Fun cruise on a very nice ship with a few frustrations.

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 49

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

5 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 12, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 11876

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We had very high expectations for this trip, hoping that it would be better than our first cruise on the carnival inspiration. With how new the ship is, and all the amenities on the ship we thought it would be. But, at the end of the day we were very underwhelmed from this cruise experience, if I were to choose which cruise to do again, I would choose carnival over Norwegian unfortunately.


3 out of 5
We felt the cruise terminal is a little small for the size of ship, things were a little confusing when first getting there. Make sure you get there early or you'll be in line waiting until the ship is leaving.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
The food on this ship was probably our biggest let down of the trip. We did two specialty restaurants that were included with our cruise purchase. We ate at the main dining room twice witch was good, but nothing amazing, very limited options on the food. We also ate at the Q BBQ which had very limited options, if you're a fan of BBQ then you probably won't enjoy the food here. We ate at ocean blue as well, which was underwhelming for a high end seafood restuarant. We mostly ate at the garden cafe which is the buffet, the food was just as good if not better than the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants, and had a way better selection of food.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
This is probably best thing about the ship but, definently comes at a cost. While there is a lot to do on the ship, it's quite frustrating that most the extra activities you have to pay for. I wish the charges were less than what they were. $15 for one race on the go-kart track is a lot, the galaxy pavilion is amazing, but one game on any vr game is $7 or more. I would probably be more willing to do games if they were way cheaper or free for the price you pay for the cruise.


5 out of 5
The highlight of the trip were definitely the show's, they invest not only on the show's, but the actors and dancers as well, everyone that was an actor, singer, or dancer, all of them had at last a bachelor's degree in there field. We were beyond impressed with the quality of the shows.

Children's Programs

4 out of 5
We didn't have the kids but the kids clubs were very neat and clean

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
For the most part our staff experience was good, we had a few encounters with some staff that weren't what you would expect on a cruise. One staff member was very upset to be working and it was obvious to everyone around him, and another one completely forgot to bring us our drinks at a bar so we got up and went to another one.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship is beautiful to say the least. It's very easy to navigate, especially for its size, it made it feel smaller than what it was for a ship that can easily fit 4000 people on it. Everything was clean and still smelled new throughout the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our cabin was beautiful, I don't think there is one balcony cabin with a bad view, we paid a little less for a partially obstructed view but we didn't see any cabins with an obstructed view.

Ship tip

Get to the cruise terminal early, we got there 30 minutes before the first group started loading and there was already a line. Bring extra money for any activities you want to do while on the ship.

Ports of call

Ensenada, Mexico

4 out of 5
Nicer than cabo and people speak better English.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

3 out of 5
Not as nice as ensanada unfortunately.

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

5 out of 5
Very pretty city views from the ship.


4 out of 5
A lot easier than embarkation.
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