Norwegian Joy is a member of Norwegian Cruise Line’s most popular class of ships to date, the Breakaway Plus Class. This ship offers cruisers plenty of things to do, see, and eat while at sea whether you’re cruising to Bermuda, Canada & New England, or the Caribbean. We have just returned from a Bermuda cruise on this ship, and our list of the Top Things to Do on Norwegian Joy is the perfect place to start planning your next cruise vacation.
Top Things to Do on Norwegian Joy
Zoom Around the Race Track
Only on Norwegian Cruise Line can you zoom around a multi-story track on electric race cars that can reach up to 30 miles per hour. Racers of all abilities will have the chance to compete against their friends and family in this exhilarating onboard activity.
There is an up-charge of $15 per ride or packages are available once onboard the ship. Further, there is a minimum height requirement of 55″ to drive alone and closed footwear is required.
If you have cruised on other NCL ships with a race track, you should know that the track on Norwegian Joy is the smallest and has the tightest turns. Thus, there is no easy way to pass other cars and crashes occur often!
Feel the Ocean Breezes on the Waterfront
The Waterfront is a quarter-mile oceanfront promenade located on deck 8 of Norwegian Joy. This open-air space gets you closer to the ocean and serves multiple purposes. The Waterfront is a great spot to take a morning stroll or relax with a good book. There are also outdoor bar spaces to grab a drink and al fresco dining.
So, carve out your own quiet nook to relax, grab a drink, or just enjoy the ocean breezes. Or, an upscale dinner on the Waterfront with a sunset backdrop could be the perfect way to round out your day on Norwegian Joy.
Put Your Drink Package to Good Use
When it comes to enjoying a drink, Norwegian Joy features several different bars and lounges. With so many choices, and a “free” drink package, you might want to try them all! Norwegian Cruise Line’s Free at Sea promotion typically providers cruisers with a premium beverage package so you can test out all the amazing bars on the ship.
Some of our personal favorites are the Sugarcane Mojito bar and the District Brew House. There is also the smoked peach margarita in Q Texas Smokehouse, signature cocktails in the Maltings Whiskey bar, and the Cellars Wine bar, among others.
You won’t want to pass up the opportunity to grab a mango meltdown from the Waves pool bar either.
If you decide to upgrade to the Free at Sea Plus, Starbucks beverages are also included!
And Your Specialty Dining Package
If you are going to put your drink package to good use, you are going to need some food to go along with it. Luckily, Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships feature some of the best specialty restaurants at sea.
The best part is that you will likely also get a specialty dining package included in your Free at Sea promotion. While these restaurants are up-charges, guests booking with Free at Sea will receive a set number of free meals— two for a week-long cruise in a balcony stateroom. Guests with certain NCL loyalty status will even receive additional meals.
Norwegian Joy features several specialty restaurants to suit all tastes including the popular Cagney’s steakhouse, the upscale Le Bistro, and the seafood-centric Ocean Blue. There’s also the more casual Q Texas Smokehouse with live country music, the entertaining dinner-and-a-show at Teppanyaki, the Italian staple La Cucina, and the tapas-style Food Republic which is one of our favorites.
Of course, there are many complimentary dining options to enjoy on Norwegian Joy as well. The ship features three main dining rooms: Savor, Taste, and The Manhattan Room. There’s also the Garden Café buffet and the popular The Local Bar & Grill. This 24-hour pub serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as late-night snacks that are completely complimentary.
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Take the Plunge
Similar to other ships in the NCL fleet, Norwegian Joy has an aqua park featuring some of the most adventurous waterslides at sea. The Ocean Loops free fall slide will have you twisting and turning and even extending over the side of the ship during your ride. There is even a see-through portion so you can witness it all.
For those looking for a tamer experience, there is also the multi-story Aqua Racer waterslide and the kids’ aqua park. Both the Aqua Racer and Ocean Loops have a minimum height requirement of 48″ and a maximum weight limit of 300 lbs. Further, you must remove all accessories (even wedding rings) to ride the slides.
