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NCL Encore Daily Review "LIVE" With Freestyle Dailies

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Greetings from the NCL Encore! Yesterday I posted my experience through the embarkation process. In this post I will provide daily reviews, thoughts, Freestyle Daily Schedules for each day, and so on. Enjoy! 

 

Day 1- Miami

 

Much of the day was included already in my embarkation thread but here's a quick recap. We flew in to Miami and arrived around 830am. We decided it would be too early to goto the pier, so we decided to have a sit down breakfast at the airport (Margaritaville). The steak and eggs from there was surprisingly very good. 👍

After our meal,we took a Lyft for $13 to the pier. Uber was $17 and a taxi was $20-$25. Obviously we decided to take the cheaper option. The embarkation process took around 1 hour. 30 minutes in line to get processed and 30 minutes in the waiting area. Boarding starts at 11:30am.

Once on board we went straight to Deck 6 to make our reservations for the specialty dining and shows. All were easy to make and we got the times that fit in to our schedule. 

Since staterooms are not available until 2pm, we decided to tour the ship and tried to avoid the crowds as much as possible. We all know embarkation can be chaotic, especially in the buffet and The Local! Lol! As others have posted, Taste and Savor are available for a sit down lunch on embarkation day. Both restaurants were practically empty. If we had not eaten at the airport, we would have chosen to eat at Taste or Savor for lunch. 

The ship is beautiful and modern. All the venues are nicely decorated and I especially appreciate that they closed off the smoking area in the casino so the smell of the smoke doesnt travel between the 6,7,8 atrium area. Oddly there is smoke smell near the Manhattan Room dining area.

We stumbled upon the observation lounge which I already know will be my favorite part of the ship! It is just very relaxing and is a great place to go to wait until your stateroom is ready. Light snacks and coffee are available. Because of the Cornavirus, in the buffet areas, the crew are at the stations serving the guests. The drink stations for coffee, juice and water are still self service.

Screenshot_20200203-083852_Gallery.thumb.jpg.6314a926de07de2972e1dcda7e22c579.jpg

We checked in to our cabin and surprisingly our luggage had already arrived so we unpacked. There is not much storage area in the room. You have just one closet with 4 shelves and a rack to hang your clothes. If traveling with more than 2 people or on a cold weather itinerary (Alaska), this can be an issue. 

Time for muster drill which started at 3:30pm. It went by quickly and then we went straight up to deck 17 for sailaway from Miami! 

The sailaway was great! There was such a great vibe /energy and everyone was dancing and having a great time! Great music! Miami is the best port to sail from. The views from the ship are amazing!

20200202_164702.thumb.jpg.4c482c19cceb2761531a6f84ca74eda5.jpg

20200202_163756.thumb.jpg.41ca91bf92532e49509a31e29d1f9666.jpg

 

Since this was sort of a different day 1 due to Superbowl being one of the Main Attractions. Our original plan was to eat at The Local but it was already jammed packed because everyone wanted to watch the game on the Big screen in the atrium. So we decided to eat at the buffet.The Garden Cafe (Buffet) was quite busy as well. I guess everyone had the same idea. Day 1 is also prime rib night in the buffet, so maybe that was also a reason. The food was ok. The prime Rib was decent. It needed the gravy to enhance the flavor. 

Game time! We went to watch the game on the pool deck on the big screen. It was a bit chilly but tolerable. One thing we missed while watching the game was the commercials! I guess because of licensing,  they could not broadcast them.

We noticed on the daily planner they had the First Night welcome show at 8pm. It was getting a bit cooler and the game was not that exciting (Yet!), so we decided to see the show. The theater was only half full! The cruise director did comment on this and made a joke of it. Lol!

During the first night show, they showed a preview of the shows onboard: Kinky Boots and Choir of Man, along with other show bands around the ship. They also advertised things to do while on the Encore, most of them being a sales pitch. The show was cheesy, yet enjoyable. My favorite part was some people's reaction when they realized Kinky Boots was a drag queen show. Lol! 

After the show, we went to the casino bar to finish watching the game. What a great ending!! Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs! 

After a long day, we decided it was time for bed. A great day overall!

On a side, if you are prone to motion sickness, this ship you will feel it. Very rocky and creaking of the walls.

