Norwegian Joy to Alaska

I felt very much like Rose from the Titanic (without the magnificent hat) as I emerged from the immigration area and slowly took in the view of this incredible vessel that was the Norwegian Joy. I had done my homework: 3883 passengers, 1821 crew and recently refurbished. I was in awe. My first cruise and I was so excited. Now that I had seen her, it became real. I was about to set sail to Alaska.

Our cabin was on Deck 15 and a quick elevator ride and we were there.  Everything wey needed was there, just like a hotel room, except the most incredible balcony and view. We were still in port, but being so high up, we could see for miles and miles. This was not only going to be a cruise, but perhaps one of the most scenic experiences of my life. I was ready to set sail.

We gathered at the front of the ship, drink in hand and we waved goodbye to Seattle. The horn sounded and we were off. As we cruised the waterways we talked about what we hoped to see and do on this adventure. My main hope was to see animals: bears, whales, eagles, deer.

I was not disappointed. Taking advantage of the shore excursions available to us, we saw them all and so much more. There were porpoises, seals, woodpeckers. I spoke to some who said they had seen moose..or was it caribou, they weren’t sure, but they had antlers!  The freedom of the zodiac that took us exploring the shoreline in search of the native wildlife, or the more sedate boat that sailed to a quiet island for a crabfeast  were fabulous shore excursions that allowed us to seek out  more of the wilds of Alaska.

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Settling into one of the many bars on the Norwegian Joy after our adventures allowed us to compare notes with our fellow explorers. Some did float planes, some hiked and some just wandered, but coming together we were all enthusiastic about our experiences. I preferred to be in the Observation Lounge with the floor to ceiling windows that enhanced the view of the snow-capped mountains. I enjoyed sipping my wine and chatting. Others preferred the Mojito Bar, the Atrium Bar or even the Mixx bar to share their stories. There was a place for everyone.

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Dinner was always a surprise. So many options that I was pleased each evening was planned for me, otherwise I would have no idea what to choose.  There was always the buffet, but then what about the fine steak at Cagney’s Steakhouse, the Italian at La Cucina, the variety in Savor or the Asian Fusion in Food Republic. All fabulous places to eat and the food was magnificent. Even as a group, the service was excellent and we were always made to feel the most important people in the room.

Cruising I have discovered is not all about the destinations, but also life on board the ship. Norwegian Joy offers so many activities, you could fill your day easily without leaving your floating hotel. There is wine tasting, go cart racing, massages, trivia, swimming, laser tag, mini golf and so much more. I loved the wine tasting, and also the go cart racing, but not on the same day!!!

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The evening entertainment was fabulous. I am not a night owl but was excited to see the musical Footloose on one of the nights. To see a Broadway musical come to life on a cruise ship was astounding, I would hate to think of the logistics of it, but the performers made it seem so simple. The other show that captivated me was  “Elements”. This is a combination of acrobatics and magic. I still cannot work out how the lady escaped the box……

I was not sure if cruising would be for me, but my week on the Norwegian Joy has opened me to a whole new world  and I know I will be a cruiser again.

Experienced and written by Fiona Boileau, Manager of Travel Associates, Toowoomba

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