I was recently invited to attend the christening event and inaugural cruise for the Norwegian Encore, the final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Fleet. It has itineraries to the Caribbean for the fall/winter season from Miami, and routes to Bermuda over the summer from New York. It is the perfect ship for every type of traveler, and I hope you enjoy my Norwegian Encore review! While our three-night cruise from Port Miami was part of a special event, it did allow us to experience the best things to do on the Norwegian Encore.
Introducing the Norwegian Encore [Norwegian Encore Review]
Boarding the ship in Port Miami was seamless, and our balcony stateroom was modern and comfortable; I particularly enjoyed the sea breeze through our sliding doors, and the relatively large bathroom (by ships’ standards!) too.
A peak inside our Balcony Stateroom on the Norwegian Encore
Photos in this article were taken by Premier Content Group during our experience. This page contains affiliate links, meaning that The Five Foot Traveler may receive a small commission when you purchase any flights or accommodations using the links in this article at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your continued support!
After settling in, grabbing a quick Starbucks — because, yes, there is a full-serviced Starbucks on board — and catching up with some friends, we disembarked for the Norwegian Encore Cruise Christening festivities.
What fun at the Norwegian Encore Christening!
With wine flowing and the anticipation high, we heard from numerous speakers – including former president of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Andy Stuart and current president, Harry Sommer – about the new and exciting things to do on the Norwegian Encore. There was also a selection of excellent performances from the ship’s entertainment crew.
Norwegian Encore Christening Event [Norwegian Encore Review]
But, want to know the real reason why everyone was so excited for the Christening festivities? For none other than the *fairy* Godmother, Kelly Clarkson! She put on a fun, high-energy show, and was certainly the highlight of the event.
The Fairy Godmother (of the Norwegian Encore) – Kelly Clarkson!
Despite only being onboard for three nights, there were so many fun things to do on the Norwegian Encore that we simply had to check out!
1. Speed Along the Largest Racetrack at Sea
Yep, you read that right! The Norwegian Encore boasts the largest racetrack at sea, and it even curves 13 feet over the side of the ship! Talk about a thrill. For those not as keen for driving a go kart around the deck of a ship, there’s a viewing platform to watch all of the racers speed past.
Speed along the Largest Racetrack at Sea – Things to do on the Norwegian Encore
2. Explore the Lost World of Atlantis in Laser Tag
I always thought that laser tag was just for kids, but we had a great time exploring the Lost World! Norwegian describes it as “where laser tag meets augmented reality” and it’s certainly a fun activity at any hour of the day.
3. Zoom Down the Waterslides
Whether you want to go tandem or through the double loop hanging over the side of the ship, the Norwegian Encore’s Aqua Park has plenty of fun for everyone. If waterslides aren’t your thing, that’s totally fine — grab a cocktail and lounge by the pool!
Aqua Park – Things to do on the Norwegian Encore
4. Take in the Views from the Observation Lounge
The Observation Lounge was one of my favorite areas on the ship, and unfortunately I only discovered it on our final night! With 180-degree views, the Observation Lounge offers floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean. You can find some light bites, comfortable sofas, and a full-service bar within the Observation Lounge, so grab a drink and watch the sun go down from the prettiest part of the ship!
5. Eat at the Specialty Restaurants
With 18 different places onboard to grab some food, the options are numerous! Whether you’re looking for something quick and easy, or something to indulge your sweet tooth, or looking for a food experience, there’s something for everyone! From traditional American fare to modern Italian, authentic Japanese, traditional Mexican, and everything in between, you will certainly find something that will satisfy your tastebuds. I highly recommend checking out Onda by Scarpetta, Cagney’s Steakhouse (even if you don’t eat meat like me – their veggie options were delicious!), and Teppanyaki.
Dessert will always be my favorite…
6. Work Off All That Food (or Chill in the Spa!)
So I’m one of those people that loves a good gym, especially when indulging in so many delicious meals! The Pulse Fitness Center on board the Norwegian Encore is top of the line and caters to all levels of fitness; whether you enjoy running on the treadmill and coming up with your own sets, or would prefer to take up a cycling class or pilates session, you’ll certainly find what you need on board.
