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NCL Joy coming to West Coast year round

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This is a very good point. The Chinese are definitely in the market for international travel and your scenario makes a lot of sense.

 

Amen!

 

littlelulu, we will probably lean toward going on the Joy rather than Bliss. We are travelers (rather than tourists) and love to travel the world, eat foreign foods, get into and learn the cultures, see places, décor, etc. And be amongst people of different nationalities.

 

What attracts us to Joy is the décor and I hope they won't make drastic changes or remove the décor during the $50m refit.

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Amen!

 

littlelulu, we will probably lean toward going on the Joy rather than Bliss. We are travelers (rather than tourists) and love to travel the world, eat foreign foods, get into and learn the cultures, see places, décor, etc. And be amongst people of different nationalities.

 

What attracts us to Joy is the décor and I hope they won't make drastic changes or remove the décor during the $50m refit.

 

I don’t think ncl’s Tropical sailings will be inundated by Chinese tourists but on sailings to Alaska and Europe I can see an increase in mainland Chinese tour groups. Since you won’t know until you get onboard a ship what large groups will be sailing with you, id rather be sailing on the Joy set up to account for cultural differences instead of a ship like the Jade where they had some obvious issues with the passenger makeup/mix

 

We also love Travel to experience new places and cultures. It was a little different than we anticipated but we ended up going with the flow. They seemed to like the ship food over the local food so the ship set up bag check getting off the ship instead of on. We simply stopped taking a bag off the ship in ports to avoid the shakedown on ship food and utensils.

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Some people who are drawn to the go carts might also be drawn to the Galaxy Pavilion, so they may be willing to make the sacrifice of the smaller race track for the added arcade attractions and bumper cars? It's tough to say.

 

I was wondering about that 'bumper car' reference, as shown in some of the earlier posted deck plans of that Pavilion...in recent NCL deck plans, they no longer mention bumper cars...perhaps they are removing them also?

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I was on a two week Jade Norway, Iceland, U.K. sailing last year. Over half the passengers were mainland Chinese tour groups. Also one smaller group of about 300 from Hong Kong who did not get along well with the two mainland groups. Ncl had many staff onboard that were from China. Most said they were in training for the Joy but some seemed highly competent and fully trained. The suite passenger hostess was Chinese and she was an excellent employee. I suspect these staff were brought onboard for this sailing. One of the travel agents was in a garden villa.

 

 

 

Ncl may be pulling the Joy from China but they are still interested in serving this population onboard sailings in China and other itineraries. I can see the Joy continuing to serve this huge segment of travel hungry groups. And if the joy is already set up to their cultural differences, it will be ideal for them to sail on for Alaska mixed in with western passengers. The folks I sailed with would have benefited from the Joy outdoor green space. They had to use some awkward areas for morning exercise on the Jade. They also seemed to enjoy the hot tubs but not the pool. I’m guessing the joy is going to be westernized while still keeping some of what the Chinese passengers enjoy.

 

 

 

From my observation, I didn’t see them drinking alcohol, they retired to their staterooms very early to plan their next day, didn’t use the speciality dining much and ate early and at the same time (a bit of an issue on the Jade). They also wanted off the ship first in port and were comfortable with about four times the number of people in an elevator and with public buses and boats, something the locals had a hard time controlling.

 

 

 

Idk if this is a trend for the future, but if the Chinese Travel agencies have developed a relationship with Ncl and continue with group bookings, staff on the joy could easily be assimilated to ships that have the large mainland Chinese groups and then to China for the spirit sailings.

 

 

 

For the Jade sailing I was on the cultural differences were interesting and the staff onboard and Locals in ports had some difficulties accommodating them. The Staff from the Philippines seemed the most frustrated with the mainland Chinese passengers. We made adjustments to times we ate, slept and debarked the ship, used the stairs and were fine but initially it was overwhelming.

 

 

 

I was highly impressed with their diy planning skills. They invested an immense amount of time mapping out their days using public transport... to the point that one day we just figured it easier to bob along following them, knowing they had planned for months what to do and had everything mapped out on their phones. They were highly resourceful groups.

 

 

Absolutely. I agree 100%

 

I also did a similar cruise last year with a very similar demographic. I would have thought it may have been the same cruise, but I’d have thought I’d remember if we’d been sailing together.

 

Chinese customers do seem to make up a very high proportion of NCLs customer base on some itineraries. Whatever happens with mainland China cruises, the country will surely continue to be very important to NCL.

 

Edit: I’ve just checked your posting history and you were on a later sailing than us, but the demographic sounds very similar. Lots of Chinese passengers with a group from Hong King who didn’t seem to fit in well with the others. I wonder whether this particular itinerary appealed to them specifically.

