MSC Virtuosa – Food & drink

MSC Virtuosa has so much to offer when it comes to food, drink, bars, lounges and restaurants on board – including some brand new offerings.  Let’s take a look.

Bars and lounges

You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to bars on board MSC Virtuosa. In addition to the Starship Bar I mentioned in a previous post, there are 20 other bars on board found inside and out.

One of my favourite bars on board has to be the L’ Atelier Bar & Art.  Found right in the middle of the Galleria Virtuosa, this is a cosy bar and elegant bar that would fit right into the side streets of Paris. It’s perfect to enjoy a cocktail before dinner alongside live music, enjoying the artwork that adorns the walls.

Another MSC fan-favourite is the chic Champagne Bar found in the Infinity Atrium featuring a vast list of champagnes and champagne cocktails. It’s also perfect for people watching.  You can also opt to accompany you bubbles with an array of caviar, oysters and crab.

Truth be told, I found most of the activity on board to be in the Virtuosa Bar & Lounge.  Here you’ll find activities and entertainment throughout the day and very much acts as the social hub on the ship.

Fancy something a little more laid back, then head upstairs to the Masters of the Seas Pub with its rich décor and live music.  Those with a sweet-tooth will not be disappointed with the return of the Jean-Philippe Maury chocolaterie and café.

I think my very favourite bar on the ship has to be the Sky Lounge located right at the top of the ship overlooking the Atmosphere Pool.  It’s perfect to grab a craft cocktail and watch the world go by.  If you fancy being outside, I also recommend the Horizon Bar, which is also busy and bustling, overlooking the Horizon Pool and wake of the ship.

All UK seacations by MSC this summer have premium drinks included – that is to say everything £10 or under, which covers 90% of the drinks found on board.  It does not include premium expeiences such as some of the champagnes found in the Champagne Bar or the MSC Starship Club robotic experience

Restaurants

A choice of 10 dining venues promises something special for every taste including the brand new Indochine experience.

What’s included?

Truth be told, you could happily enjoy the cruise not spending a penny on speciality restaurants. There are actually four main restaurants on board Virtuosa, all located off of the Infinity Atrium and serving the same food.  The reason for four is so that they can accommodate set dining and people who want to rock-up. On top of this, there is a restaurant dedicated to Aurea guests on board (though this was not in use on our cruise).

On top of this, you can head upstairs to the marketplace buffet, which during our cruise wasn’t really operating as a buffet, with guests queuing and asking for food at the various stations.  The one thing about the buffet on MSC is the sheer variety of different food they offer every day – especially when it comes to things like pizza. An extension of the buffet can be found around the main atmosphere pool.

On our 4-night cruise, we opted to try out all the specialities on board.

Speciality dining

Indochine Restaurant

The headline specialty restaurant on Virtuosa is Indochine, a French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant with a whole variety of Vietnamese dishes with a French twist alongside craft cocktails.  Honestly, so good (you need to try the chicken wings), and you certainly won’t come away hungry.

Price A la Carté (and included in dining package)

Hola! Tacos & Cantina

Anyone who knows this blog know that we LOVE Mexican food.  Wherever we go in the World we actively seek out the best and most authentic Mexican experiences.  So, when Virtuosa announced that they would have a Mexican speciality on board I knew I had to try it.

This new casual street food dining concept, offers a selection of Latin American and Mexican-inspired dishes and drinks to be shared and enjoyed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Choose from a tantalising array of dishes from blue corn tacos and nachos, authentic beef empanadas and tasty tamales through to tortilla soup or vegetarian tacos, all to be savoured with a selection of Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals!  We went twice, for lunch and dinner and was really impressed each time.  Yum!

Price: A la Carté with ‘all you can eat’ option for £16

Kaito Teppanyaki Restaurant & Sushi Bar

A staple of this class of ship is the Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant.  Featuring authentic Asian cuisine which is prepared right before your eyes.

Price Teppanyaki comes with various packages and sushi is A la Carté (but can be included in dining package)

Butcher’s Cut

Another staple of MSC Cruises is their traditional their traditional American-style steakhouse.  Featuring an open kitchen and a variety of cuts of steak, sides and other delicious things.

Price A la Carté (and included in dining package)

Dining Packages

For our cruise on MSC Virtuosa, we wanted to try out the new speciality restaurants on board.  The Dining Package costs per person on board for the UK Cruises this year are as follows – £81 for two restaurants (Indochine and Butcher’s Cut), £97 for three restaurants (Indochine, Butcher’s Cut and Kaito Sushi) and £124 for four restaurants (Indochine, Butcher’s Cut, Hola! Tacos & Cantina and Kaito Sushi) .  Noting that you can save a fair amount on this if you book ahead of time – we paid £83pp for the three restaurant package online ahead of the cruise.

The packages are worth it, though you need to be aware that you will have access to a limited menu at each of the restaurants (which for the most part is not a problem). We’ve found that it can be hard to move away from this set menu approach, particuarly if you have any particular dietary requirements, and if you want anything else from the menu you tend to have to pay something towards it – so I really do recommend talking to the restaurants beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.

What do you think about the food and drink on board MSC Cruises?  Let me know in the comments and across social media.

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