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Virgin Voyages Review. A Cruise Line For You?

Our Virgin Voyages Cruise Review finds that the Scarlet Lady is a big surprise.

Going into this cruise we were prepared to be 'one and done' with Virgin Voyages. This Virgin Voyages Cruise Review will show how this could be the best cruise ship out there today. What surprised us? Watch Virgin Voyages Cruise review and you'll find out!

TRANSCRIPT: (excuse the typos)

Come out and enjoy the pool.

Hey, folks, I'm Walter, and welcome to this overview of Virgin Voyages and the Scarlet Lady. You know, going into this cruise, I wasn't really sure what to expect, and I honestly thought I was going to be a one and done. You know, based on all the things that I had seen on the other vloggers and some of the media reports, it didn't really seem like it was going to be a cruise line for me.

I mean, the food looked good, but everything else about it just seemed odd and weird. But we were pleasantly surprised when an amazing cruise. And I want to share with you two things that surprised us that we didn't know about or we're not expecting based on everything we heard before we got on the ship. Now I have provide a chapter, so if you need to jump to a certain section of the review, you can do that.

Maybe we should do a twist.

Now, first off, we did sail as rock star. So anybody who is in a suite is either a rock star or a mega rock star. But we didn't start out that way, so we booked a Sea Terrace on our original cruise, and then that cruise got canceled because of the pandemic. And then Virgin gave us 200% future cruise credit.

So what we paid for the balcony, plus the same amount to use. So we decided to upgrade to a cheeky corner suite. That's an app suite on the corner. It was 12 011a with a 500 square foot balcony, which is bigger than most of the cabins that we stayed on up to now. But I'll talk about that rock star experience and the cabin a little bit later.

Now, the Scarlet Lady can hold about 2800 passengers when she's full. We had around 1100, so we were less than 50% full for this cruise. Let's talk about the ship, the Scarlet Lady. What really surprised me was how intimate the ship felt. I mean, it felt like a mega yacht or sometimes it didn't even feel like a ship at all.

It felt like we were on a resort. And that because there were no towering spaces, you didn't have a three story atrium or two story main dining room and just other big spaces that made you feel much more on the ship. It was a lot of like one story ceiling, so it felt very small and intimate. And then there were nooks and crannies and seating everywhere on the ship.

And the ship really felt like it was designed for socialization. It wasn't designed to be a big, showy ship. And, oh, look at our ship. Look how beautiful the ship is. It was welcome to your private resort. A very come as you are. Take your shoes off and relax. Now, in some ways, the ship did look utilitarian, especially the way they did the lifeboats on deck seven.

I mean, I've not seen them mounted just up on top of the deck like this. A lot of times they're underneath the deck where you can't see them. But what they did between the lifeboats on deck seven, I absolutely loved they made two big patios on either side of the ship with all kinds of different seating. So you want to sit out there, read a book, you can do that.

You want to sit out there in the sun, you can do that. You want to just relax, have a group conversation. Now, there's no shade on those patios, but if you want shade, just be on the opposite side of the ship from the sun. The ship itself is actually a really nice shade on those patios. Then going out on deck seven, you come to the dock, which is a stunning social dining gathering space right above the wake of the ship.

But they have some daybeds out there. They have chair. They have a grill off to one side and they're preparing. Tap was during the day which are absolutely outstanding really good bar right inside at the dock out it's a really nice bar just to sit relaxed and watch the weight go out and if you want to do some sunning, you can do that or put the umbrellas up and just chill on those daybeds and looking up at the aft of the ship.

I love the design back here. I mean one, it almost looks like a spaceship when you're standing down there on deck seven and two. I love the way the balconies angle out as you go up. So that gives you more privacy. A lot of ship they angle in. So the folks in the upper balcony, you can look right down into all the balcony down below them, see what's going on.

So the way virgin design there's you don't have people just looking right down on top of you. The roundabout was actually kind of cool. It was like a central hub of the ship, but then it just being this big, massive atrium that everybody just kind of walked through and the who are it was actually a purpose to it.

You know, it was a central hub to take you to ice cream, the peach, to the tattoos, to all the things that were just right there. One thing I've never seen on a ship is windows in the casino. Yeah, like behind some of the table games and some of the slot machines, actual huge porthole windows that look to the outside.