20200203_085355.thumb.jpg.9f5c832e89015b64b7ebf641f887554c.jpg20200203_085420.thumb.jpg.f45ac77852cde235db767e7aad41a463.jpg20200203_085426.thumb.jpg.081b04225d6806f64e48d13a6bf22360.jpg20200203_085433.thumb.jpg.e40713e9034a51062d283bf2e35d2cfe.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by tx121

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Day 2- At Sea

 

Woke up early for a jog on the running track. It was 6:30am and people are already claiming the chairs on the pool deck. 🤦‍♂️ I feel like it is ok to save seats if you are going to be there, but to spread towels across a row and then leave is not right. Smh! 

Screenshot_20200203-071208_Gallery.thumb.jpg.d0c92613246f594ac253f1658e344d58.jpg20200203_065338.thumb.jpg.e91f19a3fd3f81df9168fd79dbb9163e.jpg

 

Interesting seating behind the big screen along the running track. 🤣

20200203_065734.thumb.jpg.78473931e0b4add12158f4a9bac515bd.jpg

Beautiful sea!

20200203_065334.thumb.jpg.1360cc852de5ba824c08df00fc43f6cd.jpg

Here is the Day 2 Freestyle Daily for today!

20200203_091830.thumb.jpg.33f0398f8f0e5d322e6e1a9e531cdc3b.jpg20200203_091840.thumb.jpg.385c533331b090a4d41cd8cd9a89c481.jpg20200203_091846.thumb.jpg.9ab2314321770c2ebbff69dfe8f4bd2f.jpg20200203_091856.thumb.jpg.8916241c32b34f73812a53369e00bb5e.jpg

 

 

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Thanks so much for doing this "live" and posting the dailies! We board this coming Sunday so all this up to date info will be very helpful.

Have a great cruise!!

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46 minutes ago, tx121 said:

Greetings from the NCL Encore! Yesterday I posted my experience through the embarkation process. In this post I will provide daily reviews, thoughts, Freestyle Daily Schedules for each day, and so on. Enjoy! 

 

Day 1- Miami

 

Much of the day was included already in my embarkation thread but here's a quick recap. We flew in to Miami and arrived around 830am. We decided it would be too early to goto the pier, so we decided to have a sit down breakfast at the airport (Margaritaville). The steak and eggs from there was surprisingly very good. 👍

After our meal,we took a Lyft for $13 to the pier. Uber was $17 and a taxi was $20-$25. Obviously we decided to take the cheaper option. The embarkation process took around 1 hour. 30 minutes in line to get processed and 30 minutes in the waiting area. Boarding starts at 11:30am.

Once on board we went straight to Deck 6 to make our reservations for the specialty dining and shows. All were easy to make and we got the times that fit in to our schedule. 

Since staterooms are not available until 2pm, we decided to tour the ship and tried to avoid the crowds as much as possible. We all know embarkation can be chaotic, especially in the buffet and The Local! Lol! As others have posted, Taste and Savor are available for a sit down lunch on embarkation day. Both restaurants were practically empty. If we had not eaten at the airport, we would have chosen to eat at Taste or Savor for lunch. 

The ship is beautiful and modern. All the venues are nicely decorated and I especially appreciate that they closed off the smoking area in the casino so the smell of the smoke doesnt travel between the 6,7,8 atrium area. Oddly there is smoke smell near the Manhattan Room dining area.

We stumbled upon the observation lounge which I already know will be my favorite part of the ship! It is just very relaxing and is a great place to go to wait until your stateroom is ready. Light snacks and coffee are available. Because of the Cornavirus, in the buffet areas, the crew are at the stations serving the guests. The drink stations for coffee, juice and water are still self service.

Screenshot_20200203-083852_Gallery.thumb.jpg.6314a926de07de2972e1dcda7e22c579.jpg

We checked in to our cabin and surprisingly our luggage had already arrived so we unpacked. There is not much storage area in the room. You have just one closet with 4 shelves and a rack to hang your clothes. If traveling with more than 2 people or on a cold weather itinerary (Alaska), this can be an issue. 

Time for muster drill which started at 3:30pm. It went by quickly and then we went straight up to deck 17 for sailaway from Miami! 

The sailaway was great! There was such a great vibe /energy and everyone was dancing and having a great time! Great music! Miami is the best port to sail from. The views from the ship are amazing!

