28 Norwegian Encore Entertainment Cruise Reviews

To start I have sailed with Norwegian 7 previous times on boats like epic getaway and breakaway. I have always loved them and hence bought into The cruise next which is a program that if you give them money to book again they give you ... Read More
To start I have sailed with Norwegian 7 previous times on boats like epic getaway and breakaway. I have always loved them and hence bought into The cruise next which is a program that if you give them money to book again they give you some extra money. I would never sail on the encore again. I will start out saying the room and employees were good and that was not my issue We booked everything with Norwegian including flight and transport to from the ship to airport. That is were the problems began. When we arrived in ft Lauderdale it was complete mess. People had been waiting since 8 am for a shuttle. We arrived at 11. Every other cruise line was very organized and had shuttle times and great communication. Norwegian had none of this. They kept telling us things like the shuttle wasn’t coming or they only had room for half of our family. At 200pm with the boat leaving at 4 and still no info on a shuttle coming we had to spend 300 dollars to cab the 11 of us to the ship. When we arrived at boat it took 6 tries for them to get me checked in and kept trying to give me keys with other people’s name on them. There were 30 to 50 people in line behind me. I ended up being the last one checked in. Because of that we had a really hard time booking things that you could only book on the boat as they were all sold out. Including passes to the go kart track. Which was main reason to go on this boat. The ship was very nice and clean. The boat had 2 water slides both fun but the ocean loop was barely ever open. The last day we left the beach just so we could do it one last time as the day before it was closed only to find out again it was closed for maintenance yet no one was working on it. Do not bring kids on this boat unless you have lots of money to spend. The laser tag and go karts cost 2 dollars a minute and are really only fun at night. The arcade and new vr games average a dollar a minute. There was no mini golf even thou they advertised that there is. There is no rock climbing wall or ropes coarse so there is very very little for kids to do. There is absolutely no night life on this ship at all. All the clubs and bars closed at midnight except a very small disco. Ever other ship has had piano bars and live music or something going on past midnight. You have a choose of 4 restaurants and a buffet. They only thing is that the 3 restaurant unlike other ships all have the same menu. The buffet was good but same things day after day. The local which is the new osheehan on other boats was good. It is open late but you also can’t get drinks after 12. The haven which is Norwegian’s high end rooms is 10 times the size of other ships and has its own buffet and restaurants. This leaves less room on ship for the things that others have. If you can afford haven I am sure you would enjoy this cruise. We took 11 people on this cruise not one of us wouldn’t rate this as the worst cruise we have ever been on. We have all done at least 12 cruises with Norwegian carnival royal Caribbean and Disney. It’s very sad this trip was not as advertised. It was very expensive This trip has completely turned me off of Norwegian cruise which is hard to believe that after the first 6 I thought and paid into cruise next because we were going to cruise Norwegian exclusively once a year as a group for ever. This trip actually broke my heart and love affair with Norwegian. I think the new ceo is looking to nickel and dime you instead of giving you a vacation you pay for. Final note the choir of men was fantastic Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were excited when we heard about the new Norwegian encore boat and received a fair price for a 7-day cruise. We were disappointed to find out that almost everything on the boat was at an upcharge. When we pulled into Puerto Rico, they ... Read More
We were excited when we heard about the new Norwegian encore boat and received a fair price for a 7-day cruise. We were disappointed to find out that almost everything on the boat was at an upcharge. When we pulled into Puerto Rico, they put out a sign on the bar saying that we needed to pay tax on the drinks! the boat says that there's three pools but what they neglect to say is one pool is in the elite section called The Haven which costed considerably more for a VIP experience. that leaves the "regular" guests to share one adult pool and one kid pool and you'll be fighting for a deck chair like no other boat we've ever been on. it was extremely annoying and disappointing. About always felt crowded the elevators were always packed. You're required to make reservations for almost anything on the ship and if your travel agent didn't advise you ahead of time you'll be stuck with only the latest times on the ships. The complementary food is mediocre at best. We did splurge to spend on a specialty restaurant and the food was amazing at the tune of about $125 for a couple. I will say that the shows were excellent and they did have name brand movies that they would show so I felt like they had quality entertainment but I would have much preferred us more spacious pullback where I could enjoy the sun instead of fighting over a lounge chairs. Next time I will spend a little bit more and go to Royal Caribbean where all guests are treated with the same upscale service and you're not going to add hundreds of dollars to your bill once you step foot on the boat. We had high hopes Norwegian, but this was a miss. Get rid of the silly laser tag and add a pool And make the go-karts free! If you're thinking of going on this boat do your research everything you'll want to do costs money. Everyone on the boat was speaking about it. That and how it was so overpacked and you felt like you were always having people on top of you. We did have a cabin for five which was small but we didn't spend much time in the cabin so it was adequate. The state rooms were attended by a steward 24/7 which was nice our room was always clean. We did like the freestyle dining that you could eat at anywhere at any time. There were ample bars and we felt like we could always get a drink. I don't think I would go back to this boat unless they opened up the Haven for all guests or they booked less gas in the public spaces or if they made things like some of the specialty dining restaurants and go karts video games and virtual realities for free instead of making everything cost more than for goodness sakes it's ridiculous to charge tax on drinks and ports! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this ship because it is the newest, most up to date ship in Norweigen’s fleet. We stayed in the Haven suite, which was an absolutely amazing experience. But thank God we did, because the normal pool and common areas are a zoo. ... Read More
We chose this ship because it is the newest, most up to date ship in Norweigen’s fleet. We stayed in the Haven suite, which was an absolutely amazing experience. But thank God we did, because the normal pool and common areas are a zoo. There are too many people on this boat to accommodate everyone at the pools and sun decks. We saw people fighting over beach chairs. The huge go cart track takes up a large part of the aft real estate, so the pool area is small. The go cart track costs $15 per person to use so I guess they’re trying to make money instead of accommodating guests. But our main complaint was the harmonic and rhythmic, horizontal ROCKING of this ship when it was underway. The Atlantic was like a lake for most of our cruise, with little to no wind. Yet while underway, we experienced a consistent horizontal rock at between 60 and 100 times per minute. I actually got up in the middle of the night and videoed the coat hangers in our closet rhythmically rocking that fast. There had to be something mechanically wrong - maybe a bent or out of balance prop or engine vibration. Believe me, I’ve been a boater my entire live and this was not a natural motion. It was so bad I even called to complain at 2:00am, but of course no one knew what was wrong. My wife, also a boater had to take Dramamine. And we weren’t the only ones complaining. I spoke to lots of folks who had the same issue. If you plan on cruising on the Encore you’d better be ready for some rocking/skating, and not the slow, pleasant kind. The food in all of the restaurants was wonderful. The Haven facilities are phenomenal, as was the spa and hot tub decks. If they could fix the shaking issue, this would have been a five star cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
Sail Date January 2020
Now we are at Day 7 and will disembark tomorrow. I feel like I have to write something before I go. This is our second time cruising. The first time was with Regal Princess and everything was just fine. This time we are looking for ... Read More
Now we are at Day 7 and will disembark tomorrow. I feel like I have to write something before I go. This is our second time cruising. The first time was with Regal Princess and everything was just fine. This time we are looking for something more thrill and exciting, so we chose Norwegian Encore. The ship itself is super new and beautiful, and the design of cabin is modern and simplistic which we all like it. One thing we all feel regret about this ship is the port of calls — only three of them and two are very similar. I cannot believe they stopped at San Juan from 6PM-12AM — and it was raining heavily. Who will go to San Juan in a rainy and windy night? You can barely see nothing on the street because everything is so dark. St. Thomas was okay because the helmet diving was fun ( and pricey). But Tortola is so similar and close to St. Thomas. The sugar cane beach was crowed, small, and not many water activities. We would rather like the ship just spends one day at Norwegian’s own island so that at least we can have more water activities. So, that’s three days of our 7-day trip. What about the other four days? We are super bored and want to go to more activities on board. And here comes the question: cancellation all the times. My dad liked the brew house a lot and there was a beer tasting event, but when my dad got there, he was told the event is cancelled. We really want to see the kinky boots and it is fully booked. We finally got seats on Day 6 but it was canceled due to the actor’s sickness. It’s okay because we have one more day on board. Surprisingly, on day 7, it is cancelled AGAIN because of the same reason. Fine, we ended up seeing nothing before we left. We also booked the Speedway Kart on day 7 at 12:30 PM— why day 7? because it’s fully booked on day 1 as well. We were super excited and looking forward to go kart on the sea, so we arrived earlier and wanted to be on the car ASAP. Surprisingly, we got rescheduled to 2 PM because of the mechanical problem. They were calling the manufacturer in Germany to fix the problem. Okay, we totally understand. So we ordered some drinks from the poolside bar and took a nap on the sundeck chair, and set an alarm rat 1:45PM to make sure that we would be there on time. Finally, it’s 1:45. We ran up to Deck 18 and waited in the line, but (maybe not) surprisingly, they told us they are still fixing the problem and we can not reschedule again because it is fully booked after 2. The only thing we can do is to cancel it and get a refund. We ended up doing nothing in the last a few days onboard but taking naps. Also I want to mention the food part. The specialty dining is excellent. We tried the steakhouse, ocean blue and the teppanyaki and they are all good. But the buffet is kind of disappointing. We have the same breakfast everyday and there are not many variety on lunch and dinner with very few seafood choices. We barely see shrimps provided, they are all mixed in other dishes with a small portion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose Encore because it is new, NCL, and looked great. I read mixed reviews about the ship but went on with our plans. We sailed from Miami to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola. We had an ocean view cabin because with three kids ... Read More
We chose Encore because it is new, NCL, and looked great. I read mixed reviews about the ship but went on with our plans. We sailed from Miami to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola. We had an ocean view cabin because with three kids that is basically all we could do (other than The Haven, which was five times more expensive). The cabin was nicer than usual. They put the closets between bed and sitting area and the curtain divider was a nice touch. The shower had a tub. The room decor was great and felt spacious for a family of five. We had to “side-step” around the foot of the bed to get around the room but it was fine. The ship moves more than any I have ever been on. The pools were normal for a large ship and didn’t feel smaller than others to us. In fact, it was easier to find a chair. The water slides are fun and the DJs and band were better than other NCL ships. Restaurants: We thought Ocean Blue was our favorite after sailing on prior cruises but we loved Food Republic. Nicholas suggested the chicken tacos and tuna pizza. All the sushi and handhelds were amazing. The food was truly fabulous. Onda was basically nothing to write home about, which surprised us. I actually thought the pizza was more impressive than other entrees. Le Bistro seemed less fancy than it usually does in terms of flavor. It felt off. We didn’t eat at Qs because we changed it to Food Republic again. The main dining room food was NCL standard- nothing bad and nothing excellent. The buffets in The Garden Cafe seemed better than usual- one night was seafood night and another was some turkey dinner thing. It was all fine. Kids Club did a good job keeping our elementary aged kids happy but our 3-year-old only went twice. She didn’t want to go again. I think with more effort they could have helped with the transition (Maze was able to do this once and we appreciated it because it worked). Some days, the staff didn’t seem to care who showed up. They told us about their plans to leave and go home soon. They seemed overworked and tired. A common theme on the ship. The ship itself was intense. Everything really was extra- the VR game room was $29 pp and the laser tag and other activities were similar. Plan on an extra $500-$1,000 by the time you pay drink taxes in port, play games, etc. We didn’t race the cars because they were unavailable per crowds or weather. The laser tag is skewed unfairly in favor of the blue team- the secret is so outlandishly unfair we felt ripped off after losing on the red team, but in the interest of surprises, I won’t spoil it here. I guess losing due to unfair advantage beats winning with one. The added games could be skipped. The VR room was kind of silly more than cool- but we liked Descent and Vertigo. Descent involved shooting aliens in a vertical tunnel. Vertigo had us walking a plank between skyscrapers to follow a kitten. It was intense and I recommend it before going to the bar, not after. This was like a roadside test we couldn’t pass. Kinky Boots was happy and uplifting but predictable. People walked out during the show- not sure if it was because it ran from 10:30-12:15 pm when we went or if they left due to other reasons. Drag queens are not for everyone but we enjoyed it. The Choir of Man was amazingly great. Those boys from Ireland can SANG. We even bought their Album. After years of Broadway shows, opera, symphony, ballet- this show is up there with one of the best (think Rent meets Celtic Woman). It had good humor and men seemed to particularly enjoy the show. San Juan experienced earthquakes and was totally dark and shut down. NCL still stopped there. We tried to walk around but the city was closed. We understand that it is an act of God but this felt like a wasted port for those of us paying thousands to travel. NCL should have re-routed to their island or something. St. Thomas is doing better post-hurricane and we had a lovely day at the tourist haven Magen’s Bay. Tortola was lovey. We did the ship excursion on Rebel Yell to Jost Van Dyke and chilled out at The Soggy Dollar bar beach. By far the best day ever. We only had to walk ten feet or so in shin-deep water, so our dry bag and water shoes made us laugh. We were over-prepared. Highly recommend Rebel Yell with or without children in tow. Encore is great and we had a nice time but it was a lot going on. The intensity of activities did have a Vegas feel. We did a calm painting class and found other ways to hide from the madness but it was too many bells and whistles for us. Overall, I gave 4 stars - if it were a report card it would be a solid B. It is not an A+ ship because it tries to be all things to all people. The crew on board were pretty under enthusiastic to be there, with the exceptions of Jose (who is promoting to an assistant cruise director on Sky) and Nicholas, who made dining on Encore a treat. The ship is clean and handsomely decorated. The Observation Lounge was grand and impressive. But even that wasn’t worth the added expenses of casino-like chaos while out at sea. We are more peaceful people who miss the simplicity of quietly traveling. I think if you keep your expectations somewhat low, the NCL Encore would pleasantly surprise you (especially if you buy lots of onboard credit certificates so you aren’t hit with a big bill). We liked the martini bar on Breakaway better than mojitos on Encore. Just a preference. Embarkation was easy (we arrived at 10:30 am and waited about half an hour inside). Disembarkation was lame and you can line up when you want - the color code system appears to be total bologna. Go when you want to go. Encore rolls as much as people say. Perhaps she is trying to shake loose of the overbuilt and overrated entertainment on her top decks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
NCL does a superb job with food, service, and communication. The entertainment was the best I have seen for a cruise ship. Loved our cruise because of all the attention to detail! The one thing we did not like was the closet layout ... Read More
NCL does a superb job with food, service, and communication. The entertainment was the best I have seen for a cruise ship. Loved our cruise because of all the attention to detail! The one thing we did not like was the closet layout in room. Very hard to get into. Any of the staff we met on the ship could not have been friendlier ! No matter where you went, you were greeted with a smile and a hello. Tables were always clea in the buffet room. Highly recommend this ship! The entertainment had something for everyone and all performances were over the top! The layout makes the ship very easy to get around! Pool area was always well kept and had awesome wait staff all the time. Very seldom did you have to wait for someone to take a drink order while basking in the sun. Crew kept people engaged in all activities! Great experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The wait for this ship was worth it. You definitely will not feel claustrophobic on the Encore. Getting on the ship in Miami was a breeze. We were welcomed by the crew with sparkling smiles. We headed to the dinning room for lunch, ... Read More
The wait for this ship was worth it. You definitely will not feel claustrophobic on the Encore. Getting on the ship in Miami was a breeze. We were welcomed by the crew with sparkling smiles. We headed to the dinning room for lunch, Taste. Service was good and the food was presented beautifully. We then explored the ship. Went up to the Observation deck which was unbelievable. They have comfy sitting areas with couches, lounge couches and chairs. There is a beautiful bar that makes a darn good drink. They also serve snacks in the daytime and light breakfast in the am. It’s a very quiet place for relaxing with beautiful views of the ocean. There are many venues for entertainment. The Cavern, Q(Country Western) Atrium, Mojito Bar, BrewHouse, and more. Kinky Boots was a show not to be missed, along with Choir of Man. We didn’t eat in the Buffet that often, but when we did it was always clean and servers willing to help in any way. I will say we thought the desserts on the ship were weak(nothing special). We did have breakfast and late snacks at the Local. Great breakfast options, warm pretzels and cheese dip, chili salads hot dog etc. We also ate at LeBistro, Ocean Blue Los Lobos, Q and Cagney. My least favorite was Q and my favorite was LeBistro. The Pool area does get congested and there are plenty of chair hogs. I did see security remove towels from chairs that were not occupied for a while. We looked at Laser at Tag, Virtual Gallery and the Race Cars, but did not do them, but looked like much fun. Go see Bong at the Mojito Bar, he makes the best Raspberry Guava Mojito ever. Three cheers for the Hotel Director Marc. The ship was beautiful then entire staff was amazing. Have been on many NCL cruises and by far I think this is my new favorite next to the Escape. Want to cruise again on the Encore. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Way overcrowded, bad use of space on the ship. You have to be on the sun deck by 7am to maybe get a chair, 2 very small pools, 1 kids, 1 adult.. 4 very tiny hot tubs. Way too many children, 1 hour wait for water slides most of the time. ... Read More
Way overcrowded, bad use of space on the ship. You have to be on the sun deck by 7am to maybe get a chair, 2 very small pools, 1 kids, 1 adult.. 4 very tiny hot tubs. Way too many children, 1 hour wait for water slides most of the time. The gym is way, way too small and lacks equipment. Room, food, restaurants, entertainment were all good. Make any RSVPs for spa, excursions, go kart etc before you get on the ship. It will be sold out by the time you get on the ship. Watch out for the drink package, be sure to ask when getting a drink if what you want is extra charge or not. They don't let you know then it's on your bill. Starbucks on board and good service. NCL blew it on this ship, bad design/layout, not such a stable ride either due what I am told is a German built ship that lacks the stabllizers on other ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Have been cruising for years and this is the first time I left the ship feeling truly disappointed. I usually like to linger onboard and disembark after the crowds, but I went ashore at the first opportunity. I was surprised by the ... Read More
Have been cruising for years and this is the first time I left the ship feeling truly disappointed. I usually like to linger onboard and disembark after the crowds, but I went ashore at the first opportunity. I was surprised by the ambivalence of many of the crew, though polite, they just seemed to be going through the motions. Especially considering this is a new ship, I was expecting to have the Norwegian “A” team onboard. It was a holiday cruise, so I anticipated having to book early for premium dinners and activities. However, I was unable to book all of the prepaid premium restaurants I wanted to dine in as everything was booked before we even left port. I also was unable to get a spot on the go carts, which wasn’t the end of the world, but I would have liked to try it. The highlight of the cruise for me was the Choir of Man Show, which was superb. I didn’t enjoy Kinky Boots as much, the lead singer’s voice and performance was just not compelling. I have enjoyed Norwegian Ships in the past and have sailed with them many times. I am surprised how disappointed I feel after a week on a cruise, I will definitely not sail on the Encore again. I usually buy Cruise Next while onboard but didn’t this time. If you are a smoker, do not get on the Encore. You will feel like a second class citizen and there are no outdoor venues which allow smoking. Their other ships had smoking corners outdoors, but not Encore. There is a very small enclosed smoking room with poor air circulation on Deck 8. The stool seating is uncomfortable, and the space was perpetually crowded. The seating in the Atlanta Airport smoking lounges is more comfortable. The acoustics are horrible, and it just amplified the constant complaining by the other passengers in the small space. The only other options are an enclosed space in the casino if you are gambling. As well as a Cigar lounge with great club chairs, but you are only allowed to smoke cigars in there. The spa thermal suite is nice and only marred by rude passengers talking loudly, ruining the tranquility of the space. The food was ok, nothing memorable, and the beverages were decent. The new Onda restaurant food was good, but the space is all hard surfaces and the noise level was just ridiculous with a full dining room. You could barely hear the server trying to take your order. They did apologize for the noise level and seemed to know this was a problem. I have been loyal to Norwegian for years, but will likely try a different Cruise Line now. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
the food was excellent. If we ate at the buffet or at the restaurants and the service also was top notch. The ship was very clean, restrooms kept at their best. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The ship decor was like a medium priced ... Read More
the food was excellent. If we ate at the buffet or at the restaurants and the service also was top notch. The ship was very clean, restrooms kept at their best. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The ship decor was like a medium priced hotel, nothing special. now not so good. We were not told of a 15.00 surcharge a day for the tipping policy. I am not sure how the servers are paid these funds, and it looks like the drink servers were not included in this package. If i had known this at time of sailing i would have tipped the runners. Just about everything has a extra charge. The virtual image thing was fun, but was $8.00 and lasted a minute . The games were the same way. The audience participation was limited to Deal or No Deal with a charge. The games were Held in the Atrium and people had to pull couches and chairs into that area, as the seating was very limited. If you did not sign up for the shows and specialty dining before the cruise, there was no availability. Forget the pool. There was one adult pool and it was the size of my condo pool and there was 3000 people on board. I will never sail on this large of a ship again. It will Be a smaller NCL boal Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Open space has been reduced to sardines in a can, it irked me to no end to see the free open space turned into a paying super expensive Vibe club. Outrageous!!!!!....Stop it already with the money grab trying to squeeze more and more ... Read More
Open space has been reduced to sardines in a can, it irked me to no end to see the free open space turned into a paying super expensive Vibe club. Outrageous!!!!!....Stop it already with the money grab trying to squeeze more and more money from us. You now have anywhere between 2000 to 2500 people using a tiny pool, hardly any space on the pool deck. I would consider another ship. Then there are the employees following around at the shops like you are some kind of thief ready to pounce on a cheap bracelet I can buy at the dollar store. Annoying and just rude. The good stuff: Buffet was very good, the specialty restaurants excellent food. Most of the staff was friendly, the ship was super clean. The enterteinment was excellent as well. The many games in the Galaxy Pavilion we enjoyed very much, we did the zombie kill, the spaceship, and the dinosaur park. All very good. We did not do the go cars, or the laser tag. My husband did the water slide and loved it. I will cruise again with norwegian but not on the encore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose Norwegian Encore after having a great experience on Epic the year before. Overall a wonderful experience. Left from the port of Miami and embarkation and disembarkation could not have been more efficient. Pros: There is ... Read More
Chose Norwegian Encore after having a great experience on Epic the year before. Overall a wonderful experience. Left from the port of Miami and embarkation and disembarkation could not have been more efficient. Pros: There is plenty to do. You will not be bored. There are abundant bars so it is easy to get drinks without waiting. Plenty of eateries. Rooms well appointed. Friendly crew. Great service. Despite reading reviews on the lack of deck space for sunning, never had an issue finding lounging space. Cons: The gym is about 1/3 of the size of the Epic gym and was crowded the majority of the time so if you are planning to work out, prepare to be frustrated. The Epic had an outdoor grill area where it was easy to grab and go while the Encore does not. There is also limited outdoor dining space. Public restrooms lack enough facilities to cover the mass of people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Caribbean cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola with NCL. Overall okay but not worth the money. The pool was either closed or half full of water. When open, the water was ice cold. The big water slide was closed on the entire cruise. ... Read More
Caribbean cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola with NCL. Overall okay but not worth the money. The pool was either closed or half full of water. When open, the water was ice cold. The big water slide was closed on the entire cruise. Paying an extra $1000 for family access to the Mandarin Spa, you would NOT expect it to be overfilled with people and the toilets not working. Paying through the roof for unlimited streaming WiFi, you would expect it to be streaming and not below 1Mbps 99% of the time. Paying full price for the virtual reality section and then discover that hardly half of the things we're working and the staff just giving excuses. Have cruised on Escape and Bliss, we found that the selections in the Garden Cafe were minimal. Some staff extremely friendly and helpful but this time we discovered more staff than earlier who was not very friendly. The outside bar on deck 8 had one waiter and a long line, then suddenly he walked away, and nobody came back for more than 30 minutes. Not a big deal as there are plenty of other bars, but it's just not what you expect. The ship was rolling all the time as we have never experienced before, but maybe their stabilizers were not working (as many other things) on this trip. We have this sneeking feeling that Norwegian is trying to save in a lot in different areas. We love the free style cruising and the fact we can eat when we like. On this cruise we were not alowed in one day to the Garden cafe for a late lunch. They explained the Garden cafe was closed but would open later for dinner. We never had that experience on Escape or Bliss. The wait time at the go cart track came to about 45 minutes despite reservation. The safety breefing was done by a staff member sitting in a cart with all drivers outside the fence and we could hear nothing. The carts despite being electric was fast enough and it was fun to try. However we think that there is too much go cart track on the ship and too little open space for guests in the pool area that most of the time was over crowded. On the last day we tried to get information about disembarkation procedures and times but could find nothing in the cabin or on the TV. We called Guest Services multiple times, but they never answered the phone. But no worries, we did get off although it was a heck of a walk through the ship and terminals and took more than an hour. We spent like $8,000 plus for three people and did not feel it was worth the money. NCL emailed a survey today, and after answering for 20 minutes and being 65% finished, they asked if I would give a review on Cruise Critic and when I answered yes, the survey was terminated abruptly, and I was sent to the NCL homepage. No "thank you screen" for spending time giving them honest feedback. Overall it's hard to see why we would choose Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I traveled with my wife and adult children. I watched a lot of reviews but somehow missed that the encore shows and dining reservations fill up the first few hours. The 1st full day of the cruise almost every show was full. I did make ... Read More
I traveled with my wife and adult children. I watched a lot of reviews but somehow missed that the encore shows and dining reservations fill up the first few hours. The 1st full day of the cruise almost every show was full. I did make one reservation for the teppanyaki restaurant before we left home, it was the best place we ate. The above information is what you need to know from this review. I was able to make reservations for late at night at Cagney's (disappointed) and Ocean Blue very nice place to eat formal ($40 for lobster over priced). We also was able to get in The Choir of Men a must see, and Kinky Boots very well done just not my cup of tea. I enjoyed the laser tag and a couple of virtual rides, but 250 pound weight limit on go-carts. Getting on was easy but crazy first two days with four thousands quest trying to sit around one swimming pool. There was an up-charge of $200 a piece for the adult only area, If you add the space for that and The Haven that is the back top 3 or 4 floors of the ship, off limits to most guests. With only three ports and one of them San Juan only 5:30 pm to 12 pm and most things on shore closed it was wasted port. To much time at sea and not enough space to get away from all the quests. I heard for a couple of staff that even they were not having fun and would try to return to their previous ship. We would not cruise on the encore again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have travelled Norwegian a few times and it has always been good - very underwhelmed by new boat expected more. We had booked a back to back and we were a little disappointed that we had. You had to book for shows never done that before ... Read More
We have travelled Norwegian a few times and it has always been good - very underwhelmed by new boat expected more. We had booked a back to back and we were a little disappointed that we had. You had to book for shows never done that before and only found out later there was a standby line. Comedy shows very repetitive they need new material. Choir of Men amazing ! Beyond words made our trip! Kinky boots good to. Entertainment lacking especially on sea days people walking around looking for things to do. Also a lot of disappointment that you were paying extra for Go Carts and Galaxy. Poor people with kids were bankrupt. San Juan arrival way to late it was dark and could not see anything. No quiet spaces. Observation deck lovely but cold. Ganesh, in Garden Buffet a credit to Norwegian. Curry Bar great. Guest services lacking 3 people on for that many people whoops. Staff all kind and protectional Norwegian standard but boat just ok. Adult pool small and kids often in it with life guard watching. Not great access for disabled Not enough seating in Antrim for shows. We did not purchase cruise next is this what is to come for more Norwegian Cruise felt like you were double dipping. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have read several reviews that have incorrect prices listed, or what seems to just be a rant and less of a helpful review. As some background info, I booked this vacation with my girlfriend (were 28 years old) and spent a grand total of ... Read More
I have read several reviews that have incorrect prices listed, or what seems to just be a rant and less of a helpful review. As some background info, I booked this vacation with my girlfriend (were 28 years old) and spent a grand total of about $1,800 ($900) each. For this value, I left the cruise feeling as I got a great value and overall trip. I plan to break this down further, as this cruise has MANY upcharges depending on what you want to do allowing one to customize their own experience. For other comments of couples who have spent over $4,000, I can certainly understand being upset. In my opinion, much of this is their fault, as these fees (for the most part) are clearly available through the NCL website, and many other sources. EMBARKATION: Quick and easy. Passengers are called up by groups but we just got in line and no one stopped us. When you get on the ship, everyone runs straight to the wall kiosk’s or in long lines at The Social to book entertainment for the week. Some events can be booked online, which I would suggest. Other entertainment options must be booked online. There are available kiosks throughout the ship so don’t waste your time in long lines, ride up a few floors and use an empty kiosk. Specialty dining options and comedy/Broadway shows book fast. Laser tag, escape room, go-karts were mostly available through the week. VIBE CLUB: With some of the ship modifications in comparison to others in the class, free to the public deck spare is very packed and sun spots are few. Many comments state that buying a vibe pass is the only choice, but this depends on your goals. Does a lounge chair, a quieter atmosphere, and a spot in the hot tub matter to you? Vibe may be your option. At $209 per person, these spots are not cheap. Tickets should be more easily available than other Norwegian cruises, as the Vibe has 230 or so seats. We were able to purchase these passes at 1:00pm on embarkation, so get there early but you don’t have to make a mad dash. Is a chair in the shade, close access to waterslides and the pool, a loud atmosphere, your atmosphere? Then do not worry about Vibe. SHIP ATMOSPHERE/STAFF: Although this was my first Norwegian cruise what may have made it most enjoyable was the other passengers. There was always a lively atmosphere with extremely friendly people. Not to say other cruises were not, but normally people seem to keep to themselves. There were also many younger people, and couples on this cruise making it much more lively. Staff, as you will find on any cruise, were extremely hard working, helpful, and enjoyable to speak with. This cruise also had a big LGBTQ following, so anyone part of the community would enjoy many of the activities geared towards this. I also found wheelchair access to be extremely helpful for these individuals. ENTERTAINMENT: Choir of Man was a fantastic show. It runs about 45 minutes and IS free (some reviews say it isn’t). Kinky Boots is one hour and forty-five minutes long and is great as well if you are into Broadway plays. There are two comedians who run 18+ shows, and a regular show. Both of the comedians were pretty good as well. Go-karts run in half hour blocks, cost $15 (or $199 for the week), and are about 20 minutes long. These are pretty fun, and go faster than you would expect. Laster tag runs in half hour blocks, is $10 per person and lasts about 15 minutes. I had originally signed up for this but after hearing many complaints cancelled my reservation. I was surprised at how few people seemed to visit the galaxy pavilion. Each ride in there besides one of the race cars and the escape room are $8 per ride (or you can buy a one hour block for $30). Each ride lasts about 5 minutes. I couldn’t find anyone on the cruise who had tried the escape room, and noticed many open spots were available all week for it. In general, all these activities had availability through the week, so don’t feel pressured to immediately book them. Only one waterslide was functioning during our cruise. The slide that drops passengers was closed due to plastic cutting them. The other slide was fun, a bit more slow paced, and always had about a 15 minute waiting line. The bars on the cruise were a nice stand out. Each bar from the brew house, country bar, Beatles show, Latin show at the mojito bar, the late night club, and the atrium band had a very different feel and were a lot of fun. Each bar has different specialty drinks and I spent a good amount of time at each bar. This was a highlight that really stood out, and I feel Norwegian did a good job here. A final thing to keep in mind is there are many upcharges you may not fully expect. If you want to communicate over the messenger on the Norwegian app it will cost $10/person. If you want to see the Probation stage play it will cost $30/person. If you want to play bingo, deal or no deal, or some other on board games you have to pay. This appears to upset many people which is understandable, but it also allows you to customize your experience while not having to battle large crowds to enjoy it. FOOD: The food on board was great. I only dined at the free to eat places, which were all amazing and had something for everyone. Seating at the main dining area is always available and I never had to wait. Specialty dining is quite popular. Many cruisers I heard from particularly enjoyed Cagney’s steak house, Food republic (sushi), Le Bistro (French), and Los Lobos (Mexican). STATEROOM: I stayed in the cheapest basic stateroom. I found the room to be clean and staff were very helpful. There is a lighting system when you need your room made up or if you do not want to be disturbed. The bathroom felt more spacious than other cruises even with the smallest stateroom. There are also USB ports on the bedside lamps to charge your phone. I spoke with many who had balconies and loved the experience. ISLANDS: San Juan stopped at 5:30PM – 11:59PM. This was a different stop but gave an opportunity to see the night life at San Juan if you like that idea. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you have the alcohol package, you will be charged tax for each drink while in San Juan (12% tax) and in Miami before leaving. St. Thomas: we visited Magen’s Bay as many do. This is a beautiful cove with calm and shallow water that extends out, making it ideal for families with young ones as well. There are excursions with strict time standards that are quite expensive through Norwegian. We found that taking a taxi on land was much cheaper. Round trip for two of up costs $32 ($16 each), and be aware that there is a $5 charge per person to enter the beach. This is to keep the area maintained and beautiful, and to pay for the lifeguards as well. Tortola: Many on board made the water taxi trip to The Baths which everyone raved about. We took a cheap route and visited Cane Garden Bay through a taxi on the island (also $32, but no charge for the beach). This was a nice area with shallow calm waters within a cove like Meghan’s bay, but much smaller and a bit crowded. DISEMBARKATION: Quick and easy process. If you plan on getting breakfast before a travel home, make sure to be up early. The buffet was entirely emptied out by about 8:30, and most everyone was off the ship around 9:00. You can choose to exit yourself, or if you have lots of luggage they will have you put your bags out the night before and dismiss you off the ship by groups as many other cruise lines do. FINAL THOUGHTS: Don’t forget that if you do buy into the alcohol package offer, this does NOT include gratuity, which will be another extra charge for you ($138). Also, 15$ per person is charged per day for inside state rooms totaling $210 for the week. I believe this is a bit higher if you have a larger room. Sometimes these fees can sneak up on you, so it is good to know. I would also strongly suggest looking up gift vouchers through eBay and other related websites. I was able to buy a $500 voucher for $350, which was very exciting to have that instant savings. These vouchers are pretty easy to find. . Personally, for the price I paid I really enjoyed the Norwegian Encore and had a great time. If I were to be looking to spend around that $3,000+ price, I would look at other cruise ship options. In the end, your experience is what you make of it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We always try the new ships. We stayed at Holiday Inn Port of Miami because it is close to Port and walking distance across the street to the Bayside Marketplace for waterfront shopping and restaurants. Also, we paid a fee xtra dollars for ... Read More
We always try the new ships. We stayed at Holiday Inn Port of Miami because it is close to Port and walking distance across the street to the Bayside Marketplace for waterfront shopping and restaurants. Also, we paid a fee xtra dollars for breakfast and transportation to Port. It took longer in the waiting area to board than prior ships. Once on ship, we waited in long lines to complete our entertainment and dining reservations. This is the first time NCL website didn’t allow. Balcony Cabin was the same. No towel animals but fine. The comedians were fantastic! a Chicago Puerto Rican man, Quinn the opener and the New York guy. The bands were great. My fave was the 2nd to the last night, Oceanfest or something like that when all the bands played together. Loved Choir of a man and liked Kinky Boots. Service was very good to excellent. We ate a Savor, Manhattan, Local, Onda, Los Lobos, Cagneys, Bistro and Q. Loved the specialty restaurants! We didn’t like being in Puerto Rico from 5:30 pm-12. Too late to see any tourist attractions. I loved the thermal suite except they seemed to allow loud, noisy people now. Not so peaceful. Crazy long lines to exit ship. In the end, it was still cruising on Norwegian which we are used to. It was probably our 12th NCL cruise. We have been loyal to this cruiseline mostly because of casinos at sea benefits. The Norwegian employees bust their butts. We will continue cruising with Norwegian. New ships not coming until 2022-2026. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Easy and quick. It didnt feel like I was on a large ship. I shared an inside stateroom and it was adequate. Didn't plan to spend much time in the room which is why I chose an inside ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Easy and quick. It didnt feel like I was on a large ship. I shared an inside stateroom and it was adequate. Didn't plan to spend much time in the room which is why I chose an inside stateroom. Happy I chose it! Dining was excellent even at the buffet. We saw a couple shows, Kinky Boots (not to my liking. Slow start and boring sorry!), and Choir of Man (Best show ever!). We also decided to catch the last comedy show which starred all three acts. Phenomenal!! Excursions: in Puerto Rico, we took a tour of old San Juan for only $20 per person. We did not book thru cruiseline. Our guide was funny and very knowledgeable. Would definitely do it again. In St. Thomas, we took a tour of the island ($25 per person not booked thru cruiseline) and snorkeling (booked thru cruiseline for approx $100 per person). Both the tour and snorkeling were great. Very nice people running both. In Tortola, we decided to go to Virgin Gorda, The Baths. A MUST! Absolutely gorgeous (booked thru cruiseline for approx $100 per person). Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked our cruise three weeks prior to sailing. The Encore is a beautiful ship. As Platinum past NCL guests we get two complimentary specialty dinners. We could not make reservations prior to sailing. We were able to book Cagneys ... Read More
