Entering service for the first time November 2019, Norwegian Encore from Norwegian Cruise Line is a Breakaway Plus class ship, joining sisters ships Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Joy. Originally designed for the Asian market, Norwegian announced further into the ship’s development that it would cater to the cruise line’s Western market, similarly to Norwegian Bliss, and sail its inaugural season in the Eastern Caribbean before moving on to other regions of the world.
The big, beautiful ship sits at more than 333 meters in length and a gross tonnage of 169,145 GT. There are 20 total decks — 16 are reserved for passengers — and it offers capacity for nearly 4,000 cruisers alongside a crew of more than 2,000.
With a brand-new, wonderfully luxurious ship like Norwegian Encore, as you might expect, there’s lots to love and do, so let’s get straight into the 22 things that you absolutely have to do when you take your first Norwegian Encore cruise.
1. Zip Around a One-of-a-Kind Race Track
It’s no secret that Norwegian Encore serves up entertainment in big, hearty helpings and it all starts with the ship’s race track.
This impressive amenity is the largest race track at sea, with more than 1,100 feet of track (and, in case you didn’t know, that makes it longer than three entire football fields). Plus, the daring and death-defying track takes you actually out over the open water, with curves that stretch 13 feet out over the side of the ship!
2. Play a Game of Laser Tag
The fun continues with an epic game of laser tag. Your laser battle is set within the fitting city of Atlantis, for an underwater exploration that has you running to hide behind city ruins while battling sea monsters. And similarly to the race track, this laser tag course is setting records, as it’s the largest open-air laser tag option at sea. How cool is that?!
3. Wind Your Way Through a VR Maze
Nope, the fun still doesn’t stop there. The virtual reality maze is a total can’t-miss for cruisers of all ages on Norwegian Encore. The VR maze is set within the Galaxy Pavilion, the ship’s 10,000-square-foot AR complex. And if you’ve tried VR games previously at home and didn’t care for them, you’ll want to give it another go here. The tech is truly outstanding and like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
4. Chill at One of Two Water Parks
That’s right — Norwegian Encore boasts not one, but two water parks! The all-ages water park offers multiple pools, hot tubs, slides and kid-friendly water features that are sure to please every traveler in your family.
Definitely don’t miss the slides — these adrenaline-pumping experiences whip you along water courses that jet out over the side of the ship, take you around double loops and more. The kids-only water park is a bit more tame, with kid-friendly slides and water fun that will appeal to a range of ages.
5. Check Out the Views from the Observation Deck
The ship’s observation deck is one of many places to get your awesome ocean views while aboard a Norwegian Encore cruise, but the observation deck is truly laid out so that you can get the best images of the water, without even stepping foot outside. So go ahead — take all the selfies and Instagram photos you want!
6. Catch a Broadway-Style Show…
Broadway entertainment abounds aboard Norwegian Encore and if the ship’s very first show is any indicator, there’s going to be plenty of amazing performances in its future, no matter when you decide to take your cruise. The ship’s first show is the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots, a heart-warming story about following your dreams and acceptance. It features amazing musical numbers written by Cyndi Lauper.
7. …Or See a More Relaxed Number
If you’re not a fan of the big Broadway hits, maybe the ship’s other debut show will be up your alley. The Choir Man already appeared aboard the Norwegian Escape, to rave reviews. It’s a great show that features a very large range of musical genres and — one of the best parts — you can even enjoy a drink while you watch this show set in a bar.
8. Dine in High Style at a New Eatery
Norwegian Encore features a brand-new restaurant to the brand, Onda by Scarpetta. This restaurant has its roots in big city food scenes, as part of a portfolio of restaurants that appear in big foodie destinations like New York City and London. Onda is situated on the ship’s Waterfront space, so you can dine inside or outside while enjoying some of the amazing Italian cuisine.
9. Get Your Coffee Fix
No more do you have to settle for sub-par coffee while on a cruise! Norwegian Cruise Line knows what you want and they’re delivering. While you’re aboard Norwegian Encore, you’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite Starbucks drinks from a full-service, licensed Starbucks storefront, with all the brand’s normal drinks, food and retail items.
10. Enjoy Dinner AND a Show
At the ship’s Social Comedy and Night Club, you can enjoy both dinner and a show without ever leaving your seat. The venue is the ship’s late-night bar and lounge, but it’s also an entertainment venue and the show on tap is Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical. You do have to pay extra to see this show, but, your ticket price includes access to an amazing cocktail list of Prohibition-style booze.
11. Take a Stroll Along the Promenade
The Waterfront space mentioned above isn’t just home to Norwegian Encore’s new Onda restaurant. It also acts as a quarter-mile-long promenade with fantastic views of the ocean. However, just like an on-land promenade, this space also gives you direct access to restaurants, bars and more, for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
12. Fall in Love with International Flavors…
The dining options aboard Norwegian Encore are extensive and you’ll find one that you love regardless of your tastebuds’ favorite destination.