20200202_164702.thumb.jpg.4c482c19cceb2761531a6f84ca74eda5.jpg

20200202_163756.thumb.jpg.41ca91bf92532e49509a31e29d1f9666.jpg

 

Since this was sort of a different day 1 due to Superbowl being one of the Main Attractions. Our original plan was to eat at The Local but it was already jammed packed because everyone wanted to watch the game on the Big screen in the atrium. So we decided to eat at the buffet.The Garden Cafe (Buffet) was quite busy as well. I guess everyone had the same idea. Day 1 is also prime rib night in the buffet, so maybe that was also a reason. The food was ok. The prime Rib was decent. It needed the gravy to enhance the flavor. 

Game time! We went to watch the game on the pool deck on the big screen. It was a bit chilly but tolerable. One thing we missed while watching the game was the commercials! I guess because of licensing,  they could not broadcast them.

We noticed on the daily planner they had the First Night welcome show at 8pm. It was getting a bit cooler and the game was not that exciting (Yet!), so we decided to see the show. The theater was only half full! The cruise director did comment on this and made a joke of it. Lol!

During the first night show, they showed a preview of the shows onboard: Kinky Boots and Choir of Man, along with other show bands around the ship. They also advertised things to do while on the Encore, most of them being a sales pitch. The show was cheesy, yet enjoyable. My favorite part was some people's reaction when they realized Kinky Boots was a drag queen show. Lol! 

After the show, we went to the casino bar to finish watching the game. What a great ending!! Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs! 

After a long day, we decided it was time for bed. A great day overall!

On a side, if you are prone to motion sickness, this ship you will feel it. Very rocky and creaking of the walls.

20200203_085355.thumb.jpg.9f5c832e89015b64b7ebf641f887554c.jpg20200203_085420.thumb.jpg.f45ac77852cde235db767e7aad41a463.jpg20200203_085426.thumb.jpg.081b04225d6806f64e48d13a6bf22360.jpg20200203_085433.thumb.jpg.e40713e9034a51062d283bf2e35d2cfe.jpg

 

 

 

 

Thank you sooooo much for what you have posted so far! Was looking for the daily’s!!!! Very helpful!

is there a steak and lobster night at one of the main DR? 
also how much for the go carts? I was surprised to find out there’s a charge! 
Thanks again, will be watching for the rest of the Daily’s!!!! We leave this Sunday!

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I hate to even ask this of you, BUT, (there's always a but right??), if you happen to think of it as you're snapping photos of the ship, any current menus would be awesome! My fiance' is a bit of a fussy eater so knowing in advance what some of the menus look like will be very helpful for reservation purposes (I do realize they could quite possibly change for next week but will still help) Thanks in advance!!

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1 hour ago, prbffd28 said:

I hate to even ask this of you, BUT, (there's always a but right??), if you happen to think of it as you're snapping photos of the ship, any current menus would be awesome! My fiance' is a bit of a fussy eater so knowing in advance what some of the menus look like will be very helpful for reservation purposes (I do realize they could quite possibly change for next week but will still help) Thanks in advance!!

Here is the menu for Day 2. I didnt get a chance to get Day 1 unfortunately.

 

 

20200203_110259.jpg

20200203_110302.jpg

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Day 2- Sea Day afternoon 

Unfortunately we were unable to get Vibe passes. The pool deck as you can see is crowded. There are some chairs that are in the shade along the pool deck, but if you are a sun lover, chairs are hard to come by.

20200203_120156.thumb.jpg.2281e4e07a79bef3a126b6050c2ac93a.jpg

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There are 2 small hot tubs on the upper decks on either sides. There is a small line to use them.20200203_121225.thumb.jpg.887d3525ea31d5357c8add847dd207c3.jpg

 

Others are using the waterfront on Deck 8 to catch some sun. 

Screenshot_20200203-121657_Gallery.thumb.jpg.7d87d2bc41e03bb3a6ad9b7822fd399a.jpg 

There have been some "fights" between some passengers because of the "15 minute rule". Some people are taking it upon themselves to remove people's items after 15 minutes and giving it to the pool deck staff to bring it to guest services. 

 

I have decided that I will use the pool deck when everyone gets off the ship in port or late afternoon when the crowd starts to disperse. There's no need for the aggravation to fight for space. There's plenty of other things available that I can occupy myself with. 

 

My advice if you are a sun lover, get to the pool deck early so you are not disappointed. 

