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Peachypooh

To those who sailed the Encore would you again?

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I am pretty much finished with my review of our trip and in it there were very very few

negatives. It is a beautiful ship with excellent crew and delicious food.

However...we are not going to sail her again. The reason is I really think it is made for

a younger demographic than us (60's and 70's) and unless traveling with family I just

think other ships are better suited (specifically the Jewell class ships) for our age

group. It was wonderful to see so many young families and multigenerational groups

having a great time. But for a senior couple like us it just wasn't that good of a fit.

That's why I am glad NCL offers different classes of ships. Our next cruise

is on the Pearl.

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Thanks for your perspective peachypooh. 
 

To answer the question in your title, yes we would cruise on the Encore again. We are in your demographic and have been cruising for several decades. Our cruise experience dates back to a time when there were a few (at most) balcony rooms, you rented wooden loungers from the pool attendant (limits chair hogs) and the height of entertainment was ballroom dancing.  And the string quartet playing a selection of classical tunes. 
 

Now, we cruise to be entertained. No,,,, not laser tag or go karts (although we did give it a go just for the experience). 
 

So, we like the bigger ships with a wider range of entertainment. We liked the lounge music in the Observation Lounge at night, the trivia and game shows in the [crowded] Atrium. Country music in the Q. Nightly music on the bars (District, cavern Club, Sugarcane). Bingo has become too expensive for us, but we will sit though part of a session as we do for deal or no deal. 
 

Lots of words, but the bottom line is that we would cruise on the Encore again on a different itinerary. 

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42 minutes ago, Peachypooh said:

I am pretty much finished with my review of our trip and in it there were very very few

negatives. It is a beautiful ship with excellent crew and delicious food.

However...we are not going to sail her again. The reason is I really think it is made for

a younger demographic than us (60's and 70's) and unless traveling with family I just

think other ships are better suited (specifically the Jewell class ships) for our age

group. It was wonderful to see so many young families and multigenerational groups

having a great time. But for a senior couple like us it just wasn't that good of a fit.

That's why I am glad NCL offers different classes of ships. Our next cruise

is on the Pearl.

I enjoyed your review.  I found it interesting you were in the Haven but ate regularly at the buffet and sat by the main pool.  On another note, someone who I believe was on your sailing posted a video (not on CC) with a walk through the Haven.  I got to see how the Haven was over run with kids.  All you heard was screaming and the hot tub had 8 toddlers alone in it throwing balls across the courtyard. Their screaming was extra loud because the Haven roof was closed.  Then a girl about 8 comes out of the hot tub and does a cannonball into the Haven plunge pool.  No adults around anywhere.  Got to see all the pool toys you were talking about. I was going to post it on your review but did not want it to be a distraction to your review.  Ironically the videographer was trying to demonstrate how tranquil and nice the Encore Haven was LOL.  He picked the wrong cruise to do it 😖

I am sailing Encore in less than 2 months and I follow everyone's review here and other places.  I have seen 2 reviews from extremely frequent cruisers who are always positive run into issues on Encore. First was the drink situation where during sail away and other times, they could not get a drink.  I got to see their vlog how impossible it was to get a drink.  And because it was an inaugural Caribbean cruise many kinks were not worked out.  Slides down and laser tag cancelled.  Because it was cancelled due to computer issues they could not rebook it because the entire week was already sold out.  The family had kids and they were quite disappointed because they booked Encore for these things. 

Edited by david_sobe

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1 minute ago, david_sobe said:

I enjoyed your review.  I found it interesting you were in the Haven but ate regularly at the buffet and sat by the main pool.  On another note, someone who I believe was on your sailing posted a video (not on CC) with a walk through the Haven.  I got to see how the Haven was over run with kids.  All you heard was screaming and the hot tub had 10 toddlers alone in it throwing balls across the courtyard.  Then a girl about 8 comes out of the hot tub and does a cannonball into the pool.  No adults around anywhere.  Got to see all the pool toys you were talking about. I was going to post it on your review but did not want it to be a distraction to your review.  Ironically the videographer was trying to demonstrate how tranquil and nice the Encore Haven was LOL.  He picked the wrong cruise to do it 😖

We had the same on Escape although parents were around.  We know it is hit or miss plus we have older kids of our own.

 

We had a large room and deck so spent time there.  Restaurant was usually very quiet except one lunch a couple thought it was fine for kid to run around the table.

