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Norwegian Encore Mini Suite VS Balcony – What’s The Difference?

If you are planning a cruise on Norwegian Encore you may be wondering what the difference is between a Mini-Suite Balcony cabin and a Standard Balcony cabin.

I was lucky enough to cruise on Norwegian Encore in a Mini-Suite Balcony cabin.

I was also able to tour a Standard Balcony Cabin, during this post, we will discuss the differences.

What Is The Difference Between a Mini-Suite Balcony Cabin and a Standard Balcony Cabin on Norwegian Encore?

Mini suite balcony cabins on Norwegian Encore are bigger than standard balcony cabins and also have much bigger bathrooms.

Within the bathroom, there is a larger shower and also a double sink.

The actual design and layout of the cabins are almost identical. 

Bigger (And Better) Shower!

I stayed in a Mini-Suite Balcony cabin during my cruise and I loved the shower.

It is by far the best shower I’ve ever found on a cruise ship.

The shower for me was the main difference between the mini-suite balcony cabin and the standard balcony version.

Norwegian Encore Mini Suite Balcony Bathroom Shower Size
Norwegian Encore Mini Suite Bathroom

The Mini Suite Has an Improved Shower Head

The shower itself has a few settings which change the way the water comes out of the shower head.

There is a setting that makes the water circle around which means that you don’t even have to move to wash your hair. Now that’s luxury!

The Mini Suite Has Shower Jets

The shower also has several jets which come out of the wall.

These are amazing but be warned – that when you first turn these on the water will be cold regardless of the temperature of the shower.

This can be quite a chilly surprise!

The jets part of the shower has about 6 settings which can be seen at the bottom of the photo below.

Norwegian Encore Shower Mini Suite Balcony Cabin

The Mini Suite Has a Larger Shower

The shower is about double the size of the shower that you’ll find in the standard balcony cabins and lower grades.

It isn’t the usual circular shape but is instead a rectangle shape. Below are the deck plans which clearly show the difference.

Mini Suite Balcony vs Balcony Norwegian Encore Shower Size
Mini-Suite Shower Size

The showers in the standard cabins are more than adequate, they are a similar size to the showers I’ve had on most other cruise ships.

The inside cabins, solo cabins, and standard balcony cabins all have the same shower.

Mini Suite Balcony vs Balcony Norwegian Encore Shower Size
Balcony Shower Size

Toiletries Are Provided

Norwegian Cruise Line provides shampoo and shower gel in a dispenser which is on the wall inside the shower.

To find out more about which cruise lines provide toiletries check out this post:

 Do Cruises Provide Shampoo and Conditioner?

The Mini Suite Has a Bigger Bathroom and Double Sinks

The Mini-Suite Balcony cabins have double sinks whereas the standard balcony cabins only have one.

I didn’t really make much use of this double sink, maybe it’s because I’m so used to being in a cruise ship bathroom alone it would feel strange to be with anybody else!

The bathroom’s floor space is much bigger and generally feels very spacious.

Norwegian Encore Mini Suite Bathroom Double Sinks Shower

I personally really like the design of the bathroom too.

The Mini-Suite Cabin is Bigger

The total space of the cabin does depend on the location and the size of the balcony.

That said, the mini-suite balcony cabins are always bigger than the standard balcony cabins. They are approximately 20% larger.

The mini-suite balcony cabins come out further into the corridor and as a result, have another foot or two in length.

The larger Mini Suite cabin size is mainly noticeable in the longer bathroom and the slightly longer sofa. The bed area and width are exactly the same.

The Mini-Suite is Wider

The cabin did feel quite narrow compared to some other ships.

This wasn’t noticeable apart from at the end of the bed where there wasn’t really very much room between the bed and the wall.

For me, this wasn’t a problem but guests with mobility problems may find it a bit of an issue. That said, the cabin is a good size and doesn’t feel in any way claustrophobic.

