Known for their fun, laid-back ambiance and freestyle cruising, Norwegian pioneered flexible dining and activity options onboard their impressive ships. The cruise line hit a new milestone when it debuted the Norwegian Encore, the latest and final Breakaway Plus class ship. I was thrilled to join other top travel agents, cruise line executives, and members of the media for an exclusive inaugural 2-night preview in New York City.
The ship features a new chapter in thrill-seeking activities, adult-only lounges, kids clubs, and more against a backdrop of contemporary design and decor. You can get a quick overview of the Norwegian Encore below.
The Norwegian Encore sets sail from Miami and New York City the next 18-months, making it an easy drive for nearby locals to enjoy the new ship. It’s also well worth the flight to take advantage of everything the Norwegian Encore has to offer.
Want to know more about whether or not to try it for yourself? Here’s a look at what the Norwegian Encore offers ocean-loving travelers.
- Incredible Food - Norwegian Cruise Lines earned its reputation for incredible food long ago, however, the Norwegian Encore steps it up with an array of new offerings. The Q restaurant serves up authentic Texas smoked BBQ dishes while Le Bistro offers fine French cuisine. There's also a Hibachi Grill, fresh seafood restaurant and steakhouse, and the anticipated Onda by Scarpetta. Appropriately named after the Italian word for "wave," the restaurant combines old-world fare with house-made pasta and signature seafood dishes for a mouth-watering approach to Italian cuisine.
Wherever you dine, satisfy your sweet tooth with premium ice cream, macaroons, bonbons, and cupcakes onboard. With Norwegian's reputation as a flexible, freestyle cruising experience, guests enjoy when and where to eat for ultimate flexibility.
- Upscale Spa Experiences - Cruising is all about "me" time and unwinding on a well-deserved vacation. After a day playing in the water and racing along the Encore Speedway, head to the Mandara Cruise Spa with over 50 services to choose from, including hot-stone massage, facials, acupuncture, and more.
You can also upgrade your room to a Haven Spa Suite with Balcony with a king-size bed, hot tub, waterfall shower, body spray jets, and spa decor. The accommodations also come with a 24-hour butler for personalized service, along with the Haven Bar cocktail lounge, Haven Restaurant for private dining, and Haven Courtyard and Sundeck for a private sanctuary with oceanfront views.
The rooms also offer easy access to the Mandara Spa and Fitness center and complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suites. Spa Mini-Suites and Spa Balconies are also available.
- Excellent Entertainment - Discerning cruisers know that onboard entertainment is top-notch and worthy of Broadway-caliber status. The Norwegian Encore is no different with Tony Award-winning shows like Kinky Boots. With original music and lyrics by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, guests are dazzled by the upbeat musical based on real-life events.
There’s more to choose from onboard the Norwegian Encore like The Choir of Man, one of the best shows I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The show features high-energy dancing and hit songs that gets the crowd singing and swaying to the beat. The rocking English pub turns into a live entertainment venue with your favorite classic rock, folk, and theater tunes while guests sip on traditional English pints.
Transport to a New Orleans speakeasy with Norwegian Encore's, Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical. The show features Madam Lulu's where guests are captivated by tales of bootleggers and good times. Order up some Prohibition Era cocktails with a modern twist and sing along with the era's most famous tunes in an interactive show designed to get you on your feet.
- Grown-up Fun - Although the Norwegian Encore is family-friendly, there are still plenty of opportunities for a grown-up escape like the Humidor Cigar Lounge and an onboard Casino. Send little ones to the ship’s included kids club and start exploring the ship to find the best drinks, cocktails, and entertainment.
Guests find their fellow beer lovers at the District Brewhouse with over 50 different bottled beers and 22 draft beers, along with hand-crafted specialty options to choose from. Settle in with floor-to-ceiling windows and hum along to the live music while toasting the sunset.
Discover bars and lounges dedicated to your favorite vice like the Maltings Whiskey Bar with premium spirits, or the Sugarcane Mojito Bar for island-inspired cocktails. The Cellars is the perfect spot for a glass of wine with friends, and an 18 and over Vibe Beach Club features a two-story private retreat with hot tubs, bar, and ocean views. Over at the Cavern Club, Beatles lovers can transport back to the legendary Liverpool club where the Beatles once sang. Sink into a chair, sip on your favorite spirits, and enjoy your favorite tunes sung by a Beatles cover band.
- The Kids Club is included - Kids have their own brand of fun on the Norwegian Encore with a Splash Academy for creative play, sports competitions, themed-adventures, and age-appropriate activities. Included in the cruise fare, kids can have a blast while parents discover their own brand of fun.
Over at the Kids Aqua Park, kids splash their way down tube slides and tipping buckets with canyons and water games. Norwegian Encore's littlest travelers enjoy self-guided play and sensory activities with plenty of toys in the Guppies area. And over at Entourage, teens enjoy movies, music, art, video games in a no parents allowed lounge.
Of course, the Norwegian Encore also offers kid-friendly food. Take your pick of burgers, sandwiches, chicken fingers, and more for flexible dining options.
- Family-Fun - You can spend the duration of your Norwegian Encore adventure indulging in grown-up only or kid-friendly activities, or opt for family bonding activities. Gear up and head out to discover the lost city of Atlantis for a spirited game of laser tag with your family. Divide up into teams and hide behind the ruins and giant tentacles of sea creatures.
Over at the Galaxy Pavilion, families can explore a virtual reality world where escape rooms, holograms, puzzles, and challenges abound. You can even sneak off without the kids for a grown-up only battle.
- Multi-Level Waterslides - The Norwegian Encore takes its onboard water-play seriously with two multi-story water slide options. Take your pick of two-stories of water slides with the Aqua Racer, tandem waterslide area, and Ocean loops. After your thrill rides, lounge by the pool with a frozen drink and soak up the ocean views. You can also warm up in the hot tub and reconnect with your loved ones before heading off to dinner.
- Encore Speedway - Cruise activities were once about onboard classes, shows, and live entertainment. The Norwegian Encore takes oceanside thrills to a new level with the Encore Speedway go-kart track. As the largest race track at sea, guests race up and down two decks on the Encore Speedway for adrenaline-pumping fun. The track is truly a unique experience, and a portion of it stretches 13-feet over the side of the ship. Turn it into a friendly competition and get your family or friends in on the fun.
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