 

Oh, and last 24 hours haven pool closed due to incident.

But back to PP question, yes the new ships have a few nice things but I'd be fine on the Spirit.

 

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25 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

I enjoyed your review.  I found it interesting you were in the Haven but ate regularly at the buffet and sat by the main pool.  On another note, someone who I believe was on your sailing posted a video (not on CC) with a walk through the Haven.  I got to see how the Haven was over run with kids.  All you heard was screaming and the hot tub had 8 toddlers alone in it throwing balls across the courtyard. Their screaming was extra loud because the Haven roof was closed.  Then a girl about 8 comes out of the hot tub and does a cannonball into the Haven plunge pool.  No adults around anywhere.  Got to see all the pool toys you were talking about. I was going to post it on your review but did not want it to be a distraction to your review.  Ironically the videographer was trying to demonstrate how tranquil and nice the Encore Haven was LOL.  He picked the wrong cruise to do it 😖

I am sailing Encore in less than 2 months and I follow everyone's review here and other places.  I have seen 2 reviews from extremely frequent cruisers who are always positive run into issues on Encore. First was the drink situation where during sail away and other times, they could not get a drink.  I got to see their vlog how impossible it was to get a drink.  And because it was an inaugural Caribbean cruise many kinks were not worked out.  Slides down and laser tag cancelled.  Because it was cancelled due to computer issues they could not rebook it because the entire week was already sold out.  The family had kids and they were quite disappointed because they booked Encore for these things. 

Thank you for the kind words. Also thanks for your tact in not posting the video. Not because I wouldn't have wanted to see it but because I always try not to include anyone else's children in any pictures or videos I take. Some parents even if in a public place feel that it is not appropriate. I will search for it. thank you!

We spent almost no time in the Haven. The Observation lounge had more of a variety of food than the Horizon plus

as you noticed it was not very tranquil in the Horizon lounge as you could hear the screaming echoing from the hallway

from the kids in the pool.We only ate in the Haven restaurant twice. I think by the time you sail her the kinks will have

been worked out. We were always able to get a cocktail in a timely manner. For sailaway get a cocktail from the Haven bar and then walk to where you want to be during the float away from Miami.We always hit the Observation lounge just before 3 p.m. and sat at the bar no problem. I can see where families with children would be understandably upset if they had looked forward to the slides and laser tag and couldn't get in. My own kids had a meltdown at Disneyworld once when we had waited in line for an hour and just as we were first in line the attraction  broke!! These things happen but it is never a happy situation. Hope you have a great cruise!

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Just my opinion after doing the first two cruises out of Miami on the Encore. I am 72 and wife is 69 and without a doubt I would do the Encore again but probably have to wait until it does Alaska in 2021 not just for the different ports but also because we have three other long cruises already booked on other NCL ships. Would I try to avoid sailings when there would be a lot of kids aboard yes but if the price was right I might still do it. Everyone cruises for different reasons my biggest reason is basically for the entertainment but there are other reasons also. Entertainment to me on the Encore was the best we have seen and I  could always find something I wanted to see. And I really want to take my oldest grandson on the Encore to see Choir of Man. I think he would really enjoy it as it is set in an Irish bar and about a year and a half ago he had his first beer in a 200 year old plus bar in Dublin. Just my opinion.

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7 minutes ago, swmichigan cruiser said:

Just my opinion after doing the first two cruises out of Miami on the Encore. I am 72 and wife is 69 and without a doubt I would do the Encore again but probably have to wait until it does Alaska in 2021 not just for the different ports but also because we have three other long cruises already booked on other NCL ships. Would I try to avoid sailings when there would be a lot of kids aboard yes but if the price was right I might still do it. Everyone cruises for different reasons my biggest reason is basically for the entertainment but there are other reasons also. Entertainment to me on the Encore was the best we have seen and I  could always find something I wanted to see. And I really want to take my oldest grandson on the Encore to see Choir of Man. I think he would really enjoy it as it is set in an Irish bar and about a year and a half ago he had his first beer in a 200 year old plus bar in Dublin. Just my opinion.

So glad you had a good time and want to sail her again. Hope you are able to have your oldest grandson see Choir of Man. I agree the entertainment was outstanding.

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39 minutes ago, Peachypooh said:

Thank you for the kind words. Also thanks for your tact in not posting the video. Not because I wouldn't have wanted to see it but because I always try not to include anyone else's children in any pictures or videos I take. Some parents even if in a public place feel that it is not appropriate. I will search for it. thank you!