It it's actually really nice seeing natural light coming into the casino. And while we're there, the casino is nonsmoking, which we really appreciate it. As far as I know, Virgin and Celebrity are the only two that have nonsmoking casinos. Now they do have a smoking room right off to the side. So if you've got a light up, you can do it right there off to the side.

It's not sprawling all over the place like it does on some ships that we've been on. But I think it's just the right side for a ship of this size. A cool use of technology with the elevators. Now, first off, their color coded so that, you know, if you're a front mid air. But secondly, the whole back wall is a video screen.

So either you're feeling like you're underwater or when you're in a port, they have this very useful screen on there to give you the basic information that you need, primarily what time you need to be back on the ship. And I think my favorite feature about Virgin Voyages is the bracelet. This is it. You don't need a key card.

You don't need one of those big medallion thingies. This is it. This gets you in the room. The pays for all your bills and whatnot. So anything you need to do with the ship, this is it. You just splash this little thing out. I wish the entire cruise industry would get something nice and small and light like this.

So it was that intimacy that really surprised and impressive. I mean, this is a ship that can hold on to 3000 people. It's a big ship with 16 decks, but it didn't feel like it. You know, one story feeling a lot of smaller venues versus big venues. The bars, the restaurant, everything was smaller. So it forced people to spread out rather than congregate in one place.

So what about the overall vibe and the crew on the ship? I mean, that's what everybody wanted to know when we got back. Like, what was it like? I mean, you guys are old. You're not like the demographic they're looking for. I mean, with their techno music everywhere where the loud parties going on all the time were there sex parties going on everywhere?

No. No, it wasn't. You know what it was like? The vibe reminded me of celebrity. If you cruise on Celebrity Cruise Lines, you know what I mean? It's a casual elegance. I call it the white glove treatment without the stuffy attitude. Well, Virgin was like that, but even more casual. It was very much a come as you are.

I feel like it's an adult summer camp. There's a lot of bling, I think like the pajama party or like all kinds of parties. I feel like it's like play right fun. I like being adults, free themselves a little bit. It's a good time.

And no, there was not techno music blasting everywhere. The only time we had techno music was when the DJ was doing his set, sometimes in vinyl, usually up by the pool and we actually noticed that, hey, the music on board is actually really good. It was like a mix of all kinds of different styles of music and it was real music.

It wasn't that Muzak stuff. So during the day it's a very chill and relaxed atmosphere. I mean, you've got arts and crafts, you've got trivia, you got scavenger hunt, you've got the social club down there too, has all kinds of games there, too. Retro Arcade with all the classic game from when I was a kid, which was awesome.

And they've got board games from when we were a kid right up to now. I mean, Chutes and Ladders, hungry, hungry hippos, rock em, soccer robots. And then of course, they got gardening and humanity, exploding kittens and stuff like that. So the vibe, it's almost like the ship is designed to bring out our inner child just to let us relax and have fun.

There's no kids running around so we can just be ourselves. And yes, they do sell sex toys in the sundries store. Yes, they do have a sexologist or whatever she's called who puts on some shows in the manner. And they are made to be provocative. And if that's what you want to go see, well, then book your time and go see the show.

But if you don't want to see it, nobody says you have pity and there's nothing going on throughout the ship that's going to make you feel uncomfortable. There's no central cruise director that you're going to see everywhere and here in the announcement. In fact, there's no announcement on the ship at all, really. The captain made an announcement when we left Miami.

I think he made it another announcement when we came in to Miami. And then there were two announcements to tell us that we could get off the ship at the port. But other than that, you're not going to hear anything.

I brokovich and it just means it's nice to meet you. It's very nice to meet you.

But the crew itself now we heard that quite a bit of the public facing crew has actually come from Disney, Seabourn and celebrity. So that's a level of service that you're going to get and they are good. Now, first of all, you've already paid the gratuity at the beginning in the cruise. So the crew isn't like working extra hard and trying to be in your face so that they're going to get a tip at the end of the cruise.

You're giving a really good, attentive service, but they're not trying too hard. And we did hear from the crew that they are among the highest paid in the cruise industry and they get free wi fi. Can you believe it cruise on most of the other cruise lines have to pay for a WI fi just to stay in touch with friends and family or to keep up with what's going on in this world.