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I was wondering about that 'bumper car' reference, as shown in some of the earlier posted deck plans of that Pavilion...in recent NCL deck plans, they no longer mention bumper cars...perhaps they are removing them also?

 

 

Interesting point.... the deck plans I posted up-thread that were the "new" plans as of Friday morning show the Bumper Cars clearly, but now when I go to the NCL site (https://www.ncl.com/cruise-ship/joy/deck-plans) the Bumper Car area is unlabeled....

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The more I think about this, I'm surprised they didn't leave the ship as is and market it to the Chinese who want to see the rest of the world. More comfortable for them to a ship dedicated to their needs.

 

I’m sad that they are taking out all the Asian restaurants 😞

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Great list and I believe you caught everything that I did when reviewing the deck plans side-by-side. I thought it might be helpful if you mentioned that the rooms being removed from Deck 15 meant to enlarge the Observation Lounge. It's not entirely obvious from your wording.

 

Also, I am not convinced they are removing the Atrium Bar entirely. If you look at the video someone posted of the Joy, there is already a Starbucks next to/attached to the Atrium Bar, like the set-up on the Escape. I would be surprised if they actually remove that bar entirely. Maybe just reconfigure it to make the Starbucks a bit larger?

 

On the Bliss, the Atrium Bar is quite large and is on the same side of the ship as the large screen tv. Starbucks is on other side across from a Guest Services, etc.

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I’m sad that they are taking out all the Asian restaurants 😞

 

I agree completely! I thought that Joy was interesting as is, and even with a few modifications there should still be a large market for Alaska. I'll be disappointed if they make it into a twin of Bliss. Difference is good, and NCL should keep some of what made Joy unique as it is.

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Ironic that the Spirit is going "home again"...considering her origin as Star Cruises "SuperStar Leo", based in Hong Kong....:)

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The Joy in China was a 2 year contract. It failed miserably and NCL is pulling out. Revenue projections were badly flawed. Of course NCL will try to spin this as progress but internally this is a giant setback.

 

Did NCL post sales figures or this is just an assumption based on them pulling out the large ship?

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Ironic that the Spirit is going "home again"...considering her origin as Star Cruises "SuperStar Leo", based in Hong Kong....:)

 

 

 

Yup I thought the same thing. Perhaps she will even be reunited in some ports with her Star Cruises sister.

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Absolutely. I agree 100%

 

I also did a similar cruise last year with a very similar demographic. I would have thought it may have been the same cruise, but I’d have thought I’d remember if we’d been sailing together.

 

Chinese customers do seem to make up a very high proportion of NCLs customer base on some itineraries. Whatever happens with mainland China cruises, the country will surely continue to be very important to NCL.

 

Edit: I’ve just checked your posting history and you were on a later sailing than us, but the demographic sounds very similar. Lots of Chinese passengers with a group from Hong King who didn’t seem to fit in well with the others. I wonder whether this particular itinerary appealed to them specifically.

 

Yes we were on a later sailing. I got some excellent tips from reading your trip report. Thanks to you we had an excellent time in Iceland just renting a car on the docks. I told my husband that a guy named Keith on the Internet recommended ... and that things cost a lot in Iceland. He thought I was joking until we stopped for $35 hamburger and saw the beautiful places you recommend.

 

It was interesting to see the dynamic of how the Hong Kong passengers really didn’t get along with the mainland Chinese passengers. I thought a few times that different groups were going to come to blows but everything seemed to settle down some the second week.

 

I’d guess the Mainland Chinese passengers gravitate towards packing a lot into a vacation on the itineraries that aren’t just sun and sand, laying by the pool or beach. My Iceland sailing was the first time I’ve experienced them being the majority onboard, but I’ve had some smaller groups on Alaska sailings. For the med I see a lot of Chinese land tour groups but haven’t been on a sailing where they were the majority onboard yet.

 

If anything, having the Joy in China first was a great segway into the market and I’m sure they have developed some good relationships with Chinese Travel agencies for future bookings on their other ships and itineraries.

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I am one of the people who finds the spas and thermal suites very important. In fact, I try to never go on a smaller ship where the thermals are not co-ed and the pools, etc., are so small ... My wife and I enjoy going to the thermals together and on the smaller older ships we can't ... From postings here, it appears the Joy would be similar to those smaller ships if not worse.

Just to be absolutely clear, I am also in absolutely no doubt that spas are a very important aspect of mass-market cruising.

 

I'm not sure that anyone here disagrees with that point.

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Speaking of the spa, they sell out almost every cruise and are very popular in Alaska being indoor.

