This massive, 20-deck ship offers twisting slides, a go-kart track and an arcade

Amanda Stutt

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Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Cruise Line

There’s a new ship in town, Vancouver. Norwegian Cruise Line debuted the latest addition to its venerable fleet last week when it unveiled the newly refurbished Norwegian Joy, sister ship to the Norwegian Bliss.

Following a $50 million design upgrade that introduced 13 new dining, bar and lounge venues to the 20- deck, 3,800 passenger capacity mega-ship, as well as a spa and renovated public spaces, the Norwegian Joy sailed into Vancouver harbour for its inaugural US voyage; a three day sailing to Los Angeles exclusive to media and travel trade. New restaurants feature cuisine ranging from classic American to Texas smokehouse to Italian, Japanese and French fine dining.

Built in 2017 by Meyer Werft GmbH in Papenburg, Germany, the Joy is the 15th ship in the Norwegian fleet. The 21-day dry-dock in Singapore and five-day wet-dock in Seattle outfitted the ship with a redesigned pool deck, an enhanced go-kart speedway for race-car enthusiasts, and an expanded observation lounge. The ship also features an advanced arcade for virtual reality gamers.

Arriving in North America on April 21, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss are the largest ships to ever homeport on the West Coast, and Norwegian Joy will mark her North American debut with a summer of Alaska cruising.

The Joy is like a floating Emerald City, and her accommodations include The Haven – a luxury enclave with suites, a private pool and dining, concierge service and 24-hour availability personal butlers. The Haven is like a smaller ‘ship within a ship’ and aptly named for cruisers who want to access the entertainment, dining and shopping amenities available on a large capacity ship while avoiding the associated crowds during down-time and enjoying the relaxation and luxurious pampering that are the signatures of the world’s top luxury cruise lines.

The Joy features classic architecture throughout, with plenty of mahogany wood and art-deco inspired accents. The massive ‘oceanside’ lighting installation leading to the seventh deck, which houses the ship’s expansive casino, is paralleled by a stunning floating staircase – all low lit with spectacular LED lighting.

World-class entertainment is a big draw, with showings of the Tony Award-nominated musical, Footloose, nightly Beatles tribute band performances at the Cavern Club, aerial acrobatics performances with Elements, and musical comedy and wine tasting show, Wine Lover: The Musical.

If the open sea isn’t inspiration enough – celebrity speakers give daily talks on health and wellness, history, geography and travel in the theatre venues.

It would be impossible to discover all the Norwegian Joy has to offer in three days – but entirely doable for ocean- loving mariners onboard for a full itinerary and ready to explore all the allures of luxury ocean cruising.