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Scarlet Woman cruise ship overview: What to anticipate on board Virgin Voyages’ 1st ship

Scarlet Woman cruise ship overview: What to anticipate on board Virgin Voyages’ 1st ship

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Scarlet Woman, Virgin Voyages’ unique cruise ship, takes all of your preconceived notions of a cruise ship and turns them on their head.

The ship doesn’t have a buffet or a cavernous banquet-style eating room. Children are usually not welcome, however the adults-only ship offers grownups loads of alternatives to play in each childlike and mature methods. Cruise fares embrace all meals, soda, fundamental Wi-Fi and crew gratuities, nevertheless it’s not a luxurious product crammed with opulent decor, sedate vacationers and a stuffy vibe. Onboard leisure will embrace sexual innuendos, F-bombs and queer themes.

Scarlet Woman will not be for everybody. However when you, like me, are bored with (or turned off by) the same-old cruise ship formulation, this ship would possibly simply provide the cruise trip you didn’t know you had been searching for.

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Overview of Scarlet Woman

The 110,000-ton ship options 1,330 cabins and 78 suites and might carry 2,770 passengers at most capability. That’s so much smaller than the most recent ships from traces like Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. The stability works properly; the ship doesn’t really feel oppressively crowded, however there are many eating places, bars and sights on board to maintain you entertained at sea.

Scarlet Woman defies categorization in terms of pricing, as properly. Its cruise fares are extra inclusive than your typical mass-market ship, and subsequently dearer than different mainstream traces. But it surely doesn’t have the identical vibe as luxurious cruise ships that are likely to cater to a retired, rich clientele, who’re much less lively and never into dance events or cutting-edge leisure.

The minimal age to sail Virgin is eighteen years previous, and the ship embraces its adults-only standing. You gained’t discover youngsters on board, but you’ll find board video games, an arcade, swings and limitless pizza and ice cream.

Scarlet Woman Aquatic Membership. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

A standard concern I’ve heard is that Scarlet Woman is just for the younger and the hip. As a very non-hip, mid-40-something, I can guarantee you that isn’t true. The goal demographic for this ship is extra about mindset than age.

If you happen to’re somebody who likes to exit – to dinner, a present, a bar or a celebration – this social ship can be for you. Many eating places have communal tables designed to carry folks collectively, similar to Gunbae, the place tables completely seat six and also you’re inspired to hitch in a consuming recreation along with your newly-met tablemates. The leisure is prime notch, nevertheless it’s extra experimental and trendy than the standard song-and-dance cruise ship exhibits. Scarlet Woman will not be a “learn in your cabin” kind of cruise ship.

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It’s additionally a ship for vacationers with open minds, who embrace variations and aren’t simply shocked or insulted. Onboard comedians will push boundaries with their jokes. You’ll discover crew, from entertainers to waiters, who could also be gender-fluid, tattooed, pierced or brazenly homosexual. Whereas the sex-themed cabaret is gone, the exhibits don’t shrink back from sexual or R-rated themes.

I cherished this in regards to the ship. Others might not.

What I cherished about Scarlet Woman

Hammock on the balcony

Balcony hammock on Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

It might sound minor, however the hammock on my cabin’s balcony made my cruise.

I typically really feel that balconies are wasted area. They’re nice for checking the climate, drying swimsuits and consuming room service breakfast – however I not often spend a lot time hanging out on them. Normally that’s as a result of the chairs are upright and product of steel (or steel and plastic mesh) and the veranda is small, and you may’t get comfy.

Not so with a hammock. I’m 6 ft tall and might absolutely recline in one in every of Scarlet Woman’s brilliant purple, ethically sourced hammocks. The rocking of the hammock mixed with the rocking of the ship at sea, particularly early within the morning when the solar was low and the temperature good, was extremely soothing. I discovered myself plotting the way to get extra hammock time – fairly than merely forgetting I had a balcony as I busied myself across the ship.

Nooks

Scarlet Woman succeeds in creating intimate areas onboard an enormous ship, and I cherished all of the inviting nooks I discovered on board. Generally, these nooks had been tucked-away bars, just like the Dock Home Bar, simply barely off the primary thoroughfare. Or, maybe they had been cute seating areas, just like the curtained-off tables on the Sip bar or day beds on the open-air decks.

The general public areas on the ship invite you to seize a buddy, a drink and chill for some time. I wanted I had time to pattern all of them.

Leisure

Bella Dose performs on Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

I’m a Broadway buff, and I all the time go to the cruise ship exhibits. Except they’re an actual Broadway present (discovered on the likes of NCL or Royal Caribbean), I’m normally strolling out or selecting them aside earlier than they finish.

