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Choozin Croozin

NCL Joy suggestions, opinions

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I'm sorry, I tried to do a search and I am just not finding what I am looking for. Thinking about taking the Joy next year in Alaska. I have sailed RCCL many times, and have not been on NCL since 1994. I am looking for pros and cons, what you liked the best, hidden gems, etc on the Joy. I am comparing this to the RCL Ovation and don't know which to choose. The Joy looks awfully intriguing but when you're used to one line for so many years, it's hard to make that switch. With that being said though, I have been dying to try some of NCL's newer ships. Was hoping this one had the Margaritaville, but don't need to go on a cruise for that. LOL  Thank you in advance for all your help. BTW, we are senior aged, old. lol

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The joy is getting a major refurb after it's China posting so it could be pretty different after it gets Americanized.

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You aren't going to get much info on the Joy here. Not many in the western market have ever sailed on her. She was built and sailed exclusively for the Asian market and the official language on board was Mandarin. She is coming over to North America and being retrofitted for the Western market in early 2019.

 

The addition of Margaritaville will not be part of the retrofit. They are keeping the "American Diner" that is in its place.

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The only thing that can be comparable at this point, since the ship is headed for a retrofit, is it's sister ship the Escape.  

 

The size of the ship is within 1,000 metric tons of Ovation...  so they are virtually the same size.  

 

The Breakaway-plus ship class has the most entertainment and dining options of any ships in the fleet.  There definitely something for everyone on board the ships.  I think you will enjoy it if you give it a try.  You can read lots of reviews here on Escape which should give you a good idea for Joy after retrofit.

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51 minutes ago, cliffd64 said:

The only thing that can be comparable at this point, since the ship is headed for a retrofit, is it's sister ship the Escape.  

 

I would look at Bliss more than Escape as Joy is more like Bliss. Or better yet, I'd wait until after all of the refurb details are announced. 

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29 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

I would look at Bliss more than Escape as Joy is more like Bliss. Or better yet, I'd wait until after all of the refurb details are announced. 

 

 

All of the rerurb details have been announced. You can see them on the new NCL deck plans for the Joy here:

 

https://www.ncl.com/cruise-ship/joy/deck-plans

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4 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

 

All of the rerurb details have been announced. You can see them on the new NCL deck plans for the Joy here:

 

https://www.ncl.com/cruise-ship/joy/deck-plans

 

I've been looking for info on the "concierge class" but can't find anything official. I see that it has concierge service and private dining but is the private dining in the Haven restaurant? I believe that the DSC is the same as with suites but other than the larger stateroom, why would it be higher than normal since the concierge isn't a part of the DSC? 

 

My questions are weird, I know...:classic_biggrin:

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When I was booking the Panama Canal on the Joy, I asked the PCC what is so different about Consierge Class.  He said there is no Haven Courtyard access or a butler and I think he said you have your breakfast and lunch in Cagney’s. I didn’t ask about the DSC.

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Am I correct that Joy will not have studio cabins even after its refurb?

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I LOVE the Bliss(Joy's sister ship), we sailed the first 2 sailings and then booked Alaska because we enjoyed the ship so much.

I'm biased but I don't think 7 days round trip gives you enough time to experience Alaska, weather is unpredictable, in the middle of the Alaska season there are 5 ships in port most days, the Bliss was MILES away from the glacier, unfortunately they are melting (the Tracy Arm excursion was amazing - Birdtravels has a great review).

If you want to sit and watch the scenery, Joy & Bliss will both have an amazing Observation Lounge, where you can watch in heated comfort or bring a coat and you will have your pick of seats on the Waterfront 

 

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3 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

Am I correct that Joy will not have studio cabins even after its refurb?

no, they are keeping the concierge class instead of studio cabins

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2 hours ago, FLAHAM said:

Am I correct that Joy will not have studio cabins even after its refurb?

 

 

You are correct. They are keeping the "Concierge Suites" the Joy was initially built with in place of the studio cabin complex.

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8 hours ago, YVRBassElectric said:

I LOVE the Bliss(Joy's sister ship), we sailed the first 2 sailings and then booked Alaska because we enjoyed the ship so much.

I'm biased but I don't think 7 days round trip gives you enough time to experience Alaska, weather is unpredictable, in the middle of the Alaska season there are 5 ships in port most days, the Bliss was MILES away from the glacier, unfortunately they are melting (the Tracy Arm excursion was amazing - Birdtravels has a great review).

