Virgin Voyages scraps buffets

Posted on Nov 09, 2018

by in Cruise News

Virgin Voyages has released its food and beverage program for flagship Scarlet Lady, and it’s turning heads. When the ship sails in 2020, the Scarlet Lady will have zero buffets. Instead, the cruise line has stated it will include onboard restaurants in the cruise fare.

Where to eat and drink on Virgin Voyages’ maiden voyage

The options are plentiful, as Scarlet Lady boasts no fewer than 20 restaurants on board. Specialty restaurants include:

  • Razzle Dazzle, a restaurant and juice bar founded on vegetarian dishes (and featuring drag queen brunches)

  • Wake, a massive ultra-upscale surf-and-turf restaurant with ocean views

  • Test Kitchen, featuring food and drink tasting menus, designed with a clean, minimalist palette

  • Geonbae, a Korean BBQ where every meal begins with complimentary shots of soju

  • Extra Virgin, a family-style Italian restaurant with a modern touch

  • Pink Agave, an upscale Mexican eatery accented with rose stone tables

The Galley: Virgin Voyages’ answer to the cruise buffet

The Galley is a market-style communal space centered on food made fresh. It boasts a taco bar, bakery, panini shop, 24-hour American diner, and a sushi bar.

“All our food will be made to order,” said the cruise line in a statement. “In doing this, we’re cutting back on waste, drastically lowering our energy usage and emissions, and setting up the Scarlet Lady to be the future of sustainable sea travel.”

Care for a drink?

The Red Bar, home to Scarlet Lady’s resident songstress, also houses a well stocked bar.

According to Virgin, the Red Bar serves up “the perfect blend of naughty and nice.” Guests who want to be good can choose from a variety of fresh-pressed juices. Those wishing to indulge can opt for “an exceptional selection of clarified cocktails that vary every night.”

No reservations? No problem

Virgin Voyages is tossing the rulebook overboard in more ways than one. Not only will there be no all-you-can-eat buffet onboard, there are also no set meal times. Nor will cruisers find a dress code or assigned seating keeping them from their gourmet goals.

It’s all part of owner Richard Branson’s vision for the cruise line. To attract a younger, less typical cruise crowd, Branson is appealing to dining customs passengers are already familiar with.

“We want to get people who’d never dream of going on a cruise ship,” said Branson in a 2017 interview.

With an onboard tattoo parlor and food made fresh, there may be a method to the madness.

Virgin Voyages is expected to launch its first cruise from Port Miami in 2020.