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jfio1021

Encore's low ratings

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2 minutes ago, jfio1021 said:

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 

I hear you. We have 4 ports, but one is Puerto Rico at night. A very baffling decision. Why go to a port from 5:30 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.? And because we are now going to GSC, they cut short our Tortola stop to 2 p.m. But I won't let these affect my cruise experience. 7 days away from work is never bad. Just hope some of these complaints aren't all true. We have always found the service on the ships we sailed to be great. You treat the crew well and they will treat you well. My biggest beef in recent years is having the tips automatically added to your bill. I think you should do this at the end of the cruise for good service. There is NO incentive for the crew to go above and beyond if they know they are getting a set tip at the end of a cruise.

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7 minutes ago, dshefter said:

I hear you. We have 4 ports, but one is Puerto Rico at night. A very baffling decision. Why go to a port from 5:30 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.? And because we are now going to GSC, they cut short our Tortola stop to 2 p.m. But I won't let these affect my cruise experience. 7 days away from work is never bad. Just hope some of these complaints aren't all true. We have always found the service on the ships we sailed to be great. You treat the crew well and they will treat you well. My biggest beef in recent years is having the tips automatically added to your bill. I think you should do this at the end of the cruise for good service. There is NO incentive for the crew to go above and beyond if they know they are getting a set tip at the end of a cruise.

Sounds like they need to work a few kinks out with the itinerary and the Cruise its self. Happy sailing, I'm sure you will have a good time regardless.. I look forward to reading your review when you return 

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Just now, jfio1021 said:

Sounds like they need to work a few kinks out with the itinerary and the Cruise its self. Happy sailing, I'm sure you will have a good time regardless.. I look forward to reading your review when you return 

Thanks.

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People on here will slag a ship off if the pizza is crap?
just go and enjoy X

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I think NCL stretched it a little too far this time and overestimated the amount of people willing to pay for Vibe passes just to have a decent pool experience.  It is biting them.

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One of the recent reviews was either 4 or 5 stars, they said they had a great time (not perfect but great nonetheless) and they flat out said the people leaving the 1 star reviews must be extremely hard to please because they couldn't explain it. 

 

Many of those 1 star reviews have almost nothing good to say about the entire cruise. Room is too small, crew is unfriendly, food is bad, shows are impossible to get into, everything costs too much, yadda yadda yadda. When they can't find anything nice to say about a cruise, I am inclined not to take them too seriously. 

 

Most of the people leaving the good reviews are not crazy about the lack of deck space, but somehow it doesn't ruin their vacation. Some of the people leaving good reviews have teenagers who love the race track / laser tag and say this is the only way their kids would have had a good time. Granted this seems to be a minority, but I think this is exactly the type of customer NCL was hoping to attract to the Encore. The expanded Vibe seems to be no win for some people. Either NCL can keep Vibe the same size as on other ships, with low numbers of passes, leaving more demand than supply, or they can keep Vibe the same and sell more passes, making the area more crowded, or they can make it bigger and sell more passes. All of these options will leave some people complaining. 

 

We'll be on the Encore in 4.5 weeks and I'm very much looking forward to it. We won't be getting Vibe passes, we're not in the Haven, and I still have a couple of specialty restaurants I'll need to book once onboard. I'm pretty sure it will all be fine. 

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For the people that think that making dining and show reservations in advance on NCL is a PITA, try going to WDW.  If you do not get Fastpasses for the major attractions within a few hours of the reservation window opening (For WDW hotel guests, I think it is 60 days out??), you can forget about it.  I know because we met my DD there last September for a day.  She was staying in one of the Deluxe resorts, and was online before 5:00 AM on the day her reservation window opened.  Even then, she could not get FPs for several of the top attractions for the length of her five day visit, including things like Avatar and Soarin.  For the days we were there, the regular lines for those attractions were always at least 2 hours long.  And that was during "off-season"!

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5 hours ago, Peachypooh said:

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.

This is a new concern of mine (in addition to the deck space) for my upcoming. Have heard multiple reports of the motion, which DW is not particularly fond of (cruises for my benefit 🧡). We have a deck 10 cabin and 3 nights in Bermuda, so hopefully its manageable.

