Norwegian Encore will have guests on their feet

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Norwegian Encore outside Meyer Werft where she was built.

NEW YORK — The Norwegian Encore arrived here Monday to make its debut as the newest Norwegian Cruise Line ship and take a bow as the last in the Breakaway Plus class.

Travel sellers who have seen any of the Encore’s sisters — the Escape, Bliss or Joy — will be familiar with the basic layout of the ship. But there are always modifications to each ship in a class, and so it is with the Encore. Norwegian has added a chic new restaurant, Ondo by Scarpetta, and brought on new evening entertainment. 

The ship is also notable for being the last to be delivered to president and CEO Andy Stuart, who is leaving the company and will be replaced in 2020 by Harry Sommer.

In an interview on board the Encore, Sommer said the Norwegian brand was “in a great place,” and a priority would be to “spend more time on that marketing message to really have guests understand what a fascinating experience, a fantastic vacation a ship like this represents.

A popular feature of the Norwegian Bliss is the Speedway race track, where passengers can drive go-karts. Photo Credit: Dave Jones

“I credit Andy for creating experiences — a combination of ships, restaurant choices and activities onboard — that really provide a wonderful vacation for our guests,” Sommer said. “We’re not changing that.”

A two-day, pierside preview of the Encore was conducted for travel partners, VIPs and media ahead of the ship’s repositioning to South Florida. 

The experiences on the Encore appear at first glance to be tilted toward active ones. The aft sections of the top decks are devoted to activities like the Speedway, a fast-paced, go-kart ride that got its start on the Norwegian Joy. Waterslide options include the Ocean Loops, which, as its name suggests, drops riders down a tube that twists up and down and beyond the edge of the ship. 

Norwegian describes the laser-tag section as “laser tag meets augmented reality” set in Atlantis. 

On Deck 17 are the Galaxy Pavilion, a room with multiple virtual-reality games, simulator rides and an escape room.

Even the evening performance in the Encore Theater was active in a sense. “Choir of Man” features about a dozen young men singing and playing contemporary and classic hits in unique and fun ways under the pretence of hanging out in an Irish pub. In the hour-long show, the performers sing (occasionally in beautiful a capella harmony), dance and play live instruments. As I said, it was active: The show brought the audience to its feet for two standing ovations. 

A view of the Norwegian Encore's midship pools.

A view of the Norwegian Encore’s midship pools. Photo Credit: Rebecca Tobin

However, the Encore isn’t all about heart-racing activity. The ship also has a large observation lounge that wraps around the forward section of Deck 15, where there are couches, loungers and nooks galore for relaxing with a Kindle and a coffee (a Starbucks shop is located on Deck 6). Or if the sun is what passengers desire, there is the Vibe Beach Club, which occupies the topmost Deck 20 of the Encore. Additional relaxation options are offered to Haven passengers in an exclusive zone of the ship. 

As far as dining options, the Encore introduces Onda by Scarpetta, an a la carte Italian restaurant. There are about 20 eateries on the Encore, from old favourites like Le Bistro, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Teppanyaki to relatively newer entrants such as Ocean Blue and the Food Republic.

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Norwegian Encore Conveyance Complete

Norwegian Encore

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that the new 4,200-guest Norwegian Encore successfully completed her Ems River transit, having officially left Meyer Werft shipyard.

On Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, the Norwegian Encore began her conveyance to Eemshaven, Netherlands, with initial crew on board the new ship.

Norwegian Encore

The ship will be delivered on Oct. 30, 2019, and will be christened by Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019, and will commence seven-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 24, 2019.

“Today we celebrate a huge milestone for our history-making ship,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Now is when the anticipation truly begins to build. Our partners at Meyer Werft have collaborated with us to bring the industry-leading experiences from the successful Breakaway Plus class ships to Norwegian Encore, making her truly the best in class.”

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Norwegian Encore Floats Out

Norwegian Encore

The new Norwegian Encore has left the building hall in Germany and is now at Meyer Werft’s outfitting dock ahead of an October delivery.

Norwegian Encore

Following her delivery, the 4,200-guest ship will cross to New York for preview events, before ending up in her winter homeport of Miami in late November.

Norwegian Encore

A representation of his modern and abstract style, the ship’s hull features a “labyrinth of color” inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s life by the sea in Barcelona and pays tribute to the vibrant guest experience for which the Norwegian brand is recognized, according to company statements.

Encore Float Out

After her debut in Miami, the Encore will move to Seattle in 2021, sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska.

Encore Float Out

Also new will be a partnership with LDV Hospitality to bring the Scarpetta concept to the Norwegian Encore with Onda by Scarpetta. The new restaurant is the first of its kind and will join the Scarpetta portfolio’s locations in New York, the Hamptons, N.Y., Miami, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Newport, R.I., and London.

Encore Float Out

The name Scarpetta is derived from the Italian expression, ‘fare la Scarpetta,’ which means to savor a meal to the last bite, according to a statement.