Plenty of weights for everyone at the fitness center – Norwegian Encore Review
If you’d rather enjoy your vacation by avoiding the gym, I’d recommend checking out the Spa and Thermal Suite. From the steam rooms to the snow rooms to the variety of massages available, you’ll definitely find that bliss that you’re looking for!
7. Watch a Show!
The Norwegian Encore has incredible entertainment on board. My personal favorites were Kinky Boots and Choir of Man. While I knew of Kinky Boots (winner of six Tony Awards!), I’d never seen a production; the production on the Encore blew me away. Choir of Man, on the other hand, was one of the most fun shows that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a high energy show with classic rock covers, set in an English pub. If you have some extra time, I’d recommend jamming out to the Beatles at the Cavern Club too!
8. Relax at Great Stirrup Cay (and Swim with the Pigs!)
While not every itinerary will stop at Great Stirrup Cay, most of the Caribbean itineraries include a stop at Norwegian’s Private Island in the Bahamas. Picture crystal clear water, white-sand beaches, complimentary tacos, fruity drinks, and absolutely serenity… and you have Great Stirrup Cay! Pull up a lounge, rent a cabana, or chill in a villa for ultimate relaxation. If you’re not too keen on relaxing though, there are ample activities and excursions from which to partake — kayaking, snorkeling, zip-lining, jet-skiing, and even swimming with the pigs (just to name a few).
Great Stirrup Cay – Norwegian Encore Review
Since I’ve always wanted to swim with pigs, we did exactly that! Pig Island, accessible via excursion from Great Stirrup Cay, rescues their pigs from slaughterhouses and gives them a good life (full of apples) in the Bahamas. While it’s a somewhat strange idea, we honestly had a great time and I highly recommend it! Who wouldn’t enjoy wading in the water and feeding adorable piglets apples?!
Highly recommend Pig Island!
9. Get Virtual at the Galaxy Pavilion
With virtual reality becoming more and more advanced, it only makes sense that Norwegian Cruise Line would roll with the times. The Galaxy Pavilion has multiple virtual reality experiences and simulator rides to give you a thrill while out on the ocean! From a NASCAR-type race to jeep rides through Jurassic Park, you’re bound to have a ton of fun!
10. Drink Sustainably
With 13 different bars on board, you certainly won’t be thirsty! What sets the Norwegian Encore apart from other major cruise lines though is that there are no plastic water bottles on board (they replaced them with Just Water, cartons made of paper and sugar cane) and, as a fleet, Norwegian is looking to eliminate single-use plastics. They’ve also implemented a “Sip and Sustain” environmental program on the Norwegian Encore, in which the mixologists on board use typically “wasted” materials and turn them into cocktails — think unused watermelon rinds, for example. We had the opportunity to taste some of these unique cocktails on board and – as I’m sure you can imagine – they were delicious!
So many delicious cocktails on board the Norwegian Encore – Norwegian Encore Review
11. Lounge on your Balcony (or on Find a Quiet Spot!)
Now, I’m someone that enjoys a bit of quiet time. On these large 4,000+ passenger ships, sometimes it’s difficult to find that alone time – which is one of the many reasons why I always get a room with a balcony! But if lounging on a balcony is not in your budget, fear not, there are many places on board where you can lounge in peace. The pool deck is, understandably, a bit busy, but who ever said “no” to a hot tub tucked out of the way? I’d also recommend checking out the Vibe Beach Club; while there’s an additional fee to enter, it’s a two-level adults-only area of the ship with comfortable lounging options.
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And there you have it! This list illustrates just a few of the entertaining things to do on the Norwegian Encore. To make the most of your time on board, I recommend getting up early to have the ship to yourself, while also staying out in the evening to enjoy the entertainment. Whether you’re looking for a casual, laidback trip or a party, there’s truly something for everyone on the Norwegian Encore. I look forward to returning on board the Encore in the future! Get The Lowest Price On Your Next Norwegian Cruise Here!
Can't wait for the next time I hop aboard the Norwegian Encore!
If you're looking to extend your vacation, I highly recommend discovering the Palm Beaches from Port Miami. Read about our fantastic experience exploring West Palm Beach and Delray Beach here!
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*Big thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for hosting me at their inaugural cruise and christening event!*
What a good article, Sarah, and your photos are fantastic!!