Relax in Spice H2O
On Norwegian Joy, cruisers can take advantage of this NCL fan favorite that is a glaring omission on newer ships in the fleet, including sister ship Norwegian Encore. Yes, Norwegian Joy still has the adult only Spice H2O located aft on deck 17.
Spice H2O is the perfect place to catch some rays without all of the commotion of the main pool deck. With a large hot tub, bar, and additional deck space with loungers, you can relax with a drink in hand sans kids.
While Spice H2O is an adults only space during the day, it does turn into a family-friendly area at night hosting several popular parties like the 80’s and 90’s deck parties. On our recent sailing, the very popular GLOW party was hosted on the main pool deck to accommodate the larger crowd.
Admire the Views
The Observation Lounge on deck 15 offers breathtaking views from the 180-degree glass walls, making it the perfect venue any time of day. Whether you are taking in the scenery, enjoying some light music, or simply just relaxing, the Observation Lounge is the place to be for uninhibited views.
This forward facing venue also features snacks during the day, a full bar, and a Starbucks. The Observation Lounge is certainly one of our favorite new additions to the Breakaway Plus Class of ships. This was our go-to stop for our morning Starbucks, afternoon snacks, and espresso martinis in the evening.
Guests staying in the Haven have their very own Horizon Lounge offering a similar yet more private experience.
Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes
If you are sailing on Norwegian Joy soon, you will want to cut loose with the Broadway musical Footloose. This production is based on the fan favorite movie of a young Chicago teen who moves to a small Midwestern town where dancing is banned. This main theater show does require reservations. Unfortunately though, Footloose will be ending as of October 28, 2023. And, there is no word what will replace this signature show.
The second theater production on Norwegian Joy is Elements. This show combines the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire with music and dancing, and it is more akin to a typical cruise ship show. The main theater also features headliner acts which can include magicians, aerial performances, and singers.
So, if you are into cruise entertainment, you will certainly want to check out these shows during your Norwegian Joy cruise, as well as the comedy shows that occur in The Social (reservations also required).
Rock Out to Live Music
Inspired by the Liverpool landmark, the Cavern Club on Norwegian Joy is home to the Beatles tribute band and other rock performances. This venue is where music lovers congregate to sing along to classic songs. Given the size of the venue and that no reservations are required, it does fill up very quickly. So, be sure to get there early; a queue usually starts to form 30+ minutes before showtime.
If country music is your thing, you will want to don your cowboy boots and head to Q Texas Smokehouse. Other venues feature live music as well, like piano music in the District Brew House or Latin music in the Sugarcane Mojito bar.
Of course, there’s also live performances in the Atrium and a DJ spinning top hits in the Social until the wee hours of the morning.
Upgrade Your Experience
Speaking of upgrades, Norwegian Joy is undergoing a dry dock in early 2024 where she will receive several enhancements. Two of these options might be worth the splurge.
The Vibe Beach Club is a private retreat on deck 19 offering amazing ocean views, an exclusive sun deck with comfy furniture, hot tubs, and a bar. Currently, this area is much smaller than its newer counterparts. But, this will be changing! During the dry dock, NCL Joy’s Vibe will be getting bigger (taking over the current laser tag space).
This is probably a good thing as we overheard several cruisers raving that this exclusive area was worth the upcharge. There are only a limited number of passes available, so be sure to secure yours early!
Additionally, Norwegian Joy’s Mandara Spa will be getting a facelift including the addition of a thermal suite. The new thermal suite will take the place of the Galaxy Pavilion and will feature similar rejuvenating amenities to other ships in the fleet like heated stone loungers, a therapy pool, sauna, salt room, snow room, and more. Guests can purchase week-long passes to this aft-facing relaxation zone or day passes on port days based on availability.
Have you cruised on Norwegian Joy? What do you love most about Norwegian Cruise Line? Drop us an anchor below to share your Top Things to Do on Norwegian Joy.