I'm not impressed

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 28

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Norwegian Encore

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 09, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Encore

Cabin number: 5401

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

I will not hesitate sailing on Norwegian again but I will not sail on Encore or her sister ships. One other thing I noticed, and I don't know if this is Norwegian policy or an Encore thing, is that there seem to be a lot more things with extra charges then there have been on other cruises I've been on.


5 out of 5
Embarkation was very good, line moved quickly and checkin process was fast.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
I didn't use the main dining room or specialty restaurants so I can't comment on those. The buffet was good, nice variety of food and the quality of the food was good. I also ate at The Local and the food there was very good but I would like to see more variety. The American Diner looks like a waste of space. At most I saw 4 tables occupied and no one was eating.

The Local

4 out of 5

Good food 24 hours a day, nice when you need that snack at 3:00 AM. The only thing I would like to see changed is a larger variety of food.

Garden Cafe

4 out of 5

I loved the buffet, good variety of food and the quality of the food was good. My only complaint is the pizza, it was all thin crust, that didn't stop me from eating pizza but I prefer a thicker crust.

American Diner

1 out of 5

I didn't eat here and from what I can tell neither did anyone else. The most I saw were maybe 12 people in the diner and none of those people were eating, they were just sitting at 4 tables. The main reason I didn't eat here is that I probably have at least a dozen places to get burgers or hot dogs within a mile of my house so why would I get them on vacation 2000 miles from home. Also the buffet always had burgers and hot dogs and I didn't have to pay extra in the buffet. The American Diner seems to waste valuable space on the ship.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Go karts and laser tag were too expensive as far as I am concerned. Water slides didn't seem to get much use, I don't know if there was a charge for those. There was mention of people getting stuck in one of the water slides and I heard that one of the slides was shut down.

Encore Casino

4 out of 5

I didn't gamble this time. I did notice there were a lot of slot machines and a lot of tables for blackjack and poker. My favorite part is that smokers are in a room by themselves so I can gamble if I want without the smoke.

Observation Lounge

5 out of 5

Nice view out the front of the ship. There is also a bar and snacks in the lounge. Sometimes it would get to noisy around the bar but there was plenty of space away from the bar where it was quiet. There were also plenty of tables where you can sit with others and play games or just talk.

Main Pool

2 out of 5

Not enough room, either in the pool or around the pool. If you don't get to the pool early, very early, you're not going to get a lounge chair.


3 out of 5
Kinky Boots was OK, Choir of Man was very good. Theater seems to be smaller than I've seen on other cruise ships, it holds less than 25% of the passengers. For both shows I had no problem getting in though and I didn't have reservations for either show. I also liked the Beatles and Guns and Rojas, this is surprising since I don't like the Beatles. I think scheduling of shows could have been better. On the last night of the cruise the Beatles were in the theater and Guns and Rojas was doing a Pink Floyd tribute in The Cavern at the same time. I would have liked to see both shows and I heard others make the same comment.

Encore Speedway

1 out of 5

They want more money than I'm willing to spend for go kart rides.

The Cavern Club

4 out of 5

Nice but it could be bigger. Every time we went in for a show it was standing room only and there were times when there wasn't any standing room left.

Encore Theater

3 out of 5

Not enough seating. Most of the ships I checked can seat 27 to 40 percent of the guests but Encore is less than 23 percent.

Children's Programs

No kids

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
All ship personnel were friendly. My cabin steward was excellent and I saw her at least once every day of the cruise. Waiters in the lounges could have been better, they seemed to disappear after a while.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Ship design was OK in general. There were only 2 sets of elevators, one at the front of the ship and one at the back, I would like to see a third set midship. Whoever designed the areas around the cabins didn't know how to design, there are large structural posts right outside the cabin doors. If there is an emergency and someone goes running out of their cabin there is a very good chance they will run into one of these posts. The posts also make it somewhat difficult to get luggage into and out of the cabin. Compared to other cruise ships I've been on there is little pool space.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Cabin 5401 is an inside cabin at the front of the ship right below the theater. There are no drawers in this cabin, just shelves. The cabin can hold 3 people but there is not enough storage space for 2 people much less 3, fortunately I was the only person in this cabin. There is also no seating in this cabin. If you want to watch TV you have to prop yourself up on pillows on the bed, I personally don't find this at all comfortable. There are also no outlets near the head of the bed. I have friends who use CPAP machines and, as far as I know, this is not unusual. You would think a new ship would have plugs for people with CPAP machines. The bathroom and shower were a good size and easy to move around in.

Ship tip

Find another ship, none of the 12 people in my group will sail on Encore again.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

2 out of 5
We drove around, traffic is horrible and I'm glad I wasn't the driver. To me Miami looks like another big city.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

1 out of 5
Why would anyone schedule a port at night? We got into San Juan just in time for more of the shops and restaurants to close. The sun set less than an hour after we arrived so forget going to the beach, going to the forts or touring Bacardi. If we couldn't get to San Juan during the day we would have been better off going to another port or having another sea day.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Excellent as usual. Many stores in the immediate port area with a wide variety of products. We walked from the port into downtown Charlotte Amalie, about a 2 mile walk. We felt safe during the walk and didn't have any problems finding our way.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

2 out of 5
I didn't find much variety in the shopping around the port, it was mostly jewelry which I have no interest in. I was looking for a t-shirt and found only one store with t-shirts and the biggest shirts they had were large, I wanted extra-large.


4 out of 5
Quick and easy. The only problem was finding the purple luggage group.
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