Could Richard Branson’s foray into cruising with Virgin Voyages, be the coolest thing the cruise industry has seen…ever?! Let’s find out about the cruise line that’s set to shake up the cruise industry in April 2020.
Four ships are planned for the Virgin Voyages fleet and the second has just been announced and named Valiant Lady. Details are still being released but read on to find out what we know so far.
Tip: Look out for my voucher code within this article for onboard credit if you book via my links.
If you make a purchase after clicking on a link I may earn a very small % commission at no extra cost to you.
Innovative Cruise Features
My goodness have they pulled out the stops to offer some unprecedented and pretty quirky cruise ship offerings. Ever seen these on board before?:-
- Food halls
- Vinyl shop
- Ink parlour (Imagine the results in rough seas!)
- Drag-queen lunches
- Transformational multi-form theatre
- Underground cave-themed spa
Choose From 20 Eateries
Unlike most cruise lines, there’s no extra charge to dine in any of the 20 eateries onboard Scarlett Lady. There are no buffets or forced formal dress code (although do dress to impress if you wish), instead there’ll be flexi-dining meaning no assigned seating or meal times. Check out the amazing choice of eateries:-
The largest restaurant in the aft of the ship with sea views. Apparently with a ‘theatrical take’ on steak and seafood.
Catering for vegetarian and vegans as well as carnivores. Here’s where you can take a bottomless brunch with drag queen entertainment. (see below)
A rather loud chef and fun Korean restaurant serving barbecued food and a complimentary round of soju.
Serving Mexican shared plates. A DJ adds to the energy of the evening here too!
The Test Kitchen
A laboratory style eaterie. A kind of part-cooking school, part-restaurant where guests are shown the list of ingredients and chefs skilfully concoct dishes for your culinary pleasure.
Good name! Savour regional Italian food and fresh pasta.
Mediterranean small plates and light bites.
Design your own pizza here!
A food hall including bakery, panini shop, burger grill, taco shack, sushi bar, noodle bar, soup and salad stand and 24-hour diner.
There’s also a 24-hour food delivery service should you feel peckish in the early hours.
Cabins are so stylish yet comfortable and designers have paid great attention to detail. 9 out of 10 are ocean view. Cabin features include:-
- Transformational beds rather than fixed for more space
- Sensory lighting
- In cabin entertainment with 43″ 4+ flat-screen HD TV
- Vanity areas
- Bathrooms with rain shower
Mega Rockstar Treatment
Want to be a Mega RockStar? You will receive some pretty special treatment including:-
From the time of booking and throughout your voyage you will have access to a concierge and a team to arrange and customise shore excursions. You’ll also get a personal rider. Want something? Basically, they make it happen.
Luxury Private Transfers
To and from the ship plus express path to get straight on board as soon as you arrive.
If you book a Massive Suite, you’ll enjoy 2147 sq ft of luxury with large marbled bathroom, outdoor hot tub, peek-a-view outdoor shower, private music room (because you’re a Mega Rockstar) and huge forward facing private terrace! Other Mega Rockstar suites available are the Fab Suite 950 sq ft, Posh Suite 833 sq ft and Gorgeous suite 570 sq ft.
To help you unpack and pack at the end.
Have your favourite tipple stocked in your bottomless suite bar. In fact, all drinks onboard are free (except for Virgin Lady Locker).
‘Cos you’re gonna need to show the Jones’s back home at all times! Enjoy complimentary premium Wi-Fi to stream from all of your devices. Also, in room, on demand entertainment.
Dedicated Hair and Makeup Team
This has to be a cruise first! No more smudged mascara or windswept barnet! Would you make use of this? Comment below.
Enjoy exclusive backstage entertainment, restaurants and excursions access.
VIP Private Club
Exclusive access to Richard’s Rooftop to enjoy drinks with fellow Rockstars.
VIP Beach Club
Gain exclusive access to the VIP area at The Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas.
Free Spa Suite Access
Complimentary access to Redemption Spa Thermal suite.
Did I say exclusive enough times?! Also, enjoy complimentary laundry and pressing service, evening swimwear drying service, upgraded bath amenities and wonderful nights’ sleep in a plush European King Bed with premium linens.
If you enjoy broadway-style shows, perhaps this is not the place for you. Traditional cruise ship style shows have been banned in fact! Expect ‘micro-plays’, drag-queen entertainment, midnight dodgeball tournaments, interactive dance parties, pop-up comedy acts and specially curated background music throughout the ship. Let’s check out the entertainment venues:-
The ship’s nightclub, The Manor is three bar two-storey space that transitions into a nightclub after ground-breaking shows. It’s a funky 70s themed club named after Branson’s recording studio. Looks pretty swish don’t you think? (see below).
