We set sail on the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady – here’s what to expect

If you’re looking to get away, I’m sure you’ve noticed that hotels and vacation homes near the beach are more expensive than ever. My suggestion for Central Florida looking to get away without booking a flight ticket or driving long distances is to book a cruise. Cruises offer you the opportunity to see one or more countries and provide you with an all-inclusive vacation with dining. One of the best Florida cruises for adults is the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady.

This year Virgin Voyages invited me to experience a cruise on the Crimson. Virgin Voyages was supposed to do its inaugural sailing as a new cruise line in April of 2020, but of course it was delayed and began sailing in August of 2021. This cruise line is for adults only (18+). There are currently two ships in their fleet with two more ships coming in 2023. Virgin Voyages has built a new terminal in the Port of Miami, aptly named Terminal V.

I’ll walk you through what to expect on a Virgin Voyages cruise and share ideas for making the most of your trip. While hosting me on this trip, all opinions are my own.

The following Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady itineraries sail from the Port of Miami. I did a Dominican Daze which features two days in port and two days at sea.

  • The stunned Dominican5 nights – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas
  • Fire & Sunset Soirees4 nights – Key West, USA, and Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas
  • Mayan Sol5 nights – Costa Maya, Mexico, and Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas
  • Riviera Maya5 nights – Cozumel, Mexico, and Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas

You will notice that all Virgin Caribbean itineraries stop at Bimini because they have their own beach club in Bimini. Trams from the port go directly to the beach club. these The tram is exclusively for Virgin Voyages.

It’s a quick 5-minute tram ride to the Beach Club. A swimming pool in the Beach Club and of course a beach with beautiful blue waters is waiting for you. Food at the Beach Club is included in the cruise fare – I highly recommend the rum! There is plenty of seating available and for those who want to splurge they have cabanas.

Virgin Voyages Beach-Club in Bimini
Virgin Voyages Beach-Club in Bimini-briantreks

Virgin Voyages eat differently than many cruise lines. they have More than 20 locations on board With food to satisfy your hunger. There is no traditional buffet, but instead there is a food court-style area called The Galley which features hamburgers, ramen, sushi, all-day breakfast, and more.

There are no large dining rooms on board. Virgin Voyages restaurants offer great food which is included in your cruise fare. You don’t sit with other parties, except for one restaurant, Gunbae Korean Restaurant. You are making a reservation for the number of people in your party and you will be seated at a table for that number of people.

I had no problems making reservations at all restaurants. I made the reservation around the same time every night to make it easier to remember, but all of your dining plans are in the Virgin Voyages app which must be used while sailing.

Virgin Voyages do not have specialty restaurants that you need to pay extra to enjoy, instead, they offer signature dishes or toppings that you can order in-house like the seafood platter at their steakhouse, The Wave. No overselling from servers – it’s entirely up to you.

Italian entry at Extra Virgin Restaurant on board Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady
Italian Entrance at Extra Virgin Restaurant – @briantreks

Scarlet Lady’s Best Restaurants

The restaurants were all good, but here are some of the highlights.

maiden It is an Italian restaurant. They make the pasta that is served here on board by hand! The menu is quite large and it will take you several cruises to taste everything on the menu. Everything was great here, but the stand out was the shopping cart they bring when it’s dessert time. You choose your ice cream flavor, the server pours over the espresso and you choose from several toppings to top this delicious after-dinner treat. genius!

Gunbae It is the first Korean barbecue restaurant in the sea! There are six tables in this restaurant and this is the only restaurant on board where you will sit with the other parties. The server will guide you through the entire experience. Our server brought everything on the menu – and it was plenty of food! Your meal is cooked right in front of you as well as playing drinking games with everyone. It’s so much fun and I recommend doing this on your first night of sailing because you might meet some of the cruise friends you’ll encounter throughout the sailing.

Related: Korean BBQ Restaurants In Orlando For A Delicious Date

waking up in the stern of the ship. Like a traditional steakhouse, you can choose a piece of beef and arrange sides to be shared at the table. The chefs cooked the fillet to my liking and the twice baked potatoes were perfect. Make a reservation around sunset. There are large windows overlooking the wake wrought by the ship. When checking in for this reservation, ask for a table by the windows.

Dessert at The Week in Scarlet Lady
Dessert at The Week in Scarlet Lady – @briantreks

There are two places where most of the entertainment takes place. The Manor and The Red Room are the two main places of entertainment in the Scarlet Lady.

The Red Room is the larger of the two and can be set up as a theater on the tour or as a more traditional theater. The Manor is an intimate setting and also serves as the ship’s nightclub.

Use the Virgin Voyages app to check show dates. Entertainment is something I didn’t plan for when I was on the plane. After dinner, we’d head to the Red Room to see what was going on, and we were always surprised by the show. Fear not, there are no cliched music reviews on Virgin Voyages.

Each port of call offers beach excursions sponsored by the Virgin Voyages team. On the present day in Puerto Plata, we chose Journey in the woods. This was booked directly through the Virgin Voyages app and while I could arrange this before traveling, I waited and booked it once on the ship. I would highly recommend this trip.

In three and a half to four hours, the Jungle Buggy trek made for an adventurous history. We were on ATVs through the woods and then enjoyed a private resort beach.

A view of an all-terrain vehicle on a dirt road in the woods during a buggy jungle trek in Puerto Plata
Buggy ride in the jungle in Puerto Plata with Virgin Voyages – @briantreks

Bimini also offers excursions, with Virgin Voyages offering a private beach club to its guests. However, with a great beach, private pool, and food included, we couldn’t find any reason to leave. Everything we need for a day in paradise can be enjoyed here.

Virgin Voyages introduces beautiful new ships that feel luxurious, relaxed, modern and comfortable. On the Crimson, we encountered a good mix of fellow cruisers of 30-person groups traveling together in medieval pairs. This trip is for all 18 or older – adults only! If you thought sailing was for grandparents – this is definitely not your grandfather’s cruise.

I found a well rounded ship. You can easily find the party if you want to, but if you’re looking for a vacation to disconnect and spend your days at the spa, evenings with a bottle of wine and fine dining, you can find it at Virgin Voyages.

Our Lady of Scarlet Leaves Miami - Brian Kirkwood
Virgin Voyages The Scarlet Lady Leaves Miami – @briantreks

This is definitely a good time to take a cruise because the ships have yet to arrive at full capacity. Our sailing was just under 1,000 guests on a 2,700-person ship. Definitely worth it.

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