Norwegian Joy

Former name: Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Joy current position

Norwegian Joy current location is at Indonesia (coordinates 5.26000 N / 115.03833 E) cruising en route to LABUAN, MALAYSIA. The AIS position was reported 1 hour ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Norwegian Joy

Year built2017  /  Age: 3
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 Tonnage167725 gt
Passengers3802 - 4620
Passengers-to-space ratio36
Decks with cabins11
Last Refurbishment2019
Sister-shipsNorwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Escape
Former namesNorwegian Bliss
Christened byWang Leehom
NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line Coronavirus update

Norwegian Joy Review

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 of ships are approx 7,000 GT larger in comparison to the company's second biggest vessel Norwegian Epic.

NEWS: In 2019, NCL Joy will be drydock refurbished to become virtually identical to sistership Norwegian Bliss - NCL's most successful liner ever. The ship will be relocated from China to the USA. The refurb project will be managed by MJM Marine (part of MJM Group (Northern Ireland UK). The company specializes in cruise ship refurbishment and interior design services. The planned works will involve around 1400 people and 40+ onboard venues and areas. Following the refit, NCL Joy starts Alaskan cruises from homeport Seattle WA, then will be repositioned for Mexican Riviera cruise from homeport Los Angeles CA.

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 a 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 operates seasonally on cruises in Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal. In April 2019, the ship repositioned from Shanghai China to Seattle WA for a 7-day Alaskan cruise program. NCL Joy replaced in Alaska NCL Pearl and joined there the fleetmates NCL Bliss and NCL Jewel. After Alaska 2019 season, NCL Joy repositioned to homeport Los Angeles for Panama Canal and Mexican Riviera itineraries (winter 2019-2020).

Before the inaugural USA (Alaska) season, Norwegian Joy underwent a USD 50 million drydock upgrade to become virtually identical to NCL Bliss.


Norwegian Joy has a total of 2206 cabins in 42 grades. Most Norwegian Joy staterooms are 170-sq.foot Balcony rooms (1168). 47 are the wheelchair accessible rooms. The largest aboard Norwegian Joy is the Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suite (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 a total of 95 Suite accommodations, including two Owner’s Suites (featuring two balconies each). The Studio area (cruise rooms and lounge area for solo travellers exclusively /keycard-only accessible) has only single occupancy cabins. There are a 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 with the freedom to savour 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 flavours at signature speciality restaurants, such as Le Bistro, La Cucina, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Bayamo by James Beard Award-winning chef Jose Garces. Norwegian’s signature speciality restaurants feature enhanced menus including favourite dishes and new tastes. Whether passengers prefer a light meal of a favourite 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.

  • Savor Restaurant (Main Dining Room /complimentary) features traditional Chinese cuisine offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • The Manhattan Room (Main Dining Room, aft location) with a dance floor for the evening dance show, featuring traditional Chinese cuisine and Western dishes.
  • Taste Restaurant (Main Dining Room /complimentary) serves contemporary Chinese cuisine.
  • “Private Room at Taste” (group private dining, 100 seats capacity, own lounge area)
  • The Local Bar and Grill (a complimentary venue which is an updated take on the popular O’Sheehan’s Pub. The menu showcases similar offerings, such as Fish and Chips, Chicago Style Hot Dog, and some new additions like Tortilla Bowl. The grill is open 24 hours per day serving up different menus depending on the time of day guests choose to dine).
  • Q Texas Smokehouse is a BBQ restaurant featuring live country music. It serves authentic Texas-style barbecue including smoked meats, pulled pork, brisket, beef and pork ribs, and side items.
  • Teppanyaki is the Japanese Hibachi speciality restaurant (reservations’-only, at surcharge US$29 pp, kids charged a full cover). The Teppanyaki restaurant is open for Lunch (12-1:30 pm) and Dinner (5:30-10 pm). It features live cooking demonstrations and traditionally prepared (a la carte priced) specialities, including sushi, fruit sashimi, Yakitori grill, a sake menu.
  • Food Republic is a new and exclusive dining concept (via a partnership with the Pubbelly Restaurant Group). This speciality restaurant is open lunch through dinner, offers international cuisine with a la carte menu and iPad ordering system.
  • La Cucina is the Italian speciality restaurant (reservations-only, cover charge US$15 PP, kids charged a full cover). The Cucina restaurant is open between 5:30-9:30 pm and has large tables. The NCL Joy’s Italian dining experience is marked by a casual atmosphere and large portions (perfect for family dinners) and traditional Italian fine wines and gourmet cuisine specialities – pizzas, pasta, seafood, classic salads, freshly baked bread, desserts (including ice cream). La Cucina additionally has a separate outdoor seating terrace (waterfront) area.
  • Ocean Blue is a speciality restaurant serves fresh fish dishes.
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse is a speciality dinner restaurant (open 5:30-10:30 pm) for prime steaks (Certified Angus Beef) and gourmet seafood specialities. The Cagney’s restaurant is reservations-only, with cover charge US$30 per person and a free Kids Menu. At Cagney’s, kids are charged a full cover. Additionally, the steakhouse is open for suite-guests only serving Breakfast (7:30-9:30 am) and Lunch (12-1:30 pm).
  • Le Bistro is the French speciality restaurant (reservations-only, cover charge US$20 per person, kids charged a full cover). The intimate and romantic Bistro restaurant is dinner-only (open between 5:30-10:30 pm) and offers some of the NCL Joy ship’s best luxury dining experiences with its upscale amenities, superior white-glove service, sophisticated cuisine with a vintage wines selection and classic French gourmet specialities in the menu. During the day, Le Bistro hosts food and wine tasting events.
  • American Diner is a speciality American Bar & Grill restaurant (outdoor seating, at a surcharge of US$9 pp) which offers complimentary fast food choices and live music performances during the day.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The 4200-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). On NCL Joy, guests can see Tony Award-nominated musical Footloose and the classic aerial acrobatics show, Elements, as well as the wine-tasting comedy, Wine Lovers: The Musical. Entertainment options also include the NCL's FIREWORKS show (on each voyage), "Rock of Ages", "Cirque Dreams", "Illusionarium" (magicians show).

