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Norwegian Encore Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 42

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Norwegian Encore

7 Night Scenic Alaska & Dawes Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 07, 2021

Ship: Norwegian Encore

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 12188

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 months ago

Review summary

Our experience with embarkation, and throughout the entire ship was spectacular. With a few communication, adjustments, the ports would have been better. Loved cruising without a mask. Disembarkation wretched!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We spent the night before in the Marriott and only had to head downstairs for testing. We had a 0930 arrival and were finished with testing and onboard by 1030. I do know that those with later arrival times hand considerable wait times for embarkation.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Cagney's, Q, and Le Bistro were all excellent! The Buffet was pristinely clean, hand washing sinks at entrance were welcome addition! With the exception of the Indian style preparation, on the buffet, the fish was all overdone and dry.(including salmon)

Q Texas Smokehouse

5 out of 5

The brisket, shrimp were fantastic! We asked for the salad to be customized, it was one of my favorite salads on board. The jalapeno grits were so tasty.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
pool area is nice, but too cold for me this time. Other onboard activities were well attended and fun.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Choir of Man is Excellent!! Very sorry to have missed Kinky Boots! We truly enjoy Broadway quality shows on NCL. After Midnight on the Escape is still my favorite!!!

Children's Programs

Our first cruise without our children! Won't be the last:)

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Without exception, the staff in all areas were outstanding!! Enjoyed talking with them, though it would have been easier had they not been masked. (Especially in loud areas) I would like to thank Made (room steward), James and Arturo (beverage service in observation lounge), Kristina and Carla at the outside Cavern), Vincent (beverage service by day, Cagney's wine steward by night) and the casino staff made loosing my money fun:0. There was not one single negative interaction with the boat staff. The port staff in the transfer area of Seattle was a different story...communication issue between the ship staff and port staff, but the port staff was snarky and unkind to everyone. I had an injury and was waiting by the door, and witnessed this woman badger passengers as they got on the transfers.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Had that "new ship" smell. Just beautiful.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Room was lovely, immaculate and the shower was roomy. One issue, about day 3, we started to notice sewer gas smell in our bathroom. Didn't complain because we knew there was nothing to be done at that time. Notably smelly.

Ship tip

Keep up on all NCL communications both pre Embarkation, and during cruise. Book your dining ahead for best times. Walk off with your bags if you have a flight departure before 11am. Even if you purchase the NCL transfer, your bags may not be ready for pickup)

Ports of call

Seattle, Washington

2 out of 5
Unkind transfer port staff. Very snarky to passengers.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

5 out of 5
We toured the Cannery and rode the tram. Very well done. The zip lines looked fantastic, but terrifying!

Skagway, Alaska Did not visit port

Very disappointed that the port was cancelled, but, safety first!

Juneau, Alaska

3 out of 5
We booked two excursions, planning to do the tram early before next excursion, we got to town an hour before the tram opened at 0800. The rest of the day went well. It was rainy but we prepared for that.

CRUISE ENDICOTT ARM & DAWES GLACIER

5 out of 5
We were not quite sure what to expect. It was amazing watching the ship maneuver to the glacier. Would like to have gotten closer. If you are looking for pictures, go out side. They were well prepared, and had a roaming coffee cart and wait staff with broth that kept us warm.

Ketchikan, Alaska

4 out of 5
The lumberjack show was Great! We anticipated docking in town. In fact, the dock was remote. Transportation was available for 8.00, but it was a 15-20min trip one way. We needed to be back a the port for shore excursions and were not comfortable with the timing. Hindsight, we would have just gone into town early and done some sight seeing until the show started. There was some pretty great whale watching from the town square. NCL should honor the transfer cost when shore excursion purchased. Not the case. The old pulp factory, that serves as the port was clean and pretty cool.

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
We were given purple tags for our airport transfer and told to leave our bags outside our room, by guest services.(even after clarifying plane departure) After following instructions, to get off as early as possible, we were shuttled out of the terminal, only to find out that our bags were not ready. I understand the communication error, however, the verbal abuse from the port transfer staff was unacceptable. They both kept berating passengers for "sneaking in the line too early" and "not waiting for our tag to be called." I watched the staff person yelling at multiple people because they "couldn't follow instructions!" Their attitude of superiority, and unwillingness to listen to anyone that we were just following directions, was very rude. If she had taken a moment to listen, she would have understood that EVERYONE with a purple tag was there, and that we were all given the same instructions. Bad behavior, badly done.
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