We just got back from an Alaska cruise with NCL and wanted to share our top 10 things to do on your Norwegian Encore cruise.
Norwegian Encore is the last ship in the Breakaway-Plus Class, with 169K tons and carrying less than 4,000 double-occupancy guests, Norwegian Encore boasts modern ship bells and whistles that make it appealing to families, multi-generational groups, and couples.
We love all of the park’s attractions, entertainment, and unique restaurants. It’s been over 4 years since our last cruise, we’ve almost forgotten how much we love Norwegian Encore.
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10 Things to Do on Your Norwegian Encore Cruise
Watch Your Way to the Finish Line at Encore Speedway
One of our favorite attractions on the deck is the Encore Speedway. Yes, the race is still open even in Alaska. Instead, we put the iron on during an afternoon hike in Glacier Bay National Park. Where can you run into like-minded family and friends?
Available on select ships in the NCL fleet, guests can purchase a single ride or a weeklong pass to the attraction.
The Encore Speedway covers 1,100 feet with 10 turns and 4 knots that extend up to 13 feet on the sides of the track. There is also a viewing area where spectators can watch the race and give their favorite drivers a moment of speed.
Battle in a Laser Tag Game
Join the crew, get ready with a blaster, and get ready for some laser tag fun at sea on the Norwegian Encore. It’s a step above the inflatable laser tag found on other cruise lines.
As one of the largest and most difficult arenas in the ocean, be prepared to use tactics if you want your team to come out of the 10-minute game with bragging rights.
The Lost City of Atlantis-themed game is a great experience for kids, families, and kids at heart like us. It is open most evening cruises, depending on the weather.
Get Virtual in the Galaxy Pavilion
The Norwegian Encore has one of the largest gyms at sea, the Galaxy Pavilion. This family-friendly area features a variety of realistic activities including dark simulations, driving simulations, a virtual escape room, and more.
Guests have the option of purchasing a single pass, an hour of play, a day pass, or a multi-pass depending on how many games they want to play on the cruise.
The resort is an additional fee and reservations are required for the attraction, so be sure to make them early on the cruise.
Ride the Waterslides
Like other NCL ships, Norwegian Encore has a water park with some of the most spectacular waves at sea. The Ocean Loops free fall slide will have you twisting and turning even beyond the side of the boat as you climb. There is even an ocean section so you can witness it all.
For those looking for a tamer experience, there is also the multi-level Aqua Racer swimming pool and a children’s water park.
Yes, these flood waters are open even in Alaska and some brave people have taken action. We were not one of them!
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Enjoy all the Signature Fun
Norwegian Encore is home to one of NCL’s signature acts, Choir of Man. Join the boys for drinks at The Jungle and get ready to dance and sing hard. Set in an English pub, the talented performers perform a number of acts that will have you singing along. There is even audience participation.
Apart from this signature production, the main theater has other themes in the cruise.
There is also some nightly entertainment in the Social and Cavern Club. The Social is the place to be for sports shows, various parties such as the famous GLOW party or silent disco, and a night club. The Cavern Club, led by the Liverpool icon, also offers live Beatles shows on cruises. If that’s not enough, there are several other tracks available around the deck.
The Human Choir and comedy shows require reservations, or you can try standing up for the shows.
Admire the View from the Observation Lounge
One of the reasons we love Norwegian Encore is that there are so many different places to admire the views.
The Observation Lounge, located forward on Deck 15, features wall-to-wall glass windows overlooking the bow and various seating areas – making it the perfect spot to watch the ship sail into port, one of Alaska’s most spectacular views.
The indoor bar also offers afternoon snacks, as well as a full bar. It was a very popular spot on our cruise, especially during our time in Glacier Bay where the park rangers set up a Q&A booth.
Guests staying at the Haven have their own Horizon Lounge which offers similar but private access.
Walk on the Waterfront
If you prefer to spend your time outdoors, Norwegian Encore is home to the famous Waterfront on Deck 8. This 1/3-mile-long promenade takes you close to the ocean and is another great spot for glacier viewing or wildlife viewing.
The Waterfront has a number of open spaces (some with overhead heaters), as well as outdoor restaurants and bars when the weather permits. The outdoor part of the Sugarcane Mojito Bar features a few standard cocktails, similar to those found at the Metropolitan Bar on the Norwegian Prima.
So, find your own quiet spot to relax, watch the wildlife, grab a drink, or just enjoy the tranquility of Alaska.
Grab a Drink at One of Our Favorite Places
Speaking of drinks, Norwegian Encore is home to two of our favorite bars. Personally, one of my favorite spots on the beach is the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. This bar has a wide variety of mojitos, including the go-to Raspberry Guava and Jalapeno Cucumber mojitos. It also has Latin music in the evening, which will inspire you.
While Sugarcane Mojito Bar is my favorite place, Don prefers District Brewhouse. The bar serves up to 50 different bottles and 22 draft beers. There are also plenty of comfortable seats and large windows so you don’t miss the view. In the evening, this brewery comes alive with piano vibes.
The best part is that the drinks in these bars are included in NCL drinks. With the Free Open Bar combined with the popular Free at Sea promotion, you can enjoy all these drinks and more. (There’s also a wine and whiskey bar!)
If you decide to upgrade your beverage package to a Premium Plus package, Starbucks is also included. Actually, this might be our favorite “bar” on our Alaska cruise on the Norwegian Encore.
Save All Dining Options
When it comes to dining, Norwegian Cruise Line is the pioneer of the Freestyle menu. Norwegian Encore has several unique restaurants to suit all tastes including the popular Cagney’s steakhouse, upscale Le Bistro, and seafood-centric Ocean Blue.
There’s also Q Texas Smokehouse with live music, Los Lobos with table-made guacamole, and dinner and a show at Teppanyaki, along with Onda by Scarpetta and Food Republic which are two of our favorites. Onda offers classic Italian cuisine, while Food Republic offers a variety of tapas with a spicy twist.
Although the restaurant is expensive, guests who book with Free at Sea will receive a number of free meals, two per week on the balcony. Guests with NCL loyalty will also receive additional meals.
Of course, there are also plenty of dining options to enjoy on Norwegian Encore. The ship has three main dining rooms: Savor, Taste, and The Manhattan Room. Each of these locations is open nightly for dinner offering a rotating menu with different options each night. Savor and Taste is also open for breakfast and lunch on select days.
There is also the Garden Café buffet, which had a “meat and fish dinner” on one night of our trip, and the popular The Local Bar & Grill. This 24-hour pub serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as late-night snacks that are complimentary. Let’s just say Don might have chicken wings!
Plan Your Vacation
If you’re looking to save a little on your vacation, there are two upgrades we think are worth adding, whether you’re traveling to Alaska or the Caribbean.
Vibe Beach Club is a two-story venue that caters to 18+ guests. It has plenty of comfortable accommodations, hot tubs that run out of the side of the ship, a full bar, and afternoon snacks. This place was the perfect outdoor spot to view the glacier away from the crowds. Hot tubs were also popular on our Alaska trip.
Mandara Spa’s thermal suite is another big change, especially for Alaska. This rear facing lounge features a heated patio area with 270′ views. There is also a hydrotherapy pool, which is in the house unlike the two main pools, and other relaxation activities – such as a sauna, steam rooms, a salt room, and a winter room. Guests can purchase week passes to the thermal suite or day passes to the docks depending on availability.
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Do you agree with our list of top things to do on Norwegian Encore? What do you like about the NCL Breakaway-Plus Class cruise ship? Drop us a line below to share your favorite Norwegian Cruise Line experiences.