Carol and I got on board the Scarlet Lady from Virgin Voyages on Wednesday for a short 4-night cruise. Virgin Voyages is a brand new cruise line from Richard Branson (yes - that Richard Branson), and this is the first of four ships planned for the line.
Virgin Voyages got off to a rough start in that Scarlet Lady, their first ship, was all set to sail in... wait for it... April of 2020. Now we all know what happened in March of 2020... COVID! Everything came to a stop, especially in travel and the Scarlet Lady stayed at the dock for another nineteen months.
At any rate, it's now sailing and has added many new twists to the cruising market. The first thing you notice is that everything is named differently. The cruisers are called Sailors, Shore Excursions are Shore Things, etc. Virgin wants to be known as the cruise line that is DIFFERENT. It's laid-back, casual, edgy and very all-inclusive. In other words, almost anything goes. You may be sitting in the nicest restaurant onboard eating dinner in the evening and it's not unusual to see people dressed in everything from fancy dresses to shorts and t-shirts. But really, isn't that what you experience on land in most restaurants? Speaking of restaurants, there are no "Main Dining Rooms" on this ship. Just a wide variety of restaurants, none of which is an extra charge. (I'll cover the various restaurants in another blog post).
It's a very independent type of ship. Do what you want to do, when you want to do it and however you want to do it. The whole ship will appeal to the wellness and fitness crowd. It includes many wellness classes everyday including on the top outside deck - a beautiful place for a fitness class. It also has a wide variety of fitness stations, not only in the official fitness center, but also around the outside deck and pool areas. Take a look at the pictures below to get a better idea of this.
Entertainment onboard also takes an unusual turn for cruises. There are a number of pop-up theatrics that can, of course, show up at any time. There are acrobatic shows and eclectic musical performances that can at times turn quite edgy (good it's an adults-only cruise). I'll cover more of the entertainment in another blog.
So take a look at the pictures below (it's a slideshow, so click the left or right arrows) to get an overall feel for this new cruise brand, Virgin Voyages, and it's first ship, the Scarlet Lady.