Norwegian Joy Cruise Review
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

7 Night Alaska With Inside Passage (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail Date: May 11, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Reviewed: 3 months ago

Review Summary

This was our first cruise so we were blown away! However we have nothing to compare. With that said here is my review- * Room mid-ship Balcony 11th floor with sleep 4 option: awesome location near front elevator, great views, balcony was “huge” in my opinion we could put all 4 people on the balcony at once. Bathroom was larger then I expected, beds were great sized, couch bed made into a twin was a very good size and as comfortable as the main bed in the room, pull down bed I am assuming the same- my 14 year old who is nearly 6’ was more then comfortable. NOTE: there is a bright personal light on that bed that can be turned off, there are no outlets near by so if you must plug something in that is not good. The ladder for the bed can be easily moved which is good as it get in the way. Also when making the room up they would put the upper bed away but never the lower bed/couch. So my guess is that it is too much work to put it away. The closet was a great size for 4 people, we loved the cubbies, space to get in the closet with the twins made up was very, very tight! The other cabinets near the tv were great, I would bring some small Dollar Tree foldable fabric boxes as it is just shelves. There is one huge drawer under the bed that is usable. The other one has extra bedding. The shower was missing a shaving bar or ledge for women to shave legs. It was a room on a ship so space is small, so this was expected in my opinion. The wall the tv is on, the front door, and bathroom door are all metal, the other walls I could not get a magnet to stick. TV only provides ship shows, channels 21-24 provide free movies including family friendly. Towel animals were only provided on request. *Food: We did not purchase an upgraded plan so only ate at one specialty restaurant. The food was disappointing at the beginning of the week and about Wednesday started to get much better. I think the change in the cuisine and cooking equipment (eastern cuisine vs. western cuisine) requires different cooktops and style. They are starting to get the hang of it. The executive cooperate chef was on board helping monitor and get things going this week. I spoke to the executive chef privately for a while (my husband is an executive chef) and learned that it is difficult for them to get trained cooks, so they are doing this on board, many were with them in Asia, but again it’s a total new style they need to learn. Restaurants: Savor, Taste, and Manhattan were all the same menu each night. The Local was a disappointing menu overall. Garden Cafe was also just ok all week. would recommend main dinning rooms for dinner. This limits the choices for dinners so I would recommend a dinning package. We ate at Le Bistro and the food was very good, not excellent. We enjoyed sitting on the balcony watching the sunset. Much better atmosphere. *Entertainment: Casts for both were great, I personally favored Elements, my husband and kids liked Footloose. We also went to 2 comedy shows, my son was picked on at the first so it was super funny for us! We participated in some of the game shows and did the Giant Jenga Tournament, Scavenger Hunt, Search for Nations (This was super hard- but our 14 year old was totally committed to doing this), and other “Atrium Activities” (events that took place on the schedule and held in the Atrium). We attended the Glow Party and saw the Beatles in both the theater and the Caravan Club. I liked the atmosphere of the club but it was nice to see the theater nearly filled for them as well. We also saw Jim Badger in The District a few times, my husband and I greatly enjoyed him even if some of his content was repeated, it changes with each audience a bit. I can say we were far more busy in this “relaxing” vacation then I planned to be, but everything was so much fun we didn’t want to miss out. *Deck 16-18 Pools/Hot Tubs: The pools are very small, one pool (nearest the screen) was for adults only the other (near hot tubs) was for families. The kids splash area was nicely appointed and even my 9 and 14 year old had fun playing in it. The 2 Hot Tubs in this area remained busy even when chilly, so if warmer and a fuller ship these areas would be way too small. The big slides were great, the one with the inner tube was great for everyone until it broke :( one nice feature is that they have a machine that takes the inner tube to the top for you. The off the ship slide in pretty intimidating and we saw many people walk up to the top and change their minds. It is the type of slide you walk into and then they shut the slide around you and you drop straight down. A few things to know: they are very strict about any type of metal, including bathing suit strap adjusters (yes those tiny metal pieces), they, no earrings or piercings even studs, no shirts, they also gave us a hard time about the