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Joy Reviews aren't great


hondar
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😕We're sailing on the 5/25 NCL Joy to Alaska.  The first review in these Boards looked pretty good.  However, I read the reviews in the actual Cruise Critic section and they were pretty bad.

 

Even though I've been on numerous cruises, this is my first NCL, and the largest ship I've been on.  I was a little worried when I booked, and reviews seem to be confirming that it's not up to par.

 

If anybody has seen the better side of the Joy, I would love to hear about it.  It's me and my daughter and two grandchildren, and we've spent a lot of money on this trip.  I hope we aren't disappointed....but there's nothing we can do now except hope for the best!

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I'd say it's like avoiding going to a brand-new restaurant for a few weeks so they can get the kinks out.  Hopefully by the time you get on board they'll have a better handle on things.

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I talked to many first time cruisers (or first time NCL) on the Joy and they were THRILLED - ship is beautiful, food and drinks available everywhere. Atrium shows were a fun distraction.

The bad reviews are from loyal NCL cruisers who know the crew were not as friendly or efficient as other NCL ships 

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I have only sailed NCL so cant compare with anyone else...We have sailed Europe, the Carribbean and have found its what we make it..We are scheduled for August 31 on the Joy to Alaska.  Looking forward to an exciting trip...I do my best to not listen to the critics.  I have read most of the reviews both positive and the negative ones as well..Never had a bad cruise. 

My only issue is there is so much to do on this ship and also being in Alaska i dont know how we will ever do it all..Dont listen to the naysayers go and enjoy it all. Let me know how it went when you get back.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy

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Most people are going to tell you to ignore reviews and that a cruise is all about having a good attitude. But NCL has some definite problems right now, and if you see the same issue repeatedly pop up in multiple reviews, it might actually be an issue. Just depends on how much a given thing bothers you.

Edited by perditax
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12 minutes ago, perditax said:

Most people are going to tell you to ignore reviews and that a cruise is all about having a good attitude. But NCL has some definite problems right now, and if you see the same issue repeatedly pop up in multiple reviews, it might actually be an issue. Just depends on how much a given thing bothers you.

What are the definite problems you refer to?

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21 minutes ago, Lupush said:

What are the definite problems you refer to?

 

Right now? I think the biggest issue driving most of the bad reviews is staff cutbacks (or maybe they are just unable to fill all their staffing needs). I've done about ten cruises on the big NCL ships in the last few years, and the decline in service across the board, even in that short time frame, has been pretty blatant. It drives things like 'no more towel animals', endless bad reviews about very long waits to get drinks at the most popular bars, dinners that take multiple hours.  And, in a sailing on BA last month, the filthiest buffet I've ever seen on NCL. Meaning: empty, dirty tables were not getting turned over so people could sit down. Abandoned glasses and plates were left at handwashing stations. Food spills on the buffet line were not cleared.

 

When I started sailing on NCL, in 2015 (four years ago next month), my room steward showed up to deliver my luggage and introduce himself on the first day. That was the last time that ever happened until I sailed in Haven. They don't have time for that kind of thing anymore. Even in Haven, our most basic requests (like "can I please get some tea bags" and "we don't need the afternoon canapes") were a struggle because everyone was buried with work. 

 

(By the way, I know that wasn't a real question, and that you would never agree with any answers I provided.)

Edited by perditax
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It was mentioned on the Getaway TA that NCL will be hiring something like 58,000 new employees in the next five years.  Their job opening list now is huge.  There are just not enough well-trained staff members for all of the ships, new and older.

 

One sign of perhaps unintended consequences. Multiple people, including me, noticed lipstick on our drink glasses on the Getaway.

I'm guessing that eliminating straws plus new "stay-put" lipstick technology has created a problem the dishwashing system can't handle.  There is no answer in the script for this problem apparently, so getting anyone to notice was difficult at best.

 

The fact that it is both a health hazard and just disgusting shouldn't need to be said. It happened much too often to be an anomaly. 

 

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I haven't seen these bad reviews.  I know Joy has just been refurbished for use in North America.  But, bad reviews?

 

I've been cruising NCL since the SS Norway.  There are somethings gone, but many more things added.  Never had an issue go unresolved once I brought it to their attention while on board.

