The new Norwegian Encore!

Guys, one week from today is THANKSGIVING!!

Do you have your stretchy pants ready?!

Anyone else?!

So, there’s that…

…and today, there’s this!Β  The second part of my little New York getaway!Β  If you missed PART ONE you can see it HERE.Β  Andrew and I flew to New York City, drove upstate and enjoyed beautiful Rhinebeck, NY and then headed back to the city to spend one night and then board the Norwegian Encore for another two nights.Β  Today’s post picks up here…

…at breakfast last Monday morning πŸ™‚ .

We had a little time in the morning before boarding the ship, so we walked to The Smith on the Upper West Side to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL morning and a lovely breakfast too!

There’s nothing like a crisp and bright NYC morning!

We drank even more coffee and people watched a bit before heading to the cruise terminal…

…we were suuuuuuper pumped to board their brand new ship!Β  I actually had clients on the maiden voyage from Europe to the US who had just hopped off, so now, it was time for people in the travel industry to hop on for a few days.Β  They are previewing the ship at the ports in NYC and Boston before it sails down to the Caribbean for passengers to start enjoying later this month.Β  My clients in particular are really excited about this ship because in the summer of 2021, it will be sailing in Alaska!Β  I already have several trips booked, so it was nice to be able to see it firsthand and now come home and report my findings to my clients.Β  Needless to say, this post is a little bit “Shay and Andrew on vacation and a little bit “hey, check out Norwegian’s newest ship!”.Β  I say this all the time, but I’ll say it again…I pay full price for all of my cruises that I book for myself and there is always a reason I pick certain cruise lines for my family’s own vacations.Β  I pick NCL quite often because not only do they have great ships and crews, but they have really fantastic itineraries especially in certain parts of the world (that being said, in other parts of the world, I would encourage you to pick a different line).Β  So, here’s a peek on board this particular ship.Β  We boarded the ship for a two night stay, and even though it never left the pier, we were not allowed to disembark for any reason.Β  So, we were on a ship…but not going anywhere πŸ˜‰ .

She’s pretty, right?!Β  Twenty decks of spectacular!

We boarded the ship at 11:30ish, dropped off our bags in our cabin and headed straight for lunch.Β  On the way…

…I saw this interior stateroom and took a few pics.Β  For a cabin without windows, I thought it seemed spacious…

…where other ships are often primary colors and super bright, the aesthetics of the Encore were more sophisticated muted tones which I found refreshing.

The interactive touch screens located all over the ship made getting around so easy!

Elegant and oh so pretty!

Guys!Β  I feel like a broken record but look…it looks like we’re all alone and yet, we’re on a ship with several THOUSAND people!!

Typically known as the “lido” deck, the main buffet area was so spacious and of course, since we were docked in NYC, had spectacular views πŸ˜‰ .Β  I was too preoccupied with eating to take a lot of pics, but they had regular seating plus high top tables too.Β  I thought the whole layout gave it a much larger and open feel.

Um, a wine station?Β  Yes, please!

Now, the weather in NYC was COLD, but the pools were too gorgeous not to visit.


See the slide way up there?Β  I love how they make you feel like you’re going off the ship!

So many options?!

Here we are back to a screen getting tickets for one of the shows (Kinky Boots!).Β  Easy as touch, select, and swipe your room card.

I easily signed up for a morning stretch class on a screen too.Β  When you go back to your cabin, all of your reservations are on your TV screen or you can scan your key card at any screen to see them.

Andrew loved the gym…I loved…

…this area for yoga, classes and stretching.

After we looked around here, we visited…

…the Galaxy Pavilion which was filled with so many games and simulators which would be a blast to enjoy on a day at sea!

Hello there cute ’50s diner!

Those booths though.Β  So cute, right?!

Top deck, big skyline, top of the slide…yes, yes, yes!

Up we went to laser tag and…

…a go kart track!Β  This track makes you feel like you’re driving off either side of the ship.Β  AMAZING!Β  My clients who sail on the Norwegian Bliss in Alaska always come home talking about this!Β  That ship also has a track πŸ™‚ .

On board a ship, one of my favorite spots is always…

…the observation lounge…

…sooooooo nice and HUGE!!

This lounge wraps completely around one deck in the forward.Β  Stunning views, a plethora of places to sit, relax, work, read and a bar in the middle…


Norwegian did the cabin assignments on this trip and we got a great one with a veranda…


Double sinks in the bathroom?Β  I’ll take it!


I think what I was most impressed with on this ship was the number of cafes/bars/restaurants.Β  There was something for every person and every appetite like this ice cream parlor…

…this bar…

…a Starbucks…

…a brew house…

…a wine bar…

…a Beetles club…

…a cigar lounge…

…and just so much more!

We also checked out the ship’s…

…casino and…

…game room.

Whew!Β  There was just so much to see!!

