Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Wed March 30 2016

First Look: Norwegian Cruise Line’s New Norwegian Joy for China

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Norwegian Cruise Line | Jason Leppert | March 30, 2016

First Look: Norwegian Cruise Line’s New Norwegian Joy for China

Renderings courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Following in the wake of the recently launched Norwegian Escape is Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship dedicated specifically to the Chinese market – the Norwegian Joy. Based on the accommodation and activity features revealed today (rendered in slideshow form below), the vessel will be quite an evolution for the brand from the first Breakaway-plus class cruise ship, offering what is calls its “First Class at Sea” experiences.


The 3,900-guest Norwegian Joy will expand on The Haven by Norwegian ship-within-a-ship concept with not only 74 suites and exclusive access to a pool courtyard, lounge and restaurant, but now also a new observation lounge and deck. Plus, the ship will introduce the new Concierge level of accommodations, compete with larger balcony staterooms, VIP services such as a dedicated concierge and its own exclusive observation-like bar and lounge. Also new are interior staterooms with virtual balconies.


The boldest innovations come in the form of activities onboard starting with the first race track at sea. The two-level go-cart experience is perched on the top of the ship, where guests can also have their photo taken. There’s also an al fresco laser tag course and the new Galaxy Pavilion entertainment complex strewn with interactive video walls.

READ MORE: The Cruising Tide Rises in China

Here, virtual reality gaming experiences will pair up with physical attractions, ranging from dark ride and race car simulators to a hovercraft bumper car ride. Of the video games included, “Star Wars” battle pods will be showcased as will half a dozen Xbox consoles. There will even be an opportunity with Oculus to design and ride your own virtual roller coaster.

Reprised from its predecessors will be a collection of thrilling water slides like the Aqua Racer inner-tube tandem variety first launched on the Norwegian Escape and a Double Aqua Loop free fall slide featuring two loops, one over the side of the ship and another transparent section reaching for the deck.

Also up on deck will be a new open-air park area for relaxing in a lounger among a pool and greenery. Rounding out the activities will be Norwegian’s largest shopping venue selling duty-free items and renowned international brands, and the video released by the line, embedded below, also touts three casinos, including one just for The Haven. Lastly, keeping guests connected will be the line’s fastest ship-wide Wi-Fi internet at sea.

Of course, the immediate question might be where is all of this going to go in relation to the previous ships’ layout. It looks to me that the race track might be positioned at the stern, perhaps replacing the former Spice H2O and more, and the park looks to be a refinement of the main pool deck amidship. There has yet to be any mention of new dining experiences, so it’s possible that the Galaxy Pavilion will displace some of 678 Ocean Place.

READ MORE: Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Two Names for Chinese Ship

The announcement of the Norwegian Joy, launching in Summer 2017 from Shanghai and Tianjin (Beijing), displaced the planned second Breakaway-plus class sister-ship to the Norwegian Escape. Now, the Norwegian Bliss will come later, and I’m sure a lot of these new Joy features would go over well with a broader international crowd. Let’s hope that many will be carried over once that ship eventually debuts.

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