Terrific once in a lifetime bucket adventure-coast to coast

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 30

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

16 Night Panama Canal (Miami To Los Angeles)

Sail date: February 14, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 17728

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Fantastic journey- lifetime experience. 16 days on board did not seem long- lol Enjoyed 2 days at sea time Didn’t like when ports were day after day after day. Didn’t like short days in port- don’t understand that! Good ship, great crew, coast to coast with passage was GREAT- experience. Absolutely wonderful journey.


5 out of 5
All great, treated royal- quick - effortless.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Manhattan room great, really liked walk up and get pick of great table. Service good, food good, selection good, tried very hard to please and fill extra requests, nice semi formal large dining experience. Taste-Savor- same as Manhattan except more cozy- good- American diner good food, familiar selections, good prices if a-La-cart. Q was great- great taste- large servings- good service- went 30 minutes before showtime made it dinner and show-great. Cagney- great- had to go back a second time to be sure it was as good as first-lol. Tappanyiki- as good as your table guests and draw of server-entertainer. Meat better than expected-shrimp-sides good-Fun. Italian- not above average-could have passed. The Local- a favorite to be entertained while we grabbed a bite- solid good offerings- good service, nice. Haven-ok limited selection never changes- too quiet-lol-. Buffet- solid good food, good selection, some change, some stay same. Have seen more and better bread selections, more desserts, more meats on RC. No pies?- hated having to beg for cookies locked away hidden behind counter- no sense in that! Ice cream always available was a treat though. Bars were quick and never got a light pour. Nice specialty drinks and selection. Bartenders friendly and knowledgeable.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Race cars were so so. Floored all the way around the track, no let up needed for corners, not enough room to pass pokeys- not challenging. Casino broken up- nice to be able to stay away from smokers even though they had some machines we wanted to play but wouldn’t—not loose- lol. water slides managed poorly, only serviced 1/2 what they could have.


3 out of 5
Mediocre at best, college level productions, they did try hard. Comedians, magic, others- C- couple complete duds. No show or entertainer was worth a second chance except Arvin the entertainer. He was top notch and we planned for every event he appeared.

Children's Programs

No kids- didn’t want to see any lol

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
All service and staff were First rate and never had a grump or frown. Some went way way over, out of their way to make the experience super special and memorable. Stay away from medical if possible- EXPENSIVe Room steward, excellent, personable and made it fun. Butler served and placed on linens- breakfast and dinner whenever we wanted and at Exact time We ordered. Everything asked for was delivered, hot, fresh, great, and with a smile.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Wi-fi not up to par-couldn’t even backup my iPhone pictures to the cloud-Expensive- Clean ship, large, roomy, just not laid out for Americans-lol Not enough elevators- lot of splitting of areas. Front viewing excellent- made for canal passage-lol All kept tidy, fresh, didn’t feel too crowded anywhere except pool deck on warm sea day -duh Seemed roomy walking around for the most part. Can’t imagine who would put the center of entertainment in the middle of customer service area(excursion desk, internet, help desk , next, etc.)How are you supposed to converse? Well maintained, cleaned, serviced, well lit, comfortable environmentally ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Yes, yes, yes- king bed, full tub with shower, double sinks . 2 chairs and dining table, couch, large patio with table and soft chairs- could only get temperature down to 69* but slept under sheet and asked for light blanket. Bedding so so good. Pillow top- feather comforter, all varieties of pillows, blankets. Good storage, amenities. Great room- great location. Cleaned and tidied every time we left room and once even while we were there when we asked. Nite time turn down- different snacks every evening was over the top. Extra pillows, towels, different blankets- anything asked was provided immediately.

Ship tip

Relax- enjoy- ask and you shall receive-lol Time in port can be tooooo short

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

4 out of 5
Expensive Beautiful

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

5 out of 5
Nice all included retreat Good place to just relax and unwind

Cartagena, Colombia

5 out of 5
Not enough time there Beautiful- intriguing- do a private tour- our large tour dragged and we missed a lot.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
W. O. W. Like a kid in candy store- I was all over the boat- bow-stern, up, down- pictures-videos from all angles- couldn’T GET ENOUGH— She?- enjoyed the sun- drinks, snacks, and hot tub lol.

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

5 out of 5
Not enough time there Beautiful- intriguing- do a private tour- our large tour dragged and we missed a lot. Jungle tram- tour unimpressive. We have zoos at home lol- way overpriced.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

5 out of 5
Not enough time there Beautiful- intriguing- do a private tour- our large tour dragged and we missed a lot. Not enough picture stops.

Mazatlan, Mexico

5 out of 5
Not enough time there Beautiful- intriguing- do a private tour- our large tour dragged and we missed a lot.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

5 out of 5
Not enough time there Beautiful- intriguing- do a private tour- rented Taxi that spoke good English, $20/hr- took us all around, stopped for photos whenever we wanted, gave us good local info, cheap RX, cheap drinks and good food, covered more miles than ever thought possible. He was very cognizant of time and made sure we were going in right direction to be on ship on time!

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

5 out of 5
Whale watching- got lazy captain- didn’t know where to go and languished-saw more whales off ship. Took pedicab of town-beach-after and really enjoyed that.

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California Did not visit port

Relative picked us up


2 out of 5
Great getting off ncl, US Customs wait was nightmare 1 1/2 hr wasted- tip- get Porter-save an hour-lol
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