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Thinking about actually cruising again 😃

What are everybody's favourite speciality restaurant and why?

We have two for the Encore and will probably book Teppanyaki for the drama but what for the second?

Onda, Smokehouse, Los Lobos, Oceans Blue, Le Bistro, Food Republic or Cagney's

 

I fancy Le Bistro for my second but if you had one choice, what would it be? Or would you pass on Teppanyaki and select two?

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1 hour ago, ziggyuk said:

Thinking about actually cruising again 😃

What are everybody's favourite speciality restaurant and why?

We have two for the Encore and will probably book Teppanyaki for the drama but what for the second?

Onda, Smokehouse, Los Lobos, Oceans Blue, Le Bistro, Food Republic or Cagney's

 

I fancy Le Bistro for my second but if you had one choice, what would it be? Or would you pass on Teppanyaki and select two?

I sailed encore 1/19/20 and we ate at teppenyaki, Q, and Los Lobos. Teppenyaki was great and super fun but I think I enjoyed the food most at Los Lobos. I've eaten at some of the others on the escape and I don't think you can make a bad choice. 

We just booked the joy for January and we're thinking about teppenyaki again and oceans blue over cagneys because of their more diverse menu. 

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Onda was my favorite restaurant. Every single thing we ordered from appetizers (burrata salad) to the mains (veal milanese and pasta bolognese) to a  luscious dessert of butterscotch pudding was out of this world. I could eat there every night!

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OMG the restaurants are very, very good.


Onda - We had high expectations and they were exceeded.  So good we ate there twice.  The bread is so good its like a meal itself.  Its very noisy inside but the food is top notch.  Best thing FDR/NCL did was to get rid of the horrible La Cucina.

 

Los Lobos - Very tasty and delicious

 

Cagneys - Urban legends of its decline are over rated.  We had a food coma meal and everything was just as good as it has always been.

 

Food Republic - Finally got to try this place.  It was a great lunch.  Not sure it would be my dinner choice but fantastic lunch choice.

 

Teppanyaki - Excellent but just too much food.

 

 

I love BBQ but sadly never tried Q Smokehouse.

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Posted (edited)

Onda is my favourite. I love Italian and I wasn't disappointed. I've eaten there twice. 

 

Food Republic is great for lunch. I cruise solo and three of us used one speciality dining credit and paid for a few cheaper items a la carte. This let us have a great selection for three of us at minimal cost.

Edited by CazV
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2 hours ago, Coastalbreezes said:

Onda was my favorite restaurant. Every single thing we ordered from appetizers (burrata salad) to the mains (veal milanese and pasta bolognese) to a  luscious dessert of butterscotch pudding was out of this world. I could eat there every night!

Thinking about that dessert is making my mouth water lol

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Onda for sure...it was amazing and I wish I had eaten there more than once.  Ate at Food Republic for lunch twice.  Normally I have a great meal in LeBistro but while it was lacking on this ship, I would try it again.  Q is where I go just for appetizers, dessert and the Smoky Peach Margarita.  Our meal at Cagney's was good too.  I enjoy Teppanyaki but did not eat there on the Encore. 

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Thanks everyone, it sounds like I can't go wrong with any of them, I will have to go with my gut feeling.

This is the first time we have had the dining perk.

Both my next cruises have dining so what I don't do now will just have to be next time, we hit 120 days tomorrow, so I need to decide.

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Haven't sailed since 2017, but I will say my last experience on an NCL Ship, Pride of America, we were not impressed with the specialty restaurants (over-cooked steak in Cagney's, terrible service in the MDR[they brought my wife food but never brought me mine], Teppanyaki had no flavor and show wasn't very good, Moderno was very salty). But that could be because it is the Pride of America and I felt the whole cruise was different than any of the other cruises we have been on. We did like La Cucina on POA, to the point we ate there twice. 

 

We are sailing on the Encore and after looking at the sample menus on the NCL website, I am looking forward to Q Smokehouse, Food Republic, Ocean Blue and Los Lobos. I am pretty sure our experience will be better as this is a "regular" NCL ship. I feel the Americans that were working on POA just didn't care to give good service like they do on a foreign flag ship.

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Onda is so popular that its difficult to get reservations.  I had booked online but when we ate there we wanted to do it again later in the week.  We were in the Haven and the concierge still could not get us in.  We had to wait for a cancellation to get in.

Since most people have the dining package, it makes sense to book online before your trip.  You may be able to tweak your reservation time but its better to get in at the time you dont want rather than not getting in at all.
Cagney's was so full that they put about 8 tables outside the restaurant in the bar area.

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23 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

Onda is so popular that its difficult to get reservations.  I had booked online but when we ate there we wanted to do it again later in the week.  We were in the Haven and the concierge still could not get us in.  We had to wait for a cancellation to get in.

Since most people have the dining package, it makes sense to book online before your trip.  You may be able to tweak your reservation time but its better to get in at the time you dont want rather than not getting in at all.
Cagney's was so full that they put about 8 tables outside the restaurant in the bar area.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the Pre-Cruise reservation system. While it is very convenient to make sure you get to eat where you want to eat, its not practical. For me, I enjoy the on board activities and shows and without knowing when those shows are happening makes it very difficult to decide when to go to dinner. That is a reason I do like the Freestyle cruising, at least with the MDR.

 

If I were to change anything, I would make the Schedule part of the Freestyle Daily available about 30 days out so that guests, like myself, can make an informed decision on when to eat in relation to the shows they wish to see. I understand that at 30 days something could change, but it would at least give you a better idea of when to plan to eat. 

 

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We have been going through the sample menus and have decided.

 

It's Le Bistro & Oceans Blue

 

Thank you everyone for your tips & advice 🤩

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20 minutes ago, zerooveride said:

Personally, I am not a big fan of the Pre-Cruise reservation system. While it is very convenient to make sure you get to eat where you want to eat, its not practical. For me, I enjoy the on board activities and shows and without knowing when those shows are happening makes it very difficult to decide when to go to dinner. That is a reason I do like the Freestyle cruising, at least with the MDR.

 

If I were to change anything, I would make the Schedule part of the Freestyle Daily available about 30 days out so that guests, like myself, can make an informed decision on when to eat in relation to the shows they wish to see. I understand that at 30 days something could change, but it would at least give you a better idea of when to plan to eat. 

 

I can tell you that there are people on these forums that will post the freestyle dailies from their sailings before you go on yours.

You just have to look around a little as your sailing gets closer.

I've done this for my last 6 cruises, at least, and they were super accurate for my sailing.

It allowed me to do all sorts of planning of when I wanted to go to shows and when I wanted to eat and where. That's how we've known about special nights like white night or 70's night for example.

I always print them out and show my daughter and wife so they can see ahead of time what might interest them.

Once the ship is set in it's itinerary, every week is almost identical on the ship.

I'm a planner so I love to know the schedule ahead of time and you can!

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2 hours ago, bkrickles1 said:

I can tell you that there are people on these forums that will post the freestyle dailies from their sailings before you go on yours.

 

Very true. I have done that too, but I still feel that NCL should provide them, just like they provide sample menus for most of the specialty restaurants. 

 

In my next cruise case, there probably won't be any Freestyle Dailies posted here until just a couple of days before my cruise departs. This is because there is only 2 sailings before mine. But then again, if it is reduced capacity, I shouldn't have issues getting any reservations or changing them!

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6 minutes ago, ClevelandCruisin said:

We are booked on the Encore later this year. 

 

Already booked our dining... teppanyaki, Los lobos, cagneys,  and le bistro. Probably will hit food Republic as well.

Ate at Los Lobos on the Encore last year when everyone got off in Puerto Rico.

It was our favorite meal of that sailing and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves.

I'm sad it's not on the Joy, which we're sailing in January, but we'll be alright. Lmao!!

