Beautiful ship, but lacking for adults

by adjensen
1 Review written
Norwegian Encore Norwegian Encore
9 days, one-way from Southampton to New York
Departure date: 02 Nov 2019
Spa & Fitness
Staff and Crew
Shore Excursions / Tours
Value for Money

We sailed on the Transatlantic inaugural in November 2019 and really appreciated the quality of this last of the Breakaway+ class ships. Overall, it\'s beautiful and the public spaces (apart from the absolutely bizarre atrium chandelier, which looks like colored garbage bags) are well designed and pleasant. Our cabin (aft balcony, #12300) was pretty much what we expected. Great staff, our steward was excellent and bartenders were outstanding, particularly in the Local and the District Brew House, which is mostly where we hung out. The Observation Lounge on Deck 15 was amazing, a great space with its own bar and snack stations, kept stocked throughout the day. That said, there are disappointments, and it starts with the strange idea to replace Spice H2O, an adults only outside area, with a laser tag arena, which is only open for a few hours in the evening, when it\'s not raining (we never got to use it because it rained on the night we had reservations.) In addition, on other BA+ ships, the Vibe (adults only outside deck, costs $100 per person per week,) takes up half of the foredeck of Deck 19, and then the other half of 19, along with Deck 20, are public spaces. Not so on the Encore, both 19 and 20 are now all part of Vibe, meaning that, unless you pay, your outdoor space is limited to the pool area on Decks 16 and 17. The go karts are fun, but cost $15 for five laps, kind of a rip-off. Food wise, we ate at Los Lobos, which was awful; Q Smokehouse, which was okay; and Cagney\'s and Onda, which were both great. Food in the main dining rooms and buffet was typical of NCL offerings. The District Brewhouse was well stocked and only ran out of three draft beers during the crossing; I got my name on the wall for finishing 65 different beers (all that they had.) Food and drinks in the Local were convenient and pretty quickly served. We liked Choir of Men, which was in the main theater and Kinky Boots, the rest of the entertainment was okay... we\'re getting a little tired of the Beatles cover group, because they always play the same stuff and after seeing four or five different renditions, we were less enthusiastic about this one. Guns and Rojas, which I believe will be the Encore\'s house band, was good, though loud, and they played a number of songs I\'d never heard before, so they must be newer (or originals? Probably not.) Overall, we enjoyed the ship, but will probably not sail on her again, because of the lack of spaces for adults that don\'t require an admission fee. (There were no ports on this cruise, ignore the rating below for Shore Excursions/Tours.)

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