Norwegian Joy

Norwegian Joy Review and Specifications

Specifications of Norwegian Joy

Year built2017  /  Age : 1
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Building costEUR 700 million (USD 920 million)
Owner(NCLH) Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd
Operator(NCL) Norwegian Cruise Line
Speed23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph
Length (LOA)326 m / 1070 ft
Beam (width)42 m / 138 ft
Gross Tonnage167400 gt
Passengers3850 - 4620
Passengers-to-space ratio36
Decks with cabins11
Last Refurbishment2019
Former namesNorwegian Bliss
Christened byWang Leehom

Review of Norwegian Joy

Launched in 2017, Norwegian Joy cruise ship (ordered as "Norwegian Bliss") is the 2nd of all four Breakaway Plus-class NCL vessels – together with the sisterships Norwegian Escape (2015), Norwegian Bliss (2018) and Norwegian Encore (2019). This class ships are approx 7,000 GT larger in comparison to the company's second biggest vessel Norwegian Epic.

History - construction and ownership

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is a subsidiary company of the shipping corporation Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH). NCL was founded in 1966, headquartered in Miami (Florida USA) and publicly traded (NASDAQ) company listed on NYSE (NYC). NCLH's major shareholders are the corporations Apollo Global Management (American), Genting Group (Malaysian) and TPG Capital (American). In 2017, the brand NCL had worldwide cruise market share 8,7% (passengers) and 8,4% (revenue). NCLH (shipowner) owns the brands NCL, Oceania and RSSC (Regent).

NCL Norwegian Joy cruise ship

The 163,000-ton, 5,400-passenger cruise ship Norwegian Joy was built by Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany). The newest of the NCL ships entered service for Norwegian Cruise Lines from 2017. The first name of the ship (Bliss) was selected in a USA TODAY contest. Norwegian Cruise Line largest and newest ships to date, weigh 163,000 GT each. The Joy ship boasts the innovative features found on Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway, as well as a number of new interactive experiences.

The NCL Joy ship was ordered in 2014. The construction (under the name Norwegian Bliss) began on September 16, 2015. On October 12, 2015 it was announced that Bliss would be renamed and designed specifically for Chinese cruising market. On February 29, 2016 (leap year) the new name “Norwegian Joy” was officially announced. The name translates into "Xi Yue Hao" (Chinese glyphs 喜悦号).

The Breakaway Plus-class NCL ship Joy features food and onboard experiences catering for the preferences of Chinese holidaymakers. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) also features a different name in China - Nuo Wei Zhen, meaning "Promising, Exclusive and Authentic". The translation of "Bliss" into Chinese doesn't have positive connotations, hence the name change.

Cruise itinerary program

Norwegian Joy itinerary program is based on cruises in Asia with roundtrip departures from homeports in China (Shanghai and Tianjin). The ship's "Inaugural Cruise" (roundtrip from Shanghai) was on June 27, 2017.

NCL Joy's 2018 itinerary program also included one 3-night Cruise to Nowhere (on Feb 19) and short-break itineraries (4- and 5-night) visiting exclusively ports in Japan (Fukuoka-Hakata, Nagasaki, Kumamoto-Yatsushiro, Hiroshima, Kochi). Most 4-night itineraries include only one port of call. In 2018, the ship had scheduled a total of 87 roundtrip cruises leaving from China.

  • Starting 2019, NCL Joy will operate seasonally on cruises in Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal. In April 2019, the ship repositions from Shanghai to Seattle for 7-day Alaskan cruise program. NCL Joy replaces in Alaska Norwegian Pearl and joins there the fleetmates NCL Bliss and NCL Jewel. Before the inaugural USA (Alaska) season, Norwegian will undergo an USD 50 million drydock upgrade to become virtually identical to sistership Norwegian Bliss - NCL's most successful liner ever.
  • After Alaska 2019 season, NCL Joy repositions to Los Angeles for Panama Canal and Mexican Riviera itineraries (winter 2019-2020).


Most Norwegian Joy staterooms are 170-sq.foot Balcony rooms (1168). There are a total of 2206 staterooms in 42 categories. 47 are the wheelchair accessible rooms. The largest aboard Norwegian Joy are the Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites (900 ft2).

