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Sadric

Currently on the Joy. My review so far.... UPDATED TODAY

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***Note*** If you read my previous post and dont want to retread the same ground skip down to the new part where I talk about Victoria

 

 

Written Day 5:

The NCL Joy is a large and pretty ship with copious features that will no doubt delight many people. Prior to departure, I had read many accounts of people’s journeys with the Joy post westernization and found many to be overly critical. Expectations should be managed. Nothing is perfect by any means but to condemn a brand new ship and crew based on one error shows flaws in expectations.

I write this on the last sea day. Victoria tomorrow followed by a return to Seattle. I write this review to highlight where this ships flaws are and where her strengths are.

Embarkation was a breeze at 11 am. We arrived and were in our cabin by 11:30. There was no discombobulation as many have reported. It was incredibly efficient and well done. Pier 66 is a bit hard to get to as the Streets of Seattle are not conducive to the volumes of people arriving at one location but inside the building, NCL handled the crowds with precision. The few problems I witnessed were with guests who did not have proper documentation which I lay on their shoulders not NCL.

The ship itself is an odd layout with multiple decks reserved for just cabins with no public space at all. Basically everything from Deck 9 – 14 is cabin territory with nothing else public except for the oddly placed medical center on Deck 13. There is ample deck space which was never utilized on this Alaska voyage. The cool weather was just too persistent. So why pools, slides, and a few bars were open up there, only the most intrepid of explorers wandered out and a few people who had an apparent total immunity to cold used the pools. I think the Government should take these people to research facilities for close study. Few really used the laser tag and the go karts. One major flaw on this ship is devoting so much deck space to this and mini golf. For the love of God, please put a sports court back on this ship. A basketball court that is free is a much better use of space for most people. The teenagers on this ship were aching for it. I had a 14 year old with me and he reported how disappointed everyone was. He used both the go carts and the laser tag once. A sports court would have been used consistently. The mini golf was never used and is no better than a putting green. Eliminate this!

 

Written Day 6

The atrium stays bizarrely crowded with no seating and consistent mayhem. Between people arguing , Dan Dan the Cruise Director shilling for Bingo, pre cruise consultations, the internet café, a great bar, and Starbucks there is a lot going on. I don’t understand why they don’t use Q or the theater more for the game shows and other things.  The Atrium is packed liked a clown car all the time while the rest of the ship remains largely unused. Basically a mom or someone with a family sets up camp in the morning in the chairs and never leaves. Refuse builds around them as the day progresses until at the end of the evening, they are largely buried under buffet plates and tall mocha frappacino double soy expresso frappe cups. You see small eyes periodically peer out from under the pile furtively glancing around for a glimpse of a free jewelry giveaway.

Speaking of the buffet, my knowledge here is limited and my few experiences were not the best. The buffet is a jabberwock of a setup. The dream of a mad man in a maze. I don’t understand the layout at all. It takes up a huge amount of Deck 16 while still managing to offer as little seating as possible. It is very confusing and rarely yields too many edible nuggets despite the volume of the offerings. Much is repeated at different areas and lines are crazy long. There is enough seating for maybe a family of 5 while most make the death march down one deck to the Observation lounge for additional seating wistfully looking around for a tray so that they might add a drink to their plates. At one point I very much was thinking about the scene in the Hobbit where the Dwarves invade Bilbo’s house eating everything in sight and sing wildly “Chip the glasses and crack the plates that’s what Bilbo Baggins Hates”!

 

The Observation Lounge on Deck 15 is HUGE and used nicely with a Starbucks, a bar, games and drink stations as well as evening light meal offerings from 10:30 PM to midnight. My favorite, the egg salad was very well done and reminiscent of a southern 4th of July Picnic sandwich lovingly made by your favorite grandmother. I liked this area in general and it would be better used as a place once in a while where you could go for a game show (rather than the atrium). Also a note…I never found either Starbucks to be crowded.