We already mentioned Onda, of course, but beyond this Italian eatery, you can find Teppanyaki, an authentic Japanese hibachi restaurant; Food Republic, for Asian-inspired menu items that you order straight from a tablet; Los Labos, a premium Mexican restaurant; and Le Bistro, a signature French restaurant that boasts a totally classy atmosphere.
13. …Or Stick to Steakhouse Favorites…
If your tastebuds prefer steakhouse menus to any other, then you’ll love Cagney’s, Norwegian’s classic steakhouse option. The eatery serves up perfectly-aged premium certified angus beef alongside all the other classic steakhouse sides, from succulent roasted vegetables to fresh seafood to truffle fries. Definitely expect a decadent dessert at the end of your meal!
14. …Or Even American Classics!
But, if all of the above can’t make your mouth water quite like a burger or barbecue can, then you’re still in luck. Norwegian Encore’s dining options continue onward with classic American treats. Q is a totally cool barbecue joint that serves drinks and dancing to boot, while American Diner is decked out in classic 1950s style, with a menu to match.
15. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Did you save room for dessert? Good, you’ll need it. There are lots of places to satisfy your sweet tooth aboard Norwegian Encore. Coco’s serves delicious ice cream all day, every day, as well as chocolates and crepes. Dolce Gelato is all about Italy’s rich and creamy take on ice cream. And then The Bake Shop will warm your heart with its array of macaroons and cupcakes. Yum!
16. Escape to Your Own Oasis
Norwegian Encore offers staterooms, and then it offers STATEROOMS. The best of the best are located within a special VIP section of the ship: The Haven. When you book a stay in a Haven stateroom, you’re guaranteed an amazingly large guestroom that would be at home in any luxury hotel around the world.
You get your own private balcony, luxury showers, unbeatable views and more. You’ll want to move in and stay for good! The Haven also offers its guests a private courtyard with a lovely pool and hot tub, as well as a private fine dining restaurant and a bar that’s only open to Haven guests. Talk about posh!
17. Relax in Private While the Kids Are Away
Like most cruise ships, Norwegian Encore provides kids programming so that parents can revel in a little quiet time while the kids are still having any equally enjoyable experience. The Splash Academy is for kids of all ages, and provides creative activities, adventures and parties.
The Guppies program is for the smallest travelers, to enjoy sensory play. Entourage is for the teens in your family, who are sure to enjoy the movies, music and parties that abound in this adults-free zone.
18. Pamper Yourself at the Spa
The spacious Norwegian Encore spa serves travelers with an abundant array of treatment options. But, if you’re not in the mood for a treatment, you’ll still enjoy relaxing in this serene space, which includes loungers with ocean views, a salt room for detoxifying your body and a snow room for a chilling sensation that will leave you revitalized.
19. Break a Sweat
You don’t have to leave your workout routine at home while you’re on vacation. Stay healthy with a trip to Norwegian Encore’s fitness center, where state-of-the-art workout equipment is available alongside guided classes for those who want to try out pilates, yoga or even guided meditation.
20. Places Your Best and Try Your Luck
Norwegian Cruise Line’s award-winning casino continues to deliver aboard Norwegian Encore. You’ll find every game imaginable, from slots to poker, and, if you’re wanting to join the big dogs at the high-stakes tables, you’re more than welcome. (But don’t worry, beginner tables are available too, to help you learn the ropes.)
21. Escape to the Adults-Only Beach Club
While there might not be a beach onboard, you won’t notice thanks to Vibe Beach Club’s impeccable design. The adults-only, private retreat covers a whopping two stories of space and includes a spacious bar with all your favorite drinks, plenty of loungers in the sun, refreshing snacks and a hot tub. It’s a great place for adults to relax in the sunshine without braving any screaming kids or harried families.
22. Grab a Drink
And, lastly, just like there are so many different places aboard Norwegian Encore to grab any meal, any time of day, there are likewise loads of options for getting your drink on, whether you’re a cocktail person, a beer fan or a wine aficionado. The signature watering hole is The A-List Bar, which is featured prominently.
There’s also The District Brew House, serving up more than 70 different beers (though non-beer fans will like this spot, too, as hand-crafted cocktails are also available). Sugarcane Mojito Bar is all about tropical-inspired drinks.
The Cellars is for those wine lovers out there, and Maltings Whiskey Bar serves your favorite whiskeys from around the world. And that’s not even all your options. The list of watering holes goes on and on.
So, have you heard enough about Norwegian Encore to persuade you to hop aboard this ship at your very first chance? We definitely have! See you aboard, fellow cruisers!
Norwegian Encore FAQ
Norwegian Encore offers guests three different swimming pools. Across these swimming pools, you’ll find five waterslides. In addition, guests enjoy access to nine Jacuzzies, though not all of these water options are open to every single cruiser, as some are in adults-only or VIP areas.
The Norwegian Encore ship is just over 1,000 feet in length, with 16 passenger decks and 20 total decks. This gives the ship a guest capacity of just under 4,000, and a crew capacity of 2,100.
Norwegian Encore is in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus Class, where it joins sister ships Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Joy. The Breakaway Plus Class was launched in 2015 and has received rave reviews worldwide since.