We spent almost no time in the Haven. The Observation lounge had more of a variety of food than the Horizon plus

as you noticed it was not very tranquil in the Horizon lounge as you could hear the screaming echoing from the hallway

from the kids in the pool.We only ate in the Haven restaurant twice. I think by the time you sail her the kinks will have

been worked out. We were always able to get a cocktail in a timely manner. For sailaway get a cocktail from the Haven bar and then walk to where you want to be during the float away from Miami.We always hit the Observation lounge just before 3 p.m. and sat at the bar no problem. I can see where families with children would be understandably upset if they had looked forward to the slides and laser tag and couldn't get in. My own kids had a meltdown at Disneyworld once when we had waited in line for an hour and just as we were first in line the attraction  broke!! These things happen but it is never a happy situation. Hope you have a great cruise!

Very sad you had to leave the Haven for peace and quiet.  But I saw/heard what you experienced and I don't even think it would be tolerated at the main pool area.

Since you spent so much time outside of the Haven area, knowing what you know now, would you have booked the Haven?

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18 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

Very sad you had to leave the Haven for peace and quiet.  But I saw/heard what you experienced and I don't even think it would be tolerated at the main pool area.

Since you spent so much time outside of the Haven area, knowing what you know now, would you have booked the Haven?

Absolutely! Just the ease of getting on and off the ship both at embarkation and especially disembarking (we lined up at the concierge desk at 7:15 am and did self assist). Also in the Horizon lounge there were an assortment of snacks that were

not available in the buffet and since were made in smaller quantities (I am assuming) tasted fresher. Such as the almond pastries, fruit tarts and very delicious macaroons. Also it was so easy to just walk out my door into the lounge to get a cup of tea anytime during the day. Another perk was instant attention to any problems. Our main shower was plugged we found out the first time we tried to use it, and wouldn't drain. Within 20 minutes they had a crew member there who

removed gobs and gobs of paper (who does that?) from the drain in the shower. Our butler gave us many helpful tips

on how to best do things (walk to CVS in Puerto Rico as the lines at Walgreens were usually 20-30 people long). We checked Walgreens and he was right! Also I do not like to be around hoards of people and even though during the day the Haven pool area was noisy it wasn't in the evening and we were able to sit in peace and quiet if we wanted to. Lastly the concierge was

able to arrange a reservation instantly to Prohibition on the first day. And of course the 2 bed 2 bath cabin had a lovely living area and was comfortable.

 

Edited by Peachypooh

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I am in my 60’s and was on the sailing before yours PeachyPoo.

 I loved the ship and bought the vibe pass. it did not disappoint. Best thing I did on that cruise! While there were kids on our sailing it sounds like yours had many more.

The main pool area was packed and I found it less than appealing. The vibe is kid free so I saw no kids up there. The staff at Vibe was so friendly and helpful. They brought you water or what you wanted to drink and you never had to leave your lounger. Terrific service in the Vibe. I highly recommend it but understand if people think it is costly. 

 

I would do Encore again but one thing I would change:

1. My cabin! It was 10290. It is directly next to open space and across the hallway to a door that cabin staff uses. It was so noisy everyday until 10pm when they all wound down for the day. The doors were constantly slamming all day long. Never a quiet moment. I asked politely for them to not slam the doors but too many cabin staff use those two doors that you would have to stand there all day long and ask each and every staff member. The cabin itself is big and so is the balcony. Nothing wrong there.

2. The enclosed smoking area is On deck 8  below this cabin. While it is enclosed, many smokers held the door open and you could smell smoke on the balcony.

 

I did the go carts, virtual reality, ate wonderful food and had a fab time.The shows were well done and I loved Choir of man. I sure hope your grandson gets to see this.

The Jewel class ships are great but I did enjoy the many offerings on the Encore as well.

 

Happy  New Year PeachyPoo!

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Nope.  Pretty much agree with the OP.  Nice, shiny new ship but too big and too chaotic.  Only if there was a killer deal to be had or family/friends wanted to go specifically on the Encore would we do her again.  Give us the Sun, Star, Spirit, Dawn, Jewel, Jade.  Hopefully the Leondardo class will capture the magic of those ships.