The Red Room
The Red Room is the transformational multi-form theatre where you can enjoy boundary-pushing performances on the traditional Proscenium stage or late-night dance parties on the flat-floor configuration.
Why not make your own entertainment and sing your heart out with friends in The Groupie private karaoke, gaming and movie room? Sessions can be pre booked onboard.
There will be a casino onboard as it is featured on the ship’s deck plan and the company is recruiting for casino staff. Details are still to be released.
Mark Ronson, MK and duo Sofi Tukker are among some of the top DJs confirmed to perform for the guests at the Bimini Beach Club in the Bahamas during Scarlet Lady’s first year. Also, expect resident DJ sets in Voyage Vinyl, the ship’s record shop.
Scarlet Lady Itineraries From April 2020
Fire and Sunset Soirees – 4 nights – Miami, Key West, Bimini, Miami.
Riviera Maya – 5 nights – Miami, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Bimini, Miami.
Mayan Sol – 5 nights – Miami, Costa Maya, Bimini, Miami.
Each itinerary will depart at 7pm and feature either an overnight stay or late-night sailaway. You may notice that they all call into Bimini which is Virgin’s very own private port, a great place to party! (see below video).
If you can’t wait ’til April there are also a couple of preview sailings:-
Sneak-a-Peek – 3 nights – Miami, Bimini, Miami.
Christmas and New Year sailings:-
Richard’s Birthday Bash – Why not celebrate onboard with the man himself who’ll be celebrating his 70th! (So a quick Google search informs me. I hope he’s not reading this!. Departs 15th July for 4 nights.
Valiant Lady Itineraries From Early Summer 2021
A choice of 3 7-night itineraries out of Barcelona.
7 nights – Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Olbia
7 nights – Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Marina di Carrera, Cagliari.
7 nights – Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar.
Each cruise docks only steps away from Las Ramblas in Barcelona and includes a Friday overnight in Ibiza!
An Emphasis On Wellness
Rather than feeling like you need a break after your holiday, there’s plenty of opportunity for some r & r:-
- Wellness pool
- Juice bar
- Redemption Spa complete with a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools, quartz beds and spa treatments.
- Keep hydrated with complimentary soft drinks
- Outdoor Athletic club with boxing ring, strength and gymnastic equipment
- B Complex fitness centre with ‘Build, Burn, Bike and Balance as well as ‘Burn and Build’ gyms
- Crow’s nest secluded sundeck for sunset and sunrise yoga (see below).
A Focus on Sustainability
How green can a cruise line really be? It’s hot topic in the industry at the moment and Virgin Voyages is set to be one of the greener cruise lines promising all this:-
- Banning the use of single-plastic items such as straws, take away hot drinks cups and bottled water
- Using recyclable and reusable materials
- Sustainable coffee which pays farmers ‘way above’ Fair Trade prices
- Eliminating buffets so less food-waste and use of sustainable seafood
- Sustainable energy, turning the ship’s heat into electricity
- Carbon footprint and energy saving design features such as LED lighting and room sensors
- Repurposing the ocean’s plastic for use in the ship’s retail section and reef-safe sunscreen and beauty products.
It sounds like the crew will be very well looked after with quarters designed by the same people as the guests’ accommodation and ‘sweet staff bar’ will be a great place to unwind.
There’s a strong focus on diversity and equality. Women are recruited in more engineering and shipbuilding jobs which were previously exclusively occupied by men.
Drinks, Tips & Taxes Included
Keep hydrated with complimentary filtered still and sparkling water, sodas, non-pressed juices, teas and coffees. You will be charged for alcoholic drinks and other drinks such as non-alcoholic cocktails but don’t worry, I have a voucher code with onboard credit to help with the bar bill.
Reassuringly, tips are also included in the cruise package as are taxes and fees.
Yep, over 18s only on all sailings. I have nothing more to add here!
In summary, Virgin Voyages are clearly going for the younger market who want to seek out some cool destinations on a ship that has some very exciting features. I like their greener approach to cruising and it’s great to know the crew are well looked after. The choice of dining and entertainment will also appeal.What do you think? Will you be sailing with Virgin Voyages? Here’s a voucher code for you to enjoy some onboard credit. Please click via my link below and enter at the check out.
Voucher Code Time!
Enter code THECRUISEDEALLOOT to receive $100 for an insider cabin, $200 for a sea terrace or $400 for a suite if you book via my link below...
Scarlett Lady is 278m-long and 38m-wide and have a gross tonnage of 110,000t. It can accommodate more than 2,700 passengers and 1,500 crew members on board.