Does Norwegian's Newest Ship Meet Expectations?
Brian and I were invited on the inaugural sailing of Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, the Encore, last November. It was a 3-day sailing from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, their private island, so we could check out the ship and the island.
We were each able to bring someone with us, so Brian invited a friend and I invited my younger sister. Brian and I typically view things from a travel agent's perspective, but my sister was kind enough to share her personal perspective of the experience.
Q. What was your favorite part about the cruise?
A. My favorite part about the cruise was the private island, Great Stirrup Cay. The private beach was beautiful and there were a variety of excursions to try.
I also loved all of the different dining options and the variety they offered.
Q. What was your favorite part about the ship?
A. My favorite part about the ship was all of the different activities. They had go karts, virtual reality, laser tag, live cover bands, musicals, water slides, comedy shows, silent disco, areas for teens and kids, etc. I loved that there was something fun to do for people of all ages.
Q. If you could change one thing about the cruise or the ship, what would it be?
A. If I could change one thing about the cruise I would've made it longer. I would've liked to have more time to enjoy the ship and stop at additional destinations. The ship has 1 buffet, 3 main dining rooms, and more than 10 specialty dining venues. I definitely enjoyed the food, but would've liked to have the time to experience more dining options. However, the itinerary made sense as it was an inaugural sailing.
Q. Would you recommend the Norwegian Encore?
A. Yes, I would definitely recommend the ship. It was a very large ship so it was super cool to see all the different restaurants, activities, fun, etc. it had to offer.
Q. What did you think about their private island, Great Stirrup Cay?
A. I thought Great Stirrup Cay was really cool. I had never been there before and I thought it was nice. They had different areas of the beach people could go to so it wasn't one crowded area. I also liked the villas and cabanas available for rent.
Q. Would you sail with NCL again? Why or not why?
A. This was my first time sailing with NCL and my second cruise (the first was with Royal Caribbean), and I would definitely do it again. I think the ship has a lot of features that everyone can enjoy, and the ship looked amazing on the inside and outside. The staff was also very friendly on the ship and on the island. They helped make it a great experience.
While Brian and I definitely enjoyed the cruise looking at it through a travel agent's eyes, I'm so glad my sister enjoyed it as well!
If you like large ships, definitely check out the Encore. It's great for solo travelers (they have studio staterooms with no single supplement), couples, friend groups, and multi-generational family trips.
The ship started with Caribbean sailings but eventually she's scheduled to do other destinations like Alaska, Bermuda, Panama Canal, Pacific Coast, and Canada & New England.
If travel is on your mind, whether it's a cruise or not, email us or give us a call so we can start the planning process for your next amazing vacation!