No Buffet? No kidding.
When Sir Richard Branson announced he was building a cruise line, he made it clear that his sleek, yacht-like new ships would break out of the traditional cruise ship mold. He wasn’t kidding.
The latest news from Virgin Voyages is a reveal about Scarlet Lady dining options, their first ship due to launch in 2020. Yes, there’ll be no traditional buffets as we’ve come to know them. The entire dining scheme is set to simulate dining in the city. Cooked-to-order dishes, international culinary options, décor that dazzles the senses and ample opportunities for “adult” beverages. Plus, no additional surcharge for what’s become known as specialty restaurants.
“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. Sailors are not going to want to leave our ship after they experience how we’ve designed our restaurants and tasted the dishes we are going to be serving up in 2020,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
According to the latest updates, it’s out with a main dining room, forced formal wear, assigned seating and dining times. Restaurants will stay open, in some cases, into the wee hours of the morning.
Here’s what we know about Scarlet Lady dining
- WAKE- offers sailors (Virgin’s name for passengers) a dramatic view of the ship’s wake. Serving steak and seafood, Wake is the most glamorous restaurant on the ship complete with a dramatic grand staircase entryway.
- RAZZLE DAZZLE- Razzle Dazzzle will serve creative vegetarian fare and have a juice bar. The “nice” menu offers plant-based vegetarian and vegan dishes. The “naughty” side enables sailors to order meat “add-ons” and add booze to the smoothies. Even more dazzling will be the Drag Brunch, with a performance by the Scarlet Lady’s resident drag performer and friends.
- THE TEST KITCHEN – Inspired by Escoffier’s Ma Cuisine, this laboratory-like eatery is part cooking school and part restaurant. Menus will look like an ingredient list that the chef combines to create the meal.
- GEONBAE- Geonbae is a Korean BBQ restaurant hosted by the loudest servers at sea. Every meal begins with a complimentary round of soju for the table and Korean drinking games are encouraged.
- PINK AGAVE- Offering a wide variety of Mexican specialties that inspire sailors to discover authentic Mexican flavors including tlayudas, memelas, sopes, tortas, esquites, and tamales.
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- EXTRA VIRGIN- Extra Virgin serves regionally-inspired Italian dishes with handmade freshly-made pasta. Every meal begins with shared antipasti.
- DOCK- Set in the ship’s sun-dappled lounging area at the aft of the ship on deck 7, The Dock is a beach club-inspired space serving Mediterranean small plates, salads, dips and mezzes throughout the day.
- THE GALLEY- The Galley will be the go-to place for a quick and casual meal throughout the day. Along with more than eight shops and food carts, The Galley will also include a bakery and pastry shop. Plus 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 diner.
- THE PIZZA PLACE- The name says it all. Traditional pizza combinations or design your own.
If Scarlet Lady dining isn’t enough to shake up traditional cruising, the their new tattoo parlor at sea is bound to raise the bar. Virgin Voyages is also offering the chance to win a free cruise by entering on their website.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com and self-appointed “expert” on cruises, trains and solo travel. By sharing news and reviews plus my cruise and travel experiences, I hope to entertain, inform and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Be sure to enjoy a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.