The bed was very comfortable.

Balcony Mini Suite Bed Norwegian Encore

Compare this to my favourite Norwegian standard balcony cabin on Norwegian Prima – there was so much space in my cabin on Prima! Find out more in the video below:

So much space in the Norwegian Prima’s balcony cabins.

Cabin Similarities

Similar Location

Both balcony cabins and mini-suite balcony cabins are located on decks eight through to fifteen.

They seem to be placed pretty sporadically throughout the ship so I wouldn’t recommend that you book a mini-suite balcony cabin under the impression that you will receive a better location.

It seems as though the mini-suite balcony cabins are located wherever the ship has the floor space to be able to accommodate the larger cabins.

All Cabins Have The Same Decor

Regardless of the grade, all cabins onboard have the same decor.

The cabins all look and feel modern and generally, I do like the design. I’m not too sure what the artwork on the walls is meant to be – but they say you’re not meant to understand art…

Opposite my bed was a painting which wasn’t really supposed to look like anything. in the middle of the night I was trying to work out what it was, half asleep of course. I decided it looked like a face – then a sock, you get the idea…

All Cabins Have The Same Furniture

The bed, wardrobe and desk are similar throughout most cabin grades. The size of these might vary slightly but generally speaking, they are all the same.

Solo Cabins

I did manage to have a sneak peek into a solo cabin which was brilliant, their design is slightly different.

The solo cabin has a single bed and a shower within the room. Norwegian Cruise Line is, in my opinion, one of the best cruise lines for solo cruisers.

To find out more about which cruise lines I recommend for solo cruisers, check out our recommended cruise lines page here:

Recommended Cruise Lines. 

Norwegian Encore Solo Cabin Single Bed Wardrobes and TV
Solo Cabin Norwegian Encore

The solo cabin and the solo lounge were some of my favourite things about Norwegian Encore.

To see my video review of the ship, click below:

Other Things To Consider:

Spa Cabins

Norwegian Encore has ‘spa’ versions of both Balcony and Mini-Suite Balcony cabins.

These cabins are physically the same as the regular Balcony and Mini-Suite Balcony cabins but come with the additional benefit of being able to use the thermal area of the spa.

A spa pass that grants entry to the thermal area is likely to cost at least a few hundred dollars for a week-long cruise – if this is something you would like to use regularly it is worth looking into booking a Spa cabin.

Balcony Size

Mini suite balcony cabins do not have bigger balconies than standard balconies.

Some cabins are marked as ‘large balcony’ and these are available as both standard balcony cabins and mini-suite balcony cabins.

The balcony which we had in our mini-suite was a fair size. It wasn’t the biggest – or smallest – cruise ship balcony that I’ve ever had.

On the balcony was a table and two chairs, there were no sun loungers and our balcony was protected above by another level of balconies.

Norwegian Encore Mini Suite Balcony Cabin
Norwegian Encore Balcony Suite Cabin

Which Cabin is The Best?

Personally, I wouldn’t pay extra to upgrade to a mini-suite balcony cabin.

The bathroom and shower were amazing but I don’t really spend very much of my cruise in the bathroom…

If you are somebody who does, maybe it would be worth it.

The only other difference between the Mini Suite and the Standard Balcony Cabin is the slightly bigger floor space – but I barely noticed the difference.

It may be worth upgrading to a mini-suite balcony if you are booking 3 or 4 people into the cabin. The extra space would be more valuable in this situation.

Before You Go

Norwegian cruise ship fleet vary a lot – from brand new modern ships to ships that are nearly thirty years old. To find out what I thought of one of their older ships, Norwegian Sun, read the article below:

I Cruised on a Cruise Ship Designed in The 1990s (Norwegian Sun, Full Review)

Find out why Norwegian are a good cruise line for young cruisers below:

Are Norwegian Cruise Line Good for Young Cruisers? – 7 Reasons You NEED to Try Them

Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources

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