 

Now on to the entertainment. Footloose which is a movie I loved was not well executed. The primary problem is not the acting and singing which was all admirably well done but the source material itself which is thin and to continue the Hobbit reference felt like too little butter spread over too much bread. Again the cast did a lot with a little here but you just can’t shine dirt. I knew we were all in trouble about 30 minutes in. The first of the kids started to become restless and parents started breaking out games on phones for them. Across the theater little beacons of light started erupting all over the theater as if we all received breaking news at the same time. This was ok at first but after 45 minutes the first cries erupted followed by parents trying desperately too quiet them down. I didn’t know then but wish I did that we had over an hour left. Things really took off during the second diner scene an hour in. Parents started ushering their little crying treasures out of the theater never to return. They were the lucky ones. At 1 hour and 15 the drunks started leaving, either needing to use the restrooms or to get more drinks (they don’t serve them during the show and there is nowhere to get one). They also never returned no doubt finding solace in their drink packages. At 1 hour 30 it was pandemonium. This was what I call “The Exodus”, older folks mostly no longer able to sit for such a duration had to exit. It was just time. I don’t know why. It was like some universal unseen bell went off and en masse our elders left. I never saw many of them again. There is a science fiction book in there somewhere I just know it. Finally, at 1 hour 50 minutes as the last song was sung and the lights went on, the survivors were revealed. It looked like the Fields of Gettysburg in 1863. Those that were left were in some fashion wounded, no longer able to stand and pale as ghosts. We mostly sat stunned and withered waiting on Dan Dan the Cruise Director to release us with his healing powers.

 

Now that being said, Elements was awesome and at 50 minutes just the right length. This show rivals any cruise lines best attempts and even compares well with my favorite, Aladdin from DCL. It hit all the right notes and was well executed.

 

Ok back from Victoria and currently in the Delta Sky Club. Victoria was quite beautiful and we were there from 11:30 to 10 PM. All went well here. A 30 minute taxi to the Gardens and Back as well as a bit of touring downtown followed by a return to the ship.

As we returned to the ship, a bit of a shocking moment. The Holland America Eurodam was parked next to us. This ship brings some terrible memories back and my wife, son and I looked at it with terror in our hearts. You see, we had flown to Fort Lauderdale one sunny day back in January 6 2017. As we get our luggage at Carousel #3, a madman open fired on us. His name was Esteban Santiago. Everyone within 5 feet of us died. My son was missing (it was his 12th birthday that day and we lost track of him as we hit the ground… because dropping is what you do when you hear gunshots). The mad man circled us like a shark. As I dropped to the ground, a bullet zipped over my head hitting a 90 year old lady killing her within seconds.  Her and her husband were celebrating their 60th anniversary on that cruise. I kept thinking if I could find my boy I could throw him through the luggage flaps where it was safe behind the scenes but I could not find him. After killing 5 and injuring many others in a semi circle around us, we heard clicking….he ran out of bullets. At this point he gave himself over to authorities leaving pandemonium in his wake. My son had been crawling along the serpentine belt and we found him moments after the shooting stopped, the air filled with smoke and blood. The next 12 hours were total chaos with rumors of other shooters and passengers on our flight under guard. The shooting was about noon that day and finally we were released via bus to the port at 11 PM. Thousands of us descending to a place with no taxis. Ultimately they shut down the port leaving us dazed and confused. We had no luggage as it was confiscated by the FBI (I think) for blood splatter evidence. At 1 AM we walked from the port  not knowing how to get to our hotel. I had a few percentage points of battery left (due to the fact the FBI charged my phone when they duped it as I had video evidence of the shooting) and downloaded the Uber App whereby an Angel answered. As I blabbered into the phone, she said “you are close to a Walgreens, meet me there”. I met her. She was a large blond lady with a huge smile and kind eyes. We were all in a state of shock. We went in Walgreens and bought a few basics and she delivered us to our hotel at 2 AM. As a gift from God, there was oddly a slew of Baptist Ministers in the lobby on conference. They gathered us in their arms and prayed with us. A hellish day ending with prayer by men of God at a Westin at 2 in the morning on January 7, 2017. We decided to go ahead with the cruise not wanting to get back on a plane and bought some clothes at Wal-Mart the next day. The Eurodam had counselors on board and did their best but we were in a state of shock and the weather stayed grueling for the next week. Most never left their cabins and stayed seasick. This was a “vacation” we would never forget. I could go on about how we spent months still shocked and so forth but that was in the past and this Joy sailing was our first cruise since then so to see the Eurodam parked next to us was jarring to say the least.