If you want to sit and watch the scenery, Joy & Bliss will both have an amazing Observation Lounge, where you can watch in heated comfort or bring a coat and you will have your pick of seats on the Waterfront 

 

We have already done Alaska once, Aug/Sept 2009 on the RCL Radiance. We did the Vancouver to Seward trip and had perfect weather-we were very lucky. I am ok with seeing it for a 2nd time, maybe not as in depth...but wanted to go again on a "cool" ship and this time in July. I liked the addition of Victoria and going out of Seattle. (have never been there). So that is kind of why I was interested in the ship. 

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11 hours ago, Choozin Croozin said:

I'm sorry, I tried to do a search and I am just not finding what I am looking for. Thinking about taking the Joy next year in Alaska. I have sailed RCCL many times, and have not been on NCL since 1994. I am looking for pros and cons, what you liked the best, hidden gems, etc on the Joy. I am comparing this to the RCL Ovation and don't know which to choose. The Joy looks awfully intriguing but when you're used to one line for so many years, it's hard to make that switch. With that being said though, I have been dying to try some of NCL's newer ships. Was hoping this one had the Margaritaville, but don't need to go on a cruise for that. LOL  Thank you in advance for all your help. BTW, we are senior aged, old. lol

They Joy was configured specifically for China. Much of that Asian-specific design will be removed during a $50M refit to "Americanize" the ship and configure it very similar to her sister ship the Bliss. The first look at the "new" Joy will be in April 2019 when she set sail for Alaska.

 

For a comparative example, the Joy and the Bliss are similar to a Quantum class ship with 4000 passengers. Like a Quantum class ship, you'll need to book reservations for the two main theater shows and any specialty dining in advance (exactly 120 days prior to your cruise). 

 

Examples of the brand new Bliss as she sailed to Alaska can be found on our live post 

 

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If you haven't cruised NCL in quite some time, I'm not sure what you will think of the entertainment on the NCL's ships compared to RCCL.  Our last cruises were on NCL Getaway & Breakaway and have an upcoming cruise on the Escape in January, but after we take that cruise we will be going back to RCCL due to the entertainment.  It is my "personal" opinion is that NCL does have an edge on the food, but I don't think that any cruise line can beat RCCL's entertainment, and that is very important to us.  Many years ago we cruised the Hawaiian Islands on NCL Prid,e of America and although we loved the itinerary, we were not happy with anything else on the ship (food, entertainment or service).  We decided to give NCL another chance approximately 8 years later and went on a 7 night cruise on the Getaway out of Miami and really enjoyed our cruise, loved the food especially.  We are from PA, so we decided to book a 14 nighter on the Breakaway out of NYC, and were really disappointed  in the lack and quality of entertainment for a 14 day cruise.  We are going to give the Escape a try, being that we really prefer driving to port, and it being more convenient, so fingers crossed that they will have more of a variety on this cruise ship.  I guess we were just spoiled by the fantastic ice, aqua, theater & Broadway shows, even the comedians and other entertainment that is picked up at various ports throughout the cruise are top notch on RCCL.  Don't get me wrong, NCL may be a great fit for lots of folks, you may love it, but it's just not for us.  We really miss the 70 & 80 dance party nights, promenade parades, the flowrider,  I Fly,  quest, pool side contests, etc.  They just make cruising so much more fun, if that's your thing.  You mentioned you are senior aged, (old),  well my husband is 65 & retired and I am 57 and although we don't always participate in all of the "fun stuff" on RCCL, we enjoy watching others, if it's something we can no longer do,(eg, flowrider-my husband had a shoulder replacement and I have a bad knee).  I guess for us, we needed the change, to appreciate what we obviously were taking for granted.  Wishing you a great cruise on whichever ship you decide to go on.  Oh and by the way, you will love Alaska, we did an 8 day tour on our own before doing a 7 day cruise on Princess and it has been our favorite vacation so far.

