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How Does Norwegian Encore Compare to Breakaway & Getaway?

If you are considering a cruise on Norwegian Encore you may be wondering how she compares to Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway.

I’ve sailed on all three ships, and in this post will talk about the differences and similarities between each.

Norwegian Encore -Image NCL
Norwegian Encore – Image NCL

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 ship, meaning that she is a bigger version of the ships within the Breakaway Class.

Norwegian Encore has three sisters, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Joy 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 those ships. She also has extra attractions and venues onboard.

Norwegian Encore, Speedway Go Kart Track
Norwegian Encore Speedway Go Kart Track

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.

Norwegian Cruise Line

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 deck space available.

Norwegian Encore Has Go Karts and Laser Tag

Norwegian Encore has a Go-Kart track, Laser Tag and also a VR area called Galaxy Pavilion. These are all new additions that aren’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 all cost extra.

I recently sailed onboard Norwegian Prima, which has a three-storey Go Kart Track – the largest Go Kart track at sea.

Watch me try that out, and try out other scary attractions onboard Prima here:

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 a third 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 It 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 Encore Observation Lounge
Norwegian Encore Observation Lounge

Ice Bar

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 offers completely freestyle dining with no fixed dining times or dress codes.

The Manhattan Room is one of my favourite dining venues on 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.

O’Sheehans/The Local

On Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway you will find a bar called O’Sheehans.

On Norwegian Encore the name has 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.

Norwegian Cruise Line The Local Menu Norwegian Encore

The Buffet

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 Buffet
The buffet on Norwegian Encore

Bars

Norwegian Encore does have some 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.

Norwegian Encore Bar

The Waterfront

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.

Norwegian Encore Waterfront Los Lobos

Cabins

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.

Balcony Mini Suite Bed Norwegian Encore
Mini Suite onboard Norwegian Encore

Casinos

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 choose from and all ships have a bar within the casino.

Find out more about Casinos and gambling onboard cruise ships here:

Can You Gamble on a Cruise at 18? Cruise Line Gambling Guide

Entertainment

All three ships have a large theatre which has 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 and 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.

Find the full ship tour video I made when Norwegian Encore was first launched in 2019 here:

Lack Of Top Deck Space Could Be An Issue:

There is no Basketball Court or Mini Golf on Norwegian Encore. I assume this is because a lot of the top deck is taken up by the Go Kart track and the Laser Tag.

She only has two small pools for over four thousand guests. If you are sailing on her in a hot and sunny destination, you may be disappointed by your lack of access to free deck space.

There is of course “The Haven” on the top deck. The Haven is the all-suite section of Norwegian Cruise Line ships, accessible by keycard-holders only. 

The Haven allows passengers to enjoy everything from a private bar and lounge to a custom restaurant, secluded sun deck and a courtyard, without ever leaving the suite complex.

I never travel in the Haven, so wouldn’t have access to those areas of the ship.

There is also “The Vibe Beach Club.” This is an exclusive outdoor area that’s a little more sheltered and private. You need to pay for a pass to access it. Although it is open to anyone who wants to pay extra, the passes are limited.

Generally speaking, if you like Norwegian Breakaway & Getaway, you’ll probably like Norwegian Encore.

Personally, I would probably choose 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!

Find out about the things I did love – and things i didn’t in the video below:

Before You Go

Find out about the eight things I wish I had known about before my first cruise with Norwegian here:

8 things I wish I knew before cruising For the First Time With Norwegian Cruise Line

I sailed onboard one of Norwegian’s newest ships, Norwegian Prima. Find my full photo guide to that amazing ship here:

Norwegian Prima – Full Photo Ship Tour (I Spent 7 Days Onboard) #ad

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