They get it for free, which is how it should be.

Please, because I was like, Well, I'm.

Not going to stop rolling. We're still.

Rolling. Hi. Hi. How are you? Yeah, but I think a princess may.

Actually look at that in that. Great. I would say that the level of service that we got was right up there with Disney and celebrity. I consider those two to be the best of the best in terms of service. Virgin was right there with those two, so the vibe is not sex parties and parties all day and techno music blasting everywhere.

It's a very cool chill. Come as you are. Relax, ship. So how good is that free wi fi that you get with your fare? I have to admit, it was the best wi fi we've ever had at sea, both in terms of signal and the speed that we got. Now, Rebecca just stayed with the regular free wi fi and she was able to play tic tac videos all day long.

She could not stream YouTube, it would crash when she tried to do that, but she could play tic tac toe all day long. I mean, I paid the extra $10 a day to get the high speed. I was able to do two one hour live stream from the ship. No problem at all. And I could stream video from pretty much any site I wanted to.

So signal and speed were excellent throughout the ship.

We cut it out of that absolutely gorgeous.

Rebecca and I are both foodies and Virgin has really been hyping, you know, we have an elevated dining experience. We have elevated food. It will be an experience every single night. So did it live up to the hype? I'm happy to say yes, it really did. Well, it's really cool about not having a big main dining room, not having a buffet.

You don't feel like you're sometimes you feel like cattle when you're going into the main dining room, you've got a long line of people and just kind of walking in or the buffet. There's so many people just going around. It's not really an experience, right? It's just eat a meal and go on to the next thing. With Virgin, every meal was a dining experience because you are truly going to a restaurant.

So like we said before, you know, the restaurant had these little nooks and crannies. So you have like these little groups over here. These are grouped over here. You're not sitting down seeing hundreds of people around you. You're seeing dozens of people all around you. And it makes it a more intimate experience. So I have to say that Dining on Virgin is more of an experience than it is just getting something to eat.

And there are some extra items on all of the menus called Treat Yourself that are an extra charge if you want to go ahead and purchase them like this ridiculous tomahawk steak that our friend George got at the week at dinner. George, how are.

We doing, my friend there. How is that? Very good. It is delicious. Perfectly prepared. You're in the wake of Star Lady all the time.

But you can go the entire week without paying a thing for any food. And that even includes the candy in the Social Club Diner, like taffy and some chocolate and stuff in there. And the galley is their answer to a buffet. So instead of a buffet, it is set up food hall style with steak joint that make a particular thing and most of the food up there is made to order.

So it's fresh. So right there it's a step above most of the buffet to just have food, just sitting out there for hours at a time. The food was quite good. Now where does break down is when it's busy? So one morning we went up there for breakfast and it looked like the entire ship was there because we were in the plant up.

So what they want you to do is go take a seat and place an order restaurant style with a waiter. Well, there were so many people in there, the waiter had just running everywhere, and it was like 5 minutes. We still hadn't gotten anybody to come to us. And the chef at let's taco about it. Notice that we were just sitting there being ignored.

So he actually walked over and took our order and then one of the waiters saw him and stop and I was able to order something through. If the galley is busy, you're going to have to have some patience because it might take some time for a waiter to actually get to you. But when is slower, you can just walk up to any station and go ahead and place the order yourself.

One pleasant dining surprise with the afternoon tea. It was absolutely delicious. It was lovely. Ironically, they charge for it most cruise ship the afternoon tea is included. However, on this ship. At the time it was $19 for tea only and $35 if you wanted to get champagne, because it's in the ship's champagne lounge. But even though you had to pay for it, I would say go do it.

It is a lovely afternoon tea. Now I have a full dining episode linked either here or here. It's a full 40 minutes are pretty much all the venues. Everything that we ate, including the test kitchen, pink agave, the wig, razzle dazzle. Pretty much everything we ate just about everywhere. It really the only disappointment was the Bimini Beach Resort.

The food was mixed, it was okay. And it was amplified by the fact that the food was so good on the ship itself. I highly recommend the Scarlet Lady, so I will gladly try a Scarlet Lady, please. Oh, my God. I'm so.