You know, Im a bit tuckered out after writing that report on the shooting. Ill write more on the Joy later. We liked our cruise this time …all in.

Best to all.

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Sadric - Sorry to hear of your family's experience in the FT Lauderdale Airport on 01/06/17 & the memories the Holland America Eurodam brought back.  Hopefully your recent cruise reaffirmed joy into cruising & vacationing in general!!!

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I enjoyed the buffet on the Escape, Getaway, Breakaway, Epic, Jewel and Pearl.  Sorry to hear it isn't so good on the Joy.

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19 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

I enjoyed the buffet on the Escape, Getaway, Breakaway, Epic, Jewel and Pearl.  Sorry to hear it isn't so good on the Joy.

I was on the Joy 2 weeks ago, I thought the quality of the food, the variety and the service personnel was very good.  I never had a problem finding a spot to sit and if it seemed a little too busy or noisy for me I just took my food down one floor to the Observation Lounge.  No need to take your beverages they have coffee, tea, water and juices available in the Observation Lounge.  They serve a continental breakfast, light lunch, afternoon snacks and late evening snacks.

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I have read countless reviews and I have never read one like this one. You have tremendous writing talent. Thank you for sharing your story. 

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My heart ached while reading your story.  You are truly blessed.

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2 hours ago, EllieinNJ said:

My heart ached while reading your story.  You are truly blessed.

 

Just not blessed with paragraphs or spacing.  Had to give up after a few lines. 

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23 hours ago, Sadric said:

***Note*** If you read my previous post and dont want to retread the same ground skip down to the new part where I talk about Victoria

 

 

Written Day 5:

The NCL Joy is a large and pretty ship with copious features that will no doubt delight many people. Prior to departure, I had read many accounts of people’s journeys with the Joy post westernization and found many to be overly critical. Expectations should be managed. Nothing is perfect by any means but to condemn a brand new ship and crew based on one error shows flaws in expectations.

I write this on the last sea day. Victoria tomorrow followed by a return to Seattle. I write this review to highlight where this ships flaws are and where her strengths are.

Embarkation was a breeze at 11 am. We arrived and were in our cabin by 11:30. There was no discombobulation as many have reported. It was incredibly efficient and well done. Pier 66 is a bit hard to get to as the Streets of Seattle are not conducive to the volumes of people arriving at one location but inside the building, NCL handled the crowds with precision. The few problems I witnessed were with guests who did not have proper documentation which I lay on their shoulders not NCL.

The ship itself is an odd layout with multiple decks reserved for just cabins with no public space at all. Basically everything from Deck 9 – 14 is cabin territory with nothing else public except for the oddly placed medical center on Deck 13. There is ample deck space which was never utilized on this Alaska voyage. The cool weather was just too persistent. So why pools, slides, and a few bars were open up there, only the most intrepid of explorers wandered out and a few people who had an apparent total immunity to cold used the pools. I think the Government should take these people to research facilities for close study. Few really used the laser tag and the go karts. One major flaw on this ship is devoting so much deck space to this and mini golf. For the love of God, please put a sports court back on this ship. A basketball court that is free is a much better use of space for most people. The teenagers on this ship were aching for it. I had a 14 year old with me and he reported how disappointed everyone was. He used both the go carts and the laser tag once. A sports court would have been used consistently. The mini golf was never used and is no better than a putting green. Eliminate this!