 

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On 10/27/2018 at 1:22 AM, bren61 said:

If you haven't cruised NCL in quite some time, I'm not sure what you will think of the entertainment on the NCL's ships compared to RCCL.  Our last cruises were on NCL Getaway & Breakaway and have an upcoming cruise on the Escape in January, but after we take that cruise we will be going back to RCCL due to the entertainment.  It is my "personal" opinion is that NCL does have an edge on the food, but I don't think that any cruise line can beat RCCL's entertainment, and that is very important to us.  Many years ago we cruised the Hawaiian Islands on NCL Prid,e of America and although we loved the itinerary, we were not happy with anything else on the ship (food, entertainment or service).  We decided to give NCL another chance approximately 8 years later and went on a 7 night cruise on the Getaway out of Miami and really enjoyed our cruise, loved the food especially.  We are from PA, so we decided to book a 14 nighter on the Breakaway out of NYC, and were really disappointed  in the lack and quality of entertainment for a 14 day cruise.  We are going to give the Escape a try, being that we really prefer driving to port, and it being more convenient, so fingers crossed that they will have more of a variety on this cruise ship.  I guess we were just spoiled by the fantastic ice, aqua, theater & Broadway shows, even the comedians and other entertainment that is picked up at various ports throughout the cruise are top notch on RCCL.  Don't get me wrong, NCL may be a great fit for lots of folks, you may love it, but it's just not for us.  We really miss the 70 & 80 dance party nights, promenade parades, the flowrider,  I Fly,  quest, pool side contests, etc.  They just make cruising so much more fun, if that's your thing.  You mentioned you are senior aged, (old),  well my husband is 65 & retired and I am 57 and although we don't always participate in all of the "fun stuff" on RCCL, we enjoy watching others, if it's something we can no longer do,(eg, flowrider-my husband had a shoulder replacement and I have a bad knee).  I guess for us, we needed the change, to appreciate what we obviously were taking for granted.  Wishing you a great cruise on whichever ship you decide to go on.  Oh and by the way, you will love Alaska, we did an 8 day tour on our own before doing a 7 day cruise on Princess and it has been our favorite vacation so far.

 

Thank you for your honest opinion. I do appreciate that. We have not yet sailed on the Oasis class ships which I think has the really good entertainment. Some day maybe we will get there. We are going on the Navigator in April and pretty excited to see all the refurb. In the end we booked the Ovation. My husband made the decision. Because we are Diamond, he likes his cocktails in the evening and was a bit cheaper believe or not. I really do appreciate your views. Thank you and happy sailing!!

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On 10/26/2018 at 11:46 AM, FLAHAM said:

Am I correct that Joy will not have studio cabins even after its refurb?

 

NO Studio cabins and NO thermal suite.

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On 10/27/2018 at 12:22 AM, bren61 said:

If you haven't cruised NCL in quite some time, I'm not sure what you will think of the entertainment on the NCL's ships compared to RCCL.  Our last cruises were on NCL Getaway & Breakaway and have an upcoming cruise on the Escape in January, but after we take that cruise we will be going back to RCCL due to the entertainment.  It is my "personal" opinion is that NCL does have an edge on the food, but I don't think that any cruise line can beat RCCL's entertainment, and that is very important to us.  Many years ago we cruised the Hawaiian Islands on NCL Prid,e of America and although we loved the itinerary, we were not happy with anything else on the ship (food, entertainment or service).  We decided to give NCL another chance approximately 8 years later and went on a 7 night cruise on the Getaway out of Miami and really enjoyed our cruise, loved the food especially.  We are from PA, so we decided to book a 14 nighter on the Breakaway out of NYC, and were really disappointed  in the lack and quality of entertainment for a 14 day cruise.  We are going to give the Escape a try, being that we really prefer driving to port, and it being more convenient, so fingers crossed that they will have more of a variety on this cruise ship.  I guess we were just spoiled by the fantastic ice, aqua, theater & Broadway shows, even the comedians and other entertainment that is picked up at various ports throughout the cruise are top notch on RCCL.  Don't get me wrong, NCL may be a great fit for lots of folks, you may love it, but it's just not for us.  We really miss the 70 & 80 dance party nights, promenade parades, the flowrider,  I Fly,  quest, pool side contests, etc.  They just make cruising so much more fun, if that's your thing.  You mentioned you are senior aged, (old),  well my husband is 65 & retired and I am 57 and although we don't always participate in all of the "fun stuff" on RCCL, we enjoy watching others, if it's something we can no longer do,(eg, flowrider-my husband had a shoulder replacement and I have a bad knee).  I guess for us, we needed the change, to appreciate what we obviously were taking for granted.  Wishing you a great cruise on whichever ship you decide to go on.  Oh and by the way, you will love Alaska, we did an 8 day tour on our own before doing a 7 day cruise on Princess and it has been our favorite vacation so far.

 

 

Interesting...  7 NCL cruises and no complaints at all about the variety of the entreatment on the 6 different ships we've been on.

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