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AVOID NCL ENCORE AT ALL COSTS


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19 minutes ago, crusintime123 said:

I am sure Vibe would have definitely helped with the chair situation.  Unfortunately we were not able to get it.  

Can you clarify this point please? I've seen two posts that seem to indicate Vibe was not sold out on your cruise, but you seem to be saying it was.  

 

It's important to me because for our sailing in April my wife an I are debating going for Vibe and I need to know if I need to act quickly.  I seem to be hearing that we don't and in fact we were talking about first going up to Vibe to "check it out" to see if it will work for us.  Maybe we won't have time for that?

 

Thanks

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5 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

When the limit is 60 minutes, people complain.

When the limit is 30 minutes, people complain.

When the limit is 15 minutes, people complain.

 

When NCL staff moves items after the allotted time, people complain.

When NCL staff doesn't move items after the allotted time, people complain.

 

When NCL offers VIBE, people complain that they couldn't get a pass.

When NCL offers a larger VIBE with triple the number of passes, people complain that VIBE takes up too much space.

 

When VIBE doesn't cost much, people complain that the demand is too high.

When VIBE cost more, people complain that the price is too high.

 

A question for everyone..."If you could, what changes would you make...knowing that some people will still complain?"

 

I agree.  People will always complain.  No way around it, but if you have more chairs and deck space you have less people looking for them and less tension on the decks.  For me, I think 30 min is fair.    

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1 minute ago, PATRLR said:

Can you clarify this point please? I've seen two posts that seem to indicate Vibe was not sold out on your cruise, but you seem to be saying it was.  

 

It's important to me because for our sailing in April my wife an I are debating going for Vibe and I need to know if I need to act quickly.  I seem to be hearing that we don't and in fact we were talking about first going up to Vibe to "check it out" to see if it will work for us.  Maybe we won't have time for that?

 

Thanks

I inquired around 1pm on the first day and they told me it was sold out.  Also, I met someone on the ship who had it and he told me it was sold out.  He was the one running to get the pass.  Maybe it was just th  holiday week but I heard from prior reviews it does sell out early.  If you get there early I would go straight there and not take any chances.   I saw the area and it looked nice.

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1 hour ago, crusintime123 said:

Just got back from the NCL ENCORE.  I was on the 2/16/20 sailing. 

 

Will I sail NCL again, maybe.  Will I sail the ENCORE again, not even if it was free.   

This sounds like me with Allegiant Air.

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I was also on the Encore February 16, 2020 sailing. You are 100% correct that Encore is a TERRIBLE ship for a family if you want to enjoy a relaxing cruise while sunbathing on decks 16 or 17, swimming in the adult pool, using the water slides, watching your children swimming and playing in the children's pool, spending time with your children in the water park area, or even going to the Garden Café or the Locale for lunch with your family. You can't do these things on the Encore for more than 15 minutes, because if you do, your chairs will likely be TAKEN by either NCL staff or other cruisers. Good luck finding open deck chairs if yours are taken because of the ridiculous 15 minute rule. Based on my experience – I bet that you won’t. Unfortunately there are not nearly enough deck chairs provided by NCL so it is very very difficult, if not impossible, to find available chairs to accommodate your family after 10 am.  IT IS VERY STRESSFUL. I also agree that the Encore buffets and the quality of food were substandard as compared to the Escape, Breakaway and Getaway. For some perspective, I have also sailed on multiple Royal and MSC ships and have fairly substantial experience cruising over the last five years - in excess of 15 cruises. I will never sail on the Encore again but would do so on ANY of the other ships I have been on.        

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1 hour ago, JamieLogical said:

I haven't sailed on the Encore yet, so I can't speak to a lot of your experiences, but I believe the buffet is laid out like the one on the Bliss and I could not agree more about the layout being terrible. With all the small stations, you feel like you have to go around and check every single one to make sure you don't miss anything and there is NO FLOW to it AT ALL. It was my number one complaint the first time I sailed on the Bliss. It's bad enough that the buffets are always overcrowded, but add in the disorganized layout and it is pure chaos.

I totally agree about the flow and the stations.  Fortunately my wife and I really don't care for buffets.  Even when we are in Las Vegas, the king of buffets, we never go.  We usually eat two meals a day.  We can catch breakfast or lunch in The Local or the MDR.  Then go back for supper.

 

Edited by Tutontow
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1 hour ago, BostonGal35 said:

i get that its frustrating if sitting in the sun all day is your thing.  fortunately for me it isnt. i avoid the sun like the plague and am happiest when i find a chair away from the noise of the pool deck, in the shade, where i can listen to the ocean, read, nap, etc.

 

the pool bars are always the slowest because of volume.  for that reason, we never even attempt to get drinks there.  plenty of other bars on board that will instantly get you a drink with minimal lines.

 

as for cigars, most people do not want to smell and breathe smoke. i honestly like that areas for smoking are limited.

