Below is an article was written by Emma for her experience on the NCL ENCORE.
After finishing a degree in Tourism Management I was lucky enough to be offered a job and joined the Book In Style team in 2019. After several months of hard work and dedication, I was rewarded for my efforts with a fam trip on the brand new NCL Cruise ship, the Norwegian Encore. I was over the moon the day I got told I was the chosen one for the trip. The fam trip would be my first cruising experience and I was so excited.
On Thursday 31st October 2019 I woke up at 3 am ready to make my way to the airport with my colleague Siobhan who I was travelling with. We flew to Amsterdam where we then got a complimentary coach that took us to Bremerhaven Port where the Encore would set sail from that evening.
Before we could board the ship we needed to pass through security and complete check-in. This was the easiest process ever. Security was so efficient and we were though in no time. Walking onto the ship was absolutely amazing. As we were walking on I turned to Siobhan and said “Wow its like a 5* hotel on water” That’s how amazing the first impression is!!
Once we were on the ship we went straight to check out our cabin. We were at the back of the ship on deck 13. Our cabin was a balcony cabin which we loved. We had great views and the cabin was amazing. It had all of the facilities needed for a week away. One thing I loved about the cabin was that you could book dinner reservations and onboard activities through the TV in your room. This was a feature that made things so much easier. After we had checked out the cabin we went straight out to explore the ship. It was almost 6 pm at this point and the sail away party was about to start. We went straight to the Sun Deck ready for the sail away. They had pulled out all the stops. There was a fantastic DJ and everyone was on the top deck watching the ship sail away from Bremerhaven as the sunset. It was just amazing to watch.
We then went back to the Cabin to get ready for the night and go to Dinner. There are so many options when it comes to choosing where to eat on the ship. If you’re wanting something easy then the dining option for you is the Garden Café buffet restaurant. There is then 3 main dining room on the ship. I dined in 2 or these and I have to say that the food in both of them was absolutely spectacular. The 3 main dining rooms are Taste, Savor and The Manhattan Room.
The Encore also has a range of speciality restaurants and everybody that I spoke to about them said that the food was to die for and that they are defiantly worth that little bit of extra money. There is a speciality dining restaurant for everybody, these are:
- Q Texas Smokehouse
- The Bake Shop
- Dolce Gelato
- Los Lobos
- Cagney’s Steakhouse
- Le Bistro French Restaurant
- American Diner
- The District Brew House
- Food Republic
- Onda by Scarpetta Restaurant
- Ocean Blue
Whilst on the ship for 2 nights we also went to the Theatre and watched 2 absolutely outstanding shows. On night 1 we watch a show called Choir of Man and on night 2 we watched the musical Kinky Boots. Both of the shows were spectacular and it felt like we were watching them in the West End. I would definitely recommend that everybody watch at least 1 show in their time on the ship as these shows are what made my experience so memorable.
On both evenings after the shows, all of the bars on the ships were then open until late. On the first night, a group of us went around a few of the bars including the Mixx Bar. We then went into the ship’s nightclub called “Social Comedy and Nightclub”. If this is something that you enjoy then the nightclub is a perfect night out when on the ship. Also if you enjoy a comedy show, the social offers great comedy performances when travelling on the Encore. If you still feel like carrying on after nightclub shuts you can then always go to the ships all night casino and enjoy the rest of your night.
After a fantastic first day and night on the cruise woke up after an amazing night’s sleep and were ready for another amazing day. Our second day consisted of exploring the ship and seeing what it had to offer. Firstly, we went for a coffee and a bite to eat in the Observation Lounge where we had some magnificent views of the seas as we sailed. The food again was amazing and the atmosphere was so relaxing.
We then went for a wander around the ship. We had a look at things such as the Art Gallery, duty-free shops and the Cavern Club Bar. There is so much to do on the Norwegian Encore that it is hard to fit everything in. A group of us then spent the afternoon enjoying the activities that the ship had to offer. We tried the laser tag, the speedway and the galaxy pavilion. My favourite was the Galaxy Pavilion. It included lots of VR activities and even a VR maze.
As we were travelling through the North Sea in November it was just a little too cold to be trying out the swimming pools and the Aqua Park. We did, however, look at these and I have to say that I am very jealous of anybody who gets the opportunity to try them. The ship also has a kids splash park and there are even hot tubs for those adults who just want to relax.
The Norwegian Encore has something on board for everybody. For the people who like their fitness, there is an onboard gym and a running track that goes all the way around the top deck of the ship. There is also a barber on board and for those who go on holiday and like to relax there is an amazing spa for the guests to enjoy.
One of my favourite parts of the experience was when we had a tour of The Haven. This is a VIP part of the ship that only people who book a Haven suite can use. The guests that book a haven suite have access to extra places on the ship. These include the courtyard which has a private pool and they also have their very own observation lounge. We were lucky enough to be able to look round one of the Havens 2 bedroom family villas. This could accommodate up to 6 people and had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a living area as well as a balcony. If you are wanting to treat yourself and want to live the life of luxury, I would definitely recommend booking a suite in the Haven.
My first fam trip for Book In Style was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I will definitely be cruising again in the future. I would recommend the Norwegian Encore to anybody. It has something for every guest whether it be a family or an elderly couple. I can’t put into words how fantastic the ship is. I would definitely give the Norwegian Encore an Encore from me and I already cannot wait until my next Book In Style fam trip.
EMMA WORKS AT https://www.facebook.com/BookinStyleLeyland/
Feel free to drop her a message or email at
Leyland@Bookinstyle.co.uk about her experiences