Virgin Voyages’ new ship creates such a dilemma.
Or maybe ia brilliant plan cooked up to perfection.
Virgin Voyages’ new cruise ship Valiant Lady — the second in the new cruise line’s fleet — offers so many restaurants and fantastic dining options that you would need to cruise again and again on the ship to properly indulge in all the creative cuisine.
Here is the Cruise Addicts definitive guide to the restaurants on Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady.
The ship offers more than 20 options for dining. You’ll find all sorts of international flavors but no big buffets or main dining rooms. Virgin Voyages really stands apart from the regular cruise concept when it comes to feeding its guests.
Plus, all of these eateries are included in your cruise fare. That’s right: no added fees for any of the specialty restaurants onboard Valiant Lady.
This is the ship’s traditional surf and turf restaurant, with a menu that most closely resembles what cruisers are familiar with in a main dining room.
This is a beautiful space at the aft of the ship, and the entrance descends a gorgeous winding staircase below a huge bank of decorative hanging chandelier lights. It makes for a dramatic way to start your meal, entering the restaurant from Deck 7 down to Deck 6.
Passengers can indulge in the raw bar or traditional steak and seafood classics.
You can get a nice brunch here that features a small menu with eggs benedict specialties. We were disappointed that you can’t get eggs to order here during the brunches, so no scrambled or simple omelets even for those who don’t prefer eggs Benedict.
This is the Italian restaurant on Valiant Lady. We enjoyed a great meal here that started with a basket of delicious fresh bread and a charcuteries board with a range of savory salamis, cheeses and chutney.
We arrived early for our reservation and had a drink at the bar before being escorted to our table.
After our delicious apps (which also included braised mini meatballs), we still had room to indulge in main courses of pasta (I had a pappardelle bolognese), a brussels sprouts and polenta dish and a porcini-rubbed New York strip steak.
The Test Kitchen
This one might not be for everyone, but it’s worth a try. The Test Kitchen is operated in a huge space that looks like a laboratory, complete with staffers in lab coats. The dining experience takes diners on a journey into molecular gastronomy, with the chefs creating a set six-course menu offering an array of flavors.
Our dinner included courses of mushroom mousse, a smoky egg and peas, scallop, venison fillet and a chilled semifreddo blue cheese preparation that was a creamy delight. We also eagerly plunged our spoons into the mouthwatering chocolate layer-cake dessert.
This restaurant is universally loved among all the passengers I met. Gunbae is a fun Korean barbecue experience. Servers prepare your main dishes on a heating dish in the middle of a table that seats up to six people. This is a lively evening of eating, and you also choose small bites like seaweed salad and crispy chicken. You also can pick from rice, noodles and stew to accompany your main course. We had bibimbap, kimchi stew and stir-fried vegetables, egg and vermicelli noodles.
I chose the chef’s combo of pork belly, short ribs and shrimp, and our server deftly flipped the meats, onions and peppers into the sizzling flameless grill.
We also had a blast with interactive games and shots of soju while we dined. The staff does a wonderful job of making this a festive and memorable experience.
This is the Mexican restaurant on Valiant Lady. Pink Agave is an inviting space with a variety of seating styles, including larger tables in more intimate nooks. The décor exudes the colorful and vibrant street scenes found in Mexico City.
The eatery features the largest variety of mezcals and tequilas found at sea, and they are used to help create a wide range of craft cocktails to be paired with authentic Mexican specialties. The menu offers small and medium plates good for sharing, such as guacamole, spicy grilled corn and ship and potatoes, as well as main course like a juicy pork pibil, pescado (fish) and chicken enchiladas.
Billed as a vegetarian-forward eatery, Razzle Dazzle offers a wide range of creative vegetarian and vegan options for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The space also offers the Red Bar, an all-red lounge area for music and events during the evenings.
Breakfasts are spectacular with menu items like avocado toast, coconut milk brioche french toast, smoked cheddar jalapeno croissant, acai bowls and malted buckwheat waffles. Plus, the variety of healthy smoothies (for a fee) are great choices for fitness-focuses cruisers.