Compared to the "old” now Breakaway-class NCL ships (Getaway and Breakaway), the total number of Joy' Haven suites is almost doubled. There are total of 95 Suite accommodations, including two Owner’s Suites (featuring two balconies each). The Studio area (cruise rooms and lounge area for solo travelers exclusively /keycard-only accessible) has only single occupancy cabins. There are total of 82 solo cabins. In comparison, the NCL Getaway and Breakaway ships have 59 each.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Norwegian Cruise Line provides passengers the freedom to savor gourmet dishes, various tastes and the flexibility to choose the number of courses to enjoy during the meal. On Norwegian Joy guests can choose between 11 complimentary dining options. They can also experience new flavors at signature specialty restaurants, such as Le Bistro, La Cucina, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Bayamo by James Beard Award winning chef Jose Garces. Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants feature enhanced menus including favorite dishes and new tastes. Whether passengers prefer a light meal of a favorite soup or appetizer, or indulge in a dinner featuring Maine lobster, with the new à la carte options, they have the opportunity to create their own, desired dining experience.

Follows the complete list of Norwegian Joy restaurants and food bars.

  • Private Room at Taste (100-seat, group private dining venue)
  • Savor Restaurant (forward Dining Room, complimentary)
  • Taste Restaurant (forward Dining Room, complimentary, with Your Time dining)
  • Le Bistro (French specialty dinner-only restaurant; reservations-only; US$20 cover charge)
  • Teppanyaki (Japanese Hibachi specialty, reservations-only restaurant; US$25; open for Lunch and Dinner; features live cooking demonstrations)
  • MDR (aft-location Dining Room; complimentary; Freestyle dining, Dinner only)
  • O’Sheehan’s Neighbourhood Bar & Grill (sports bar, with 24-hour American cuisine - burgers, steaks, desserts; complimentary)
  • Shanghai’s Noodle Bar (Asian cuisine complimentary restaurant inside O’Sheehan’s Pub area)
  • Food Republic (via partnership with Pubbelly Restaurant Group; specialty restaurant open for lunch through dinner, offers international cuisine; iPad ordering system)
  • Pincho Tapas Bar (Latin dishes)
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse (specialty dinner restaurant for prime steaks and gourmet seafood specialties; reservations-only, US$30 cover charge per person and free Kids Menu)
  • Moderno Churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse; reservations-only; US$20 per person cover charge; with outdoor seating waterfront area)
  • La Cucina (Italian specialty restaurant; reservations-only, US$15 cover charge; with outdoor seating waterfront area)
  • Sakura & Hibiscus (Korean hot pot restaurant; Korean barbecuef)
  • Manhattan Room (Chinese cuisine and Western-style classics)
  • Neptune's (seafood restaurant; a buffet of fresh seafood and an a la carte menu)
  • Bayamo Restaurant (Cuban/Latin seafood restaurant)
  • Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville At Sea (complimentary fast food restaurant)
  • Breezeway Grill (casual dining)
  • Garden Cafe (complimentary buffet restaurant with various cuisine stations).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The new 4,200-passenger NCL Joy features an expanded Haven – the line’s concept “ship within a ship”. This space (accessible only by keycard) boasts an outdoor terrace, private restaurant, courtyard area with retractable roof pool, whirlpools, spa treatment rooms, separate sauna, private sundeck. Among the other features are the “678 Ocean Place” (spanning on 3 decks, with an amazing live entertainment in the evenings, several bars and alternative dining places), big-capacity water slides and a ropes course (both facilities catering to families).

NCL Joy is the world's first ever cruise ship with a Ferrari racetrack (deck 19). The facility is built by RiMO Supply (RiMO Germany Group) and operated via partnership with Scuderia Ferrari Watches. This is also the first ever branded Formula 1 race car track.

  • The 2-level track spans on 2 decks and offers incredible seaviews at height of 60 m (200 ft). It has capacity up to 10 racers at a time on electric go-karts (Ferrari branded).
  • The GoCars can reach speeds up to 40 mph (65 kph). In comparison to the sister-ship Norwegian Bliss, Joy's racetrack is 20% smaller and has 8 turns. Bliss has 10, two of which are cantilevered over the ship's side.
  • Unlimited go-kart rides (weekly pass) costs USD 100 pp (offered on all 7-day-cruise itineraries). Day passes cost USD 30 pp. A single run costs USD 10 pp. Unlimited pass passengers access the race track via separate (shorter) queue line.
  • Passengers booked in Concierge and The Haven staterooms enjoy complimentary rides with bookings. The used by RiMO technology ensures optimal usage under intensified UV conditions and saltwater exposure.

Other stand-out features include an open-air laser tag course, multi-story water slides, hovercraft bumper cars, and the line’s biggest-ever upscale shopping venue.