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10 minutes ago, NoobCroozer said:

This is a new concern of mine (in addition to the deck space) for my upcoming. Have heard multiple reports of the motion, which DW is not particularly fond of (cruises for my benefit 🧡). We have a deck 10 cabin and 3 nights in Bermuda, so hopefully its manageable.

We did the first two weeks on the Encore and our cabin was on deck ten. I don't remember any motion at all. Maybe I am not sensitive to motion. I really enjoyed the Encore especially the entertainment. I am not a person that wants to sit out in the sun by the pool so maybe that is why the lack of deck space is no big deal to me. People cruise for different reasons so some will like this ship and others don't. Just my thoughts.

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This family has a cruise channel that they are always positive and sail every cruise line and every ship.  They sailed Encore for the Go Karts and all the other bells and whistles.  A balanced review but you can sense the frustrations that they could not do what they wanted to pay for and do on the ship.  

 

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4 minutes ago, swmichigan cruiser said:

We did the first two weeks on the Encore and our cabin was on deck ten. I don't remember any motion at all. Maybe I am not sensitive to motion. I really enjoyed the Encore especially the entertainment. I am not a person that wants to sit out in the sun by the pool so maybe that is why the lack of deck space is no big deal to me. People cruise for different reasons so some will like this ship and others don't. Just my thoughts.

Thank you!

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14 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. 

I've been on ten NCL cruises and never had a major problem with anything. There are likely 4000-5000 people on each sailing and ten come back and write negative reviews. They want to vent and likely overexaggerate any issues they had. Keep in mind the latest reviews are from the holiday season when they pack loads of people onto the ship and it probably overwhelmed the staff on a brand new ship. By the summer, most kinks would be worked out and you shouldn't have a problem. As a word of advice, book all of your reservations for specialty dining and main dining rooms as soon as you are allowed to online. That way you can eat when you want, stand in minimal lines and not worry about eating really late because that was all you could book on the ship. If you have multiple cabins, book a different restaurant in each cabin and then you'll have options each night.

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14 minutes ago, CruiserDan53 said:

I've been on ten NCL cruises and never had a major problem with anything. There are likely 4000-5000 people on each sailing and ten come back and write negative reviews. They want to vent and likely overexaggerate any issues they had. Keep in mind the latest reviews are from the holiday season when they pack loads of people onto the ship and it probably overwhelmed the staff on a brand new ship. By the summer, most kinks would be worked out and you shouldn't have a problem. As a word of advice, book all of your reservations for specialty dining and main dining rooms as soon as you are allowed to online. That way you can eat when you want, stand in minimal lines and not worry about eating really late because that was all you could book on the ship. If you have multiple cabins, book a different restaurant in each cabin and then you'll have options each night.

they remove the race track and Laser tag, that are great news

:classic_blink::classic_biggrin:

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1 hour ago, NoobCroozer said:

This is a new concern of mine (in addition to the deck space) for my upcoming. Have heard multiple reports of the motion, which DW is not particularly fond of (cruises for my benefit 🧡). We have a deck 10 cabin and 3 nights in Bermuda, so hopefully its manageable.

You are 3 nights in Bermuda so those should be no problem at all. As I mentioned those on much lower decks than

mine said that they did not have a problem. Deck 10 should probably be OK.

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2 hours ago, ray98 said:

I think NCL stretched it a little too far this time and overestimated the amount of people willing to pay for Vibe passes just to have a decent pool experience.  It is biting them.

 

The big problem with Vibe is that it has no pool, just a bar and some hot tubs. 

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2 hours ago, Apsalar said:

One of the recent reviews was either 4 or 5 stars, they said they had a great time (not perfect but great nonetheless) and they flat out said the people leaving the 1 star reviews must be extremely hard to please because they couldn't explain it. 

 

Many of those 1 star reviews have almost nothing good to say about the entire cruise. Room is too small, crew is unfriendly, food is bad, shows are impossible to get into, everything costs too much, yadda yadda yadda. When they can't find anything nice to say about a cruise, I am inclined not to take them too seriously. 

