At the end of March, I did a thing that I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time–sail my first cruise with Virgin Voyages! My first three cruises that I had planned to sail with Virgin were canceled due to Covid, but I finally boarded the Scarlet Lady on March 22, for their four night Fire & Sunset Soirées itinerary that visits Key West & their private Beach Club at Bimini in the Bahamas. The experience was worth the wait!
I must say it was nothing short of amazing. This cruise was worth waiting for.
From the moment I stepped onboard the Scarlet Lady, I was blown away by the attention to detail and the unique atmosphere. The ship had a vibrant and modern feel, with a touch of sophistication that made me feel right at home.
And, I knew I was in for a different cruise than my first 36 cruises! This was the first time there would be absolutely no children on board. With Virgin, it’s Adults Only — you have to be 18 to get onboard. I wasn’t sure what experience I was in for, but I was excited to find out. Spoiler Alert–I didn’t see anything that was “adults only”. There was some stronger language in the shows, but not much, and nothing I haven’t heard before. Basically, this was a ship with just no children. The parties were loud and it seemed as though everyone was on the deck having a blast, but when I walked back to my cabin to go to bed, I slept like a rock, with no sounds ever making their way to my room.
One of the best things about cruising with Virgin Voyages is the variety of experiences and activities available. From late stays and overnights in ports, to exclusive access to the Beach Club at Bimini, there was never a dull moment. I loved exploring Key West during the day in port, and the Beach Club in Bimini was the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. From Scarlet Night to the Painting & Boozy beverages activity I attended, there was literally something to do on the ship.
What surprised me the most was the number of board games available at the Social Club. Not only did the Social Club have ALL the games, they also had candy, brownies & hot wings. (along with hot dogs & boozy milkshakes). The candy & carnival food were included with your cruise, but the milkshakes were extra.
The arcade, where they had a number of vintage video games. was a blast to visit…I’m assuming Pac-Man and Centipede are vintage.. Of course — the cost of the arcade games ARE included with your fare.
I began to realize that Virgin Voyages is really a kind of playground where adults can let their inner child come out to play.
Virgin has a weird demographic of people that are sailing with them…There was a good mix of people on board…there were some younger people, middle aged along with some elderly people…gay & straight, and people of color…all are welcome, and everyone was having a great time. Virgin Voyages is literally for anyone who wants to have a good time.
If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxed cruise, Virgin Voyages may not be your best choice (unless you’d like to relax on your Sea Terrace hammock all day swaying in the ocean breeze and having incredible food at the 20+ included restaurants).
It’s definitely not the “same-old” cruise! I’m looking forward to sailing with Virgin again. Soon. As were many, many of my fellow sailors…every time I walked past the area where you can book your next Virgin Voyage, the place was PACKED.
The food and drinks onboard were top-notch, with a variety of dining options and bars to choose from. I loved the focus on sustainability and the use of locally-sourced ingredients, which made for some truly delicious meals.
My absolute favorite meal was at Pink Agave, their take on Mexican cuisine. Test Kitchen was a blast, and I enjoyed myself, but I didn’t like the experimental food, and the portion size was tiny. I would try this restaurant again, ONLY if I had more days on the ship, AND I would also plan on having a second dinner that night. In hindsight, I would go here as soon as they opened, and then plan on attending one of the Supper Clubs in The Manor later that same evening…if you’re a foodie and want all the experiences.
Razzle Dazzle was a fun vegetarian restaurant with a naughty side (you can order meat dishes if you are so inclined–I wouldn’t miss the chicken sandwich OR the bacon here)!
I had the best dessert at The Wake, with a lovely view of the ship leaving Bimini! Don’t miss the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake!
Generally speaking, this was some of the best food all-around I’ve had on a cruise ship. I’ll write more about their non-“Buffet” (which I loved) and the quick-service options that were available on the ship at a later date.
But perhaps one of the best thing about cruising with Virgin Voyages was the hammock on my Sea Terrace. That was one of the best, most surprising things…I truly did not expect to enjoy that hammock so much. I can imagine a cruise where I just stay on the balcony, in the hammock every day.
Service on the Scarlet Lady was great. The crew was incredibly friendly and attentive, always going above and beyond to make sure we had a great experience. It truly felt like they were there to make my vacation as memorable as possible
I could go on and on about all the amazing things I experienced while cruising with Virgin Voyages, but I think the best way for you to truly understand is to experience it for yourself.
Do you have any questions about cruising with Virgin? I’d love to answer any that you have!
If you’d like more information about sailing, check out my Facebook Group, Virgin Sailors! There’s a lot of information there, and I’ll soon be uploading all of my pictures from my four days on the Scarlet Lady.
Included with your Virgin Voyages cruise:
Pre-paid gratuities; Wi-Fi; Basic Beverages; group fitness classes; All of your food, & entertainment.
Be sure to be following along on my #YearOfAdventure here.
Need some ideas about what kind of itineraries Virgin Sails? From the Caribbean, to Europe, to the South Pacific, Virgin travels to more than 100 destinations on two ships! (their third Lady Ship will begin sailing in May 2023 — with their fourth ship launching in 2024)
Shoot me a message and let’s chat! Or, would you like to explore my Virgin Voyages website? You can here. (just make sure my name is at the upper left hand corner!)
Have a great weekend!