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 the partnership with Scuderia Ferrari Watches. This is also the first ever branded Formula 1 race car track.

NCL Norwegian Joy cruise ship racetrack (Go-Karts Ferrari F1)

  • The 2-level track spans on 2 decks and offers incredible sea views at height of 60 m (200 ft). It has a 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.

NCL Joy also features an open-air laser tag course (top deck), Aqua Park with Double Aqua Loop (two multi-deck waterslides - one hull-extending loop, one with transparent loop section stretching down to the below deck) and 2 racing slides (high-speed inner tubes with length over 110 m / 360 ft) both with a transparent section.

NCL Norwegian Joy cruise ship waterslide

Additional amenities include: Complimentary 24-hr Room-Service, Supervised Kids Program ("NCL Kids"), Internet/WiFi Access, Laundry. Follows the complete list of Norwegian Joy lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Joy Theater is the ship’s main show lounge (capacity 800 seats) served by its own bar (on deck 7). The theatre offers grand-style music and evening show productions. The evening programme features Broadway-style shows, musicals, cabaret performances, magician and comedy acts.
  • Atrium “678 Ocean Place” is 3-decks high, open-floor designed midship area with live entertainment and big-size LED screen for movies.
  • Chess & Card Room, Library, Internet Cafe (open 24 hours, Meeting Rooms; Photo Studio & Shop; Art Gallery
  • Reception (Guest Services Desk- assistance, reservations, information); Shore Excursions Desk (information, planning, booking)
  • Starbucks Coffee featuring the full menu Starbucks has to offer.
  • Social Comedy and Night Club
  • Maltings Whiskey Bar; Horizon Lounge
  • Mixx Bar (piano bar) is a modern pre-dinner gathering spot.
  • Joy Casino is a premium gaming lounge with large-size LED screens and served by Skyline Bar. Joy VIP Casino is a high-stakes gambling room (part of the Casino lounge).
  • Skyline Bar offers cocktails before dinner. Guests can meet friends after a show or press their luck with the bar-top poker screens.
  • Promenade Deck’s best feature is the Waterfront Promenade. It offers a unique open-air deck experience by several seaside venues with outdoor seating. The list of the venues features shops, bars, restaurants, a 1/4 ml long boardwalk (outdoor area with shaded seating) located 8 stories above the water.
  • District Brew House has a keg room and offers a selection of 50 bottled beers and 24 draft beers on tap (including the new Wynwood brew). The venue is operated via the NCL partnership with the Miami’s Wynwood Brewing Company.
  • Humidor is the ship’s smoking-allowed / cigar lounge and bar.
  • The Cellars Wine Bar is operated via NCL partnership with Mondavi and offers premium wines and tapas-style a la carte menu. The Wine Bar has a separate room for wine tastings (with sommelier service) and outdoor seating area on The Waterfront.
  • Sugarcane Mojito Bar features live Latin music performances.
  • Tradewinds Tax & Duty-Free Shops are duty-free retails selling alcohol, tobaccos, NCL-logoed merchandise, jewellery, watches, perfumes and cosmetics, brand fashion and accessories, special occasion gifts. The shopping complex includes Tides Boutique, Cartier, Omega, Bvlgari, Fine Watches, The Time Zone, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Bally, Godiva (gourmet sweets, including truffles, premium chocolates, soft-serve ice cream), also Beauty Shop.
  • The Cavern Club Lounge (replica of Liverpool's music club) offers Beatles music, tribute bands performances and "The Choir of Man” crew show (dynamic performances with live percussions, high-energy music, dancing and foot stomping by 9 crew performers).
  • Photo Gallery & Shop (photo-video services by professional onboard photographers)
  • The A-List Bar serves handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits and wines.
  • Observation Lounge & Bar is a VIP lounge exclusive for Concierge Level passengers with a delicious buffet available for light breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.
  • Garden Cafe is a buffet-style casual restaurant, plus an Open-Air Garden Cafe (outdoor seating area). It offers traditional Asian cuisine as well as speciality dishes from all around the world.
  • Waves Bar is a casual outdoor bar serving guests' favourite cocktails.
  • Aqua Park (3-decks high, with 2 pools, 5 multi-level waterslides / Ocean Loop; 2 racing-slides, “Free Fall” drop-slides; 4 Whirlpools, poolside bar, Sun Deck area); Kids'Aqua Park
  • Splash Academy (kids 3-12 yo, is 2-story high, offers themed activities, with a light-up floor (for interactive dancing), circus school (with a resident clown), Nintendo and PS3 console games, kids-only cinema, crafts-arts, pirate parades. The area hosts also the Guppies Nursery (toddlers 6 months to 2 yo) and the Kid’s Aqua Park (splash pool, Nickelodeon characters entertainment).
  • NCL Joy ship’s Mandara Spa & Fitness complex is consisting of Thermal Suite (heated loungers, sauna, steam rooms, solarium), Salt Room (halotherapy room), Beauty Salon, Foot Clinic, Barber Shop, Medi Spa (teens), Aerobics Studio (classes).
  • Entourage Teen Centre is a teens-only club lounge for kids 13-17 yo (complimentary, supervised by certified counsellors). The teen lounge has Video Games Arcade, large TVs for movies, PlayStation 3 gaming consoles, game tables (pinball, foosball, air hockey). Here are hosted themed parties (dance, pool, pizza) and teen discos in the evenings.
  • Galaxy Pavilion is an indoor complex for virtual-world and multi-player gaming, equipped with interactive video walls and virtual reality technology. 
  • “The Haven” complex is for Villa- and Suite passengers only, and consists of "The Haven Courtyard" (has a retractable roof, adults-only pool area, 2 Whirlpools), spa, steam room, gym room), "The Haven Restaurant" and "The Haven Lounge Ba" (offering a delicious limited buffet for breakfast and lunch with delicious traditional Chinese and Western cuisine).
  • Spice H2O (lower level 1 of 2) is an adult-only relaxation area, with 1 pool, 2 Whirlpools, huge outdoor LED screen, Poolside Bar, Grill.
  • Pulse Fitness Centre features Technogym equipment and a separate Aerobics Studio for classes, among which Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, boxing, TRX).
  • Sports Complex has a Bungee Trampoline, Spider Web (climbing wall with spiral slide), Mini Golf and Ropes Courses, Zip Line, The Plank (walking platform); combined sports court (basketball/volleyball), Race Track (Ferrari TM go-karts), Rock Climbing Wall, Jogging Track.
  • Race Track is operated with 10 electric carts and 5-6 min race sessions. Go-Karts are decorated with different companies' logos.
  • Laser Battle is an open-air laser tag course with obstacles and a large-size touch screen for kids.
  • Vibe Beach Club is an adults-only relaxation area (surcharges per day apply) with cantilevered whirlpools, sunbathing area with sun loungers and luxury chaise lounge chairs, outdoor bar, private cabanas.

