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Is a Norwegian Encore Balcony Room Worth It in Alaska?


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We get asked all the time if it’s worth upgrading to a balcony cabin on a cruise. Well, we recently sailed on Norwegian Encore to Alaska in a balcony stateroom and want to share our experiences with you in this cabin review. Is a Norwegian Encore balcony room really worth it in Alaska?

For this trip, we stayed in a Norwegian Encore balcony room, cabin 12718. This forward-located stateroom is considered a BA category cabin, NCL’s standard balcony category. According to NCL’s website, these BA category balcony staterooms are approximately 214 square feet with a 38 square foot balcony.

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Being on deck 12, this cabin is conveniently located equidistant from the Waterfront on deck 8 and the outdoor decks starting on deck 16. Following the fish home at night, it was always easy to find our cabin.

Pro Tip: For those that are new to cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line, look carefully at the carpet on the stateroom decks of Norwegian Encore, and you will notice fish. These fish always swim forward, pointing you in the right direction.

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Is a Norwegian Encore Balcony Room Worth It in Alaska?

Layout of a Norwegian Encore Balcony Room

At first glance, the layout of this Norwegian Encore balcony room was pretty typical and what we have come to expect from balcony cabins.

Immediately upon entering cabin 12718, the bathroom is to the right with the closet tucked around the corner. The desk is on the left side with the sofa across from it.

Continuing further into the room, there is the bed and the balcony. The bed was on the aft wall facing forward. The balcony consisted of two chairs and a small table. Admittedly, this balcony is smaller than comparable balconies on other cruise lines.

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The bed was positioned next to the balcony door, which is our preferred layout. The television is located on the wall opposite from the bed, though it is rather small. There is also a small nightstand on each side of the bed and USB outlets in the reading lights.

This cabin layout can vary, as the bed and sitting areas can be flip-flopped.

Inside Our Norwegian Encore Balcony Room

Bathroom

When it comes to the bathroom, it is a bit more roomy by cruise ship standards. The shower is somewhat larger with a glass door, two small shelves for storage, and dispensers of shampoo and body wash. However, the shower was missing the small bar for shaving.

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The vanity and sink area had plenty of counter space and shelves for storage.

Overall, this Norwegian Encore balcony room bathroom was more than adequate for our 7-day Alaska cruise. If you are looking for a balcony cabin with an upgraded bathroom, consider a Club Balcony stateroom.

Closet

The closet in this Norwegian Encore balcony room includes a clothes bar with hangers along with a series of shelves, and the safe. We always use packing cubes for daytime clothing, undergarments, and such, making unpacking a breeze. This way, we can simply place the packing cubes on the shelves in the closet and then conveniently store our suitcases under the bed.

The hangers were adequate for nighttime clothing and some outerwear. However, to maximize the space, we always pack magnetic hooks. Most cruise ship walls are metal, so the hooks come in handy for hanging coats, bags, and other accessories to free up some closet space.

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Main Cabin Area

In terms of the desk and sofa, they are both quite spacious. The sofa provides plenty of room for two adults to spread out. There is even a drawer under the sofa for some added storage space, which we ended up using for shoes.

The desk has adequate counter space, along with a narrow shelf above for storing toiletries or other small accessories. Additionally, it houses the mini-fridge to keep drinks cool and some small under-counter cabinets for other accessories.

Similar to the magnetic hooks, we also always pack an over-the-door shoe organizer. This comes in handy for storing toiletries and other small items like sunglasses or an umbrella to help free up the desk and vanity space.

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Thus, with some of our tried and true cabin hacks, we were able to unpack and settle in for our week-long Alaskan adventure, still leaving plenty of space for us to get ready in the mornings or do some work in the afternoons.

Finally, the king-sized bed provided plenty of comfort after our long days and nights exploring all that Alaska and Norwegian Encore have to offer.

The cabin’s neutral color palette with pops of nautical blue make it feel warm and welcoming.

We also really like the modern conveniences. There are three power outlets near the desk but a USB outlet can be found on each side of the bed as well. This comes in handy for charging phones at night. We also like the “make up room” and “do not disturb” buttons alerting your cabin steward when the room is free to service.

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Why We Think a Norwegian Encore Balcony Room is Worth It in Alaska

So, let’s get back to our original question now—Is is worth upgrading to a balcony cabin? While we typically opt for balcony staterooms anyway, we find the upgrade to be even more beneficial in Alaska.

Yes, a balcony cabin will cost more than an inside stateroom or oceanview cabin. The difference in price to upgrade from an interior cabin to a balcony cabin can range anywhere between $650 to upwards of $1200. Though, it is truly breathtaking to admire the natural landscapes from the comforts of your balcony on an Alaska cruise.

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From sailing through fjords and scouting for wildlife to scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, the landscapes in Alaska are magnificent! With a balcony, you can enjoy all these views from the privacy of your own cabin. Plus, you can come and go as you please if it gets chilly.

Imagine sipping your favorite Starbucks drink while admiring glaciers from your balcony or enjoying some breakfast with a view. Have we convinced you yet?

Of course, Norwegian Cruise Line does offer a variety of other cabin categories as well to fit all budgets—from the Studio cabins for solo travelers, to inside and oceanview staterooms, all the way up to the most luxurious accommodations in the Haven. This ship-within-a-ship experience offers guests spacious suites as well as an exclusive restaurant, lounge, pool, and sundeck.

So, don’t let the cost of a Norwegian Encore balcony room stop you from cruising to Alaska. If you are on a budget, or prefer to spend your money on bucket list shore excursions, you can still have a great time.

Norwegian Encore offers plenty of other spaces that are perfect for glacier viewing. From the pool deck, to the Waterfront promenade on Deck 8, to the indoor forward-facing Observation Lounge, the views are endless.

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The up-charge Mandara Spa Thermal Suite and Vibe Beach Club also afford fantastic views with fewer crowds.

Further, cruising during shoulder season is one of our expert Alaska cruise tips. Sailing during off-peak times is one of the top ways you can cruise for cheap. So, the amount of money you save by cruising in May or September as opposed to July could mean you can book a balcony cabin after all!

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Comments

Have you stayed in a Norwegian Encore balcony room? What is your preferred cabin category when you cruise? Drop us an anchor below to share your Norwegian Cruise Line cabin reviews.

The post Is a Norwegian Encore Balcony Room Worth It in Alaska? appeared first on EatSleepCruise.com.

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