 

Most of the people leaving the good reviews are not crazy about the lack of deck space, but somehow it doesn't ruin their vacation. Some of the people leaving good reviews have teenagers who love the race track / laser tag and say this is the only way their kids would have had a good time. Granted this seems to be a minority, but I think this is exactly the type of customer NCL was hoping to attract to the Encore. The expanded Vibe seems to be no win for some people. Either NCL can keep Vibe the same size as on other ships, with low numbers of passes, leaving more demand than supply, or they can keep Vibe the same and sell more passes, making the area more crowded, or they can make it bigger and sell more passes. All of these options will leave some people complaining. 

 

We'll be on the Encore in 4.5 weeks and I'm very much looking forward to it. We won't be getting Vibe passes, we're not in the Haven, and I still have a couple of specialty restaurants I'll need to book once onboard. I'm pretty sure it will all be fine. 

I agree with you. But still can't figure out why NCL doesn't put a small pool in the Vibe area. Would be a better selling point. Every ship I've been on has been crowded on sea days when it comes to the pool. But with a 4000-plus passenger vessel, NCL should have figured that into its architecture of the Encore/Joy. I am sailing on Sunday, so I will get a better perspective.

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1 hour ago, Steff79 said:

they remove the race track and Laser tag, that are great news

:classic_blink::classic_biggrin:

You can't book the main dining rooms anymore prior to the cruise.

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OP it's your first cruise,  you have nothing to compare it to!  Go and have a fun time, forget about the review section of C.C.  and don't sweat what you don't know.

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11 minutes ago, Sauer-kraut said:

OP it's your first cruise,  you have nothing to compare it to!  Go and have a fun time, forget about the review section of C.C.  and don't sweat what you don't know.

And doing your homework ahead of time can help you be prepared for the cruise, like booking shows and specialty restaurants

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I'm glad you posted because I'm having the same concern.  I've even looked at moving to a different cruise...  We are also heading to Bermuda - on the May 31 sailing.  I have been more than a little freaked out by all the negative posts.  We are in the Haven, so I know we will be able to find loungers there, but my niece (10), son (21), and his girlfriend (also 21) are going with us.  I know they will want to do more of the activities and hang out with more people.  It's going to be awesome, I know, but it won't be quite as much fun if everything is super packed or we actually don't get to do the stuff that we specifically chose that boat to do.    🙂  

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1 hour ago, Sauer-kraut said:

OP it's your first cruise,  you have nothing to compare it to!  Go and have a fun time, forget about the review section of C.C.  and don't sweat what you don't know.

For sure gonna try and book everything I can ahead of time and then just sit back relax 

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3 hours ago, dshefter said:

You can't book the main dining rooms anymore prior to the cruise.

I could be wrong but I'm almost positive you can. We were able to book them for our cruise last month.

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I read a bad review that their primary complaint was that the majority of their entourage were too short or too heavy to ride the go karts.  Really?  Thats just poor planning.  

 

I sail the Encore in March and have a spa room, so I dont plan too much time on the deck this trip.  I agree with others that lack of deck space could be an issue.  However, there are so many enjoyable things to do on these ships, rather than let yourself become frustrated, go explore something new and unexpected and different.  You will have a blast.  

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Go in with an open mind and positive attitude and you will have a great time.  We were on the New Years' cruise with a group of 6 and if everything I read happened we would never have had a lounge to sit on, would have waited an hour for dinner every night, wouldn't have been able to get a drink at a bar or get into the Cavern, and wouldn't have been able to get reservations at things like laser tag and go karts if we weren't first on the ship.  None of these things happened even though it was a jammed holiday week cruise.  I stopped reading reviews that were negative and instead focused on research that was going to help me plan ahead to understand how the ship worked for things like reservations so that I could make the most of what I wanted to do.  While I did note in my review that for reasons like too much loss of complimentary activities and space our family did not think we would return to NCL, we had a fabulous time, thought it was a beautiful ship and that the staff was great, and we have no regrets about going.  Kindness and flexibility pay off!

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