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Joy Reviews aren't great


hondar
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21 minutes ago, Defhermit said:

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.

Nail meet Head... you're so darn close to what I'm feeling. I love cruising and while each may not be perfect, I always find a way to have a fab. time and meet fab. fellow pax... what is it that prevents others from doing the same? Is it really attitude? 

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A very similar thread was posted last week about terrible reviews about the Joy.  I was curious so I pulled up the Joy's reviews on CC and read them.  This is going off memory of what I posted last week but here it goes.

I read the reviews that rated Joy one or two stars = terrible.  In each review I was curious and prepared to read and be convinced of a terrible ship experience.  I will even give them the benefit of the doubt and believe EVERY word they say.

One reviewer's major complaint was the entrée stated it came with waffle fries but regular fries were sent instead.  Another one had an issue with their maiden name vs married name boarding the ship.  Not sure what that had to do with NCL.  Another review complained about a slow and disorganized disembarkation.  That is usually the fault of customs, not the cruise line.  Another terrible review complained how they never could use the top deck because it was too cold so they missed out on the opportunities.  Imagine that.....cold weather in Alaska.  There were also complaints about long waits for elevators and food.  I believe them.  When you sail one of the largest cruise ships in the world with over 4000+ passengers, its very common to have to wait for elevators or food.  IMHO, if I complained about cold weather in Alaska, regular fries instead of waffle fries, a disorganized disembarkation, and waiting for elevators, I would consider it the most successful cruise ever.

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OP, I sailed on the Joy on May 11-18, and overall, I had a good time. It's true -- service is slow (one dinner clocked in at 2.5 hours in the MDR), and food sometimes came out cold. I didn't have problems getting drinks, for the most part (I had the package). I'd  just avoid the atrium bar, which is usually crowded during activity times. (I found the Sugarcane to also be slow). The bars at Maltings, District Brewhouse and The Local were much better. 

 

I didn't book anything pre-cruise (including excursions) and was able to get into everything I wanted to see or do. "Elements" was amazing. "Footloose" was OK. I skipped the specialities this cruise but I had several meals at The Local that I enjoyed.

 

The late-night parties were a lot of fun, as were the game shows in the atrium. Dan Dan (the cruise director) and Jody (his assistant) were very present on the ship. The staff was very friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

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I am on the Joy June 15th. I’ve read the negative reviews, and I’ve lurked at the reponses to every complaint by the NCL apologists. 

 

I’d say take it all with a grain of salt. Somewhere in the middle is the truth. Most of the complaints I’ve read don’t seem like things that wouldn’t happen on any large cruise ship made for the masses. My last cruise was on the Escape. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but nothing was so bad that I didn’t want to sail NCL again or that I would give it an overall bad score. I mean the buffet was crowded. The elevators could be crowded. The ship was just, well, crowded. It’s big and crowded and has a ton of “moving parts”, and it is full of the types of flaws that occur when places are big and crowded and made of a lot of moving parts. 

 

It should not take 2.5 hours to eat, you shouldn’t have to camp out for buffet seating and food shouldn’t be cold. Those are the types of kinks that should be prioritized because we pay for decent service and a better than Applebee’s experience. These are likely growing pains and hopefully those are fixed ASAP. However, this isn’t a high end or an intimate cruising experience, and sometimes it feels like some of the reviews expect the Joy or those ships like her to be something they are not and never can be. 

Edited by careyayn22
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3 minutes ago, careyayn22 said:

I am on the Joy June 15th. I’ve read the negative reviews, and I’ve lurked at the reponses to every complaint by the NCL apologists. 

 

I’d say take it all with a grain of salt. Somewhere in the middle is the truth. Most of the complaints I’ve read don’t seem like things that wouldn’t happen on any large cruise ship made for the masses. My last cruise was on the Escape. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but nothing was so bad that I didn’t want to sail NCL again or that I would give it an overall bad score. I mean the buffet was crowded. The elevators could be crowded. The ship was just, well, crowded. It’s big and crowded and has a ton of “moving parts”, and it is full of the types of flaws that occur when places are big and crowded and made of a lot of moving parts. 

 

It should not take 2.5 hours to eat, you shouldn’t have to camp out for buffet seating and food shouldn’t be cold. Those are the types of kinks that should be prioritized because we pay for decent service and a better than Applebee’s experience. These are likely growing pains and hopefully those are fixed ASAP. However, this isn’t a high end or an intimate cruising experience, and sometimes it feels like some of the reviews expect the Joy those like her to be something they are not and never can be. 