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3 hours ago, zerooveride said:

Personally, I am not a big fan of the Pre-Cruise reservation system. While it is very convenient to make sure you get to eat where you want to eat, its not practical. For me, I enjoy the on board activities and shows and without knowing when those shows are happening makes it very difficult to decide when to go to dinner. That is a reason I do like the Freestyle cruising, at least with the MDR.

 

If I were to change anything, I would make the Schedule part of the Freestyle Daily available about 30 days out so that guests, like myself, can make an informed decision on when to eat in relation to the shows they wish to see. I understand that at 30 days something could change, but it would at least give you a better idea of when to plan to eat. 

 

I agree. It takes away from the Freestyle cruising when you must book everything in advance. If you don't like to do that, Encore would not be a good match.  You must book everything ahead of time especially the specialty restaurants.  Remember almost everyone has the dining package and there is not room for spontaneous bookings.

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On 6/17/2021 at 3:33 PM, bkrickles1 said:

Ate at Los Lobos on the Encore last year when everyone got off in Puerto Rico.

It was our favorite meal of that sailing and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves.

I'm sad it's not on the Joy, which we're sailing in January, but we'll be alright. Lmao!!

Plenty of other restaurants to choose from. Los Lobos isn't exactly my favorite. We're giving it another shot. They do have tableside guacamole!

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I had Los Lobos on The Dawn, and it was the grestest meal I have ever had at sea. I look forward to the day when I get to sail on a ship with it again. Incredible appetizers, mains, and desserts. The only time in my entire life when I ever left a restaurant with a food coma. Seriously do not miss this!

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On 6/17/2021 at 4:43 AM, ziggyuk said:

Thinking about actually cruising again 😃

What are everybody's favourite speciality restaurant and why?

We have two for the Encore and will probably book Teppanyaki for the drama but what for the second?

Onda, Smokehouse, Los Lobos, Oceans Blue, Le Bistro, Food Republic or Cagney's

 

I fancy Le Bistro for my second but if you had one choice, what would it be? Or would you pass on Teppanyaki and select two?

Personally, we would select Onda as our second choice. We enjoyed the food there. Bistro is fancy, if you want fancy. For a year or two pre-pandemic, we felt that the quality of the food and service in Cagney's was on the decline across the fleet, so that is lower on our list now days. 

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6 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

Personally, we would select Onda as our second choice. We enjoyed the food there. Bistro is fancy, if you want fancy. For a year or two pre-pandemic, we felt that the quality of the food and service in Cagney's was on the decline across the fleet, so that is lower on our list now days. 

 

Onda was in the final three but we are not huge Italian fans when eating out as we cook a lot of different pasta dishes at home, I looked at the sample menus and Le Bistro just looked a better menu for our tastes, although as seafood lovers, I have to say things like the braised octopus on Onda nearly twisted my arm 😋

But then, I know if things like the Octopus were not on the actual menu I would have been left disappointed. 😂

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We'll be on the Encore this August, so we're trying 2 new places we haven't had yet before - Ocean Blue & the BBQ place. I don't eat seafood, but there's enough options for me to get by and it will be a treat for hubby.

 

If you've seen one hibachi show, you've seen them all in my eyes. The conversation with our fellow table mates was more memorable than the food or fancy knife tricks.


we've eaten at Cagney's on 3 cruises and won't be going back anytime soon probably. The service is so slow it's ludicrous, I think we were there for nearly 3 hours and ultimately took the dessert to go. When I get a better tasting filet at Le Bistro than at the steak place two times in a row, that's a problem for me.

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Posted (edited)

Cagney's is my favorite - good food, excellent service, and their shrimp cocktails are to die for. We've never experienced slow service and our steaks (filets & ribeyes) have always been cooked to perfection and delicious. Have also enjoyed the Fisherman's Platter but their steaks & shrimp are my favorites.

Really not a huge fan of Le Bistro's menu but we did enjoy their pan-seared scallops - delicious.

 

Edited by dogs4fun
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