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Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Recap And Review



Having recently disembarked from our latest sea adventure, we've got a lot to share about our experience on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady. If you're curious about what it's like to step aboard this modern cruise line and sail the Caribbean, you're in the right place.


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 travel experience that is designed to challenge your definition of a cruise journey and exceed the expectations of even the most discerning traveler.


For us, embarking on the Scarlet Lady definitely felt like stepping into a new era of cruising. This cruise line is a game-changer for adult vacationers seeking an experience that blends high-energy party vibes with the serene luxury of a beachfront resort, all while at sea. Our itinerary, "Dominican Daze," was equally impressive. Departing from Miami, our 5-day trip had us ATVing in the Dominican Republic and relaxing on the beach in the Bahamas.


In this blog, we'll discuss our experiences on and off the ship, exploring everything from the innovative tech amenities that made life onboard seamless to the unique, adult-only entertainment options that ensured there was never a dull moment. Whether you're a cruising veteran or contemplating your first voyage, our journey on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady might just be the inspiration you need for your next adventure.


Let's get into it!


Quick Facts About Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

  • Available To: Adults-Only 18+

  • Rooms: 1,330 Cabins and 78 RockStar Quarters 

  • Capacity: 2,770 Passengers

  • Restaurants: 20+ Eateries, 6 That Require Reservations

  • Bars: 6 Bars & Lounges

  • Location: Sails out of Port Miami


Preboarding

Before heading aboard, we stayed at Yve Hotel Miami. It's a 3-star boutique hotel that doesn't break the bank, plus it's comfy and convenient. Honestly, its biggest perk was being super close to the port — less than a 10-minute drive — making our cruise morning chill and hassle-free. The staff was friendly, and the included welcome cocktail was an added bonus. Additionally, having a CVS right across the street was handy for grabbing those last-minute things we forgot to pack. Heading to the ship, we just caught an Uber. There was no drama, and boarding the boat was straightforward!


Atmosphere


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.


It's clear that every detail of the Scarlet Lady was curated to impress and excite. The decor is fresh and fun, with plenty of cheeky photo op spots to capture your trip for social media. The ship's interior combines soft, warm color palettes with bold accents, creating an environment that is both comfortable and exhilarating to be in. While each space has its own decor and feel, the ship maintains a cohesive atmosphere.


Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Scarlet Lady focuses on the overall experience, making each moment seamless, from the efficient check-in process to the thoughtful touch of freely available WiFi. It's also a sanctuary for solo travelers, with a variety of social activities and communal dining options facilitating connections among guests, alongside specially designed solo cabins that waive the single supplement fee.


Accommodations


As residents of a Sea Terrace cabin, we found it snug yet undeniably charming. Decorated with modern furnishings and packed with practical touches such as plenty of outlets and iPad-controlled lights and curtains, we thoroughly enjoyed coming back to our suite at the end of a long day. Also, we lovvvveed our balcony! You can't beat sipping hot coffee while taking in those ocean views or relaxing in your hammock after a wild night out. However, in hindsight, we wish we would have opted for an XL Sea Terrace or a superior category for a little extra leeway, especially in the bathroom. So, for those seeking a bit more stretch room while freshening up or enjoying a soothing shower, the upgrade comes highly recommended. 


Need extra towels or a second pitcher of water to quench your thirst after a day filled with adventures? The Scarlet Lady eagerly welcomes personalization requests. Just ask housekeeping, and they'll be more than happy to accommodate.


Pro Tip: Never let wrinkled clothing dampen your style onboard. You can always request a clothing steamer to keep your look on point. After all, style and sass are virtues celebrated by Virgin Voyages!


Amenities & Experiences


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. 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.


My voyage kicked off with the exciting Puzzle Challenge. Even though we lost the competition, the delight was in banding together and engaging our collective brainpower. It's a must-do for anyone who enjoys teamwork and some light-hearted fun. Equally amusing was the Music Trivia. This game's charm lay in its quirkiness, where fun facts about artists were shared, and participants had to guess who it referred to. It's educational and fun at the same time!


The Sip Bar's afternoon tea also earned my high marks. Whether you prefer a leisurely girls' gossip sesh or a solo retreat, it's a must-try. For $19, enjoy your pick of tea alongside a delightful array of pastries and treats. I've learned never to say no to a little extra indulgence, so we think it's worth splurging an additional $16 for the champagne option.


One piece of advice: make sure to attend The Scarlet Night Pool Party at the main pool! With vibrant red at the center of everything, the atmosphere is lively, and the DJ's music will get you pumped up. While you're there, take advantage of the photo ops, especially those panoramic views from deck 7. The After Party at the Manor is also an absolute must-do. It's worth staying up to dance the night away!


Shows

Let's talk about the shows! The Scarlet Lady offers a range of spectacular performances unlike anything we've ever seen on a cruise ship. While they're not your typical cruise ship entertainment, they're also not too avant-garde for most people to enjoy. The performers are incredibly talented, and it's clear that they love what they do. Dual Reality, a circus interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, left me thoroughly entertained. The shows are a highlight of the Scarlet Lady, and we had so much fun watching them!


Amenities

Should you find time between games, parties, and shows, take a moment to soak in other fantastic amenities. Consider the fitness center, complete with complimentary classes guiding you through yoga, Pilates, HIIT, and cycle training. I didn't participate this time, but I promise to check them out on the next cruise!