…Andrew and I decided to pick a spot at this restaurant that looks down on the atrium and listen to live music.


Hello there, New York City!

It was such a nice day on board!

Later that evening, we changed (hello sequin leggings!) and went to dinner at one of the main dining rooms…

…open, modern, and delicious!

Always happy to be on a ship together!!Β  This was our third time in 2019!

The menu was impressive, but when push came to shove we both ordered…

…the surf and turf!

After dinner, we enjoyed the nightlife on the ship before going back to our cabin.

The next morning, we were up bright and early…

…because we had…

…a stretch class scheduled!

After our class, we…

…enjoyed a delicious breakfast!

When that was over, we had spa appointments!!Β  Now, I left my phone and enjoyed the spa time…BUT it was the biggest, the nicest, the most comprehensive amazing spa I’ve ever been to in my life (on land or sea).Β  I had a facial and a massage but then really enjoyed just walking around and seeing all of the other amenities the spa included (like a room with snow for cooling down!).Β  It was truly my favorite part of the ship.

After my spa time, I showered in my cabin, got dressed and then…

…had a blow out at the salon πŸ™‚ .

I love a blow out!

I met Andrew for some more live music and a snack that afternoon.Β  I read my book, we took in more of the entertainment and then…

…we got changed for one last dinner on board along with Kinky Boots!Β  The next morning, we disembarked bright and early and headed home to see our kiddos.Β  The timing of this trip was super weird, but I am so happy we did it!Β  It’s always so nice to spend one on one time with Andrew.Β  Now, if you have specific questions about this ship or our vacation planning services here at Mix and Match Travel Agency, please email me!Β  I’d love to help you with your next vacation too!Β  Β mixandmatchtravelagency@yahoo.comΒ 

I hope you all have a great Thursday!!Β  See you tomorrow! xo

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  • Reply Becky November 21, 2019 at 4:57 am

    We board this beauty in December. I had no idea you booked cruises. I’ve been doing my own bookings but our bucket list has some international trips might have to check out mix and match travel for those trips!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama November 21, 2019 at 6:04 am

      We’d love to help!!

    • Reply Dana Norman November 21, 2019 at 10:06 am

      Love, love, love your review! My family and I board the Encore June of next year to Bermuda. We can’t wait! It looks like there’s a lot to do, eat and drink, lol! Thanks again for the pics and great review.

  • Reply Erika Slaughter November 21, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Slaughters are READY for the ENCORE!!!

  • Reply Julie November 21, 2019 at 5:42 am

    We went on our very first cruise this summer on Royal Caribbean. We LOVED it & had so much fun!!!! This ship looks amazing!!! Maybe next time we should leave the kids at home πŸ™‚

    • Reply Laci November 21, 2019 at 7:54 am

      We are cruising RC in Summer 2020 any tips?

  • Reply Sarina November 21, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Wow that ship is incredible! I’ve always been hesitant to try NCL because of the free-style dining. There is always something special about knowing your waiter. Pros and cons? Would love to hear what people think!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama November 21, 2019 at 6:03 am

      I think NCL really shines with their specialty restaurants. Each ship typically has 10ish, and that’s almost always where we like to dine (it’s wonderful that they take reservations and free dining at a specialty restaurant is almost always a promo when booking!).

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims November 21, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Wow! What a beautiful ship! It looks like an amazing time, AND THAT LOBSTER!

  • Reply Narci November 21, 2019 at 6:08 am

    How fun!!!! This looks like a great ship to cruise on! Sign me up!

  • Reply Elspeth November 21, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I always thought cruises would be so crowded and full but its refreshing to see all the open space. Looks so fun and relaxing. I may just have to plan a trip on a cruise.

  • Reply Melissa Terry November 21, 2019 at 6:55 am

    A ship that doesn’t move is my kind of cruise! We have done the Disney cruise twice and while I ADORE the experience and loved everything about it, the motion sickness is a beast so I would love to just sit still and enjoy the fun! Thanks for sharing all the details…it’s always nice to get a sneak peek!

  • Reply Caty November 21, 2019 at 6:55 am

    That ship looks amazing! Would you please link your green sweater and tennis shoes (I think golden goose?) So cute!!

  • Reply Mama V November 21, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Hi Shay,
    This looks fabulous! Do you know when they will start cruising to Alaska?

  • Reply Mother of 3 November 21, 2019 at 7:04 am

    That looks fabulous! We haven’t been on a cruise ship in ages… 18 1/2 years to be exact. We did love it though and it seems like they have added even more and more amenities.

  • Reply Christie November 21, 2019 at 7:37 am

    What shoes are you wearing with your green top and jeans? They look like a shiny gold? They are super cute!

