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jfio1021

Encore's low ratings

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This is my first ever cruise, so excuse me if this is not the right spot to post but the Norwegian encore is getting slammed in the review section with a 2.5/5, which is making me really nervous for my upcoming trip this summer. People who have cruised it, do you really thing its as bad as these people are describing or is this a normal occurrence with brand new cruise ships, where kinks need to be worked out and it generally improves in a couple months. 

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i have yet to sail on the encore, from what i read on here and other sites my biggest issue with the encore is lack of free public deck space. the encore seems to less free open deck space due to the expanded vibe and other design flaws of the pool area

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There will be kinks, which have been taken care of by now.  There are those upset that Encore does not have as much open observation spaces for the masses.  Others Don't like the new larger ships requiring making reservations.  Since it will be your first cruise, keep an open mind and you will be amazed, the details will matter more on future cruises

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3 minutes ago, shof515 said:

i have yet to sail on the encore, from what i read on here and other sites my biggest issue with the encore is lack of free public deck space. the encore seems to less free open deck space due to the expanded vibe and other design flaws of the pool area

which now means i have the added stress of having to board early and hopefully get those vibe passes. i shouldnt feel nervous about going on vacation lol 

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11 minutes ago, jfio1021 said:

which now means i have the added stress of having to board early and hopefully get those vibe passes. i shouldnt feel nervous about going on vacation lol 

 

I was on the first 2 sailings of the Bliss - she also got bad reviews - I found the ship beautiful and the crew amazing

 

The Encore's pool deck is small, if you like to lay in the sun, plan beach excursions on port days. The Waterfront is an outside space on deck 8, comfy seats & a bar on each side, I prefer that space to the pool deck. 

If you want to try the race track, make reservations on the first day.

Food on cruise ships is meant to satisfy "most" - if you don't like it, ask for something else. Food is available for free at the buffet, the observation lounge, the local and main dining rooms (AFT decks 6 & 7). Look on ncl.com for the specialty restaurant descriptions & pricing and decide if you want to try any of these restaurants (you might have a Specialty dining package, check your cruise confirmation)

 

Let the crew know it's your first cruise, I've always found them to be happy to help

 

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28 minutes ago, jfio1021 said:

which now means i have the added stress of having to board early and hopefully get those vibe passes. i shouldnt feel nervous about going on vacation lol 

ok.....so what happens if you don't get Vibe?.  You're still on vacation, hopefully with loved ones, where you don't cook or clean for a week, with Broadway caliber entertainment and various ports of call.   Trust me, I'm a Vibe guy, and I stress before every cruise; but I know that the week I spend with my wife onboard is special and significant.   Don't stress about what you can't control.  And having sailed Escape and Bliss several times, their Iinitial ratings and reviews were not great.  Have a great week!

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9 minutes ago, Jim The Lizard said:

ok.....so what happens if you don't get Vibe?.  You're still on vacation, hopefully with loved ones, where you don't cook or clean for a week, with Broadway caliber entertainment and various ports of call.   Trust me, I'm a Vibe guy, and I stress before every cruise; but I know that the week I spend with my wife onboard is special and significant.   Don't stress about what you can't control.  And having sailed Escape and Bliss several times, their Iinitial ratings and reviews were not great.  Have a great week!

You are 100% right it beats the hell out  of work I guess I was just taken back by the overwhelming number of reviews saying they would never do this cruise again and things of that nature but it makes me feel better that other cruises have not had great initial reviews.. Thank you for that little pep talk lol it helped me 

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55 minutes ago, jfio1021 said:

which now means i have the added stress of having to board early and hopefully get those vibe passes. i shouldnt feel nervous about going on vacation lol 

 

With so many more VIBE passes than usual, you shouldn't worry. 

 

You can also look to get Spa access. 

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2 hours ago, jfio1021 said:

This is my first ever cruise, so excuse me if this is not the right spot to post but the Norwegian encore is getting slammed in the review section with a 2.5/5, which is making me really nervous for my upcoming trip this summer. People who have cruised it, do you really thing its as bad as these people are describing or is this a normal occurrence with brand new cruise ships, where kinks need to be worked out and it generally improves in a couple months. 

Just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t make it true. We sailed on the Encore during Thanksgiving week. She’s a beautiful ship, and we had a great time. Even before the ship was launched, even before the very first person to set foot on board, people were slamming it on cruise critic. For the most part, unjustified criticism.Have a wonderful cruise. We did!

 

In fact, we’ve already book a second cruise on the Encore. 

Edited by BirdTravels

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I also sailed on Thanksgiving week and loved it so much I'm going back in March... and also have another cruise booked on her in 2021. 

 

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It is very common for new ships to get bad reviews initially.

 

I remember a few years ago I did a little study of Escape reviews, which were very bad initially. They picked up a lot in the following months.