The meal wait times in the MDR and restaurants is a fair criticism.  Read a ton of issues even on the reviews that praise Bliss and Joy.  Even NCL cheerleaders were surprised and curious why dining takes so long with NCL.  I think that is a fair and common criticism that has appeared on new NCL ships.  I take the reviews at their word but if you give a ship one or two stars there should be something more than frustration at the length of time to finish dinner.

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Thanks for all of the responses and thanks for not too many flames!  We are absolutely excited and plan on making the most of our cruise.  Glad to hear there are others who love NCL and hopefully some of the kinks will be worked out of the Joy by Saturday.  I will definitely post updates and a final review.

 

I particularly loved the idea of getting food at the lido and bringing it down to the Observation Deck to avoid the hassle of trying to find a table.

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When we cruised on the Star to Mexico last December Cagney's was practically inedible. 


We found the star cagney's to be one of our worst speciciatly dining experiences ever. They didnt even refill our water after many requests. This was March 2018. But the jewel and POA have been fantastic. Hoping the joy will be on par with those.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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18 hours ago, hondar said:

😕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!

Remember a few things: 1-wrinkles have to be ironed out. This is the same with new ships or in this case, newly refurbished and new to the market. 2-when people are upset they want the world to know, when people are satisfied they often do not go out of their way to let us know, as we all expect things to go well 

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11 hours ago, graphicguy said:

Read the review Cruise Critic wrote.  They liked the Joy, IIRC.  The others?  I usually rely on my own experiences, regardless of cruise line.  Those impressions never fail me.

 

CC gave it 4 out of 5, which is not great given that the lowest NCL rating was 3.5 for the Sky.  Basically, the editor did not find “joy” in 20% of the ship/services.  

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38 minutes ago, Son of a son of a ... said:

 

CC gave it 4 out of 5, which is not great given that the lowest NCL rating was 3.5 for the Sky.  Basically, the editor did not find “joy” in 20% of the ship/services.  

 

Well,  that's ONE way to interpret 4 out of 5 stars...

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48 minutes ago, Son of a son of a ... said:

 

CC gave it 4 out of 5, which is not great given that the lowest NCL rating was 3.5 for the Sky.  Basically, the editor did not find “joy” in 20% of the ship/services.  

 

... or you could actually READ the review, which is in no way a bad one at all:

 

notes from cruise critic's review of Joy (Dori Saltzman)

positive: 
'packed with engaging activities and spaces'
'gorgeous and serene Observation Lounge'
'so many of the activities onboard are sure to put a smile on your face'
'the crew are among the friendliest we've encountered at sea'

negative:
'be prepared for a variety of extra costs onboard' (Galaxy Pavilion and specialty dining)
'there are just two small pools to serve everyone onboard'
'pool deck is one of the oddest we've seen' (big space between 2 diagonally-opposed pools, wasted space)
'no spa thermal suite or relaxation room'

 

Don't be a hater.

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1 minute ago, Defhermit said:

 

... or you could actually READ the review, which is in no way a bad one at all:

 

notes from cruise critic's review of Joy (Dori Saltzman)

positive: 
'packed with engaging activities and spaces'
'gorgeous and serene Observation Lounge'
'so many of the activities onboard are sure to put a smile on your face'
'the crew are among the friendliest we've encountered at sea'

negative:
'be prepared for a variety of extra costs onboard' (Galaxy Pavilion and specialty dining)
'there are just two small pools to serve everyone onboard'
'pool deck is one of the oddest we've seen' (big space between 2 diagonally-opposed pools, wasted space)
'no spa thermal suite or relaxation room'

 

Don't be a hater.

 

Still only 4 of 5 stars ... one-half star better than the Sky.  OP wanted to know “why” the bad reviews ... even CC was not that over-joyed.  It was suppose to be a purpose built ship and now it has been repurposed.  This boondoggle will hang around NCL’s neck for awhile.

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1 minute ago, Son of a son of a ... said:

 

Still only 4 of 5 stars ... one-half star better than the Sky.  OP wanted to know “why” the bad reviews ... even CC was not that over-joyed.  It was suppose to be a purpose built ship and now it has been repurposed.  This boondoggle will hang around NCL’s neck for awhile.

 

you're being silly. it's a positive review.

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28 minutes ago, Defhermit said:

 

... or you could actually READ the review, which is in no way a bad one at all:

 

notes from cruise critic's review of Joy (Dori Saltzman)

positive: 
'packed with engaging activities and spaces'
'gorgeous and serene Observation Lounge'
'so many of the activities onboard are sure to put a smile on your face'
'the crew are among the friendliest we've encountered at sea'

negative:
'be prepared for a variety of extra costs onboard' (Galaxy Pavilion and specialty dining)
'there are just two small pools to serve everyone onboard'
'pool deck is one of the oddest we've seen' (big space between 2 diagonally-opposed pools, wasted space)
'no spa thermal suite or relaxation room'

 

Don't be a hater.

