Virgin Voyages is looking to reinvent what it means to cruise, with ships and experiences unlike anything else at sea. One area Virgin have focussed a lot of time and attention is around the dining options on board.
Virgin Voyages ships feature over 20 unique eateries on board and many of these have been curated by world-famous Michelin starred chefs. In fact, some of the best food I’ve had at sea has been on Virgin, and in my opinion the biggest home run for the line has been its culinary offering and delights.
Each of the eateries on board aren’t huge venues, rather, they have sought to curate an intimate and unique experience in each of their restaurants – my style of dining.
What also sets this apart is that all these options are included in the cruise fare (there are a few for fee items in a couple of venues, for examples afternoon tea in Sip). For the experience and quality, this is such great value. Let’s take a closer look at what’s offered on board.
I cannot express how long I’ve wanted an elevated Mexican restaurant experience to feature on a cruise ship. Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredible Mexican speciality restaurants on board many ships in the world, but Virgin have sought to create something special with hand crafted dishes served within a stunningly designed space.
I’m a big fan of Korean food and when Virgin announced they would have the first Korean BBQ at sea I was so excited. Korean BBQ is a social experience, with booths, drinking games and other fun activities as you (or the designated meat-master) cook the various delicacies on the menu. There’s a range of food offered from vegetarian, to meats and fish. It’s a really fun experience.
The crown jewel in restaurants found on board is The Wake, and also arguably my favourite restaurant on board. This is a sophisticated space which overlooks the wake of the ship, featuring design that is both nostalgic, retro but also contemporary and cool – it’s a lovely space to spend time in.
Firstly, we need to talk about brunch. I LOVE brunch and it’s something that forms part of the day-to-day life on board Virgin Voyages. No more so than in The Wake. Featuring delicious benedicts and sweet treats, you have to make time to go here in the day. For me, the highlight has to be the crepe cake – wow!
And of course, you need to make time to go back here in the evening where you can enjoy some pretty amazing steak and seafood dishes.
This trattoria is Virgin Voyage’s Italian restaurant. Expect freshly made pastas, classic Italian dishes all set in a casual, contemporary setting.
The Test Kitchen
Test kitchen is a laboratory-like eatery which features a tasting menu inspired by the ingredients that make up the dishes (and can be paired with drinks). It has an open kitchen, so you can watch your food freshly prepared in front of you. The deign really is quite unique, with its scientific, laboratory-like feel (in a good way!).
It’s been designed to act like a cooking school and on a typical voyage you will see a variety of tastings take place here. Like many of the venues on board, it has been designed to be a social space, so you will be interacting alongside other guests.
This is another unique offering found on board Virgin Voyages – This is a vegetarian forward restaurant meaning that they are the star of the show. Razzle Dazzle also has a whimsical quality to it with its bold and daring design (inspired by the camouflage of the same name taken from battleships). It’s also open for brunch like The Wake, or opt to visit in the evening and enjoy things like the impossible burger or if you’re feeling naughty, ask for the secret steak. And make sure you start your evening off with a drink in the Red Bar.
The Dock is a stunning space at the back of Virgin ships, with day beds and other comfortable seating that overlooks the wake of the ship – you could easily picture this space in the likes of the Greek isles or Saint-Tropez. It’s such a perfect space to spend a day. To add to the Mediterranean vibe of the space, you can choose from a range of mezze that’s offered through the course of the day. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Top tip, there’s actually a cool snack station at The Dock which features fruit, salad and other freshly prepared to-go items.
The Pizza Place
Fancy a made-to-order pizza pretty-much any time of day? Then head to the Pizza Place which features a range of stone baked delights served well into the night (for those late-night munchies).
The Social Club Diner
Situated off of one of the main thoroughfares of the ship, you will be the Social Club Diner which as you would expect is a classically styled diner where you can grab a whole host of classic American fare. This is not just a restaurant as there’s lots of interactive games to keep people busy throughout the day including air hockey, shuffleboard and foosball. Next to it you’ll also find a video arcade and the not-so secret pub on board.
Virgin didn’t want to create a buffet experience like you will find on many other lines. Instead, they’ve taken the space and looked to turn it into a more intimate food hall, featuring distinct eateries all with their own identity. And boy, you won’t be going hungry with a bakery, a dessert station, pastry shop, panni shop, burger grill, taco shop, sushi bar, bento station, noodle bar, soup and salad station. There’s also nifty take away spots if you just want to grab something and go (which I personally love).
Lick me til ice cream
Finally, we have the ice cream parlour on board, situated just off of the Roundabout where you can grab some complementary scoops featuring a number of artisanal flavours.
To find out more, head to Virgin Voyages
So, where would you begin? Let me know in the comments and on social media