Sue Bryant
Cruise Critic Contributor
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Encore has 300 cabins in eight categories, all designated suites. Even the most basic of accommodations has a decent-sized balcony, a marble-lined bathroom and a walk-in closet. The decor is similar throughout -- cream carpets, chairs and sofas in brighter colors with retro curves, extensive use of cream leather and beds with throws in rich shades. From Penthouse grade upward, there's imaginative use of space, with features like a sleeping area separated by curtained glass screens, right up to the massive Wintergarden Suite, with a glass-enclosed conservatory area featuring a tub and a daybed. All suites come with stocked mini-bar, personalized stationery, atlases and umbrellas, fluffy robes and slippers.

Eight suites across different categories are wheelchair-accessible. Thirty-two have capacity for a third bed and 34 interconnect (with some standard suites bolting onto a much bigger one to create some of the grandest accommodations on the ship). The different categories are scattered all over the ship, so study the deck plan carefully before booking.

Veranda Suite: Encore has six categories of Veranda Suite, which make up the bulk of the cabins onboard. They're all a similar size -- 246 to 302 square feet with a balcony of 68 to 83 square feet. Decor is cream carpets, cream leather detailing, darker colors in the chairs and sofas, cushions in jewel tones and silky throws in shades of burgundy and purple. Each suite is divided in half by thick drapes that separate the sitting area from the bed and each one has floor-to-ceiling glass doors to the veranda.

Features include a glass dining table for two; sofa; and a walk-in closet, where there are two hanging rails, a full-length mirror, a row of hooks, a drawer unit and a safe. Outside the closet there's a small vanity area with a drawer where the hair dryer is kept, and a magnifying mirror as well as larger mirror. There are plenty of cupboards, plus bedside tables with two drawers and reading lights. Sockets are both 110 and 220V AC and there were plenty of them. No USB charging points, though.

The mini-bar, stocked with sodas and beer, is in one of the cabinets; you can ask for spirits, too, which come by the liter. A bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne welcomes passengers on arrival. There's a big interactive TV with a generous variety of channels, a decent playlist of music and a selection of movies so good that we actually chose to have two movie nights after dinner on our eight-night voyage. Verandas have two reclining chairs with footstools and a small table.

Beds are exceptionally comfortable, with lovely crisp linens and a choice of pillows.

Bathrooms throughout really do shout "luxury," in calming gray-and-white marble. All of them have twin sinks, a spacious and powerful walk-in rainforest showerhead and a bath with hand-held sprayer. (V1 suites on decks 7 and 9 have shower only.) Bathroom amenities are by Molton Brown, in a pleasant, refreshing fragrance designed especially for Seabourn. Cabin stewards also come round with a tray of soaps on embarkation day, from Hermes and L'Occitane, plus an oatmeal scrub bar. Towels are a bit miserly in size -- you might expect proper bath sheets on a ship of this caliber -- but there are plenty of them. You just have to get used to wearing the luxurious robes instead of wandering around wrapped in a towel.

The V-grade suites are priced according to their location. All of those on Deck 5 have slightly deeper verandas but a solid metal rail, rather than glass, which means you can't see out if you're reclining.

Penthouse Suite: There are 16 Penthouse Suites on decks 10 and 11, measuring 450 square feet each with balconies of 93 to 103 square feet. These suites have all the features of the Veranda grades but with a bigger living area with an L-shaped sofa, two TVs and a sleeping area screened off by glass. The verandas have loungers as well as chairs.

Penthouse Spa Suite: These five luxurious suites of 639 to 677 square feet are the only accommodations located aft, immediately above the spa and accessed by their own staircase and two elevators. Big, deep balconies of 254 to 288 square feet overlook the ship's wake and, on the port and starboard cabins (1190 and 1195), wrap around two sides. There are two TVs and a dining table seating four. The big selling point of these suites, though, is free access to the spa's serene area as well as additional spa perks: L'Occitane room fragrances, additional bath products, a soothing music soundtrack and a spa concierge to make bookings.

Owner's Suite: There are seven Owner's Suites, two facing forward on Deck 7, two on Deck 9, two midship on decks 7 and 8 and one accessible suite forward on Deck 10. These suites measure 576 to 609 square feet, with verandas from 142 to a massive 900 square feet. They're all slightly different configurations but include a dining table for four, pantry with wet bar, guest bathroom, two TVs and, in the midship suites, a whirlpool tub. Internet access is included at this level.

Signature Suite/Grand Signature Suite: Forward on Deck 8 are two lavish Signature Suites that connect to the Veranda Suites on either side to create even bigger accommodation (called the Grand Signature Suite) for guests who want two bedrooms and two separate bathrooms. Without the extra suite, Signature Suites measure 931 square feet with balconies of 960 square feet. Each can seat six for dinner and also has a whirlpool tub, wet bar and pantry and guest closet. These are possibly the most appealing suites for entertaining, as they have such expansive living areas.

Wintergarden/Grand Wintergarden Suite: The most prestigious accommodations on the ship, the two Wintergarden Suites give you 989 square feet of space, plus a veranda of 197 square feet running along the side. Up to six can dine in the spacious living area, which includes a wet bar, bookshelves, sofas and armchairs and a big, glass-topped table. The bathroom has a circular whirlpool tub but the piece de resistance is an outdoor tub in a glass-enclosed conservatory with daybed and a large balcony with outdoor dining for six. Each Wintergarden adjoins a Veranda cabin, which can be added on to create an even bigger space, sleeping four plus one on a sofa bed. The downside of these Wintergarden suites, though, is that they lack the balcony space of the Owner's and Signature suites, despite being rated by Seabourn as a higher category.

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