I read it as a positive review, too.  Some see what they want to see.

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15 hours ago, david_sobe said:

A very similar thread was posted last week about terrible reviews about the Joy.  I was curious so I pulled up the Joy's reviews on CC and read them.  This is going off memory of what I posted last week but here it goes.

I read the reviews that rated Joy one or two stars = terrible.  In each review I was curious and prepared to read and be convinced of a terrible ship experience.  I will even give them the benefit of the doubt and believe EVERY word they say.

One reviewer's major complaint was the entrée stated it came with waffle fries but regular fries were sent instead.  Another one had an issue with their maiden name vs married name boarding the ship.  Not sure what that had to do with NCL.  Another review complained about a slow and disorganized disembarkation.  That is usually the fault of customs, not the cruise line.  Another terrible review complained how they never could use the top deck because it was too cold so they missed out on the opportunities.  Imagine that.....cold weather in Alaska.  There were also complaints about long waits for elevators and food.  I believe them.  When you sail one of the largest cruise ships in the world with over 4000+ passengers, its very common to have to wait for elevators or food.  IMHO, if I complained about cold weather in Alaska, regular fries instead of waffle fries, a disorganized disembarkation, and waiting for elevators, I would consider it the most successful cruise ever.

I always make a point to ignore 1 and 5 star reviews and really only focus on the 2, 3, and 4 reviews, with a heavy lean toward the one that has the higher volume.  The reason is, a wise person once told me that a good review can always say something that went well, even if the person hated it, and can always find something to critique, even if the person absolutely loved it.  A review that only trashes something, or a review that only glows about it are equally worthless and don't actually help the reader and only serves as an emotional and not factual review. 

 

Its better to focus on the reviews that can balance the good and bad to get a better idea of what you can actually expect, and make judgement on what you would actually care about.

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This reminds me of when I booked our first cruise, which just happened to be Epic in its first season in the Med. When I came here for more information there was a flurry of negativity: "Smoky casino!", "Nickel and diming!", "Omigod! Transparent bathrooms!!" After reading several, I realized that the stuff they were complaining about didn't matter too much to me, nor affect what I expected from a Mediterranean cruise, so we went and had the time of our lives! (Even though I had a devil of a time getting a good cup of coffee that week! 😛)

 

So OP--take it with a grain of salt, evaluate whether it really truly is a "make or break" issue for you and yours, and embark with a happy, go with the flow attitude. All three of our prior cruises have been "tainted" with some inconvenience or imperfection (you can read my reviews and look for those things if you want), but the positives have ALWAYS outweighed the negatives--even when I ended up in a shoulder immobilizer for half of a Caribbean cruise! We haven't cruised since 2015, but my 17 year old asked when we could again, and specifically requested to cruise as his senior Spring Break vacation--so looking forward to Joy 2020!

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3 hours ago, Defhermit said:

 

... or you could actually READ the review, which is in no way a bad one at all:

 

notes from cruise critic's review of Joy (Dori Saltzman)

positive: 
'packed with engaging activities and spaces'
'gorgeous and serene Observation Lounge'
'so many of the activities onboard are sure to put a smile on your face'
'the crew are among the friendliest we've encountered at sea'

negative:
'be prepared for a variety of extra costs onboard' (Galaxy Pavilion and specialty dining)
'there are just two small pools to serve everyone onboard'
'pool deck is one of the oddest we've seen' (big space between 2 diagonally-opposed pools, wasted space)
'no spa thermal suite or relaxation room'

 

Don't be a hater.

I read this as a mostly positive review.  It isn't a raving review, but it is generally positive.  I really am not a cruising expert, but I have read and experienced enough to know that ALL of the NCL ships have extra charges for speciality dinning and all or most nickel and dime for extras; I was on the Escape and I was surprised about the lack of pools.  I had only cruised Princess before and they had a lot more and larger pool options, so I am assuming this is pretty standard for NCL; the odd pool design is due to the Asian market design of allowing for more "green" areas and less pool/sunbathing and probably could not be redesigned but I think should have been if possible; I am sure the thermal spa also had to do with the previous market as well....this is probably the most legit and specific to the Joy complaint.  

So, CC said it was perfectly fine, but has a couple of flaws unique to this ship.  Meh. Again, just sounds like all mass market ginormous ships to me.  

Maybe I will hate it, but I am thinking it will be very similar to my Escape experience with NCL.  A lot of good, some minor annoyances.

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On 5/21/2019 at 8:09 PM, perditax said:

Cruises cost a lot of money. No one should be shamed out of being an informed consumer. It’s a corporation, not a church. Blind faith not required.