kids and teen club bands that the kids need to wear all week! Finally we had them speak to top management to get “clearance”. Also we met 2 people who became stuck inside the slide! So just good information to process, besides that it’s fun! The spice H2O hot tub was also busy all week, I can’t imagine with better weather and a fuller ship how this would go. I did glance at Vibe and it was empty the few times I saw it. So if you want some hot tub time and it’s a full ship this may be something to consider. The hot tub is also nicely located near the edge of the ship so you could view the ocean, watch for whales or glaciers while enjoying. *RaceTrack, Golf & Laser Tag: Race Track is great BUTTTT- they need to have separate times for families and adults. the kids kept getting in the way of adults and adults would get ticked at the kids. It just would be better management of the course. They do have a separate time for the double race cars for when little kids ride with adults. Laser Tag was so much cooler then I expected from pictures. It is a great set up and I would highly recommend to play at night, their are laser pointers on the guns but you can’t see these during the day so aiming is harder. the mini-golf is 9 holes, and for free it’s fun- NOTE: you may get filthy from playing as the race cars and smoke stack are nearby, my sons new shirt is stained from dark specks and is now ruined! *Galaxy Pavillon: mixed feelings, was really cool but made everyone in our group nauseous! The Zombie game was too graphic for our 9 year old who was upset after we did it, one of the robot games was broken, you do need to pay an extra $10 to ride in the formula One ca, we never saw one person there!, the other race car game is nearly impossible to do in 3D, but you can play regularly and the attendant will help then, the Jurassic was the best to me and my 9 year old like the roller coaster and drone game. My 14 year old only did a few and felt too sick to do any more. I would recommend pay for the $29, 90 minute session- that is more then enough time. Not to many people did it when we were there and I never saw it busy- so really that is more then enough time to do everything you want multiple times. We even had sea sick patches on and still felt horrible and we are not sensitive to car sickness! *The Waterfront! This is tucked away and easy to miss making it the best kept secret on the ship! If you are looking for relaxation and quiet I would highly recommend! *Observation Deck: Almost always packed! The weather was reasonably nice and it was still busy all the time. It takes patience and time to get a seat. I was surprised how large it really is and the snacks, light breakfast and lunches were nice. There was great bar attendants who made sure drinks were being brought constantly and a Starbucks. Also if you like water with fresh fruit, they keep one container near the bar here! Great views however expect it to be busy! *Spa: my husband and I received Fire & Ice pedicures, they were good but it felt like a sales pitch the entire time I tried to relax and enjoy the view (the view from the pedicure chairs is awesome), this is the ONLY thing that made it different from a pedicure I receive at a local nail salon- so bit disappointing. I also received a $50 off my first sailing “gift card” on a 50 minute treatment, so I used it on their “signature hot stone massage”. It is as an excellent massage- no selling this time (thank you!!) however I felt very rushed in and out of the salon, no time to go to the locker room to leave Clothes and get a robe or slippers, I had to change in the massage room, so no shower after! So I had to go back to my room to shower :( I don’t think I would do this again, we are spoiled in Reno with nice spas so I would probably spend this time relaxing vs. squeezing in a treatment. *Splash Academy: my 9 year old loved hanging out here. the staff was phenomenal! Lots of find activities and games kept her engaged. There was o my one time she wanted to leave and that was when we were “late” picking her up for the pool and she wanted to go to the pool that day. *Entourage: My 14 year old loved it! this is a small space BUTTT this entire ship is teen friendly so they don’t need a huge room as they move to other locations, they played Dodgeball one night in a room below the normal decks, they were supposed to play laser tag (weather issuers made them cancel), they hung out at the Garden Cafe and Local, they went to the Social for events and dances, they also had private party in the Cavern Club, I think this is way better then hanging out in one room the entire time. My son loved the staff, and many other staff members came by to hang out with the teens so this made them feel special - and apparently teens are more fun to hang out with then us adults 😂! We were off season and there were plenty of teens playing hookie from school. My son met other teens from around the world and they became great friends during the week. He was begging to go as soon as dinner was over each night!
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