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Q ~ Los Lobos ~ Ocean Blue ... tell me about your experiences


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All of my past cruises have been on the Jewel class ships, with the specialty restaurants Le Bistro, Cagney's, La Cucina, Moderno and Teppanyaki. I'm booked for the first time on one of the big ships (Bliss) and the restaurant variety is overwhelming. I'm not a "Fine Dining" snob, but I like a nice meal. My husband is pickier, he wants things plain, can't handle hot spices and ketchup is his "sauce" of choice (he feels very fancy when they bring it to the table in a little dish instead of the bottle LOL). Give him a filet and baked potato and he's happy as can be.

Have you eaten in any of these venues with a "steak and taters" kind of person? Did they survive? :classic_biggrin:

Q- is it anything special? We get good barbecue at home at the local pit BBQ. 

Los Lobos- have they got items for the plain chicken carnitas, guacamole is gross guy I'm married to?

Ocean Blue- can you get lobster tail? 

Food Republic- I don't think that's got anything for Mr. Picky.

Is American Diner what used to be the Jimmy Buffet Cheeseburger in Paradise themed venue?

Edited by Shellbelle28
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When in doubt, turn to the bird. BirdTravels, that is. You’ll find menus for all of those restaurants in the Encore review. The menus are on different pages; I had the Ocean Blue one bookmarked so here you go:

 

 

 

American Diner has no relation to the previous Jimmy Buffett venue. Mr. Picky will probably love American Diner!

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Q is definitely not anything special if you have good BBQ near you. That being said, I almost always go there when on a ship with it, because it's cheap enough that we can usually grab dinner there using OBC instead of one of our specialty dining credits. My husband and I have what we call "Caucasian spice tolerance", and nothing at Los Lobos is too spicy for us. If you go there, GET THE STREET CORN! Lobster is available at Ocean Blue, but only for an upcharge. Honestly, if your husband loves steak, go to Le Bistro or La Cucina. Both have good filets on the menu. Though, I saw Le Bistro is getting a menu change, so maybe not anymore.

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10 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

Q is definitely not anything special if you have good BBQ near you. That being said, I almost always go there when on a ship with it, because it's cheap enough that we can usually grab dinner there using OBC instead of one of our specialty dining credits. My husband and I have what we call "Caucasian spice tolerance", and nothing at Los Lobos is too spicy for us. If you go there, GET THE STREET CORN! Lobster is available at Ocean Blue, but only for an upcharge. Honestly, if your husband loves steak, go to Le Bistro or La Cucina. Both have good filets on the menu. Though, I saw Le Bistro is getting a menu change, so maybe not anymore.

On our last cruise (Jewel to Australia/NZ) we ate at Cagney's literally every night. We had a free Platinum meal at Moderno that was so sub-par we walked out and went to Cagneys! It was fun getting to know the restaurant staff and being spoiled as they became familiar with our usual orders. 

We may do that again, but I wanted to at least let Mr McPicky take a look at the options. NCL now has sample specialty restaurant menus that are downloadable on the "explore the ship" section, which is very handy! Just need to find The Local's menu to see if they still have my fish and chips!

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We love Cagneys, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. 

 

I get the jumbo lump crab cake,  filet, raspberry creme brulee at Cagneys.

 

The peppercorn filet, French onion soup, and creme brulee at Le Bistro. Teppanyaki usually chicken and steak, green tea cake at the end. We also love the mussels here.

 

Los Lobos I've only ever been to once, but they have tableside guacamole. Think we had the queso fundido to share. 

 

Never been to the Q, nothing special in my opinion. Reminds me of moderno which is way too much food with a salad bar, appetizers, sushi, soup and then all the meat, and dessert.

 

Ocean Blue is okay. I've been here a few times. If you go and they still have lobster, get it grilled and butterflied cut.... skip it steamed, not good.

 

La Cucina is my least favorite. I'm good with never going there again. It's like the fast food italian restaurant on board.

 

I want to add that the room service pizza is pretty amazing!  Also you can get a cheese tray to share which is nice to enjoy away from the crowds. Only $9.95 fee for whatever you order.

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Q is actually pretty decent barbecue, something I am always amazed to hear myself saying, because it's so unexpected from a 'cue aficionado like myself.  It also has the advantage of being something that is familiar & hopefully not scary for Mr. Picky.  I recommend splitting the judges' platter if you just want to try a taste of everything.  

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I thought Ocean Blue was kind of mediocre. But now I might try it again and get grilled lobster! Have never had anything but a totally delicious meat at La Cucina (I guess I've been lucky!). Moderno is probably good if you like plate after plate of meat, which I'm just not into. I love Le Bistro and usually have really good food at Cagney's. We were on the Bliss a year ago and my all-time fav meal was at Los Lobos. We had so much fun too. It's all really just different strokes for different folks. The only food I have not enjoyed any time I have tried it is the free bar food restaurant--can't remember the name. Service has always been awful, food greasy and not hot. And since it is in the wide open, always very loud. I'm sure others have had good experiences there though.

 

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5 minutes ago, Greenpea2 said:

I thought Ocean Blue was kind of mediocre. But now I might try it again and get grilled lobster! Have never had anything but a totally delicious meat at La Cucina (I guess I've been lucky!). Moderno is probably good if you like plate after plate of meat, which I'm just not into. I love Le Bistro and usually have really good food at Cagney's. We were on the Bliss a year ago and my all-time fav meal was at Los Lobos. We had so much fun too. It's all really just different strokes for different folks. The only food I have not enjoyed any time I have tried it is the free bar food restaurant--can't remember the name. Service has always been awful, food greasy and not hot. And since it is in the wide open, always very loud. I'm sure others have had good experiences there though.

