Why the new Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady cruise ship is making waves

by ontravelx

Virgin’s Scarlet Lady is vivacious, sassy, sometimes peaceful, often boisterous, and always entertaining.

Possibly the first cruise ship in the Seven Seas to have a tattoo and body piercing parlor, a boxing ring, and an eyebrow-raising box of sex toys in her staterooms, she also has an unusual capacity to thrill and surprise at so many turns.

Those who are seasoned cruisers and have sat at their assigned times in the main dining room can find her disorienting. Unlike other cruise ships, the cost of dining at one of her specialty restaurants is included in the cruise fee; hence, she lacks the standard layout.

For the best time on board, have an open mind, maintain a positive outlook, and actively look for things that bring you delight; they exist. Then, relax and take it all in.

According to Anders Karlsson, VP of Hotel Operations at Virgin Voyages:

We don’t like to put an age on it, it’s more a matter of mindset – this cruise is for the young at heart”

This massive £500 million 17-deck cruise ship welcomes anybody who has been double-jabbed and is prepared to be tested (for free).

Approximately 2,700 “sailors” (also known as passengers) can be accommodated in various cabins, and the ship’s large complement of 1,600 staff members should be more than enough to guarantee that everyone receives the schmaltzy “Ahoy there, lovely sailor” at least once.


No matter how you’re feeling when you board, Scarlet Lady will find a way to let you relax. The intelligent use of décor and color, mood lighting, and music gives each area its unique vitality that can alter your mood. And there’s always some kind of tune playing, even if it’s just background noise like in those disco-style elevators.

Once you get to know Scarlet Lady you will be able to pick your pleasure.


The high-energy gaming zones of Razzle Dazzle, for example, have bright, primary color schemes, aggressive, angular lines, and pulsating music.

The bar sections and various nooks and crannies have contemplative music, dim lighting, and restful tones for those who want to take a step back and relax. In a sense, you’ll be free to choose your own pleasure after getting to know the Scarlet Lady.


There are lots of outlets in my room (10174A), a makeshift wardrobe, a chair, and a table.
If we desired, the double bed could have been converted into a couch throughout the day to offer more space. A little red hammock hangs from the balcony, and if it weren’t so overcast, we would have spent more time there.

Despite the cramped conditions of the “shower room,” which was more of a cubicle, the shower itself was a strong source of delight. In addition to the standard amenities, guests will find a tiny blue box of sex toys and a bag of massage oils in their rooms, which is both a pleasant surprise and an unexpected bonus.

The Rockstar Rooms on Deck 15 are the only place to stay if you’re looking for real luxury. All of the rooms are stunning, but the flagship Mega Rockstar suites, with real fenders hanging from the walls, really wowed me.

All of these suites include marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and minibars loaded with gin, champagne, and vodka. Some even have a hot tub and a freestanding spa out on the balcony.

Yes, I suffer from a severe case of room envy; yet, such sentiments are hardly rock and roll.

Food & Drink

Five of the best specialty restaurants in the city, all created by Michelin-starred chefs, are an absolute must for every visitor. There is no extra charge, and each has its own special atmosphere and menu. My favorite was Gunbae, a Korean restaurant with tableside BBQ, but we really liked the experimental fare at Test.

At The Galley, which spans both sides of Deck 15, you’ll find another 15 or so dining options. You can get some sushi from one section, some tacos with a variety of toppings from another, some spaghetti or pizza to go, or even some vegetables from yet another. Any amount of originality on your part is welcome. You might also use the table service. There is a vegan burger on the menu that tastes exactly like a regular burger. It is called the Impossible Burger.

There is an abundance of sweets, and that ice cream bar, oh my!


The various mini-concerts sprinkled throughout the route, as well as the spontaneous performers who sing and then vanish, are all part of the surprise and joy of just being on board. Some of the shows are also very entertaining. It was Romeo and Juliet who provided the inspiration for the modern “aerial-combat circus spectacle” Duel Reality.

Amazingly, the acrobatics and trapeze act serves as a perfect metaphor for the narrative of love being told. A brief conversation with the show’s star, Charlotte O’Sullivan, highlighted how challenging it is to contort oneself in midair like a pretzel as the boat rocks back and forth with the surge of the sea.

The sexology show “Never Sleep Alone,” the comedy show “The Thing,” and the magic show “The Nerd” were among the other performances. It was entertaining overall, albeit a little cheesy. Plus, there’s bingo.

At night, the ship’s Las Vegas–style casino comes alive with pings and chimes, DJs pump energy into dance floors (one night, sailors donned scarlet for the Scarlet Night disco in the Red Room), and the Manor nightclub buzzes with activity. After getting into bed around 3 a.m., many sleepy sailors could be seen roaming the streets in search of a late breakfast.

There is a swimming pool, hot tubs, and jacuzzis, and mercifully, plenty of beds, cabanas, and loungers for those who would rather relax away from the glitz and glamour of the nightlife.

With many saunas, steam rooms, pools, and a variety of cosmetic treatments, this tranquil spa is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

Moreover, there is a retail deck stocked with several shops.


Scarlet Lady is a rock chick with finesse.

Virgin’s new cruise strategy: can it draw new passengers? Perhaps, but we think it’s a good sign.

I had my hair done while chatting with Mavis, a 92-year-old sailor who wanted to “tart herself up for when her husband gets up,” and then I boogied with some hot young things till the early hours of the morning.

Scarlet Lady is a refined rock girl, to put it bluntly. This could be too much information for some purists. Four nights just didn’t feel like enough time. And yet, we’re still hungry for more.

How much: The price for a four-night trip in a Sea View stateroom with full board starts at £1,235 for two people. Everything from food to water is included in this. There is an additional price for alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees like the double expresso. VirginVoyages.com

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