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4,132 Norwegian (NCL) Miami Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of the date and embarkation port. There was a long wait to board due to inspection of each passport. After that it was smooth and excellent sailing. On the second day the captain announced new policies due to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the date and embarkation port. There was a long wait to board due to inspection of each passport. After that it was smooth and excellent sailing. On the second day the captain announced new policies due to the virus. All restaurant tables were cleared of everything, disposable paper menus were used, and everything was handed to diners by gloved servers. Crew were cleaning every 20 minutes. This attention to every detail kept all healthy. Other than the restaurant situation, everything carried on. We did not miss any ports, the entertainment was entertaining and the food was OK- outstanding. Please try the butter chicken Found at the buffet! Delicious!! My stateroom was well looked after and the cruise was near capacity. We were allowed to visit and disembark at each port. Disembarkation was easy. We were waiting for our ride within 15 minutes. However the Port of Miami was full of many cruise ships as NCL was not sailing for 30 days fleet wide. The entire crew went above and beyond and were cheerful and friendly despite the required extra work due to the virus. We were chosen for the Offices’s Dinner and the next day we arrived to a cabin with 3 towel animals, a birthday banner, and sign from the head if housekeeping to celebrate my adult daughter’s birthday. What a great surprise. Bravo NCL Pearl for a vacation of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our first ever cruise, and it exceeded our expectations, especially after reading so many peoples' bad reviews. I don't understand what people have to complain about? Every staff member that we talked to were so ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, and it exceeded our expectations, especially after reading so many peoples' bad reviews. I don't understand what people have to complain about? Every staff member that we talked to were so amazing, and wanting to make sure we were happy. The Whiskey Bar on Deck 6 had great service, and we got to know Joana and Jia the servers, and they always had a smile for us and by day 2 they were calling us by our name and knew what we wanted to drink. We were on deck 8, just down the hall from O'Sheehan's bar, the location was excellent. Our room steward was Komang, who was also amazing. If you take a minute to talk to the staff, you understand that they are all young and away from home, and a kind word goes a long way. Komang always called us by our name and stopped what he was doing to say hello and find out if we had a good day. It was an obstructed Oceanview, but I thought it had plenty of space. The food was good. The buffet in the morning was very busy, but just wait your turn, and the food was always hot and fresh, and you could choose whatever you wanted. We always took our food to the La Cucina italian restaurant to eat, it was closed until dinner, but we had the whole place to ourselves to eat breakfast. The Indigo dining room was great as well. No formal dress code, which was nice - of course there are always some of hthe older crowd that liked to dress up, but to each their own. Their choices were always good, and I found that if the side dishes weren't to your liking, just ask for what you want to eat, simple. We had the dining package and ate at Cagneys Steakhouse/Teppanyaki/Le Bistro. The food was great, especially Teppanyaki - I have never had tenderloin that good, and the huge shrimp, yummy! The presentation they put on was entertaining, even for the adults. Most of the port days we waited to get off the ship till after lunch. So, in the morning, we had the pool to ourselves, there was nobody around, it was great. Sea days are another story - full of the college kids partying it up - so we found other areas to hang out on the sea days. The evenings were spent at the Whiskey bar (hello to Joanna & Jia!!)- there was always a band playing in all the different lounges. Spinnaker's Lounge had great views, with windows covering the whole area. But, it was at the very front of the ship, so when the waves were high, you could definitely feel it here. The first 2 days the wind was blowing and the waves were high, so you definitely felt the motion, but that's not the ship's fault. Overall, the size of the ship was great, not too big. We would definitely cruise on the Pearl again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is my first review on Cruise Critic (pardon the length - I hope this is helpful for those who are interested). Encore was my 7th cruise - sixth with NCL. This was Encore’s last voyage before the major cruise industry shut down due ... Read More
This is my first review on Cruise Critic (pardon the length - I hope this is helpful for those who are interested). Encore was my 7th cruise - sixth with NCL. This was Encore’s last voyage before the major cruise industry shut down due to COVID-19. On that note, kudos and appreciation to the crew who worked tirelessly to keep passengers and crew safe and healthy. Each day, we noticed additional measures were put in place, including the cancellation of some events, crew serving passengers at the buffet instead of each grabbing the utensils themselves, tables in the dining room only being set once seated, paper menus, crew not handling keycards, and, of course, additional hand washing and sanitizing, to name just a few. Embarkation for this cruise took much longer than any previous cruise; partly because we couldn’t get to the port until the busiest time, but mostly because the additional screening (taking temperature and checking passports) to ensure ill people did not board. Once on board, my wife, 7 year old daughter and I marvelled at the “new-ness,” the size and the beauty of Encore. I quickly went to make reservations for dining and some of the activities. The lines for this were shorter than I expected and I was able to get most of my reservations quickly and easily. Do this on your first day on board. We ate at the Local (what is called O’Sheehan’s on most other NCL ships). There’s more space for The Local on this ship, and the food is just as good - though I missed the meat loaf this time. We looked to get our keycards hole-punched for our lanyards and were told these new keycards cannot be punched. The use a tap-system rather than a swipe-system and a