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Encore food review

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Just returned to MIA on the first Caribbean sailing of the new NCL Encore and had a fabulous time! Instead of the typical day by day review, I’m posting a food review (that I once saw someone else do). We started at the Savor restaurant and there are new lunch menu options. I had my favorite popcorn shrimp, tried the quiche and the vegetable risotto- the food was excellent!

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Dinner at Cagneys, it’s a little confusing with the DP vs. Platinum coupon. The DP covers one app, one soup or salad, one entree and one dessert. There is a $5 supplement for crab cake or tiger shrimp and $19 for surf and turf. The platinum coupon is any one appetizer (ignore the supplement), one entree up to $35, one dessert and one bottle of wine from the select list. Pictures are the tiger shrimp, tuna tartare, lobster bisque, t-bone with spinach and polenta. This was the best prepared t-bone as it cut like butter and the polenta was creamy and delicious. The sides did change and there are almost all carb/potato choices and only spinach, mushrooms, and corn for veggie options. Dessert was the brownie (a little dry) and the raspberry creme brûlée.

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Breakfast was in Savor (we tried taste once but preferred the service on this side and the assistant maitre’d, Jocelyn, was excellent). I only photographed one day as I got the same items, Eggs Benedict. They changed the specials twice during the cruise (except this morning featured avocado toast and biscuits and gravy). I had the salmon bagel every day but guess I scarfed it down too quick to take a photo. If you only want half a bagel get the app portion and both halves ask for the entree portion. The omelettes were also very good (mushroom, onion, spinach).

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Dinner at Q was decent and a ton of food. I’m sure Texans will feel this is decent but not spectacular- it’s more for the novelty. Featured crab cakes and fried green tomatoes that were meh. After that porterhouse, I went with the salmon that was excellent and a loaded baked potato with brisket. They serve little cups of sides like beans, cole slaw, pickles, potato salad. We ordered a side of Mac and cheese and corn which were yummy! The desserts were the best part of the meal, warm brownie, banana pudding and peach cobbler that was more cake then cobbler, but still worth the calories!

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Edited by Db8coach

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Dinner at Los Lobos- so not worth the price if not included in the DP. We were also in Puerto Rico so they charged 11% port tax for the alcoholic beverages-FYI. While the apps were good (table side guacamole, empanadas, quesadilla) the entree was not. The carne asada was supposed to be marinated for 24 hours was so chewy it was almost inedible. The tres leches dessert was moist and tasty with lots of coconut. I remember we tried this place on the Bliss and I had the red snapper Veracruz for an entree and didn’t like that either, I guess I’m more particular about Mexican and Spanish food having grown up in South Florida where it is amazing and everywhere.

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Savor seems to have dropped the alternating cold open-faced alternating chicken salad and tuna salad on hearty bread that I enjoyed for lunch.  I am glad they retained the smoked salmon on bagel for breakfast.

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Thanks for the meal reviews. We are going on Encore in Feb and have a better idea of what we will order. We have the 4 meal pkg.

Happy Cruising!

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So O’Sheehans has been replaced with the Local. Pretty much the same thing except for the name and decor- much brighter. Here are pictures of the menu as the food was not photo worthy- just salad, burgers and hot dogs.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Since we had 4 Platinum coupons between the 3 of use and 3DP we only ate in Manhattan once on thanksgiving. The big difference between the Encore and the Bliss is that they removed the dance floor and live music. The butternut squash soup, coconut shrimp and baked Brie were all very tasty. Typical turkey dinner and sides (stuffing, sweat potato and green been casserole) were good except for the green beans as they used American cheese and was gross. The pumpkin cheesecake didn’t taste like pumpkin and wasn’t great but the lava cake is a staple and fantastic as always. 

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By far the best meal of the entire vacation was Le Bistro. This is no longer in the Smokey atrium (casino is smoke free except for a glass enclosure) but on deck 17 so you have to go to the pool deck and find the single elevator that goes to 17.

photos of the escargot, veal medallions, lamb and filet of beef, dessert was chocolate Napoleon and creme brûlée. All of the entrees were cooked perfectly and to the right temperature and we had such a delicious memorable meal. Completely worth it!

