Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Cruise Review
Ive just disembarked Virgin Voyages first cruise ship Scarlet Lady and the cruise wasnt what I expected AT ALL.
I have to admit, I boarded the ship with low expectations. Id toured the ship in early 2020 and didnt fall in love with the ship in the way that I hoped I would.
I came away from that initial visit with more questions than answers and I had no idea who to recommend a Virgin Voyages cruise to.
If youd asked me then if Id ever cruise with Virgin Id probably have said no, not unless some big things changed and spoiler alert, they did.
Does Virgin Offer A Drink Package
Virgin Voyages does not currently offer drink packages on the Scarlet Lady or the Valiant Lady, so youll be paying for premium drinks à la carte. However, Virgin offers something called Bar Tab where you can add funds to your account prior to sailing to be used on alcohol and other premium beverages and is currently running a great promotion
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Vs Royal Caribbean Symphony Of The Seas
The Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady is a fairly new ship, being built in 2021. Scarlet Lady is Virgin Voyages first ship. To make the ship feel fresh and innovative, they brought in renowned designers who haven’t worked on cruise ships before. It’s an adults-only ship all guests must be 18 or older. It’s 3 years newer than the Symphony of the Seas, which was built in 2018. The Symphony of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world, just a little above its sister ships the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas.
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Laundry Deals Available With Virgin Voyages :
Virgin Voyages offer a by the bag promotion. This often works out much cheaper than paying per item as you can fit as many items as possible into the bag.
Ive used this option before on other cruise lines and have managed to fit in far more items than the cost of the laundry if I was to be paying per item.
You Might Not Enjoy Virgin Voyages If
You like traditional cruising
Guests wont find many long-time cruise traditions on the Scarlet Lady. Theres no set time dining, no main dining room, etc. Some traditional cruise activities, like Bingo and trivia, are hard to find if not non-existent, and the fitness-focused activities dont interest everyone. If youre an experienced cruiser and not open to trying new things, this is not the cruise line for you.
You dont want to use your phone or tablet on a cruise
You use a wristband for everything, you wont find many paper copies of stuff, and you control your cabin with a tablet. Your mobile phone is also a crucial part of your experience to help book dining times, see menus, etc. You cant even operate your room without using a tablet.
Youre a heavy drinker
There are a lot of bars here and lots of options for cocktails, but without an unlimited drink package, heavy drinkers might have a very high bill at the end.
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The Tune Up Mani Pedi Spa Deck 15
The saving grace manicure and pedicure Renew your well deserving limbs with a soothing lower arms and lower legs massage followed by a manicure and pedicure 45 minutes $35 45 minutes $59.
The sustainable manicure and pedicure Nourish your hands ad feet with a kopari manicure and pedicure 45 minutes $59 60 minutes $85.
The balancing manicure and pedicure A traditional manicure and pedicure that soften reshape and polish your nails manicure 25 minutes $45 pedicure 45 minutes $59.
Dual Reality Had Me On The Edge Of My Seat
Another thing thats pretty different from other cruise lines is the main entertainment. We watched a show called Dual Reality which was an incredible death-defying display of acrobatics and dancing.
They would have people swinging around from chains on their necks, jumping on big bouncy boards. Everything!
It was definitely the kind of entertainment that has you sat on the edge of your seat.
Im pretty sure that theyve made a change to the show since the first time I was onboard. The show is designed so that there is a red team and a blue team and they battle it out kind of Romeo and Juliet style.
The seating in the red room for this show is set up with the audience on both sides.
At the end they take off their red and blue clothes. When I originally saw this show the dancers striped down to their underwear but this time they all had vests and shorts on.
When I shared my photos from the original show I did have a LOT of comments asking me if the people in the photos were naked, so maybe they decided to leave a few more clothes on. Either way it was really interesting to watch and I love the different design of the show area.
Want To Save Even More
If you cruise with us on our July 3 2022 group cruise on Scarlet Lady, not only will you have access to onboard destinations experts, but also exclusive events, value adds, and some fun surprises. In fact, if you book before February 16th, you can get up to $300 to spend onboard! If you’re reading this after that date, check with us, and we’ll keep working hard to get you the best deal possible. Interested in saving and cruising with us? Check out VirginVoyagesGroupCruise.com
Virgin Voyages Spa Prices
As with all good cruise lines Virgin Voyages operate a comprehensive spa and wellness centre, called the Redemption Spa. Listed below is a full list of services and prices for all the treatments currently available.
