Spending several days at sea with no control over your dietary options can feel overwhelming for folks with special diets and allergies. But with more cruise lines making an effort to accommodate different diets and prevent cross-contamination, cruising is easier than ever.
I recently checked out Virgin Voyages on an 8-night Caribbean cruise. I sailed on the Valiant Lady, but all four of Virgin Voyages’ ships (Valiant Lady, Resilient Lady, Scarlet Lady, and Brilliant Lady) have the same dining options.
As someone with lactose intolerance who follows a plant-based diet, I was impressed with how accommodating the cruise line was. There is certainly some room for growth, but as I mentioned in my review of Virgin Voyages’ vegan options, I would go on a Virgin Voyages cruise again.
Curious about Virgin Voyages’ food allergies and special diet menu options? You’ve come to the right place! Keep reading for an overview of how this new cruise line has responded to different diets, and understand whether it’s a good idea to book a sailing with Virgin Voyages.
Before you read on, make sure to bookmark these other Virgin Voyages guides to prep for your sailing:
★ Virgin Voyages Dress Code + Scarlet Night Outfit Ideas
★ The Ultimate Virgin Voyages Packing List
★ Virgin Voyages Drink Package (Bar Tab) Review + Drink Prices
★ Virgin Voyages Spa Prices + Thermal Suite Pass Guide
★ Virgin Voyages Vegan Guide
★ Eastern Caribbean Antilles Cruise Review
★ 7 Insider Tips to Enjoy Virgin Voyages’ Beach Club at Bimini
★ Cruise Port Guides
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Virgin Voyages Food Allergies and Special Diets Guide
Virgin’s warm welcome to folks with various food allergies and diets is just one of many ways the cruise line is innovating the cruise industry. All Virgin Voyages cruises have twenty dining options. They also do not have any buffets, meaning you always have an attentive waiter who can put in special requests for you with the chef.
Unfortunately, Virgin Voyages is not equally accommodating to all special diets and food allergy needs. For instance, it’s fairly easy to find vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food on Virgin Voyages. And Virgin is also very accommodating of anyone with a specific food allergy. However, the cruise line is not very accommodating to folks looking for halal and kosher meals.
The Virgin crew grilled my veggies first at Gunbae to make sure there was no cross-contamination with meat
Abundant vegan options at Virgin Voyages’ Bimini Beach Club
What it’s like ordering food with a special diet or allergy on Virgin Voyages
What impressed me most about my time on Virgin Voyages as a vegan was not the food itself (though there was plenty of delicious vegan food); it was how the crew responded when I mentioned my diet.
Anytime my husband and I sat down at a restaurant on board, the server would ask if we had any dietary restrictions. We’d always be met with smiles and assurances when we responded that we were vegan. The way the crew communicated and handled our special requests always instilled confidence in us.
When necessary, the crew will prepare food separately, and they are always stocked with special ingredients to make substitutions. Even if a restaurant menu seemed like it wouldn’t have any options for us, they always had something we could eat (some restaurants are better than others, though!)
Overview of Specific Diets and Allergies
Just a few of the many vegan-friendly options at Gunbae on Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages Food Allergies: Nut Allergy, Lactose Intolerance, Shellfish Allergy, etc.
As mentioned above, Virgin Voyages is accommodating to folks with food allergies.
If you need your food prepared separately, the crew will do it for you. You should be able to eat at every restaurant, but if you’re uncertain about your specific allergy, be sure to contact Virgin Voyages beforehand.
Virgin Voyages Gluten-Free Options
Whether you’re celiac or gluten-free by choice, you’ll be able to find gluten-free food to enjoy at every single restaurant on board. Virgin Voyages menus clearly mark gluten-free options, but many of the non-gluten-free menu items can also be made gluten-free by special request.
Virgin Voyages Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Like gluten-free folks, vegetarians and vegans can find something to eat at every single restaurant on board. Even restaurants that don’t have many veggie options on the menu (such as the Wake and Extra Virgin) will serve you plant-based food.
Vegan blueberry cheesecake from Razzle Dazzle
Vegan option at the Test Kitchen
Delicious vegan pizza (gluten free pizza is available!)
Other Special Diets on Virgin Voyages: Kosher, Halal, and More
As I mentioned above, Virgin Voyages is not (yet) able to accommodate kosher and halal meal requests. I hope this changes soon and Virgin Voyages becomes more inclusive.
Meal Options at Virgin Voyages’ Beach Club at Bimini
Most Caribbean Virgin Voyages cruises stop at Virgin’s iconic Beach Club at Bimini.
Lunch is served at the Bimini Beach Club (included in the price of the cruise). My husband and I were very happy with the diversity of vegan options available. The kitchen crew was willing to make even more menu options vegan-friendly by leaving off certain sauces.
Yummy oyster mushroom bao from the Sub Club Cafe
Final Thoughts: Virgin Voyages Food Allergies + Special Diets
Given my strict diet, I never thought taking a cruise would be worth it. When I travel, I prefer to have my own kitchen to prep food and always book accommodations near vegan-friendly restaurants.
But I took a chance and booked a cruise with Virgin Voyages, and it blew me away! I loved how accommodating the Virgin crew was to my dietary restrictions, and I really enjoyed most of the food I was served.
If you’re considering booking a Virgin Voyages cruise and have more questions about your specific food allergy or special diet, reach out to the Virgin Voyages team.
And if you’re getting ready for an upcoming Virgin Voyages cruise, be sure to check out my other Virgin Voyages travel guides, and make sure you have all your essentials! A few of my can’t-miss items for a Virgin Voyages cruise include:
Scarlet Night is one of the most iconic events on board. Make sure you have something red packed!
There is a pajama party on the first night of every Virgin cruise. Pack some cute pajamas!
You’ll need something to carry your things around the ship—and on cruise port days!
If you have any water adventures planned during port days, order a GoPro to capture those memories!
Essential Cruise Travel Resources
Have a cruise coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.