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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.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

…. whether that be ice cream, fancy cakes:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

…. or ice lollies. There is a juice bar.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

…. a barista coffee stand and plenty of proper bars. A beer is reasonably priced at $6, cocktails start at $9.

Entertainment options

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.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

There are more traditional venues and performances but all come with a modern twist.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

For a special pampering (and additional fee) you can visit the spa which I thought was out of this world.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

It even has sea views:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

I did like this board game stand. You pop along, borrow whatever takes your fancy and bring it back later.

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

It wouldn’t be a proper cruise ship without the obligatory casino:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

Inside the cabins

Where will you be sleeping? Here is a quick look at a standard ocean view cabin in night time configuration:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

Here is the shower:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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:

Review Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship

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

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.)

Comments (56)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    £1,300 for a four night night cruise out of Miami, per person for two sharing an inside cabin is above the top end of the market. It will be interesting to see how they go and whether they have to steeply discount to maintain adequate occupancy levels.

    I like the day/night alternate cabin layouts but disappointed no formal wear is required at dinner.

    I may try a repo cruise with a one-way flight on points.

    • Gareth says:

      Price is for a couple not per person.

    • Mark says:

      £1300 is the total price for two. Still above the mid range but given the inclusions, they are decent value.

      Would be worth mentioning you can try Virgin Voyages out without flying (if you’re UK based). In Mar / Apr, Valiant Lady (identical sister to Scarlet Lady) is doing several round trips from Portsmouth.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      It says £1300 FOR TWO though, not per person. How does this compare? (I have zero idea about cruise pricing)

      • Daisy says:

        It’s expensive. You can get a 3 or 4 night trip on Royal Or Carnival for considerably less.

        • Rob says:

          That’s not the comparison though. They aren’t trying to steal 25 year olds from Royal Caribbean. They are competing against long weekends in Barcelona or a pair of Balenciaga trainers for the disposable income of liquid 25 year olds.

          • BP says:

            Would take a cruise any day over Balenciaga trainers. Horrible looking things.

          • Qrfan says:

            You think 25 year old pre kids IBD associates who live in central and frequent high end city restaurants have the time or inclination to spend 4 nights on a virgin cruise ship instead of beating the paths of las ramblas? That seems far fetched. More likely competing with Sandals for the high end all inclusive market I reckon. Not the same type of person.

          • Track says:

            I would tune in: difficult now and in foreseeable future to go on a 4-day cruise for someone who works normal job — even if work completely remote.

            There are so many policies, MD has to be informed and the company will track your whereabouts. Increased risk of Covid will be cited.

    • Magic Mike says:

      I think that price is for two, and seems broadly available based on a quick look on their website.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Missed the morning coffee 😉

    • Geoff 1977 says:

      Not sure if it’s been mentioned but that’s the price for two people

    • Peter K says:

      Looking at the text, that’s the price for 2 people. I’m surprised no one else noticed.

  • Gabriel de Leon Alanis says:

    Looking forward to cruise 🚢 as soon as pandemic is over

    • Max says:

      How should it ever end?
      1.) Vaccines don’t work well. Only protect for a very limited time and don’t cover the constantly appearing new variants.
      2.) Media overblows even completely harmless variants such as the ‘omicron’ one. Too many people are therefore afraid.
      3.) Politicians love their newly gained powers. They have no incentive to end the pandemic.
      4.) Big Pharma is making record profits. From a business point of view: Is there any better product than a lifelong ‘vaccine’-subscription that is enforced by governments?

  • Oxonboy says:

    Quite fancy trying a Virgin cruise. The experience looks much more modern and interesting than many mainstream lines. The lack of stuffiness, especially those dreadful formal evenings, appeals.

    • Rich says:

      It takes all sorts to make up a world Oxonboy, not everyone would describe a formal evening as stuffy and Cunard fill their ships too, so much so that a fourth Queen is under construction. There is a cruise ship / line for every taste and I hope Virgin make a success of it, the ship certainly looks impressive.

  • Aron says:

    “If you sit down for too long, you may be treated to your own private gig.”

    Well that sounds like the worst thing imaginable.

  • Richie says:

    The swimming pool looks small.

  • IanT says:

    We’re booked on Resilient Lady (identical sister ship), lovely mid-ship balcony cabin, Lisbon-San Juan, 11 nights repo cruise in November at £879 per person.

    We’re seasoned cruisers (25 in total), but it’ll be our first trip with Virgin.

  • John Stewart says:

    As a regular cruiser I see nothing in this review to entice me onto Virgin

  • Wilko says:

    It’s a shame your reviewer wasn’t able to sample a longer cruise and actually report back on the quality of the food and entertainment. We were looking at this for next Summer, preceded by a week in NYC, but alas my 17yo Daughter falls short of the 18+ by a month. Will certainly consider for 2023.

    • ianM says:

      Also shame he didn’t take the time to review the rockstar suites, seems like a basic omission.

      • Rob says:

        I am guessing they were booked.

      • Toddy says:

        We had 4 nights in a rockstar suite on Scarlet Lady earlier this summer.

        The room was incredible. Lovely design, huge bed, great views & full of nice touches. We selected the ‘biggest balcony’ for this room type and it was huge… in fact, it was too big for 2 people and needed more furniture to stop it looking so barren!

        You can select an inclusive drinks package for your cabin – we went for ‘bubbles’ and received 5 or 6 decent full sized bottles (e.g Moet, VC)

        By booking a rockstar cabin, you get lots of things you would expect – priority boarding, priority booking of restaurants, dedicated service rep onboard etc. I particularly liked the VIP space called Richard’s rooftop – a separate bar with lots of seating and hot tubs, with an Ibiza vibe.

        Food at the restaurants was very good. We ate at the Wake, test kitchen and Gunbae.

        We loved it.. so much so, that we have booked a Caribbean cruise in a mega rockstar suite.

        Feel free to let me know if you have any specific questions

        • Harry T says:

          @Toddy – that sounds like a very good experience. I must confess I am interested.

          • toddy says:

            Harry, if you’ve never cruised before, I’d recommend one of the shorter cruises first. The UK cruise on the new ship don’t go anywhere exciting but it gives you a chance to sample the ship, the experience etc.

            If you enjoy it, then you can book a longer holiday with confidence.

        • Magic Mike says:

          Now this sounds a bit more like the HfP target market – a private bar for those in suites that gets you away from the hoi polloi…

      • Rhys says:

        This was a guided tour by Virgin Voyages. It’s not that Jamie didn’t take the time not to do it!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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