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Cruising is Back – Norwegian Encore in Seattle

Norwegian Encore docked in Seattle

It’s been 500 days since this Breakaway-Plus class vessel last hard guests on board. Normally equipped to host 3998 double occupancy guests, this abbreviated “test cruise” sails with 1100 guests today. I cannot hide my genuine excitement to report from aboard live. It has been long in coming but finally #CruisingisBack.

At pre-departure testing
I was cubicle #3

Safety is #Norwegiancruiseline primary concern and they have invested in touch-less solutions for guests during the pandemic-induced break. Check-in is done online and is super-easy. Arrival to the ship is organized in groups in 30 minute increments to assure smooth and socially distanced boarding. First stop was the EuroLab test station set up across the street at the Marriott hotel. It was fast, efficient, and truly effortless. The test of the rapid viral antigen kind was easy and consisted of swabbing both nostrils. Noteworthy absent was the deep dig up one’s nose that is an unpleasant side-effect of the PCR version.

Fortunately, our test results were negative which permitted the next step of boarding to take place. A short health questionnaire, a temperaturecheck, and aboard we went. The entire process was well done, easy, and reassuring the entire way. From my vantage point, the added breaking up into groups for boarding makes the process smoother and faster than the “free for all” in place before the pandemic. Just like Trader Joe’s, cruise lines should use this learning for all future cruises to simplify the process.

Aboard with my #CruisingDuck I found in tge elevator

Luck would have it (I am on deck 13), courtesy of #NCLKim, I found a rubber duck in the elevator on our way to lunch. My sailor duck will escort me along this journey. Stay tuned for more updates from aboard as this test #cruisingagain journey unfolds.

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