When Virgin Voyages launched its first cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, the buzz was all about the restaurants. While cruise ship food is always a hot topic, Virgin Voyages really reinvented cruise dining with innovative concepts, delicious food, and unique options. Here is an overview of the Virgin Voyages restaurants for your next cruise.
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If you are a regular reader of this blog, or if you are just reading the title of the blog, you probably know this isn’t our usual content. Instead, it’s the start of a new category here called Gen Travel X . This new category will focus on travels beyond family travel when you are ready to progress into mid-life travel.
Virgin Voyages Restaurants You’ll Love
Virgin Voyages has really innovated the entire cruise experience, including the dining options. Unlike other cruise lines, there are no main dining rooms. Instead, guests can make reservations in advance for six different signature dining destinations with some of the best food at sea. There’s no extra cost for these specialty restaurants – they are included in your cruise fare.
In addition, there is no real cruise buffet onboard. But that doesn’t mean that your options will be limited. Virgin Voyages offers the Galley, a food hall-style venue with various types of cuisine.
Servers will take your order and deliver your food right to you. Indoor and outdoor seating is available at the Galley.
Like other aspects of Virgin Voyages, tips are included. While you won’t have the same server team during your vacation, the service is always great.
Dining reservations can be made 45 days in advance on The Virgin Voyages Sailor app if you are in a standard stateroom (not in Mega Rock Star or RockStar Quarters). I recommend that you make the reservations when the booking window opens because they can book up if your sailing is full.
You’ll be able to make dinner reservations one time per restaurant. Brunch reservations are also recommended, but you can’t make them until you are onboard the ship. Do that as soon as you are on the ship’s WiFi.
To me, the Wake feels like the most “cruise” of the Virgin Voyages restaurants. It’s a classic steak and seafood restaurant and is the most formal of the restaurants (although the entire ship is casual).
The Wake offers both brunch and dinner. For brunch, expect to find a large selection of benedicts, including an absolutely delicious soft-shell crab benedict. The fennel and citrus salad, as well as the poached shrimp, are excellent starter options. If you want to have brunch here, be sure to book it when you get on the ship because it’s very popular.
For dinner, the menu is filled with both seafood and steak options. The clam chowder starter is delicious, and I really enjoyed my filet mignon. There are also raw bar options on the menu that are available for an upcharge.
I absolutely love the Razzle Dazzle. While I enjoy all of the food on Virgin Voyages, the brunch on Razzle Dazzle is one of the meals that I always think about when I’m at home. It’s a must-do. Book it when you get onboard for the best availability.
While the Razzle Dazzle offers some healthy vegetarian and vegan options, it is definitely not a vegan restaurant. Instead, the menu offers both a naughty and nice section, with options for everyone.
There are so many delicious options for lunch, including avocado toast, watermelon and sesame cream, and the Razzle Dazzle breakfast (with Impossible patty, eggs, mushrooms, and potatoes). Don’t miss the smoked bacon, which is some of the best bacon I’ve ever had.
Dinner at the Razzle Dazzle is also delicious. Starters include mushroom “tartare”, Impossible burgers, fried chicken, and more. Be sure to ask about any secret menu items. During our most recent cruise, there was a butter chicken and steak dish on the secret menu.
Gunbae is the one Virgin Voyages restaurant that I, unfortunately, haven’t experienced. It’s a lively Korean BBQ restaurant offering communal dining, drinking games, and delicious food. Tables seat 6, and you’ll probably be seated with strangers if you aren’t a group of 6.
Gunbae’s menu includes small bites as well as BBQ and noodle dishes. A Wagyu beef platter is available for an upcharge. Each table has a large round grill in the center. Typically, guests are treated to a round of Soju, which you’ll use for the drinking game.
If you love Italian food, you’ll definitely want to make a reservation at Extra Virgin. This delicious Italian restaurant offers handmade pasta, antipasti, and scrumptious desserts.
There are appetizers including mini meatballs and calamari, as well as a chef’s selection of antipasti. Entrees include either handmade pasta (including my favorite, spaghetti alle vongole) or a secondo dish. Vegetarian dishes are available.
You’ll want to save some room for dessert, however. There are a few unique Italian desserts, including a chocolate olive oil cake and a castagnaccio.
But, my favorite option is the tableside affogato cart. Your server will bring along a cart with a selection of gelati and sorbetti. You can choose whatever flavor(s) you’d like, as well as any topping. Once you’ve made your selection, it’s topped off with espresso. The affogato cart is unlike anything else I’ve seen on a cruise line.
Pink Agave is the Mexican restaurant on board Virgin Voyages, and it’s probably my favorite dinner option. It isn’t a large restaurant, so you’ll definitely want to make your reservations in advance if this is one of your top choices. During my last sailing, I booked in advance and still saw a limited selection of time options for this restaurant.
The Pink Agave restaurant offers so many fantastic menu options, that it will be hard to choose among the great entrees. Some of my favorite small plates include the esquites (grilled corn) and the aguachile (tuna with avocado). If you are dining with others, you may want to order a few to share.
