A cruise line’s cheeky upstart Richard Branson is radically changing the world of ocean cruising. The atmosphere on board is for the young at heart and those who are open to new experiences. I traveled with a friend and we had a blast!
This cruise line is for adults 18 and older only. Virgin offers its sailors (guests) over $600 worth, including gratuities, basic wifi, soft drinks, 20 restaurants (at no additional cost) and group fitness classes. Each restaurant has its own kitchen and executive chef and there are no buffets. You can pre-purchase a bar tab which can be used by everyone in the cabin, unlike other cruise lines which require a beverage package purchased by each person in the cabin. The physical design of the ship is great, including interior and exterior spaces.
There are tons of opportunities to enjoy fitness activities, from the weight room to the outdoor track to the boxing machines. Richard’s Rooftop is a private space for “Rock Star” guests and Squid Ink, the tattoo parlor, is a unique shop that seemed to be constantly busy. Every cruise departing from Miami calls at Bimini and Richard’s private beach club, where you can relax on the beach or enjoy the pool party.
The revolutionary design creates a modern and functional living space with comfortable beds that convert into lounge chairs during the day. Bathrooms with spacious rain showers and sensory mood lighting enhance the cabin experience. We stayed in a Sea Terrace cabin, but the real wow factor comes from the Rock Star and Mega Rock Star quarters which offer access to Richard’s private rooftop terrace.
Restaurants and Bevvies
Michelin-inspired meals and menus designed by top chefs create incredible cuisine that is sure to crush any craving. My favorite dishes were at Wake (steakhouse) and Extra Virgin (Italian). The made-to-order pizzas at The Pizza Place, Gunbae (Korean BBQ), and The Test Kitchen were amazing. There were so many choices that I couldn’t go to all the restaurants. The champagne lounge, draft house, and other venues offer quality drinks without the high price tag, though you have the option to splurge on premium spirits and champagne.
Groundbreaking acts, immersive experiences and pop-up performances in unique entertainment venues are original and extraordinary. My favorite entertainment was live performances by The Free Label Band and Slam Allen’s blues band. The talent was more than exceptional!
Scarlet Night was a special night where guests were encouraged to wear red. At first I was confused because there was no set schedule. There were splashes of entertainment throughout the ship with pop-up animations.
Health and security
Passengers must be fully vaccinated and take a rapid covid test in the terminal before boarding the ship. Temperature checks (discreet devices on the ship), irradiation and hospital-grade disinfectants, social distancing, masks, air purification system that kills 99.9% of viruses, and increased medical capabilities on board ensure passenger safety.
Set sail on the virgin lane
Scarlet Lady is a true rebel of the seas. Virgin is currently offering 20% savings and adding $100 to a pre-purchased $300 bar tab.
Helen Jordan is the owner of Jordan Luxury Travel, an independent subsidiary of Virtuoso member Brownell Travel. She can be reached at 602-692-9379 or email@example.com.