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3 Adults. Eastern Caribbean. Miami. The more you're prepared, the better off you'll be. Study the reviews and make the reservations for what you can prior to the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. For embarkation, we arrived early - they do not open the terminal doors for entry until around 9 or 9:30 am. There are limited facilities (trailer for bathrooms and a vending machine for water outside the terminal). Although, I know they're building a new one that will be ready February 2020. The photo associated with your ID is taken from your passport. They give you an group number for getting aboard. Choose your disembarkation group the day before based on your needs. The Norwegian Encore is a beautiful new ship. The capacity is almost 4000 people but it seems that everyone had their own interests, schedule that it didn't seem like it to me. We used the app and also the monitor/TV in the room to follow our reservations/the itinerary. Also, you can track your spending too. Observation Lounge was lovely. Enjoyed walking the decks too. The mid-ship balcony cabin worked for us nicely. Please see the cabin review attached here. Having good neighbors is so important, I feel it can make or break the experience. The dining options were varied and good. Le Bistro (a perfect spot to celebrate an event) and Ocean Blue were excellent and Food Republic was also very good. Savor, Taste and the Manhattan Room were good, the Garden Cafe did its job. Also tried The Local a number of times (ask for the entire meal to be brought out at once otherwise you'll be waiting for the main entree awhile). Enjoyed the sweets at the Bake Shop too. We got the Plus beverage package and made use of the finer selection. The Cellars Wine Bar was especially inviting, bourbon at the Maltings Whiskey Bar, the strawberry guava mojito at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar was fun. Reservations for the specialty restaurants were made prior to the cruise by calling NCL, so book early as there are a limited amount held. The entertainment and activities that were tried were the Encore Speedway, Aqua Racer, silent disco, trivia, comedy, Choir of Men, Kinky Boots, bingo, a quick $ casino/lotto and my husband went to the Glow/White party. Reservations were made either prior to the cruise by calling NCL or on the first day (in the Social Club) which is a good thing as the Kiosks were not always accurate or working as expected. Service was hospitable and what you'd expect throughout the ship. Thank you to guest services, and more. I can see how there may not be enough bartenders at times but lines were not long. As it is freestyle dining, you are less likely to form a connection though. Michael in the Vibe Beach Club was great. Speaking of the Vibe Beach Club, for 18yr/older, there is a limited number of passes (for a cost) provided each cruise and it was certainly worth it. The main pool and loungers were very crowded, children in the hot tubs, etc... Enjoyed San Juan Puerto Rico. We were able to get to the fort and explore there for 30 minutes before it closed for the day. Worth it. Ate at Raices in town and had tasty authentic food and drink. The statues, cobblestone streets, architecture was nice. St. Thomas was not as inviting as I remember it - rundown a bit and lots of construction. The BOSS underwater adventure was a fun excursion. Tortola was very nice - the shopping district and our excursion to Virgin Gorda / The Baths was a great one - beautiful beaches, nature, rock formations, hospitality. There were lines getting through The Baths but we knew this could be the case and wasn't a big deal. Great Stirrup Cay is good to check out. It was nice to do something that got us out and about and even pushed some boundaries. Some indicated that the ship rolls more than normal - I did not find that to be the case. It did some but any ship does and not enough that I needed Dramamine or other. Great weather. So, do your research and see if the activities, size of ship, and itinerary will meet you and your family/friends needs. I would recommend sailing on the Norwegian Encore.

Plan ahead. It's a great time!

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review by DebCtravels

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
3 Adults. Eastern Caribbean. Miami.

The more you're prepared, the better off you'll be. Study the reviews and make the reservations for what you can prior to the cruise.

Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. For embarkation, we arrived early - they do not open the terminal doors for entry until around 9 or 9:30 am. There are limited facilities (trailer for bathrooms and a vending machine for water outside the terminal). Although, I know they're building a new one that will be ready February 2020. The photo associated with your ID is taken from your passport. They give you an group number for getting aboard. Choose your disembarkation group the day before based on your needs.

The Norwegian Encore is a beautiful new ship. The capacity is almost 4000 people but it seems that everyone had their own interests, schedule that it didn't seem like it to me. We used the app and also the monitor/TV in the room to follow our reservations/the itinerary. Also, you can track your spending too. Observation Lounge was lovely. Enjoyed walking the decks too.

The mid-ship balcony cabin worked for us nicely. Please see the cabin review attached here. Having good neighbors is so important, I feel it can make or break the experience.

