A mixed bag

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 26

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Norwegian Joy

7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 08, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Joy

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Our cruise was one of the last ships to leave before all cruises were canceled. Lots of washy washy and necessary safety precautions. The Joy was a mixed bag. Some parts of the trip were enjoyable, while other parts were disappointing (which is to be expected). Overall, I did not fall in “love” with NCL or the Joy.


4 out of 5
Relatively smooth once the line started moving. Touchless temperature taken for all passengers and 2 health survey questionnaires (March 8 sailing)

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Service was super slow in the main dining rooms but the food was good. Loved the local, especially the wings. 😋 Speciality restaurants were excellent. Huge portions. Reservations really not needed for the main dining rooms. Same for specialty dining except on sea days, the restaurants did get busier. However, we traveled as a group of four. For Larger groups, I would say reservations are needed. I miss not having a spot to just walk up and grab a bite to eat. Although the local is open 24/7, it is a sit down restaurant. The garden cafe is open for late night snacks but the selection is limited.

Q Texas Smokehouse

5 out of 5

Huge portions and great food. With specialty package you get a ton of food and plenty of choices.


5 out of 5

Love the chef’s entertainment and the food was excellent!

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Our family enjoyed the laser tag the most. Too much stop and go to really enjoy go karts. Lots of free activities not available due to safety precautions related to the virus (ie: ping pong, giant chess). The bill added up with all the “fees” for activities that were not included.


5 out of 5
The shows were top notch. Really like Footloose and the Elements. The comedian was fabulous but the venue was way too small. Definitely want to have reservations and arrive early for the comedy show or anything in the Social.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
My 12 did not enjoy the splash academy. Not much to do for her age. Tailored more for the younger kids. The entourage for teens is super small but my son enjoyed playing video games there and the activities offered.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
Service was definitely a mixed bag. We didn’t even know who our room steward was until day 3 when we tracked him down because we had a request. Some staff were friendly but others we rude and not caring or unprofessional. It was very hard to get your needs met after you ordered. Long waiting times to get acknowledged and/or to receive your order. Service went downhill as the week progressed. Not sure if this was related to the stress of the coronavirus, but the poor service is one of the reasons why I will not be sailing with NCL again 😔

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship was definitely clean! Washy, washy! The layout of the atrium is not efficient. Tons of fun activities offered there but limited space/seated. Difficulty hearing if you’re at guests relations or the port excursions desk as all these services are housed in the same small atrium area.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Nice spacious balcony cabin. They no longer do towel animals. Didn’t know you had the option to request them until the last night.

Ship tip

Make reservations for any show you want to attend in the social. Enjoy your trip after all this virus stuff is finally over!

Ports of call

Mazatlan, Mexico

5 out of 5
Did the beach 🏖 resort getaway excursion. Very relaxing! The resort had 5 pools and a very tasty buffet. Must have a t-shirt to enter the restaurant. No swim suits allowed. Beach was beautiful but the vendors can get annoying. In my opinion this port has the best prices for routine souvenir shopping.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

5 out of 5
Took a taxi to the Malecon. $4 pp. Explored on our own.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

4 out of 5
Loved the shopping and whale watching.


5 out of 5
Went very smooth. Did self-disembarkation. Long line, but it went fast. Be prepared to carry your luggage down the flights of stairs if you want to expedite your exit, as the elevators were packed and super slow.

Traveler Photos

Beach resort Cagney's porterhouse steak  View from the restaurant One of the resort pools BBQ platter @ the Q
Was this review helpful? 26


Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing