13 Norwegian Encore Senior Cruise Reviews

We had a mid ship mini suite on the Encore. There was plenty of storage and a gorgeous bathroom that had a double sink and a step in shower. We booked all our entertainment and dining either online before we embarked or the day of ... Read More
We had a mid ship mini suite on the Encore. There was plenty of storage and a gorgeous bathroom that had a double sink and a step in shower. We booked all our entertainment and dining either online before we embarked or the day of embarkation. We had absolutely no problem scheduling all the things we wanted to do. Anyone who complains about doing this is flat out not computer literate or they are not calling NCL. The food in the free restaurants and Specialty dining was excellent. The service was top notch. Once again those that are complaining must eat 5 star quality at all their meals! The ports were all well scheduled and embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. The ship does not move anymore than other ships we have sailed. We have been on Disney, Holland and Royal Caribbean and NCL compared with all of them. Now people have complained about seating at the pool. Well I am here to tell you that all the pools on the 15 voyages we have been on are small. If cruise lines made them bigger there would be no seats to speak of. Get a balcony if u don’t like crowds. We would sail this ship again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We were on the Encore for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise departing on Feb 16th in accessible room 10886.  Automatic room door was a great help.  My husband in his wheelchair could handle room access unassisted.  The roll-in shower ... Read More
We were on the Encore for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise departing on Feb 16th in accessible room 10886.  Automatic room door was a great help.  My husband in his wheelchair could handle room access unassisted.  The roll-in shower arrangement was excellent - no water to mop up after showers.  The ramping to the balcony was easy to use because there was no drop off going out the door onto the balcony.  There was enough space to maneuver both his manual day chair and commode wheelchair. As the caregiver, I was disappointed that the only chair in the cabin was an uncomfortable desk chair.  When it was too cool to sit on the balcony, I sat on the bed.  We were disappointed with accessible seating in entertainment venues.  This was quite a surprise given how well our room has been designed for accessibility.  When we attempted to enter The Cavern, his wheelchair got stuck between the two entrance doors.  Seating at the rear of the theater had too high of a blockage for a short person to see the stage.  I was also surprised that the only wheelchair companion seating was a hard plastic folding chair.  For those who can take a few steps, they can park their wheelchair or walker at the top and move to handicapped seating.  Since my husband cannot walk,  theater staff then directed me to go to Customer Service to request access to the wheelchair seating in the front of the theater.  Marina Caparros was very helpful at making access arrangements once we connected with her.  Seating at the front of the theater requires access thru crew areas and when you get to the wheelchair area, there is no reserved handicapped companion seating is marked.  Sometimes these seats were already taken so I had to sit elsewhere.  I felt public entertainment venues  were not welcoming or well planned for wheelchairs.  This is my 16th cruise with a wheelchair.  Never before was it necessary to work with an access coordinator to access public spaces on previous cruises. The entertainment, Choir of Men and Kinky Boots, were well done. Maneuvering the Garden Cafe for someone in a wheelchair was very challenging.  Difficult to find a table with wheelchair access and way to crowded.  Almost had a plate of food dumped on my husband's head by another passenger who didn't see him because of the height of a wheelchair.  So we avoided this whenever possible.   Getting from one end of the ship to the other with a wheelchair took several tries before we found what worked for us.   After one attempt to go from one end of the ship to the other via the pool decks, it became obvious that it is NOT a pathway for wheelchairs.  We had to ask several people to move their chairs out of the pathway so we could get through.  Attempting to go cross ship in cabin hallways resulted in needing to move multiple carts so we could get through.  Because going across the ship on 6-8 was mostly carpeted and difficult to push a wheelchair, when weather permitted, we used the Waterfront to traverse the distance between elevators.  The Waterfront and Observation Lounge  were wonderful.  Automatic doors often required push button activation and activation buttons were not consistently located.  Some automatic doors closed too quickly to enable a wheelchair to pass though.  