Second Alaska cruise. The first one was in 2013. Alaskans have a short summer window to make a living so I appreciate the business end of port shopping. However, the ports are now over-run. NCL excursions have become a bit expensive in terms of their price-value proposition. However, there are plenty of other operators to go with once the ship has docked.
5 out of 5
Had everyhing arranged at NCL online. Walked up to the NCL counter, presented our passports. Five minutes later we walked onboard.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Did not use the buffets other than for an occasional snack. Ocean Blue was disappointing compared with our December 2018 cruise on the Breakaway. Cagney's was great. We try not to go to La Cucina anymore. However, it was free for us this time. The food was acceptable. The main dining rooms were decent. Food presentation, as well as taste and flavor, was surprisingly good.
3 out of 5
Liked the race track; no time for fitness center. Put-put golf was usually over-run by unsupervised kids.
4 out of 5
Very much enjoyed Footlose. We had seen Elements before but enjoyed it the second time, too.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Cabin steward was almost invisible. However, he did an excellent job on our cabin. We did not bother him too much. However, when needed he took good care of us.
3 out of 5
The observation deck is the most awesome feature of the NCL Joy. Spent a lot of sea-day time there. After coming from Asia, the ship was retrofitted in 2019 for the US market. Please NCL do something with the empty space on the pool deck. Just as was the case when traveling on the Breakaway, cigarette smoke and sometimes sewer odor was noticeable on enclosed decks on the back of the ship. After traveling on the Breakaway, we expected odors would be a problem so we avoided the inside on the back as much as possible.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
This time around, we chose a mini suite. Initially could not figure out why it was called a mini suite because the overall square footage did not seem much different from a "normal" balcony cabin. No long story here: the difference seemed to be in the size of the bathroom. The cabin had plenty of space for the two of us. Considering the fact we chose the lowest price cabin within the respective category, the cabin was excellent.
Visited Seattle at the back-end of the cruise. Ordinarily, Seattle is a nice place to visit. However, I wished the city would do something about the homeless problem. We had a late return flight home so we rented car and drove out to Olympic National Park. Although, we spent a long day in the car, visiting the beaches on the west coast of the park made it worth our while.
We knew we shouldn't have but we did a duck boat tour this time. Not worth the time and money spent. Went on a nature hike just above the town, after the duck boat tour was over, which partially made up for our wrong decision. 4 ships were in town that day so, naturally, thousands of people shared the streets with us. Ate a very late lunch at Dungee Crab's just across from the pier. Would highly recommend that place!
We only had a short half day in Juneau because of the glacier cruising we did the same day. Took the Tramway up to Mount Roberts and were able to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Juneau surroundings. Ate at the Alaskan Crepe Escape at the corner of Franklin and Front streets. It is an incredible eatery serving sweet and savory crepes. Wife said she had never had a more delicious savory crepe in her life. Highly recommended!
Did the Taiya River float excursion. Did a two-mile hike out to the boat launch point and then floated down the Taiya River. It was early enough for the mist not having burned off so we got some awesome pictures. It was a float; no white water involved.
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency,
and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners
(travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our
users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or
prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site
for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on
external web sites.
Need help from a personal vacation planner?
Find the perfect cruise with weekly tips and cruise deals for as little as $30/night!
Sign up for weekly cruise deals
Join other subscribers and get the best
cruise deals of the week in your inbox every Thursday.