hole-punch renders them useless. Conveniently - for NCL - they sell lanyards with a plastic pouch for your card for $10 - $12 on board. (And you can’t buy the plastic pouch separately.) Save the $ and just bring your own. Here is a bullet-point rundown of what’s on Encore that we really loved: - food; we only ever eat in the main dining rooms and the food on NCL is always delicious. We’ve heard great things about the specialty dining rooms but feel there’s no reason for us to try them yet as the food that’s included in the price is so good. - entertainment: Choir of Man and Kinky Boots were the best combo of main shows of any cruise I’ve been on to date. We watched Choir of Man twice, we loved it so much! Kinky Boots was so well done - a huge cast, 1:45 min show without intermission; it felt like Broadway. We took our 7 year old because she loves musicals and didn’t find the content all that inappropriate actually and the language was much better than other shows we’ve seen. Your call, if you sailing with kids. The two comedians were quite funny but we prefer improv and would love for NCL to renegotiate a contract with Second City and bring them back. - casino: we don’t ever gamble and appreciated the casino’s enclosed smoking area, keeping the smell of smoke in the public areas to a minimum. - kids aqua park: perfect size and amenities, my 7 year old loved it. - activities: lots to do for all ages; not enough time. I took my daughter with me in the go-carts for one session ($15 for about 5 or 6 laps). I did the VR experience in the Galaxy Pavilion - it wasn’t busy so I did the $29 for one hour deal. I tried 14 of the games and must admit I felt a bit woozy doing them in such rapid succession. I did the escape game BAMboozled - our team won! The Beatles show was over-crowded; great sound but a boring show actually (I expected better, given the other reviews here but perhaps didn’t give them a fair shake). - the Observation Lounge on Deck 15. A great place to relax, especially on rocky sea days. Not once did I feel like the ship was crowded or congested. - cabin: we usually book an interior room and this time we were assigned an accessible room with additional space. - wine package: I could never drink enough alcohol to make the all-inclusive drink package worthwhile, and my wife doesn’t drink at all. I usually take a few bottles of wine on board and pay the corkage fee, but this time I did the Viva Vino - 4 bottles for $110 + grat. This worked well, though still more expensive than paying corkage on my own bottles. What could have been better (certainly not make-or-break): - coffee; only good coffee on the ship is the Starbucks (extra $) - timing of the call in San Juan: arriving at 5:30 pm doesn’t leave chance to do much of anything - the ship is loud: the band on the pool deck, the blaring muster drill in the theatre, even the relentless creaking in staterooms and common areas during pitch and roll - just annoying more than anything - I’m no designer, but what is that strange chandelier hanging in 6-7-8? Not elegant. - I missed the live music in the Manhattan Room Excursions San Juan - as mentioned, arriving at 5:30 was not ideal. We walked around and bought a souvenir. St. Thomas - purchased an excursion through Godfrey Tours. I tried to give Godfrey a suggestion to give better directions as to where to find him - strangely he started arguing with me about it. Simply put: when you get off the ship, ask someone to direct you to the “pre-arranged tour” meeting area. 3rd party tours, not booked through your cruise line. That said, the tour was great! Very informative (did every hurricane hit St. Thomas?!?), and we loved our time at Megan’s Beach. Tortola - did nothing here except look at the shops within the cruise port. We did note how clean this port area was compared to St. Thomas. Will do something more elaborate here next time. Great Stirrup Cay - we made it! Tendering was possible this time. First time in three tries for my daughter; second time in four tries for my wife and I. Beautiful place, but NCL really has to build a pier here to ensure making this port of call. Shout out to a few crew members (we filled out our Vacation Hero cards but forgot to drop them off): - Henry - waiter in the Manhattan Room; friendly and quick service - John Milligan - pianist in the Observation Lounge who invited members of the Choir of Man and Kinky Boots to sing as he accompanied. I want to quickly address some of the major criticisms of Encore by other reviewers. ** Not enough space for sunning around the pool. I can see this being an issue, but we are not pool people or sun-worshippers so it didn’t bother us at all. We could always find a lounge chair in a shady part of the pool deck near the Kids Aqua Park. If this is a major priority for you, consider a different ship or purchase the Vibe Club. ** NCL “nickel and dimes” you. Yes. And thanks for doing so. By not including all the extras in the initial fare, passengers can pick and choose what they want to experience rather than pay up front for all of it. It keeps the price down, lets me pay for the activities I want to do, and minimizes long line-ups. We absolutely loved this cruise. A wonderful mix of active and relaxing vacation. Encore has a few kinks (no pun intended) but is a spectacular ship. We would love to sail on her again. NCL in general meets our family’s desires - great food, lots to do (or not to do), top rate kids programming and amenities, affordable. It’s remains our cruise line of choice. Thank you NCL for a great week - especially given what was going on in the world at the time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Initially we had an Asian destination cruise with Norwegian, that was canceled. We were able to secure the Bahamas cruise, departing in Miami. Everything about this cruise was great. The crew managed the increasing corona virus concerns ... Read More