 

What did you have at los lobos?

 

O'sheehans or the local I find to be decent at times. Love the wings, fish and chips, nachos with extra jalapenos,  and the hot dogs with cheese and bacon by request. 

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6 minutes ago, Greenpea2 said:

The only food I have not enjoyed any time I have tried it is the free bar food restaurant--can't remember the name. Service has always been awful, food greasy and not hot. And since it is in the wide open, always very loud. I'm sure others have had good experiences there though.

I would never try to have a "meal" at The Local/O'Sheehan's, it's noisy and never enough servers. BUT, sitting at the bar, it's fine, the bartenders get you your food and as long as you're drinking, they take care of you fast. 

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It’s hard to say if Lobster will be on the Oceab Blue menu when ships start sailing again. It was back and forth between the included vs up charge for a few years prior to COVID. 

 

Los Lobos is my favorite of all the specialty dining venues but I would never use a specialty dining credit there. You can get a much better value for the credit at the other restaurants. 
 

Q is “meh”. I don’t really like BBQ to begin with but I don’t even know if I would consider Q to actually be barbecue. It’s lacking the smoky flavors. 

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18 minutes ago, Greenpea2 said:

I thought Ocean Blue was kind of mediocre. But now I might try it again and get grilled lobster! Have never had anything but a totally delicious meat at La Cucina (I guess I've been lucky!). Moderno is probably good if you like plate after plate of meat, which I'm just not into. I love Le Bistro and usually have really good food at Cagney's. We were on the Bliss a year ago and my all-time fav meal was at Los Lobos. We had so much fun too. It's all really just different strokes for different folks. The only food I have not enjoyed any time I have tried it is the free bar food restaurant--can't remember the name. Service has always been awful, food greasy and not hot. And since it is in the wide open, always very loud. I'm sure others have had good experiences there though.

 

$25 upcharge for the lobster though

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4 minutes ago, ClevelandCruisin said:

$25 upcharge for the lobster though

Don’t ask me why I have a picture of this but here is the Ocean Blue menu from the Joy in October 2019. Lobster was included 🤤

 

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9746F6E4-8AF7-4FB8-BC7A-5FA3366A7D05.thumb.jpeg.44be55b3d14aa72f3bbbd4e1ef25b1d8.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Shellbelle28 said:

....... Give him a filet and baked potato and he's happy as can be.

Have you eaten in any of these venues with a "steak and taters" kind of person? Did they survive? :classic_biggrin:

Q- is it anything special? We get good barbecue at home at the local pit BBQ. 

Los Lobos- have they got items for the plain chicken carnitas, guacamole is gross guy I'm married to?

Ocean Blue- can you get lobster tail? 

Food Republic- I don't think that's got anything for Mr. Picky.

Is American Diner what used to be the Jimmy Buffet Cheeseburger in Paradise themed venue?

At Q, we usually don't use a dining plan meal.  A regular meal there is huge. They do have some great 'loaded' baked potatoes or 'loaded' fries that we enjoyed.

 

At Los Lobos, unless he would enjoy the Carne Asada, maybe you could sit at the bar and enjoy Margaritas with some Guac for you.....then take him to the Local for a burger?  (and yes, the Elotes street corn is delish!)

 

Ocean Blue-  Great place to use a Dining Plan meal.  We have enjoyed several meals there.  My DH has had no problem finding something like a steak there he can enjoy.  

 

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3 hours ago, ClevelandCruisin said:

I really want to try one of those expensive shakes on the encore when we go at cocos, they even have crepes there.

That's a menu I didn't take a look at. Is that an a la cart priced venue? 

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27 minutes ago, Shellbelle28 said:

That's a menu I didn't take a look at. Is that an a la cart priced venue? 

Yes it is a la carte. I loved going there right after they open, very quiet, and had a simple crepe. It was delicious and such a pleasant venue!

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1 hour ago, valleyvillage said:

Yes it is a la carte. I loved going there right after they open, very quiet, and had a simple crepe. It was delicious and such a pleasant venue!

Is there still one night in the buffet they make crepes?

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Los Lobos was one of our favorite meals on the ship.  I’m sure a plain chicken quesadilla is possible.
 

we are bbq snobs (have 3 smokers in my garage) and Q didn’t hit the bar for us.
 

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22 hours ago, ClevelandCruisin said:

Is there still one night in the buffet they make crepes?

Have never seen crepes in the buffet on Bliss or Encore.  You have to buy them at Coco's. They were good but not something I need to pay extra for.

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Was not terribly impressed with Q — it was a lot of food, and everything was good, but not amazing.  To be fair, I’m not a big BBQ person.  

 

We had an amazing meal at Ocean Blue— not sure it would appeal to your husband though.  It’s a bit on the foodie spectrum.  But we plan on going again on the Bliss in December.

 

We didn’t eat at Los Lobos, given that we live in So Cal and can and do get great Mexican food on a regular basis. Also skipped the American Diner and Food Republik.  
 

Cagneys and Le Bistro always make our list.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, debenson0723 said:

Have never seen crepes in the buffet on Bliss or Encore.  You have to buy them at Coco's. They were good but not something I need to pay extra for.

Actually I looked at dailies from last year,  crepes were offered day 6 in the buffet.

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