Encore, Jan 26 to Feb2.
We drove down from Orlando to MIA rental car to drop the car. About a 300 mile trip. Dropped the car and took a cab to the port. Cabs are now flat rate of $27 to or from the port and airport. About a 20 minute ... Read More
Encore, Jan 26 to Feb2.
We drove down from Orlando to MIA rental car to drop the car. About a 300 mile trip. Dropped the car and took a cab to the port. Cabs are now flat rate of $27 to or from the port and airport. About a 20 minute ride. Got to port about 1 PM and they were already boarding. We blew through the Casinos at Sea line, got our cards and boarded. Rooms were not ready yet, took about another hour. On the Encore they board at two locations, forward and aft.
This was the week before super bowl so there was only the Pro Bowl which was playing at the time of the lifeboat drill. I missed it. The cruise ended on SB Sunday in Miami where the game was but we got a cab and got out of town long before the game started. Lots of red Jerseys in the airport.
The ship was new and shiny, there were some changes I'll note. The mid ship bar and restaurant is called the Local Bar now but still offers the same comp sandwiches and wings and a sit-down breakfast and lunch. Open 24 hours. The Cuchina restaurant was replaced with Onda. Cuchina is my favorite and Onda was a disappointment. We cancelled our second reservation there after our first visit. It's ala carte now which invites everybody and the place was noisy. we sat outside. The room has a domed ceiling which I think made it worse. Everything is on a larger scale so you had to plan ahead for everything. We went to Cagneys and waited 30 minutes after being seated before somebody showed up. Also ala carte. The Manhattan dining room, too big for it's own good. We went there once then opted for Taste or Savor which have the same menu but are quieter.
TV in the room, had your account info on it and a reservation site for shows and restaurants. The free movies were all old and anything newer was $9.95. We didn't watch any. We booked Kinky Boots, comp in the theater, 10:30 show. Not overly packed. We went to see the Beatles show also in the theater, comp and it was packed. The Beatles band plays 4 or more shows during the trip at various locations. They fill up fast. The band did an excellent job.
Our M&G was Monday, first sea day at the District Brewhouse. NCL is really aware of it's Cruise Critic clients. They had sample beer flights for us. Hors D'oeuvres trays passed around and we got to meet some of the officers. The next day we had chocolate strawberries in our room. We also met up with another couple with plans for dinner ashore in San Juan. We got into San Juan at 530 PM, didn't leave us much else to do. A local place a few blocks from the port, had a nice dinner. NCL also had a notice on the Freestyle about the free Cruise Critic web site access.
We had a Mini Mid on 13 which was nice. the shower has 6 body jet setup which I wasn't used to. so when I first went to use it, I twisted the handle instead of pulling it out and I activated the upper body jets. They happened to be pointed upward so water was squirting all over the place. On the ceiling, on the floor on the walls, got the towels wet and even made it across the room the get the toilet paper. I had to jump in with my clothes on to turn it off, then mop up the floor. Other than that it was a nice size shower and bath. It's still single file to walk around the foot of the bed. The seas were unusually calm the whole trip and I only felt some movement once or twice in bed. There are only two elevator banks and you go ashore on deck 4 but disembark on 7. There is a multi plug power strip on the desk and bedside lamp plug.
The casino is on 7 and there is a closed smoking ROOM with both machines and table games. We play Texas Hold em and they had one on the main floor with a $10 minimum and another in the smoke room with a $5 bet. The bar is right in the middle of it all along with large screen TV's. Lots of soccer. They also have a live Texas Hold em dealer game table. Everybody always complains that they loose on the slots the first night.
We are Casinos at Sea guests (discount room) plus Platinum so we get a few comp dinners.
If you want some quiet the observation deck is an amazing place and it's size is unreal. There is also a bar there and three mini snack stations. The pool area had about a million people out there, elbow to elbow. There was a second pool and a kiddie splash area. Everything was packed. No poolside food, but you can bring it out from the cafe on the same floor. Watched the race cars for a while, looks like they have a 7 lap race going on. Didn't check prices. Read Less