Does anyone know how many Spa passes they sell on a ship like the Bliss or -away class ships?

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So Joy does the Alaska variations April 27 thru October 5. I'm waiting for the Panama Canal and Mexican Riviera itineraries to be published now to see if the prices are justifiable as solo traveler. Probably some wait for those..

 

I am aboard Bliss December 1 2019 so October/November 2019 is too close for my liking. Hoping there are similar itineraries in Fall 2020 and can make a vague comparison when Joy's Fall 2019 itineraries are out, or look at Encore.

 

Hope that actually made sense to some of you! 🤣

 

Thanks

 

Andy

 

Sent from my G8142 using Forums mobile app

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Do you actually have itineraries posted when you use that link? Not sure if it's a UK site 'issue' but only Alaska is listed my end, through Oct 5 2019.

 

Oh, yeah, might be a geo-blocking situation. In the US, I see Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coastal, Panama Canal, and Repositioning cruises all listed. Clicking into any of those gives me a list of dates and prices. Not sure when they will be posted for UK bookings. In the mean time, let me know if you want me to screenshot anything to give you some ideas.

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Do you actually have itineraries posted when you use that link? Not sure if it's a UK site 'issue' but only Alaska is listed my end, through Oct 5 2019.

 

Sent from my G8142 using Forums mobile app

 

They are on the NCL US site as of today with pricing. Start saving - the prices are crazy.

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Oh, yeah, might be a geo-blocking situation. In the US, I see Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coastal, Panama Canal, and Repositioning cruises all listed. Clicking into any of those gives me a list of dates and prices. Not sure when they will be posted for UK bookings. In the mean time, let me know if you want me to screenshot anything to give you some ideas.
For some reason it was showing zero cruises against everything but Alaska. I've now tried the link again and they are all showing.

 

I'm guessing it has just been updated in the UK as Joy had a total of 6 cruises listed all day, (3 of which were fly cruise options).

 

Now I see a total of 22.

 

Thanks very much for the offer but I'm all good now

 

And finally, ouch!

 

Sent from my G8142 using Forums mobile app

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They are on the NCL US site as of today with pricing. Start saving - the prices are crazy.
I see them now, OMG! Maybe it will be Encore for Fall 2020 after all, assuming it stays in Western waters. Will look more seriously later in the year when 2020/2021 itineraries are released.

 

Thanks

 

Andy

 

Sent from my G8142 using Forums mobile app

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Personally NCL is dreaming if they think people will pay those kind of prices for the Mexico cruises with the new Carnival Panorama that is about 1/4 the price and will be a brand new ship for West Coast. Then HAL will be bringing over the Koningsdam for some sailings pre Alaska and post Alaska and Princess will have Big Royal Princess sailing out of San Pedro. Also for drastically less money.

Way too many options for Mexico with NEW ships for once for NCL to be charging those kind of prices.

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I have posted this on a few of my FB groups. Pulled the old and new deck plans, here is what I see as changing. I have side by side pictures, but no idea how to post them here.

 

Deck 6:

• The Supper Club becomes Texas Smokehouse

• Addition of Card Room

• Say goodbye to the Karaoke Rooms

• Addition of a Photo Studio

• Atrium Café and Bar at the Atrium become Starbucks

• Sakura and Hibiscus is gone to expand Teppanyaki

• Joy VIP Casino is gone for “Entertainment Venue”

Deck 7:

• Joy Tea Room becomes The Local

• Casino does NOT look enclosed, but there is a Joy Casino VIP Room

 

Deck 8:

• The Grand Tea Room becomes The District Brew House

• Le Cave becomes The Cellars

• Take out some jewelry stores, add in a Sugarcane Mojito Bar

• Still retail, though products may vary

• Neptune’s Seafood is gone, add in a Los Lobos Mexican restaurant

 

Deck 13:

• The middle now lists a MEDICAL, though this may have been here before

 

Deck 15:

• Removal of a lot of rooms and The “Concierge Lounge” becomes The “Observation Lounge”

 

Deck 16:

• Serenity Park is gone, Sun Deck and lots of open area shows

• Aerobic and Seminar is repurposed spa; does not show the Pulse Fitness Center

• Bumper cars still showing at Galaxy Pavilion

 

Deck 17:

• Noodle Bar becomes Fitness Center

 

Deck 19:

• Adding in Mini Golf

Surprised that they didn’t announce the addition of Entourage anywhere. Do you think it will appear on the Joy?

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They are on the NCL US site as of today with pricing. Start saving - the prices are crazy.

 

That they are. I found the pricing to be similar to the Bliss for Alaska.

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