I'm Elite on Princess and Celebrity, Diamond on RCI, and have sailed several other cruise lines.
Just returned for the 5 night Coastal Vancouver-Los Angeles on the Joy. It was a mixed bag. The ship was beautiful. The food was very good, and I loved the Beatles tribute band and music.
On the other hand -- we had a mid-aft balcony stateroom, twin beds. Not impressed with the layout or design. No drawers to store your underwear or socks, just two small shelf areas in the desk/vanity, and the shelves in the small closet. There is a small, 6 inch wide, unit between the couch and bed on one side, bed and sliding doors on the other. 2/3 was used by the room steward to stow the folded, decorative drape from the end of the bed, leaving only enough room to store a pair of shoes.
The bathroom had a glass shower, so no fighting the shower curtain.
The hallways seemed very narrow, only 4 feet wide. Two of the MDR's, Taste and Savor, are across the walkway from each other, with Mixx bar in between. While waiting for a table, it becomes very crowded with diners, drinkers, and people walking through the area. The first time we went, they said it was a 30 minute wait. On Princess, we would have had hand-held buzzers to let us know to come back for our table. On the Joy, the hostess just called out your name, and it was hard to hear.
Garden Cafe ( buffet ) was a zoo during meal hours. The worst I have ever seen on any ship. Yes, they have stations for different foods so you don't have to go in a long line, and multiple stations for some things, like pastry, eggs and omelettes, hot food, cold food, salad bar, and beverages, but trying to find a table was not easy.
Want to go to Guest Services and ask a question? There is live music in the atrium area adjacent. You have to shout to the agent to be heard.
Shopping -- they have permanent counters in the hallways outside of the shops for daily sales, which makes the walkways very crowded. And on that cruise, nothing to buy for children. No t-shirts, toys, books, or anything else. We asked at two different shops, but they said nothing for kids. Two disappointed grandmas who had planned on Christmas shopping.
We had to clear Customs in San Francisco. They divided people into groups, based on decks. We were in group 2, out of 7. They called the first group about 8:50, and by 9:00, had called four groups to the gangway on deck 7, via The Manhatten Room. By the time we got there, the line snaked up both levels of the gangway, all along the promenade deck, thru the Manhatten Room in zig-zag lines, like at Disneyland, out the restaurant and through the casino, almost to the elevator banks. It took us 90 minutes to get to Customs.
AND -- according to people we talked to later on, they never called groups 5, 6, and 7! People waited until noon to be called.
Would I go on the Joy again? Probably not. Another NCL ship? Maybe. Yes, they have a lot more outdoorsy fun spots than Princess, such as water slides and go-karts, but the layout of the staterooms, crowded public areas, and other things I haven't mentioned, would make me think twice.
As for you, if it's only five nights, try it and see if you like it.