Scarlet Woman’s leisure impressed me with its innovation and its high quality. The dancers had been unimaginable; they moved in regards to the stage like they had been acting on “So You Assume You Can Dance” (or different TV dance competitors), not in your child’s highschool dance recital. “Twin Actuality,” the Romeo-and-Juliet-themed present, was the primary cruise-ship acrobatic efficiency I’ve seen that had a compelling plot; so many cruise traces throw dancers on hoops or silks within the air just because they will. The best way the staging and performer interplay engaged the viewers was unique and good.

The drag present was a hoot, and the DanceShowPartyThing was completely different than any cruise ship present I’ve ever seen and a lighthearted enjoyable time. The late-night jazz band on the On the Rocks bar stored the crowds engaged, and the crew knew the way to preserve the occasion occurring the dance ground at The Manor – whether or not that was dancing on the stage wings or masking the group with a big parachute.

Associated: This is why Virgin Voyages’ leisure is now the perfect on any cruise

Restaurant idea

I’m not a cruiser who adores the primary eating room. I favor specialty eating places with their particular person menus, decor and vibe. However I additionally hate paying further for meals when meals is already included. On this means, Virgin’s restaurant idea speaks completely to me.

Scarlet Woman has no primary eating room and no buffet. As a substitute, you may make dinner reservations at one in every of its six eating places, or make a extra informal meal from the pizza parlor, meals corridor, snack bar (that includes wings and sizzling canine) or the Dock and Dock Home lounge with their mezze menu. I cherished that each evening I ate someplace completely different – one evening filet mignon on the stylish, upscale The Wake, the following experimental dishes at Take a look at Kitchen or communal Korean BBQ at Gunbae.

Meals ranged from edible to wonderful, however meals had been all the time enjoyable. I felt like I used to be consuming out in a metropolis, fairly than at a resort convention heart, and that night-out vibe set the temper for your entire night.

What I didn’t love about Scarlet Woman

Lack of route

Scarlet Woman is a ship for impartial vacationers who don’t want their palms held or wish to be advised what to do by a cruise director (there isn’t one). Whereas I cherished the dearth of bulletins over the intercom system or on the finish of exhibits, I did really feel prefer it was simple to overlook out on issues on board.

Nobody tells you ways the ship works, although it’s nontraditional for the cruise business. If you happen to don’t know to get on board and instantly make reservations for all of the eating places, exhibits and health courses you need, you’ll find your self locked out of meals and occasions you had been wanting ahead to.

The ship has a determined lack of signage; no deck maps or wayfinder screens by the elevator banks, not even the title of bars by their entrances. The format of the ship is such that sure bars or venues are tucked away off the high-traffic corridors and may be tough to seek out. If you happen to do discover them, they’re normally in a lifeless finish, leaving you to retrace your steps to determine a means throughout a deck.

Maybe if the app had been extra intuitive, a few of these points may very well be mitigated. However I, who’ve efficiently employed quite a few cruise ship apps, needed to ask a crew member to indicate me the place to seek out deck plans within the Sailor App. In-app room service ordering was glitchy, however my cabin attendant hadn’t left me a printout of the menu, so I by no means tried in-room eating.

I can see first-time and older cruisers being particularly confounded by the dearth of steerage on board. Whereas extra bulletins aren’t the reply, I’m positive Virgin Voyages might work out unobtrusive methods to offer sailors a serving to hand.

No buffet

All Day Breakfast in Scarlet Woman’s Galley meals corridor. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

I’m typically not a fan of cruise ship buffets, however a five-night cruise on Scarlet Woman gave me new appreciation for them.

Virgin Voyages is decidedly anti-self-serve. Neither its ships nor its non-public seashore membership on Bimini within the Bahamas provides a buffet. The buffet alternative on Scarlet Woman is The Galley, a meals corridor with a number of themed stations. As a substitute of ordering on the counter, you discover a seat, flag down a waiter and put in your order, which can be delivered to you when prepared.

This idea works properly when you might have time to kill or the venue is empty. However when The Galley is packed, similar to within the morning on a port day, it may take endlessly to be a focus for a server and longer than you’d count on to obtain your meal. You could find grab-and-go bins in a number of places on board, however the meals choice is restricted.

I had the identical expertise at The Dock after a late tour; a number of of us waited far too lengthy for a waiter to look and take our order – although a server had escorted me exterior 5 minutes prior. As a lot as I’m not a fan of buffets, generally I simply wish to eat rapidly and get on with my day.

Associated: 11 issues I cherished on Virgin Voyages — and 6 I type of hated

Scarlet Woman cabins and suites

TK suite on Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Scarlet Woman provides the same old cruise ship mixture of windowless inside cabins, ocean-view rooms with giant home windows that don’t open, cabins with non-public balconies and huge suites. Cruise rooms sleep one to 4 visitors, with twin beds that may be mixed into queens and higher bunks. That’s principally the place the similarity ends.

My room was a Sea Terrace, a.ok.a. a typical balcony room. The IKEA-inspired furnishings and mod décor made the room resemble a classy micro resort. For instance, the mattress is modular. On the cabin’s lengthy wall, there was a material headboard and a slim white platform with one thick armrest.

