Virgin Voyages Restaurants (Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship)
Summary: In this post, I’ll be giving an overview of all the restaurants on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady cruise ship along with my recommendations of which ones you shouldn’t miss on your Virgin Voyages cruise.
For some context, I have been on many ocean cruises, but I don’t usually like them very much. It seems that everyone in my life LOVES cruises, so I’ve ended up on at least five (there were more when I was younger that I don’t remember) which seems like a high number for a self-proclaimed non-cruiser. I think this gives me a unique perspective because I am openly critical about the cruises I’ve taken that caused me to have this anti-cruise mindset.
Part of the reason I try to convince my friends and family to try any vacation besides a cruise is because of the food. I’ve tried three different cruise lines before Virgin Voyages and I always found their food to be so disappointing. It’s similar to the mid-tier all inclusive resorts. They already have your money, so they aren’t going to go all out on amazing food or service.
After dining at the restaurants on Virgin Voyages, I have humbly changed my mind. There are many reasons why this was the best cruise I’ve ever taken, but the biggest one is the quality of the food. I was thoroughly impressed.
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Restaurants
In total, Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady ship has over 20 restaurants and eateries, and NONE of them are traditional buffets which I really appreciated. Yes, they still have food available whenever you want it, but it’s just in a nicer atmosphere.
If you couldn’t tell yet, this is something I find myself very passionate about. I’m not kidding when I say the last cruise I took had one of those big buffet rooms and one of their offerings was a hotdog pizza. Literally cheese pizza with a sliced up hot dog on top. That’s just not something I can get behind.
Do I Need to Make a Reservation?
I would highly recommend making a reservation for any of the more formal restaurants you want to eat at as soon as it becomes available in the Virgin Voyages app (45 days before departure, or 60 days if you book the RockStar package). We waited until a couple weeks before our departure day and a lot of the reservation times were already taken, so most of ours ended up being around 8-9pm.
Technically, you don’t have to make a reservation. You can try to just walk in and/or sit at the bar, but some of these are too good to leave to chance! I’d reserve if you can.
Restaurants you should make a reservation for: The Wake, Gunbae, Razzle Dazzle, The Test Kitchen, Extra Virgin, and Pink Agave. All the others are more casual and you can just walk right up.
How Much Food Do You Get?
All the food on board is included in your cruise package. This means you can order as many appetizers, main dishes, sides, and desserts as you’d like! Of course, try not to order more than you’ll eat, but if you want to try multiple things, that is totally okay.
The portions were a good size, but not huge. For each meal, I ordered an appetizer, a main dish, a side or two, and a dessert. I usually left pretty full because everything was delicious!
If you order your food, finish it, and find yourself still hungry, don’t be afraid to order more. Our waiters were more than happy to accommodate us with whatever we needed.
What if I’m Celebrating Something Special?
The cruise we took was a trip to celebrate everyone in my friend group turning 30 this year! So, we decided to dedicate each day of the cruise to being a different person’s birthday. This meant we got to celebrate birthdays every night at a different restaurant and cruise party!
When we told our waiters we had a birthday girl in the group, they usually brought us a special dessert which was chocolate mousse with a white chocolate whale tail sticking out of it. It was always the same, but it was a cute little way to celebrate each one of us!
Here are all the restaurants available on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady:
The Wake is tied with Gunbae (see below) as my favorite restaurant on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady. It was our first real food experience on board and it blew me away! It’s a steakhouse, so I got the filet mignon with asparagus, a twice-baked potato, and the himachi crudo to start. For dessert, I had baked Alaska and the birthday chocolate mousse.
If you like steak or seafood, The Wake is a MUST for you.
Gunbae is the other favorite restaurant of mine. It is Korean BBQ which is one of my favorite types of food that I rarely get after moving out of a big city. For meat, we got the chef’s combo which was a mix of kalbi (beef short ribs), pork belly, and shrimp. As soon as I told the waitress how much I loved kalbi, she immediately put another order in for us.
Our waitress was very helpful when ordering the sides. She took our order and then brought everyone an extra side that she thought we’d like. I ended up loving the crispy chicken and seafood pancake.
Aside from the food being delicious, Gunbae is deemed the loudest restaurant on the Scarlet Lady! This is because they make you shout “GUNBAE” as loud as you can while they cook the meat at the table for you. They even give you a free bottle of plum wine to play drinking games with while you wait for your food. There’s not doubt that this restaurant was the most fun!
