NYC Inaugural

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 18

Overall rating:

4.9 out of 5
Norwegian Encore

2 Night New York City

Sail date: November 11, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Encore

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 8124

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Wonderful experience, can’t wait to sail the Encore


4 out of 5
Embarkation seems to be chaotic and that’s understandable as you’re trying to get 3000 people on the ship at the same time. The check-in process seems a little broken as we were there early (one of the first 20 people) but had to wait on the side. Before they told us to line up, more experienced people who have cruised before started lining up and we ended up a couple hundred people behind. Not the end of the world as there was no pre-booking activities, but in the event there was, that would have been problematic.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food and drinks on the Encore are excellent. I don’t think you’d need the specialty dining package, as the main dining rooms have tasty, expansive menus, however we did get to experience Cagney’s and their food was up there with any steakhouse I’ve ever been to. Personally, I’d recommend the dining package in order to experience all of the amazing restaurants on board, but again, I wouldn’t say it’s required as you’d still have plenty of great food options. The Garden Cafe buffet was never packed, and there are plenty of stations available so you’re not waiting long and so they don’t run out of food. Breakfast buffets are my weakness, and the Garden Cafe hit the mark every morning for me. For drinks, there are plenty of options all around the ship. I personally enjoyed the whiskey bar and The District. The District was the perfect place to grab a late night drink and enjoy some live music.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Unfortunately, due to the weather in NYC in November, we were unable to take advantage of the pools and the casino was closed for the inaugural event. I’m not sure that the pool area is large enough to support a full ship, but I can’t say for sure since we couldn’t use it. There is a fitness center as well as a track so if you’re so inclined to exercise on vacation, the offered amenities will satisfy those needs.


5 out of 5
This was my first time on a ship and I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised with the amount of things to do on board. The Galaxy Pavilion is a room full of virtual reality games. They had driving games, shooting games, roller coasters, etc. People of all ages will enjoy it there a lot. The live music throughout the ship kept us entertained and dancing at all times. They have all genres of music so you’ll be sure to find anything you’re in the mood for. The star of the entertainment was the shows. We saw Choir of Man and Kinky Boots, as well as The Beatles at The Cavern Club. Choir of Man was the best show I’ve ever seen. Prior to the show you have the opportunity to go on stage and share a beer with the actors. I would highly suggest booking your shows in advance as they fill up quickly.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
There were no kids on this inaugural event, but we were able to walk through the kids areas and noticed that there are clubs, activities, games, and events for children from 6 months old to 17 years old. They also have water slides and a splash park for children to enjoy.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The staff on this sailing were extremely polite, knowledgeable, and helpful. Our room was kept spotless as they came in a couple times a day. The staff at the Box Office were very helpful in trying to book shows for us that fit our schedule. The waitstaff was amazing! They were prompt and patient as we perused the multitude of menu and drink options. I could not have asked for better service for my time during this inaugural event.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
This ship was brand new for this particular event, so everything was perfectly clean. I stayed in a mini-suite with a large balcony on deck 8 and found it very easy to get around the ship. The staff will help you find anything you need, but there are also publications and maps throughout the ship and at the elevators. Despite the heavy traffic throughout the common areas, everything was kept clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Since this was my first time on a ship, I have no comparison to the bathroom of this mini-suite, but this bathroom and shower had plenty of room. I am 6’1” and the shower was just fine for me. The size of this room was great and had room to move around. The bed was extremely comfortable for my wife and I who both have back problems. As mentioned previously, our room was kept spotless by the terrific staff.

Ship tip

I would recommend pre-booking your entertainment as I could see those filling up quickly. Also, if you’re a smoker, you might be disappointed as there is no outdoor smoking. There is a room on deck 8 with fans that don’t always work. We noticed the smell of smoke in the back of the ship on decks 8 and 9 due to this. It could get crowded and smoky in the smoking section with a full ship. There is smoking in the casino but it was closed during this event.

Ports of call

New York, New York

5 out of 5
NYC is a beautiful city and there are plenty of parking options close to the port.


5 out of 5
Each deck has its own disembarkation time, which increases the efficiency drastically. This process was easy and much to my dismay, I was off the ship in no time.
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