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Finally back to cruising - feel like a Newbie again - ENCORE questions

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Hi everyone! After far far too many years not cruising (thank you daycare costs), I am finally able to book a real vacation and we booked Alaska 2021 on Encore. Everything has changed since we have last cruised (all lines!!)

So. What do I need to know? 


I have 2 boys who will be 6 and 9 at sail time. We are in a mini suite on deck 14. 


Give me the dirt! Things not to miss, secrets, etc. We clearly have not been on this ship. 

Thank you kindly!

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My suggestion is to use the search function for this forum, look for posts with Encore in the title and read them.  That's what I've been doing to prep for my coming Encore cruise and I've learned a lot.


Also, visit the Alaska forum here in CC for information on the ports you will be visiting.  I found them to be the most helpful for our 2018 Alaska cruise.

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Just random thoughts, after our Bliss Alaskan adventure.  Book everything you are able to beforehand.   Shows, specialty restaurants (our granddaughters loved Teppenyaki).  Then immediately on boarding, try to reserve other adventures, like race cars.   They also liked the lumberjack show in Ketchikan.  You might look into the Cruising Duck phenom, not sure if that is still a "thing", but could be fun for little ones.  Soft serve ice cream cones were a big hit!  Not sure if you would be able to pull it off, but the adults LOVED the Beatles in the Cavern Club.  Kids were hit and miss on the Kids club.  They did hang out there when we were doing adult stuff, but preferred to be with us.

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On board now.  This is not a great ship for sun loving adults.  Outside space is not abundant.  It’s probably a great ship if you like all the games, water slides, etc.  Crew has been top notch at all levels and a new ship is always nice.  +1 on booking as much in advance as possible.

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