The menu also offers Impossible burgers, black garlic bowtie pasta, ginger beer chicken, and fish and chips, as well as whole roasted heirloom cauliflower. Loaded tots and shishito peppers are popular sides.
While veg-focused, the menu also has a “Naughty” section with a salmon bowl, cobb salad with chicken and fried chicken sandwich.
Razzle Dazzle also has a wonderful array of desserts, especially the cookies, cheesecake and rainbow churros.
The Dock House/The Dock
Located at the aft of the ship on Deck 7, The Dockhouse is a bar and lounge area inside the ship, and The Dock is the cozy outer deck. These spaces have a relaxing resort feel, and the food options are delicious mezze (small plates) that are great for sharing. The dishes are Mediterranean-inspired creations like grilled octopus, goat cheese polenta and fire-roasted chicken thighs. Mezze carts offer ready-to-grab items like watermelon and feta, cauliflower couscous, beet hummus and black babaganoush.
The Sun Club Café
This small eatery sits outside on Deck 16 and serves as a convenient spot to grab a snack for cruisers who are out enjoying the sunshine and pool areas.
This café features Hawaiian poke bowls served over greens or rice.
The Social Club Diner
Hot dogs of all kinds are featured here. The menu features the reuben, which is layered with pastrami, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. You can also try the Philly, Chicago or a vegan hot dog. We also ordered up some wings. Popcorn is available to munch on while you play board or bar games or watch sports on the two big TVs.
A sweets case features chocolates, cake pops and other sugary treats, too.
This is a hip food hall with a dizzying array of tasty options. Each of these venues has fresh-made goodies. You can stroll through here and find something to satisfy any craving. The venue is filled with a variety of seating, in a bright space with nice views outside. You can also sit outside at the very aft of the ship. The Galley also features charging outlets at some of the seats and counters. So, you can charge your phone or device while dining.
It has the feel of a vibrant diner.
Check out the variety of food stations in this large space on Deck 15.
Noodle Around is a noodle bar features pho and ramen bowls.
Bento Baby offers grab-and-go sushi and other pre-prepped meals for breakfast (mixed berries), lunch and dinner.
Let’s Taco Bout It is the taco stand, and I always grabbed the tacos al pastor from here when enjoying lunch in The Galley. It has avocado burritos or chorizo burritos for breakfast, too.
Diner & Dash has all-day breakfasts hot off the grill, with all kinds of omelets available. There is a hot roast beef sandwich for dinner, as well.
Burger Bar is just what it says. You can get burgers and fries, including an Impossible Burger.
The Sweet Side is the station for tasty desserts. Cookies, cakes, pies and muffins — in addition to fresh fruits.
Well Bread features all kinds of freshly baked breads, rolls and bagels.
Hot Off the Press specializes in paninis, with standards like the turkey and Swiss or pastrami on rye and creative sandwiches like a crunchy PB&J on brioche or buffalo mozzarella.
The Daily Mix is a salad station, where you can create your own or ask for special concoctions. The menu includes chicken Caesar, Greek, spinach and quinoa and mixed green salads, and you can add proteins like chicken, tuna and eggs.
The Pizza Place
This pizza joint is located on Deck 7 and features a simple menu of pizzas (white truffle and egg, pepperoni, chicken pesto, white pie and classic cheese). They are small enough for one person to finish on their own if you have a decent appetite. Plus, the pizzas are all made fresh to order, to be enjoyed around the ship (ask for it to go) or at the cozy little eatery that has indoors seating and wonderful outdoors tables and seating on the promenade.
Lick Me Till Ice Cream
Located close to the Pizza Place, this ice cream kiosk offers decadent and creamy flavors served in a dish or cones (try the red velvet cone).
This is the ship’s coffee shop on Deck 7, and it’s worth a mention in our food guide for the fresh-made cookies, brownies and muffins you will be tempted to grab anytime you walk past.
This is a quite an array of food choices, huh?
We hope you can sail onboard Valiant Lady soon and try them all.