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8 minutes ago, Love my butler said:

Nope.  Pretty much agree with the OP.  Nice, shiny new ship but too big and too chaotic.  Only if there was a killer deal to be had or family/friends wanted to go specifically on the Encore would we do her again.  Give us the Sun, Star, Spirit, Dawn, Jewel, Jade.  Hopefully the Leondardo class will capture the magic of those ships.

But did you ride the go-karts? 😉

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2 hours ago, Meimei 100 said:

I am in my 60’s and was on the sailing before yours PeachyPoo.

 I loved the ship and bought the vibe pass. it did not disappoint. Best thing I did on that cruise! While there were kids on our sailing it sounds like yours had many more.

The main pool area was packed and I found it less than appealing. The vibe is kid free so I saw no kids up there. The staff at Vibe was so friendly and helpful. They brought you water or what you wanted to drink and you never had to leave your lounger. Terrific service in the Vibe. I highly recommend it but understand if people think it is costly. 

 

I would do Encore again but one thing I would change:

1. My cabin! It was 10290. It is directly next to open space and across the hallway to a door that cabin staff uses. It was so noisy everyday until 10pm when they all wound down for the day. The doors were constantly slamming all day long. Never a quiet moment. I asked politely for them to not slam the doors but too many cabin staff use those two doors that you would have to stand there all day long and ask each and every staff member. The cabin itself is big and so is the balcony. Nothing wrong there.

2. The enclosed smoking area is On deck 8  below this cabin. While it is enclosed, many smokers held the door open and you could smell smoke on the balcony.

 

I did the go carts, virtual reality, ate wonderful food and had a fab time.The shows were well done and I loved Choir of man. I sure hope your grandson gets to see this.

The Jewel class ships are great but I did enjoy the many offerings on the Encore as well.

 

Happy  New Year PeachyPoo!

Hey question about the vibe if you dont mind.. first off how much is it for a week, second can you buy online or is this something you need to purchase on the actual ship. If that is the case is it a mad dash to get these passes, how early did you board the ship in order to get them. 

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6 hours ago, Peachypooh said:

I am pretty much finished with my review of our trip and in it there were very very few

negatives. It is a beautiful ship with excellent crew and delicious food.

However...we are not going to sail her again. The reason is I really think it is made for

a younger demographic than us (60's and 70's) and unless traveling with family I just

think other ships are better suited (specifically the Jewell class ships) for our age

group. It was wonderful to see so many young families and multigenerational groups

having a great time. But for a senior couple like us it just wasn't that good of a fit.

That's why I am glad NCL offers different classes of ships. Our next cruise

is on the Pearl.

Love the Pearl. We sailed her when bowling alleys were still on the ship. Really cool attraction and we got free games through our CC Meet and Greet group

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Interesting to read the various perspectives!   

We have been retired for a couple of years now and we love the larger ships.  Bliss was great!  Loved the Observation Lounge.   And Escape is another favorite of ours.  The Waterfront on the larger ships is something we miss on the smaller ones.  We also have enjoyed the Dawn and the Gem, but prefer the 'night life' and additional specialty dining of the larger ships.    

We will be on the Encore next month.  Really looking forward to Choir of Man😎

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5 hours ago, jfio1021 said:

Hey question about the vibe if you dont mind.. first off how much is it for a week, second can you buy online or is this something you need to purchase on the actual ship. If that is the case is it a mad dash to get these passes, how early did you board the ship in order to get them. 

It is 209 pp for the week.   You can only purchase on ship.   The mad dash isn't as crazy as other vibes because of the increased size/capacity.  But to be safe, always do it right when boarding if vibe is a must for you

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7 hours ago, megansdad1 said:

It is 209 pp for the week.   You can only purchase on ship.   The mad dash isn't as crazy as other vibes because of the increased size/capacity.  But to be safe, always do it right when boarding if vibe is a must for you

Purchase in The Social or did they move the booking area?