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Whats Included In The Virgin Voyages Cruise Cost
Since Virgin Voyages is a brand new cruise line, it doesnt have to adhere to traditional or old-school ways of charging for cruising. One of the most noticeable differences here is what they include in the cost of the cruise.
First, they include the gratuities in the cost of the cruise, which we love. Gratuities are the tips that are paid daily to all the hard-working crew members who are taking care of you, like your room steward, the busboys, cabana works, etc. Most cruise lines charge $12 to $20 per person per day for these, and while theyre technically optional, its a production to get them off your bill . These daily gratuities really should be included in your cruise fare, but that would increase the cost of your cruise, so instead, theyre more like a hidden fee thats added on. Virgin Voyages way of doing it, where its included in the price of your cruise, makes much more sense and is more straightforward.
Your cruise fare also includes internet, which is a big draw to newer cruisers. Nowadays, its hard to disconnect entirely. While some people value the technological isolation that a cruise can bring you, many of Virgin Voyages target market would not agree, and reliable internet is a must-have. On other cruise lines, this could cost $12 $30 per day, so its really nice to have that included as well. Sailors do have to option to upgrade to a higher quality internet if needed.
You Might Enjoy Virgin Voyages If
Youve never cruised before
If youve never cruised before, you have no preconceived notions or expectations to live up to, and Virgin Voyages new take on things might be a good fit for you.
You like a break from children
The ship is strictly 18 years and older, which means those who like to escape crowds of children might enjoy this ship more. This is especially true for summer cruises when other cruise lines are swarmed with children on break.
You are a foodie
The Scarlet Lady has a crazy amount of food options available, and most are included at no cost. There are tons of different and unique venues and lots of opportunities to try new foods you havent tried before.
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Where Does Virgin Voyages Cruise To
Bimini Beach in the Bahamas is a mainstay destination on a Virgin Voyages Cruise.
Right now its only the Caribbean.
Heres a link to all Virgin sailings, ordered from least expensive to most.
And they only have TWO ships: Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady.
But a 3rd Resilient Lady is on the way in late 2022, and then they will add in Mediterranean destinations.
The Private Beach Club Is Top
While other ports of call vary based on the sailing, a constant for Scarlet Lady is a stop at its private beach club in the Bahamas.
Situated on the island of Bimini, this spot was, in a word, fabulous.
On-island entertainment is available as well, though I can’t speak to what happened as the afternoon wore on, as we hit our sun quota by midday. However, rumor has it there was a pool float party that occurred after our departure.
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How Much Do Virgin Voyages Cruises Cost Compared To Other Cruise Lines
Virgin Voyages is definitely more expensive than similar cruises on Carnival, Royal, Norwegian and MSC.
But its price point is still way below the luxury lines, so it occupies an interesting niche.
Im not going only for the younger crowd says Mr. Branson. I think there are older folks like me who are looking for something fun and cool.
Instead of the typical deck chairs, Virgin is decorated with oversized LOUNGERS.
Give It Time Before Booking
As with any new product or service, it will take some time for kinks to be worked out and for the brand to truly hit its stride. I think Virgin Voyages has a lot of potential particularly as a cruise option for younger travelers who wouldn’t usually book a cruise.
If you’re interested in booking a voyage, I’d wait a few months while the company finishes building out the onboard lineup and working out some of the tech issues.
Then, grab your best red dress and your closest friends, and set sail on what is truly a unique experience you won’t forget. I’m not usually a fan of cruises, but I was pleasantly surprised by my experience onboard.
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What Kinds Of Passengers Are On Virgin Voyages
In all the discussions about Virgin Voyages, the type of passengers onboard Virgin Voyages is the most hotly debated. This confusion is especially apparent because the cruise lines debut was pushed back so far because of COVID. Who will sail on Virgin Voyages?
The confusion is entirely understandable when you see the website or advertisements for Virgin Voyages, you expect a cruise ship filled with trendy, high-income influencers and Gen-Z. An on-ship tattoo parlor, tongue-in-cheek venue names like Lick me till I scream, included fitness classes it seems to skew very young and affluent.
It seems like Virgin Voyages understands the issue and is trying to clarify its position. According to Virgin Voyagers travel agent guides, their guests fall in the range of 37 62, with an average age of 47. They say over half are married, and more than half of booked guests have children that theyll be leaving at home . Surprisingly, only 25% of current bookings are reported to be new cruisers the rest are people who have taken a cruise before and want to see how it is on Virgin Voyages.