Initially we had an Asian destination cruise with Norwegian, that was canceled. We were able to secure the Bahamas cruise, departing in Miami. Everything about this cruise was great. The crew managed the increasing corona virus concerns well, and passengers were generally patient and understood. With the exception of two adult passenger tantrums we witnessed, that I must say were handled very well by crew who were clearly working above and beyond their everyday responsibilities, things flowed well for the passengers. I’m sure behind the scenes it was a very busy and stressful time for all of the crew, especially considering whilst we were cruising, the orders came that all cruises were canceled, so crew were faced with the prospect of being without income for an unknown amount of time once our journey ended. Not once did any of the crew complain or make comment about this. They continued to work hard, showed grace and humour and managed their roles well. The ports were great, and our hearts are worried about the impact the cancelations will have on the beautiful people we met on the ship and in port. We loved the entertainment, the shopping guides with Dan & Dan, the wait staff in the restaurants, the bar tenders...all of the staff were fantastic! We will be booking another cruise as soon as we can. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best cruises. I bid on and received an upgrade to a balcony mini suite, very spacious and nicely appointed. The bathroom even had a great soaking tub, sink and basin area and separate toilet area. My cabin steward Alifton was the best I have ever encountered on any cruise I’ve been on. There were no people that I saw who were sick, no people were wearing masks or gloves. They ship was using additional cleaning practices including what they referred to as “Washy-Wash Crew” there sole responsibility was to squirt hand disinfectant from a spray bottle into every passengers hands (pretty much whether they wanted it or not). They made it a fun action by singing songs about it and interaction with the passengers. Additionally, I noticed crew at all times of the day and night spraying and wiping all hard surfaces of the cabin corridors. Door knobs, hand rails, buttons, do not disturb signs pretty much everything they could disinfect in the cabin corridors. I felt that all precautions possible were being used to ensure the cleanest ship possible. They layout of this ship was great, and all the restaurants were very good especially the steakhouse. I purchased the dining upgrade for four (4) dinners in the À la cart restaurants for just over $100 and I feel it was money well spent. The only restaurant I did not dine in was the Brazilian steakhouse. The spa was very relaxing and surprisingly big for a ship this size. There was a co-Ed area with a very large hot tub, indoor small pool, heated tile lounge chairs and chaise loungers facing the open sea. Flavored water and whole fruit were always available. The treatments I received (massage, facial, manicure and pedicure) were all way above services I’ve received on previous cruises and the pressure to purchase the Elemis products was minimum. In the separate male and female areas there were ample lockers, showers, toilets, cold plunge pool, single person hot tub, scenic sauna with panoramic views of the ocean, steam room and additional chaise loungers facing the ocean and a large TV. Amenities such as the casino, deck pools, children’s area and photographers I did not use therefore I have no feedback or insight. Other than the casino was very smokey when walking through. The entertainment was the only shortcoming in my opinion. The productions seemed very outdated. Ledgers in Concert, look a like performers representing Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elvis. The Michael Jackson performer was by far superior to the others. The highlight of this department were the husband and wife performers. They did a contortion act and did amazing feats on the trapeze/suspended ring. The ship singers and dancers were completely different, seemed like they were not on par with each other. The dancers were very well rehearsed dance professionals and were great and the singers were below average (in my opinion). The comedian was not the level I would expect on a ship of this caliber. I also did not care for the cruise director, he neither did or said anything to me personally but I just did not like his vibe. On previous cruises this position sets the mood of the cruise overall. I can remember Cruise directors from 18 years ago but I honestly could not tell you this guys name. Embarkation was also another weakness, very disorganized and overcrowded. I realize that this is a difficult experience to control with 2,500 passengers anxious to get on board and start their vacation, but there are ways to improve this process. Disembarkation was great in my opinion, I’ve never been on a ship that allowed passengers with hand held luggage to disembark at their leisure. This was a very welcome surprise and made for a great morning instead of a hectic, rushed morning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it ... Read More
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it should have. We came off the Encore, so we were in the terminal by 10:00. We didn’t get on the ship until 11:00. • CABIN- 4 Stars; the bed in our cabin is really comfortable. We have an aft facing balcony and that helps too. It is bigger than a normal Stateroom. We had really choppy sea one day that were so bad the door to the balcony would not stay shut when we were out there. • CABIN STEWARD- 4 Stars; He did his job, or most of it, but seemed very late each day. Friendly enough to talk to. • RESTAURANTS A. O’Sheehan’s- 3 Stars; another disappointment. Mostly it is their lack of beer choices, so don’t read too much into that. Bud, Bud Light and Coors Light? Seriously? I had Chicken wings and pretzel bites and they were good. Lynette had Irish American Stew, which was actually a soup. Not recommended. We didn’t go back the rest of the cruise. B. Garden Café; 5 Stars for breakfast and 4 stars for supper. They don’t seem to have the variety they used to at dinner. C. Le Bistro- 5 Stars; The most fun we have had in a Specialty restaurant, and our server, Ayu, was terrific! D. Cagney’s- Huge disappointment the first time. We were among the 1st 10 people there and everything started out fine Then our entrée’ didn’t come. People that came in well after us had theirs, People that came when we did were on dessert. We had steaks, in a steak house. Go figure. Lynette’s was almost raw and mine was very tough. We had to skip dessert to make the show. The second time we went was much better. If we didn’t have the Dining Package (one of the free perks) the meal would have been complimentary anyway. E. La Cucina- Excellent service at this Italian restaurant and the food was very good. The best bread on the ship and it was fresh baked! • ENTERTAINMENT- 5 Stars. A. Show Band. We went to see them in the atrium and they were good. B. Aldo Canta; Guitarist, he was in the atrium most evenings. So were we, because he was very good. C. Jon Stringer- Main stage comedian. Jokes were clean and he was very funny D. Duo Quintesant- A married acrobatic couple that were amazing! E. Sea Hashtag- I think