Great ports, great line level staff, terrible management and operational vision.

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 29

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Joy

16 Night Panama Canal (Los Angeles To Miami)

Sail date: January 17, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9852

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was a great experience from a destination point of view. The ships service staff was top rate. Entertainment was first rate. The facilities were really good. It almost made you forget about how terrible management is and how really mediocre the food and beverage product is.


2 out of 5
Waited in line for two hours after the prescribed embarkation time.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Really sub par food quality. Great servers. Way too much "add on cost".

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
OK gym. Good quiet areas. Very good entertainment venues (but with cryptic reservations requirements).


5 out of 5

Children's Programs

No children on this Voyage - Average passenger age (as per staff) was 67+

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
But management is awful!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Nice size and layout. Newer ship and it shows.

Ship tip

Do as much as you can on line re: reservations etc. Dig, because the opportunities are not self apparent. When on board, double check everything and ask for better times,etc. Lower your expectations regarding food quality.

Ports of call

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

4 out of 5
departed from LA

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

4 out of 5
Have done Cabo many times before, this area tour was very good.

Mazatlan, Mexico

4 out of 5
Beach day was a repeat - this time the experience was really good.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

4 out of 5
Same comment as Cabo.

Acapulco, Mexico

4 out of 5
Did this port on our own. Cliff divers were great. Walk to the Zocalo and on was fine (nice bakery on the way.)

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

4 out of 5
Crowded Antigua but really great trip. Do it and use the guides available in the city.

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Our tour included a small town in the mountains with much local color. Nice day.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
Just take in the entire transit!

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
Terrible traffic but the architecture in the old city is worth the trouble. Also try to get a little time to wander around, the shops and cafes are great.

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5
We were almost three hours late getting off of the ship and missed our lunch reservation in South Beach.


2 out of 5
See above
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