Guide to Eating Gluten-Free on Virgin Voyages

Travel Advisor Amy LaGrow-Rogers with her husband in front of a beach at sunset.
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Amy LaGrow-Rogers

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  • All-Inclusive Travel

  • Cruises

  • Food & Wine

  • Luxury Travel

  • Solo Travel

  • Gluten-free

  • Foodie

  • Relaxing

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Curator’s statement

"Sailing the Virgin Way" is an amazing experience. From the crew to the entertainment to the experience and absolutely to the food! As someone who has food allergies, oftentimes traveling can be hard. You are away from your tried and true places you know you can eat a safe meal. Virgin Voyages has gone above and beyond in the pursuit of inclusivity and this extends even to those of us with food allergies. I hope this guide will help you find all of the gluten-free treasures I found while sailing with Virgin Voyages.

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Where to stay on Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages

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Things to do on Virgin Voyages

outdoor pool surrounded by blue lounge chairs on a cruise ship deck

Enjoy relaxation time

Whether you are lounging in your hammock on your balcony, laying on a sunbed at Richard's rooftop, or one of the many other spaces on board...there is always somewhere you can relax and unwind. My favorite place was definitely the hammock on the balcony. Nothing like swaying in the breeze as you watch the water go by.

Get your workout on

Virgin Voyages has made working out easy and fun while you are on board. Their gyms are very spacious giving you lots of room to either lift some weights or do some cardio. All group workout classes are also included. From spin classes to HIIT style training to 80's style aerobics to Bungee classes, they all look so fun! My first voyage with Virgin was one of the first cruises in over 25 I've taken where I actually wanted to work out! I absolutely loved the Bungee classes. I was lucky enough to get into this class twice. You can book group workout classes once you are on board, I highly recommend doing it as soon as you are on the ship.

Watch one of the many shows they offer

There are so many different shows on board Virgin Voyages. Make sure you try to make it to as many as you can. Some of them are scheduled and some will just pop up out of nowhere! I loved that we could just be relaxing or walking through and all of a sudden there was a flash mob or a pop-up show. There are even "secret" shows that are by invitation only. Get to know the entertainment staff and you may just earn yourself an invite!

Play some old-school games

One of our favorite places to end up each evening is at the Social Club. Think old-school soda shop vibes. They had late-night snacks but also all kinds of games to keep you busy. There was air hockey, shuffleboard and a bunch of old-school board games to choose from. Our favorite was to go to the arcade where they had many classic arcade games we used to play as a child in the 80s and 90s. So fun and nostalgic!

Explore the ports of call

Virgin Voyages visit some really great places along the way. They offer many "shore things" aka excursions you can choose from. These will be listed on the app once you book your voyage. It is definitely recommended to purchase these in advance of the cruise as they can and will sell out. I'm always happy to help you review and decide on which one will be best for your group!

Places to eat & drink (gluten-free!) on Virgin Voyages

a cruise ship formal dining room with a large window

With over 20+ eateries, there are so many choices no matter what you are in the mood for! I was super impressed with the awareness of food allergies by everyone on board. When you first sit down every single time they ask if there are any food allergies or restrictions. Then every menu is labeled with what is already prepared gluten-free. In addition, the servers were very knowledgeable about what modifications could be made to give you even more options. Here are some of my favorites from some of the eateries!

Extra Virgin - The Italian restaurant was my favorite! I loved both the Carbonara and the Ragu with the gluten-free pasta. Both were delicious. Here's a little tip...they will give you half-size portions of the pasta so you can try more than one! They have delicious gelato available and if you ask, they'll bring you a trio sampler of all 3 flavors. They also have an Affogato cart if you like a coffee/ice cream combo.

Pink Agave - A Mexican tapas restaurant that serves small, medium and large plates. We really liked this restaurant as well! There were a lot of gluten-free options here and because they were mostly small plates, we were able to try most of the dishes between our two visits. Here are some of my recommendations: for small plates: guacamole and esquites; for medium plates: chicken enchiladas and potatoes with chorizo; for large plates: cochinita pibil (smoked pork) and the special lamb tacos (the best thing I ate the entire trip!)

Razzle Dazzle was an unexpected surprise. We really ended up liking it. So much so that we went back a second night for dinner and also had brunch there twice. For dinner, I'd recommend the crazy cobb salad and mimolette cheese tots. On the brunch menu, I'd recommend the acai bowl (not marked GF but it is), the razzle-dazzle breakfast and make sure you get a GF Banana muffin or two to go! These were so good!

The Wake - The Wake is the Steakhouse on board and it has a great atmosphere. It's open for brunch and dinner. I suggest going to the host early in your time on board and requesting a wake-view table for whenever you dine there. It's the best view! For brunch, I recommend french toast (made with GF bread of course). For dinner, I recommend the wedge salad, filet mignon or the king salmon. They offer the coconut almond panna cotta dessert at brunch and dinner. It was so good I had it both times!

The Test Kitchen is definitely a unique experience. This is a 6-course set menu where you only get a clue as to what ingredient is used in each course. You don't get to choose what you order. They bring everyone at the table the same thing for each course with the only exceptions being a vegetarian option and modified options for food allergies. They were able to accommodate a gluten allergy. On sailings of 7+ nights, they do change the set menu halfway through the sailing. So if you want to try both menus, make a reservation at the beginning and the end of your sailing.

