16 Things to Do on a Norwegian Joy Cruise

Find out about all the things to do during a Norwegian Joy cruise. Covering venues and stats about the Norwegian Cruise Line ship.

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Norwegian Cruise Line just recently brought its beautiful, luxurious Norwegian Joy cruise ship to the United States for the very first time. Now, as of 2019, you can sail this ship — which was previously based in China and known as one of the most premiere cruise ships in the industry, and underwent major changes during a dry dock before arriving in the United States — on select cruising itineraries on the West Coast.

These new itineraries include a seven-day voyage in Alaska (where Norwegian Joy replaces Norwegian Pearl as the cruise line’s third ship in the region, joining its sister ship, Norwegian Bliss).

The dry dock upgrades totaled $50 million in enhancements and brought the ship closer in amenities and attractions to those of Norwegian Bliss (which is the newest and most successful ship for Norwegian Cruise Line ever!).

Along with Norwegian Joy’s stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay, Icy Strait Point and Victoria, it will sail to Los Angeles, the Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal later on in the 2019 Winter.

Also Read: Best Ways to Enjoy Juneau, Alaska During a Cruise

“Norwegian Cruise Line expanded the Alaska cruise experience as the first line to sail to the state from Seattle over 24 years ago,” said Andy Stuart, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line, in a recent statement.  “I am extremely excited to further strengthen our presence in the region with the addition of Norwegian Joy, sister ship to Norwegian Bliss, the most successful ship in our 51 year history. With $50 million in enhancements, Norwegian Joy will be a welcome addition for guests looking to cruise on a world-class ship in one of the world’s most sought after destinations.”

Norwegian Joy can hold nearly 4,000 guests at double occupancy and has a crew of nearly 2,000, giving it a remarkable guest to crew ratio of nearly 2:1 (in other words, you can always expect someone to be able to help you, no matter where you happen to be on the ship).

Even though the ship was first built in 2017, as stated, it received upgrades this year, in keeping with Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to giving its passengers only the best in cruising experiences.

So, if you want to see this amazing ship for yourself, book one of the upcoming itineraries, which are on sale now. In the meantime, check out all the amazing things you can do onboard the Norwegian Joy, and start dreaming of your perfect cruise.

1. Race Around One of the World’s Only Cruise Ship Race Tracks

If you go up to Deck 19, you’ll find one of the only race tracks on a cruise ship in the world. How much cooler can it get? The race track is two levels and obviously offers awesome ocean views while you zip around in your own high-speed go-kart.

Cruise Ship Race Track
Photo Courtesy: NCL (Race Track)

Just watch out for those hairpin turns! The family can watch from the viewing platform as you race your fellow cruisers to the finish line.

2. See Things From a New Perspective

Can you say VR? Virtual reality is a big trend right now and Norwegian Joy brings that trend straight to your cruising experience. Just go to the Galaxy Pavilion and try out the multiple VR experiences that are yours for the choosing.

Whether you want to explore the ocean with the interactive video wall, or jump into your Star Wars cockpit for a thrilling ride or even jump from daring heights for some awesome hang-gliding, it’s all at your fingertips. The Galaxy Pavilion also offers the 7D Dark Ride, for a racing simulation that’ll leave your heart pounding.

3. Battle It Out

Having an argument with the fam? Battle it out with a no-holds-barred laser tag war on Deck 20. Norwegian Joy offers one of the best (if not the top) laser tag experiences at sea. Grab your gun and head aboard a sci-fi-worthy space ship to face off against your family and fellow cruisers in a battle of epic proportions.

4. Take a Turn on the Promenade

If you look back at the cruising experiences of yesteryear, you’ll see a common theme throughout — there are so many films showing wealthy, luxurious travelers taking a turn about the top deck, walking along arm in arm while enjoying the ocean views and the chatter of the crowds around them.

The Waterfront
Photo Courtesy: NCL

Now, Norwegian Joy offers a similar experience on the walkable promenade, The Waterfront. You get amazing views of the water and all the fresh air you could want as you walk around the side of the ship at a leisurely pace. Along the quarter-mile route are restaurants and bars, so you can stop for a bite or a drink if you so wish.

5. Enjoy Even Your In-Room Time

In some staterooms on some cruise ships, we get it — the space just isn’t enough or amenity-friendly enough to inspire you to stay in the room any longer than you have to. However, that’s not the case with the Norwegian Joy, especially when it comes to the Concierge Staterooms.

These wildly large staterooms offer two bedrooms, a virtual or real balcony, walk-in closets and access to your own concierge. It’s an amazing place to stay aboard a cruise ship.

6. Upgrade Your Experience

If you want even more luxury, though, we’ve got just the thing. Book a huge suite or villa within Norwegian Joy’s Haven. This space gives you private social spots like a pool, observation area, sundeck, hot tub and restaurant — all for Haven guests only — as well as 24-hour butler service.

The Haven
Photo Courtesy: NCL (The Haven)

Additionally, you get to skip all the on-board lines and are personally escorted any time you leave or board the ship. It doesn’t get any more luxurious than this!

7. Place Your Bets

Situated in 678 Ocean Place, the ship’s casino offers you loads of options to place your bets and try your luck. Whatever your favored game, you can find it, and for all skill levels. There are slot machines and table games aplenty, with budgets ranging from $5 to $5,000. So, if you have a few extra dollars in your pocket, come place your bets and see just how lucky you are.