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8 hours ago, megansdad1 said:

It is 209 pp for the week.   You can only purchase on ship.   The mad dash isn't as crazy as other vibes because of the increased size/capacity.  But to be safe, always do it right when boarding if vibe is a must for you

As being someone who did purchase this would you recommend it to others, is it worth it's value based on your experience 

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20 hours ago, david_sobe said:

I enjoyed your review.  I found it interesting you were in the Haven but ate regularly at the buffet and sat by the main pool.  On another note, someone who I believe was on your sailing posted a video (not on CC) with a walk through the Haven.  I got to see how the Haven was over run with kids.  All you heard was screaming and the hot tub had 8 toddlers alone in it throwing balls across the courtyard. Their screaming was extra loud because the Haven roof was closed.  Then a girl about 8 comes out of the hot tub and does a cannonball into the Haven plunge pool.  No adults around anywhere.  Got to see all the pool toys you were talking about. I was going to post it on your review but did not want it to be a distraction to your review.  Ironically the videographer was trying to demonstrate how tranquil and nice the Encore Haven was LOL.  He picked the wrong cruise to do it 😖

I am sailing Encore in less than 2 months and I follow everyone's review here and other places.  I have seen 2 reviews from extremely frequent cruisers who are always positive run into issues on Encore. First was the drink situation where during sail away and other times, they could not get a drink.  I got to see their vlog how impossible it was to get a drink.  And because it was an inaugural Caribbean cruise many kinks were not worked out.  Slides down and laser tag cancelled.  Because it was cancelled due to computer issues they could not rebook it because the entire week was already sold out.  The family had kids and they were quite disappointed because they booked Encore for these things. 

 

I would not waste the money on the Haven, except for on the Epic. Posh alone was worth it. It would annoy me to no end having that many unruly brats running around. I would personally spend that money on a butler level suite at Sandals, where I know there aren't any kids. 

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I follow lots of cruise vlogs on youtube.  There is a family who cruises so often they have their own T shirts and have lots of subscribers.  They are always 100% positive of all their cruises but they are having a miserable time on the Encore.  Why is Laser Tag and the go karts down during port days?  It seems to me since they are in such high demand and sold out, it makes no sense to keep them closed especially since they generate revenue for NCL.  Please don't say staffing issues because if you put all these bells and whistles on a cruise ship, you must plan on staffing to keep them open.  They also have had an impossible time getting drinks that they had to meet the bar manager.  From their vlog it seems the Encore is really under-staffed.

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1 minute ago, david_sobe said:

I follow lots of cruise vlogs on youtube.  There is a family who cruises so often they have their own T shirts and have lots of subscribers.  They are always 100% positive of all their cruises but they are having a miserable time on the Encore.  Why is Laser Tag and the go karts down during port days?  It seems to me since they are in such high demand and sold out, it makes no sense to keep them closed especially since they generate revenue for NCL.  Please don't say staffing issues because if you put all these bells and whistles on a cruise ship, you must plan on staffing to keep them open.  They also have had an impossible time getting drinks that they had to meet the bar manager.  From their vlog it seems the Encore is really under-staffed.

 

That's very discouraging 😞

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10 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

I follow lots of cruise vlogs on youtube.  There is a family who cruises so often they have their own T shirts and have lots of subscribers.  They are always 100% positive of all their cruises but they are having a miserable time on the Encore.  Why is Laser Tag and the go karts down during port days?  It seems to me since they are in such high demand and sold out, it makes no sense to keep them closed especially since they generate revenue for NCL.  Please don't say staffing issues because if you put all these bells and whistles on a cruise ship, you must plan on staffing to keep them open.  They also have had an impossible time getting drinks that they had to meet the bar manager.  From their vlog it seems the Encore is really under-staffed.

Maybe I was just lucky but we were on the first two cruises out of Miami but I never had a big problem getting drinks. Not sure about the laser tag and go kart issue because I wasn't going do them anyhow but in San Juan we did not get in until late afternoon and only two other ports days on the cruise. Sorry those people are miserable but we enjoyed the Encore.

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19 minutes ago, swmichigan cruiser said:

Maybe I was just lucky but we were on the first two cruises out of Miami but I never had a big problem getting drinks. Not sure about the laser tag and go kart issue because I wasn't going do them anyhow but in San Juan we did not get in until late afternoon and only two other ports days on the cruise. Sorry those people are miserable but we enjoyed the Encore.

 

Do you need a reservation for the virtual reality games? 

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4 minutes ago, CruisingSince1982 said:

 

Do you need a reservation for the virtual reality games? 

Sorry not sure. We walked in there twice not sure how it works but I would guess you probably wouldn't need reservations.

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16 hours ago, jfio1021 said:

Hey question about the vibe if you dont mind.. first off how much is it for a week, second can you buy online or is this something you need to purchase on the actual ship. If that is the case is it a mad dash to get these passes, how early did you board the ship in order to get them. 

You have to buy them on the ship. many do the mad dash but many got them at 1:30pm.the cost is 209.00 per person.

i thought it was worth it!

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