Takeoff Note: I was invited to try out Virgin Voyages and only had to pay port expenses and taxes. But, the opinions expressed in this post are entirely those of mine and weren't subject to review by the cruise line or any external entity.

Background

For me, if I had to choose my favorite aspect of sailing on Virgin Voyages, it would definitely have to be the food. Virgin Voyages dining options are quite good and definitely elevated compared to my experiences in Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. I think it’s even better than the paid specialty dining I had on those other lines.

All dining is included in the Scarlet Lady cruise fare and there is no main dining room like traditional cruise lines. There are additions at each dining venue where you could splurge (like oysters, or the raw bar at the Wake). But for the most part, everything is included which is nice. In terms of beverages, soft drinks, tea, and basic coffee are included, but alcohol is an additional charge. 


Virgin Voyages Cruise Report

Check out my other reviews onboard Virgin Voyages below


Takeoff Points Virgin Voyages Dining

Dinner Rankings for the four dinners we had, starting with the best. (Skipped Gunbae since we didn’t have time to try)

  1. The Wake
  2. Pink Agave
  3. Test Kitchen
  4. Extra Virgin

Takeoff Point: The Wake was my favorite, as it felt like I was in a New York City Steakhouse and the food tasted great. It’s the best meal I’ve had on a cruise ship and beats the specialty dining steakhouses that I’ve tried on Holland America and Royal Caribbean. I also enjoyed Pink Agave, which was a Mexican restaurant as the food was delicious. The Test Kitchen was a very unique concept, but some courses fell flat. Lastly, Extra Virgin was not super special, so I put that on the bottom of my list. That being said, it was still quite good when compared to the other cruise lines I’ve been on. Overall, Virgin Voyages excels with its culinary options that compete & excel over standard cruise line specialty restaurants.

Takeoff Tip: As a Gold tier First Mate travel agent with Virgin Voyages, I’m happy to help make your cruise booking as seamless as possible. From helping you secure a reservation at the Wake, to gaining you priority boarding, I’m here to assist. Simply use my booking link to discover your next Virgin Voyage and I’ll assist you on your journey!

Making Reservations

You can book dining reservations at select restaurants directly from our Virgin Voyages App or through a First Mate Travel Advisor starting 45 days before departure, and those booked in Mega RockStar and RockStar Quarters will have the ability to book starting 60 days before. More slots open once you’re onboard, and can be done via the app or with a crew member on board. Restaurants also take walk-ins and day-of reservations.

Since we booked only a few weeks before sailing, most dining times were taken, but 5:45 pm was available each night for the restaurants we wanted. We decided to take that slot, and we made some adjustments once onboard quite easily.

Dining Options with Reservations

  • Razzle Dazzle
  • The Wake
  • Pink Agave
  • Extra Virgin
  • The Test Kitchen
  • Gunbae

Razzle Dazzle

It’s an all-day dining casual dining venue that is focused on vegetarian options with meaty cheats (which they call “naughty”).

We had two breakfasts at Razzle Dazzle and I found it to be pretty solid. I liked the avocado toast, and who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast? They had some fun churros and a blueberry green tea cheesecake. Also a side note: I love how Virgin Voyages has sugar cubes for tea/coffee. It’s so much more fun with sugar packets, and it feels like you’re at an upscale restaurant.

a large room with tables and chairs

Razzle Dazzle Interior

Virgin Voyages Dining

Razzle Dazzle Breakfast: Avocado Toast, Sunny Side Hash, Sliced Fruit

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The Wake

It’s a sophisticated steakhouse set in an elegant ambiance with stunning ocean views and a two-story entryway. The Wake specializes in prime cuts of meat and seafood, and also benedicts for breakfast. It’s open for breakfast, lunch (on certain days), and dinner.

a woman standing in front of a glass wall

Wake Entrance

a room with tables and chairs

The Wake Piano

a restaurant with tables and chairs

The Wake Seating

So, I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Wake as it was my favorite restaurant. For breakfast, it specializes in eggs Benedict and has quite a limited traditional breakfast menu. I found the soft-shell crab eggs Benedict that I got to be pretty solid, but I think I would opt for the short ribs one next time. I was able to get the clam chowder as a starter, which felt a bit odd for breakfast, but it was so good that I did not mind.

a bowl of soup with a cup of tea

Clam Chowder

Virgin Voyages Dining

Soft Shell Crab Benedicts

Lunch

For lunch, I got the Hanger Steak which was pretty good. I would have gotten the filet mignon, but I had it the night before for dinner. They also served the breakfast menu as well.

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Dinner

When I went to the wake for dinner, the appetizers were solid, and we enjoyed the Clam Chowder, Corn Custard, and Wedge Salad the most. The Hamachi was a bit odd for our liking.

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I had the Filet Mignon and it was cooked perfectly and tasted great. It was as if I was in a New York City steakhouse, and I was very pleased with my meal. It was definitely the best meal I had on the ship and the best among the cruises I’ve been on.

a plate of food and a bowl of salad

Filet Mignon and Roasted Wild Mushrooms

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For desserts, the Lemon Cheesecake was the most visually pleasing, but it tasted good as well. And the Panna Cotta & Chocolate Tart were great options to end the meal.

Virgin Voyages Dining

Lemon Cheesecake

Virgin Voyages Dining

Panna Cotta and Chocolate Tart

Pink Agave

It’s a vibrant and colorful restaurant offering modern Mexican cuisine featuring a large tequila and mezcal selection. It was open for dinner nightly on my sailing.

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Here, we started with Guac, Chicken Enchiladas, and Corn as per our waiter’s recommendations. I found them all to be quite good.

a table with plates of food

Pink Agave Appetizers

For mains, we shared the Cochinita Pibil (Smoked Pork) and Bistec Marinero En Escabeche (Ribeye Steak). Both were quite delicious.

a bowl of soup next to a bowl of tortillas

Conchnita Pibil (Smoked Pork)

a plate of food with gravy and sauce

Bistec Marinero En Escabeche (Ribeye Steak)

And for dessert, we tried three to share and got the Tamal de Chocolate, Milhojas, and Tacos de Chocolate. I found the tacos to be quite fun!

Virgin Voyages Dining

Pink Agave Desserts

The Test Kitchen

It’s definitely the most unique restaurant for Virgin Voyages dining selections. The Test Kitchen is the “Michelin” style restaurant onboard, which provides a culinary journey of experimentation and innovation where you get a 6-course tasting menu of creative dishes. It was open nightly for dinner.

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Before you are taken to your seat, you are given a welcome drink (sip) to cleanse your palate. I loved the decor of the restaurant, and there are traditional tables, as well as high-top/bar-style seating, to which we got assigned the latter.

a group of people sitting at a bar

Test Kitchen Seating

a menu on a stand

Test Kitchen Menu

The menu is 6 courses, and the only choice you really get is between Venison and Beef. On longer voyages, they switch out the menus so you can come back twice with a new menu, but since our voyage was just 4 days, the menu stayed the same.

If you wanted a drinks pairing for each of the 6 courses, those were available for an additional charge for wine, cocktails, zero proof, or beer.

a hand holding a menu

Drink Menu at Test Kitchen

First Course

The first course was a mushroom pate, which looked pretty and tasted decent as well.
Virgin Voyages Dining

Course 1: Mushroom

The second course was the coolest in terms of presentation. It arrived with a glass cover with smoke encasing it.



Once the cover was pulled off and then I saw the peas, I was disappointed. Sadly, I dislike peas very much. I ate some of the egg and caviar and left most of the peas untouched. At least it was fun to watch!

Thankfully, the third course was to my liking. This course was the scallops course, and it had some prosciutto and a nice broth. It was my favorite course of the night.
Virgin Voyages Dining

Course 3: Scallops

For the fourth course, I chose beef while my travel companion chose venison and they enjoyed this course. I found the beef to be satisfactory, but I much preferred my steak at the Wake. There was also a side of potatoes with this course. Courses 5 and 6 were the dessert options, and there was a blue cheese offering that was interesting and a chocolate cake which I enjoyed.

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Overall, I loved trying out the Test Kitchen and would be interested in trying a different set menu. It’s certainly a unique experience, especially on a cruise ship!

Extra Virgin

It was open nightly for dinner and it serves authentic Italian dishes.

a long table with chairs and lamps

Extra Virgin Seating

We started with the Affetatti Misti which came with cheeses and cured meats, as well as the meatballs and calamari. I liked the cured meats and meatballs but found the calamari to be too rubbery.