Twin beds may be arrayed in varied configurations alongside the platform. I had two pushed collectively right into a queen with one-third of the platform as a bedside desk, however a triple might have a 3rd mattress jutting out perpendicular from the opposite two. Or, when you plan on internet hosting an occasion in your cabin, or don’t like studying on a mattress, you possibly can ask your room attendant to strip the sheets and organize two daybed mattresses into an L-shaped sectional sofa.

Whereas virtually nobody makes use of the daybed format, the association means you’re sleeping on a sofa cushion fairly than an opulent mattress. My mattress on Scarlet Woman was not the comfiest I’ve had on a cruise, however the sheets and quilt had been high quality and I slept properly.

My room didn’t have a settee as different cruise ships might need. It had one upright chair within the nook and a vegan leather-based stool underneath the desk that doubled as desk and vainness. The desk is subsequent to a unit housing the mini-fridge and two small cabinets, however there is no such thing as a extra storage. Right here, you’ll additionally discover a touch-screen pad the place you possibly can modify the lighting and temperature of your room.

The one storage is within the closet space, and as in a micro resort, your garments gained’t precisely be hanging behind closed doorways. One tall cupboard with a door homes 4 not-that-deep drawers and cabinets, a lot of which home the protected, life jackets and further towels. However your garments will dangle from a rack behind a curtain that you simply seemingly gained’t hassle to shut. In a single nook is a baggage stand with two cabinets, every with a wicker basket.

The lavatory is tiny and likewise missing in storage. You should use the one lengthy shelf beneath the sink or place your gadgets within the small area subsequent to the sink – there are not any different drawers or cabinets. I stored inserting my rest room bag underneath the elevated cleaning soap dish and realizing the cleaning soap would drip on it.

The bathe has a rain head and a wand and one meager shelf. If you happen to’re pleased with Crimson Flower toiletries, you need to use the offered dispensers of shampoo, conditioner and physique wash, and never have to fret about cramming all of your travel-sized bottles onto the tiny floor space.

I didn’t discover my cabin on Scarlet Woman to be overly inviting or cozy, and I used to be glad I didn’t need to battle for cupboard space with a journey accomplice. What saved the cabin was its balcony, or terrace as Virgin calls it.

The 45-square-foot terrace is furnished with two uninviting steel upright chairs and a spherical drinks desk. I wouldn’t even hassle to take a seat on the market – apart from the putting purple hammock hung from hooks bolted into the underside of the balcony above. That hammock was every little thing. At 6 ft tall, I might stretch out fully and rock with the waves because the ship made its means by means of the Caribbean. Its presence made a forgettable, utilitarian room fascinating and memorable.

If you happen to actually wish to stay it up, you possibly can ebook RockStar Quarters or Mega RockStar Quarters, Virgin’s two classes of suites. These extra-large rooms include sights like music rooms, turntables, peekaboo showers with home windows to the ocean, fully-stocked bars and huge balconies. Perks embrace unique entry to the Richard’s Rooftop solar deck, entry to a RockStar Agent (i.e. concierge), precedence reservations for eating, onboard occasions and shore excursions and complimentary entry to the spa’s thermal suite.

Scarlet Woman eating places and bars

Gunbae on Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Scarlet Woman is peppered with eating places and bars, and it’s doable you gained’t be capable to strive them multi functional crusing. Do your analysis upfront as a result of some venues are simple to overlook when you’re not searching for them. Eating and consuming are highlights of your time on board, so that you’ll wish to go to as many bars and eating places as you possibly can.

Eating places

The ship takes an unconventional method to cruise ship eating, with no primary eating room, no buffet and no extra-fee eating places. On this means, your onboard eating expertise will really feel like a land-based journey, however with fewer Yelp opinions to learn. You’ll seemingly eat in a brand new venue each evening, most with an connected bar for pre-dinner drinks, and must make reservations upfront or take your probability as a walk-in, both early or late. I cherished each the meals and the number of choices.

You’ll wish to make your dinner reservations as quickly as you get on board. One factor that shocked me was the ship requests you additionally make reservations for breakfast, brunch or lunch at sit-down eating places, similar to The Wake and Razzle Dazzle. Stroll-ins are welcome at much less busy instances (similar to proper when the venue opens for breakfast), however I used to be calmly scolded for not reserving upfront. Plan accordingly.

Essentially the most extremely wanted reservation on the ship is Gunbae, Scarlet Woman’s Korean BBQ restaurant. Be ready to make pals – all tables seat six, and your smaller occasion can be seated with strangers. That’s OK as a result of the communal eating and consuming video games (you don’t get the total expertise when you don’t play) aren’t as a lot enjoyable with out a group.