We booked our cruise three weeks prior to sailing. The Encore is a beautiful ship. As Platinum past NCL guests we get two complimentary specialty dinners. We could not make reservations prior to sailing. We were able to book Cagneys Steak once on ship, but it was after standing in a long line upon boarding the ship. We couldn’t book a time suitable for our schedule, but eventually get in. The restaurant was overbooked & noisy. They were bringing servers from the BBQ restaurant to help out. Food was good, service fair. We booked the Italian restaurant, food was excellent, and service was excellent. Our first port was San Juan where we docked around 5:00 pm and left around 11:00 pm. My wife had the drink package, but since we were in port for the evening, she was charged port tax on her alcoholic beverages. ( not good). Overall this is a beautiful ship, but not freestyle like Norwegian advertises. Reservations are required for the two available major shows as well as the comedy shows. We were charged a delivery charge when we bought their water package. Additional charges are for the upper deck and go carts. We do not plan to ever sail on Norwegian ‘s large ships again. Way too many people and too difficult to enjoy the shows, etc. The Liverpool Beatle group sounded like a cat got his tail ran over by a rocking chair. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I went on this cruise with a number of friends. We had a stateroom with a balcony overlooking the sea, on the 10th deck. We departed from Miami, went through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We did three excursions and saw several shows ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a number of friends. We had a stateroom with a balcony overlooking the sea, on the 10th deck. We departed from Miami, went through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We did three excursions and saw several shows on board. I enjoyed the dining options. The buffet was delicious and varied. The freedom to remove food from the buffet was invaluable. The Local had a number of good food options. That said, the dining hours were a little difficult to navigate on a vacation schedule. I would have liked more late-night food options--a slightly more substantial buffet offering for the wee hours and between meals, for example. Kinky Boots was great fun. The cast was good and even with a technical pause in the middle of the show it was a worthwhile expenditure of time. My wife and I took the beverage package--not the most elite package, the one right below that. It was more than sufficient. The best drink on board is the raspberry-guava mojito at the mojito bar. I wish they had more bartenders there because demand was almost always high, but I 100% recommend this drink. The biggest issue my wife and I had with this trip was the lack of pool and recreation space. On the Encore, much more space is dedicated to amenities like the go-kart track, lazer tag, escape room, virtual reality arcade, and so forth. There are two pools available for average cruisegoers--a children's pool, and a tiny, TINY, general usage pool. Seriously, the main pool is so SMALL. Unless, of course, you're staying in the Haven. The upper few decks are premium content that cost an additional fee, and include more hot tubs, relaxation spaces, and better pool. Without being in the Haven, I felt like a second-class citizen. There was a lot to do but I was looking forward to relaxing in a pool environment and that's simply not a good option unless you pay for the Haven. We had a massage at the spa which was excellent. The excursions were also quite fun. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Over a year ago my family of five, along with some friends of ours and their families, excitedly purchased tickets for a Thanksgiving cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Encore. Our cruise was the second voyage after the maiden the week ... Read More
Over a year ago my family of five, along with some friends of ours and their families, excitedly purchased tickets for a Thanksgiving cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Encore. Our cruise was the second voyage after the maiden the week preceding. The Breakaway Plus-class of ships is touted as NCL’s top of the line cruising experience boasting “more than two dozen dining venues, some with waterfront dining experiences; a racetrack; a virtual galaxy pavilion; a laser tag course; and water slides that will take adventure-seekers’ breath away” according to a USA Today article (ref: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2019/11/26/norwegian-encore-cruise-ship-sails-norwegian-cruise-line-new-ceo/4296007002/) Well NCL, you took our breath away, but not in the way that the article claims you would. Three days in to the cruise we feel as though the wind has been knocked out of us and are overwhelmed with disappointment. The best way to liken this experience is to commercial airlines, and I can say with absolute honesty that NCL is the Spirit Airlines of cruising. We have been nickel and dimed every step of the way. After claiming that kids eat free if kids menus at the specialty dining restaurants we have come to find that they only “eat free” if there is a kids menu (which includes Campbell’s quality chicken noodle soup, Kraft-style macaroni and cheese, and PB & J). However, there was no kid’s menu at the hibachi restaurant (or at least not one the servers knew of). So, in order to eat with the family, they must order off of the main menu at full cost. All of the free activities that were included on competitor lines like Disney Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean have been replaced with a pay to play structure and most require reservations prior to setting sail, leaving spontaneity out of the question for this cruise experience. To offer another comparison, the onboard activity experience is like paying to go to Disney World and then having to pay per ride once inside. As a mother of three children ages 8-11 I am left with two options, pay a premium for my children to be able to do nearly any activity except swimming or leave them to roam the decks endlessly with nothing fun to do. Not to mention that the majority of the ship’s virtual reality experiences are not even available due to technical breakdown. Just today, when we showed up for our 3:30PM laser tag reservation, we were turned away because it was broken, and told there were no more available reservations for the duration of our trip. After spending about 30 minutes speaking with numerous staff, one of whom was extremely rude and disrespectful, a supervisor finally rebooked us for Thursday evening. Which is not ideal, since we will have been in port all day and have Thanksgiving dinner reservations, but it was our only option to play laser tag, which our kids have been eagerly anticipating for the past year. Additionally, upon check-in, we were given the opportunity to block charging on our kids’ cards. We blocked their ability to make charges, so if a card was misplaced and found by someone else, it couldn’t be used to make charges to our account. However, we were not informed that blocking them from making purchases also prohibits us, as parents, for booking any onboard activities for them. It took 2 trips to guest services, two trips to the box office, a trip to the finance office and a total of 2 hours to resolve this issue. By this time, nearly all onboard activities were booked for the week. It makes no sense that a parent cannot book activities for their own children without unlocking charging on the kids’ cards, and even less sense that it took so long to correct the issue and we were not informed of that restriction when blocking charging for the kids. Shows, one can always count on the shows onboard right? Wrong. Not on the NCL Encore. Show tickets must be booked well in advance before boarding the ship and getting tickets for a family of 5 is nearly out of the question. Grasping at straws to find a way to enjoy our vacation