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How to eat healthily on a cruise – best bars and restaurants for your goals

Virgin Voyages has set itself apart from other cruise lines since its inception and this applies to food and drinks onboard, too. No longer do you have to submit to inevitable weight gain and unhealthy eating, this is how to do culinary wellness the Virgin way.

Cruise vacations – well, getaways in general – can be a bit of a nightmare for the waistline. It can be near impossible to refuse that second trip to the buffet or that delicious-looking dessert.

However, by traveling with wellness-savvy brands like Virgin Voyages cruises, staying healthy and in shape doesn’t have to mean a week of deprivation and limp salads.

For starters, Virgin Voyages’ ships – two are currently in action, Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, with third vessel Resilient Lady imminently on the horizon this year – don’t have buffets at all. Nope, they’ve done away with traditional cruise dining options and offer over 20 separate eateries instead, so whether you’re after steaks, tacos or soups, Virgin Voyages food has you covered.

What’s more, all Virgin Voyages food is fresh and made-to-order, rather than mass-produced, while vegan and gluten-free options are always available, all created from the freshest ingredients. Oh, and there are several Michelin-starred chefs behind the scenes so you know you’re getting the highest quality healthy nosh!

The most exciting news of all, though, is that all this food is included, so you never have to worry about putting a dent in your piggy bank whilst weighing up your meal of choice.

Hydration is also super easy as essential drinks are all part of the package – think still and sparkling water, non-pressed juices, sodas, teas and drip coffee.

So, which Virgin Voyages eateries and bars are best if you’re looking to stick to a nourishing diet?

Virgin Voyages food: Healthy restaurants and bars

The Daily Mix

This spot in The Galley – Virgin’s floating fresh food market – serves up an array of healthy bites all day. Expect yoghurt and oatmeal dishes in the morning and then soups and salads for lunch and dinner.

Sun Club Cafe

Here, sailors – as Virgin Voyages likes to call its guests – can tuck into fresh, tasty and healthy bowls of marinated tuna, chicken and salmon over greens or rice. These dishes are high in lean protein and healthy fats – ideal for anyone sticking to their goals!

Razzle Dazzle Restaurant

If you’re trying to cut back on meat or are a fully-fledged vegetarian, then this eatery will suit you well. Razzle Dazzle offers a “nice” menu complete with plant-based veggie dishes (as opposed to the “naughty” meats and treats).

The Dock House

This casual Mediterranean restaurant is an elegant and cosy dining choice. The menu is wide-ranging but offers fresh fish as well as detox-friendly cocktails.

Gym & Tonic

This juice bar whizzes up wellness drinks perfect for anyone who has worked up a sweat in neighboring B-Complex, where you can, as Virgin puts it, build, burn and bike.

The gym is dedicated to weights, stretching, core exercises and a yoga studio offering an extensive array of free group fitness classes. Alternatively, why not indulge and book yourself in with a PT?

Then, head to Gym & Tonic to hydrate with made-to-order shakes, fresh or cold press juices or Reset Cocktails.

The juice bar is near the Well-Being Pool, too, so you can take a soothing dip after sipping on your ginger-lemon-banana-kale-acai-tumeric-protein booster.

On the Rocks

OK, this bar focussing on aged spirits poured over ice might not be ostensibly the place to feel virtuous but you are on vacation after all. The best thing about this joint, though, is the expert mixologists manning the drinks. Just tell the bartender what you want (and what you don’t) and have a divine beverage whipped up just for you to suit your needs.

Virgin Voyages spa

Virgin Voyages: Wellness

If you do fear you’ve overindulged and gone overboard (no pun intended) then remember you can easily head to the spa and sweat it out.

The Redemption Spa will make you feel well again in no time. The Thermal Suite includes a mudroom, salt room, saunas, steam room, hot and cold plunge pools (who needs caffeine to wake up?) and heated marble hammam benches.

There are also oodles of treatments to choose from so you can relieve any sore muscles from your workout in the expert hands of a masseuse.

Virgin Voyages even offers IV therapy if you’re after Medi-spa services, along with botox, fillers and more.

With all these fabulous food, drink and wellness options, you might even return from your cruise vacation healthier than when you left! No wonder Virgin likes to call it Vitamin Sea.

Set sail

Riviera Maya with Virgin Voyages

When: August 14

Duration: 5 nights

Where: Miami • Cozumel – Playa del Carmen • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami

How much: £1,379.92 (starting price per cabin)

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Published 05.24.22