 

Written Day 6

The atrium stays bizarrely crowded with no seating and consistent mayhem. Between people arguing , Dan Dan the Cruise Director shilling for Bingo, pre cruise consultations, the internet café, a great bar, and Starbucks there is a lot going on. I don’t understand why they don’t use Q or the theater more for the game shows and other things.  The Atrium is packed liked a clown car all the time while the rest of the ship remains largely unused. Basically a mom or someone with a family sets up camp in the morning in the chairs and never leaves. Refuse builds around them as the day progresses until at the end of the evening, they are largely buried under buffet plates and tall mocha frappacino double soy expresso frappe cups. You see small eyes periodically peer out from under the pile furtively glancing around for a glimpse of a free jewelry giveaway.

Speaking of the buffet, my knowledge here is limited and my few experiences were not the best. The buffet is a jabberwock of a setup. The dream of a mad man in a maze. I don’t understand the layout at all. It takes up a huge amount of Deck 16 while still managing to offer as little seating as possible. It is very confusing and rarely yields too many edible nuggets despite the volume of the offerings. Much is repeated at different areas and lines are crazy long. There is enough seating for maybe a family of 5 while most make the death march down one deck to the Observation lounge for additional seating wistfully looking around for a tray so that they might add a drink to their plates. At one point I very much was thinking about the scene in the Hobbit where the Dwarves invade Bilbo’s house eating everything in sight and sing wildly “Chip the glasses and crack the plates that’s what Bilbo Baggins Hates”!

 

The Observation Lounge on Deck 15 is HUGE and used nicely with a Starbucks, a bar, games and drink stations as well as evening light meal offerings from 10:30 PM to midnight. My favorite, the egg salad was very well done and reminiscent of a southern 4th of July Picnic sandwich lovingly made by your favorite grandmother. I liked this area in general and it would be better used as a place once in a while where you could go for a game show (rather than the atrium). Also a note…I never found either Starbucks to be crowded.

 

Now on to the entertainment. Footloose which is a movie I loved was not well executed. The primary problem is not the acting and singing which was all admirably well done but the source material itself which is thin and to continue the Hobbit reference felt like too little butter spread over too much bread. Again the cast did a lot with a little here but you just can’t shine dirt. I knew we were all in trouble about 30 minutes in. The first of the kids started to become restless and parents started breaking out games on phones for them. Across the theater little beacons of light started erupting all over the theater as if we all received breaking news at the same time. This was ok at first but after 45 minutes the first cries erupted followed by parents trying desperately too quiet them down. I didn’t know then but wish I did that we had over an hour left. Things really took off during the second diner scene an hour in. Parents started ushering their little crying treasures out of the theater never to return. They were the lucky ones. At 1 hour and 15 the drunks started leaving, either needing to use the restrooms or to get more drinks (they don’t serve them during the show and there is nowhere to get one). They also never returned no doubt finding solace in their drink packages. At 1 hour 30 it was pandemonium. This was what I call “The Exodus”, older folks mostly no longer able to sit for such a duration had to exit. It was just time. I don’t know why. It was like some universal unseen bell went off and en masse our elders left. I never saw many of them again. There is a science fiction book in there somewhere I just know it. Finally, at 1 hour 50 minutes as the last song was sung and the lights went on, the survivors were revealed. It looked like the Fields of Gettysburg in 1863. Those that were left were in some fashion wounded, no longer able to stand and pale as ghosts. We mostly sat stunned and withered waiting on Dan Dan the Cruise Director to release us with his healing powers.

 

Now that being said, Elements was awesome and at 50 minutes just the right length. This show rivals any cruise lines best attempts and even compares well with my favorite, Aladdin from DCL. It hit all the right notes and was well executed.

 

Ok back from Victoria and currently in the Delta Sky Club. Victoria was quite beautiful and we were there from 11:30 to 10 PM. All went well here. A 30 minute taxi to the Gardens and Back as well as a bit of touring downtown followed by a return to the ship.