With how long this list is, I would have had to eat two dinners and two lunches each day to try every restaurant which sounds fun, but ultimately, didn’t happen. Razzle Dazzle is one spot we didn’t get to try, but the best way I can describe the menu is comfort food. You can find anything from fried chicken to ravioli to fish & chips.
Pink Agave is another spot we regrettably didn’t try. It mainly offers elevated Mexican food along with a vibrant atmosphere meant to transport you to the lively streets of Mexico City. Here, you’ll find things like enchilladas, guacamole, pato (roasted duck), marinated ribeye steak, and more.
This is a spot we tried to make a reservation for, but none of the available times worked for our schedule. Extra Virgin is the Italian restaurant on the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady ship. This is probably a bit self-explanatory, but you’ll find everything from meatballs to pasta to sea bass on this menu. They even have tableside affogato (gelato topped with espresso).
The Test Kitchen
The Test Kitchen was the one restaurant I really wish we could have gone to that we didn’t. If I ever take a cruise with Virgin again, I will be making this reservation as soon as I can because it sells out quickly. This is both a restaurant and an unconventional cooking school. The ever-changing menu is presented as a list of ingredients and the chefs explore different ways of cooking and presenting each dish. It sounds like an incredible, unique experience!
The Dock and The Dock House
Back to restaurants I did get to go to! The Dock is a outdoor restaurant that is a great place to go for food or drinks if you know you’ll be passing great views. It’s also a great spot for sunset (although, it does get crowded at this time). The Dock House is it’s indoor counterpart that you’ll actually walk through on your way to The Dock. Both spaces are cozy and fun, but if the weather is nice, I’d highly recommend the Dock.
The menu for both spaces is the same – Mediterranean. This is where you’ll find “Opa Hour,” which is a Greek-inspired menu from 4:30-6:30pm. This is what we went for. We tried just about everything on the Greek menu and it was all delicious. I’m sure the regular Mediterranean menu was great, too.
The Pizza Place
The Pizza Place was our late night go-to after Scarlet Night or the PJ Party. They had the classics as well as a few elevated flavors. No hotdog pizzas here! Each pizza was made-to-order in a wood-burning oven and they were better than I ever imagined they’d be! The perfect lunch or late night snack.
The Galley is a magical place that is Virgin’s way of replacing the traditional cruise buffet. Most cruises have a huge room dedicated to buffet-style dining where you can get food any time of the day. On the Scarlet Lady, however, The Galley is very similar to a food court in a mall, but everything is free!
You can walk past each individual stand to see what they have to offer and then walk right up to the person behind the counter and let them know what you want. Just like any other restaurant on board, you can order as much as you want. You can also choose to eat it in The Galley, or take it back to your room!
We went to The Galley for most breakfasts. We also came here for a few late night snacks when the selection is limited, but you can still find some comfort food after a few drinks!
Lick Me Til…Ice Cream
We’ve come to the eatery with the best name on board! This is a little ice cream stand that is open all day to help whenever the sweet tooth strikes. They have the classic flavors available as well as a few unique ones. I’ll admit, this wasn’t the best ice cream I’ve ever had, but it was a nice little mid-day treat.
The Social Club
The Social Club is a very casual bar-style area where you can find carnival classics like popcorn, pretzels, milkshakes, floats, and other sweet treats. This is a spot that you can easily stop by for a snack and keep walking, or sit down to enjoy it.
There was a Dolphins football game playing while we were sailing and this area was PACKED to watch it!
This is another spot that I really wish I had time to try. It’s tucked in The Galley and honestly not super easy to find unless you’re looking for it. Here, you’ll find all kinds of noodles, including ramen. While it was a little too warm for me to crave hot soup, I love ramen and would have definitely given it a try if I had the time.
ShipEats turns your room on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady into a restaurant of its own! It’s their 24-hour room delivery service which is perfect if you want to have a private meal on your balcony (maybe while sitting in the infamous red hammock) or if you just want breakfast in bed each morning.
Which Restaurants Will You Try?
We were only on the ship for 4 nights and managed to make it to The Wake, Gunbae, The Galley (several times), The Dock, The Pizza Place, and Lick Me Til…Ice Cream.
Which restaurants will you eat at on your next Virgin Voyages cruise on the Scarlet Lady? Let me know in the comments!
Read More About Virgin Voyages
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re planning your next cruise with Virgin Voyages and I have a few more posts you need to read! The first is a breakdown of the Virgin Voyages drink package situation (or lack thereof).
Virgin also does a couple of theme night parties on each cruise. The first is Scarlet Night, where everyone dresses in red. There’s also the Pajama Party to plan for. Each of these posts will share what you should expect at the parties, what to wear to them, and more!