 

Some of it is due to the type of passengers. A lot of people on newer ships aren’t NCL regulars, and either don’t like some of the concepts (like freestyle) or didn’t know about them so weren’t prepared.

 

Personally, I have the Encore quite a way down my list because some of the things it has, such as the race track, don’t appeal to me. I’m therefore less likely to book it. Others don’t do their research beforehand and are then surprised when they find it isn’t for them.

 

Assuming you have seen what the ship offers and like that then you should be fine.

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I get my taste of Encore next month. I also have been reading the reviews and have a different take. I don't think its the non regular NCL cruisers but the regular NCL cruisers who are used to "freestyle."  There is very little freestyle when dinners, entertainment, and activities must be booked immediately.  Many families are booking Encore for the race track yet cant get reservations.  Some things like the Escape Room have such limited availability since its 45 minutes and only a few can do it at a time.  I sense lots of frustration with people trying to get reservations for these activities.  All these new and fun activities are tempting families yet they are chasing a carrot on a stick because they cant get reservations.

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"ANY day on ANY cruise ship at ANY time is better than a day at home or at work."  This is a quote I saw here on CC over 15 years ago and it's still true today!

 

You also have to keep in mind that people who feel in their own minds that they've been gypped or didn't get the best value for their money are going to complain and write bad reviews.  We were on the Gem back in 2007 on one of her first voyages (Western Med out of Barcelona) and had an absolutely fantastic time!  Crew was great, ship was fabulous and clean, entertainment & food were great.  We were pleasantly surprised on how well things ran, considering this was only the third voyage Gem had made with paying pax.  Of course we also had the incomparable Klaus Lugmaier as our Hotel Director for that cruise so that may also account for why things ran so well.  Yet with all this said a month after we got back I saw a review here on CC where someone on the same cruise gave the ship a 1 out of 5 rating in their review.  DW read the review and wondered whether we were on the same ship...

 

So bottom line, take what you read here on CC with a grain of salt...and that grain may be as large as the ship the person is supposedly reviewing!

 

Hope you have a great cruise!

 

 

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33 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

I get my taste of Encore next month.

I'm contemplating getting a taste of Encore in March.  I have an opportunity to wrap a sailing from Florida into another event, the Encore sailing has a price in range with what I'd want to pay and is sailing an itinerary I'd want.  Unfortunately - I'd said I'd consider any other ship before the Encore because of some of the design choices (primarily the reduction in the freely-available outside deck space).  I may just have to bite the bullet though...

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I was on the Encore mid December. Even with the Jewell class ships we made dining reservations

before we left home so for us it was no big deal. We also found out that we could book Choir

of Man online and did so. Prohibition had lots of people on the standby line and even after they

let them in there were lots of seats left. As for the pool we sit at a table in the shade and we

were always able to get a spot even on sea days. We found that if we timed when we went to the

buffet (get there within 30 min of the start of lunch or dinner) there were lots of places to sit.

In other words we planned around what we knew were going to be the logistics. One thing

we did not like and is no easy fix is that the ship really rocks. More so than other ships

we have been on. There was also this weird side by side shaking in our cabin which caused

us to sleep poorly. The day we traveled between St. Thomas and Tortola the ship was

going very very slow so we had a break there and of course when we were in port no motion.

I think people who were on lower decks didn't feel the motion as much. We were on deck 17.

The crew everywhere were outstanding so I don't understand people who complained about them.

Service was quick in the observation lounge. I see you are sailing this summer. You might think about getting

a cabin on a lower deck than us but then again I hesitate to recommend this because I am only going

by what other people told me. I know the shaking was still evident in the obervation deck so lower than that.

Edited by Peachypooh

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My theory on the low ratings is that people are much more inclined to post a negative review to get their complaints out in the open for all to see... There are still plenty of people having a great time on the new Encore (including me)

 

I remember when the Escape first came out, there was a similar pattern of poor reviews... I sailed the Escape four times since then, and had an awesome experience every time.

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10 hours ago, jfio1021 said:

People who have cruised it, do you really thing its as bad as these people are describing or is this a normal occurrence with brand new cruise ships, where kinks need to be worked out and it generally improves in a couple months. 

 

I've seen every cruise ship I've ever been on get slammed in the CruiseCritic Reviews section (not the boards themselves). Don't let it bother you.

 

Have a great time!

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2 hours ago, david_sobe said:

I get my taste of Encore next month. I also have been reading the reviews and have a different take. I don't think its the non regular NCL cruisers but the regular NCL cruisers who are used to "freestyle."  There is very little freestyle when dinners, entertainment, and activities must be booked immediately.  Many families are booking Encore for the race track yet cant get reservations.  Some things like the Escape Room have such limited availability since its 45 minutes and only a few can do it at a time.  I sense lots of frustration with people trying to get reservations for these activities.  All these new and fun activities are tempting families yet they are chasing a carrot on a stick because they cant get reservations.

