Enjoyed seeing Alaska

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 19

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

7 Night Awe Of Alaska With Glacier Bay (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 21, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I would cruise NCL again but I almost like our prior cruise line experiences better.


5 out of 5
We arrived much earlier than we probably needed to, however I’d rather be there with plenty of time than cutting it close. Once the doors opened check in was a breeze and by the time boarding began we were in group 1 and some of the first people to board.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
I found the buffet to be MUCH better than another cruise line we have sailed with prior. There were many options and lots of different serving stations, we did not encounter lines. I appreciate that the buffet was open at right at embarkation. We ate at Q, Cagney’s and the American Diner all were excellent. The main dining room left something to be desired as it seemed the menu was the same every day and food was mediocre whereas the other cruise line we’ve sailed with had delicious new offerings each day. Thus, we mostly ate in the buffet for suppers.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Deal or no Deal was expensive and winners were digitally selected. Painting classes were already booked (for the entire cruise) before it was even explained to go to the box office to book in advance (this should be noted in the Freestyle Daily). A better method would be the availability to book online like you can with specialty dining before you sail. They did not offer me to wait where the classes were being performed to see if all the participants showed up, which I would have gladly done. The Galaxy Pavilion was a waste of space in our opinion, could replace with a thermal spa. Go Karts are described as being generously sized, and not having a huge booty myself I felt like I would need to be pulled out and/or a shoe horn just to get my butt out of the car. The water slides were awesome, drop slide is a rush.


5 out of 5
Elements, Footloose and The Magic Show were all fantastic. We did not see any comedy shows because you have to preregister in order to avoid the long standby line. Having to preregister or sign up for most things in advance is kind of contradictory to their tag line “Freestyle Cruising” in my opinion. LOVED that the casino was mostly non-smoking.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Staff were friendly and helpful, did not feel/make any connections to staff as we have on prior cruises with a different line. Despite us asking, the mini fridge in our stateroom was never restocked with soda and we never returned to find a fun towel animal. We never had ice provided to our room.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship was very clean, however we really disliked that there were no central elevators. With our room located at the front of the ship and well as the gangway at the front of the ship, elevators always took forever (even with a bank of 6-8 elevators). We feel that an atrium or central bank of elevators would have relieved a lot of the traffic and waiting. I really liked the glass/plexiglass shower door vs. a curtain in our stateroom. I did not like that the ac shut off every half an hour or so in our stateroom (an interior room). I’m a cold sleeper so I would frequently wake up sweating.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5

Ports of call

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
We rode the white pass railroad and had a wonderful time!

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
We did a rainforest sanctuary and totem walk. Very fun! Make sure to stop by the Salmon Market! We loved the salmon so much that we ordered more online once we got home (and we live in the Pacific NW).

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
We went on a fantastic whale watching excursion that we booked privately, even saw a whale fully breach.

Cruise Glacier Bay

5 out of 5
Clear day to observe beautiful glacier bay.

Seattle, Washington

5 out of 5
Didn’t spend much time we’re as we went from the airport to the port... however we have traveled to Seattle before and there are a lot of fun things to do. The zoo is great and has a lot to see.


5 out of 5
Embarkation was quick and easy, we were off the ship and on the street getting a cab in about 20 minutes.

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