 

 

 

Edited by tx121

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2 hours ago, Summercielo said:

Thank you sooooo much for what you have posted so far! Was looking for the daily’s!!!! Very helpful!

is there a steak and lobster night at one of the main DR? 
also how much for the go carts? I was surprised to find out there’s a charge! 
Thanks again, will be watching for the rest of the Daily’s!!!! We leave this Sunday!

You're welcome! There is no lobster served in the main Dining Rooms. If you want lobster, you will need to book a specialty restaurant that serves lobster.

Go karts are $9.95 for a single ride, $29.95 for a unlimited daily pass and $99.95 for unlimited pass good for the whole cruise. Laser tag and Galaxy Pavillion (Virtual Reality Games) also cost extra.

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15 minutes ago, tx121 said:

You're welcome! There is no lobster served in the main Dining Rooms. If you want lobster, you will need to book a specialty restaurant that serves lobster.

Go karts are $9.95 for a single ride, $29.95 for a unlimited daily pass and $99.95 for unlimited pass good for the whole cruise. Laser tag and Galaxy Pavillion (Virtual Reality Games) also cost extra.

The Pool area will be a ghost town after docking in St. Thomas and Tortola.

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1 hour ago, tx121 said:

Here is the menu for Day 2. I didnt get a chance to get Day 1 unfortunately.

 

 

20200203_110259.jpg

20200203_110302.jpg

Thank you very much for taking the time to get these phots, we appreciate it!!! Hopefully you will get a chance to enjoy some sun, you pool deck/waterfront photos are just what lots of folks were talking about!!

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@tx121 rumour is going around in another thread that Encore has opened up a smoking area on Deck 16. Can you confirm and let us know? At your leisure of course.

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Hi there, I don't know if this has been asked already, but where do we go to try to get Vibe passes and sign up for the go karts?

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Thanks so much for bringing us along, I hope that you have a wonderful vacation 😀

 

If you happen to see a schedule for gym classes I'd love it if you could post it.  Thanks ☺️

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1 hour ago, marktwothousand said:

@tx121 rumour is going around in another thread that Encore has opened up a smoking area on Deck 16. Can you confirm and let us know? At your leisure of course.

Yes the rumour is correct. The area is open for smoking at night after 6pm. Before than, there are lounge chairs but no smoking allowed. The location is near the bar and under the loop slide. 

20200203_171321.jpg

Edited by tx121

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51 minutes ago, jentravels408 said:

Hi there, I don't know if this has been asked already, but where do we go to try to get Vibe passes and sign up for the go karts?

The vibe passes you can get from Q BBQ restaurant on Day 1. Better get them early as they do sell out. To sign up for Go karts you can do so on Day 1 when you board the ship at the Social Club on deck 6 (same place to make show reservations) from 11-2:30pm and at the Box office at 4:15pm. 

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1 hour ago, arjay9 said:

Thanks so much for bringing us along, I hope that you have a wonderful vacation 😀

 

If you happen to see a schedule for gym classes I'd love it if you could post it.  Thanks ☺️

Here you go!

20200203_185500.jpg

20200203_185503.jpg

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thank you so much for bringing us along on your cruise, so far it looks awesome! I feel bad asking you to do "work" also but if by any chance you happen to see the spa daily special flyers & can share them I would really appreciate it. Have a great cruise!

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4 hours ago, tx121 said:

The vibe passes you can get from Q BBQ restaurant on Day 1. Better get them early as they do sell out. To sign up for Go karts you can do so on Day 1 when you board the ship at the Social Club on deck 6 (same place to make show reservations) from 11-2:30pm and at the Box office at 4:15pm. 

So it seems then one should try for vibe first and then do the go karts next? Are there approximate times the karts are open every day? 

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4 hours ago, david_sobe said:

Wow, the waterfront seems to have turned into a sundeck 🤭

We were on 1/26 sailing and that was not our experience at all. People liked to sit on the side of ship with  shade during day vs sun. Sun deck was crazy and by mid week the section in photo for smoking was being used during day. I prefer sun decks that face  the sea if I’m going to spend time in a lounger. This was limited to deck 17. I just sat on our balcony for a little bit of sun. 

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1 hour ago, worktocruise610 said:

thank you so much for bringing us along on your cruise, so far it looks awesome! I feel bad asking you to do "work" also but if by any chance you happen to see the spa daily special flyers & can share them I would really appreciate it. Have a great cruise!