Your server will carry the preferred of the appetizer, seafood, meat and dessert programs, although your desk can flip down any possibility, ask for extra of a favourite or request the options (largely vegetarian dishes). All of the seafood (shrimp, octopus, and so forth.) is cooked collectively within the desk’s central grilling station, adopted by the meat – with out a thorough cleansing of the grill. If this bothers you resulting from allergic reactions or dietary restrictions, ensure you inform the server.

Favorites at our desk had been the dakgangjeong (crispy hen), octopus, kalbi marinated beef quick ribs and macha tea – black sesame twist ice cream with mini marshmallows and black sesame granola.

Razzle Dazzle is a vegetarian-forward restaurant (with a number of, no-longer-secret meat entrees) open for brunch and dinner. At brunch, the spicy avocado toast will get excessive marks, and the cucumber-melon salad was a refreshing starter. Oddly, the restaurant had no jam for my British-style chocolate-chip scone and I needed to make do with butter.

Indulge your interior little one and order the coconut milk fairy toast with sprinkles and the loaded cookies mudslide, or take her to the adjoining Crimson Bar for a popcorn old school, served in a cup designed to seem like the standard red-and-white striped popcorn baggage.

The one destructive is that service right here may be gradual and inattentive.

On the alternative aspect of Sailor Companies from Razzle Dazzle, Pink Agave is the fancier different to the Let’s Taco Bout It outlet in The Galley. The so-called “elevated Mexican” dishes are available small, medium and huge plates, and you may combine and match them and share along with your tablemates. If you happen to’re feeling adventurous, order the mezcal cocktail topped with crunchy crickets.

I didn’t have the conventional dinner expertise at Additional Virgin, the ship’s Italian restaurant, because of the themed crusing I used to be on, however I nonetheless bought to strive a few of the venue’s common dishes. Earlier cruisers inform me Additional Virgin is a shock favourite as a result of Italian eating places are so ubiquitous, however Virgin’s model delivers with fabulous dishes. Everybody raves in regards to the meatballs, the pappardelle pasta and the ricotta bomboloni (like Italian donut holes).

Essentially the most enjoyable dinner I had was at Take a look at Kitchen. If you happen to like surprises, and also you’re keen to show management over your dinner to a chef, you’ll like this experimental restaurant as a lot as I did. The menu reads like this:

  • Corn
  • Salmon
  • Beetroot
  • Shrimp/Lamb
  • Asparagus
  • Strawberry

That’s it. You can also make changes for dietary restrictions, however your waiter will carry out dishes with every of these gadgets starring in it in an uncommon means and can announce what you’re consuming after the plate is about in entrance of you. The drink pairings are value the additional price; you possibly can select from cocktail, wine, beer or alcohol-free pairings, and so they’re all excellent.

The Wake is essentially the most conventional of Scarlet Woman’s eating places. It’s your “get dolled up and eat steak” venue, with a glam vibe and huge home windows overlooking what else however the ship’s wake. Toast your self with a glass of bubbly whilst you dine like a king on clam chowder, roasted bone marrow, filet mignon and lamp chops. Seafood lovers ought to splurge on the extra-fee towers of lobster, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels and crab. The Wake chocolate mousse dessert was the winner at our desk.

The Wake additionally serves brunch and lunch, however I wouldn’t suggest it for breakfast. The menu is tiny and fancy, largely variants of eggs Benedict, a decadent brioche French toast, steak and eggs and a vegan dish. No fruit, no bacon, no oats. The waiter got here round with a tray of off-menu pastries midway by means of our meal, fairly than when he served our espresso and tea. As well as, the restaurant’s place low on the ship and above the engines means you’re feeling and listen to the vibration of the ship so much and all of the cups and saucers had been rattling.

Scarlet Woman additionally has a supper membership expertise referred to as It’s a Ship Present, which takes place in The Manor. Virgin describes the expertise as a mashup of an old-school selection present and a late-night speak present, with dinner, comedy and music.

The Dock and The Dock Home are twin eating places rocking the Mediterranean resort vibe. The Dock Home is an indoor lounge the place you and your sweetie can sip cocktails flavored with figs and anise whereas nibbling on mezze, like beet hummus and watermelon and feta salad, and pretending you’re in Ibiza.

The Dock is the out of doors extension, with the identical menu; recline on day beds or get pleasure from a tete-a-tete at low picket seating areas whilst you get pleasure from grilled shrimp and falafel accompanied by cold-pressed juices or power pictures loaded with turmeric and ginger. The meals was pleasurable, nevertheless it took endlessly to get served mid-afternoon after a tour.

The last word in informal eating, The Galley is Scarlet Woman’s reply to the cruise ship buffet. It’s extra of a meals corridor with a number of themed stations (noodles, tacos, soup and salad, burgers, and so forth.) the place you order by flagging down a waiter. It could actually get complicated since you do need to order in particular person from the dessert and breakfast bakery/yogurt counter and from the popsicle cart, and there are grab-and-go bento bins, salads, wraps and snacks, which you’ll be able to eat together with your sit-down meal or take with you.

