Some of the Fred.\ Cruises team were lucky enough to get the chance to climb aboard the brand new Scarlet Lady when she arrived in Dover last week. There has been a lot of talk about how Virgin Voyages will shack up the cruise industry, so we outline some of the key ways this ship is attempting to stand out from the crowd.
Welcome On Board
Step on board Scarlet Lady and the first thing you will be greeted by is a wide open lobby with a live DJ pumping out music and a panoramic view of the ocean on the opposite side of the ship. This is the heart of the ship known as ‘The Roundabout’, where you will find a variety of shops, bars and eateries.
The ice cream parlour ‘Lick Me Til Ice Cream’, a pizza place, a tattoo parlour named ‘Squid Ink’ (the first one at sea), a barber shop and the coffee shop ‘The Grounds Club’ can also be found in this area. This is just a cool place to hang out, meet new friends and soak up the vibe of the ship. You can also find shore-based information in ‘The Chart Room’.
The dining experiences on board Scarlet Lady are fantastically varied and offer plenty of flexibility. You can grab a seaside British classic in ‘The Social Club’, cook up your own Korean barbecue in ‘Gunbae’ or enjoy some fine dining in the stylish steakhouse and fish restaurant ‘The Wake’, which allows you to watch the ocean fall away behind you from the rear of the ship.
Razzle Dazzle focuses on vegetarian offerings (however, meat dishes are available for those in your party that might want them). The ‘Test Kitchen’ is an experiential dining experience, which is part laboratory, part cookery school. Menus here give you the basic ingredients only and then chefs create your meals from them.
There is no buffet restaurant on board, but ‘The Galley’ offers a marketplace/food truck vibe with a variety of stations where food is cooked entirely to order. It features a range of styles, including sushi, a bakery, noodle bar, tacos and much more.
Ship Eats is Virgin Voyages’ take on room service and is based on delivery services like Uber Eats. Food is made to order and available 24 hours a day. Meals are packaged up in special containers and delivered in bags, which can then be repackaged and hung on the door to avoid lots of trays hanging around in the corridors.
On board Virgin Voyages, your basic non-alcoholic beverages are included and alcoholic options are available at reasonable prices. You can also purchase a pre-paid bar tab for $300 and receive an additional bonus top-up on the house.
The cabins on board are designed not just as liveable spaces but also for entertaining. During the day, the cabin is set up as an L-shape sofa, where you can invite friends, relax in comfort and enjoy some drinks without the awkwardness of having to sit on someone’s bed. At night, the crew will turn it back into a comfortable double bed. Each cabin features a beautiful rainfall shower and ‘Sea Terrace’ cabins have a hammock on the balcony.
If you want the ultimate holiday, then book a ‘RockStar Suite’ and enjoy plenty of extras. These are not just palatial suites featuring marbled bathrooms, lounge areas, vinyl record players and much more, but they also give you access to ‘Richard’s Rooftop’, an exclusive terrace for suite passengers.
Scarlet Lady will be sailing 4 and 5-night, adult-only voyages from Miami around the Caribbean. Most itineraries take in the island of Bimini in the Bahamas and you can enjoy pool parties, dive amongst a shipwreck and gather around the bonfire at the exclusive ‘Beach Club at Bimini’.
Some voyages feature special guests such as superstar DJs Diplo or Mark Ronson, if you really want to party like a Rock Star. You can even attend Richard Branson’s own birthday party on board from July 15th, alongside the man himself.
Scarlet Lady’s first sister ship, ‘Valiant Lady’, will join the fleet in 2021 and sail 7-night voyages throughout the Med from Barcelona. These itineraries are perfect for young couples or groups looking to party, enjoy fabulous dining experiences and fill up their Instagram feed with the most enviable photos around.
If you would like more information about Virgin Voyages and the cruises available, call us on 0800 035 0701.