NCL Norwegian Joy cruise ship waterslide

Follows the complete list of Norwegian Joy lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Bliss/Joy Theatre (800-seat; features Broadway-style musical productions; two grand-shows per night)
  • Atrium (3-deck midship hub area - “678 Ocean Place”, with a big-size LED screen, dance area and live entertainment)
  • Atrium Cafe & Bar (specialty tea & coffee bar)
  • Headliners Comedy Club & Lounge
  • The Library; Card Room; Internet Cafe (24-hour)
  • Mixx Bar (live piano music; pre-dinner cocktails); Bar 21; 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar; Tobacco Road Liquor Bar; The Humidor (cigar lounge); The Cellars Wine Bar; Sugarcane Mojito Bar; Prime Meridian Bar; Studio Lounge
  • Carlo’s Bake Shop (cakes, pastries, bakeries; cupcake classes)
  • Grand Tea Room (high-end Chinese loose leaf teas, elegant snacks, high tea-style finger foods)
  • La Cave (fine wine and spirits bar)
  • Art Gallery
  • Casino (served by Skyline Bar)
  • Ultra Lounge & Nightclub
  • The District Brew House (craft beer hall featuring a keg room, 24 draft beers on tap and 50 different bottled beers; via partnership with Wynwood Brewing Company, Miami)
  • Dolce Gelato (Italian ice cream)
  • Atrium Boutiques (tax-duty free shops); Photo Gallery & Shop
  • Waterfront Promenade (1320 ft/402 m long; open air dining and entertainment venues)
  • Aqua Park (3-deck, with two pools, 2 racing twist-slides and 5 multi-level waterslides)
  • Kids venues, club lounges (Kid’s Aqua Park, Splash Academy for kids 3-12 yo, Guppies Nursery for kids 6 months to 2 yo)
  • Mandara Spa & Fitness (Thermal Suite, Snow Room, Salt Room, Medi Spa, 24 Treatment Rooms, Beauty Salon, Barber Shop, fitness classes)
  • Spice H2O (adults only; served by Breezeway Bar & Grill)
  • Entourage Teen Centre (jukeboxes, table football, video arcades, teen disco)
  • “The Haven” (Suite- and Villa-passengers only complex; consists of The Haven Courtyard, The Haven Restaurant, The Haven Lounge)
  • Rock Climbing Wall; Jogging Track; Sports Complex (Spider Web - enclosed 24ft/7m tall kids climbing wall with spiral slide, Bungee Trampoline, 9-hole Mini Golf course, the largest at sea Ropes course, Zip Line, The Plank - 8ft/2,5m extending platform)
  • The ship's top deck features a 2-level electric go-cart track (Scuderia Ferrari), an outdoor laser tag course. Other prominent features are a virtual-reality gaming center (Oculus virtual reality technology), Galaxy Pavilion (interactive video walls), hovercraft bumper cars, water park with 2 multi-story waterslides, an outdoor park for tai-chi practicing, luxury-brand shopping district. One of the waterslides extends over the starboard side of the ship. The other waterslide is transparent.
  • Vibe Beach Club (adults only).
  • Curious fact is that NCL Joy's official onboard language is Mandarin (Chinese), and not English.