The Galley’s idea might use some refining, so be ready. It really works properly when the venue is comparatively quiet; you don’t need to queue for meals or fear about meals sitting round or contaminated tongs. Then again, when it’s busy and also you simply need a fast meal earlier than your tour, it may be arduous to flag down a server and your meals can take 20 minutes to reach. Plus, there’s no possibility for warm meals that you simply plate your self and take again to your room if there are not any seats as a result of it’s important to have a desk to order meals at The Galley. Generally you simply want these steam-tray eggs, grabbable bagels and premade pancakes, and also you don’t need a waiter-served meal.

If you happen to’re catching some rays and don’t wish to quit your spot within the solar for lunch, The Solar Membership Café is a simple pool deck grab-and-go possibility for anybody who likes poke bowls.

However the actual casual-dining winner is The Pizza Place, churning out oven-fresh pizzas day and evening in a light-weight and ethereal area. I used to be a fan of the white truffle and egg pizza; the amusingly named “fairly fly for a white pie” additionally had staunch supporters. Seize a premade salad and take your pie out to the adjoining open-air patio to get pleasure from it within the Caribbean sunshine.

The pizzeria is positioned on Deck 7, the place all of the enjoyable meals is. Proper subsequent door is the Lick Me Until Ice Cream outpost the place you possibly can select from a altering roster of hand-scooped ice cream and cone flavors. My favourite was the important thing lime pie ice cream. Down the corridor is The Social Membership Diner satisfying all of your bar meals cravings with sizzling canine (together with vegan ones), hen wings and gentle pretzels. You can too order sweets like cake pops and steal sweet out of a jar (besides it’s not stealing if it’s free and meant so that you can take).

Certainly one of my favourite traditions on land or sea is afternoon tea, and Scarlet Woman provides a surprisingly spectacular one at its Sip Lounge. I shouldn’t be shocked, given Virgin’s British origins, however I figured tea was not hip sufficient for the road. Tea service does price further – extra if you need Champagne along with your goodies – and I counsel you make it your lunch as a result of it’s means an excessive amount of meals for a snack. You get a full three-tiered tray with scones, finger sandwiches and too many sweets for one particular person to eat in a single sitting.

The menu of JoJo unfastened leaf teas provides a pleasant collection of caffeinated and natural teas. (I’ve been on fancier cruise traces that provided tea baggage fairly than unfastened leaf tea.) Nonetheless, my tea oversteeped because the waiter forgot to go away the chain of the tea ball exterior the pot and I couldn’t get it out till I drank sufficient to succeed in in with out burning my fingers.

Scarlet Woman does provide room service for a price. You may order by way of the Sailor App. Sadly for me, I couldn’t get the room service choice to perform correctly on my telephone, so I might neither see the menu nor order in-cabin eating.

Bars

The Dock Home Bar. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Virgin Voyages doesn’t promote drink packages as typical cruise traces do. As a substitute, you should buy a Bar Tab upfront, which is onboard credit score you possibly can solely spend on drinks on the ship and at Virgin’s Bimini Seaside Membership within the Bahamas. Search for reserving promotions that embrace a free Bar Tab of a specific amount or provide you with bonus cash on prime of what you prepay.

You’ll definitely have many alternatives to spend your Bar Tab on board, whether or not that’s wine with dinner, a morning latte or a cocktail at On the Rocks whilst you take heed to stay music. Ingesting is a key element of Scarlet Woman’s nightlife, however so far as I noticed, most individuals embraced the enjoyable however drank responsibly.

Scarlet Woman’s Happenings Solid (ie, the leisure workforce) lead Grog Walks across the ship which can be a mixture of pub crawl and icebreaker video games so you possibly can meet your shipmates. They do incur an additional price to cowl drinks, however they’re insanely common and promote out rapidly. Attempt to ebook the one early within the cruise to fulfill folks and get the lay of the lounge panorama.

The 2 hottest bars on board every evening are Sip, the Champagne bar (which additionally serves wine and cocktails), and On The Rocks, which is central to every little thing and normally has stay music. If you wish to get a buzz at a venue that’s buzzing, select one in every of these to your nightcap.

I cherished the tucked-away Dock Home Bar for a pre-dinner drink and its exterior extension, The Dock, for day consuming whereas lounging on a solar mattress. The Grounds Membership is Virgin’s nod to Starbucks, with all of the caffeine and baked-good carbs you crave.

Restaurant bars of observe are Pink Agave, with an unlimited tequila and mezcal menu and a few wonderful margaritas, and the Crimson Bar at Razzle Dazzle with its loopy concoctions, such because the Popcorn Previous-Original (topped with precise popcorn). The Social Membership Bar helps you to embrace your interior little one – if mentioned little one might drink alcohol – with alcoholic milkshakes and floats topped with sweet and cookies.

