Beautifully done, large ship with lots of options

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Coastal - West Coast

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 15
Helpful Votes: 368

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy Inagural

Sail date: April 26, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 14810

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

This is beautifully recently renovated for the US market ship with lots of things to do for all ages. The virtual reality area had lots of games and things to do as well as an F1 simulator. The food was excellent across all venues and service was warm and with a smile albeit a little slow in certain venues while they worked out the new ship kinks. The Observation Lounge is a great place in Alaska to view wildlife and scenery and lots of seating along with Starbucks and a bar. This is a large ship and while it can be a challenge to find people as there is no central area that people stroll through, each of the venues is very well done and uniquely themed. One tip if you are in a hallway of cabins, the fish in the carpeting always swim toward the front of the ship, so if you aren't sure which way you are going, just look down and see which way the fish are swimming.


5 out of 5
Fast and easy in Vancouver - only took a few minutes to get through check in and onboard the ship!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food was very good quality, lots of options not only of places to eat but variety as well. The Gardenside Cafe literally had something for everyone for all meals.

Skyline Bar

5 out of 5

Very cool little bar off the casino with amazing video screens which are 4 panels and show each of the members of the band for the song/video being shown which made for a pretty cool viewing experience. The is not a lot of seating at this bar, so either get their early to enjoy the videos or there is plenty of standing room.

Q Texas Smokehouse

5 out of 5

I was a little skeptical about trying Q as my husband is amazing on the grill and smoker at home but I have to say that I was VERY impressed. All of the food we tried (we ate family style) was excellent and the big standout was the brisket, mac n cheese and grits. Good brisket is hard to do and this was moist and just the right amount of smoke. The band that played as we were finishing was very good and the smoked peach margarita was outstanding!!

Food Republic

5 out of 5

Make reservations as soon as possible to enjoy the picturesque views and great food. All pricing is a la carte and you order off ipads. The sushi rolls are very good and in-line with what you would find at your local sushi bar at home as far as size and quality. Overall great place for a quick snack or full meal and if you can't get a table, see if the sushi bar is available.

American Diner

5 out of 5

Super cute authentic diner with an inside as well as pool deck adjacent seating. The service was a little slow, but that was likely as it was a newly out of drydock and working out the flow of the kitchen, but everyone still had a smile on their face. Great options for casual lunch or dinner.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Lots of options for kids and people of all ages. If you are bored on this ship, it's only because you want to be.


5 out of 5
We didn't make it to the main production show but heard it was very good. The comedians onboard our sailing was great and very accessible around the ship when we saw them. Music in other areas was very good as well and lots of options for places to go to.

Social Comedy & Night Club

5 out of 5

The two comedians on our sailing were excellent and super funny and great at working the audience as well as interacting with passengers when they weren't performing. The venue was very comfortable and doubles as the disco late night. The bar area is tucked away off to the side which makes it easier to order.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Overall service was very good and super enthusiastic. They were still working out some of the "kinks" of a new ship but did it with a smile. One time we did hear staff discussing employee issues as apparently one worker had not shown up for her shift and they were discussing it opening for all passengers to hear. Other than that one instance, everything else was very good. We found in the smaller venues like District Brew House the service tended to be better as you were able to get to know the staff a bit due to the smaller size.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Fresh from dry dock all the spaces are very nicely done with great fit and finish. There is one area that was a bit of a head scratcher and that was the main pool area - the pool is very small and off to the side and there is a large open area in the middle where you would typically find a larger pool and there is nothing there but open deck space. Overall it feels weird and like someone forgot to put all the pieces together correctly. Also, there is only one bar for the entire pool deck and we had a hard time getting drinks during sail away due to everyone being outside.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The cabin is a bit on the smaller size compared to Royal and Carnival but it's nicely appointed. One point of interest is that the bed is near the balcony (rather than the sitting area) which I thought was strange as you are sleeping and drapes pulled, so no reason to be next to the balcony whereas during the day if you wanted to sit and enjoy the view you really couldn't as the bed was in the way. Also, the closet/wardrobe area doesn't have enough room for long handing dresses - the pile up on the bottom of the closet. We were only on a for 3 days and had plenty of room but for 7 days you might be hard pressed for places to put everything as there are only a couple of shelves and drawers. The BIG upside was the size of the bathroom especially the shower - one of the largest I've seen on a standard balcony cabin. Also, a nice touch is that Norwegian includes the shower gel and shampoo/conditioner dispensers installed right in the shower as well as hand soap next to the sink.

Ship tip

This is a great ship for families with kids of all ages

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

5 out of 5
A lovely clean city that is very walkable and the port is conveniently located within walking distance to most of the city as well as the SkyTrain

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

3 out of 5
Horrible buildings for embarkation/disembarkation and it can be a pretty long walk for anyone who has mobility issues


5 out of 5
Quick and fast off the ship but we didn't have the clear customs so that rating may change if we had that experience
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