Norwegian Joy wiki

  • Cabin grades number: 42
  • Total number of cabins: 2100 (no Studios / Single cabins)
  • Restaurants, bars and lounges: Main Dining Rooms and Buffet Restaurant (names tba), "PRIVATE ROOM AT TASTE” (100-seat group private dining), "SPIEGEL TENT" dining (featuring circus-theatrical entertainment), "BREEZEWAY GRILL" (casual), "BAR & GRILL" (complimentary fast food), "TASTE" (complimentary restaurant), "SHANGHAI’S" (Chinese), "OCEAN BLUE" (specialty seafood restaurant), "GARDEN CAFE" (buffet-style, with outdoor seating area), "THE HAVEN Restaurant”, "THE HAVEN Lounge & Bar”, "CARLO'S BAKE SHOP" (premium bakery), "LE BISTRO" (French specialty restaurant), "CAGNEY'S" and "MODERNO" (American and Brazilian steakhouses),  "TEPPANYAKI" (Japanese seafood), "O'SHEEHAN'S BAR & GRILL" (English pub), "LA CUCINA" (Trattoria), "WASABI " (sushi), "DOLCE GELATO" (ice-cream), SVEDKA (ice bar), SPICE H2O, PRIME MERIDIAN, MIXX, Joy ULTRA, BAR 21, SHAKERS, ATRIUM, MALTINGS (beer & whisky bar), CIGAR Lounge & Bar, [more to be announced soon].
  • Amenities: Complimentary 24-hr Room-Service, Supervised Kids Program ("NCL Kids"), Internet/WiFi Access, Laundry. NCL Joy tipping/gratuities are US$12 pp pd.
  • Entertainment - Joy Theatre (big capacity grand productions lounge), Headliners Comedy Club, the NCL's FIREWORKS show (on each sailing), 3-deck Aqua Park (with 5 water slides, “Free Fall” drop slides, 2 racing slides and additional kids water park), racing simulators (Formula 1, Star Wars pods), virtual reality simulators (by Oculus), laser tag (kids), ropes course, go-kart track, casino, Spa & Fitness complex, Sports complex.
  • The Norwegian Joy cruise ship is one of the two Breakaway Plus-class (new series) vessels of Norwegian Cruise Lines. Her sister in the fleet is Norwegian Escape (October 2015). Fun fact is, that the names of both NCL ships were selected through a contest hosted on-line.
  • NCL Joy was built with new "scrubbers" (exhaust gas cleaning systems). The new technology reduces the equivalent of approx 1500 tons of the poisonous gas Sulfur Oxide. These in-line scrubbers (5 units) are lightweight and able to operate in dry mode, as well as in open and closed loops.
  • The vessel's construction officially started on September 16, 2015, with the steel cutting ceremony at Meyer Werft shipyard (Papenburg, Germany). Instead of the traditional water method (injecting the metal with heat), for NCL Joy was used the dry plasma method - for more precise cuts and creating less mess).
  • The vessel was previously named “Norwegian Bliss”. The “Bliss” name was selected via NCL-hosted online contest. The ship’s construction started on September 16, 2015. On October 12, 2015 was officially announced that the new ship will be redesigned for the Chinese market. The new “Norwegian Joy” name was announced on March 30, 2016, along with the homeports in China – Shanghai and Tianjin.
  • The ship's name “Norwegian Joy” (in Chinese “Xǐ Yue Hao”) was announced on Feb 29, 2016.
  • On April 5, 2016, was held the official keel laying ceremony for the NCL Joy at Meyer Werft shipyard (Papenburg Germany). During the ceremony, the first keel block (weight 680 tons, one of all 80 blocks comprising the vessel) was lifted by a huge crane and placed into the shipyard's covered building hall. With this event was officially started the ship's assembly. Previously, a special commemorative coin was created and during the keel laying was traditionally placed under the first building block. The coin was blessed on March 31, 2016, at XingTian Temple (Shanghai) during a pledge ceremony to the Chinese goddess of the sea "Mazu".
  • In March 2016, at Mazu Temple (Shanghai where, China) was held a traditional ceremony to obtain a blessing for the coins used in NCL Joy’s Keel laying ceremony. During the event, temple representatives gifted a Mazu ceramic statue to the NCL company. The statue was then brought to Germany for the vessel's official delivery. The statue was given a place of honor onboard the ship to carry Mazu's blessings on the repositioning cruise from Europe to China.
  • On March 4, 2017, the vessel was floated out of the shipbuilding yard's covered dock 2 and was berthed at a pier for the remaining works. The conveyance via Ems River towards North Sea is scheduled for the end of March.
  • The name of the ship's godmother (godfather in this case) was officially announced by NCL in late November 2016 - Wang Leehom (born 1976), Chinese-American singer, actor, producer and movie director. The NCL Joy's godfather also serves as the NCLH company's brand ambassador for the Chinese market, promoting NCL through various media (including social media) platforms.
  • On March 4, 2017, the vessel was floated out from Papenburg shipyard's drydock hall. At the end of March 2017 was the planned conveyance along Ems River to North Sea. In North Sea were held sea trials before the official delivery (April 28, 2017). NCL Joy arrived in Shanghai China in late June for year-round operations.
  • On March 26, 2017, the vessel was conveyed on Ems River from Papenburg (Germany) to Eemshaven (Holland). In the following days, the ship completed sea trials on North Sea, and was handed over to NCL on April 27.
  • The ship was christened in Shanghai China on June 27, 2017. The lavish naming ceremony was held onboard and featured a live performance by the vessel's godfather Wang Leehom. He is a Chinese-American songwriter, singer, music producer, actor and film director. In homage to the eye-catching hull art (by the Chinese artist Tan Ping, who also attended the event), the christening ceremony started with a performance by well known dancer and choreographer Yabin Wang. The phoenix was selected as focal point for the hull artwork, as in Chinese culture the mythological bird represents beauty and good luck. The ceremony's pinnacle moment was when the godfather Wang Leehom and NCL executives simultaneously smashed champagne bottles against a replica ship's hull, which released an oversized Veuve Clicquot (Yellow Label Champagne) bottle that shattered against the cruise ship's hull.
  • For season 2019 (April through September), NCL offered 1-day only promo deals with free flights and reduced roundtrip airfare for new bookings on Norwegian Joy. The ship had scheduled 7-day Alaskan itineraries leaving roundtrip from homeport Seattle WA. The Alaskan promo was available for one day only (September 14, 2018). Instead of the airfare promo, customers had the option for up to USD 1,000 per cabin discount. Following the relocation from Asia, NCL Joy had planned USD 50 million refurbishment for upgrades and design changes, to become identical to the sistership Norwegian Bliss.

