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Advice for Aft Facing Balcony on NCL Encore


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First time cruiser here! Looking to make this special and I've booked an aft facing balcony (11th Deck) for the 12/12-19 sailing. I can get a "regular" mid-ship balcony for about $1100 less. Is the aft facing balcony worth the splurge (and why!)?

Thanks in advance, Critics : ) 

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Haven't been on the Encore, but have had several aft facing balconies.  I would book an after facing balcony in a heartbeat.  For me its the calming of watching the wake of the ship, love it.  Also, the balcony is usually bigger than a midship balcony.

 

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For me aft balconies have pros and cons. Pros-- bigger balcony, less wind, and watching as we leave ports. I really enjoy sitting out and watching the scenery. The only con is the vibrations that shook our cabin when the ship is docking. I will say that I had an aft balcony on an European cruise, so we had a stop every day. Every (early!) morning when we docked our room vibrated and made noises so much so that it would wake us up. That was my only complaint. If you are on a cruise with only a few stops, it's not a big deal. No matter what room you book, you're on vacation and you will enjoy it!!

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I keep hearing that people love the aft cabins to watch the wake but I'm the opposite. I find watching the same scene constantly kind of boring. I definitely prefer a standard balcony where I can see land better (at times) or a whale breaching or one time a huge school of dolphins that looked like they were racing the ship. Also depending on the port you get to watch the port operations when docked and they can be interesting. No right or wrong on this issue.

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The depth of the aft-facing balconies varies by deck. Deck 11 is not as deep as decks 9,12,15, or 14 (11 and 14 are nearly identical, though).  Balcony width also varies depending on bed location. Even 2 staterooms on the same deck with the same bed location can vary slightly in width.

 

While in motion, you might notice a vibration known as the azipod shimmy but some people don't even notice it.

 

Since there is no Spice H2O, you don't have to worry about late night noise from the music/bass.

 

If you were comfortable with the price that you paid and were happy with your choice at the time, you'll likely have a great cruise.

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We have sail in aft balconies a few times and we definitely like the deeper balcony.

 

Keep in mind if you have never cruised before there is more movement of the ship when forward or aft vs mid-ship.  If you are worried about motion sickness you may want to save the $1100.00  

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Aft facing balcony cabin... any ship... every day of he week! 

I actually changed my cabin from an HI to a BI on the BA (hopefully you're in to acronyms) b/c I decided I'd much rather enjoy the aft experience than the Haven experience.  

 

 

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15 hours ago, Korlad said:

I keep hearing that people love the aft cabins to watch the wake but I'm the opposite. I find watching the same scene constantly kind of boring. I definitely prefer a standard balcony where I can see land better (at times) or a whale breaching or one time a huge school of dolphins that looked like they were racing the ship. Also depending on the port you get to watch the port operations when docked and they can be interesting. No right or wrong on this issue.

Thank you! Interesting to hear about the "boring" aspect. 

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15 hours ago, Two Wheels Only said:

The depth of the aft-facing balconies varies by deck. Deck 11 is not as deep as decks 9,12,15, or 14 (11 and 14 are nearly identical, though).  Balcony width also varies depending on bed location. Even 2 staterooms on the same deck with the same bed location can vary slightly in width.

 

While in motion, you might notice a vibration known as the azipod shimmy but some people don't even notice it.

 

Since there is no Spice H2O, you don't have to worry about late night noise from the music/bass.

 

If you were comfortable with the price that you paid and were happy with your choice at the time, you'll likely have a great cruise.

Thank you, Two Wheels! You know I'm now checking availability on 12 ; )

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I've only cruised 2x - once in an interior and once in an aft-balcony, and we will never go back to anything but an aft balcony.  (Hoping to cruise next April in an aft suite!)  We found it quieter and enjoyed the extra balcony space compared to friends with mid-ship balconies.  If you are prone to motion sickness, definitely pack meds for it!

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2 hours ago, Bakedzd81 said:

Thank you! Interesting to hear about the "boring" aspect. 

Having been in over a dozen afts over the years I can understand the boring aspect.

 

In the aft, all you see is back which is always ocean if your sitting. In a regular balcony you see left and right which can be land or an ever changing ocean.

You get no wind and sometimes the ships smoke comes down the back somewhat.

 The vibration can be really bad. We did aft on MSC Meraviglia last year and it was terrible.

 

Another thing to consider is the railing.  Some are vertical, others angle inward giving you a large area of unusable deck.

 $1000 for a week? I would not do it. $500 yes

Steve

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