I figure that we can always swim or soak in the hot tub; again, not on the Encore. By day three the hot tub was broken (along with the outdoor ice/water machines) and one can only access the 18+ pool area by buying a pass. We thought we would try the kids area, but there are only 110 spots available for 4,000+ guests, so, we were told unless we drop the kids early (they pay extra for them to go to dinner with the group), it would be unlikely we would ever get a spot. However, there is not lack of availability for the “after-hours” childcare that garners an hourly fee. Even the 250 minutes of “free” internet requires an activation fee! How on earth is it free internet if you have to pay in advance to access it? At least they don’t try to hide the à la carte experience once onboard. There are 2-3 min long announcements that come on the ship-wide speakers advertising any and everything else they can to up-sell passengers, and, if that isn’t enough, the little red light on our in room phones is constantly blinking to alert us of the infomercial like messages that have been so graciously recorded to reiterate all of the “offerings” onboard. Sell, sell, sell. I can only imagine what the sales quotas are for each department on ship with this kind of constant harassment. It feels more like a flea market than an all-inclusive cruise. Whether Andy Stuart (president and CEO of NCL from 1988 to 2019) or Stuart’s successor Harry Sommer (ref: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2019/11/26/norwegian-encore-cruise-ship-sails-norwegian-cruise-line-new-ceo/4296007002/) who manipulated the onboard experience to be what it is on the Encore and presumably other Breakaway Plus NCL ships, the experience for my family and my friends’ has been a massive disappointment and one we wish to help other families avoid in the future. In short, we paid well over $5,000 for snake oil. A family friendly experience marketed as all-inclusive is anything but. NCL has missed every mark and left us feeling the overwhelming disappointment of a bait and switch scheme. Shame on you NCL. Shame on you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my 4th cruise on NCL. I sailed on the brand new Norwegian Encore. Unfortunately, out of the 20 plus cruises that I have taken, this was the worst cruise. The service was very poor. Long lines to get drinks and waited 20-25 ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise on NCL. I sailed on the brand new Norwegian Encore. Unfortunately, out of the 20 plus cruises that I have taken, this was the worst cruise. The service was very poor. Long lines to get drinks and waited 20-25 minutes in line at guest services both times. The rooms were very small and the room steward was not personable nor did he do anything extra in any way. Actually, none of the staff were very personable at all, unlike all other cruises. The food was OK but certainly not excellent like you would expect on a brand new ship. They also "nickled and dimed" you for everything. The specialty restaurants are not longer a $20-35 upcharge only. They now charge" a la carte" pricing. We ate at the French restaurant, just 2 of us, no alcoholic beverages included, and our tab was $120. That did not make us happy. The sofa that my 11 year old sleep on (3 to our cabin) was the most uncomfortable thing ever. Even my 65 lb., 11 year old was sore and uncomfortable. The race track and the laser tag were additional "pricey" charges, but that was not advertised to us when we watched the commercial and subsequently booked this new ship. I could go on and on. There were 13 of us and not one person enjoyed this ship. If this is the way NCL does things now, then that is the last time we cruise with them. Just booked a cruise on MSC for the first time. Sure hope that it's a good one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I felt as though NCL NICKELED and DIMED their patrons. Everything has a price. You have to make Reservations for almost everything - shows - comedy shows-activities by the time u try and make Reservations Everything is booked. Food in ... Read More
I felt as though NCL NICKELED and DIMED their patrons. Everything has a price. You have to make Reservations for almost everything - shows - comedy shows-activities by the time u try and make Reservations Everything is booked. Food in the Manhattan dining room was ok - at least u could choose more than 1 appetizer and entree. If you wanted lobster or any type of seafood, you had to purchase the dinning package. If there are 4 of you in the room, only 2 of you can chose the dining package. Dining at the Specialty Restaurants is not Free Style, because you can only choose 1 appetizer, one entree and one dessert. I’m wondering if Free Style - means NCL is Free to charge you any way they can. Gluten Free options are very scarce at all of the restaurants and bakeries. The ship was Extremely Cold. People traveling along in my party got sick, because temperature on board. So if you plan on cruising NCL - bring cold medicine. Bring Gluten Free Snacks if you have a Gluten allergy and bring extra monies for all of the extra charges - if u plan on racing, viewing a show, painting. This is not a cruise for Families. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Warning! The Interconnecting Cabins you booked on NCL Encore may NOT interconnect! We are on the November 24th sailing, and booked two interconnecting mini-series on deck 15. We paid extra for the interconnecting cabins, and NCL ... Read More
Warning! The Interconnecting Cabins you booked on NCL Encore may NOT interconnect! We are on the November 24th sailing, and booked two interconnecting mini-series on deck 15. We paid extra for the interconnecting cabins, and NCL assured us, verbally and in writing, that our cabins had an interior interconnecting door. When we got to our cabins we immediately realized that the cabins do NOT interconnect. The deck plans for Encore's deck 15 clearly show our cabins as interconnecting. Guest Services simply told us they were sorry, the deck plans are wrong and have not been updated. They offered us $100 shipboard credit for the inconvenience of my wife and I having to sleep in separate cabins (one parent with each child) for the duration of the cruise. Not very romantic, and $100 shipboard credit obviously doesn't cut it. We ran into another couple with the same problem on deck 13. If you booked an interconnecting cabin for a future cruise, and especially one on deck 13 or 15, contact NCL or your travel agent NOW to confirm. Get it in writing if you can. The NCL onshore reservations department needs to get their facts straight with regard to the Encore's room categories. Spending a week in separate, non-connecting cabins puts a real damper on the cruise. The ship is very nice, and the food and service is also very good. Go karts are hit and miss. If you have a 10:30am go kart reservation, don't expect to actually get on until about 11:45am, especially if you want a double passenger kart, which are only available a few hours per day. Laser tag is fun, but the system has been down with glitches. The complimentary restaurants are just as good as the surcharge restaurants, and the entertainment is also quite good. The cabins are nice, but we gave them a 1-bubble rating due to the screw up. Just bear in mind that, if you are traveling with kids and really need the interconnecting cabins, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The whole ordeal may have been a bit more comical had we not been on the ill-fated NCL Jade voyage that broke down in Puerto Rico this time last year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Norwegian Encore Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 4.5 3.6
Entertainment 5.0 3.4
Public Rooms 5.0 3.5
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.5 2.9
Service 4.0 3.6
Value For Money 3.0 2.9

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