Florida Life

What It Is Like On a Go-Kart Racetrack at Sea

It seems like a weird idea, racing go-karts on a racetrack at sea. When Norwegian Cruise Line first developed the concept it didn’t appeal to me all that much. But, I was mistaken.

View from the top most deck of Norwegian Encore at the Encore Speedway entrance

Norwegian Encore

My husband and I just got back from Christening Event and Inaugural Cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and most innovative ship: Norwegian Encore. I already wish we had an encore of our experience.

To be clear, we were invited guests and were hosted for our three night cruise. We’ve sailed with Norwegian both as sponsored partners and as regular paying guests. We love that NCL makes it possible for you to truly create a cruise vacation just how you want it. The Norwegian Encore ship exemplifies this concept.

There are over 20 restaurants, some complimentary and others a la carte, tons of bars and lounges, but most special of all is the variety of recreation on board. One of the highlights is the Norwegian Encore Speedway, the largest racetrack at sea.

Norwegian Encore Speedway with beautiful views of the ocean

Norwegian Encore Speedway Design

The track itself makes this experience worthwhile. Any doubt I had as to if go-karts at sea would be any fun at all, was removed the moment I laid eyes on the speedway. Sure, you can hit up the go-kart racetrack in your neighborhood, but the Encore Speedway has inclines, declines, spectacular views of the ocean, and it curves off the side of the ship itself! It is unlike anything I’ve experienced on a cruise ship before. The track has tight turns and encourages full throttle fun, but if you prefer to slow it down there is room for that too.

Ready to ride Encore Speedway

Safety first

Before we strapped into our go-kart we watched a video that reviewed the safety protocol. The information included that slow drivers stay to the right and those wanting to pass stay to the left. We were given hoods, or headstocks, so our hair wouldn’t be flying and potentially get caught in the vehicle and to also make the helmet fit comfortably.

Then we lined up and climbed into our vehicles. Attendants came by to ensure our seat position was correct and that our seatbelts were fastened. Our helmets were provided and fitted. It took about 10-15 minutes for the entire pre-ride experience.

Safety hood before getting our helmets on Norwegian Encore Speedway

The rush of the ride

The attendants powered up each electric go-kart one by one and soon we each left the pit and entered the track. Controlled by a governor at the beginning of the ride, we departed the pit and ascended the incline. The moment the final kart had made its way up the incline the speed of all the karts increased.

I stayed to the side and in the back, but quickly couldn’t resist the opportunity to push myself and take a few of the turns with a bit of acceleration. The feeling of whipping around the turns made me giggle and exclaim. It felt thrilling and exhilarating.

Moving a little slow here and there afforded spectacular views of the wide open ocean, and the beautiful ship herself. We completed about five laps and toward the end I made it a point to soak up the experience. I hadn’t had this much fun in a while, and I go to Walt Disney World every month!

Close up selfie style photo of a woman in a go-kart with a helmet on that says "kelly Clarkson" on the top of the helmet. The helmet is black and there is a red and white go-kart in the background.

Cost and other information

Now, as I’ve disclosed our experience was complimentary and this included the Norwegian Encore Speedway. The speedway is $15 per ride. I’d easily spend that to experience it again. The thrill, the views, and the unique moment of driving a vehicle on a racetrack at sea is a good value.

Drivers should be in good health and should not be under the influence of any substances including alcohol.

All articles must be secured including cameras and phones. All the photos included in this post were taken before the driving began.

Operating hours are subject to weather and other conditions.

Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss also have their own speedways. Norwegian Encore’s is the biggest speedway.

I’ll be sharing a video with highlights of our Norwegian Encore cruise later this week. Keep an eye out on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @thisfloridalife!


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