Day 4 - NCL Encore - Sea Day
Happy Valentine’s Day!
We were up early once again. Chris once again retrieved some coffee and a little pastry for me. We used to get this delivered complimentary, but NCL has started charging for this service. I think Chris might be missing this more than I am.
Chris wanted to try the buffet for breakfast today. We thought they had a nice selection of choices. They had a cute display for Valentine’s set up of bread.
After breakfast, we decided to go to the casino for a bit. It turned into most of the morning as we were having a good time. We did eventually do some laps around the Waterfront to get our steps in for the day though. We met up with our friends and since the Croissant Mai Tai was the drink of the day, we had to get one. We caught up with our friends and one Mai Tai turned into two.
We had wine tasting with our pals at 1:00 so we decided to get showered to be presentable for the tasting. We also thought it would be good to have some food to help absorb the alcohol. So, after our showers, we ran to the buffet and ate a quick little lunch.
The wine tasting had a decent turnout, and we took up most of the Onda restaurant. We had assigned seats and were seated with two delightful ladies who tuned into my shenanigans. I was a bad influence, and we all tasted a sip of wine before we were supposed to. In our defense, it did start over ten minutes late and the wine was tempting us. This tasting was about pairing wine with cheeses. The first was a prosecco paired with aged parmesan. The second was a Sauvignon Blanc paired with goat cheese. The third was a red wine from Italy called Valpolicella. This was a new varietal for me, and I really enjoyed it. It was paired with fontina. The last wine was a port paired with Roquefort. That wine and the cheese were by far my least favorites.
We had a meet and greet/shot glass exchange afterwards. My fellow admin on our Facebook group, Tim set this up. We had about 50 people show up for the event. Tim did a great job of organizing and moving the event along. It was fun to meet new people and get a shot glass that had meaning for them. When it was all over, we relaxed in our cabin and got ready for our Valentine’s meal at Onda.
Onda by Scarpetta is the Italian specialty restaurant on Encore. This was another first for us and we were very excited to try it out. The cocktail menu looked great, and we each started with a Mediterranean Negroni which is made with watermelon infused Campari. This is one of the best cocktails I have had on NCL. The bread plate arrived first with three types of bread along with eggplant, ricotta and citrus olive oil. Each bread and spread were delicious. When the couple was seated next to us, they asked which appetizer it was, that is how impressive it looks. For our starters, Chris had the short rib ravioli, and I had the market salad. The short rib ravioli was filled with savory, rich short rib and the pasta was very tender. The light horseradish cream sauce was outstanding. My salad was so fresh, and the vinaigrette was so flavorful. We both chose the filet for our entrees. Chris had a side of mushrooms while I had the lentils. The steaks were phenomenal, and Chris thinks it is one of the best he has ever had. The sauce was excellent as well as the vegetables. This steak in our opinion is better than Le Bistro (which now has a $10 upcharge) or Cagney’s. For dessert, Chris had the butterscotch budino and I had the panna cotta. We both thought the budino needed a little more butterscotch flavor but the pannacotta had a very lovely tropical taste and paired nicely with the coconut sorbet it is served with. Stuffed, we walked around to find some dance music to keep our date night going.
Our first stop was Sugarcane for Latin Ballroom. I was hoping for some rumba after a big meal but it was more like yesterday with salsa and merengue. I was disappointed as I was hoping for a romantic Valentine’s dance. After a few songs, we moved to the Atrium for Adda band Queen and Police set. The first song wasn’t bad, but his second song was. It sounded like he blew out his voice from the night before. We decided to hit the District to hear some piano and met up with our friends. The pianist was very talented and engaging. He had a few passengers, including Tim sing while he played. We found out that he will be on our next cruise on Oceania so I look forward to seeing him again. We stayed until his last song and then went to bed to rest for our tour in St. Thomas. We were arriving early since we missed our port stop at GSC.
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