Alaska is amazing. NCL Piers... not so much

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 20

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Encore

7 Night Scenic Alaska & Dawes Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 21, 2021

Ship: Norwegian Encore

Cabin number: 14146

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 1 month ago

Review summary

Cruise was great. Loved the Encore. Will not go back to Alaska via NCL. The new ports were an inconvenience especially when you have cruise lines that will stop right in town.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Testing was fine. Was in Group 1 for boarding.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food and drinks were excellent. Onda was amazing.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Plenty to do. Race cars were a lot of fun. Laser Tag was fun. The Galaxy Pavilion was fun.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Shows were great. Disappointed that we missed Kinky Boots by a week or two as they were not ready to perform but Choir of Men was amazing.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Everyone was happy to be back and excited to be cruising. Our room steward even gave us an animal towel lesson.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Always clean and easy to navigate.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Usual cabin. Loved the location. Could walk up 1 flight to Observation lounge or 2 flights to the buffet. Very convenient.

Ship tip

I loved the Encore. Big without feeling too big.

Ports of call

Seattle, Washington

5 out of 5
Loved Seattle. Lots to see and do on our own.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

3 out of 5
It is a nice port but not much to do there and you spend the a long time. Also they have a new pier so you have to take a gondola over to the town area. The lines can be long when you first get there.

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
Loved Skagway. Cute little town and shops. The Mushers Camp excursion and saw the dog sled dogs and did the White Pass train ride.

Juneau, Alaska

4 out of 5
Juneau was good. We rode the new tram. The pier is slightly away so there is a free shuttle into town. We booked a helicopter to glacier tour which was amazing. This was by far our favorite thing of the cruise. NCL doesn't spend enough time here. Had to rush to some shops before leaving. Town was a little run down and a lot of shops were closed.

CRUISE ENDICOTT ARM & DAWES GLACIER

3 out of 5
Hard to rate this as NCL messed this up. The glacier and ride out was great. NCL was supposed to turn so both sides of the ship could see the glacier. They didn't even though they made an announcement they would. I believe there was a medical emergency that took up the time as there was a smaller boat below us on the port side and we saw someone get on with a wheelchair and other guests. I understand an emergency, however, NCL should have made an announcement to let the port side know they would not be turning so they could go outside and see the glacier. I felt bad for some who stayed on their balcony and never saw the glacier. I had made 2 phone calls during this time and they were not helpful at all.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
Loved Ketchikan. Probably our favorite port but felt rushed. NCL doesn't spend enough time here. The built another new pier and it is a 20 minute shuttle ride into town. It is the only way to get into town. There were long lines waiting for this shuttle. We booked the first excursion so we could skip this line. Highly recommend doing this. This is how it will be going forward. The paid for this pier so they will use it. Very inconvenient if you need to go back to the ship for anything. You would easily lose an hour out of your day. We saw the Lumberjack show. It was cute.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Fine
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