Is It Worth Paying For Laundry On A Virgin Voyages Cruise
If you are going to wash more than 6 or so items Id recommend that you use for the fill a bag promotion as its much better value. If you do only want to wash 1 or 2 items it could be worth just doing this on a pay-as-you-go basis.
If you are only wanting to wash a few t-shirts, maybe some gym clothes, socks, etc Id strongly recommend that you do your own laundry in the cabin sink. Its cheap and easy!
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Things To Know About The New Virgin Voyages
Ready for Virgin Voyages? The new cruise line from Richard Branson, who has already brought his glamorous signature style to airlines and hotels, will debut in 2020 with the launch of its first ship, Scarlet Lady. We recently got a sneak peek at whats in store for the much-hyped line. Heres what we learned.
1. Its Only for Grownups
Virgin Voyages will be strictly adults-only, and every passenger must be at least 18 years old to come on board. That means leaving your kids at home is mandatory.
2. Theres a Tattoo Parlor Onboard
For a one-of-a-kind cruising experience , youll be able to get a tattoo onboard Scarlet Lady. The tattoo parlor, called Squid Ink, will be staffed with two resident artists and will utilize vegan ink. You can also get a piercing or book a permanent makeup application here.
3. Some of the Included Perks Will Save You Money
Your cruise fare includes all dining and fitness classes, as well as a few amenities that often cost extra on cruises, namely wifi, gratuities, and nonalcoholic beverages. The last three items can cost hundreds of extra dollars per person on other lines, so were excited about this extra value. Additionally, the cruise line will also be offering water refilling stations throughout the ship.
4. It Takes a New Approach to the Private Island Experience
5. The Itineraries Are Perfect for An Extended Weekend
6. The Cabins Are Slick
7. The Food Will Break Convention
8. The Entertainment Is Cutting Edge
The Seating In The Public Areas Is Different
After I shared my initial review I had a lot of comments about the seating in the public areas. There definitely were some seats around with strange designs, some that were very low to the ground, made of strange materials or ones where you had to climb onto them.
There were a lot of more practical seats around too. A lot of the ship had quite an industrial design, particularly outside but I think thats trendy at the moment and it goes with Scarlet Ladys battleship grey colours.
Resilient Lady’s Inaugural Cruises 2022
Virgin’s third ship starts its inaugural season with roundtrips leaving from Piraeus-Athens .
- The 7-day roundtrip “Greek Island Glow” itinerary visits the Greek islands Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and Mykonos.
- The 7-day roundtrip “Adriatic Sea and Greek Gems” itinerary visits Croatia , Montenegro , and Greece .
- The “Greek Isles” program ends with the 11-day Transatlantic crossing from Europe to the Caribbean .
The inaugural Caribbean season 2022-2023 is based on homeporting in San Juan Puerto Rico and 7-day roundtrips.
- The “Southeastern Caribbean Isles” itinerary visits Tortola Island BVI , Guadeloupe , Barbados , St Lucia and Antigua .
- The “Sunsets In The Lesser Antilles” itinerary visits St Kitts , Martinique , Curacao and Aruba .
In 2023, Resilient Lady will be deployed in Australia. The program includes three relocation itineraries from Europe to Asia and Australia – 14-day from Athens to Dubai , 15-day from Dubai to Singapore and 15-day from Singapore to Sydney NSW .
Razzle Dazzle The Best Vegan And Vegetarian Food
Our first dinner onboard was in Razzle Dazzle. Razzle Dazzle is perhaps the most famous venue onboard, its all about vegetarian and vegan food but there are lots of meat options too. Its the only cruise Ive ever been on where cookies were an actual dessert.
The atmosphere in Razzle Dazzle was great, it was really laid back and friendly, I had multiple Coke Zeros and the waiters were always on hand to help and answer any questions.
In Razzle Dazzle I had a non meat impossible burger for main and a jar of cookies for dessert. Of course. They also have rainbow churros and a few other things. It was really good, one of the best meals Ive ever had on a cruise, for sure.
To see the menu we scanned QR codes that were on the table.
It is assumed on a Virgin cruise that youll use your phone for most things but paper menus are available if you dont have a phone that you can use. We found that the menus on the phones always worked well and Id usually looked at the menu before I even got to dinner.
The allergen information was clearly marked on all the menus on the ship and it was always really clear which options were vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. If you are vegetarian or vegan youll find that you have a LOT more options on Scarlet Lady than the majority of the other American cruise lines.
Razzle Dazzle menus:
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