Following a $50 million-plus makeover, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy arrived into Vancouver on Thursday, April 25, 2019. With her gleaming lotus blossom bow, the inaugural cruises mark the ship’s North American debut.
Norwegian Joy was launched in 2017 and built specifically for the Asian cruise market. The second in the Breakaway-Plus class and now sister ship to the 2018 Norwegian Bliss, the cruise ship just completed a massive overhaul, ready for her inaugural cruise season.
Changes were made to appeal to a more North American cruise passenger. Out with the dedicated Tea Rooms and in with pubs, cocktail lounges and an enlarged photo gallery. Asian specialty restaurants were replaced with Texas BBQ and separated main dining rooms.
Dining aboard the Norwegian Joy
It took a total of 1,750,000 hours to complete the Joy’s renovations. This 3,804-passenger cruise ship now boasts five complimentary dining venues.
Norwegian is known for offering their guests a wide range of specialty dining options and the Joy is no exception. Now you’ll find a total of nine specialty dining choices, all of which have a price tag attached. Luckily, none of the costs are excessive, especially if you compare to land prices.
The specialty restaurants include:
- Ocean Blue – Serving locally-sourced seafood and fish
- Teppanyaki – Japanese hibachi with entertaining chefs
- American Diner – Casual American comfort food
- Cagney’s Steakhouse – Norwegian’s signature steakhouse
- Food Republic – Small bites from around the world at à la carte prices
- La Cucina – Family-style Italian
- Le Bistro – Upscale French dining
- Q – Authentic Texas BBQ, complete with music and dancing
- Starbucks – Full service, sit-down venue
What’s new and upgraded aboard Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Joy was the first cruise ship to add a GoKart race track. During the refurbishment, the track was enhanced. There’s also Laser Tag, a 3-D virtual experience, mini-golf, and an expanded Aqua Park.
Music fans should not miss the Broadway-style production of the musical Footloose. The head over to the Cavern Club where a Beatles cover band entertains late into the night.
Norwegian Joy Itineraries
This year, Norwegian Joy cruises the Alaska Inside Passage, roundtrip from Seattle. Cruises begin May 4 and go through September.
The seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle will visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C.
Read next: What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise
After her Alaska season, there will be two back-to-back Panama Canal cruises from Los Angeles San Pedro port to Miami and back.
The ship will remain in Los Angeles for a season of Mexican Riviera cruises through Spring of 2020. After that, the ship will reposition back to Seattle and begin another season of cruises to Alaska.
When that’s over in late summer of 2020, Norwegian Joy will cut through the Panama Canal again but remain homeported in Miami for Caribbean cruising in winter.
And there’s more. Coming in summer on 2021, there’ll be a full summer of cruises to Bermuda from New York City. Plus…three Canada and New England cruises to close fall of 2021. That’s as far as the schedule goes at this time.
Meanwhile, I leave today on a three-day inaugural preview cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more insight and information on Norwegian Joy.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath… stop for a meal and a glass of wine along the way.