Itineraries 2017

Norwegian Joy was deployed for year-round operations in Asia. The NCL Joy ship is specifically designed to target the Chinese market. The vessel features a higher cruising speed allowing it to operate on longer itineraries to more distant ports of call.

  • Following the April 2017 delivery, NCL Joy started its repositioning to China. The relocation cruise itinerary included showcasing events as part of grand inaugural port tours. These 1-day events were held at each of the itinerary's ports of call - SingaporeQingdaoShenzhen and Hong Kong. VIP partner cruises were also operated from the ship's Chinese home ports Shanghai and Tianjin-Beijing.
  • The ship's ever first Chinese cruise (preview voyage from Shanghai to Kochi Japan) was on June 10, 2017. The 4-night long roundtrip voyage (June 10-15) was attended by over 1700 VIP guests from Alibaba Group (the world's largest online commerce company).
  • The ship's christening ceremony was on June 27, 2017, led by the ship’s godfather Wang Leehom.
  • NCL Joy's Inaugural Cruise from Shanghai was on June 28. Roundtrip itineraries out of Tianjin were scheduled for the period August 26 through September 15, 2017.

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Norwegian Joy Itineraries

The below listed Norwegian Joy cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Norwegian Cruise Line fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
2019 Apr 27 7 days, round-trip with Glacier Bay from Seattle Seattle$949
2019 May 04 7 days, round-trip with Glacier Bay from Seattle Seattle$999
2019 May 11 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$999
2019 May 18 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1099
2019 May 25 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1099
2019 Jun 01 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1199
2019 Jun 08 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1199
2019 Jun 15 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1199
2019 Jun 22 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1299
2019 Jun 29 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1299
2019 Jul 06 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1299
2019 Jul 13 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1299
2019 Jul 20 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1299
2019 Jul 27 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1299
2019 Aug 03 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1249
2019 Aug 10 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1199
2019 Aug 17 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1199
2019 Aug 24 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1149
2019 Aug 31 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1099
2019 Sep 07 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$1099
2019 Sep 14 7 days, round-trip from Seattle Seattle$999
2019 Sep 21 7 days, round-trip with Glacier Bay from Seattle Seattle$999
2019 Sep 28 7 days, round-trip with Glacier Bay from Seattle Seattle$949
2019 Oct 06 5 days, one-way from Vancouver to Los Angeles Vancouver$549
2019 Oct 11 16 days, one-way from Los Angeles to Miami Los Angeles$1799
2019 Oct 27 12 days, round-trip Canal from Miami Miami$1449
2019 Nov 08 16 days, one-way from Miami to Los Angeles Miami$1799
2019 Nov 24 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$949
2019 Dec 01 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$899
2019 Dec 08 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$899
2019 Dec 15 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$899
2019 Dec 22 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1049
2019 Dec 29 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1049
2020 Jan 05 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$949
2020 Jan 12 5 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$699
2020 Jan 17 16 days, one-way from Los Angeles to Miami Los Angeles$1799
2020 Feb 02 12 days, round-trip Canal from Miami Miami$1499
2020 Feb 14 16 days, one-way from Miami to Los Angeles Miami$1899
2020 Mar 01 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1099
2020 Mar 08 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1099
2020 Mar 15 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1099
2020 Mar 22 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1099
2020 Mar 29 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1149
2020 Apr 05 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1149
2020 Apr 12 7 days, round-trip Riviera from Los Angeles Los Angeles$1149