Great Itinerary - Great Ship

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 10

Overall rating:

4.7 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Joy

12 Night Panama Canal Partial Transit (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: October 27, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin number: 17128

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Review summary

We would do it again - - likely with fewer and different excursions.


5 out of 5
As a traveler in the Haven - - embarkation was smooth as silk. The only hitch was all our paperwork said Cruise Terminal B, but when arriving we found out the ship was at Terminal F. We had to stop a Port Police car to find that out.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
I have to say every meal we had aboard the Joy was excellent. The meals at the "open dining" restaurants (Manhattan, Savor and Taste) were very comparable to those we had in the specialty restaurants.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5


4 out of 5
Evening entertainment - was entertaining - - not outstanding but fun.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Every staff member on the ship was really professional, courteous and helpful. The staff in the Haven were outstanding.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Ship was very clean - people constantly cleaning and looking after the common areas.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Perfect. The cabin was well maintained by the steward.

Ship tip

It's a great ship - - if you can afford it the Haven is special.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida Did not visit port

Just got on the ship in Miami

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

5 out of 5
Great island. We took the "Swim with Stingrays" excursion and it was super. You got to hold them and feed them. Amazing creatures.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
Our excursion was plagued with traffic problems (as were most of them). The guide, David, was great. Walking around the old city was very interesting.

Cruise Gatun Lake (Inside Panama Canal)

4 out of 5
Unfortunately this was the "Main Event" of the cruise and we arrived at 0500, it was pitch dark. Then it rained horribly all the way thru the canal and back. It was still interesting and a great technical feat, but getting any nice pictures was impossible.

Colon, Panama Did not visit port

Just decided to stay on the ship - weather was a factor

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

5 out of 5
We went to the Jaguar Animal Rescue Center. The excursion was outstanding for a number of reasons. One, the rescue center was great, the work they do there to save all the injured animals is fantastic. We got to see a lot of jungle creatures. The bus ride is about an hour each way, and the guide we had, Manuel, made it informative, interesting and fun. Seeing the countryside was also very interesting.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

5 out of 5
We went to "Swim with the Dolphins" - - it was a great experience. These are spectacular creatures; interacting with them in the water was really fun.

Harvest Caye, Belize

4 out of 5
We took the Chocolate making, Kei'chi Mayan culture excursion. Our guide Carlos was great. The tour, while interesting, was not terribly informative. The trip to the sites was interesting and we learned a lot about Belize and its history.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
We went to the Chac'choben ruins. They were very interesting. Our guide, Alejandro was very informative. Our excursion also had lunch and time at the Blue Lagoon. Lunch was good, but doing only the ruins would have been fine.


4 out of 5
It was a bit of a mess - - due to some "computer" issues many people we delayed getting off the ship for up to 3 hours. Not sure whether or not Norwegian was responsible for it.
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