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This was our 17th cruise, our 2nd on NCL. I was really excited when I booked this cruise over a year ago on this new 'amazing' ship, but alas it did not live up to my expectations. Embarkation was fairly fast, we arrived at the port approx. 10:30am and they started letting us board at 11:30, then the race begins. If there are any shows, meals etc. that you want to attend you have to rush to different venues and stand in long lines to try to register. Our first goal was to buy Vibe Beach Club passes. This was held in the Barbeque restaurant Q Texas Smokehouse. We got tickets #83 & 84. Lucky, I thought. Choose wisely as it was extremely windy up there the entire cruise. There is no cover if it rains, a few umbrellas if the sun is intense. Bar service there was good and I did love the very quiet hot tubs. We did not spend enough time there to warrant the $209/pp price tag though. It did offer a retreat from the disastrous pool deck though. When buying the passes they did mention numerous times that it was not refundable!! The lines for the comedy were way too long, and by that time we were tired of standing around and waiting. I was able to score only one night at the comedy show on the NCL app. Thank goodness I booked Choir of Men before we sailed or I wouldn't have gotten into that one either. I wish they would have had everything available on the website to book pre-cruise; entertainment, go-karts, laser tag etc. I would have tried more activities. Cabin-MA14170 mini suite- very small cabin- one tv-small balcony-weird storage under mirrors and counters. The bathroom was quite nice with a large shower no bathtub. Not much different that a typical balcony cabin though. You have to pay for good movies, or 3 channels with other movies that you cannot schedule or re-start. The dining on the ship was very good. We ate at specialty restaurants Teppanyaki-awesome so fun entertainment, Cagney's-very good, and LeBistro-very good. Note: the 4-6oz lobster at Cagney's was not worth the 22.80 upcharge. I barely had enough to share with my DH. The rest of our meals were typically at the Taste DR or The local. Nice food and choices but no frills and don't ask for anything not on the menu, they typically can't accommodate. Escargot was only available in LeBistro. The bar staff on this cruise get's my highest praise. Those people work like maniacs trying to keep up with the demand on all those drinking packages. Sometimes there would only be one bartender on duty with 10-15 guests all waiting to order. Some cruisers would get angry, but there is only so much a guy or gal can do. Cudos to Bong-mojito bar, Mary Grace-A-list bar, Lovely, Atec, Ida(sp), Thomas, Daniel-Observation bar; amazing, amazing people how hard they work and their pleasant attitudes. Port stops were fair- San Juan (didn't even get off) we first arrived at 5:30pm. St. Thomas did the Champagne Cat Snorkel-nice, Tortola did the Baths-nice but long cat ride to get there and back. Lucky the water wasn't too rough. Great Stirrup Cay-sailed right by, was too windy to tender. RC had two ships tied to their dock at Coco Cay (lucky they bought a pier) Overall, though, it was a nice cruise. Vacation is always good. I would definitely NOT sail on the Encore again unless they made some huge changes (more pools, scrap the laser tag and go karts etc. etc.) I do not understand what they mean by Freestyle cruising, there was nothing free about it except the dress code in the dining rooms and restaurants. That's what brings me back to my title. Choose your ship wisely for what is most important to YOU. I thought I did, but definitely learned my lesson.

Choose your ship wisely

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review by Laurie7

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our 17th cruise, our 2nd on NCL. I was really excited when I booked this cruise over a year ago on this new 'amazing' ship, but alas it did not live up to my expectations.

Embarkation was fairly fast, we arrived at the port approx. 10:30am and they started letting us board at 11:30, then the race begins. If there are any shows, meals etc. that you want to attend you have to rush to different venues and stand in long lines to try to register. Our first goal was to buy Vibe Beach Club passes. This was held in the Barbeque restaurant Q Texas Smokehouse. We got tickets #83 & 84. Lucky, I thought. Choose wisely as it was extremely windy up there the entire cruise. There is no cover if it rains, a few umbrellas if the sun is intense. Bar service there was good and I did love the very quiet hot tubs. We did not spend enough time there to warrant the $209/pp price tag though. It did offer a retreat from the disastrous pool deck though. When buying the passes they did mention numerous times that it was not refundable!!

The lines for the comedy were way too long, and by that time we were tired of standing around and waiting. I was able to score only one night at the comedy show on the NCL app. Thank goodness I booked Choir of Men before we sailed or I wouldn't have gotten into that one either. I wish they would have had everything available on the website to book pre-cruise; entertainment, go-karts, laser tag etc. I would have tried more activities.

Cabin-MA14170 mini suite- very small cabin- one tv-small balcony-weird storage under mirrors and counters. The bathroom was quite nice with a large shower no bathtub. Not much different that a typical balcony cabin though. You have to pay for good movies, or 3 channels with other movies that you cannot schedule or re-start.

The dining on the ship was very good. We ate at specialty restaurants Teppanyaki-awesome so fun entertainment, Cagney's-very good, and LeBistro-very good. Note: the 4-6oz lobster at Cagney's was not worth the 22.80 upcharge. I barely had enough to share with my DH. The rest of our meals were typically at the Taste DR or The local. Nice food and choices but no frills and don't ask for anything not on the menu, they typically can't accommodate. Escargot was only available in LeBistro.

The bar staff on this cruise get's my highest praise. Those people work like maniacs trying to keep up with the demand on all those drinking packages. Sometimes there would only be one bartender on duty with 10-15 guests all waiting to order. Some cruisers would get angry, but there is only so much a guy or gal can do. Cudos to Bong-mojito bar, Mary Grace-A-list bar, Lovely, Atec, Ida(sp), Thomas, Daniel-Observation bar; amazing, amazing people how hard they work and their pleasant attitudes.

Port stops were fair- San Juan (didn't even get off) we first arrived at 5:30pm. St. Thomas did the Champagne Cat Snorkel-nice, Tortola did the Baths-nice but long cat ride to get there and back. Lucky the water wasn't too rough. Great Stirrup Cay-sailed right by, was too windy to tender. RC had two ships tied to their dock at Coco Cay (lucky they bought a pier)

Overall, though, it was a nice cruise. Vacation is always good. I would definitely NOT sail on the Encore again unless they made some huge changes (more pools, scrap the laser tag and go karts etc. etc.) I do not understand what they mean by Freestyle cruising, there was nothing free about it except the dress code in the dining rooms and restaurants. That's what brings me back to my title. Choose your ship wisely for what is most important to YOU. I thought I did, but definitely learned my lesson.
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA
See review
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins