I appreciate the itinerary won't be the same but I thought I'd share my review. If you have any questions about Joy or my first time experience with NCL fire away.
Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October.
Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we were informed Victoria had to be cancelled due to tidal issues and this resulted in a delay of departure from Vancouver due to passing under Lions Bridge. Naturally this was quite disappointing for such a short cruise however we were issued $50 onboard credit. We were not issued any refund of port fees though.
Relatively straight forward and I was on the ship within 15 minutes. I had completed everything online so it was a matter of collecting my sea pass and signing paperwork.
Cabin: I had 13162 which was on deck 13 (ironically the medical centre is also located on this deck) and this was a port side mid ship balcony. The cabin was fine with plenty of storage space and a nice (albeit small) balcony.
I liked the location as I wasn't far from the stairs and just two levels up to the Observation Deck and close to the Garden Café.
My attendant was friendly enough but I wouldn't say he went above and beyond. On one day close to the end, he didn't even bother removing the glasses from my room or wiping the coffee from the side table.
I had breakfast here three times during the trip. I liked sitting by the window and watching the World go by. I found the service to be very good as was the food. I highly recommend the chocolate pancakes. Also try the cinnamon rolls - literally the best ever!!
I had lunch here and the cheese burger was very disappointing however the philly steak sandwich was good. Personally I found The Local to be better for the fast food types such as hot dogs/burgers.
I had dinner and it was very nice. The menu was the same each night though and the same in all restaurants (Savour/Taste/The Manhattan).
I had dinner in both and as mentioned above the menu is the same. The service was excellent in The Manhattan and fine in Taste.
One point to note on the service in the restaurants, every time someone interacted with me they were shocked I was dining alone. In the end it was comical but also rather draining. Women are able to dine alone and it's not some sad affair.
The worse place ever! So chaotic. I only went once for breakfast and it was awful. The food was average but trying to get a table was awful. Walking around with your food and having to rush for a table is not enjoyable.
I decided to try breakfast here one day and it was fine, nothing special. Limited buffet available but nice service.
La Cucina Italian:
I had two specialist dinning available, sadly I regret dining here. The food was average at best. Pear salad was nice but on the main dining menu and I can't even remember my mine so it shows how uneventful that was.
This was the best meal of my cruise. Incredible sea food and lovely service. Try the scallops for starter (they are very small!) and the mixed seafood for main - perfect.
Just a note with the specialist dining, they were very restrictive with when you could book. I was informed they were fully booked however both times I was seated, there were plenty of free tables. This is disappointing as I could've switched my reservation to Cagney's but they said they were full.
I had lunch here on embarkment and it was bit manic but the nachos were good. I had another lunch here and whilst the line was long to be seated, it went fairly quickly and the hot dog was great. Again lovely service.
The Observation Deck:
Snacks were regularly available during the day here although I didn't eat any. They had soups and salad for lunch and a few other items. I would often fill up my water bottle here and grab a decaff coffee before heading to bed.
I won't comment on each bar but all had a great selection of drinks. I do want to say how wonderful Jomar Parculos and Maxime Mathurin at the H20 spice bar were. Always so friendly and happy.
I loved coming here in the afternoon for a dip in the hot tub. It was great being adults only. Only suggestion would be to show a film or something on the big screen. Whilst the beach pictures were nice, it could have been put to better use.
Great adults only pool, very deep. Sadly a little chilly for our cruise. The hot tubs on the pool deck were full of unaccompanied children - not good. Maximum capacity in the hot tubs were always over due to the amount of kids in there.
I did the water slide with the ring. This was great fun with the lights however I whimpered out of the ocean loop. Although it was only a few seconds long, it looked so scary and some lighter people were getting stuck.
Pulse fitness centre:
The gym was average size but always pretty busy (surprisingly). People were often using equipment and had no clue how to do it safely. Wearing sandals and man bags on the cross trainer was ridiculous.
They held a stretch class (7am) and abs class (7.30am) in The Cavan Club. I assume they held it there as there is no room in the gym.
Again this seemed to be fully booked all the time but I managed to secure a slot. It was worth the wait as it was fun but it was very difficult to overtake other drivers. Worth the $15.
An excellent show! I was so impressed with the singing and dancing. You must go watch the show.
Unbelievably disappointing. Everything they did, I could have done (I'm intermediate aerialist). I expected the show to be a lot better. It was very colourful so I think that's what makes people think it's great when the actual acrobatics was pretty tame.
Personally the issue I had was the lack of quality entertainment. It felt like there wasn't much going on, especially in the evenings. If you couldn't get a show booked then the other entertainment was in the Atrium. Sometimes it was good and other times not such much. There wasn't much going on during the day either. Hardly any activities.
You simply chose your own luggage tag and which time you'd like to leave the ship. I chose 9am but wish I'd chosen earlier as I was finished with breakfast and out of the room by 8am. It was a quick process once you were called to leave.
Overall I was impressed with my first NCL cruise. I personally prefer bigger ships so perhaps I should consider that in the future.