Cruise to Western Caribbean

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 30

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Encore

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 09, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Encore

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 5117

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Loved the cruise and would probably go on it again. Since the ship is only 4 months old, I'm willing to give the crew a pass on my complaints. Norwegian is always a great experience and have always a perfect experience. I'm sure the crew and especially the kitchen staff will improve as it becomes more routine. I would still recommend it since an almost perfect cruise is still amazing.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
It was Norwegian's typical perfect party to leave by. Great music, great service.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
The dining areas and buffet was spotless as usual and the staff was terrific. My biggest complaint was the buffet. I'm a regular cruiser and the buffet is usually my go to place for variety and it has never disappointed. This trip, however, was a disappointment. Usually, there are huge varieties at the pasta and Asian stations. There was only two pastas to choose from daily, most times very similar and usually way overcooked. The Asian station contained very limited options as well. The carving station was on point but found it strange that the sauces were always au jus, tomato or BBQ instead of complementing the meat. The Indian station was amazing. The burger station was on par but was surprised that salt was pre added to all meats. The grilled vegetables also contained halved jalapeno peppers which really kicked up the heat level overall. In fact many foods contained jalapeno peppers, even pizza. Almost seemed like there was a surplus and they were trying to get rid of it all. All food was was extremely salty and on the Asian night, there were dishes that I could not eat at and had to throw out. I am a salt person and usually enjoy my meals on the salty side so for me to throw it out, meant it was way over. The desserts were also somewhat repetitive where previous cruises, my wife and I would always grab 2-3 different desserts each night just to try them out. This cruise, I tried night one and barely went back since it was usually the same or a slight variation. The salad bar was also a bit strange where there was a tray of jalapeno peppers the same size as the lettuce. I love jalapenos in my salads but usually they are pickled, not raw and just as a topping, not as a green. Overall, I was very disappointed with the free offerings on this cruise. I did not try to premium restaurants so I have no comment on them.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
My wife and I used the fitness center and hot tub. They were clean and well maintained.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The entertainment was terrific. The stage shows, and bands were amazing and a lot of fun with a lot of material to keep us entertained and coming back. Standing ovation to Guns and Rojas. Went to see them almost every performance and each time they were engaging and a lot of fun. Choir of Man was also terrific.

Children's Programs

No children was with us.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Everyone was performing up to Norwegian standards I've come to expect. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was that they were not perfect. By that, I mean that there were times that used plates were not immediately picked up as I'm used to but had to wait while staff walked by our tables seeing what was on them and walked away. Occasionally, they would pick up the plates but leave the cutlery or napkins. Most times their trays were either empty or barely full.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Extremely clean and well maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Cabin was comfortable and well maintained. My wife and I are used to interiors and only stay in the cabin to sleep and shower so no need to pay for exterior or balcony. Always clean.

Ship tip

The daily itinerary left on your bed each night is your bible. Study it and plan out your day so you make the most of every second.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
Well designed to keep traffic flowing. Easy entry and exit with minimal waiting.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

4 out of 5
PR was beautiful and seemed like a lot of fun to walk through or visit. Friendly people.Only complaint was the stay was too short. We arrived at 5:30pm and left at 11:30pm. Seemed very rushed and quick.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
We did not book any excursions but took a cab to Magen's Bay. Quite a trip to ride over the mountains to arrive at the beach. Beautiful scenery. Hurricanes damaged some of the nature trail. Took cab back to downtown and walked the 99 steps to Black Beard's Castle. Shopped and enjoyed the scenery.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

5 out of 5
Beautiful island. Booked the Virgin Gorda and Baths excursion. Absolutely a must to see and experience. Hiked to Devil's Bay and then to the Baths. There is an age limit of 3 for this trip and I feel it shouldn't be for anyone under 5. The hike is over rocky trails and loose sand and gravel. Many spots for little ones to get hurt. The Baths are also accessed by rocky trails and many spots are only passable by low squats or squeezing between boulders and reverse accents into water areas. If you're not somewhat decent condition, you may have difficulties. Also certain areas are claustrophobic. Amazing experience if you can do it, but some difficulties if not.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Smooth and quick.
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