Virgin Voyages abandons ‘boring buffets and main dining rooms’

No extra charges will be imposed for eating at any of the 20-plus dining venues on board Virgin Voyages’ first ship Scarlet Lady.

The disclosure came as the start-up adults-only line detailed the designs for on board restaurants, lounges and casual dining.

Virgin Voyages “does not believe in paying more for great food” and is ditching the traditional supplements levied when dining in speciality restaurants at sea.

All eateries on board have been created “to offer exceptional made to order eats” and the company has “opted to include all restaurant food in the voyage fare”.

Virgin Voyages will ban single-use plastics for passengers and there will be no buffet on board the ship.


The company claims it will be able to “significantly reduce” waste and reinvest savings into clean technology and quality products for passengers.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said: “There’s a Virgin twist on everything you’ll see aboard the Scarlet Lady, which means there will be no stuffy formalities, boring buffets and no main dining rooms.”

The 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady is due to enter service on Caribbean itineraries from Miami in 2020 as the newest ship sailing to Havana on selected cruises.

The line aims to bring city-like eating to sea and “throw out the traditional cruise dining rule book”, with no buffet, no main dining room, no forced formal wear, no assigned seating or dining times.


Restaurants will be open until late into the night and some until the early hours of the morning

President and CEO Tom McAlpin said: “We want our eateries to delight and ignite serendipitous experiences, so have set out on a mission to capture the spirit of dining in the best cities of the world and bring it to sea.

“Because food is the fuel for our bodies and souls, and we’re Virgin Voyages, naturally it all had to be included within your ticket price.”

The dining option include:

Wake – Situated in a 5,866 square foot space at the aft of the ship with views of the ship’s wake, the restaurant aims to serve a “theatrical take” on steak and seafood in an experience inspired by The Wolseley – London and The Grill – New York.

Razzle Dazzle – With an interior scheme that nods to the namesake, the bold camouflaging of ships from World War One using patterns of black and white paint, Razzle Dazzle will offer vegetarian and vegan food plus a juice bar

The Test Kitchen – Offering “avant-garde cuisine,” the laboratory-like eatery is part cooking school and part restaurant. Chef-driven set menus will be presented in the form of an ingredient list to passengers who discover how the chef combines the list of flavours throughout the course of the meal.

Geonbae – A Korean barbecue restaurant “hosted by the loudest servers at sea”. Each meal will begin with a complimentary round of soju for the table with passengers encouraged to take part in lively Korean drinking games.

Pink Agave – A Mexican restaurant designed to be a lively shared plate experience, where the DJ amps up the energy of the room as the evening hours slip away.


Extra Virgin – A trattoria serving regionally-inspired Italian food with handmade fresh pasta made daily.

Dock – A beach club-inspired space offering Mediterranean small plates, salads, dips and mezzes.

The Galley – Modelled on popular food halls where visitors can taste food from different restaurants, this will be the main space for quick and casual meals throughout the day with more than eight shops and food carts including a bakery and pastry shop, panini shop, burger grill, taco shack, sushi bar with bento boxes, noodle bar, a soup and salad stand, and a 24-hour American diner.

The Pizza Place – Passengers can design bespoke pizzas in a beach club-inspired designed space.

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