they were the ship band and they were very entertaining. They played a variety of music, but looking at the age of the crowd, they kept it to our generation. F. Avalon- This was a Latin band and drew the largest atrium crowd we have seen. People seemed to really like dancing to it. • FOOD SERVICE- 5 Stars; In spite of the few problems we had • BAR SERVICE- 5 Stars; Once the bartenders and servers get to know you, the service was great. Except for the theater. There, the server brought us the wrong drink. Instead of going back to correct it, she collected orders from a lot of people who had come in. When she finally came back, she walked right by us. • BARS- 5 Stars; A. Atrium Bar. This is where we spent most of our evenings. B. Malting’s Beer&Whiskey Bar. We only went there once, but the service was really good and the seat comfortable. Great place to spend some time waiting for dinner. C. The Great Outdoors Bar. The great thing about this bar, is that it is really close to our cabin and you can sit outside. • Disembarking. Our flight was out of Ft. Lauderdale and not until 6 pm, so we signed up for the Everglades tour. From our meeting spot in the theater, to out of the terminal was an hour an only a couple of minutes of that was Customs. It was an 8 am disembark, the second color tag called.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This cruise line always delivers the best 1- food ( we ate sushi x3 went to a fish/ meat restaurant and also to a pub all were excellent A- buffet excellent choices for all dietary restrictions ( just need to ask inform them B- ... Read More
This cruise line always delivers the best 1- food ( we ate sushi x3 went to a fish/ meat restaurant and also to a pub all were excellent A- buffet excellent choices for all dietary restrictions ( just need to ask inform them B- a la carte restaurant C- multiple bakery gelatos ice cream eatery 2- entertainment A-Broadway shows ( saw kinky boots: it was entertaining but lacked of energy that day B-multiple live bands ( saw the Beatles twice guns and Rojas a few time etc... C-top notch comedians Rooms We upgraded to a junior suite with balcony space was good even had a bath Very Clean the only problem we were on the 9th floor over live music so quiet time was only after the show were done ( 11:30 pm almost every night ) But the cruise line offered us to change rooms gave us a complimentary supper they suis so much to make sure everything would be perfect Staff The staff is amazing Polite respectful Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
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
One of the main reasons I chose this crusie was the Free at Sea promotion that included the drink package. I find that purchasing this separately almost doubles the cost of your cruise. Although I originally booked one of the cute looking ... Read More
One of the main reasons I chose this crusie was the Free at Sea promotion that included the drink package. I find that purchasing this separately almost doubles the cost of your cruise. Although I originally booked one of the cute looking studio rooms, I ended up upgrading to a balcony room and really enjoyed my time with NCL. Embarkation was a bit of a challenge because the previous cruise had docked a little later than expected and the terminal building was being shared with a large ship from another cruise company, so the wait times were extended by quite some time. We were lucky and got to the terminal early, so our wait time was not as long as some of my other fellow cruisers who had to wait 3 hours or more to board. I think when NCLs new terminal gets built, embarkation times should be more efficient. I also think that NCL should make sure that they install speakers in the back part of the upper waiting area of the terminal since we had to keep running into the front section to hear when our Group Number was called. Had we not done this, we may have missed boarding at the appropriate time. The NCL Escape is a beautiful ship that is not very long, but is relatively tall. There are 2 sets of elevators that go to differing levels, so if you are wanting to go all the way up, be mindful to press the buttons for the lifts that go to the floors you want. There are staircases located near each set of elevators. There are maps on each floor at the elevators so you could easily see where you are as well as interactive panels closer to the stairs that also allowed you to book shows and dinner reservations as well as act as wayfinding devices. Even though there were almost 5000 cruisers on board, the ship did not feel crowded. I did not really spend much time in the Garden Cafe area where the buffet was, but enjoyed all of the other restaurants that we ate at with O'Sheehan's being a favourite complimentary restaurant, although the food at all was very good. I loved the Freestyle dining which allowed you to dine whenever you wanted which made the cruise feel less regimented and more relaxed, although we did book our dinner reservations early throught the online NCL website. Our favourite entertainment included the amazing Choir of Man, the fabulous Howl at the Moon dueling pianos (Rhonda, Jarren and Steve are all fab!!!) and the Wine Lovers Musical lunch show. The other shows at the Supper Club were also enjoyable as were the other entertainment throughout the ship. Although we missed a port due to high winds, I really enjoyed the itinerary of this ship and had a great time on all of my excursions. The staff at Guest Services and the Shore Excursions desk were also friendly and helpful when their services were needed. Although I would have preferred more pools on the ship, I did like that there were several hot tubs scattered about. I also really enjoyed the spa area with the heated loungers and thalossotherapy pool and sauna and snow room and thought the extra cost was worth it. The waterslides were wild and the ropes course was challenging, but safe and fun. Because of the positive experience we had on this cruise, and the amazing Free at Sea promotions offered, as well as the amazing customer service from everyone I encountered, NCL may have just gained another loyal customer! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The cruise was selected for our group (family/friends) by the Bride & Groom. We sailed during school vacation week and it was BUSY!! That being said, we didn't find the ship to be overly crowded except at the pool and during ... Read More
The cruise was selected for our group (family/friends) by the Bride & Groom. We sailed during school vacation week and it was BUSY!! That being said, we didn't find the ship to be overly crowded except at the pool and during embarkation/debarkation. This was my 4th sailing with ncl. Staff: OUTSTANDING!! Bartenders seemed the least friendly overall. Wait staff was incredible, cabin stewards top notch, guest services area (to include internet and excursion desk) all friendly, professional and extremely helpful. The ship is beautiful. I was hesitant going in since it is such a big ship, but was surprised at how everything was laid out well. Yes, as everyone else has said, the pool could be bigger. Both kids and adults enjoyed the extras...Go Karts, Virtual Reality room, water slides, etc. We had 2 persons with food allergies in the group. While at dinner, the staff inquired and made it a point to accommodate. We were given a special menu and ordered the day prior. The chef made sure there was no cross contamination. This was above and beyond and we are extremely grateful for the attention to detail here. Food everywhere was outstanding! SOOOOOOOOOOO many options!! An added benefit to the cabin refurb I want to mention... they now have a light up little sign outside the room that notes whether you're "in the room", "do not disturb", and "clean the room". You control it by buttons inside your room. There are no outlets in the bathroom, but the desk area is a great little vanity to get ready. Plenty of space overall to store items and clothing. On our prior sailings, we were never overly impressed with the shows. They were "ok". On this trip, we saw Choir of Man, Beatles, and Kinky Boots. Choir was OUTSTANDING!! Definitey a must! Beatles was great! The old folks were loving it (cute)! The members dressed up to look very similar to the Beatles and tried to talk with British accents. Music was fantastic!! Kinky Boots was "ok". I guess we all expected more. At times it was slow. The music wasn't as upbeat as the other shows. However, the drag queens were amazing! Fitness: The ships gym was awesome!! We used the outdoor track every morning. It became busy and congested around 8am. The biggest disappointment, imo, was the stop in San Juan, PR. It was at night for only a few hours, too dark to see anything, dirty, and most shops were closed. Everyone was shopping for souvenirs at the Walgreens! Wish we had stopped in Key West instead. I'm sure the point is to help the tourism in PR recover after the hurricane devastated the area, but it was a bummer to most everyone we spoke with. Overall very happy with NCL and the Encore. I will continue to sail with NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
- The food, especially the beef was probably the best of any cruise I have been on.Enjoyed the BBQ restaurant. - Onda Italian restaurant was very good. - Buffet was very good. - We got passes to the Vibe Beach club, if your ... Read More
- The food, especially the beef was probably the best of any cruise I have been on.Enjoyed the BBQ restaurant. - Onda Italian restaurant was very good. - Buffet was very good. - We got passes to the Vibe Beach club, if your favorite thing on a cruise is to lay out in the sun, definitely consider spending the extra money for the Vibe. (209$ for the week) When you go to the vibe, there is never any problem getting a seat at any time of the day. Servers in the Vibe area are great. - pool area is very crowded, see the attached pictures of the beach club vs the regular pool area. - shows were very good - Enjoyed the Boardwalk around deck 8 - Large balcony mini suites on deck 8 are great, balcony is great size and lots of bars/stuff to do on deck 8. - Make sure you check out the observation lounge on deck 15. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
NCL excels on customer service and the Encore is the best of the best. The cabin’s layout allows for so much storage and room to walk around. Big bathroom with excellent shower. Two Broadway shows were very entertaining. I usually only ... Read More
NCL excels on customer service and the Encore is the best of the best. The cabin’s layout allows for so much storage and room to walk around. Big bathroom with excellent shower. Two Broadway shows were very entertaining. I usually only eat in restaurants on the ship but the Encore’s buffet was exceptional. So many delicious varieties of food. Enough pool lounges for all passengers. The Encore has everything I ever thought could be better on a ship. The large public spaces allowed for lots of social interaction or not. Two big pools with hot tubs and outdoor showers on two levels. I never passed a staff member who didn’t say hello with a big smile. The decorative touches on the ship were elegant. Eight fast elevators made all levels easily accessible. The returning cruisers cocktail party with open bar was a great way to start off the cruise. It is nice to be appreciated for sailing with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around ... Read More
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around pool area for tanning days at sea. The service staff was excellent! Especially our cabin steward! The only negative thing we encountered was the transfers back to the airport. Long lines and over priced! After waiting we left the line and used uberXl and traveled to the airport in a well appointed suburban which was cheaper than we paid for the bus transfer. In closing The Pearl is a excellent mid size ship with great service and lots great itineraries! This ship is best suited for couples as it doesn’t have all the waterslides and go carts you encounter on the Giant 5000plus passenger ships. Happy sailings! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also had 2 specialty dinners. Cagney’s gets an A+ and Moderno a B. All crew members,except for one pool deck waiter, were extremely pleasant and attentive. We decided this was going to be an R & R cruise so we didn’t book any shire excursions. Harvest Caye was beautiful. We enjoyed lounging on the beach and swimming in the pool. Lunch was ok. The lagoon where the water sports was offered was lovely. We had planned on walking around the port of Costa Maya but ended up staying on the ship. Met some interesting people and lost track of time. We would cruise on the Pearl again if there was an itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was anxious to come home and write this review after reading so many negative reviews since encore set sail in November. I can 100% say I don’t know why so many have complaints from this ship. This is my 4th Norwegian Cruise and it did ... Read More
I was anxious to come home and write this review after reading so many negative reviews since encore set sail in November. I can 100% say I don’t know why so many have complaints from this ship. This is my 4th Norwegian Cruise and it did not disappoint. The biggest complaint I read was the pool and lack of chairs. Is the pool a little smaller, yes. Was it full even once, no. Chairs on a 4000 person ship are never going to be Enough. I noticed people coming down at 12 complaining. No matter what ship your on, chairs will be an issue coming down at noon. Never once in 7 days did I not get chairs. Sometimes they were in the shade and I moved up when people moved. The not saving chair notices were in effect. A lady walked around and removed towels from seat savers. Impossible to be 100% effective though. As for the activities, yes people you need to book them. We booked first day and were able to make reservations for go carts and laser tag twice and an escape room. The galaxi pavilion you don’t need to book and they did offer a day pass for $50, which we picked our day at sea. All these new exciting options are pricy but worth every penny. We knew ahead of time so budgeted accordingly. The shows were amazing. Food amazing. Overall layout of ship was great, plenty of room everywhere. I read complaints of not getting in to see the Beatles. They now moved them to the big theater 2x during the cruise, so no issues getting to see them. The extra parties were so much fun. Silent disco and glow party were huge hits with my group. So my only advice for this cruise is bring a sweater cause this ship can be chilly in certain rooms. Other than that relax and ignore the negative reviews, this ship rocks!!!! 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
For starters it blows my mind that people are actually complaining about the amount of kids on the ship. You're looking at a cruise ship that headline a go kart track, waterslides, laser tag, and virtual reality. You should know just ... Read More
For starters it blows my mind that people are actually complaining about the amount of kids on the ship. You're looking at a cruise ship that headline a go kart track, waterslides, laser tag, and virtual reality. You should know just by the look of this ship it's going to have plenty of families on it. I've seen a lot of complaints about the upcharges on the ship also for having to pay extra for a lot of the activities. Yes, this might be a shock if you don't look into it and go on the ship expecting it all to be included but it states online that these things do cost extra money so research it and go in budgeting accordingly. Also have seen a lot of complaints about people upset that you need to make reservations for things such as the go karts, laser tag, and the escape room. The ship does this to be organized so go on the first day of your cruise to make these reservations and you'll be stress free the rest of the time. For people wanting to sunbathe and complaining about the seating there is always seating if you walk up two levels from the pool for perfect sun seats. If you're going to try to get seats by the pool past noon you shouldn't expect to find seats together. There is a kid pool and an adult pool but the whole trip both pools were never even close to being full or had over 10 people in them at a time. The Choir of Man show is the best show on the ship make sure you go to that! Participate in the themed nights and games shows too, they're awesome! The food was great at every single place & every activity on the ship (go karts, virtual reality, laser tag, etc) was well worth the money and a great experience. TIP FOR WIFI** I purchased the unlimited social media wifi it cost me around a total of $90 for the week. I was able to use all social media with no problem and I was also able to iMessage and FaceTime. This was well worth the money! The only complaint I have was that my group was a big fan of going to karaoke which they had almost every single night but they don't have any classic songs or anything even remotely updated on the list which I know was extremely frustrating to many people who were trying to have a good time. Don't let the negative reviews drive you away, this ship was incredible! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for ... Read More
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for 4000+ passengers the embarkation and disembarkation was quicker and smoother than expected at each port. The freestyle food was good and at least two nights the crew accommodated our religious dietary restrictions without prior notice or us asking at all. They prepared for us a special meal which was delicious at no extra costs. The ship had a complimentary daycare for 3 and up and a nursery for younger kids which was anything but a typical daycare. My kids had a blast and would want to go everyday which made our trip even more enjoyable. Even with the ship being fully booked and our three room being scattered throughout the ship due to last minute booking and sail away option it was not much of an inconvenience as far as communication (via in-room and ship wide phones), seating availability at dining, entertainment, pools, slides and other activity venues. We timed everything where the rush would be minimal. There was never a dull moment and it was difficult to find a lull moment. One incident I would report is that the ship skipped a port due to local issues at Costa Maya, however, that was not an issue as we docked at Cozumel for two days and it was great! Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and the staff was extremely professional and kind. The freestyle dining was great as we ate at odd hours of the day. I can’t imagine it getting any better! Would definitely recommend this cruise line and ship and looking forward to going again soon! One of my children experienced motion sickness the last night or maybe it was too much ice cream, however, he vomited in the middle of the night and staff showed up in less than 10 minutes cleaned/sanitized the room, replaced the mattresses and sheets right away. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and ... Read More
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and rebooked on the Escape our of Miami in Feb 15, 2020. Pros: the staff, to include general manager and assistance general manager were easily accessible and accommodating. Very much so! We had a small problem and called Duncan, the assistant GM and he was fabulous. Our problem wasn’t solvable, but Duncan spent a lot of time sorting the issue out. The staff was beyond gracious and friendly! The ship was immaculate. There were so many people on board, but we never waited in line to eat, see a show or play the slots, or just get around the ship. Pretty impressive feat. A large vessel with a small bouy feel to it! Our Steward was a hard working man named Mario (although I believe his actual name was Olayao). He was in and out of our cabin three or four times a day keeping it clean and comfortable. He was the Steward for 12208. Another noted worthy staff memeber was a waitress, Lourdes, from Cagney’s steakhouse. She may be the finest waitress I’ve ever had. Friendly, prompt, professional, courteous. Norwegian is lucky to have Duncan, Lourdes and Mario! They are the reason we will cruise again with NCL. The cons: Belize’s Harvest Caye is a manufactured island, I believe solely for NCL. It was expensive and offered no real local feel. Everything was touristy and artificial. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful little island, but felt a little like a low budget theme park. It should be part of the meal and drink package, particularly if it is solely a NCL property. Because we dropped anchor rather than moor pierside, the liberty launches (tendering vessels) were madness boarding on each end. The lines getting off the ship were decks long and the lines getting onto the liberty launch back to ship was a quarter mile long! It took 2 1/2 hours to back aboard. The wait was all on the harvest Caye end. Boarding from the liberty launch was pretty quick. The lines on and off the ship were a challenge. Specifically boarding on the first day. It took literally 3 1/2 hours to get aboard. Made me wonder if the Haven is worth the extra money? Once aboard, the ship absorbed the people very well. We were very impressed by that. Our stateroom had an adjoining stateroom with my son and daughter, but we had different stewards. This seemed odd, but we accepted it. I tipped both Stewards on day one handsomely in hopes that great service would follow. In Stateroom 12210 (The children) that did not happen. We didn’t see the steward but once or twice the entire week. On the last day he was making up the room for the next guest while we were at breakfast and our things were still in the room. Mind you, that was at 7am. Ridiculous!! I guess he was going to try and get off the ship between cruises. I get efficiency, but not rudeness. He didn’t remember our names, nor the names of my children. Plainly, he stunk! I tipped him zero when we left. Can’t remember his name! NCL should be aware of him. He was terrible. In sum, the food, drink, entertainment, restaurants, relaxation, friendliness of staff, accessibility of ships officers was beyond our expectation. When I was offered a assistant GM’s card, I never expected to use, but moreover, NEVER expected the wonderful attention he gave our concern, the follow up by him personally with a phone calls and then an invitation to air it out with someone if we felt the need. None of which was our intention more desire. The crew was fantastic. I cannot overstate that. This is a top shelf sailing company! Money well spent and a lot of value for our dollar! I chose to rate the individual categories based on our stateroom, not our children’s. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose because we wanted to navigate the canal early in the year when the weather is perfect..Could have been any cruise line! Negative points are embarking and disembarking both very long lines and close to 2 hours. New NCL terminal ... Read More
Chose because we wanted to navigate the canal early in the year when the weather is perfect..Could have been any cruise line! Negative points are embarking and disembarking both very long lines and close to 2 hours. New NCL terminal though looks nearly ready in Miami though. Had a mini suite because not much more expensive than standard balcony. First experience when we walked into our room and bathroom was WOW . Bathroom was as good as in any decent hotel with double sinks and large double length walk in shower. Also had a coffee maker which we made use of. Decent selection of films etc on the tv. Although only 3 years old ship had just had a multi million conversion from its original Chinese/Japanese market so everything new and clean. Food excellent especially the selection in the buffet where I was spoilt for choice. Had the 5 speciality meal/drink package at £100 each an absolute bargain. Can reccomend the filet mignon steaks I had 3 of them! Big Beatles fan so I can say the resident tribute act were absolutely fantastic. Watched them twice in the on-board Cavern and twice in the theatre with everybody singing along.. Almost a hidden charge why do most cruise lines add the 15% daily service charge?? Surely it should be included the the cruise price and then I could add a more personal gratuity if applicable e.g. to the cabin steward. 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
I am writing this review based on my experience as an avid cruiser. It is also based on my wife and I specific experience. We did not choose this cruise for the carts, laser tag or arcade. We wanted great entertainment at night and ... Read More
I am writing this review based on my experience as an avid cruiser. It is also based on my wife and I specific experience. We did not choose this cruise for the carts, laser tag or arcade. We wanted great entertainment at night and good food and beautiful ship. In addition relaxing daytime. For us NCL nailed it for those reasons. I must at this time make a disclaimer and it’s a BIG ONE. We had the Vibe Beach Club for the week. If we did not figure that cost into my cruise I would have been unhappy sitting around main pool because I would not have done it. But we experienced what we felt like a private yacht. Quite, peaceful,no crowds amazing bar service everywhere. $400 week for couple well worth it. For us it was a necessity. Only wish could sign up for club before you get on ship. Would take away much anxiety. But if your willing pay for club I promise you the entertainment from choir of man, Beatles, comedy, Guns and Rojas and I can go on and on was AWESOME. You will not find better evening entertainment. Book as soon as you can online or don’t cry because you can’t get into venues. I would book again and again if I could guarantee getting into vibe beach club. Food is very good. Only line I rate better for food is Celebrity except for specialty dining where Celebrity has nothing over NCL. VERY FRIENDLY SERVICE. if your hoping go on do all the rides etc might be disappointed because crowded and heard hard get reservations when you board. We personally had no interest in these but had fun watching others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I read every review of the new NCL Encore before going on our cruise that I booked in August 2019 and almost felt like I was not going to enjoy my vacation. I rarely write reviews, but felt obligated to do so after reading all the ... Read More