Scarlet Woman has all of the requisite poolside and solar deck bars, together with ones providing smoothies and juices after your indoor or out of doors exercise.

Associated: We tried each bar on Virgin Voyages and ranked them from greatest to worst

Scarlet Woman actions

A swing on Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Scarlet Woman doesn’t overwhelm you with scheduled actions when the vessel is at sea. As a substitute, the ship turns into your playground so that you can get pleasure from nonetheless you want.

The highest decks (15 – 17) are the locations to move for health, enjoyable within the solar or a mixture of each. The Deck 15 Aquatic Membership is the place you’ll discover a typical pool and a well-being pool (primarily a big whirlpool), surrounded by day beds and lounge chairs. Further sun-worshipping area may be discovered one deck up, together with on the Athletic Membership Bar behind the ship the place you possibly can perch on round sunbeds or a suspended catamaran web with views to the wake under.

If you wish to really feel like a rockstar, you possibly can hire one of many non-public cabanas on Deck 16. Every prices $250 for a full day and may be reserved at Sailor Companies on Deck 5. Inside, you’ll discover daybeds for lounging and a drinks cooler prepped with fresh-pressed welcome juices. Your devoted cabana attendant can carry you towels and meals.

Then again, if figuring out is core to your trip beliefs, Scarlet Woman provides loads of choices, however the health areas aren’t linked the best way you assume they may be, so have a look at a deck plan earlier than you throw in your sneakers.

The Deck 15 B-Advanced health heart is split into two halves: Burn + Bike portside, with a biking studio and cardio machines, and Construct + Steadiness starboard, with resistance machines and a studio for yoga, meditation and bungee courses. Take the steps as much as the Coaching Camp group health area, the place you’ll discover HIIT courses.

These are simply the indoor choices. Outdoors Coaching camp is a boxing ring, props for alfresco physique weight workouts, a sports activities court docket for basketball and an grownup playground with swings and a seesaw. Above on Deck 17 is a jogging observe and an area for out of doors yoga. Again on Deck 15 by the wellness pool is one other open-air exercise area – particularly good for show-offs since everybody lounging in that space can watch you sweat.

Virgin Voyages is thought for its inventive health courses, similar to an ‘80s-themed exercise the place crew and visitors don legwarmers and neon leotards to set the temper. As with the Grog Stroll and prime eating instances, group exercises additionally ebook up rapidly, so reserve them as quickly as you possibly can. Additionally in contrast to the courses you might have tried on different cruise traces, Virgin’s are aimed toward lively, youthful adults, not seniors. You’ll work arduous, and you can be sore the following day.

Scarlet Woman’s Redemption Spa can also be damaged up and scattered across the ship. The principle venue is tucked away on Deck 5 on the opposite aspect of the elevator financial institution from Sailor Companies, Pink Agave and Razzle Dazzle. You’ll discover therapy rooms for massages right here, in addition to the thermal suite.

I extremely suggest reserving a three-hour move to the suite and having fun with the sauna, steam room, salt room, mud room and extra. There’s nothing like taking a cup of mud (which seems to be like a chocolate milkshake) and rubbing it throughout your physique (or your accomplice’s – that is Virgin in any case) within the firm of strangers. You gained’t want three hours, so contemplate displaying up a bit late to keep away from the frenzy at first of every session.

On Deck 6, males can get a shave at Stubble and Groom, whereas ladies can get blowouts for Scarlet Night time at Dry Dock. Additionally right here is Virgin Voyages’ groundbreaking tattoo parlor, Squid Ink, the place you possibly can pay inflated charges for the bragging rights of getting gotten a tattoo at sea. In your different bodily wants, The Tune Up provides medispa remedies, manicures and pedicures by the pool on Deck 15.

The Deck 6 on line casino is a hopping place at evening, partly as a result of it’s positioned between The Crimson Room efficiency area and On the Rocks Bar, with the doorway to the Manor nightclub simply reverse. Rookies and excessive rollers alike can join gaming classes or poker tournaments on the WPT at Sea Poker Room in partnership with the World Poker Tour. Nonetheless, palms down essentially the most enjoyable you’ll have playing on the ship is at Bingo With The Diva, Scarlet Woman’s resident drag queen.

Different actions on board embrace trivia and solo traveler meetups. You can too hit the Excessive Road outlets for sundries, emblem put on, hammocks, MAC cosmetics, designer garments and purses, hair and skincare merchandise and alcohol.

Scarlet Woman exhibits and events

A shot from the Scarlet Night time occasion on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Scarlet Woman hits it out of the park in terms of leisure, each performances and events. On many cruise ships, I’ll go to a present, sit within the again and go away after 10 minutes. On Virgin, I used to be absolutely captivated for the size of the efficiency and infrequently got here out raving in regards to the expertise. I admire how the road has employed various performers by way of race, measurement and gender expression, and the way its exhibits don’t shrink back from mature language and sexual themes (each homosexual and straight).

