Hi everyone, Kanise here, your favorite cruise specialist. I had the opportunity to sail on the glamourous Scarlet Lady with newcomer to the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages. I was originally set to sail last year right before the pandemic shut everything down so I'm very happy Virgin extended the option to rebook the cruise for this year. The Scarlet Lady is a magnificent ship that is designed for those who love fun and unique experiences. It is an adults only cruise line and they offer 4-7 night voyages out of Miami for right now. Next year they will also sail the Mediterranean. Included in every fare is Wi-Fi, crew gratuities and group fitness classes. I sailed a four night cruise that made two stops in the Bahamas and it was a great experience. Keep reading for my five favorite things on Virgin Voyages.
Top 5 - Virgin Voyages
1. The Room
One of the first introductions to the ship is the stateroom. I stayed in a sea terrace room that was actually quite spacious at 185 sq ft with a 40 sq ft balcony. You enter the room using the fob bracelet that you're given at checkin. When you open the door the balcony curtains automatically open, the lights slowly turn on and music like angels humming briefly plays. During the day the bed can turn into a couch if you like and at night the attendants transform it back into a bed. The room has really cool lighting that you can change according to your mood and everything is operated from a tablet in the room. You can control the lights, the tv, music and the temperature all from the provided tablet. The bathroom was a little small but the shower was a good size and it had both a rain shower head and a handheld sprayer. One of the amenities Virgin boasts is the hammock on every balcony. I didn't find it to be the most comfortable but it's still a nice touch.
2. The Food
As a major foodie the first mission after dropping off my bags at the room was to go find food. On Virgin Voyages all of the food is included, even the specialty dining that usually incurs a cost on many other cruise lines. There are 20 eateries and I'm not sure if I'm proud or ashamed to say I ate at 19 of them. I started at The Gallery. The Gallery is a food court with several stands including ramen, tacos, sushi, salads, burgers, desserts and breakfast. The ramen was the best. It's a great place anytime of the day to grab a snack. Of the specialty restaurants my favorites had to be the Test Kitchen and the Korean BBQ restaurant, Gunbae. At the Test Kitchen you are served a five course meal of innovative (and honestly a little weird lol) dishes like the mushroom mousse and smoked egg yolk with peas. You can also add a cocktail, wine or beer pairing to complement the dishes. Gunbae was the most fun. You get to sit with other sailors on the ship and play games while the server grills your meal in front of you. The games are actually drinking games and suggestions are printed right on the menu. In true Korean style the server offers the party lots of soju and by the end of the dinner I had made a handful of new friends. Other great options onboard are the Italian restaurant, Extra Virgin and the steakhouse, The Wake. There is also a pizza shop where you can customize your pizzas and an ice cream parlor. I suggest you try the butter pecan ice cream on the butter popcorn waffle cone.
3. The Beach Club
One of the stops on every Virgin Voyages voyage is at their Beach Club in Bimini and I loved this spot. The ship spends all day in Bimini so there's plenty of time to enjoy the beach club and even an excursion. When you walk in you are greeted by two massive pools and a private beach with the prettiest blue water and white sand. There are beach chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, hammocks and couches everywhere you turn. During the day they have a live DJ and bring out tons of animal pool floats for a major pool party. It was great to see people of all ages join in on the fun. They also served food that included Caribbean influenced dishes like coconut curry, mango salad and guava rum cake. Once the sun goes down, the beach club lights up. There are string lights draped around palm trees and led lights in the pool. They also light a giant orb for a bonfire. My pictures really didn't do this place justice (definitely time for a phone upgrade) so here is a video from Virgin to capture the beauty. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
4. The Entertainment
The good thing about Virgin is they have a handful of shows that they perform at least twice during the voyage so if you miss it one night you can catch it on another night. Since it is an adults only ship the shows had the freedom to be adult in nature like in the interactive musical, Never Sleep Alone. There were also many upbeat dance and acrobatic performances that were quite thrilling. During the day they have pop up music performances throughout the ship as well.. And every night can end in a dance party if you're up to it(even a pajama party). The Manor is the ship's discotheque where they have a live dj and dancing nightly. The most fun is Scarlet Night where everyone dons a red outfit and enjoys the riveting entertainment at the pool. There you'll find a large octopus on the deck, dancers in the pool and lots of singing. You can even join in the action by jumping in the pool too.
5. Everything Else
It's really hard to just pick one more thing so number five is everything else that I found to be incredible. First is the karaoke room, the Groupie. I'm a huge fan of karaoke and this little place was an amazing find. There are three rooms that you can sign up for and sing to your heart's content. The next are the workout spaces. There are two gyms, a bootcamp room, a yoga/pilates room, a basketball court, a track and punching bag stations. If working out is your passion then you won't be disappointed with the options onboard. There is a tattoo parlour, the first at sea. While it was a bit expensive (lowest option around $200) I still think it's really cool that it's there. Next are the elevators. Each one has a screen of floating bubbles and mirrors so it looks like you're underwater. My favorite place was the Dock House. It is the lounge area at the wake of the ship. That is where i usually chose to work because there are outdoor beds, trees and not too many people went there until later so it was rather peaceful. There is also an arcade with multiple games and air hockey. Lastly what I really enjoyed about the Scarlet Lady are all the instagramable (if that's a word) spots around the ship. It may not be important to everyone but for the creatives it's a great bonus. There are lighted hallways, swings on the top deck, a photobooth, neon signs with fun phrases, hot tubs overlooking the ocean and every venue has a stunning design.
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