As we returned to the ship, a bit of a shocking moment. The Holland America Eurodam was parked next to us. This ship brings some terrible memories back and my wife, son and I looked at it with terror in our hearts. You see, we had flown to Fort Lauderdale one sunny day back in January 6 2017. As we get our luggage at Carousel #3, a madman open fired on us. His name was Esteban Santiago. Everyone within 5 feet of us died. My son was missing (it was his 12th birthday that day and we lost track of him as we hit the ground… because dropping is what you do when you hear gunshots). The mad man circled us like a shark. As I dropped to the ground, a bullet zipped over my head hitting a 90 year old lady killing her within seconds.  Her and her husband were celebrating their 60th anniversary on that cruise. I kept thinking if I could find my boy I could throw him through the luggage flaps where it was safe behind the scenes but I could not find him. After killing 5 and injuring many others in a semi circle around us, we heard clicking….he ran out of bullets. At this point he gave himself over to authorities leaving pandemonium in his wake. My son had been crawling along the serpentine belt and we found him moments after the shooting stopped, the air filled with smoke and blood. The next 12 hours were total chaos with rumors of other shooters and passengers on our flight under guard. The shooting was about noon that day and finally we were released via bus to the port at 11 PM. Thousands of us descending to a place with no taxis. Ultimately they shut down the port leaving us dazed and confused. We had no luggage as it was confiscated by the FBI (I think) for blood splatter evidence. At 1 AM we walked from the port  not knowing how to get to our hotel. I had a few percentage points of battery left (due to the fact the FBI charged my phone when they duped it as I had video evidence of the shooting) and downloaded the Uber App whereby an Angel answered. As I blabbered into the phone, she said “you are close to a Walgreens, meet me there”. I met her. She was a large blond lady with a huge smile and kind eyes. We were all in a state of shock. We went in Walgreens and bought a few basics and she delivered us to our hotel at 2 AM. As a gift from God, there was oddly a slew of Baptist Ministers in the lobby on conference. They gathered us in their arms and prayed with us. A hellish day ending with prayer by men of God at a Westin at 2 in the morning on January 7, 2017. We decided to go ahead with the cruise not wanting to get back on a plane and bought some clothes at Wal-Mart the next day. The Eurodam had counselors on board and did their best but we were in a state of shock and the weather stayed grueling for the next week. Most never left their cabins and stayed seasick. This was a “vacation” we would never forget. I could go on about how we spent months still shocked and so forth but that was in the past and this Joy sailing was our first cruise since then so to see the Eurodam parked next to us was jarring to say the least.

You know, Im a bit tuckered out after writing that report on the shooting. Ill write more on the Joy later. We liked our cruise this time …all in.

Best to all.

What a horrific experience!  Glad you are here today!

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Sadric, We also plan to take a taxi from the port to Butchart Gardens.  Do you recall how much the fare was?

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55 Canadian

There are no Ubers etc in Victoria

ride was 30 minutes

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Can you use a Starbucks gift card for coffee? 

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Sadric:  my comments come in two different parts.  

First: loving your commentary on the Joy.   Your descriptions are wonderful, and as a mother of a boy who spends 90% awake time on a sports court on any cruise (other 10% is spend scarfing down food) I thank you for the heads up that the ship has no sports court.  I just kind of assumed they all did in this day and age.

Second: thank you for sharing your experience in 2017.   I can't even imagine.   I send you a cyber hug of empathy.   Wow.  Your words have left an indelible impression.   I am so sorry that your family experienced this.   I am glad you found the strength to move forward and travel again.  I don't know that I would be as strong.  Again, wow.

 

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did you notice if there was a seafood buffet and what night was it?

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25 minutes ago, coopster said:

did you notice if there was a seafood buffet and what night was it?

There is a seafood buffet, the second night.  This is from May 19th

02905717-1F79-4BF4-BCA0-35448720EF54.jpeg

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28 minutes ago, coopster said:

did you notice if there was a seafood buffet and what night was it?

29 minutes ago, coopster said:

I replied to your last nights query on the seafood buffet.

 

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3 minutes ago, adoris said:

I replied to your last nights query on the seafood buffet.

 

thank you i was just checking with other people also

 

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1 hour ago, coopster said:

thank you i was just checking with other people also

 

You’ve asked the same question 3 times now, YES, there is a seafood buffet on the second night!

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