First cruise back in North America for NCL. It was an amazing vacation and you could tell everyone including the staff was excited to be back. Onboard entertainment, food and the ship itself was immaculate.
3 out of 5
Due to this being the very first cruise back for Norwegian Cruise Line is North America, I was expecting some hiccups. During the embarkation process, we were required to do a antigen test (COVID test) This resulted in a 3hr wait and a line going down the sidewalk for who knows how long. My boarding time was 9:30-10 AM. And I was there in line by 9:30 and didn’t get my test results until 3 hrs later. This was an issue that everyone had to deal with and there wasn’t much to be done to speed up the process as it was there first time testing the system out and actually sailing with real passengers (There was a 4 day test cruise prior to our sailing) Other than the COVID Test the embarkation process was insanely fast once passengers were actually inside the terminal. I would expect NCL to update this process to ensure the next cruise won’t have this issue as well. For me personally, it wasn’t a huge deal as I was going on a cruise for the first time in multiple years! NCL made it right in the end.by offering free wine, champagne and Starbucks vouchers to use onboard due to the issues with embarkation.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The food onboard was amazing. There were many options for complimentary (Includes in your fare) dining options onboard that included a wide variety of food options. The Marketplace Cafe (buffet) was amazing day in and day out. The options included but not limited to, Asian Food, Pizzq, Indian Food, American Food; burgers, fries, spaghetti, pasta and Ofcourse ice cream, soft serve with a cone or you can get scoops of ice cream. Other complimentary food options included the Observation Lounge which had similar food to the Buffet but were more like snacks and treats all throughout the day. The local restaurant on deck 7 was another amazing 24hr option if your looking to spice up what you’ve been eating. The main dining room, the Manhattan wasn’t anything too crazy but included amazing decore and amazing food similar to Taste & Savor: the other complimentary food options. Room service is also an option, but could cost you 9.9.95. The American Diner was a good experience but I wouldn’t say it was worth the extra cost. On the other hand Teppanyaki and the Food Republic are some of the better dining options if you have a dining package or are wanting to pay a little extra.
5 out of 5
Onboard activities were some of the best at sea. The Go Karts at sea experience is one many will never be able to experience and I’m able to say I was able to. Not that the karts were insanely fast but it was definently a blast and worth the 15$. Not sure if I’d get the week long pass but if that fits your desire then go for it! I did not try out laser tag as it seemed a little bit more tailored towards younger kids but hey I’m not judging! Outdoor pools were heated (warm NOT hot) and mostly empty for this cruise as it was an Alaskan Sailing. But when that sun came out on our last sea day the pool deck came alive and the pools and hot tubs were full. The clear water slides that are onboard are something you must do, but keep in mind they are only open during certain hours of the day so make sure to check the freestyle daily or check the NCL app. There are two different water slides onboard the Encore, one that goes over the side of the ship in which the floor drops from below you (YOU MUST WEIGH 120 LBS TO GO ON THIS WATERSLIDE) They do check your weight prior to letting you go on the waterslide (your weight isn’t shown instead the scale must not be in the red section and MUST be in the green section) I did see multiple people get stuck in the waterslide as they didn’t have enough momentum , but it was an easy fix and they had a system in place if such thing were to happen. The second waterslide you use a tube to slide down either solo or double tubes. Water slides are free and no extra charge. The Galaxy Pavilion is a huge indoor virtual reality gaming area onboard the Encore at the back of the ship on deck 17. No food or drinks are allowed. You can buy a hour long pass for 39$ p/p or buy a day pass or a week pass. Otherwise it will be 8$ per game you play. They have F1 racers, a walk the plank vr, escape rooms and many other fun and never seen before attractions. If traveling with teenagers or kids you must check this place out. The onboard entertainment was amazing with amazing comedians onboard and musical artists. There were 3 different comedians onboard all being a tad bit different. The shows and trivia games and other entertainment options weren’t limited throughout the day or night and made me feel as if there was always something to do. Overall I think NCL has done an amazing job on ensuring their entertainment and onboard activities onboard are not limited and are doing their best to ensure there are activities to do all day and every day for anyone’s taste.
5 out of 5
The onboard entertainment was amazing with amazing comedians onboard and musical artists. There were 3 different comedians onboard all being a tad bit different. The shows and trivia games and other entertainment options weren’t limited throughout the day or night and made me feel as if there was always something to do. Overall I think NCL has done an amazing job on ensuring their entertainment and onboard activities onboard are not limited and are doing their best to ensure there are activities to do all day and every day for anyone’s taste. The Dj onboard ensured that all demographics were reached and played a wide variety of music options which made it feel like everyone was having a good time.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff was amazing throughout the whole cruise you could definently tell the were beyond excited to get back to cruising and to be back at work. The service was more than phenomenal and the social atmosphere onboard was phenomenal both on the staff’s side but also all the passengers as everyone’s happy to be back cruising! Nothing bad to say here, I enjoyed the amazing and exceptional service from all the staff.
5 out of 5
As this ship was recently built in 2019 and being the biggest current NCL ship it is in Amazing shape. The ship seriously still smells new. This ship only sailed for a few months after its first innagural cruise due to COVID. Thus making it an even better experience due to it being an insanely new ship. The ships layout was amazing and kept people spread out throughout the common areas. The staff was always working diligently to ensure the ship was lookin nice and clean. The Encore is a very technologically advanced ship which came in handy multiple times. They have definently taken advice from cruisers and put them to the use by implementing many new technical features that many of you will enjoy.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
This room was amazing, I had no issues with sound, movement or anything really with this room. This is a ‘Club Balcony Suite’ (CONNECTING) and it seems to be a tad bit smaller than some other balcony staterooms but not much more noticeable. Flat screen TV that can be adjusted to your liking, the room door opens IN instead of OUT. The phone inside the room has all the features you need. TV channels can get repetitive but that’s usual. You can view daily planner from TV or from NCL APP.
Be ready to have some fun! Be aware of extra charges and utilize the Virtual queues in the NCL APP.
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