I had always wanted to experience a cruise and I finally got my chance. The Scarlet Lady was amazing and exceeded all expectations, but it wasn’t easy getting there.

My experience on the “Scarlet Lady” was a great one. The ship had an amazing layout and there were so many things to do. I would definitely recommend this cruise for anyone who loves adventure.

Simply the Facts

  • Date of completion: 2020
  • Gross tonnage: 108,192
  • 277.20 meters by 38 meters are the dimensions.
  • 1,408 Staterooms
  • 2,770 people may be accommodated.
  • 1,146 members of the crew

After being delayed owing to the COVID epidemic, Scarlet Lady made her sailing debut in October 2021. She now sails a several itineraries from Miami, including trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico, all of which include stops at Bimini’s famous Beach Club.

beach club at bimini virgin voyages

Sailing with Virgin Voyages, an adults-only cruise company, is described as a yacht experience. Virgin Voyages, in an attempt to disrupt the cruise business, created a design and experience unlike any other.

The cruise’s all-inclusive nature means you won’t have to pay extra to try new restaurants or drink included drinks (still and sparkling water, non-pressed juice, soda, sachet tea, and drip coffee). Gratuities and WiFi are also included in the cost, so when comparing the value of sailing on Scarlet Lady to other popular cruise lines, it’s important to consider all of the features as well as the shorter duration of the trips.

The Design

Scarlet Lady was simple to manage, with 17 decks. We loved the paper maps, since we found signage on the ship to be difficult to see, either because it wasn’t visible, was tiny, or was put in an unexpected location. Getting about, on the other hand, was rather simple.

The location of Sailor Services near the entryway to the Pink Agave restaurant seems weird. That section was little, but it was really efficient, and the personnel was quite helpful.

An internet café and a picture gallery are conspicuously absent from the ship. On the ship, there are no roving photographers. Virgin products are sold at a few retail outlets and a brand shop. I was so charmed with the crew’s T-shirt uniform’s beautiful design that I pondered purchasing one as a keepsake.

The Roundabout, similar to the atrium on other ships, is the principal meeting space for activities and leisure.

Scarlet Lady appealed to me because of the connection I had with the water. I spent a lot of time on the deck because of the outside eating, lounge places, jogging tracks, bars, pools and hot tubs, and even an outdoor gym.

outdoor workout area virgin voyages scarlet lady

Staterooms

Scarlet Lady’s conventional inside, ocean view, and balcony cabins are available, as well as the expensive Rockstar category suites. Small interior accommodations and a few Sea View cabins are available for lone travelers. My accommodation, 14050Z, was on the starboard side of the ship in the Sea Terrace category.

I wasn’t sure what to anticipate after seeing previous photographs and marketing for Scarlet Lady. A few changes had already been performed (ours was in the middle of them) to give the stateroom a new look. These changes were allegedly made in response to cruiser feedback.

The apartment had a contemporary, almost austere feel to it, and after giving it a once-over, I determined it was similar to a private room at a hostel. I didn’t have much to compare it to since I hadn’t lived on a boat before, but it certainly seemed less intimate than cabins on previous cruise ships. Virgin Voyages, on the other hand, is aiming to stand apart, and they have achieved admirably. It’s not simple to create a warm atmosphere with a contemporary design.

Instead of being on our nice balcony, our cabin’s bed was near the entryway. We spent much too much time on the balcony, just admiring the view of the water. The crimson hammock was a wonderful spot to swing, but trying to rest in it took some contortionist skills.

scarlet lady sea terrace balcony cabin

We returned to the cabin and discovered a tablet on the desk that allowed us to manage the TV, ambient lighting, and draperies. As someone who has problems with remote controls, I found it difficult to locate several of the controls and would have been quite content to use the TV remote instead. The tablet seems to be something that needs more upkeep than it is worth. The ample quantity of outlets and USB connections were appreciated.

The menu included free movies, however they weren’t always recent. We were startled to see that neither a bridge cam nor a bridge report were available.

Having seen the option to have the bed converted into a sofa, a feature that I didn’t think I would like, we left a request for our stateroom attendant after realizing that this transformation was not automatic. Our room seemed much larger and more functional after this adjustment to The Design. It was so much better than sitting on the bed during the day. As there is no evening turn-down service, this also kept our bedding tidy.

The little bathroom worked properly, but there was no place for toiletries or other hygiene items. There was a strong rain head as well as a handheld nozzle on the shower. The Red Flower products in the shower had a lovely scent to them.

scarlet lady sea terrace cabin bathroom

(Virgin Voyages provided this photo.)

There wasn’t a lot of storage room in the cabin. Instead of a door, the front closet featured a curtain. There were a few shelves accessible, and a large curtain rod sufficed for clothing hanging. One piece of baggage was left unpacked. There is a huge drawer beneath the couch, however it is difficult to reach if you do not choose the sofa layout.