 

Service is as good now as it was on the SS Norway.  Different people have different jobs and there has been some efficiencies added.  But, nothing I would consider bad service or poor execution.

 

Frankly, if I were sailing this weekend, I'd be ecstatic, not worried about some unknown person's review on an anonymous internet thread.

Edited by graphicguy
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At this point, good reviews or not, the OP  is sailing this weekend. There is no turning back. So why not put those bad reviews out of your mind and try to enjoy your trip? You will be on a cruise! The worst day on a cruise is still better than the best day at work. I think every new ship (which is what the Joy essentially is) goes through some growing pains in the beginning. Try to have an forgiving/flexible attitude and I am sure you can still have a great time.

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35 minutes ago, perditax said:

 

Right now? I think the biggest issue driving most of the bad reviews is staff cutbacks (or maybe they are just unable to fill all their staffing needs). I've done about ten cruises on the big NCL ships in the last few years, and the decline in service across the board, even in that short time frame, has been pretty blatant. It drives things like 'no more towel animals', endless bad reviews about very long waits to get drinks at the most popular bars, dinners that take multiple hours.  And, in a sailing on BA last month, the filthiest buffet I've ever seen on NCL. Meaning: empty, dirty tables were not getting turned over so people could sit down. Abandoned glasses and plates were left at handwashing stations. Food spills on the buffet line were not cleared.

 

When I started sailing on NCL, in 2015 (four years ago next month), my room steward showed up to deliver my luggage and introduce himself on the first day. That was the last time that ever happened until I sailed in Haven. They don't have time for that kind of thing anymore. Even in Haven, our most basic requests (like "can I please get some tea bags" and "we don't need the afternoon canapes") were a struggle because everyone was buried with work. 

 

(By the way, I know that wasn't a real question, and that you would never agree with any answers I provided.)

Actually it was a real question.  I asked because none of the issues you've had I've experienced on NCL.  Granted I don't eat at the buffet and rarely go to the crowded bars on the ship outside of the pool and sometimes the sports bar.  I was on Bliss in December and I found the service, cleanliness, and overall experience to be excellent.

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Just now, Lupush said:

 I asked because none of the issues you've had I've experienced on NCL.  

 

Sounds like you knew in advance that you wouldn't have experienced any of my issues, no matter what they were. 🙂

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8 minutes ago, perditax said:

 

Sounds like you knew in advance that you wouldn't have experienced any of my issues, no matter what they were. 🙂

I will say that my experience at Cagneys on the last 2 cruises I've been on has been horrible.  That is the only thing that has been glaring to me.  

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Just now, Lupush said:

I will say that my experience at Cagneys on the last 2 cruises I've been on has been horrible.  That is the only thing that has been glaring to me.  

We've always had a great experience at Cagney's on the Pearl and the Jewel--and looking forward to cruising on the Jewel again later this year.  What kind of issues have you had at Cagney's and were they recent...?  

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I’m on the Joy aug 24th.   OP please let us know how your cruise was after you return.  

 

Never been on NCL always been on Carnival smaller ships.   

So I’m excited for the nice newly remodeled Joy.   

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14 minutes ago, Yo Adrienne said:

We've always had a great experience at Cagney's on the Pearl and the Jewel--and looking forward to cruising on the Jewel again later this year.  What kind of issues have you had at Cagney's and were they recent...?  

 

When we cruised on the Star to Mexico last December Cagney's was practically inedible.  The pork belly app was shoe leather with uncooked fat on top- yuck!  And the 'filets' were actually very tough top sirloin.  And I use the term "top" loosely. 

 

We just got off the Dawn last Saturday and Cagney's was much, much better.  I've learned to avoid the filets because without a doubt, they are NOT filet mignon.  My husband got the Surf and Turf and didn't mind it, but I couldn't chew his steak to save my life.  I got the shrimp skewers and they were good, but a little overcooked.  When the maitre'd enquired I was honest but not complaining.  I saw him having a discussion with the cooks shortly thereafter.  Now that's good service!  At least they're trying.

 

So bottom line is, life is like a box of chocolates and grasshoppers should choose wisely.

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1 hour ago, Zippeedee said:

It was mentioned on the Getaway TA that NCL will be hiring something like 58,000 new employees in the next five years.  Their job opening list now is huge.  There are just not enough well-trained staff members for all of the ships, new and older.

