Great staff, terrible buffet, fantastic live music, too many people and continual up-sell!

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Mexico

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

2.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Joy

7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 22, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin number: 9880

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Probably okay for most but NCL’s free-style approach, mega ship and continual up-selling was not for us.


3 out of 5
My wife uses a mobility scooter and so we had relatively quick access. However, there was quite a wait with no explanation

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Specialty and main dining were fine. Buffet was very poor in variety, substance and presentation. No food on pool or aft decks.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Music was excellent but limited mostly to evening entertainment. Very few complimentary activities. Fitness center had nice treadmills but other quipmentwas lacking and/or in short supply. Karaoke was limited to one hour per evening. The beverage package had lots of great cocktails and basically any call drink you wanted. However the wine choices with package were very limited and very low end.


1 out of 5
Very good.

Children's Programs

No kids.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Very friendly staff.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
It was fine with the exception of the lack of food on the pool hot tub deck. Also most bars had no fresh coffee.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Could have been bigger. Recently refurbished and very clean. Water pressure was very low and shower did not drain properly. It has been a while since we have cruised but were disappointed when there was no bed turned down, clever towel figures or chocolate which were just nice little value-added things that made you feel special. Our balcony was right above a music venue which wasn’t a problem for us, but would be for those who turn in early.

Ship tip

We found out we did not like the mega-ship free cruising approach utilized by NCL. Reservations were a hassle but without them you had long waits.

Ports of call

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

3 out of 5
There were some fun places in nearby Long Beach. If you have a wheel chair avoid staying at the Crowne Plaza, their shuttle is not ADA accessible.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

3 out of 5
The ship’s excursion to see the Arch was very good. Didn’t feel like we had enough time to really enjoy the port.

Mazatlan, Mexico

2 out of 5
Only went downtown and with the exception of a couple of historic churches it was pretty run down and very touristy. The dock is in the middle of an industrial and they use small trolley to the cruise center. Shops at the cruise center were pretty reasonable.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

2 out of 5
A big improvement over Mazatlán!


3 out of 5
The does not to be designed to accommodate a ship with as many passengers as the Joy!
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