You're welcome!

I have not seen any spa specials yet in the Freestyle Daily. I will head to the spa and see if there are any specials tomorrow. Once I see any spa special flyers, I will post them on here. 

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54 minutes ago, HowardK said:

So it seems then one should try for vibe first and then do the go karts next? Are there approximate times the karts are open every day? 

 

Yes I would definitely try to get Vibe passes before reserving go karts. On Day 1, the go karts were open from 6pm-10pm.  Today (Sea day) it was open for double karts from 9am-11am and for single karts from 11:30am-10pm. Tomorrow it is open from 9am -11am for double karts and 11:30-5pm for single karts. We arrive in San Juan at 5:30pm tomorrow. So basically the times vary depending where we are. 

Edited by tx121

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Day 2 - at Sea continued...

 

Today could of been a challenging day if I let it get to me, but why stress? Sure things don't always go the way you want it to, but you're on vacation...make the most of what you can, even if it wasn't your plan A. 

We all know from the threads and reviews that the big issue on this ship is the pool deck /sun deck.  The reason why there are so many complaints is not because there are not enough loungers or deck space. The complaints are more about getting a lounger that is in the sun. You can find chairs/ loungers in the shaded area just fine during peak times. The problem is the lack of loungers in the sun. The expansion of Vibe, the elimination of Spice H20 and the addition of laser tag, the Galaxy Pavillion, and Go Karts is the reason why there is a issue. I checked out the laser tag and the galaxy pavillion during peak sunbathing times. These areas were almost empty and underutilized. Most of the kids were out enjoying the sun and the water park. 

My plan B was to go back to the pool deck later in the afternoon and enjoy some indoor activities until that time. We decided to go to the observation lounge where I caught up on some reading. This area is very relaxing and it offers some great views of the sea. 

Afterwards, we decided to head to the atrium area to play trivia and watch the Deal or No Deal game while eating at The Local Bar and Grill. The food is good, especially the wings with the Korean BBQ sauce! Both activities we saw/participated in were entertaining. 

We decided to see what the pool deck situation was after lunch. At 3:30pm, the pool deck started to clear out. We were able to get a nice seat in the sun and use the pool without the crowds. After 2.5 hours, we decided to get ready for dinner. This is how I prefer to relax by the pool.20200203_170946.thumb.jpg.a828f0c8a582331d739f06e79277c1f4.jpg

 

Tonight we ate in the buffet again since we had the Choir of Man show at 7:30pm. It was Steak and Shrimp night. The shrimp was grilled and still had the head and shell still on them. It was also not cleaned. What a waste. The steak they advertised did not look like it did in picture. It was minute steak. I think we agreed on not eating at the buffet for dinner after tonight. First reason, we havent been that impressed with the food and the second reason is because we have our 3 nights in the specialty restaurants coming up!

After dinner we went to the Encore Theater to see the Choir of Man show. This was for sure one of the top HIGHLIGHTS of the cruise! This show is a MUST see! Besides some of the broadway shows I have see on several ships, this is the best show I have seen on any cruise ship on any line! This is the type of show that will keep your attention throughout. I have been saying that cruise lines need to stop the trend of Cirque de Soleil type shows and artsy shows that don't make sense! I'm looking at you Royal Caribbean! Lol! 

Again I thoroughly enjoyed Choir of Man and it is NOT to be missed! Oh yeh 15 minutes before the show, they give out free beer. They invite the audience to come on stage to grab a beer with the cast.

Screenshot_20200203-190353_Gallery.thumb.jpg.c0efa3464e482725ead103617eb48107.jpg20200203_192612.thumb.jpg.772a7d99d54de6745921947100ea4403.jpg20200203_203712.thumb.jpg.e3a9ea4e0426034836e3e096e1ce5b2b.jpg

After the show we got a drink at the Local and watched the activities in the Atrium which included a Game show and Guns and Rojas Band. Originally we wanted to goto the Cavern to see the Beatles group, but it was already filled up by the time we left the show. Tomorrow night they will have the Beatles group playing in the theater, so we will catch it then. 

We had another great day! Sure there were hiccups in plans, but we just adapted and still had a fun day! 

Tomorrow is San Juan. Clocks go forward 1 hour tonight! 

 

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