Joyful Alaskan Cruise

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

5 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

7 Night Alaska With Inside Passage (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 11, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 10338

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Although this cruise was early May, we had perfect weather. The crew, food, and shows were all top notch, in my opinion. I hope to post something on YouTube as proof that I really did have an awesome time.


5 out of 5
I was in the late group about 2pm and carried on my luggage. The line was short and I was up to my cabin unpacking in short order.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
I was traveling solo and ate all my meals in the Garden Buffet. It had a good selection and was among the best cruise buffets I've encountered. Although it was somewhat crowded at the busiest times, I never had to stand around waiting in line. A few times there wasn't much inside seating, but sitting outside was no problem.

Garden Cafe

5 out of 5

One of the best ship buffets I've encountered. The service hours are strict, so double-check the schedule before you assume it will still be open after a show. It can get crowded at busier times. I never had to wait in line much, but the seating would fill up. I usually brought an extra sweatshirt in case I thought I'd need to find a seat outside.

The Waterfront

5 out of 5

I love the Waterfront area on all the Breakaway ships. Even though I have a balcony, it's nice to walk along this area, or crash on one of the couches, as the world floats by.

The District Brew House

5 out of 5

So many beers, so little time! Great entertainment, efficient bar staff.

The Cavern Club

5 out of 5

Karaoke was here. We had a lively group for that on our cruise.

Sugarcane Mojito Bar

5 out of 5

I've fallen in love with mojitos after this place. We had the solo traveler meetups here and I'd usually pickup a bedtime mojito here just before last call.

Spice H2O

5 out of 5

This area looks to be smaller than the Spice H2O areas on the other Breakaway ships. But, it has a full bar and the giant hot tub which were great for this Alaska cruise.

Observation Lounge

5 out of 5

This is such an awesome area, particularly for an Alaskan cruise. If I would have had an inside cabin, I would have spent even more time here.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
It was early in the season, but I liked the pools which are kinda deep for shipboard pools. Only two water slides, but I was one of the few that went on them... and I went a lot! Go carts and laser tag were great. Unfortunately, I went to Galaxy Pavilion to soon after breakfast and almost threw up on one of the VR rides. I would have enjoyed it more later in the day I think.

Aqua Park

5 out of 5

During my week-long Alaskan cruise, I went on the Ocean Loop free-fall water slide 50 times! Yes, 50 times! Only had to wait in line a couple of days. Unfortunately, there are only 2 of the big slides, so there will probably be lines when the ship sails warmer waters.


5 out of 5
Loved Footloose and Elements. Enjoyed the bands and DJs.

Social Comedy & Night Club

5 out of 5

This is where our Alaskan cruise held the 80s and Glow parties. It did get crowded on the dance floor and the bar was usually packed, but I'll give it 5 stars since there are plenty of other places to get another drink nearby and come back to rejoin the party.

Race Track

4 out of 5

Unless you're sailing in really warm weather, bring gloves! I really enjoyed the racetrack and probably should have checked on a package rather than just one ride. It isn't cheap (which is why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars), but it is fun. And steering counts as an upper body workout the faster that you drive through all the curves.

Laser Tag

5 out of 5

So much fun, especially since our team won. I should have booked a package to do this more often, particularly after dark.

Galaxy Pavilion

4 out of 5

It was fun, but I give it a 4 because I got so nauseous on a couple of the VR rides and you kinda have to hurry to get in as much as you can in 90 minute time limit.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This was only the second cruise since Joy was refurbished, so I expected there would be some disorganization with a new staff and itinerary, but everyone was doing there best so that I'd have a great time, and I did. Perhaps the only negative was that my room steward seemed to get around to my cabin kinda late. But he kept it clean and kept me stocked with coffee packets!

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Newly refurbished so everything was clean. And I like the design of the Breakaway class of NCL ships.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
I used it only the second cruise after the refurbish, so it was spotless. I like the layout of these balcony cabins and Joy is better than the older Breakaway class since the balcony is noticeably deeper. Loved that! This one has the bed next to the balcony. Previously, I'd been in balcony cabins with the bed next to the closet. Both layouts are fine with me.

Ship tip

Check the weather forecast for the port days and plan/prepare accordingly. If you're travelling at a peak time when the ship will be crowded, book your activities and the shows.

Ports of call

Seattle, Washington

5 out of 5
I had booked hotels before and after the cruise. The weather was perfect, actually 80 and sunny before the cruise, so I really have to give it 5 stars.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
Ship docks convenient to the town. Did the excursion for Lumberjack Show and Totem Bight Park. Perfect weather the day we were there.

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
This port is further from town. Did the excursion hiking at Mendenhall Glacier. Included a fair amount of climbing and was about 6 miles. Perfect weather, so it was 5 stars!


5 out of 5
It's not as dramatic as Glacier Bay, but it was a beautiful cruise through the mountains to a glacier. Saw it calve... but didn't have my camera ready at the right moment.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

5 out of 5
I probably should have gone for whale watching or kayaking, but I did the Zip Rider. 45 minute drive to the top and a couple minutes ride down to the bottom. There's stuff to do right at the port and it looks to be a nice walk along the water to get to Hoonah, but there's not a lot there. Sighted whales from the shore here... but didn't have my camera ready, ugh.

Victoria, British Columbia

5 out of 5
The port is a bit of a walk from downtime, but it's easy to hire a ride. Did an excursion to Butchart Gardens. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect.


5 out of 5
I did the self-disembardation, carrying off my luggage with me. It went so quick and easy that I was walking off the ship toward my hotel before any of the businesses opened... except for coffeeshops, of course.
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