hours early so they changed our excursion so we would have had to miss dinner with our friends the last night of cruise or go on the excursion. We cancelled the excursion (with another hour+ long line wait because the shore excursion desk was closed and wouldn't reopen until after the excursion was supposed to leave). In talking to a "supervisor" for the guest services desk, he insisted we were getting in at 8:30pm when the daily the night before said 6pm and the shore excursion ticket (which got changed and delivered at 4pm the date of the excursion) said we were departing at 6:30. Not even crew knew we were getting in early. - Galaxy Pavilion - $29 for 90 minutes of VR games...no thanks. it was empty every time we went past it. - $15 for the go carts. When we were on the Bliss a few months ago it was $10 and not that exciting. Another waste of space. the laser tag can go here too...another big waste of space. - No events in Spice H20...even on the warm days towards the end of the cruise. - Manhattan restaurant was only open for dinner towards the middle/end of the cruise...and I never saw it open for breakfast. - Shopping on this ship is mediocre at best. The sales were of really cheap merchandise...not the great sales we are used to on nice watches...could have been the itinerary (Alaska). - Just like Bliss...there are always events in the Atrium which are so loud that you cannot hear anyone at guest services/shore excursion/cruise next. - We had prebooked our specialty dining since we were traveling with friends and while we had confirmations via email ahead of time, on the TV in the room, the times and dates were wrong. We had to double check with restaurants to make sure our reservations were good. - Make sure to go to your shows at least 15 minutes ahead of time because apparently after that point, if you have had your individual cards swiped, they will give away your reservation to the standby line. This happened to some folks in our show who were turned away the previous night even though they had a reservation because it was less than 15 minutes and their seats had been given to others. - When I tried to go to a morning stretch and yoga, no one ever showed up. The Ugly - Class separation with the Haven being the only part having the outside front access on the ship. I really wish Norwegian would stop doing this. Not everyone wants to pay $$$$ on vacation or can afford it but all should have that great outdoor front view. We loved this on the Jade and other ships but the newer ones only give this privilege to Haven folks. - An hour+ every single time we had to go to guest services. - Taking your picture during dinner and then doing a hard sell on buy it now or not at all...we don't want to be interrupted during dinner to buy pictures or never see them again. they already printed them...why don't they just have them in the gallery to buy later? - Service in Cagneys...we waited about an hour after our appetizers for cold, undercooked steaks. The sides we received were also completely cold. - Service in La Cucina was mediocre at best...the waitress didin't understand how the Platinum vouchers work for dining at La Cucina and originally told us it was a maximum of $25/pp, not an appetizer, dessert and up to $25/pp for the entree. - Not in our room but a friend who was traveling with us...had a constant bad smell in her bathroom that no one ever looked at even though she requested multiple times to have it fixed. - I booked an excursion (which I later had to cancel per the above) for Victoria through our in cabin TV. Even though we are platinum, the discount didn't come through and the woman at the shore excursion desk said that it doesn't if you book in your room and that she would "waive it this time" because of our status. what? I've never had this happen on another ship and it's a little deceitful if you ask me. All in all, it was a good cruise and maybe some of these issues will get worked out with crew over time with more training but we were disappointed that things didn't run smoother. This may be a new itinerary for this ship but not Norwegian so the timing and disembarkation/embarkation should have been without issue. Will we cruise Norwegian again? Yes...and we are already booked on the Breakaway...will we cruise on the Joy again? Maybe...but we'll give them some time to work out the kinks. 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 3.8
Enrichment 3.5 2.9
Service 4.5 3.9
Value For Money 3.5 3.2

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