I am sailing the Encore next week, so will have a better perspective. But I agree with all of your points. Having to book everything ahead of time can make for a stressful vacation. It's not Freestyle when you can't eat when you want and are "forced" into unattractive dining times. Also, just about every activity is an extra fee, which some people aren't used to. On Escape, you can do the Ropes Course for free. On Encore, Go Karts, laser tag, virtual reality stuff is all extra money. That can hurt travelers' budgets when they are already paying $3000-plus for a cruise. And all of the nickel-and-diming in the restaurants can't help either. Why upcharges when you have already paid for a Specialty Dining Package? I am hearing people having to pay $2 extra for brussel sprouts. Really?

 

Again, I'll have a better feel for the Encore after next week. But when you see that many bad reviews, it does raise a red flag. I know you can't please everyone and some people love to moan and groan, but 2.5 out of 5 is not good for a ship that has now been in commission for a couple of months.

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11 hours ago, jfio1021 said:

This is my first ever cruise, so excuse me if this is not the right spot to post but the Norwegian encore is getting slammed in the review section with a 2.5/5, which is making me really nervous for my upcoming trip this summer. People who have cruised it, do you really thing its as bad as these people are describing or is this a normal occurrence with brand new cruise ships, where kinks need to be worked out and it generally improves in a couple months. 

 

It's the pool deck. This ship will never get good ratings. It truly is a slap in the face that they took away all of the public free space outside for a $209pp fee to Vibe. We have sailed NCL since 2008. Next one will be Royal - this turned me off that much.

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11 hours ago, shof515 said:

i have yet to sail on the encore, from what i read on here and other sites my biggest issue with the encore is lack of free public deck space. the encore seems to less free open deck space due to the expanded vibe and other design flaws of the pool area

 

They can't even sell out over spring break. That should wake them up ... our cruise has tons of cabins left, on every deck! 

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35 minutes ago, dcipjr said:

 

I've seen every cruise ship I've ever been on get slammed in the CruiseCritic Reviews section (not the boards themselves). Don't let it bother you.

 

Have a great time!

 

Never this bad .... 

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1 hour ago, dshefter said:

I am sailing the Encore next week, so will have a better perspective. But I agree with all of your points. Having to book everything ahead of time can make for a stressful vacation. It's not Freestyle when you can't eat when you want and are "forced" into unattractive dining times. Also, just about every activity is an extra fee, which some people aren't used to. On Escape, you can do the Ropes Course for free. On Encore, Go Karts, laser tag, virtual reality stuff is all extra money. That can hurt travelers' budgets when they are already paying $3000-plus for a cruise. And all of the nickel-and-diming in the restaurants can't help either. Why upcharges when you have already paid for a Specialty Dining Package? I am hearing people having to pay $2 extra for brussel sprouts. Really?

 

Again, I'll have a better feel for the Encore after next week. But when you see that many bad reviews, it does raise a red flag. I know you can't please everyone and some people love to moan and groan, but 2.5 out of 5 is not good for a ship that has now been in commission for a couple of months.

Anxious to hear your thoughts about it, are you sailing with young kids? .. Enjoy your trip 

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52 minutes ago, CruisingSince1982 said:

 

Never this bad .... 

The pool situation seems to be the biggest complaint and I don't blame people for this. One of the reasons to take a cruise is to relax by the pool with a drink and if you can't get chairs or a spot in the pool because of over-crowding it becomes a major turnoff, especially when the line has replaced public space with paid areas. I also think not putting a pool in Vibe is a major mistake. That would add value to the fee. I know when we sailed the Escape, the pool area was crowded, but not that bad.

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Just now, jfio1021 said:

Anxious to hear your thoughts about it, are you sailing with young kids? .. Enjoy your trip 

Sailing with a 16 yo. We also plan to purchase Vibe passes, but our daughter won't be able to use them. She is just happy to be missing school for 4 days (MLK Day is Monday). But I will give a full detailed review that will be objective. I am a writer by trade, so I can do a fair and balanced report. I have done reviews for the last 8-9 cruises we have done, including Carnival, NCL and Princess. Never wrote a review for the three RCL cruises we have taken. That was before I found CC.

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2 minutes ago, dshefter said:

The pool situation seems to be the biggest complaint and I don't blame people for this. One of the reasons to take a cruise is to relax by the pool with a drink and if you can't get chairs or a spot in the pool because of over-crowding it becomes a major turnoff, especially when the line has replaced public space with paid areas. I also think not putting a pool in Vibe is a major mistake. That would add value to the fee. I know when we sailed the Escape, the pool area was crowded, but not that bad.

Definitely something I'm concerned with and why I plan on trying to get the vibe pass, the only saving grace is we will dock in Bermuda for three days so I'll definitely get my beach and sun fix there as opposed to other ships where you stay in Port one day 

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