I read every review of the new NCL Encore before going on our cruise that I booked in August 2019 and almost felt like I was not going to enjoy my vacation. I rarely write reviews, but felt obligated to do so after reading all the whining and bad reviews about this ship, crew and itinerary. I am a single, late 30's male and went with my sister, nephew, Mom and Dad, this was my 2nd cruise ever and only with Norwegian..... Embarking was easy, as I stated earlier we planned this cruise in August 2019 so I was aware of all the things than need to be booked ahead of time to ensure a great cruise, with that being said we got to the port at 10am to be first on board to get Vibe passes and got them!! Then we also booked Go Carts and other thing WE wanted to do, including Choir of Men, GREAT SHOW. Prohibition Musical was good, it was an extra $35 for the drinks you get. I had an aft cabin with the biggest balcony available. Thanks Ralph Donatien (my NCL cruise guy) Smoking: I am a smoker and understood there were 2 places to smoke, not a big deal It's my problem I smoke, On our cruise, the 3rd day they did open an area up on the pool deck which was awesome of the crew to do. THANKS!! The pool area on sea days was packed as almost anyone would expect, but had no problems getting a chair or two when we wanted. The Ocean Loop water slide was only running for about two hours on one day, again not ideal, but there is no way a broken water slide is going ruin my vacation. The food was what is expected for buffet style eating. As for the specialty restaurants we did Teppanyaki: GREAT Onda: THE BEST and Cagney's: Disappointed (just got a bad piece of meat) again one bad meal was not going to ruin my vacation. Ports: In San Juan we did the Night Time Zip Line it was my nephews favorite part of the cruise. In USVI we did the jet boat, lasted about an hour and was informative and fun, we got WET. We then took a cab to Megan's Bay beach, lots of people, but no issues with food or drink lines at all, had a wonderful time on a breathtakingly beautiful beach. I did read several reviews about people whining about having to carry the chairs you rent, that is true, but again not a big deal. The rental personal have a job to do, and that job is not to be your personal beach boy for day. Grow up and grow a pair. In BVI we did the Escape to Jost Van Dyke, the catamaran ride to the island took about an hour because of the seas, but no biggie we made it to Soggy Dollar bar and had a blast. The catamaran crew were awesome. THANKS! Overall I had an amazing time on my 2nd cruise ever with Norwegian, will I book Encore again, yes if the itinerary is something I like. I am in retail as a profession, so understand how difficult some people can be, and assume the bad reviews are from folks who can never be happy. Be polite, understanding, and empathetic to others and you may enjoy your next vacation more and those around you may enjoy doing their job a little more... GREAT JOB NCL ENCORE CREW!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because our son and his family were sailing on it and since we were going to be in Florida at the time we decided to join them. I was hesitant about it because the ship was so big. However I was pleasantly surprised, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our son and his family were sailing on it and since we were going to be in Florida at the time we decided to join them. I was hesitant about it because the ship was so big. However I was pleasantly surprised, and ended up loving it! The public spaces were so generous. The Observation Lounge was a favorite. The view was beautiful and there were always seats available. The bar service there was great as well. The entertainment on the ship was top-notch. We saw the Beatles Show in the Cavern Club as well as the last show in the theatre. We saw the Choir of Man--excellent! We saw Kinky Boots--fabulous! We were able to get reservations for one of the comedy shows which was really good too. The only complaint we had about the entertainment was Prohibition, the Musical. It was fine, but the charge for it--almost $40 pp--was way out of line. Yes, it included 5 small cocktails, but we had the drink package so the charge was just unreasonable. And it wasn't near as good of a production as any of the free shows. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants we tried, with the exception of Q, the Texas Bar-b-q restaurant. We just weren't impressed with that one, compared to the others that we tried. Cagney's did not disappoint. Food and service were excellent. Onde, the Italian restaurant, was our favorite. Starting with the bread, which I could have made a complete meal out of. The service was excellent, as was the entire meal. The rest of our evening meals we took in either Taste, Savory or the Local. We also attended 2 art lectures. They were really interesting. Much better than an art auction. Since we are both in our 60's we had no interest in all of the VR, go kart track or water slides. Our son's family used some of it, but were not happy with the charges or need for reservations for so many activities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Can't go wrong with Norwegian. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was excellent. Encore not our favorite ship. No sports court or mini golf because of go cart race track. We did the go carts and they were tons of fun ... Read More
Can't go wrong with Norwegian. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was excellent. Encore not our favorite ship. No sports court or mini golf because of go cart race track. We did the go carts and they were tons of fun but do like the configuration of other ships better. Also no bowling alley on this ship. So far Escape is our favorite ship. Jim Badger was on this ship and he is one of the best entertainers you will ever see. He was in the District, we saw him on the Escape a few years back. If you like to laugh and laugh lots he is a must see. Food and drinks excellent as always. Choir of Man was one of the main shows and one of the best we have ever seen. Kingy Boots was the other show and it was okay. Top Shelf country band was in the Q and they were awesome (and we are not huge country music fans). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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