Norwegian Joy: An Amazing First Cruise

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

4.7 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

5 Night Pacific Coastal (Vancouver To Los Angeles)

Sail date: October 06, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 12886

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

As a first cruise, it was an absolutely amazing experience I’m very grateful for. I definitely felt the amount of walking/exercise by the end of the trip, but it was worth it. I would absolutely cruise with Norwegian again.


5 out of 5
Quick, smooth. Opted for bus transfer from Vancouver airport and there were no issues. Upon arrival at port, lines moved quick and our room was already ready upon arrival. Only negative was the photographer taking photos before you get onboard asking myself and my partner if we were “sisters” which was an awkward conversation to navigate and not the only time we felt that way during the trip.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Overall, the food was absolutely delicious. Great variety, almost always available (room service is also an option overnight!), and more options than you could actually try on a five day cruise. Of what I personally tried, my favorite place was Le Bistro (French specialty restaurant) and my least favorite was Savor (complimentary dining room). I did feel like the speciality restaurants were a treat and amazing experience, but did not feel like I needed a dining package to be satisfied. The complimentary options are amazing all on their own.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We loved the hot tub in Spice H2O and the adults only pool & pool deck on 16 & 17 with loungers was beautiful and relaxing. The late night 18+ parties at the Social were also a lot of fun. Only rating this less than five stars because we didn’t really have enough time to also try mini golf, the go karts, or the VR experiences.


5 out of 5
All of the musicians, bands, DJs, and theatre performers were excellent overall. We enjoyed the Beatles show, Footloose, and Elements and loved all of them. We thought the music got a little loud in certain areas sometimes, but we could just relocate if we wanted a quieter space.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Overall, the staff was excellent, warm and welcoming. We particularly appreciated the way staff remembered us and our names and treated us like regulars from day one. There were a few awkward encounters with some staff in relation to our relationship status, but it didn’t overshadow the fantastic crew members who were sensitive to us asking for our beds to be put together, or to ask our status before taking our photographs.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Everything was well cleaned and sanitized multiple times throughout the day. Crew was quick to clean tables between passengers dining at them.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
It was plenty of space for two people/a couple, but probably would have been too tight to have any additional people staying. Room attendant was friendly and attentive and made us feel welcome and comfortable. Turn down service and twice daily room cleanings was a nice treat.

Ship tip

Bring your walking shoes! Bring $100 in single bills to tip your wait staff and bartenders for excellent service. Make your reservations for things you know you want to do as early as possible because they will book out.

Ports of call

San Francisco, California

5 out of 5
Beautiful port. Beautiful weather. Easily walkable distance to Pier 39 with shopping and dining plus sea lions! Also booked the hop on hop off tour to see the city quickly and really enjoyed it. It was worth the price booked through Norwegian as it was about $15 more per person booked through Big Bus Tours directly.


4 out of 5
Because we opted in for a bus transfer back to LAX, we received a letter the night before disembarkation with details on how to care for our luggage and what time to be out of our stateroom/disembark. We heard from other cruisers that they hadn’t received any notice at all. It wasn’t too chaotic exiting the ship itself, but upon exiting the port it became a bit of free-for-all. Could do with some more signage or people directing crowds to taxis vs busses, etc.

Traveler Photos

We could see one of the water slides from our balcony Pier 39 Tried Tim hortons at the Vancouver airport Sea lions at pier 39 Big bus tour shore excursion Beautiful views and nice fresh air when we took those necessary afternoon naps  Free continental breakfast room service was a nice wake up call to start the day
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