Entrees are also delicious. One of the most popular options is the bistec, which is a ribeye steak. It’s probably one of the best entrees aboard the ship. There are also enchiladas, striped bass, and shrimp entrees among others.
The desserts at Pink Agave are probably my favorites. The tacos de chocolate is probably the most unique and is also delicious.
If you love molecular gastronomy and other experimental cooking methods, you’ll love the experience at Test Kitchen. This modern restaurant offers a set menu, where you’ll choose between venison and beef for your main course (with the same preparation). A vegetarian menu is also available.
The decor at Test Kitchen is meant to look like a science lab, so it’s a bit sterile looking with metal and clean lines everywhere. There are also many shared tables, although you won’t necessarily be seated next to others at the same time.
Each of the six courses is a small plate, so while you’ll definitely get your fill, you will be able to try everything. Some of the courses are served with fanfare, including the egg and pea dish that is served in a domed, clear dish. As the servers lift the top, the smoke from the dish fills the air.
While some of the dishes at Test Kitchen aren’t what I would choose off the menu, it is a fun experience. On another ship, it would probably be an expensive add-on.
On longer sailing, there’s a second menu at Test Kitchen. That way, you won’t have to duplicate the same tasting menu if you dine there twice.
The Galley on Virgin Voyages replaces the buffets on other cruise lines. It’s a food hall-style space offering a variety of different cuisines, from paninis to sushi.
When you are seated at The Galley, you’ll be given a menu or can scan a QR code. A server will take your order and will deliver the food to you. There are also some grab-and-go items by the door that you can take with you to the pool or back to your stateroom for a quick bite.
The current kiosks in the Galley include:
- Bento Baby (sushi in bento boxes)
- Diner and Dash (American diner food, including breakfast all day)
- The Burger Bar (burgers, including an Impossible burger)
- Let’s Taco Bout It (street tacos and a delicious breakfast burrito)
- Hot Off the Press (paninis)
- Noodle Around (noodle dishes)
- The Daily Mix (salads)
- The Sweet Side (pastries and desserts)
- The Grounds Club (premium coffees, available for an additional fee)
This is also where you’ll find sodas, juices, free coffee, teas, and other drinks. There are also wine vending machines if you’d like something stronger.
I love the Galley because there are definitely plenty of choices, but it never feels as crowded and overwhelming as a cruise ship buffet typically does. It’s the perfect spot for a quick breakfast if you don’t want to spend time at brunch.
The Dock and the Dockhouse
These indoor and outdoor dining areas offer the same food and drink menu. It’s more of a lounge and relax type area rather than a restaurant. One day, I grabbed a book and sat in a chair at the Dock while enjoying some mezze-style bites.
Menu stands on the tables outside have a little flag on them, so you can indicate when you’d like to order. If you are just there to relax, you won’t be approached by servers.
The food at the Dock and Dockhouse is very good – some of my favorite on the ship. I think it’s a great option for lunch during a day at sea, or for a quick bite before seeing a show.
Options include hangar steak, Spanish octopus, and grilled shrimp. If you love shrimp, you’ll definitely want to try this version at the Dock.
No reservations are required. You’ll just need to find an open seat.
Other Food Options on Virgin Voyages
In addition to the Virgin Voyages restaurants listed above, there are several other quick-serve locations where you can grab a snack or a quick meal.
The Pizza Place
The Pizza Place offers a selection of whole pizzas throughout the day. I really love the pizzas here – I think they are better than pizzas on other cruise lines that I’ve had.
Lick Me ‘Til Ice Cream
Located off the main lobby area (called the Roundabout on Virgin Voyages). This ice cream shop offers a variety of flavors.
The Social Club
This carnival-style quick-serve location has pastries and desserts in a display case, as well as a small menu of snack items. You can get pretzels, wings, and several different hot dogs throughout the day.
The Social Club, as the name would indicate, is a great place to hang out. There’s also a selection of board games that you can borrow. You’ll find a lot of passengers hanging out in this area, especially on sea days.
The Sun Club Cafe
The Sun Club Cafe is an outdoor quick service restaurant. It offers poke bowls, with a selection of four or five options.
Room service on Virgin Voyages is called Ship Eats. It’s available 24 hours a day, and a $5 delivery fee applies. There are a lot of different options on the menu, making it a great choice if you want to stay in your room (maybe enjoying that hammock on the balcony).
If you are sailing on Virgin Voyages out of Terminal V in Miami, see the map below (including affiliate links) for nearby hotels.
While walk-ins may be available, you’ll definitely want to make your reservations as early as possible for the best availability.
The only extra charges are for alcohol and for the few premium items on the menus.
Virgin Voyages does have some drinks, like soft drinks and juices, included in the cruise price. There is no drink package, however. Instead, you can pre-purchase a bar tab which is a set amount of money set aside for drinks. It’s optional and you can always pay for drinks individually.
Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady and Valient Lady have the same restaurants and menus.