I’m super excited about my next adventure. I’ll be cruising Virgin Voyages brand new ship, the Scarlet Lady! When Virgin began advertising their newest endeavor, I was intrigued. The more I heard about what they were planning, the more information I wanted.
Several days ago, I made the trek “way up north” to Virginia Beach to meet with various vendors that I work with, and thankfully, Virgin Voyages showed up to introduce themselves. My agency is based out of Virginia Beach, so all of our vendor representatives are based out of the Mid-Atlantic region as well. I had begun my training as a “First Mate” (what Virgin calls their Travel Agents) a few weeks prior, and I had a lot of questions!
First, a bit of introduction (direct from Virgin themselves):
“For the last 50 years, our vibrant spirit of entrepreneurship and drive to change the status quo has allowed us to become an international brand, known and loved for our customer focus and brilliant service.
What started from Richard’s love of music with Virgin Records has transformed into a passion for redefining and elevating human experiences. From Virgin America being awarded best North American airline 9 years in a row to Virgin Hotels winning best hotel in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler, we’ve set out to create exceptional businesses built around changing business for good.
We delivered a breath of fresh air(line) with Virgin America, made everyone better off with Virgin Money and are proving that not even the sky is the limit with Virgin Galactic.
And now, with our newest company, we’re setting sail the Virgin way.”
Virgin Voyages is planning on making ordinary experiences extraordinary.
They say that they are going to make the sea fairer. They promise to have simple, transparent pricing and will offer more for your money. No nickel & diming. No hidden fees. No surprises or sticker shock. And, if you have to pay extra for something, they will make sure it comes with extraordinary value. Here’s just a taste of how things will be different from your past cruises:
- ADULTS ONLY. No kids, no kidding. Only guests age 18 and over are able to sail. You can, however, bring your inner child.
- FREE FOOD. The Scarlet Lady features over 20 restaurants, ALL of them are included at NO EXTRA CHARGE. With unique spaces, diverse options & carefully created menus, you can eat your heart out. The Scarlet Lady does not have a Main Dining Room or a buffet. They will, however, have steakhouses and Korean BBQ to drag brunches and an international food market. Have a late-night snack from their noodle bar, or have a slice of pizza, or a burger from the 24/7 diner. Every eatery has its own kitchen and an executive chef, and all food is fresh and made-to-order, never mass produced.
- TIPS INCLUDED. Virgin has taken care of taking care of their cruise staff, so gratuities are on them.
- UNLIMITED WIFI. With WiFi included, you can post to social media to your heart’s content.
- BASIC BEVERAGES ARE INCLUDED. Stay hydrated with filtered still and sparkling water, non-pressed juices, sodas, teas & coffee. No alcohol packages are available. Virgin would rather you purchase what you would like each day with reasonable priced alcoholic drinks. AND, the tip is ALREADY included in the bar pricing. No more automatically-added 18% gratuity.
- GROUP WORKOUTS. From slow-flowing vinyasa and meditation to cycling & HIIT classes — all your group fitness classes are covered!
- ENTERTAINMENT — Let Virgin entertain you. Their past and personality join forces to bring you immersive shows and original programming that will constantly delight you.
- BEACH CLUB at BIMINI. All of their Caribbean itineraries will stop at their exclusive beach club experience in the Bahamas. It’s a stunning collision of restoration and exploration – with the luxury of St. Tropez, the raw beauty of the Maldives and the energy of Ibiza. And, at the end of the night, they’ll say goodbye with a bonfire bash under the stars.
- SQUID INK. You’ve probably heard that the Scarlet Lady will have an on board tattoo parlor. It will feature two, full-time resident tattoo artists and will feature a star-studded line-up of guest artists.
That’s just some highlights of Virgin Voyages. During my talk with our Virgin Voyages representative the other day, I mentioned that so much of what I heard sounded like Disney Cruise Line. Wait, what?!? Yes, it sounds a lot like Disney. Not like that. Back in 1998, Disney created a cruise line for families, which had never been done before. Disney re-imagined cruising. Literally everything the rep told us about Virgin sounded as if Virgin Voyages was doing the same thing, for a completely new audience. They did extensive market research with people who had never sailed before, and they hired designers and entertainment creators that had never before worked in the cruise industry. She then said that Tom McAlpin was the CEO of Virgin Voyages. Tom was the President of Disney Cruise line when it was just the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder & Castaway Cay. I’m really, really excited to see what Virgin has created.
I was so excited, in fact, that I had to book a cruise with Virgin as soon as I possibly could! I’ll be traveling with one of my friends, and will be reporting everything possible!
Some of the cool things that were mentioned: Shake for champagne. Roomy Rainshowers in your cabin. Unexpected pop-up performances. Scarlet Night (pack something red!). Onboard Record Shop. Ice Cream (the name of the parlor is “Lick me til Ice Cream”). Bookable (private) Karaoke Lounge. “Untitled Dancepartyshowthing”. And, If you’re staying in a Mega RockStar suite, you’ll have a hair & makeup squad every day, so you’ll be red-carpet ready.
Make sure that you are following along here & on my business page, https://www.facebook.com/KennethReeceagentofModernTravelProfessionals/ , as I will be sharing a lot more information about Virgin Voyages along with my own personal experiences just as soon as I can!
I’m sure that Virgin Voyages will not be for everyone…just like each cruise line is not for everyone. Some guests love Carnival, and some wouldn’t sail on anything other than Cunard. It’s wonderful to have choices, and to know what each cruise line offers….that’s one of my jobs, to not only find an itinerary that works for you, but to match you up with a vacation that will be something that is perfect for you. When you’re ready to begin planning your next vacation, don’t forget to contact me! Whether it’s a Virgin Voyage, a Princess Cruise to Israel, the Southern Caribbean with Holland America or a Disney cruise, I can help you with that!