On sea days the Observation Lounge had several groups of very enthusiastic teens.  More separate space is needed for teens.  With 4600 passengers there was insufficient public spaces on sea days.  I would hate to see what this is like when school is out....    Of all the eating venues, it was much easier to maneuver a wheelchair in Taste and Savor.  Portion size was hard to predict.  Some appetizers were entree size.  Maitre 'D Scott Goes ensured that our dining experience was excellent.  Our primary server, Odessa and her assistant, Alyanna, did an outstanding job.    This is a lovely ship with good food and entertainment.  We wanted to give it a try.  A smaller ship that is less congested works better for us.  Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
NCL Encore is the newest ship currently. NCL has really improved in traffic flow, decreasing congestion, a wide range of activities for all ages. Nightly bars, shows, comedy clubs, entertaining music all occurring at the same time in so ... Read More
NCL Encore is the newest ship currently. NCL has really improved in traffic flow, decreasing congestion, a wide range of activities for all ages. Nightly bars, shows, comedy clubs, entertaining music all occurring at the same time in so many different areas. We stayed on deck 15, close to the observation lounge. We thoroughly enjoyed the food presented at different stations, views, bar etc. Coffee, tea, water was always available. NCL really improved the Garden Cafe. Many different stations well placed to ease traffic flow. You no longer felt like you were a sardine in a can. The Comedy Club had family shows and adult shows. M Simone and Tom were excellent. Kept the audience laughing. My husband is telling their jokes to family amid many laughs. The band Guns and Rojas was very entertaining. They had a wide range of music and knew how to engage the audience. Dining was great. Complimentary and specialty both. The two sit down restaurants with a bar in between served delicious food. And staff would work with you to individualize orders. Q restaurant had outstanding barbecue sides and choices. Cagney’s, Los Lobos , and don’t forget the chicken wings at the Grill. We did several shore excursions. Kevin for St John by Land and Sea was excellent, informative and really talked to the group. Lance the Florida Everglades was superb. Very entertaining, brought a wealth of information, and different objects such as alligators teeth, alligator objects, for us to see and handle. During the Everglades Park part of the tour he stayed with the group providing additional information. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This entire cruise was fabulous from start to finish. My husband and I traveled with 38 of our neighbors. It was my 4th cruise on NCL and I’m liking this cruise line more and more. Embarkation was easy and staff was very friendly. We ... Read More
This entire cruise was fabulous from start to finish. My husband and I traveled with 38 of our neighbors. It was my 4th cruise on NCL and I’m liking this cruise line more and more. Embarkation was easy and staff was very friendly. We had to go an extra step and fill in a form regarding the new corona virus but that’s fine by me. We had a balcony cabin on the 12th deck. Our stateroom and balcony seemed to be the same size as the ones we had on the Breakaway and Getaway. Perfect for a cruise! Our cabin stewardess was Maria Lourdes Villaverde who was very personable and kept our cabin spic & span for the duration of our cruise. We requested an extension cord and distilled water as soon as we boarded because my husband and I both have CPAP machines and they were delivered within 15 minutes...that’s outstanding service. We especially liked the fact that the cruise line has installed USB outlets on the lamps above the bed as well as spotlight reading lights! We ate twice in Cagney’s, once in Ocean Blue and once at Teppenyaki. Everything was superbly presented and incredibly delicious. All the other meals were either at Taste, Savor or Manhattan dining rooms. We don’t ever go to the Garden Buffet especially with so many children on board, many of whom enjoy touching the food with their grubby hands! We spent quite a bit of time in the mostly peaceful Observation Lounge reading and chatting with friends because neither of us are sun worshipers! Several times throughout the day a light buffet is set up at various locations in the Observation Lounge with many healthy food choices. We did have a few snacks from that impeccably clean and tidy buffet. Service at the bar there was splendid. Though we did buy the drink package, I don’t think we will in the future because I found that we drank more than we normally do at home just because we had the package! Who needs all those empty calories? All of the entertainment was fantastic with the exception of the Prohibition Show that we paid $35/per person. It truly should have been included as free entertainment. It wasn’t anything special at all and we weren’t the only ones with that opinion. We particularly loved Choir of Man and comedian Warren B. Hall. Kinky Boots was excellent but difficult to understand because they all had thick Cockney British accents. We didn’t go on any excursions as we just did the same itinerary on the Breakaway in November and did some great tours booked thru NCL. Sadly, Cruise #52 came to an end this morning. Disembarkation was very organized and easy — much easier than when we debarked the Breakaway in our New York to Bermuda cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This ship was built for more passengers but they neglected to enlarge the public spaces. Reservations are required for most everything making it a scramble every day to book restaurants and even the theater Up charges and fees for ... Read More
This ship was built for more passengers but they neglected to enlarge the public spaces. Reservations are required for most everything making it a scramble every day to book restaurants and even the theater Up charges and fees for every activity. The pool area is not separated from the kids pool, hot tubs are one deck up from the pool - only 2 on each side and they’re tiny and filled with children. There is no quiet adult area unless you pay $200 pp for the Vibe beach club which is just a sun deck with a bar and 2 small hot tubs. Cabins seem smaller than usual as are the balconies. Our cabin has the bed up against the tiny tiny closet so only 1 person get get at it at a time. No drawers, no hooks for clothes and very few shelves Dining was ok. Tough gettimg reservations at specialty restaurants due to number of passengers. The French Bistro was not available at all due to a large party booking it for the entire cruise. Smoking: smokers are relegated to a box (like in airports) on deck 8 ( where if you dare go out of the box the smoking police give you a ticket for a fine)or is a sealed off section of the casino. Gambling is REQUIRED OR THEY KICK YOU OUT. All in all it was the worst ship and the most frustrating and annoying cruise I’ve ever taken. Never again Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience Encore during her first year. She is a beautiful ship with seemingly something for most everyone. Public areas are plentiful and spacious. Teenagers can be entertained by a huge arcade, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience Encore during her first year. She is a beautiful ship with seemingly something for most everyone. Public areas are plentiful and spacious. Teenagers can be entertained by a huge arcade, driving the heavily advertised “go-carts” on a big track located on the top deck aft, or enjoy the thrill of the water slides. The Haven areas are the most gorgeous and spacious we’ve experienced, but not perfect; For instance, Deck 19 sun/lounging area does have two hot tubs and two shower areas (nice!), but no bar ( like the Epic). The smoking area up there is extremely small... consisting of only TWO loungers and located totally forward (read VERY WINDY). As a matter of fact, smoking areas throughout the ship are scant and the no-smoking policy is STRICTLY enforced. This will make non-smokers giddy with joy, and smokers very unhappy. We found the entertainment sub-par, except for “Choir Of Man” excellent. Only our opinion, though. Haven restaurant food is excellent on this ship... kudos to the Chef and his team. Same menus as the last seven years (!) but with a couple new offerings (delicious prime rib and new prep of smoked salmon frittata, also very good). What seems to be making the same-old, same-old menu items taste better than before is the fact that they’re reaching the table at the perfect temperature and consistency and the artful presentation is very appealing. Only two specialty restaurants at which we dined were traditionally my favorites, LaBistro and Onda (LaCucina on other ships). LaBistro was not excellent on this ship on that night! The restaurant was loud, hot, and not at all relaxing, with the food being quite inferior to my past experiences. Their “famous” mushroom soup was grainy and room temp this visit and I sent it back... they nuked it (I guess) and then it was at least palpable. My main was forgettable and I didn’t finish it. Onda was okay and better than Bistro, but neither really worth the upcharge. O’Sheehans has been renamed but located still near the Atrium, still really noisy, still the same pub menu and still reliably tasty if you occasionally like that sort of food... and we do! We were generally pleased with the ship crew we encountered. Everyone greeted us with a smile and seemed happy to be working on this ship. The bar “runner” Oliver up on Deck 19 ideserves mention because he’s very hard working and attentive to those he “serves”. Our room steward, Julito, was always smiling and never forgot to follow up on a request and maintain our preferences. He really deserves to be a Butler! Misses Jennifer, May, and Ratzchelle in the Haven restaurant are outstanding! Although we chose this particular cruise because of the ship, We really liked the itinerary because it afforded us four sea days to explore the Encore, with the ports in between; an evening stop in SanJuan, St Thomas next day, and lastly Tortola. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
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
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
Wanted to experience NCL’s newest ship. She’s a beauty! Ship’s design prevents crowding in popular spots. The Observation Lounge and the Waterfront are favorite spots for relaxing. Dining options are exceptional - Le Bistro is so ... Read More
Wanted to experience NCL’s newest ship. She’s a beauty! Ship’s design prevents crowding in popular spots. The Observation Lounge and the Waterfront are favorite spots for relaxing. Dining options are exceptional - Le Bistro is so good we went a second time. Kinky Boots and Choir of Man provided high-quality entertainment. I’m a fan of NCL’s Free-Style cruising so I always choose an NCL ship but the Encore exceeded my expectations. Was not a fan of the ports-of-call so didn’t leave the ship - stayed aboard and enjoyed the quietness. An extra bonus was that there were very few children aboard. My cabin steward kept my cabin clean and fresh. As a Latitudes Platinum member I enjoy the complimentary wine and strawberry’s. Boarding in Miami was very organized and well managed. NCL’s method of categorizing groups for disembarkation is very efficient. Staff is available, friendly and very helpful by answering questions and giving directions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We flew into Miami on Thanksgiving day and stayed at the Holiday Inn Bayside at the Port. The staff are wonderful, make sure you get a bayside suite if you want a suite. I thought I ordered one of those and was told no and was given the ... Read More
We flew into Miami on Thanksgiving day and stayed at the Holiday Inn Bayside at the Port. The staff are wonderful, make sure you get a bayside suite if you want a suite. I thought I ordered one of those and was told no and was given the most dismal suite with a view of nothing. I was staying there 3 days. I went back down after waiting 5 hours for it and my wonderful sweet lady that I had been talking with all day and did not give me that room. Finally ended up with a beautiful bayside room. We had breakfast when we got there, a buffet that was well tasteless and the cost was just $43 for 2. When we got our room they said with a smile you also get a free breakfast each morning. I asked if I had to have the buffet and was informed no you can order off the menu so the first morning we did. Free is not always better. Go out the door take a right and 2 blocks away on the right a café the BEST BREAKFAST IN THE WORLD. Sorry can't remember the name but we had to find it so you should as well. After all I did warn you about your free breakfast. We went to the Aquarium, don't waste your money. Oh and get your own cab. Don't let the hotel arrange anything for you $$$$$. Dolphin Mall 240 Outlet Stores best of Miami. Finally time to pack for the cruise again. We took a cab at 11 which took maybe 7 minutes and got right in the terminal. I had to wait for a wheelchair as I wear oxygen at times and walking the gangway thingey gets me way out of air so they wheel me to the ship and away I go. That was wonderful on the ship to get the Vibe pass (never had one, never again), show tickets. We were the 3rd in line. The computer went down before we got to get our show tickets, however we got to give him our sheet and he took them. I only wanted to see Kinky Boots so I got the reservation for that. If I could give it 10 stars I would. If was wonderful and I just don't want to go into it as I want you to enjoy it. We went to have lunch, my first experience with the food. I am sorry, I love food almost any kind, however the food on the Encore was pretty much tasteless. Now I know what you are thinking, I said the hotel breakfast was no good either,, well this was a step um maybe 3 steps above that. I will give them one thing. They had the best desserts. I lived on them. Oh wait they also had the best soups. There was one night I just was now feeling well so I told hubby I will have soup. We went up there and it was Seafood night. All the Lobster, Crab legs, Shrimp, Oysters, Mussels, etc my favorite and I don't feel good. Enough of the food. Except Main Dining Room a step above service 5 stars. Our Room was a Spa Mini Suite which as approximately 6 cabins from the Observation Deck. Yes we were on Deck 15 our suite was everything you would expect, beautiful, lots of room to move around, huge shower big enough for 2 with a double sink. The balcony was kind of skinny but nice with a nice hangover so the sun really did not get on you much. We had a coffee maker in our cabin with was really nice. The best part of being in that room was being close to the Observation that had a bar, served a light breakfast and lunch. It had windows all around the bow of the ship with chairs, sofas, tables lamps and loungers. Every morning my hubby would go and get us Danish to have with our coffee on the balcony. We are gamblers and with my COPD it was nice that they had a separate smoking casino and a larger non smoking one. The ship is beautiful, bartenders are great, the Beatles show was disappointing after watching it on the Getaway which was wonderful. We lost 7 pounds each from all the walking we did but we had a wonderful time and would not hesitate to sail her again. I really wish her food would improve but would really sail again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I was on the maiden voyage of Norwegian Encore from Southampton England to New York. The ship is the last in a group that started with Breakaway...I sailed twice on Breakaway but never really liked the ship chocking on second hand ... Read More
I was on the maiden voyage of Norwegian Encore from Southampton England to New York. The ship is the last in a group that started with Breakaway...I sailed twice on Breakaway but never really liked the ship chocking on second hand smoke. On Encore they have pretty much corrected that, except I don't know about the promenade as it was always too cold and nasty to use the area. A North Atlantic crossing in November is NOT good. We had gail force winds and rain...the exterior of the ship was pretty much no go most of the time so you really got a lot less for your money. They should said south to Lisbon, cross over to Bermuda and then North to New York so passengers get the full use of the ship. I was at the bow so it was rough in the gail...the balcony furniture was levitating like something out of Harry Potter and in the middle of the night the flying furniture was slamming into the glass doors and I was so terrified it would break the glass that I rushed over...slid the door open with great difficulty...the Gail and the wake from the bow was very sevier like Niagara...I was nude in the freezing rain on the 10th level grabbing furniture and staking it in the only corner that seemed to miss the wind...I had trouble pushing the door shut again and even then the wind was pushing through the seams. I was soaking wet and had to dry myself before going back to bed. Not what I expected at 81 years of age. The weather is not the fault of N.C.L. but the balcony furniture could perhaps be a bit heavier so it can't fly...I suspect some went into the sea. My stateroom 10108 was the standard layout...it seemed more narrow than usual...No chair at the dest just a box to sit on. The "couch" which is really a day bed for jamming more passengers into the room is like sitting on a plank...not comfortable but the only option for watching T.V. news if you don't want to lay on the bed. Vanity poorly laid out...the desk area had a tray with coffee pot and mugs etc and no place to put your computer etc. the phone was out of reach...this area in this room did not function. The first rule of design is functionality...no matter how nice it looks it must function... The bed was great, the bathroom was great...the location was a bus ride from the elevators so I suggest allowing Uber to operate on the ship. The food selection everywhere on the ship was wonderful...high standard except for sliced bread which was so dry it seemed stail ... it wasn't it just wasn't nice bread...while all the other baked goods were wonderful. On the Encore they moved the classic Buffet from the aft to full forward and this was great because they put the Observation lounge under it with food/snack points dotted about and the bar. This was the busiest part of the ship where it is normally empty...good move. The theatre seemed a lot smaller...no balcony at all. The main show was Kinky Boots and it was cut to 1 hour 40 min. but this did not harm it...I saw it on Broadway and fully enjoyed it on the ship except for the stampede to book it...it was sold out the second day and many passengers didn't get to see it at all. There was another original show..Choir of Man and this was fabulous. A third show about Prohibition was SOLD out the first day and cost an extra $35.00. I suspect they will start charging for all the shows. Specialty restaurants were as always...fabulous...except for the atmosphere...the Italian restaurant looked like a hotel restaurant with no clue to theme...the same for the Mexican. Cagney's and La Bistro were wonderful and the atmosphere was spot on. I am platinum and was supposed to get a free bottle of water...I didn't...I was suppose to have Concierge service...they no longer turn up or call....you have to call them but they do not give you any clue regarding their number...had to go to lobby to get it. Since 95 percent of sailings are Latitude members the programme is now pretty much pointless. The overall decor and appearance of the interior looked, luxurious, expensive, well designed ... but looked nothing like a ship. If you woke up in the concourse and had to guess where you were you would say an up-scale Shopping Mall. Simply doesn't feel like a ship at all. It is now just as cheep to stay in a major Las Vegas hotel and dine out and you would have much the same experience. This is now a Vegas Hotel at Sea. In the Caribbean where you can use the decks and balconies this ship would be much better when being charged the same price in the North Atlantic is not good value...Would you go to a luxury Resort with no ocean or pool where you had to stay inside all the time? Much improved...but found myself waiting for it to be over as I actually got tired of eating all day, watching T.V. and then hoping for a seat in the theatre. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information ... Read More
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information in failing to advise that documentary proof of ESTA is required. Ship-We had anticipated some shortcomings as this voyage was essentially a shake down , however it was interesting to see how the latest cruise ships have evolved with a lightly built, full bowed hull outfitted with low maintenance Internal modular units obviously designed for a refurbishment a few years down the road. Despite its huge size the vessel reacted like a much smaller one encountering some poor but not particularly rough sea states, surprising that it is classed for “winter North Atlantic” service. The internal ambience is very understated and the internal decorators have done an outstanding job in both layout and decor. Cabin-Mini suite on deck thirteen, was a little on the narrow side and the balcony, unused due to the weather, extremely small. A large amount of storage, more electrical points would be useful(US standard only). The king bed was comfortable and located inboard of the seating area, apparently the sofa converts to a double bed, it would be adequate only for small children. Bathroom was large with excellent shower, but poor quality toiletries. Restaurants-complimentary, were somewhat limited as Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room have exactly the same menu which changes little from day to day. The Garden Cafe cafeteria was generally a better choice, being large, beautifully laid out and with an good selection, the carvery and Indian sections were the high spots. -specialty, Ocean Blue(seafood), very disappointing , Food Republic basically sushi with a rather annoying tablet menu, a little better, Le Bistro, worth a visit for a change, Cagneys, by far the best and really the only one worth paying for unless the very reasonable Free at Sea package had been purchased. Bars, although cumulatively quite large in number only the Observation deck had a lounge quality with adequate seating. Again the Free at Sea package is almost essential even for moderate drinkers as the per drink prices are high, a plus point is that only the excess cost is charged over the base prices for premium drinks. Wi Fi-worked well but the very reasonably priced unlimited use add on is essential as the basic 250minutes was consumed by an apparently arbitrary log in and out algorithm. Service-Generally good(vessel only 50%occupied), but could improve particularly in table clearing and cabin areas. Entertainment-Two free professional level productions but not continuously available meant that tickets were scarce. Smaller general acts very similar to other cruise lines. Excessive emphasis on trivia and TV type game shows indicate a Bingo rather than Bridge orientation. Outside facilities, did not use due to weather-vessel is geared to tropical cruises. Value-exceptional,even including Free at Sea and extra Wi Fi costs Disembarkation -An utter shambles, not the fault of NCL, or indeed the immigration officers who struggled to cope with 2000+ passengers using outdated technology and without the self clearance machines used at US airports. They were fortunate, as were we, that the crew were not permitted to disembark.Customs clearance on the following day was much easier as the officers basically just watched passengers collect luggage and leave. High spot-The sea approach to New York under the Verrazano Bridge , past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson to the terminal berth was stunning and could have been more so had the ships entertainers been used to provide NY music during the transit. Fellow passengers-mix of American , British, Canadian and some others. Many hugely overweight and large numbers of mobility scooters, walkers and wheel chairs, generally in 50 to 70 age group and preponderance of return NCL guests. Overview-A relative bargain on a new ship , perhaps a half star lower than Holland America or Celebrity but quite enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Norwegian Encore Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.3
Family 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.5 3.0
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 3.0 2.9

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