I used to be additionally impressed how the cruise line creates events and occasions that everybody exhibits up for and will get into. On different cruise traces, a deck occasion would possibly appeal to a pair hundred visitors, however on Virgin’s Scarlet Night time, just about everybody seems.

Most primary performances happen within the multipurpose, rearrangeable Crimson Room, however extra intimate exhibits take over The Manor nightclub.

Listed here are a few of the leisure highlights of my five-night Caribbean cruise.

Ships within the Night time: The primary present I noticed on Virgin was my least favourite. To be truthful, I solely was capable of catch a portion of the present. The dancers had been killing it, however the one singer couldn’t carry the present.

Duel Actuality: This participating acrobatic efficiency is presumably the perfect present I’ve seen at sea, and if it’s not, it’s within the prime three. You can be rooting not solely to your workforce, however for love to overcome all on this unique tackle “Romeo and Juliet.”

DanceShowPartyThing: The present’s title says all of it. You’ll work together with the performers and be a part of them within the Macarena, the stage will transfer across the room and also you may not know what’s occurring, however it is going to be enjoyable. If you happen to despise Celine Dion’s Titanic “My Coronary heart Will Go On,” you’ll have a brand new appreciation after this efficiency.

The Diva on Scarlet Woman. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Across the World in 90 Minutes: I believed The Diva’s drag present in The Manor was under-promoted, however maybe that’s on objective as a result of the small area was filled with the fortunate people who flagged it on their schedule. I reluctantly left after intermission, however if you wish to snigger your self foolish and aren’t afraid of being referred to as out by The Diva, you don’t wish to miss this one.

Scarlet Woman additionally brings visitor comedians and performers on board, and those I noticed had been prime notch, together with a younger Latina pop group referred to as Bella Dose.

Just about each evening there’s a themed occasion in The Manor or out on deck, however the ones you should pack for are the PJ Occasion and Scarlet Night time. Scarlet Woman’s first-night pajama occasion is non-compulsory, however when you do wish to get your Virgin vibe occurring day one, pack a pair of occasion PJs and head to the Athletic Membership bar on the primary evening.

Passengers crowd across the pool for a rave-style Scarlet Night time occasion on Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Woman. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

However the occasion to finish all occasions is Scarlet evening. If nothing else, you’ll want to put on purple – whether or not that’s a purple cocktail costume or jumper, shirt, equipment or bathing go well with. Some people go all out formal, whereas others preserve it informal. So long as you’ve bought the precise colour, it’s all good. The Roundabout is the place to be after dinner; look out for flash performances and crew members with invites to secret events. The complete ship can be out in pressure.

The precise Scarlet Night time occasion takes place on the pool deck, and lots of revelers find yourself within the pool, so plan your wardrobe accordingly. It rained on our Scarlet Night time so your entire occasion was moved into the Crimson Room, the place it principally turned a big nightclub with thudding base and never that attention-grabbing. The after occasion strikes to The Manor, however I really most popular hanging out at On The Rocks, listening to the killer band and watching all of the outfits go by.

Scarlet Woman itineraries and pricing

Bimini Seaside Membership. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Scarlet Woman is presently primarily based out of Miami, the place the ship sails 4 itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Every of the four- and five-night cruises spends a day at Virgin’s non-public seashore membership in Bimini, Bahamas. Different ports of name might embrace Key West; Cozumel/Playa del Carmen or Costa Maya, Mexico; or Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

In April 2024, the ship will sail an epic 14-night transatlantic cruise to Barcelona, which can be Scarlet Woman’s homebase not less than by means of October 2024. From Spain, it can sail seven-night itineraries to ports in Italy, Spain and the French Riviera, all with overnights on the occasion island of Ibiza.

Fares begin at $1,426 per cabin for a windowless Insider cabin on a four-night Fireplace & Sundown Soirees cruise to Key West and Bimini. Sea Terraces with non-public balconies begin at $1,996 per cabin. The value is legitimate whether or not you might have one or two vacationers sharing the room, and doesn’t embrace taxes and costs. You’ll pay further for the third or fourth particular person sharing your cabin.

What to know earlier than you go

Scarlet Woman docked in Bimini, Bahamas. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Required paperwork

If you happen to’re a U.S. citizen on one in every of Scarlet Woman’s round-trip Miami sailings, you’ll want a present passport or an official copy of your delivery certificates and a driver’s license or different government-issued photograph ID to sail.

For the ship’s transatlantic crossing and all subsequent cruises from Barcelona, you’ll want a passport that’s legitimate for not less than six months past the date you come back again to the U.S.

Inexperienced-card holders and non-U.S. residents might want to verify necessities primarily based on locations visited.

As well as, you have to to verify in to your cruise on-line, fill out the suitable info and choose an arrival time for embarkation day.