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So I didn’t take photos of the buffet, but this was well laid out with lots of options. Pizza (thin cracker-like crust), burgers/grill, taste of India sections, Asian section with shrimp crackers and noodle soup pho, soups, carving, hot entrees, salad bar, sandwiches, desserts and ice cream/soft serve. We missed seafood night but the next day we were at the pool when the buffet opened for dinner and we saw people eating shrimp so we grabbed a plate. Some were grilled and others cold peel and eat. The most delicious shrimp on board! The only problem with the grilled shrimp were that they were cooked in the shell and not cleaned so it was messy. We also had snacks in the observation deck 15 (yummy Quiche, meats and cheese and desserts). Feel free to ask any questions

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Another quick lunch in Savor, the Mediterranean Chicken was tasty but the chocolate mousse was excellent! On another sea day tried the Chicken Milanese, which was a hit and my Dad liked the St Louis Ribs but he started eating before I could photograph. Lots of new choices on the second menu. Just make sure you note the hours of operation as it switched to 12-1:30 on sea days vs 12-2 on embarkation.

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So we decided to use the extra DP in Cagneys again instead of a lunch in the American diner since we had a great first meal. We were very disappointed! The shrimp were smaller than the freebies on the buffet and overly marinated and salty(not like the tiger shrimp with the supplement that was included in the Platinum voucher). The tomato soup and grilled cheese is a throw away choice- avoid it at all costs. I miss my oyster Rockefeller 😞

So I ordered the lamb since I had the Veal at Le Bistro and wanted to try it. The cut was small and fatty and the temp was well done for a medium and it came out cold. My dad’s porterhouse was cooked properly but chewy and no where as good as mine on the first night. When the waitress asked how I liked it and when I explained she insisted on bringing me a new one. The second one was hot, cooked perfectly and cut like butter. The problem with Cagneys is that it can be inconsistent and we were at a later time when very busy so they were rushing the orders. The desserts were the OMG cheesecake that lives up to its  namesake. 

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So I stayed in the Studio for the first time, and boy, did it remind me of my first NYC studio apartment. The one main perk is the Studio Lounge with an espresso coffee machine that I visited daily, water, juice, fresh fruit, pastries in the morning and cookies and pound cake the rest of the day. It was a very nice touch and very quiet as I never saw anyone in there. They do have a pay wine machine that is expensive and superfluous if you have the beverage package.

The studio rooms also have a video screen as a “window” that was a cool touch. I just wished they switched to the camera on the side of the ship with a view as I got the starboard side view of the Miami terminal instead of the skyline and other ships docked instead of the ports. Beware of the AIDA, a German ship that allows nude sunbathing- Use your imagination and then add 75 years to the person!

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Our last supper was in Onda by Scarpetta. This replaced La Cucina, which is fine by me since we hated it. Onda’s food was spectacular but the acoustics in the restaurant were so terrible we couldn’t understand the waitress at all and couldn’t speak with each other during the meal and the restaurant was only half full and then add music from the opera by the same name on top of it.

 

The food was the only good part of the experience. They start you with 3 types of bread, don’t fill up, focaccia, Stromboli and white bread, but very tasty.


Under the DP you get unlimited apps and dessert and one entree. We over ate but everything was delicious. I didn’t photo the Apps, but we had the polenta and truffle mushrooms, the short ribs and farro risotto (AMAZING), fritto misto (crab cake, calamari, photo chips, fried shrimp, zucchini), the lobster tagliatelle was wonderful but a little spicy, veal Milanese, and filet of beef that my Mom thought was better than Cagneys filet. Dessert was tiramisu and chocolate cake.

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I am on the Encore for NYE and really appreciated your reviews and photos. Le Bistro is always outstanding so I won't miss that. I have a 4 night DP. 

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52 minutes ago, Nonni2Boyz said:

I am on the Encore for NYE and really appreciated your reviews and photos. Le Bistro is always outstanding so I won't miss that. I have a 4 night DP. 

Thanks- the ship itself is amazing, just like the Bliss. Just remember to make your reservations for the shows and dining as they were sold out day 1. Do it now through the app and if not available you can call NCL!  Have a wonderful time.

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Thanks for the great review and all of the pics. We'll be eating at Cagney's with the SDP. I take it from your comments we should plan on paying the upcharge for the tiger shrimp rather than getting the free shrimp cocktail. 

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3 hours ago, OHRiverRats said:

Thanks for the great review and all of the pics. We'll be eating at Cagney's with the SDP. I take it from your comments we should plan on paying the upcharge for the tiger shrimp rather than getting the free shrimp cocktail. 

Yes. Otherwise I would say to gorge at the buffet on shrimp at seafood night (or the day after) and try something else for an app. Enjoy!

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