8. Go for an Exciting Swim

Beyond the ship’s pools, there are also plenty of other ways to play in the water. The Aqua Park on Deck 16 offers you a double loop waterslide that goes out over the side of the ship, for a thrilling ride. The Aqua Racer is a fun way to challenge your family to see who’s the speediest.

Norwegian Joy Open Deck
Photo Courtesy: NCL (Open Deck)

Then, there’s a kid-friendly section of the Aqua Park that just provides water features suitable for the tiniest travelers in your bunch. The Aqua Park offers something for everyone, so it’s a space on the ship that the entire family can enjoy together.

9. Indulge in a Little Self Care

Self care is important, even when you’re on a cruise. For that reason, the Norwegian Joy offers you access to Pulse Fitness Centre, where you can use state-of-the-art fitness equipment that overlooks the ocean, or take multiple professional instructor-led classes. Try a little aerobics, attend a pilates class or just go for a speed walking session on the treadmill, while you enjoy the view.

After you work up a sweat, step into the shower and then step out into the Mandara Spa & Salon, one deck down. There are loads of spa treatments to choose from, including the signature hot stone massage. Treat yourself a little bit and then snuggle up in a fluffy robe with a soothing drink while you take in the spa’s ocean views.

10. See a Show

There are several different shows that you can catch while aboard Norwegian Joy. For starters, there’s Footloose, everyone’s musical favorite, that’s exclusively at sea on Norwegian Joy. Share this classic with your kids and you’ll find that everyone’s soon singing along.

Another musical that’s on tap is the Wine Lovers The Musical show, a hilarious musical comedy that’s served alongside a luscious lunch and glasses of wine, of course. If musicals aren’t really your thing, try a show that blends acrobatics, music and dance for a cirque-style experience. The ELEMENTS! show incorporates the themes of earth, air, water and fire for an unforgettable time.

11. Enjoy Some Classic Tunes

Shows aren’t the only entertainment that Norwegian Joy offers. You can also sit back and relax to some classic tunes in The Cavern Club.

Cavern Club
Photo Courtesy: NCL (Cavern Club)

This recreation of the Liverpool haunt where the Beatles once performed is headlined by none other than a Beatles cover band. Order a drink and let them take you back to a simpler time in history.

12. Enjoy a Laugh…Then the Dance Floor

You’ve heard of coffee-to-cocktails bars, but what about comedy-to-dance clubs? That’s just what you’ll find on Deck 6 when you go to the Social Comedy and Night Club.

Every evening starts with some talented stand-up comedians and loads of laughs, but then the club transforms into a bumping night club when a DJ comes out and starts spinning all your favorite tracks. The party goes on well into the night!

13. Shop ’Til You Drop

There are tons of shopping options for you to get your retail fix during a Norwegian Joy cruise when you go to Deck 8. You’ll find all your favorite luxury products, including jewelry, fashion, liquor, toiletries, designer cosmetics, perfumes and colognes, leather goods, souvenirs, watches and more.

Better yet, there are duty-free and tax-free shops, so you can shop knowing you’re getting a great deal. Expect all your favorite brands, from Estee Lauder to Chanel, Cartier to Dior.

14. Try All Your Dining Options

The complimentary dining options aboard Norwegian Joy are expansive. In The Manhattan Room, the cruise ship’s main dining room, try modern and classic menu items made with fresh ingredients.

In Savour Restaurant, try unique new dishes, with extensive options to choose from. At Taste, you’ll find a wide variety of cuisine and the menu changes daily, so you’ll never get bored. Each day, there are Chef’s Signature Dishes and wine recommendations, so you can make the best choice for your dinner.

Norwegian Joy The Local
Photo Courtesy: NCL (The Local)

For more low-key dining, try the Garden Cafe for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a view. At The Local, try 24-hour comfort food and pub fare, like chicken pot pie and fish n’ chips. This is also the spot to go if you want to catch your favorite game live on TV.

15. Splurge on Fine Dining

If you want to go a step further, beyond the complimentary dining options, you can splurge on some of the ship’s other paid dining. There are several fine dining selections to choose from. Ocean Blue is a seafood-lover’s paradise, with oceanside views. Teppanyaki is an authentic, Japanese hibachi grill, for a social experience that ends with a tasty dinner.

Cagney’s Steakhouse is an American-style classic, with cocktails and all your favorite indulgent sides. La Cucina transports you to the Italian countryside, for ocean views and classic Italian fare.

16. Kick Back With a Drink

There are plenty of spots aboard the Norwegian Joy to kick back with a tasty cocktail or beer, and each spot comes with its own unique atmosphere. In the Observation Lounge, the full-service bar provides 180-degrees panoramic views.

The Humidor Cigar Lounge gives you the upscale experience of smoking a world-class cigar while you sip your favorite whiskey. The Skyline bar offers bar-top poker screens. Mixx Bar is all about mixology and piano music. Plus, there are many bars by the various top deck pools, so you can indulge in a frosty drink while getting your tan on.

Also Read: 16 Reasons to Cruise on Norwegian Bliss

We’ll See You Aboard Norwegian Joy!

Need We Say More? Do we really need to give you any other reasons to take a cruise on the Norwegian Joy? With such a variety of awesome things to do on this ship, you’ll never be bored and you’ll find yourself asking —- When can we can take another cruise?

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddlehttps://hollyriddle.org/
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.


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