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This cruise line is giving passengers $300 in free alcohol in November

Oct. 19, 2022
7 min read
Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady
This cruise line is giving passengers $300 in free alcohol in November
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If glitzy entertainment, free food and a few child-free days aren't enough, Virgin Voyages is tossing in $300 in free booze for anyone who books and sails during November.

The bonus is part of the line's inaugural Eat & Drink Month, which will feature special culinary events in partnership with some of the world's best chefs and mixologists on both Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady.

"We have created an incredible, award-winning product, and our food and drink continue to be a standout part of the experience," Virgin Voyages' president and CEO Nirmal Saverimuttu said in a statement. "Eat & Drink Month is a way for us to turn up the heat and celebrate [cruisers'] favorite part of coming aboard with a recurring event our guests can look forward to for years to come."

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Chefs Matt Lambert and Brad Farmerie, along with James Beard Award-nominated Silvana Salcido Esparza and Sohui Kim, are the masterminds behind the culinary offerings.

Miami's Unfiltered Hospitality and Charles Joly, beverage designer for the most recent Emmy Awards, are slated to head up mixology.

Eat & Drink Month promises specialty cocktails and menu items, as well as bookable events priced between $15 and $150 per person. They include dinner and wine pairings, cooking demonstrations and a sneak peek at a new menu that's set to launch in 2023.

Here's what cruisers can expect:

Eat

A waiter prepares dinner right at our table at Gunbae, Valiant Lady's Korean restaurant. ASHLEY KOSCIOLECK/THE POINTS GUY

Let's Mushroom Around: Learn how Virgin Voyages makes magic with mushrooms at this interactive demo at The Test Kitchen. Discover the techniques behind two of the brand's most iconic mushroom dishes. $25 per person.

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Sushi & Poke Demo: Grab chopsticks and see how Virgin rolls with this sushi and poke demo. Attendees get a taste of the ancient art of sushi-making and learn how to select sushi-grade fish and use a sushi knife before constructing their own cucumber avocado roll and tuna poke bowl. $25 per person.

Flavors Uncorked at The Wake: Chef Brad Farmerie lends his expertise to this incredible four-course menu and elevated wine pairing in the ship's most glamorous eatery, The Wake. A winner in the Wine Spectator 2022 Grand Awards, The Wake sets the stage for a beautiful fall-inspired celebration with handpicked labels from Napa Valley's Caymus Vineyards. $125 per person.

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Razzle Dazzle Menu Sneak Peek: Named after the camouflage pattern on World War I ships, Razzle Dazzle is offering passengers a "chef's choice" menu and an exclusive sneak peek into its new menu, launching in 2023. Food Network chef Eric Kim Haugen will bring his culinary genius to Razzle Dazzle's new American-inspired cuisine. During Eat & Drink Month, Virgin Voyages will crowdsource ideas, inviting passengers to help decide on the evolution of Razzle Dazzle's concept. Price included in the voyage fare.

Creative Collective, Sohui Kim: Known for New York City's The Good Fork, Insa and Gage & Tollner, Sohui Kim brings a taste of Korean tradition to the ships with her dynamic dumplings dish. Learn to make this delicious comfort meal at Gunbae, the only Korean barbecue at sea. Demo class with Sohui Kim offered on the Nov. 25 voyage on Scarlet Lady. $25 per person.

Creative Collective, Matt Lambert: Formerly of New York City's Michelin-starred restaurant The Musket Room, Matt Lambert created the original menu for The Test Kitchen and is back to wow passengers with an appearance at an onboard cooking demo. Meet Matt Lambert on the Nov. 13 sailing on Valiant Lady. $25 per person.

Creative Collective, Brad Farmerie: Known for the Big Apple's Michelin-starred Public and Saxon + Parole, Brad Farmerie created the limited-time Flavors Uncorked experience at The Wake. He also inspired Eat & Drink Month's three-course Mediterranean menu, offered at the nautical-chic Dock eatery and indoor Dock House. The three-course menu at The Dock & Dock House is included in the voyage fare.

Creative Collective, Silvana Salcido Esparza: Featured in Esquire and on Food Network, Silvana Salcido Esparza created the menu at Pink Agave and is back to offer an amuse bouche and an interactive guacamole demo. Silvana Salcido Esparza is setting sail on Scarlet Lady Nov. 16-18 and on Valiant Lady Nov. 19-27. $25 per person.

Drink

Virgin Voyages' mobile app allows passengers to shake their phones to request Champagne delivery. GENE SLOAN/THE POINTS GUY

Spill the Beans with Intelligentsia Coffee: This steaming, hot cupping class at Razzle Dazzle teaches passengers about the nuances and intricacies of hand-selected varieties of coffee from all around the world and teaches them to taste like professionals. $15 per person.

Filthy Bloody Mary Bar: Passengers can start their day with three versions of Filthy Food's All-Natural Bloody Mary, offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily during Eat & Drink Month. Select from balanced, gritty, spicy or mild by opting for gin, vodka or tequila at the bloody mary bar at The Social Club. Pricing ranges from $9-$13.

What's the Tea?: Join the crew at Test Kitchen for a 60-minute session hosted by JoJo Tea. It will cover the origins of tea and how to analyze and taste the four main varieties. $15 per person.

Loteria Gigante: This fiesta, developed by Unfiltered Hospitality, includes cocktail demos for two of the world's beloved agave drinks, all while playing Millennial Loteria, a hilarious parody and modern version of the classic game. Every ticket includes a bottomless margarita and paloma bar. Only available on Scarlet Lady. $35 per person.

Seven Sea Sippers: Hop through the Seven Seas Sippers treasure map on this nautical pub crawl across seven of the ship's best bars. Stop for a Pirates' Booty shot at The Loose Cannon and a Thar She Blows at the Draught Haus. Drink prices range from $9-$13 at each bar.

Sip and Sway with Kin Euphorics: Find your flow during this dreamy experience at Virgin Voyages' gorgeous beach club in Bimini. A sound bath-guided meditation and delicious yoga flow led by Vibranse's own Andrea Mihalik-Brown concludes with a social meetup and complimentary cans of Kin Euphorics. Available on Nov. 18 and 19. $25 per person.

Nothing Fancy at The Loose Cannon: Josue Gonzalez of Unfiltered Hospitality brings devilish charm, delicious cocktail flair and unfiltered bartending to The Loose Cannon with a special menu created exclusively for Virgin Voyages' Eat & Drink Month. Available on the Nov. 16 voyage on Scarlet Lady. Prices range from $9-$13.

Behind the Scenes: This 3 1/2-hour behind-the-scenes tour peeks around the velvet curtain. The tour features 22 stops, including areas reserved for crew, as well as top-secret spaces you never knew existed. Available only on Scarlet Lady. $150 per person.

Passengers can use the $300 beverage credit at any onboard bar or to cover the cost of the line's "Shake for Champagne" feature, which allows passengers to shake their phones for a delivery of bubbly wherever they are on their ship. (Note: The credit can only be used for the purchase of cocktails and specialty drinks; it cannot be used to cover the cost of the drink-related experiences listed above.)

Food & Drink Month's Caribbean and Mexico voyages depart from Miami and feature four- and five-night cruises on Scarlet Lady and six- and eight-night sailings on Valiant Lady.

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Featured image by ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees