01 Jun The Revitalized Norwegian JOY
After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.
She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.
The Revitalized Norwegian JOY
BY JILL WEINLEIN
While sailing on the Norwegian JOY during her inaugural sailing to Ensenada, Mexico, I was presented a key card to the private Penthouse in The Haven Courtyard. This new, spacious and beautifully appointed concierge enclave offers the most luxurious and well-appointed accommodations. Tapping my card near the entrance, a glass door opened allowing me access into The Haven’s exclusive “small ship within a large ship” area on deck 17. A certified butler greeted me and led me on a tour, before taking me to my spacious stateroom cabin number 13108.
The Haven guests have a private elevator, and are personally escorted on and off Norwegian Joy at ports of call, embarkation, and debarkation. This area is basically heaven at sea with a private fine dining restaurant, bar, and lounge. There is a comfortable and elegantly designed 180-degree observation relaxation area, serving light food and beverage buffet items throughout the day and evening. Besides a library, there is a courtyard with a retractable sunroof and plenty of lounge chairs, a swimming pool and elevated heated whirlpool.
My stateroom had modifications for handicap passengers, combining a king size bed and living area. There is a couch that pulls out into a sofa bed to fully accommodate up to four guests. I discovered a refrigerator in the small dining and sitting area, and full size soaking bathtub in the bathroom. Sliding a glass door open, I walked out onto an extra large balcony with two chairs and a table. This is where I sipped coffee in the morning and watched a sunset in the evening.
One never needs to leave The Haven while at sea, yet you would miss so much. I enjoyed the spectacular towering light fixture sculpture in the center of the ship at Ocean Place. This three deck soaring ceiling area offers a variety of fun bars, many of the specialty restaurants, a casino, shopping and live entertainment.
There are three main dining rooms – The Manhattan Room, Savor Restaurant, and Taste Restaurant offering innovative menus and Chef’s signature dishes with paired wine recommendations. The help-yourself Garden Café offers buffet-dining options throughout the day.
Specialty restaurants on the ship include The Local serving traditional pub food, a fun American Diner for hamburgers and fries, delicious barbecue at Q, fresh seafood at Ocean Blue, entertaining Teppanyaki dining with flying shrimp, onion volcanoes and twirling knives at Teppanyaki, and elegant dining at Cagney’s Steakhouse. Food Republic and Le Bistro showcases foods from around the world, while La Cucina prepares the flavors of Tuscany.
Bars and Lounges
The ship even has a Starbucks Cafe and District Brew House featuring 24 beers on draft and over 50 different bottles of nationally recognized and local craft beers. During the Alaska itinerary, The District pours local craft beer that includes Alaskan Husky IPA, Alaskan Amber and Alaskan White Ale on the 8th deck brew pub. At the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, we sipped honey ginger mojitos and Wiki Rum punch.
Wine lovers visiting The Cellars enjoy an informative wine tasting experience. NCL partnered with famed Michael Mondavi Family winery and offers a collection of nearly 100 different wines. Throughout the year, The Cellars offers “Meet the Winemaker” cruises, allowing guests to meet renowned vintners on select sailings to learn more about their favorite blends, wines and vintages. On June 8, 2019 winemaker Bob Bertheau from Chateau Ste. Michelle will be on the JOY pouring wines and educating passengers about Columbia Valley, Single Vineyard, Ethos Reserve, Artist Series and Limited Release Club wines.
On August 17, 2019 fourth generation Napa Valley winemaker Rob Monday Jr. will be on the JOY sharing his family favorites. On November 24, 2019 special guest and winemaker Juan Munoz Oca will be onboard pouring Columbia Crest Reserve, H3 and Grand Estate wines.
Passengers can race on a two-level outdoor Speedway race course at the top of the ship. Getting into a red electric go-kart, I zoomed around hairpin turns while racing fellow passengers. Nearby, the Galaxy Pavilion is a virtual world filled with cutting-edge simulator rides that include hand gliding, a one-of-a-kind roller coaster and adrenaline-fuel racecourse. Also at the top of the ship is a miniature golf course.
Pool time includes sun decks, hot tubs and water slides that includes a double Ocean Loops on the side of the ship. Passengers can sit in an inner tube and race on the Aqua Racer waterslide.
I found JOY in the spa with over 50 specialty treatments including a hot-stone massage, rejuvenating facial, deep-tissue massage, and even acupuncture.
Norwegian Joy is taking guests throughout the summer on a 7-day journey from Seattle with visits to the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria British Columbia. Book your 2019 Alaska cruise vacation adventure today to select the best choice of staterooms on board Norwegian Joy. Call a cruise specialist or go to https://www.ncl.com/cruise-ship/joy.