The only Main restaurant we didn't eat at was Gunbae, the Korean BBQ restaurant. In my experience it's always been really hard to find anything truly gluten-free at Korean restaurants so we didn't even attempt it. It's a cool concept of grilling your own food around a large grill with other people - great way to meet people on board! They do have some gluten-free options so we'll definitely be trying it out on the next sailing!

The Galley has a ton of gluten-free options! I loved to go to the Galley for breakfast and lunch. You walk in and find a table and a server will bring you a menu. You can order from as many of the different eateries as you'd like at one time. The only two that you can walk up and order food from were The Sweet Side Dessert station, and Daily Mix to create your own salad. There is gluten-free bread available to substitute for any of the items that used bread. One of my favorites was the banana Nutella toast from Hot off the Press. You could also get avocado toast, PB&J, turkey & swiss, ham egg & cheese and more.

Bento Baby had great grab-and-go boxes for both breakfast and lunch. During breakfast there were fruit and yogurt boxes and lunch they offered different sushi bento boxes.

Let's Taco Bout It had GF fish, avocado and Al Pastor tacos. Diner & Dash is the only eatery available 24 hours a day besides room service and it was nice to be able to get breakfast any time of the day. Make sure to check out the nightly special they had for dinner each night.

As you exit The Galley there is a cooler with rotating items available to grab & go. These were great to bring back to the room and put in the refrigerator to have snacks later on the balcony. Most of these items were gluten-free and included things like veggies & hummus, yogurt and berries, granola bars, etc.

The Grounds Club offers great coffee drinks but they also carry pastries. It's not advertised but they do carry the same delicious banana muffins you can find at Razzle Dazzle. They keep them in a separate covered container behind the counter so you just have to ask and they'll get them for you. Sometimes they even had gluten-free cookies too.

The Pizza place advertised gluten-free pizza but I was really bummed on my sailing they didn't have any gluten-free dough. My Rockstar agent was even surprised so it must not happen very often. They did have some pretty great sounding options so hopefully this was just one-off and they'll have it available on future sailings. I look forward to trying it next time.

The Dock House has a Mezze Cart with many gluten-free options. This is a great place to grab an afternoon snack or as an appetizer before a late dinner. They have many things labeled gluten-free like falafel, baba ganoush, cauliflower couscous, watermelon and feta salad and grilled shrimp. There were also items that could be modified to be gluten-free like the chocolate hummus and strawberries (order it without the pretzels), the beet hummus ordered with veggies instead of lavash,and the chicken thigh without the pita. Definitely recommend checking out this relaxing lounge and the adjacent outside deck, The Dock.

The Social Club was our go-to late-night spot. We ended up here every night after dinner to play board games, video games, watch a game on TV or watch some Karaoke. It was nice to be able to grab a casual bite to eat here as well. You can order a hot dog minus the bun, popcorn or most of the items from their dessert case.

The Sun Club Cafe was a hidden gem. We were able to order from there while lounging at Richards Rooftop and they brought it right to us. They had rice bowls on the menu and although only one was marked GF on the menu, most of them were able to be modified to be gluten-free. I really enjoyed the 5 spice chicken bowl and wish I had gotten a chance to go back and try more.

Don't miss a stop at Lick me till...Ice Cream. They have a rotating menu of ice cream available daily. All of their flavors are clearly marked whether they are gluten-free or not. I tried to go every day and see if there was something new to try. I definitely recommend the Brown Butter Financier, it was my favorite. They, unfortunately, don't have gluten-free cones but will put your scoops in a cup upon request.

Ship Eats (room service) is available 24 hours a day. You can order breakfast from 5am-11am, and there is an all-day menu available from 11am-5am. For breakfast, they had all of your standard options like eggs and potatoes with your choice of bacon, sausage or salmon. They also had a frittata, fruits, yogurts and even some gluten-free pastries like blueberry muffins and toast. On the All Day menu, they offered a wedge salad, bass, steak, chicken and other items that could be modified to be gluten-free like burgers and pasta. Order from the app or give them a ring from your cabin phone and just sit back and relax on your balcony while you wait for it to be delivered.

There are so many gluten-free options on board you will not go hungry. Virgin Voyages takes a made-to-order stance on their food to reduce food waste. But this is also beneficial to those of us that need modifications made as well. Hats off to Virgin for taking the dining experience to the next level on their ships. Hopefully, you'll be able to enjoy it as much as we did!

Need to Know

Always included tems when sailing with Virgin:

- Over $600 in value is always included!

- Essential drinks: soda, tea, drip coffee and more.

- All 20+ eateries.

- Wifi.

- Gratuities.

- Group workouts.

- Shows & entertainment

Contact me to check out the current promotions available. Sometimes I have promotions that include FREE extra Sailor Loot or Bar Tab! Book with Amy.

Please visit my gluten-free Instagram page — @glutenfree_travelwithme — to view the highlight reel "Virgin Voyages" which features these restaurants and other gluten-free content from past travels!

For more gluten-free travel tips, check out Where to Eat Gluten-Free on The Big Island.

Travel Advisor Amy LaGrow-Rogers with her husband in front of a beach at sunset.

Travel Advisor

Amy LaGrow-Rogers

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This is part of our ongoing series on cruises.