Virgin Voyages, while still new to the industry, has carved out a niche by offering upscale dining and adults-only cruises that combine party vibes with luxury relaxation. The high-profile British venture has crafted a unique travel experience that is designed to challenge your definition of a cruise journey and exceed the expectations of even the most discerning traveler.
Having claimed all five accolades in the large-ship category at the 2023 Cruise Critic Awards, it's clear that Virgin Voyages has hit the ground running. From dining at over 20 distinct eateries and unlimited fitness classes to complimentary WiFi services, tips, essential beverage options, and vibrant entertainment - the line has truly covered all the bases.
Let's sail into the top five reasons that make a Virgin Voyages Cruise an excellent choice for your next holiday at sea.
Picture this: you are on the open deck of a state-of-the-art cruise ship, a cocktail in hand, enjoying the sun setting upon the endless ocean, and there isn't a screaming toddler in sight. This is precisely what a Virgin Voyages Cruise offers—an adults-only vacation worthy of your wildest dreams. The absence of youngsters ensures that all amenities, activities, and experiences cater specifically to adults, allowing you to engage in grown-up fun with reckless abandon.
Virgin Voyages also ensures that just because you are traveling alone, you don't have to experience the journey alone (unless, of course, you want to). Recognizing the growing trend towards solo travel, the company offers a wide range of social activities designed to foster interaction and connection amongst like-minded travelers. Communal dining tables provide an inviting ambiance for sharing meals and stories, turning strangers into newfound friends. Solo cabins, built explicitly for single travelers, eliminate the supplemental charges typically associated with solo cruising.
One indispensable part of a perfect vacation is food, and Virgin Voyages understands that a gastronomic delight can be the highlight of your day. If you're a food-loving traveler, an epicurean journey awaits you on board. A broad and enticing palette of global cuisines is one of the cornerstones of the high-seas experience that Virgin promises. In a paradigm shift from typical cruise dining, Virgin Voyages offers an array of more than 20 unique eateries, each with its distinct flair, all covered in your cruise fare. Buffets and vast, impersonal dining areas are noticeably absent on this cruise. Instead, each evening feels like a treat as you dine out in stunningly designed eateries that are perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments.
Guests can savor a refined dining experience in a chic steakhouse (The Wake) or relish the vibrant energy of a Korean barbecue (Gunbae). This latter dining spot not only encourages guests to join in on friendly drinking games but also provides complimentary soju and non-alcoholic beverages to fuel the fun. 'Extra Virgin' serves up an Italian culinary journey filled with handcrafted pasta and an admirable selection of wines. 'The Galley,' modeled after popular food halls, lays out an enticing menu that flirts with flavors from around the globe. For those seeking health-conscious alternatives, dishes are often crafted with locally sourced, fresh ingredients, and vegetarian and vegan options prove abundant. This vast culinary landscape ensures taste experiences as far-ranging and exploratory as the journey itself.
Exclusive, Culturally Immersive Excursions
At Virgin Voyages, excursions and experiences are all about immersion into the brand's core passions — design, culinary delights, music, nature, and adventure. Their excursions will take you into the heart of fascinating cultures, bringing you face-to-face with local history and communities. Stepping beyond the boundaries of regular tourist trails, these thoughtfully curated, immersive experiences promise authentic insights into the places you visit. Virgin's commitment to authenticity means they steer clear of impersonal mass tours that aim to maximize profits without considering the needs of the individual vacationer. The contrived smiles and follow-the-flag crowd control tools commonly seen in the industry are a thing of the past here.
Boasting over 40 carefully crafted itineraries that highlight more than 100 ports spanning four continents, Sailors are given ample opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse cultures and remarkable individuals that make each destination unique. With late-stays and overnights factored into the sailings, the exploration doesn't need to end when the sun sets. Bring together the best of Spain and France with a cruise that travels from Barcelona to Marseille, stopping at six ports along the way. Sip your way through vineyards in Tuscany, sea-watch along the Côte d'Azur, and dance till dawn in Ibiza. Or sail the Caribbean, where you'll hike through ancient ruins in Costa Maya and embark on reef dives off the coast of Honduras.
One unique highlight of a Virgin Voyage itinerary is the exclusive visit to their private beach club at Bimini, Bahamas. Designed as an upscale oasis, this club exudes the energy of an island town with a whirlwind party vibe, amplified as the day progresses. You can choose between beach-side relaxation, wild poolside parties, and (for explorers) hidden spots.
Non-Traditional On-Board Activities
Virgin Voyages offers a distinctive cruising experience filled with immersive onboard activities. These activities fall into two categories: spontaneous events that elevate the overall vibe of the voyage among the sailors and special events hosted in unique venues that showcase limited-run performances. The renderings of these events are varied and enticing, providing fresh and memorable experiences with each voyage, ensuring that every sailor's journey is truly one-of-a-kind.
The onboard entertainment is centered around key locations, such as The Manor, a nightclub with a sultry ambiance reminiscent of the 1970s. Taking inspiration from Richard Branson's first recording studio, The Manor is regularly the epicenter of innovative performances that create unforgettable evenings. Another noteworthy venue is The Red Room, which serves as a space for avant-garde theater and musical performances. This dynamic entertainment hub, the first of its kind on a cruise, extends its role into the night, hosting energetic dance parties for sailors looking to extend their day's experiences.
The ship also houses Voyage Vinyl, an onboard record shop for music aficionados. This cozy space emulates an audiophile's dream experience, offering an impressive collection of music magazines, headphones, and record players at listening stations. For those longing for a personal experience, The Groupie, a modern interpretation of Japanese-style karaoke rooms, allows for intimate soirees with friends, boasting an extensive music library that spans decades and genres.
Daytime on Virgin Voyages is just as spirited. The ship brims with activities aimed at eliminating monotony, from high-energy fitness classes to the daring, rebellious vibe of the Squid Ink tattoo studio. The line-up even includes drag-themed brunches and upcoming performances by Broadway producers and directors, ensuring there is no lapse in entertainment. As day turns into night, Virgin Voyages undergoes a remarkable transformation, morphing into a beacon of culture and entertainment. Whether it's a DJ-led party at The Manor, an exclusive performance in the Red Room, or any other nighttime event, the ship pledges an enchanting, unforgettable experience each night at sea.
One of the standout features of a Virgin Voyages cruise is the all-inclusive nature of the trip. From the time you step on board to the moment you disembark, every aspect of your cruise experience has been carefully curated and included in your fare. Virgin's vision ensures that once you've paid for your voyage, you can stash your wallet away and enjoy a world of included luxuries. Your cruise fare is a key that unlocks everything: your meals in all of the ship's eateries, group fitness classes, gratuities, WiFi, and even basic beverages (water, soda, and various juices). Coupled with the company's unwavering commitment to providing excellent service, you can rest assured that your cruise will be a stress-free and top-notch affair.
Tipping is included too, allowing you to interact with the highly attentive staff with no obligation to reach into your pocket at every turn. All your dining experiences are covered, resulting in a gourmet food experience without the worry of bills. The price also includes group fitness classes to help keep those vacation calories in check. And to keep you connected, Virgin Voyages provides unlimited WiFi at no extra cost. This precious piece of transparency eliminates the frustration of unexpected expenses, giving you a stress-free vacation.
Overall Thoughts On Virgin Voyages
In conclusion, embarking on a Virgin Voyages cruise promises an extraordinary, all-encompassing experience that transcends the typical notions of a voyage at sea. With its innovative approach to cruising, the Virgin Voyages brand offers a distinctive blend of luxurious relaxation, upscale dining, and vibrant entertainment that caters exclusively to adults seeking an unparalleled holiday. We can't wait to report back firsthand on what it's like to voyage with Virgin, as we will be embarking on the Scarlet Lady Caribbean Cruise next month and a European Virgin Voyages cruise in 2024!
Looking to set sail the Virgin way? Reach out to the expert planners at Travel Queen LLC! As experts in all things luxury travel, we know what it takes to create the ultimate vacation. Let us help create your most memorable getaway yet!
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