  • Reply Aimee November 21, 2019 at 7:40 am

    We just returned from a 7 night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. We went to their island, CoCocay. It was the best vacation we have ever been on. I’m happy to see this cruise ship is almost as nice. This is such a nice vacation option. We also departed from Bayonne, NJ (about 90 minutes from our house) which was so easy and fast. A delightful vacation adventure! We are officially a cruising family πŸ™‚

    • Reply Lori November 21, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Aimee, any tips would be appreciated! We are heading to CoCocay in January. If you wish to respond by email it is Thanks so much!

  • Reply Angela Wilke November 21, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Can u link ur gold sneakers?! They’re super cute!

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog November 21, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Gosh, I want to go on a cruise so bad! Looks so fun! ❀️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply Melissa November 21, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Always love your travel posts and this ship looks amazing! Can you please share/link your bangle bracelets? Thanks.

  • Reply Abbey November 21, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Love the post! But I think it’s *Beatles! Haha!

  • Reply Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams November 21, 2019 at 8:22 am

    This looks amazing!! The workout classes and spa sound awesome, I would just board for the ship alone haha

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Reply KayLynn Stone November 21, 2019 at 8:36 am

    That looks amazing!!!!

  • Reply Ann H November 21, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Did anyone else immediately think of Gilmore Girls at the words “Kinky Boots”? 🀣 We did an NCL cruise on the Escape a few years ago to celebrate my in-laws’ 45th anniversary. 15 of us, aged from almost 2 to 70. We all loved it. Those of us with littles enjoyed the main buffet for dining for the convenience (and the food was delicious! Bananas foster french toast and eggs benedict for breakfast were my faves.). I think the live shows are likely better on a Disney cruise, but we all enjoyed our 9 days of cruising.

  • Reply Kim November 21, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Wow, livin’ the dream!! Looks like pure luxury!! Thanks for sharing the details!

  • Reply KP November 21, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Ummm…when did NCL bring back lobster???? YUUUMM! They haven’t even offered it in the Haven for the past 3 years! Maybe that was a special bonus since you were on a cold cruise to nowhere! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your review. This ship looks similar to the Joy — but I’m soooo happy to hear they brought the thermal suite back. I could (and almost do!) live in there on cruises!

    • Reply Chrys November 21, 2019 at 2:14 pm

      KP- I thought the same thing about NCL regarding the lobster, haha!

  • Reply Melanie M. November 21, 2019 at 9:36 am

    My husband and I have taken 2 cruises together. Both of them were Norwegian and we loved them! The first cruise was to Hawaii. We even got to go to the beach in Maui were we had gotten married several years before. Then, the next year we went to Alaska….so much fun and I highly recommend NCL.

  • Reply Patty Anderson November 21, 2019 at 9:48 am

    We returned last month from an Alaskan cruise on the NCL Joy, so your photos really took me back. The ships are almost identical with their decor and amenities. We really loved NCL. Even with almost 4000 guests on board, the only time we really felt the crowd was coming out of the theater or in the (extremely crowded and loud) atrium when we talked to guest services. Otherwise, it felt very spacious. After trying several cruise lines, we really enjoyed the food in the garden cafe. Normally we prefer the restaurants, but we did a mix of both types of dining on this cruise. And I’m with you…the observation lounge was our favorite part of the ship. We relaxed and read books, talked to people, and enjoyed the mid-day snacks they provided. We also felt the cabins were really spacious. We had a veranda sailaway mini-suite and our balcony was HUGE! We’ll definitely do another NCL cruise.

  • Reply Sarah S. November 21, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Hi! I would love your tips on eating while on vacation. I do great when we are at home – super healthy and regimented. But when I go on vacation and eat at restaurants too much, I feel bloated and rundown. Any tips – how do you eat out so much and still feel great?!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama November 21, 2019 at 11:41 am

      We really try and enjoy trips and experiencing the food. I don’t clean my plate. I would rather try “all the things” just in moderation.

  • Reply Jessica November 21, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I sail out on the Encore in less than three weeks and it looks fabulous!

  • Reply Luna Patterson November 21, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Shay I have two questions for you! But first let me say I love your outfit in the last picture!! Ok here are my two questions!
    Can you do a post soon about how you shop for kids Christmas gifts and where you shop for them? Do you use stores like Costco? Do you shop online? How much do you spend per kid?

    Also do any of your kids like play mobile toys? I’m debating whether I should get them for my 7 year old daughter for Christmas. She loves playing dolls and house so I thought it may be a good fit for her. If so would you recommend them?

  • Reply LisaD November 21, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    A lovely post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Chrys November 21, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this post! My hubby and I love NCL and just cruising in general so I LOVE to see all your cruise posts. Thank you for taking all those pictures!

  • Reply Olivia November 23, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Where are your shiny/sparkly lace up
    shoes from? What brand?

  • Reply Lindsay D. November 23, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    you look really pretty in the picture of the two of you at dinner in the black top. πŸ™‚

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