We chose this cruise for the seadays. We did the same cruise in reverse in November 2015 on the Sojourn. We wanted to try out the larger ship, we also had sailed on the Odyssey last November.
First impressions? it is a bigger ship. The ceilings seem a little lower, particularly in the Restaurant, the cabins a little narrower and the Club on Level 5 a little smaller with the casino now being exposed. Mind you we never saw the Casino being used. In fact the Restaurant seems much quieter so the lower ceiling may be there for a purpose. There is no laundry. However we were told due to demand one will be fitted. I hope given the size of the ship one means two.
Within a few days we were won over. The ship has a classier feel. It never felt over crowded although the Colonnade and pool deck could get a bit busy. It was the atmosphere on the Encore and the magnificent staff that did it. Every single one of them was enthusiastic and helpful. We have never encountered such a team. Their enthusiasm rubbed off on the passengers. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and interacted well.
Food throughout was excellent. The Thomas Keller is a better speciality restaurant than Restaurant 2. We ate at Thomas Keller twice. The menu does not change. However the food and service in the Restaurant is so good it is hard to imagine it being bettered. We often ate at night at the Pool Grill. Simple, informal and under the stars. We would generally have a pre dinner drink at the Observation Bar. Again good service with substantial finger food available. Breakfast at the Colonnade was always good with lots of choice. In part there was table service available.
Entertainment. Probably the best we have had on any cruise. There were two shows nightly for forty five minutes. The "early" show at 8.45pm is a new time. The show repeats at 10.00pm. The guest lecturers onboard were the best we have ever experienced. Lots of lectures (called conversations by Seabourn) by very informative people. Generally the topics related to the history of the areas in which we were sailing
Overall the Encore is an even better and classier ship than the older three. Perhaps, due to size, it is a little less personal, but the enthusiasm of the crew and service shine out.
Ours was a standard cabin. A little narrower than on the Sojourn and sister boats. However overall an even better cabin with an extremely comfortable bed, the usual walk in robe and well fitted bathroom.
We have been to Muscat before. This tour took you outside the city. We were taken to a fish market then to the Fort. A good tour to get the taste of Oman.View All 6 Nakhl Fort Reviews