Norwegian Encore Mini Suite VS Balcony – Whats 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 recently cruised 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 design and layout of the cabins is 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 thing that differentiated between the mini suite balcony cabin and the standard balcony version.

Norwegian Encore Mini Suite Balcony Bathroom Shower Size

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

Shower Jets

The shower also has a number of 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. I suppose there is a little bit of water in the pipes that needs to clear through but it can be 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

Shower Size

The shower is about double the size of the balcony 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


Norwegian Cruise Line provide shampoo and shower gel within 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?

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 feature, 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 floor space of the bathroom is much bigger and it generally feels very spacious.

Norwegian Encore Mini Suite Bathroom Double Sinks Shower

I personally really like the design of the bathroom too.

A Bigger Cabin

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. Inside the cabin this is mainly noticeable in the longer bathroom and the slightly longer sofa. The bed area and width are exactly the same.


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.

It might just be that the bed is quite long, it was very comfortable.

Balcony Mini Suite Bed Norwegian Encore

Cabin Similarities


Both balcony cabins and mini suite balcony cabins are located on decks: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. 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 where-ever the ship has the floorspace to be able to accommodate the larger cabins.


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 art work 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.


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.

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 are, 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

I decided to feature the solo cabin and solo lounge as one of my favourite things about Norwegian Encore. To find out more about what I loved, and what I didn’t, check out the video below. Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly videos!

Others 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 cabin but come with the additional benefit of being able to use the thermal area of the spa.

A spa pass which grants entry to the thermal area of the spa is likely to cost at least a few hundred dollars for a week long cruise so if this is something you would like to use during your cruise it is definitely worth looking into booking a spa cabin.

Balcony Size

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

Which Would I Recommend?

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 two cabin grades is a slightly bigger floorspace but I barely noticed the difference. That said, it may be worth upgrading to a mini suite balcony if you are cruising with 3 or 4 people staying in the cabin. The extra space would be more valuable in this situation.

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. 

The post shares tips from 67 real cruisers and takes you through from embarkation to disembarkation. By reading this guide you’ll be better prepared for your cruise than 99% of other cruisers!67 first time cruise tips from 67 cruisers ultimate cruise tips guide

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Emma Le Teace

Hey! I'm Emma. A cruise blogger, YouTuber and founder of the 'Cruising Isn't Just For Old People' Facebook community and website. You can learn more here: About Me.

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