If you are considering a cruise on Norwegian Encore you may be wondering how she compares to Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway.
I’ve been on all three ships and in this post will talk about the differences and similarities between each.
How Does Norwegian Encore Compare to Breakaway/Getaway?
Norwegian Encore is very similar to the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. Norwegian Encore is ‘breakaway plus’ class meaning that she is a bigger version of the ships within the breakaway class. Norwegian Encore has two sisters, Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Escape, both of which are also breakaway plus class.
Many of the layout features and venues onboard are common across all ships. When walking around Norwegian Encore I definitely felt as though I knew my way around based on cruises on Getaway and Breakaway.
That said, Norwegian Encore isn’t just a bigger version of Breakaway and Getaway. She also has extra attractions and venues onboard.
Differences Between Norwegian Encore and Breakaway/Getaway:
Norwegian Encore Doesn’t Have a Spice H20
Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway both have an area at the back of the ship called Spice H20. This is an adults only area with lots of sun loungers and a bar where you can get a drink. They often play movies on the big screen at the back too.
Parties are often held here in the evenings and it is a really popular part of the ship.
Inspired by the renowned summer beach parties on the island of Ibiza, Spice H20 is an adult-only escape with contemporary Asian influences. By day, lounge beside hot tubs and a soothing waterfall; by night, it’s a whole different beat. Let loose and dance beneath the stars as vibrant images display on the huge video screen. Spice H20 will add pizzazz to your palate too, with its unique offerings of snacks and appetizers. – Source.
Norwegian Encore doesn’t have a similar space which I think is a shame. In hot destinations finding a sun lounger on a cruise can be tricky and this area meant that there was more top deck real estate to fight for.
Norwegian Encore Has Go Karts and Laser Tag!
Norwegian Encore has the biggest go kart track at sea, laser tag and also a VR area called Galaxy Pfavilion. These are all new additions that weren’t found on Norwegian Breakaway or Norwegian Getaway.
There is no denying that being able to go kart on a cruise ship is an exciting idea. The go karts, laser tag and VR games do all have an extra cost attached.
The go kart track and laser tag do take up quite a lot of the top deck. Only around 1/3rd of the top deck is available for free lounging which I think is a shame.
Norwegian Encore’s Observation Lounge
On Norwegian Encore you will find a MASSIVE lounge right at the front called the observation lounge. This is by far my favourite thing about the ship and I could see myself spending a lot of time here if I was to cruise on Norwegian Encore for any great amount of time.
The lounge covers over 1/3rd of deck 15 and has seats down both sides of the ship. There is a bar and a couple of sections where you can grab a light breakfast or lunch. It can often be tricky to find a seat in a lounge on large cruise ships so was nice to always know that we could come to the observation lounge to find a seat. Some of the seats were very comfy too!
Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway don’t have a comparable lounge.
Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway have ice bars which Norwegian Encore does not. I have always wondered how popular the bar actually was and I suppose this answers my question!
Similarities Between Norwegian Encore and Breakaway/Getaway:
Main Dining Rooms
Norwegian Encore, Getaway and Breakaway all have three main dining rooms. These are called the Manhattan room, Taste and Savor. Norwegian offer completely freestyle dining with no fixed dining times or dress codes.
The Manhattan room is one of my favourite dining venues from any cruise ship. I love the airy feel and the big windows at the back which look out over the ocean.
Taste and Savor are smaller main dining rooms which are located on both sides of the ship. These are usually almost identical and have the same menu.
To learn more about the included options offered on Norwegian Cruise Line cruises check out this post: Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises Do Include Meals: Included Food Guide.
On Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway you will find a bar called O’Sheehans. On Norwegian Encore the name as been changed to ‘The Local’ but the idea remains the same. This restaurant is open 24/7 and offers a great alternative to the buffet or main dining room. It serves quick meals like hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings and pies.
The buffet onboard all three ships is almost identical. The choice of food of course does vary depending on the cruise but I’ve always found Norwegian Cruise Line buffets to be consistently of good quality.
The buffet is split into different sections and food is freshly cooked throughout the day.
My favourite thing about the buffet is that it never really closes during the day, between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner sections of the buffet will close and be replaced by new options. On some cruise lines the buffet is closed completely for hours at a time but that isn’t the case with Norwegian.
Norwegian Encore does have a number of different bars to Norwegian Getaway and Breakaway. They also have many which are the same such as the Mojito and Whiskey bars.
The layout of the internal spaces on the ship is very similar on all ships so although the bars vary you’ll find bars in pretty much the same place.
All three ships have an area of dining and bars called the waterfront. The waterfront is outside on the promenade deck and provides great opportunities for dining by the ocean.
I am SO glad that Norwegian Encore also has the waterfront, it is one of my favourite parts of the ship. I usually cruise in an inside cabin and the waterfront becomes my own HUGE balcony.
The cabins onboard are very similar in layout. The design is slightly different but the cabins on all ships are very modern and comfortable. The design of the inside cabin, ocean view cabins and balcony cabins are very similar. I stayed in an inside cabin on Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway, then a mini suite on Norwegian Encore.
All three ships have HUGE casinos that span a massive portion of the ship. If you like to gamble these ships are a great choice. There are lots of machines, tables and games to chose from and all ships have a bar within the casino.
All three ships have a large theatre which show Broadway style productions. The productions are usually repeated on a couple of nights so that all cruisers have the chance to see them.
It is worth noting that when cruising on Norwegian Encore/Breakaway/Getaway theatre shows have to be booked ahead of time. The shows can be booked in a number of ways, my personal favourite is to book using Norwegian Cruise Line’s app but you can also book using the TV in your cabin, or at the box office.
My favourite show from Norwegian was onboard Norwegian Epic. It was the first time I had seen Priscilla Queen of The Desert and I loved it so much that I went back the next night and watched it again!
Does Norwegian Encore have a basketball court?
No. There is no basketball court on Norwegian Encore.
Does Norwegian Encore have a mini golf course?
No. There is no mini golf course on Norwegian Encore.
Norwegian Encore, Breakaway and Getaway are all very similar. The main differences are that Norwegian Encore has a go kart track, laser tag and an observation lounge that Getaway and Breakaway don’t have. Norwegian Encore also has some different bars and restaurants but generally speaking if you like Norwegian Breakaway/Getaway you’ll like Norwegian Encore.
Personally I would probably chose to cruise on Norwegian Getaway or Breakaway as I’m not particularly interested in go karts or laser tag. That said, I’d happily cruise on any!
Where To Next?
If you’re considering your first cruise, or would just like to learn a little more about cruising, this post is a brilliant place to start: 67 Cruise Tips From 67 Cruisers.
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