The dining options were varied and good. Le Bistro (a perfect spot to celebrate an event) and Ocean Blue were excellent and Food Republic was also very good. Savor, Taste and the Manhattan Room were good, the Garden Cafe did its job. Also tried The Local a number of times (ask for the entire meal to be brought out at once otherwise you'll be waiting for the main entree awhile). Enjoyed the sweets at the Bake Shop too. We got the Plus beverage package and made use of the finer selection. The Cellars Wine Bar was especially inviting, bourbon at the Maltings Whiskey Bar, the strawberry guava mojito at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar was fun. Reservations for the specialty restaurants were made prior to the cruise by calling NCL, so book early as there are a limited amount held.

The entertainment and activities that were tried were the Encore Speedway, Aqua Racer, silent disco, trivia, comedy, Choir of Men, Kinky Boots, bingo, a quick $ casino/lotto and my husband went to the Glow/White party. Reservations were made either prior to the cruise by calling NCL or on the first day (in the Social Club) which is a good thing as the Kiosks were not always accurate or working as expected.

Service was hospitable and what you'd expect throughout the ship. Thank you to guest services, and more. I can see how there may not be enough bartenders at times but lines were not long. As it is freestyle dining, you are less likely to form a connection though. Michael in the Vibe Beach Club was great. Speaking of the Vibe Beach Club, for 18yr/older, there is a limited number of passes (for a cost) provided each cruise and it was certainly worth it. The main pool and loungers were very crowded, children in the hot tubs, etc...

Enjoyed San Juan Puerto Rico. We were able to get to the fort and explore there for 30 minutes before it closed for the day. Worth it. Ate at Raices in town and had tasty authentic food and drink. The statues, cobblestone streets, architecture was nice. St. Thomas was not as inviting as I remember it - rundown a bit and lots of construction. The BOSS underwater adventure was a fun excursion. Tortola was very nice - the shopping district and our excursion to Virgin Gorda / The Baths was a great one - beautiful beaches, nature, rock formations, hospitality. There were lines getting through The Baths but we knew this could be the case and wasn't a big deal. Great Stirrup Cay is good to check out. It was nice to do something that got us out and about and even pushed some boundaries.

Some indicated that the ship rolls more than normal - I did not find that to be the case. It did some but any ship does and not enough that I needed Dramamine or other.

Great weather. So, do your research and see if the activities, size of ship, and itinerary will meet you and your family/friends needs. I would recommend sailing on the Norwegian Encore.
DebCtravels’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA
Our mid-ship balcony stateroom was just what we needed for the 3 of us. It was slightly larger than expected and we made the storage of suitcases and items work. The sofa was made up as a single bed (much better option than an overhead bunk). Took our turn getting ready. Our attendant made our experience comfortable...room prepared every day and towels/other cleaned up. Note: there are not electrical outlets in the bathroom so be prepared to use the hair dryer in the main cabin (located underneath the desk/counter). A balcony is always a nice way to go. Note: if you are single on the cruise, I was told the studios are nice. Bring a power strip if you have many things to charge at the same time. Research other handy things to bring that may make your cabin experience better (magnets, towel clips, etc..). The refrigerator is locked the night before checkout/disembarkation.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Great Stirrup Cay
    The excursions were cancelled due to weather/water conditions. Market (cash only), food/drink available, lounge chairs, towels, a Starbucks cart, music, swings in the ocean and some good photo ops. Snorkeling gear, floaties, volleyball, and more. The tenders were nicely sized. Stayed a couple hours - it's good to check it out.
    View All 1,194 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Review
  • San Juan
    We were fortunate to have been able to get to the fort to see it for 30 minutes prior to closure. The views were beautiful, texture, history was worth it. Brick/stone streets, statue, and architecture was nice. Shopping. Enjoyed the food/drink at Raices.
    View All 3,924 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • Underwater Scooter
    It was out of my comfort zone but worth it. I appreciate the experienced divers to guide us along and it was fun having our pics taken (underwater camera). We saw fish, other adventurers, shipwreck. You have the opportunity to snorkel as well.
    View All 40 Underwater Scooter Reviews
  • Virgin Gorda
    Took boat over to Virgin Gorda from Tortola. Safari bus taken to Devil's Bay and The Baths. Hike down to the beach. Along the way you'll see cactus, chicken, flowering plants, beautiful views of the water. I wore my flip flops and that worked out just fine (shoes with traction and that can get wet are good too). Enjoyed exploring the rock formations, white sandy beaches and the walk through The Baths. There was a line/wait but it was expected so it wasn't a big deal.. there was still an opportunity for pics. Food, drink and goods available at the end too.
    View All 231 Virgin Gorda Reviews