My Review of Virgin Voyages - Scarlet Lady
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Best for: Young at heart, foodies, party crowd, fitness fans
Not for: Those looking for quiet relaxation, traditional cruisers, families
Quick Summary: Virgin Voyages provides a fun, upscale adults only experience that is a game changer in cruising. If you like the traditional cruise experience you will probably not like Virgin Voyages. This brand will appeal to those who dislike the traditional cruise experience. They live by their mission to make an epic sea change for all.
I sailed on Scarlet Lady for 5 nights on an itinerary going to Cozumel and Bimini out of Miami. I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The experience was very different from other cruise lines as you will see in the review categories below. I think 5 nights was the perfect length to fully experience the ship. I could see myself sailing again on Virgin Voyages.
Dining: The dining experience was upscale and unique for a cruise line. There was no main dining room. The main dining experience was made up of individual restaurants similar to what you would experience in a land based resort. The restaurant ambiance and food quality reminded me of upscale Miami restaurants. My favorite restaurants were Pink Agave(Mexican) and The Wake(Steak and seafood). We really enjoyed the variety and ambiance of the individual restaurants. That being said the menus were not very large so if I was to sail again I would hope that the menus would be changed to try something new.
There was no buffet, well kind of... The Galley served the role of a buffet. Most of the items were made to order and ordered through a server but the cuisine and format was very similar to a buffet. The quality of the food in The Galley was much higher than other large ship cruise line buffets.
Room service was available and was free for our cabin because we were in a rockstar suite. There is a $5 charge for delivery in standard cabins unless you order a paid item like a red bull or a cocktail. The room service menu was larger and better than we have experienced on other large ship cruise lines. The food was very good although not as good as what is served in the restaurants on average.
Tea service was offered on sea days but it was an additional cost. Very reasonable and worth it! It was $35 with a glass of champagne or $19 without. You get to choose your own loose tea then get to enjoy a tower of goodies. Finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jelly, and pastries. The rainbow pastry was the highlight!
Cabin: We stayed in a Brilliant Suite which is a rockstar suite. This was a great experience. We LOVED our cabin. It was large and very functional but we would have liked a little more storage space. Our cabin came with a bar setup and all the tools to make cocktails. We aren't big drinkers so we didn't use much of the bar setup but I could imagine others would love this feature.
Having a real bed was a big upgrade from the convertible beds that the regular cabins onboard have. For myself staying in a rockstar suite would be a necessity when sailing in the future.
The bathroom was really nice and LARGE for a cruise cabin. This was a major benefit of the suite especially being a bigger guy. The shower is all marble and is large enough to fit more than 1! There was both a rainfall showerhead above and a hand held wand with lots of water pressure.
The balcony was large with 2 chairs, a dining table, and a hammock that is included on most of the balconies onboard.
We didn't mind it but day and night there was a "thumping" noise from the bass coming from the pool area/DJ.
Entertainment: The entertainment was less prevalent that on other big ship cruise lines but it was enjoyable. I only went to one of the shows but I enjoyed it. On our sailing the entertainment varied from a production show(Cirque style) to a headline music act(performer was from America's got Talent), to a comedy/sexology interactive show(Very appropriate for an adults only cruise line).
Overall ship experience: We really liked the overall ship experience. There was less organized daytime activities compared to other big ship cruises but there was plenty to do. The ship has many games like shuffleboard, foosball, air hockey, and even a retro game room. All of these games were free unlike the other large ship cruise lines that would charge for arcade games.
There was a tattoo parlor onboard that was quite popular. My wife used this opportunity to get another tattoo.
There were plenty of comfortable nooks for relaxing and lounges with music for nightly entertainment.
I recommend Virgin Voyages but it's definitely not for everyone. Call me today if you would like to discuss what the experience is like to see if it might be a great fit for you!