Gratuities

Virgin Voyages embrace crew gratuities in its fares. You’re welcome to tip your bartender or cabin attendant further when you really feel they’ve gone above or past, nevertheless it’s not mandatory.

You might wish to carry some money to tip the porters who take your suitcases from the pier to the ship and any tour guides who lead your ship-sponsored or non-public tour in port.

Wi-Fi

Web entry can also be included in your Scarlet Woman cruise. Wi-Fi is accessible all through the ship, and your complimentary entry covers two gadgets logged in at a time per passenger. If you happen to want to stream music and video, you possibly can pay to improve to a Premium Wi-Fi plan, topic to availability.

Carry-on drinks coverage

Virgin Voyages takes an inexpensive method to passengers bringing drinks on board. Every visitor might carry on board a most of 12 sealed 12-ounce or smaller cans or cartons of nonalcoholic drinks (water, sports activities drinks, soda, non-alcoholic beer, and so forth.) and two 750mL bottles of wine. You might not carry liquor or beer.

You have to transport these in your carry-on baggage. Any drinks present in your checked baggage can be confiscated and returned on the finish of your cruise.

If you happen to select to buy “specialty liquors” within the ports you go to, chances are you’ll carry these on board however they may also be held for you till the final evening of the cruise. Be sure you adhere to customs laws about how a lot alcohol you possibly can carry again into the nation from overseas.

Smoking coverage

Passengers might solely smoke (this contains vaping) within the Deck 6 smoking room exterior the Crimson Room and in a delegated out of doors space on the starboard aspect of Deck 16 by the doorway to Richard’s Rooftop.

Friends might not smoke of their cabins or on cabin terraces. Anybody who breaks the principles can be fined $500 and could also be disembarked on the subsequent vacation spot, with no refund for missed days on the ship and no compensation for lodging and/or airfare again house.

Laundry

Virgin Voyages’ ships wouldn’t have self-service laundry rooms. Nonetheless, passengers can ship particular person clothes gadgets out for urgent, washing and folding, or washing and urgent. You even have the choice to get a complete bag of laundry washed and folded for a flat price.

Eco-cleaning (moist washing however with much less water and eco-friendly detergent that is simpler on materials) can also be obtainable. Categorical turnaround (returned by 5:30 p.m. the identical day when picked up earlier than 11 a.m.) is accessible for an additional price for each common washing and for dry-cleaning. Non-express gadgets can be returned the next day by 5:30 p.m.

Dry-cleaning will not be obtainable on board.

Electrical retailers

All cabins are outfitted with North American, USB and common (European, U.Ok. and lots of different nations) retailers.

A balcony cabin could have two USB ports close to the mattress, together with a North American outlet. The desk and vainness space have two extra USB ports (although one is taken up by the charging cable for the cabin’s pill, which controls the TV, curtains and temperature), two extra North American retailers and one common outlet.

The bogs haven’t any retailers, so you may have to make use of electrical razors and magnificence your hair on the vainness.

Forex

The foreign money on Scarlet Woman is the U.S. greenback. Earlier than you board, you may hyperlink a bank card to your account (which you are able to do by way of the app previous to embarkation day) or put up a money quantity from which you’ll be able to debit for purchases made on board.

The Band — an adjustable twine bracelet with a scannable system connected — is your room key and cost “card” once you sail. It is also used to scan you on and off the ship once you go ashore. Extra importantly, maybe, it permits crew members to find you once you shake for Champagne supply.

Passengers won’t obtain keycards except they’ve entry to Richard’s Rooftop, an unique solar deck reserved for cruisers booked in Rockstar Suites.

Ingesting age

Though Virgin Voyages’ ships allowed anybody 18 or older to sail, the consuming age on board is 21 years when ships are docked within the U.S. In worldwide waters and in locations like Europe, the place the consuming age is eighteen, the onboard consuming age is eighteen.

Costume code

Virgin Voyages has no official costume code. The road advises passengers to come back as they’re, whether or not it is a sparkly costume or denims and a T-shirt. Nonetheless, the typical passenger enjoys wanting stylish and stylish, even when dressed down. Most individuals do develop into one thing just a little nicer for dinner, however you will not discover any official formal nights on board.

Be sure you carry one thing purple for Scarlet Night time, whether or not that is a purple costume, shirt or accent. (Think about a purple swimsuit when you intend to finish the occasion within the pool.) Different themed nights embrace a pajama occasion and an ’80s bash, so pack accordingly.

Backside line

Scarlet Woman is the proper ship for contemporary, young-at-heart vacationers who love cutting-age leisure, good meals, a superb occasion and many R&R. It’s not the precise alternative for people who’re conservative minded or simply offended, or longtime cruisers searching for a standard expertise. If you happen to’ve by no means cruised since you don’t like youngsters, crowds, banquet-style eating or lackluster leisure, this may be the ship that adjustments your thoughts.

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