Signature activity facilities include 2-level electric go-cart track (Scuderia Ferrari, on top-deck), Galaxy Pavilion (interactive gaming centre), outdoor laser tag course, a water park with 2 multi-story waterslides, outdoor park for tai-chi practising, luxury-brand shopping district.

Galaxy Pavilion (gaming centre) is equipped with interactive video walls and Oculus virtual reality technology. The equipment includes three XD Dark Ride Motion simulators (with 3D real-time graphics, 3D Virtual Surround Sound, multi-sensory effects), six Xbox stations, Star Wars Battle Pod (arcade game), hovercraft bumper cars.

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NCL Joy 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 online.

The vessel was initially 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. Ship's name “Norwegian Joy” (in Chinese “Xǐ Yue Hao”) was announced on Feb 29, 2016.

NCL Norwegian Joy cruise ship

The liner 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 a dry mode, as well as in open and closed loops.

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).

On April 5, 2016, was the keel-laying ceremony. During the event, 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 vessel's official delivery. The statue was given a place of honour onboard the ship to carry Mazu's blessings on the repositioning cruise from Europe to China.

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, was the launch (float-out from drydock/shipyard's covered dock 2). The vessel was then berthed at a pier for the remaining works. The conveyance (via Ems River towards the North Sea) was scheduled for late-March. In the 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 the North Sea and was handed over to NCL on April 27.

NCL Joy ship was delivered on April 28, 2017. The onboard ceremony was held in Bremerhaven. The ceremony was attended by Andy Stuart (NCL's CEO and President) and David Herrera (NCLH China's President).

The ship was christened in Shanghai China on June 27, 2017. The onboard naming ceremony 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 hull art (by Chinese artist Tan Ping, who also attended the event), the christening ceremony started with a dance performance by Yabin Wang. The Phoenix was selected as hull artwork's focal point, as for the Chinese the mythological bird represents beauty and good luck. Naming 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 real ship's hull.

NCL Norwegian Joy cruise ship

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 - Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. VIP partner cruises were also operated from the ship's Chinese homeports 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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