Being a spa enthusiast, the Redemption Spa was my personal bliss. I found it worthwhile to buy a day pass ($49 on port days, $69 on sea days, or $209 for the whole cruise). The Wellness Pass includes access to the sauna, mud room, steam room, salt room, hot and cold tubs, and thermal pads.


Pro Tip: You'll need to plan your time wisely to make the most of everything on board. But remember to take a moment to breathe in the sea breeze and let the voyage unfold at its pace. I plan to squeeze in a whiskey or rum tasting during my next voyage. Maybe I'll see you there?


Food & Drink


The Wake reigned supreme in the world of delicacies aboard the Scarlet Lady. The hanger steak, bone marrow, double-baked potatoes, and creamed spinach served were all delightful, but the star of the show was the clam chowder. Ending your dining adventure here with the lemon cheesecake is strongly recommended. The Wake also charmed me during their brunch service with their soft shell crab benedict, perfectly complimented by an unlimited $25pp mimosa service.


Next on the hit list was Extra Virgin, the ship's Italian restaurant. Do yourself a favor and try the mini meatballs and the unbelievably good potato gnocchi – so good that I ordered it twice, nixing the sea bass I had ordered. Pro Tip: Don't forget the gelato; its delightful taste was the talk of the ship. I missed out, and I regret it!


Then we had Pink Agave, serving upscale Mexican cuisine. While I relished the esquites (grilled corn), enchilada de pollo (chicken enchiladas), and Bistec Marinero en Escabeche (ribeye steak), it was the bread pudding that stole my heart - delicious to the very last morsel. But honestly, everything we ate here was perfection, so I don't think you can go wrong!


Gunbae, the ship's vibrant Korean BBQ, presented communal dining, fun drinking games, and delicious dishes like dakgangjeong (crispy spicy chicken), fried rice, squid, short ribs, and divine pork belly. We think this would be a great restaurant to start the cruise with if you are looking to make friends while onboard.


The adventure continued onto the Test Kitchen. Their 6-course chef-inspired mystery menu (which interestingly changes every five days) was a fun experience, with the asparagus sorbet and lamb being my favorites. Pro-tip: Add the cocktail pairing to elevate your fine dining adventure.


For quick bites, The Galley was my haven. Their omelet was the perfect kickstart to my morning, and the french fries from the burger bar became my go-to snack.

Last but by no means least was The Pizza Place and their daily pizza specials. Their "Pretty Fly for a White Pie" was a delightful indulgence, and my insider tip: try it with ranch dressing for a delightful flavor twist.


Pro Tip: Get your dinner reservations as early as possible. In case you miss that, don't fret, as onboard reservations can be made at the Shore Excursions desk on the first day. If you'd like an early dinner despite a later reservation, pop by the restaurant at your preferred time – as long as reservations don't overflow, they can usually accommodate.


Bars

The Sip Bar was where champagne dreams came true. Their live music and the irresistible St. Louis Champagne made it the ideal spot to relax before or after dinner. On The Rocks was my favorite bar for drinks with delightful entertainment. Drink Recommendation: The Smooth-Sailing cocktail. The perfect blend of cognac, blackberries, and rosemary.


Excursions


Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Waterfalls of Damajagua and Off-Road Adventure

For those venturing to Puerto Plata, we highly recommend the Waterfalls of Damajagua and Off-Road Adventure excursion. This excursion is ideal for those who want to experience the beauty of the Dominican Republic's natural wonders, but also want a little adventure. The highlight for us was jumping and sliding into the refreshing waters of the waterfalls. You'll definitely get muddy on this excursion, so we suggest bringing a change of clothes.


Overall, the tour was incredibly well-organized, with thoughtful inclusions like photos to capture your wild escapades, water shoes for rocky terrains, lockers for your belongings, and a local lunch to refuel. Those eager to take the wheel of the Polaris off-road buggy need to bring a driver's license!


Pro Tip: Don't forget sunscreen and bug spray. A towel is essential, and phone protection is key for those Insta-worthy snapshots.


Bimini Beach Club 

Despite a day of winds and clouds, our visit to the Bimini Beach Club was enjoyable. The beach club offered many activities, from ocean dips and enjoying beats spun by a poolside DJ, to savoring delicious cocktails. For those looking for a touch of luxury, beach cabanas with butler services are available for rent, promising an even more pampered experience. It's also super convenient that your bar tab and towels from the ship are accepted here, making for a seamless transition from ship to shore.


If beach club vibes are not your thing, the Bimini still has plenty to offer. Explore the island's quiet corners with rented golf carts or bikes, available just a short walk from the dock. The water in the Bahamas is unbelievably clear, so scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming with sting rays are all great options. If you're looking for something a little more adventurous, try your hand at deep sea fishing or parasailing.


Final Thoughts


In conclusion, our maiden voyage with Virgin Voyages was a resounding success! The food was terrific, the activities were endlessly entertaining, and the ambiance struck the perfect balance between relaxing and invigorating. We eagerly look forward to our next voyage with Virgin Voyages this summer in Europe! I'm so ready to embrace new experiences, discover different ports of call, and continue our love affair with this game-changing cruise line.


 

Looking to plan your Virgin Voyages getaway? Reach out to the expert planners at Travel Queen LLC! As experts in all-inclusive travel, we know what it takes to create the ultimate vacation for you and your loved ones. So let us help create your most memorable getaway yet!


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