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A cool feature is that the pasta can be ordered in half sizes or full sizes if you’d like to try other items on the menu. So, I ended up getting a half portion of the Spaghetti Alle Vongole, and the Mediterranean Sea Bass for my main.

two plates of food on a table

Spaghetti Alle Vongole and Sea Bass

While I enjoyed the Spaghetti Alle Vongole the Sea Bass was too dry.

On a sweet note, I tried a chocolate olive oil cake and enjoyed the gelato and sorbet selections. They even had an affogato cart that rolled around to make it tableside!

a plate of desserts on a table

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, Chocolate Gelato & Rasberry Rose Sorbet

While I wish the Sea Bass and Calamari were a bit bitter, I still had a solid meal at Extra Virgin.

Gunbae

At Gunbae, you can experience the lively spirit of Korean BBQ where meat is grilled in front of you at your table. The entire experience begins with a complimentary round of soju for the table plus a drinking game. One note, tables are in sets of 6, so if you’re in a smaller group you’ll have to sit with strangers/new potential friends. It was open for dinner nightly, and this is the one I didn’t have time to try on my visit.

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Dining Options without Reservations

  • The Galley
  • The Dock House
  • Pizza Place
  • The Galley
  • Lick Me Til Ice Cream
  • Sun Club Cafe
  • Ship Eats (Room Service)

The Galley

The closest to a cruise ship buffet, it features a food hall concept, with a variety of culinary options ranging from delectable desserts, healthy salads, Ramen, and more, providing something for every palate in a casual and communal setting. The Galley is where you can grab a quick meal throughout the day. Self-serve beverage stations are spread across the seating areas.

Among the options available are a dedicated bakery and pastry shop, a panini shop, a burger grill, a taco shack, a sushi bar with bento boxes, a noodle bar, a soup and salad stand, and a 24-hour American-style diner where breakfast is served all day. I liked the galley concept, and had breakfast here one morning, as well as visited it for snacks and light bites throughout the voyage. All the items I got were pretty tasty, and the items that stuck out the most to me were the desserts. The desserts station looked amazing and as if I was at a Parisian patisserie.

a person standing behind a display case of desserts

Galley Desserts at The Sweet Side

Options at the Galley

  • Let’s Taco Bout It
  • Bento Baby
  • The Daily Mix
  • The Sweet Side
  • Noodle Around
  • Burger Bar
  • Hot off the Press
  • Diner & Dash (24 hours)

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They also had a cute cart if you wanted to order some champagne or indulge in free popsicles.

a pink food cart with wheels

I love the popsicles from this cart!

Below are some of the food items I indulged in. They were all quite tasty, and I enjoyed the variety of options they had.

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Dock House

One day, we had lunch at the dock house and it was a nice casual meal. Situated right on the ship’s aft, The Dock is a relaxed beach club-inspired venue serving up casual fare Mediterranean fare with al fresco dining & great ocean views. It was open in the afternoons on our voyage. It’s tapas style and you can order a bunch of small plates from the grill, and a Mezze Cart comes around with other dishes and desserts.

a patio with a couch and tables

Dock House

a clipboard with a paper on it

Dock Menu

a person holding a bowl of food

Mezze Cart

We decided to sample all of the open-fire grill offerings and selected a few options from the Mezze cart. The chocolate hummus from the Mezze Cart was unique and a nice sweet bite, and my favorites were the Chicken and Shrimp Skewers.

plates of food on a table

Open Fire Grill Skewers

Virgin Voyages Dining

Mezze Plates

Overall, it was a great casual lunch with great views!

Pizza Place

If you’re craving pizza, or need a late-night bite, you won’t be disappointed at this casual eatery that has made-to-order pizzas, as well as grab-and-go salads. I got pizzas for late night as they open until 2 am, and it was a perfect snack before bed.

a pizza in a box

Pesto Pizza

Lick Me Til Ice Cream

It’s located on deck 7 next to the Pizza Place, grab as much complimentary ice cream as your heart desires. I love the cheeky name, and the flavor selection was quite good.

a woman standing behind a counter with food on it

Lick Me Til Ice Cream

Social Club

Next to the arcade, it serves fairgrounds/carnival classics (like buffalo wings, hot dogs, and pretzels) and has TVs to watch sports. Many people were watching the NFL playoffs here one night. One day I tried the wings but sadly they were dry and not crispy.

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Sun Club Cafe

Located on deck 16, there’s the Sun Club Cafe that serves bowls, baos, and dips. I didn’t have a chance to grab a bite here, but it would be nice on a pretty day outside.

a white tables and chairs on a deck of a cruise ship

Sun Club Cafe

Ship Eats

Room service on Virgin Voyages is called Ship Eats and is available 24/7. There is a $7 delivery fee, but, you can get that fee waived with the addition of any chargeable item – like alcohol or specialty coffee, so you might as well get one of those and then get the fee waived. We didn’t find an opportunity to try Ship Eats on our voyage, but it was nice to have as an option. Next time!

Bars

You probably noticed I didn’t review my drinks from the restaurants. I didn’t drink a ton at dinner… and I generally saved my drinking time for the next part of this review…the bars! 

Bar Tab

There are no unlimited drink packages like other cruise lines, but you can save some money by pre-paying for a bar tab at least 24 hours before sailing. I liked this option as I’m not someone who drinks a ton. The options were:

Buy a $100 Bar Tab and get an extra $10, $200 get an extra $25. and $300 get an extra $50. We got $200 in case, and you can easily share it with someone else. My travel companion bought the bar tab, and we just charged my drinks to him. Bar Tabs can be used at all restaurants and bars on the ship, and Bimini.

On the Rocks

Under the Roundabout stairs, there is a cave-themed bar that also features live musical performances. 

a room with chairs and tables

On the Rocks

a bar with many bottles and glasses

On the Rocks Bar

a glass of liquid with a feather on top of it

On the Rocks Drink

They had a cute special drink with a feather in it!

Sip

This is the Champagne Lounge and probably the prettiest bar onboard. I love the seating areas, and would often come to sit just to lounge around.

a room with a pink couch and chairs

Sip Seating

a person pouring a drink into a glass

Sip Drinks

a bar with stools and lights

Sip Bar

Draught Haus

This was the local tap room serving beers.

a room with tables and chairs

Draught Haus

The Dock Bar

The inside portion of the Dock is a bar and lounge that has live music nightly. I loved the vibe of this space and enjoyed some drinks as well.

a room with tables and chairs

The Dock Bar

a room with a group of people sitting at tables and chairs

The Dock Live Music

a hand holding a glass of drinks

Drinks at the Dock

Manor Bar

Inside the nightclub space, there are bars, and they have special drinks for the themed nights. I particularly enjoyed the PJ Party Night, and the Pillow Shot was fun!

a menu on a table

PJ Party Specials

Other Bars:

Bars that I didn’t indulge for a drink at include The Loose Cannon, which is a nautically inspired bar, the Aquatic Club Bar, which is near the pool, Gy,m and Tonic Bar, which offers smoothies, juices, and a full bar next to the fitness center, the Sun Club Bar on deck 16 and the Athletic Club Bar. The Casino also has a bar as well.

Overall, there are plenty of bars and lounges on the Scarlet Lady to keep you hydrated.

Coffee

For coffee lovers, like the person I was traveling with, there’s the Grounds Club that serves coffee and espresso drinks.

a group of people standing behind a counter in a restaurant

Grounds Club

The Verdict

Overall, the Virgin Voyages dining options were great, and eating at a specialty restaurant each night makes it feel like you’re in the city eating at nice restaurants. I much prefer this to having the same dining room food for the whole journey on other cruise lines. There’s a great variety of restaurants, casual dining, and bars onboard Virgin Voyages, and I can’t wait to sail with them again!

 

Have you been on the Scarlet Lady before? Or another Virgin Voyages ship? What did you think of Virgin Voyages Dining? Comment below!

 

Cheers,

Ty


As a Gold tier First Mate travel agent with Virgin Voyages, I’m happy to help make your cruise booking as seamless as possible. From helping you secure a reservation at the Wake, to gaining you priority boarding, I’m here to assist. Simply use my booking link to discover your next Virgin Voyage and I’ll assist you on your journey! Have any questions? Comment below or email me at takeofftotravel@gmail.com. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!