You are right but also you have to remember to take these reviews with a grain of salt as some people are better at bitching than complimenting. We always expect to have a good time. Thus, unless the experience is mind blowing, we often just say; oh we had a good time and let it go. We don't even bother to do a review, but if things do not go as planned we want the world to know. We often and this is human nature, over do the negatives. It isn't always the intention, just happens as we get carried away and start nit picking.Reading reviews doesn't always make us informed consumers. Think of a movie you may have seen that had some bad reviews and you ended up loving it or a book you read that got negatives and you enjoyed it. 

 

Beardface is right, ignore the 5 star and the 1 star reviews.  

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Based on the title to this thread I took a look at some of the reviews for the JOY.  Saw some people loved it, and some didn't, which isn't unusual for any cruise.  Looked also at some of the reasons why some didn't like it.....quick run down...

 

-Cagney's was good but someone complained they were late getting their baked potato.  Same people also complained they didn't like the Elements show.  Another reviewer found Elements fantastic (go figure!).

-Couldn't find any other shows outside of the two main shows.  Apparently they couldn't find the Comedy Club, nor the Cavern Club, etc.

-Another complained about announcements not being piped into their cabin.  Personally, I consider this a HUGE positive.  I've been on cruises where every little mundane announcement was piped into the cabin.  It was not fun.

-Another person complained that their flight had changed and the airline lost some of their luggage after putting tags on them the last night of the cruise.  Trying to figure how NCL was at fault, there.

-One person complained that they couldn't book a specialty restaurant.  Not sure why.  There are plenty of ways to do that, and you can even go to customer service where there is one person available who does nothing but that.  Or, go to the restaurant to book.  Or, go to the kiosks to book.  Or................

-Another complained that they had to sit at the restaurant 5 mins before getting water.  I had to read that one twice to make sure I read it correctly.

-One family who had smokers aboard were irritated that the Cigar Lounge kicked out the cigarette smokers (hint....it's a Cigar Lounge).  They also complained about how the smokers were inconvenienced to find places to smoke.  NCL is moving pretty aggressively to severely restrict smoking places and areas to smoke.  You'll either like that, or you won't.  Smokers won't.  Non-smokers will.

-Disembarkation was an issue as there weren't enough agents to move you through the disembarkation process.  That's not an NCL "thing".  That's a lack of having enough personnel at customs.

-The one complaint I'll agree with is the difficulty those who use strollers, scooters and walkers to get around the ship.  I've reviewed more than a few NCL ships.  If you HAVE TO HAVE a stroller, a scooter, or a walker to get around the ship, you will be frustrated.  Other lines do a much better job of accommodating those with strollers, walkers and scooters.

 

Hard to actually see how any of that would make for a bad cruise in my estimation.  Alaska itineraries may not be right for Joy, as that sailing has a lot of "older" folks who make that trek.  The entertainment offered, the little bit of patience needed, the lack of ease to get around with walkers and scooters....all of that points to a much older crowd that usually sails Alaska.

 

I'll get there.  I would love to sail JOY for that itinerary.  But, I'm probably not the typical Alaska cruiser.

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I’m with you guys the cruise is what you make it.  

 

Ill be on the Joy August 24th and I don’t think I’m a typical Alaska cruiser.   

 

Cruising solo mid 50’s.   Non drinker.  

 

Im so excited for this cruise.  Good or bad reviews.  

 

I booked a mini mini suite so I have a balcony to enjoy early mornings as I’m an early riser.

 

And I also want to take TONS of pictures and videos.   

 

You take every review with with a grain of salt and the person writing the review.   

 

93 days and counting.      

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I had a giggle at two different people who were saying Alaska was too cold, and hence the ship was no good.

Tip of the Day: Alaska can be cold.

We are from Seattle. Alaska is like North Seattle for us. If you look in one of the pools from August 31st onwards I guarantee you will see me and my kids in there. Say 'Hi' if you are walking past, but please don't complain that you are cold. If you see pale people walking around in shorts and t-shirts, it will probably be us.

 

If you do forget to take a jacket with you,  just follow the stampede of people off the ship in Ketchikan. They are running to the souvenir shop next to the ship to buy theirs. If you get a Starboard balcony it is quite amusing to watch.

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Don't laugh to hard but Ketchikan has been pretty good to us for coats!  I brought a coat with me and still bought one in Ketchikan!  Best $ 20.00 I spent on a winter "chore coat"  I have actually bought two in different years that we cruised to Alaska.  Now, hubby and I have a running joke going "its time to go get a new coat"  I am currently watching for a last minute cruise deal on the Joy for this summer!  If it gets to my "price point" we may take a last minute cruise and get new coats!

 

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