The Norwegian Encore hosted our CruiseOne/Dream Vacations national conference. This was a week filled with enlightening presentations by our franchise headquarters and our suppliers (Cruise Lines and Tour Companies). It also was pretty exhausting as we had to be at the general sessions at 8 am most mornings. I was also running my business while on board, so when the sessions were over, I was in my room with phone calls and computer work. So I have to confess I did not get to experience everything that this ship had to offer.
So this ship review will focus on the ship as a meeting/convention venue. For which Norwegian and their event staff did an absolutely amazing job!
How did Norwegian do with hosting about 800 travel agents and their plus ones? Fantastic! Our group was made to feel so special and welcome. Every night our group hosted a cocktail party in the observation lounge from 6:00 to 7:00. This was a crowded, hurried event that provided us a chance to mingle with other agents as well as the representatives of the various cruise lines. The Norwegian staff at these events were outstanding. They had the bar open but also walked around with trays of drinks and had bottles of wine to refill our glasses. They were friendly and gracious. One morning at breakfast, a couple of the servers from the cocktail parties recognized us (possibly by our badges) and greeted us with a friendly hello, asked how our cruise was going and told us that they loved our crazy theme parties.
And yes crazy theme parties – “Sport Your Team”, “Wig-out”, “Decades” “Gala Night” and “Fedora Friday”
The ship itself is absolutely beautiful with a wide array of venues. Decorated in blues and greys that are reminiscent of the sea, sky and beaches. Every single venue on the ship was amazingly decorated. And you may ask, how I got all these pictures with not many people in them. Well, one morning I was wide awake at 5 am and decided that would be a good time to do a photo tour of the ship.
I was even able to visit the Haven area. The Haven is the exclusive “Ship With-in A Ship” suite area of the the Encore that features private lounges and a restaurant. This is a great options for someone who wants a more exclusive atmosphere, but with the amenities of a big ship.