Having lived in Florida for 60 years and as a former sun worshiper who still loves boating and fishing,  you should see my skin.  I have to wear long sleeves and sunscreen 24/7.  I take for granted the blazing sun, swimming pools and hanging out by the pool listening to music.  I never realized how fortunate I am to have all of this 10 steps from my family room.

Edited by Tutontow
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It should be a warning at 15 minutes and removal at 30. And there should be allowance for some people saving a chair or two to the left or right of them, in case someone has to run to the bar to get a drink, a smoke, run to their cabin for diharrea, etc. and quick things like that.

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1 hour ago, marktwothousand said:

Wow...I am heading this weekend and this review has really got me thinking and worried about my trip. I am not a sun person but one of the people I am travelling with is. I am sad for her already if what you say is true.

Not to worry. You've been on other NCL megaships and the gripes are about the same. 

 

We enjoyed our Encore cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We like it so much that we have booked another cruise on the Encore to Bermuda in a few months. 

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I was also on that sailing. The buffet lay out is indeed pretty weird but after, I don't know, 2 trips there? we were able to figure it out and remember pizza is there (we liked the buffet pizza, btw), bread there, Indian food back there, etc. There was always buffet seating in the very back except on disembarkation morning when it was a zoo. 

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2 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

 

Maybe the issue is less with the ship and more for what causes you stress.

Trust me.  I was not the only one stressed out on the ship.  And your right, no one should be stressed about lounge chairs.  But many were as evidenced by the chaos on the pool deck.  

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5 minutes ago, crusintime123 said:

Trust me.  I was not the only one stressed out on the ship.  And your right, no one should be stressed about lounge chairs.  But many were as evidenced by the chaos on the pool deck.  

I really think the issue was the number of passengers on this sailing. There is a live review on this board right now and it sounds like a different cruise.

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8 minutes ago, crusintime123 said:

Trust me.  I was not the only one stressed out on the ship.  And your right, no one should be stressed about lounge chairs.  But many were as evidenced by the chaos on the pool deck.  

 

It's an issue not solely attributed to the Encore.  It can be frustrating, I agree.  But for me, spending 4 days at ports in the sun and on the beach when I'm on the ship during sea days I try to find a chair in the shade so I can listen to music, do puzzles on my tablet and have a few drinks.  When I get hot, I'll get up and get in the pool or go to a waterslide, ropes course or whatever.  I'm on vacation and I remove myself from the stress.  But It's not an issue that would cause me to never sail on a ship again "at any cost".

Edited by RedwingHockeyFan
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2 hours ago, marktwothousand said:

Wow...I am heading this weekend and this review has really got me thinking and worried about my trip. I am not a sun person but one of the people I am travelling with is. I am sad for her already if what you say is true.

If it’s only her she should have no trouble finding a spot in the sun. At least one of the chairs would be available and she can move to a lounger by keeping her eyes open. Also not every one wants to sit out on the deck all day. You can grab chairs when people get up to go to lunch or move on. 

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7 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

 

It's an issue not solely attributed to the Encore.  It can be frustrating, I agree.  But for me, spending 4 days at ports in the sun and on the beach when I'm on the ship during sea days I try to find a chair in the shade so I can listen to music, do puzzles on my tablet and have a few drinks.  When I get hot, I'll get up and get in the pool or go to a waterslide, ropes course or whatever.  I'm on vacation and I remove myself from the stress.  But It's not an issue that would cause me to never sail on a ship again "at any cost".

I agree.  I do like being in the sun though since the winters are long/cold in the northeast.   It is just disappointing because I do enjoy all of the other NCL ships.  But I could really feel the lack of deck space on this one.  Really never had an issue finding a chair on Escape/Breakaway/Getaway.  Hopefully the new Leonardo class will have more deck space.

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Thanks for the warning, if a bit dramatic .............. because I've done my research, I wouldn't book the Encore for a Caribbean cruise due to the limited sundeck space.

 

However, I'm cruising the Encore for a Pacific coast itinerary up to Vancouver, so I don't think finding loungers around the pool will be an issue.

 

I also don't smoke, don't expect gourmet cuisine on mega-ships, and don't really get worked up if the free pizza or burgers or any other fast food is "inedible".

 

Since NCL was kind enough to throw in the dining package, I'll be in specialty restaurants at least 4 nights.

 

So I suppose I'll be able to "struggle" through.

 

 

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I tend to agree with most of what you said. The buffet was not laid out well although I thought the food was fine (never had pizza though). We liked the dining rooms for dinner, although agree the times were bad if you want to see a show and then go to dinner. The Local was good but you wouldn't want to eat every meal there, too repetitive.

 

We went in mid-January and it was too crowded so that can't be blamed entirely on the week. We had Vibe passes thank goodness. I don't spend a whole day in the sun but on a Caribbean cruise I want to spend some time there and the Vibe was very relaxing and I didn't have to fight for a seat. It was actually quite empty some days. We got our tickets as soon as we  boarded, I would not recommend waiting if you think you want one.

 

I did a review here after we got home, there were some good things but the bad overwhelmed it for the things we are interested in and that make a cruise enjoyable for us. We will never go on Encore again.

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