After being cooped up for the better part of two-and-a-half years, we’ve all been itching to stretch our legs outside the confines of our homes and offices. And what better way to find your sea legs than by setting sail on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to a wondrous and blissful destination.
Norwegian Cruise Line offers such trips to every corner of the world, many of which depart from right here in the Northeast. To get a better idea of what a luxury cruise vacation like this would be like, let us take you through the experience of being onboard the Norwegian Joy as it sails to the turquoise waters, pristine beaches and alluring culture of Bermuda.
Getting To and On the Ship
One of the most convenient aspects of cruising from the Northeast is not having to travel far to get onboard. Most major cruise lines, including Norwegian, depart from both Boston and the New York City area. Whether driving or taking mass transit, getting to the ship is a breeze.
That convenience carries over to the boarding process. Norwegian’s online check-in system allows you to register and submit your required travel documentation days or even weeks prior to setting sail, all from the comfort of your own home. After checking in virtually, you can print your eDocs, which act as boarding passes, and luggage tags. On the day you arrive to the pier, you’ll simply need to go through security and pick up your room key. Less time waiting on line means more time to enjoy your vacation.
Health and safety are at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. As such, Norwegian has established a host of new protocols to help mitigate the chance of any passenger contracting COVID-19. All cruise guests ages 12 and over, as well as all crew members, are required to be fully vaccinated. They must also submit a negative COVID-19 test result within days of embarking. (Children ages 2-11 must also show proof of a negative test.)
Hand washing and sanitizing stations are located throughout the boat and guests are encouraged to use them frequently. Other safety features include enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices, medical-grade air filters and additional medical staffing. All Norwegian cruises will now also have a dedicated public health officer onboard to oversee day-to-day sanitation and cleanliness protocols.
Should a positive COVID-19 case occur during the cruise, Norwegian will employ contact tracing to identify and notify any passenger who may have been exposed. Isolation and quarantine accommodations are also available should they be needed.
Staterooms aboard the Joy range from four-person inside rooms to six-person penthouse suites. No matter the level, you can expect high-quality accommodations. Inside and Oceanview rooms are the most budget-friendly. Balcony level rooms come with a sitting area and your own private balcony for a front-row seat to epic sunrises and sunsets.
Those wishing to go all-out on their vacation experience can book a Haven stateroom. These suites, located at the top of the ship, are not only the most spacious and luxurious, they come with first-class amenities. These include access to the private Haven lounge and restaurant, 24-hour butler service, white tablecloth in-suite dining, priority restaurant and entertainment reservations, and of course, plush bathrobes and slippers.
Opposed to many cruises that only offer fixed dining times, Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining program allows you to eat when and where your heart (and stomach) desires. This includes both complimentary eateries and specialty restaurants. Of course, if you’d like to make a reservation to ensure your seat at the table, you’re always free to do so.
The Joy has three main dining rooms – the Manhattan Room, Savour and Taste. All are complimentary with rotating menus that change daily. The other free dining offerings are the buffet-style Garden Café and the Local Bar & Grill, serving pub fare and classic comfort foods.
Specialty dining options run the gamut of cuisines, including seafood at Ocean Blue, Japanese at Teppanyaki, barbeque at Q Texas Smokehouse, French at Le Bistro and premium-cut steaks at Cagney’s Steakhouse.
If you don’t have time to make it to a Broadway show in Manhattan before or after your cruise, fear not. The Joy puts on a performance of the hit musical “Footloose” that will make you feel like you’re on the Great White Way. Later in the week, catch a showing of the Vegas-style spectacular “Elements,” featuring music, dance and magic.
The Cavern Club, named after the legendary Liverpool nightclub where the Beatles once played, hosts several performances from, you guessed it, a Beatles cover band. You’ll also find nightly live music played at various locations throughout the ship.
The best part about all these entertaining shows? They are all complimentary!
For the Kids
The Norwegian Joy was the first cruise ship in the world to come equipped with a racetrack onboard. Guests young and old can zip around the two-level go-kart track at up to 30 mph. Complete with a covered race pit, floodlights and race car engine noises piped into your helmet, this may just be as close as you get to competing in a NASCAR race.
For a different sort of thrill, families can compete in the open-air laser tag game on deck 20. Looking for some slightly slower-paced fun? Try your hand at the Joy’s nine-hole mini golf course.
After working up a sweat, the little ones can cool off at the Kids’ Aqua Park or head inside to the Splash Academy for themed activities and parties.
Book your Norwegian Cruise today!