Marine

Cruise ship spells "Joy" with onboard race track and bumper hovercraft

Cruise ship spells "Joy" with ...
The Norwegian Joy is being readied for Summer 2017
The Norwegian Joy is being readied for Summer 2017
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The Concierge Lounge will be for Concierge-level guests
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The Concierge Lounge will be for Concierge-level guests
Concierge-level family suite
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Concierge-level family suite
A look at what the planned bathroom of a Haven suite will look like
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A look at what the planned bathroom of a Haven suite will look like
Virtual balcony
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Virtual balcony
One of the interesting activities in the Galaxy Pavilion will be bumper hovercraft
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One of the interesting activities in the Galaxy Pavilion will be bumper hovercraft
The Haven complex restaurant
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The Haven complex restaurant
The Haven observation lounge
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The Haven observation lounge
The Haven courtyard
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The Haven courtyard
The Haven lounge
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The Haven lounge
The open air park
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The open air park
A Haven suite
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A Haven suite
Haven suite living room
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Haven suite living room
The first-of-its-kind race track features two levels
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The first-of-its-kind race track features two levels
The Norwegian Joy is being readied for Summer 2017
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The Norwegian Joy is being readied for Summer 2017

The world of luxury cruise ships strikes us as one of unfettered oneupmanship. Do you really need (even want) to shoot down a zip line in the middle of the ocean or sip drinks served up by a robo bartender? No, but such features sure seem compelling when you're browsing cruise line websites. Norwegian Cruise Line has raised the bar for outlandish cruise offerings yet again. Its recently announced China-bound "Joy" cruise ship will entertain with a two-level race track, multi-story water park, high-tech arcade, and bumper hovercraft arena.

Norwegian calls the Joy ship its most innovative and luxurious ship ever, and even if we were really itching to argue, it'd be hard to make a case against the stack of evidence. Exhibit A, of course, is the two-level race track.

Racing is not an entirely new concept to the cruise ship market, but usually it's handled by simulators; Norwegian says that the Joy's race track will be the first to venture out to sea. We've seen cruise ships with ice skating, simulated skydiving and other unlikely activities, so why should all that ocean get in the way of racing cars?

The first-of-its-kind race track features two levels
The first-of-its-kind race track features two levels

"Cars" is definitely too strong a term in this case, as the rendering of the Joy's track clearly show we're talking go-karts. Still, racing go-karts head to head with friends, family members and fellow passengers should be a fun way to spend a sunny day out at sea. And that track would look impressive at a boardwalk amusement park, let alone riding aboard a ship.

If racing isn't your thing, the Joy will have no shortage of entertainment alternatives, and the Galaxy Pavilion promises to rival the race track in terms of intriguing offerings. The high-tech arcade will offer Oculus virtual reality experiences, dark ride simulators, an interactive race car-turned-simulator, flight simulators and bumper hovercraft. The pavilion will also include a Star Wars game and six Xbox stations.

"Joy riders" will also have access to an open-air laser tag arena and two multi-story water slides. The Double Aqua Loop free fall slide will include a loop winding off the side of the ship, while the Aqua Racer will continue the ship's racing theme, letting two guests compete on inner tubes down 360 feet (110 m) of twisting, splashy slide.

The open air park
The open air park

We assume some folks still go on cruises to relax - or at least need to bring their pulses down from all the wild activities. They will be able to enjoy quiet and tranquility in the Joy's top deck open park and browse offerings in the luxury retail space, which will offer everything from duty-free goods, to clothing, to electronics. There will also be three full-service casinos.

The ship will include The Haven, a private luxury complex for VIP types with 74 large suites, an enclosed courtyard with pool, an observation deck with 180-degree views, a private restaurant, personal butler service and a dedicated concierge.

Beyond those major selling points, Norwegian says there will be a mix of mini-suite, balcony, ocean-view and interior staterooms, along with the fastest bow-to-stern Wi-Fi network in its fleet. It promises an east-meets-west experience, where the western cruise vacation blends with the "comforts and preferences that Chinese guests expect."

The Joy is being built by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and will officially launch in Summer 2017, sailing from Beijing and Shanghai. You can see a little more about it in the short video teaser below.

Source: Norwegian Cruise Line

5 comments
Aross
Am I the only one that thinks this is just one more stupid idea. So much for a peaceful quiet vacation.
Bruce Miller
One day, when the "American 20th Century Golden Age luxury" illusions are gone, Ships with clean nuclear engines or even Solar/Wind power, non polluting entities, will ride either just above the waves using the former U.S.S.R's "surface effect" technologies, or just below the waves using the same technology that allows submarines to move astonishingly quickly through bubbles of gases released just in front of them. these "boats" will crisscross the oceans at good speeds and provide much more fuel efficient transport systems for mankind. Jet propelled Aircraft cannot match the safety, lower pollution factor or the efficiency of these crafts.
Stephen N Russell
Like ideas love to see what other cruise lines would do. Love the "race track", But the cost for the cruise alone. Ouch,
MattII
@ Bruce Miller: Ground effect is slower than conventional flying, and much more bumpy too, so it's not exactly going to be coveted. As for submarines, they work best when fully submerged, not partially so. Also, jets can be converted to use new, not polluting fuels or even electricity if need be, once batteries get good enough.
JonathanPDX
It looks terribly top-heavy. SS Poseidon, anyone? I've never understood the appeal of boarding a ship to do the same things on the water that you would do on land. Plus with all the bacterial/viral outbreaks and such in recent history on these huge cruise ships, it just doesn't sound that interesting. But hey, if it appeals to you, go for it!