 

 

I have to wonder if that huge number includes the employees they will need for the six Project Leonardo class ships they have on order from Fincantieri.  Based on the expected delivery dates, I would think it does.

Just as a comparison, I saw an article the other day that said there is an immediate need for over 250,000 truck drivers in the USA alone.

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40 minutes ago, Yo Adrienne said:

We've always had a great experience at Cagney's on the Pearl and the Jewel--and looking forward to cruising on the Jewel again later this year.  What kind of issues have you had at Cagney's and were they recent...?  

Service was slow.  Apps that were supposed to be hot came out cold (crab cakes), and cold came out warm (shrimp cocktail).  I agree with the poster who said that their filet is sirloin, I definitely agree with this.  I cook filet all the time and can tell in a second if it is a true filet cut or not.  Just overall my wife and I really used to look forward to that meal on the first and last nights of all of our cruises, now it's Ocean Blue for us.  That being said I do not let it ruin my time. Every cruise is going to have it's highs and lows, you just have to hope the highs are consistently better than the lows.

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1 hour ago, graphicguy said:

I haven't seen these bad reviews.  I know Joy has just been refurbished for use in North America.  But, bad reviews?

 

I've been cruising NCL since the SS Norway.  There are somethings gone, but many more things added.  Never had an issue go unresolved once I brought it to their attention while on board.

 

Service is as good now as it was on the SS Norway.  Different people have different jobs and there has been some efficiencies added.  But, nothing I would consider bad service or poor execution.

 

Frankly, if I were sailing this weekend, I'd be ecstatic, not worried about some unknown person's review on an anonymous internet thread.

 

If you want to see the bad reviews then all you need to do is go to the Cruise Critic ship reviews section.  The Joy has 18 reviews since coming over here and sailing to Alaska and I have only seen one good one out of the 18.  We are booked on the Joy in Dec. 2020 and I am thinking that they will have it straightened out by then 😂  I know, that does not help the OP but if I keep reading bad reviews all the way up until final payment, I might cancel but that is so far out.  I am thinking that it is because of all new staff and being here in the US.

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Does anyone who's read the reviews, think that some read pretty much the same and almost seem written by the same person or group of people?  I read a few, rarely do that but wanted to get a gist of what the OP was saying and was surprised at how similar some of wording, complaints and resultant overview of the cruise was? 

 

I read quite a few and then went back and reread some and felt like I was in a vortex, around and around.... dizzy...

I actually hope the reviews remain a bit uncertain as there's a cruise I'm looking to book in a Concierge Cat. and the prices might remain reseaonable ... I know I'm so selfish.. sorry 😉

 

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1 hour ago, All-ready2cruise said:

Does anyone who's read the reviews, think that some read pretty much the same and almost seem written by the same person or group of people?  I read a few, rarely do that but wanted to get a gist of what the OP was saying and was surprised at how similar some of wording, complaints and resultant overview of the cruise was? 

 

I read quite a few and then went back and reread some and felt like I was in a vortex, around and around.... dizzy...

I actually hope the reviews remain a bit uncertain as there's a cruise I'm looking to book in a Concierge Cat. and the prices might remain reseaonable ... I know I'm so selfish.. sorry 😉

 

It is easy to get swept up in the general sentiment of a roll call or FB group. Someone mentions something they didn't like, someone else remembers a similar incident and more pile on. It doesn't mean the bad stuff didn't happen, just that the group all illuminates the same issues.

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People love logging on here to tell us they had a "terrible" dinner at Cagney's because their baked potato arrived a couple of minutes after their steak. It seems like people refuse to ask for service from their waiters just so they can complain about how long it took. One reviewer claimed that they were done with their steaks before their baked potato came out. I find this hard to believe, unless the reviewer just started eating the steak without saying anything. It's a steak place! Baked potato basically comes with every order! They are baking potatoes constantly. If they brought your steak out and you didn't have your potato, I'd immediately say "where's the potato" to the person who brought it out and I guarantee a potato would be brought out to me in 1 minute.

 

I guess it's partly an age thing, but I feel that a lot of users here are more interested in being critics than enjoying their cruise. It's not cruiseenjoyers.com, right? Some people here are more inclined to not react in any way to servers ON their cruise just so they can complain about the service when they get back.

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