Dining

Scarlet Lady has approximately 20 distinct eating choices to choose from. There is no specific main dining area or buffet, unlike other cruise lines, yet The Galley, with its individual stations, does feature certain aspects seen on other ships. The cuisine diversity in the themed dining rooms is incredible. Some of the culinary genres include Italian, Mexican, Korean, steak and seafood, vegetarian, and experimental. All are included in the meal, although there is typically an opportunity to choose anything extra for an additional fee on the menu.

extra virgin scarlet lady italian restaurant

Extra Virgin Italian restaurant (Virgin Voyages provided this photo.)

Sailors are only allowed to eat at each restaurant once, although they may put their names on a waiting list if they like. It was difficult to sample all of the ship’s eateries due to the short sailings. If at all feasible, make reservations on the app before boarding.

Many of the items on the menus are unique compared to those on other cruise ship restaurants. We liked the non-traditional alternatives and the effort made to set the menu apart from other, more traditional options.

Keep in mind that some of the restaurants only serve dinner, but others are open for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. The Galley serves a variety of food including sandwiches, tacos, bento, burgers, and more. Check your app for serving times; there are a few options in The Galley that serve during dinner hours. The all-day Diner & Dash seemed popular. Pizza and gelato are outside of The Galley as are a few options on the outside decks.

taco station scarlet lady virgin voyages

RELATED: My Dining Experience on the Scarlet Lady of Virgin Voyages

Entertainment

I had no idea what to anticipate after seeing the entertainment’s promotional films. For the major concerts, reservations are required, but for some reason, they felt pointless, particularly when we arrived at a show and saw no seats available. There was no wait for standbys, and no one verified reservations for admittance. Some performances state that reserving a seat does not guarantee a seat. What’s the goal of it all?

Expect nothing like a Broadway play or even a comedian. The Red Room is the setting for “Duel Reality.” Guests are essentially limited to their seats for the duration of the show, which is set up in a school gym arrangement with a tiny balcony level. Because the whole floor area is utilised, visitors are not permitted to leave during the performance, as this would be unsafe to the artists.

red room scarlet lady Entertainment

Fortunately, as a non-showgoer, I inquired where I should seat if I needed to leave early. I was sent upstairs to a much smaller space. My position, which was at the back of the room, gave me a great view of the acrobatics. The gifted performers performed the same exploits again and over again. I admired their athletic abilities, but some of the antics seemed to go on for an extremely long period. “Romeo and Juliet” is reimagined in this acrobatic rendition. Perhaps I would have loved the performance better if I hadn’t been acquainted with the narrative. This concert needed reservations, which the personnel double-checked.

We were surprised to discover no vacant seats at The Manor after making a reservation with the Diva for the performance “Drinks and Revelry.” Because all of the other entertainment options were sold out, we chose this concert. This is problematic considering there were only 820 passengers on board on this particular day. One-time bookings for concerts, similar to one-time eating, would be a good idea.

Areas Open to the Public

Guests may relax in a selection of pubs and lounge rooms located around the ship. On the ship, finding a peaceful spot was simple. With so few people sailing, Scarlet Lady sometimes seemed to be a ghost town. Some of the rooms prioritized aesthetics above functionality. For example, one outdoor location featured inviting loungers that were so low to the ground that I avoided them for fear of having to be lifted out.

Scarlet Lady shines in the open air. The link to the water serves as a constant reminder to visitors that they are on a cruise!

the dock scarlet lady virgin voyages

Spa and gym

Virgin provides group fitness courses, which are usually charged extra on other ships. I was excited to attempt some of the courses, but they were all already booked. What a colossal letdown it was. We did attempt a class that I had never taken before. Due to the intensity of this session, most participants grumbled while using a huge foam rolling pin to ease aching muscles.

There were lots of options since health is a big element of Virgin Voyages’ concept. Again, the lack of availability for courses, including yoga, was very disappointing. A jogging track and an outdoor gym are also accessible.

The amenities that I observed on my brief tour of the spa area pleased me. One of the most intriguing was a mud bath. The place seemed to be rather pleasant, with just a few people utilizing it. The locker facilities are co-ed, which cruisers should be aware of. Access to the spa costs $39 for three hours.

spa scarlet lady virgin voyages theresa russell

Last Thoughts

Many aspects of Scarlet Lady are well-done, while others need improvement. The superb team made a significant contribution to the whole experience. The crew expressed their delight in working with Virgin Voyages on multiple occasions. They also informed us that they value input and have implemented several modifications as a result of suggestions from sailors.

Don’t even think about it if you’re concerned about the passenger mix. The population on this voyage was similar to that of any previous ship, with the exception of the children. Virgin Voyages sought to shake up the cruise industry, and they succeeded. Perhaps they should reconsider their belief that certain conventional processes followed by other cruise companies exist for a purpose.

Russell, Theresa

READ NEXT: 9 Cruise Ideas That Failed to Take Off

The “virgin scarlet lady itinerary” is a blog post about my experience on the Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship.

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