Virgin Valiant Lady review: Why Richard Branson’s new cruise ship is a foodie’s paradise

Megan Bull

After undertaking her maiden voyage from the Sea (pun intended), by Richard Branson last cruise ship – the valiant lady – has officially set sail for the summer of 2022.

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Taking you to your dream destinations, the luxury cruise liner is packed with everything you’ll need for an ocean adventure – think decadent restaurants, an array of immersive festival-worthy entertainment and lavish facilities. spa and fitness.

With summer on the horizon, I came aboard for a memorable week-long voyage along the Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona and docking in Toulon, Marina di Carrara, Ajaccio, Cagliari and Ibiza.

Designed as an “at-sea sanctuary for travelers 18+” – I’m revealing exactly what I thought of Virgin’s newest cruise ship.

Prices start from £824.53 per sailor on Virgin’s Valiant Lady

Food was top notch

Having traveled with other cruise lines before in my teens, I already expected the food to be five star – and the Valiant Lady certainly delivered on that front.

Korean barbecue, Mexican, traditional Italian, plant-based and Mediterranean-inspired mezes are just a few of the many cuisines you can experience on board.

The ship’s Korean barbecue restaurant offers an immersive experience

Each restaurant had an impeccable menu, with staff happy to recommend their favorite dishes and wine pairings.

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My favorite restaurant by far was ‘The Wake’, which is described as offering ‘a fancy take on steak and seafood’. While sailors are encouraged to dress as formally or casually as they wish for dinner, as soon as you descend the dimly lit staircase you are immersed in a world of opulent mid-20th century interiors. .

Ultra-glam, champagne was served by the glass in a magnum bottle, while the menu offered a number of eclectic and decadent dishes worthy of an influencer feed. If you are determined to sample all the restaurants on board, this is by far my top recommendation.

My favorite restaurant on the boat – The Wake

Of course, if you’re looking to keep things low-key, there were plenty of bars to visit for lunch or a light bite. I have personally completed the menu at Pizza Place – with no regrets – where each pizza is handmade from scratch.

The pizza is handmade from scratch

The main hot spot of the day was undoubtedly The Galley – an elegant food hall with a dedicated bakery and patisserie, a panini shop, a burger grill, a taco shack and a sushi bar serving up lunch boxes. bento. I’m not going to lie, I always have amazing food withdrawals!

My only concern would be for travelers on a vegan diet. Although there is a dedicated and delicious plant-based restaurant on board – Razzle Dazzle – sailors who dined at other restaurants on board had few vegan options to choose from, which may limit the taste of the culinary experience.

The cabins are super luxurious

I admit that before boarding the Valiant Lady, I was a little nervous about what the cabins would be like. I still had a years-old memory of battling seasickness with a can of ginger ale in a claustrophobic storage room, so I hoped Virgin’s equivalent would be much more spacious – and I wouldn’t have Couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised.

The cabins are spacious and modern

Light and airy, the rooms are stunningly modern and adorned with pops of Virgin’s ‘cherry red’ color palette. I was assigned a sea terrace room with a comfortable balcony for two and lots of storage space, which if you know me well you will know I really need it!

The best thing about the room was the high-tech tablet that handled everything from the 43-inch 4K flatscreen – which has a library of BTW movies and TV – to the mood lighting and the room curtains.

Rooms have different mood light settings

The only thing I ever struggled with was remembering the room key – AKA the assigned waterproof bracelets that are given to every Virgin sailor.

While the nautical-themed design was extremely cute as an accessory, every twenty minutes or so I found my wristband coming off, and looking back, the classic room keys you normally get in hotels and on most boats cruising are definitely easier to follow.

You will NEVER be bored on the Valiant Lady

I’m a creature of habit, usually after five days of sitting by the pool I start to miss the comforts of my home, but with so much to do on the boat I never got bored.

On The Rocks – one of the ship’s many stylish bars

There are endless bars, a signature nightclub inspired by Richard Branson’s history in the music industry, a multifaceted theater with nightly shows, an arcade full of retro classics, and a busy main street. souvenirs and tempting clothes, as well as a tattoo parlor and hairdressing beauty bar, to name a few.

Excursions are well worth the money

Outside the ship, each port you dock in offers plenty of excursions, which you can book as a ‘Shore Thing’ on the Virgin app. There was certainly a wide selection of things to do, from food and wine tastings to underground historical tours, bike rides or visiting A-list favorite beach clubs, but if you’re planning on to explore at your own pace, you might find it hard to get around some ports without an expensive taxi.

The destinations were beautiful

One of our stops was Marina di Carrara – a town in Tuscany. Offering great panoramic views from the boat, once we got off we quickly realized that it would be impossible to walk around and find a nice place to have an aperitif. It’s worth booking excursions to a few of your dream destinations if you can, otherwise you might miss out.

Would I travel with Virgin Voyages again?

Absolutely! An interesting holiday for 18+, I would specifically recommend the Valiant Lady to any couples looking for a well deserved getaway this summer. The food definitely brought the wow factor more than anything else, but the staff, facilities and beautiful destinations were also top notch.

How much does it cost to sail the Valiant Lady?

The Valiant Lady is specifically aimed at sailing around the Mediterranean, and there are a number of different destinations to choose from.

Prices start from £824.53 per sailor. To book your trip, visit

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