We tour the first Virgin Voyages cruise ship, Scarlet Lady – Part 2
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This is Part 2 of our tour of Scarlet Lady, the first Virgin Voyages cruise ship.
As part of our promotional trip to The Bahamas with Virgin Atlantic and The Bahamas Tourist Board, I was invited to spend an afternoon aboard the first Virgin Voyages cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, which was spending a day moored in Nassau.
Part 1 of our Scarlet Lady review is here. Let’s continue with our look and the food and drink options on the ship.
There is no shortage of options for those with a sweet tooth.
…. whether that be ice cream, fancy cakes:
…. or ice lollies. There is a juice bar.
…. a barista coffee stand and plenty of proper bars. A beer is reasonably priced at $6, cocktails start at $9.
Cruise ships are synonymous with entertainment and Virgin Voyages is no different. However they do seem to be shying away from the sort of cabaret style performances that are traditionally found on out there. Perhaps other cruise liners are doing the same but I really like the effort Virgin seemed to be making to keep your journey exciting and surprising.
There are a whole host of talented performers onboard from various production companies. If you sit down for too long, you may be treated to your own private gig.
You may randomly come across something as innocuous as a couple sat at a table which suddenly turns into a piece of Edinburgh Fringe-esque performance art. I loved this:
There are more traditional venues and performances but all come with a modern twist.
There is The Manor with its spectacular light installation entrance. It is both a seductive nightclub and classic entertainment space. There is also a karaoke room and onboard vinyl shop with personal listening stations.
If this is all a bit much and you just want to relax, you can chill by the pool or jump in a hot tub:
For a special pampering (and additional fee) you can visit the spa which I thought was out of this world.
It even has sea views:
There are other pampering and grooming spaces including an upscale barber shop, hairstyling beauty bar and nail salon. The most surprising thing I saw onboard is called Squid Ink.
Yes, that is a tattoo studio! You will not be surprised to hear that it is the worlds first ever tattoo studio on a cruise ship. Whilst at sea, I do hope they have the worlds most steady handed tattoo artist on the payroll ….
You can probably leave the voyage fitter than when you arrived judging by the amount of exercise equipment onboard. There are plenty of classes to attend and you can enjoy a session of outdoor boxercise if you so wish.
There are random games around the ship.
I did like this board game stand. You pop along, borrow whatever takes your fancy and bring it back later.
It wouldn’t be a proper cruise ship without the obligatory casino:
Inside the cabins
Where will you be sleeping? Here is a quick look at a standard ocean view cabin in night time configuration:
It was bigger than I expected and looked comfortable. There was a 43” flat-screen TV opposite the bed although I have no idea when you would find the time with so much going on around the ship. There were some nice touches such as the tablet which displayed entertainment schedules but which could also change your cabin lighting depending on your mood.
The bathroom seemed perfectly acceptable:
Here is the shower:
You have a storage wardrobe with a safe, a mini bar and table. The balcony contains a hammock which is a nice touch.
The cleverest aspect of this ship was saved until last. The cabins on Scarlet Lady can be transformed from the night-time bed configuration to a daytime set up. Here is a cabin in the daytime config:
This was completely unexpected. The daytime set up, unrecognisable from its night time counterpart, was more like a living room. It is perfect for popping back to with friends for a drink or a bit of downtime. It is a fantastic, out of the box thinking concept. I imagine it keeps the interior team busy in the morning and evening though.
There are also a variety of VIP suites aka ‘RockStar Quarters’ which we did not have time to see. This is a shame as the largest suite is replete with its own music room containing guitars, an amplifier and vinyl turntable. Oh my. Amazing. I really need to stay in that suite.
There is plenty more that I haven’t covered here and plenty that I didn’t have time to see for myself. I only spent an afternoon onboard so it really was just a taster. The ship didn’t even move! Many guests were ashore so I didn’t get to experience the atmosphere of a busy restaurant or bar.
That said, the short time I had left a big impression and there is no doubt you would have a fantastic time aboard during a cruise.
The infectious enthusiasm and friendliness of all the crew I encountered validates this feeling. They were excellent throughout in a way Virgin seems to have got spot on. You will be made to feel very welcome and special.
I consider myself a reasonably well seasoned traveller but had never contemplated or indeed had any interest in a cruise before. The Scarlet Lady may just have changed my mind.
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady currently operates four and five night cruises out of Miami to Mexico and the Caribbean. Prices start at around £1,300 for two people in an Insider cabin.
You can also pay with Virgin Points. It is a direct revenue based redemption – for every 3,000 points spent you will receive £16.50 off the cost of your cruise, so 0.55p per point.
You do also have to fly out to Miami which is not included in the cost. Alternatively, for something closer to home, from next year the second ship in the Virgin Voyages fleet, Valiant Lady, will be cruising around the cities and islands of the Mediterranean.
Thanks to the Virgin Voyages team for my tour.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)