Excited. Look, look, look what we're looking at. They're going to look at it. Oh, my God. It's so beautiful. Yay! Oh, my God.

Look at the inside of that. Look at the inside of that. There is some serious dark chocolate Christine looking through. And so does virgin voyages live up to the hype? Well, prior to this cruise, I would have told you that Disney has the best food at sea across the board. But now Virgin Voyages is right there. And Celebrity's just a notch below.

That's how good the food is. I mean, they said they were going to deliver a good experience. They delivered an outstanding food experience. Now, before we move on, if you like what we're doing, if we're bringing you some value in your crew's research, please consider subscribing. And thank you so much for your support. And this is an idea, old fashioned.

Here's to all of you. Oh, my God. That could be one of the best old fashioned I have ever had. It was a good old fashioned. And and I got a couple other old fashioned on the ship on the Rock Bourbon Bar and a few other places. Really, really good. But even the pool bar OC, usually the pool bar is slushy drinks is fast drinks is beer.

I got outstanding cocktails at the pool bar. If you're a fan of tequila and mezcal, they have over 120 tequila and mezcal and pink agave alone. They said it's the most at sea. Now, before this cruise, I would have told you that the best bar at sea is the world class bar on Celebrity Cruises. Now, pretty much any bar on the Virgin voyages is really, really good.

And if you don't want the alcohol, you prefer mocktails. Rebecca was getting mocktails all week and she said they were some of the best she's ever had on a cruise ship. And the Bloody Mary, from the way she did it, probably the best Bloody Mary she's ever had. And it was a mocktail. Alex, talk about the itty bitty pool and the sun decks.

Now, when I first saw the reviews and I saw some of the blogs out there, I was like, That can't be the only pool. I mean, there's 3000 people on this ship. It's going to the Caribbean. There have to be at least three or four pools on that ship to cool off. No, you've got that main pool in the middle, which is essentially a plunge pool with a shallow area on either side.

And then you've got a big jetted pool back there by Jim and Tonic, and that's it. That's all that's on the ship. But the pools themselves are actually rather lovely and there is a way that you can enjoy them if you like the pool.

The trick to getting in the pool on the Scarlet Lady is to do a ship day when everybody else is in the port. You get the whole pools yourself. It's the same thing with the other pool behind us. We're back. I was just saying, we think the pool is about the size of our balcony on its feet. And as you can see, you can actually swim in it.

You just got to do it while you're in a fourth day. You try to do this when you're at sea. It's going to be about 500 people in the pool. There'll be about 200 people in that other little pool.

And in terms of shade anywhere on decks 15 or 16, especially on deck 16, there is not a lot of shade anywhere that is pretty much if you worship the sun. Deck 16 is for you on deck 15 on either side of the main pool. There are some shaded loungers in there and there might be about a dozen on either side.

So there's not that many of them and there's a few other shaded area, but really not a lot. Now up on 16 Thursday's red clamshell kind of thing is that if the sun is on the right side, you will be in the shade. And there are cabanas for rent as well down the side of a ship. One kind of odd thing is the hot tubs are exactly that.

Hot tubs, there's no jets in them, at least not the ones around the pool. We're just circulating hot water and that was pretty much it. I did hear that the ones up in Richard's rooftop had some jets in them, but we never used them. That's one area that's really wasted on deck 16 is that whole aft net area.

I mean, they made a big deal out of this thing. It's a catamaran net. It's going to be so cool. You can sit up there and get the ocean underneath you. Well, you know where that net come together? You see all these plastic balls, those are like two or three inch hard plastic balls. And when you go to lay on it, it's not exactly the most comfortable thing in the world.

When you lay back on an actual catamaran net, it's really comfortable. It's nice. You can sit out there for hours. It's good enough to take an Instagram photo or to make a short video like this. But as far as an area to relax and hang out for a while, no. And in fact, the entire aft area back there would barely use during our entire cruise.

I would love to see virgin voyages consider replacing that net area with a pool when the ship goes in for its first dry dock. I mean, it's a lovely aft area back there. You can either have an infinity pool that looks out over the back or just a pool that just sits right up against the back so you can look out the air, maybe put a swim up bar, put a little music venue up there so you can have people playing music during the day.

But that would be a much more useful and popular space back there if they had a pool and it would move some of the people from the other pool. So I have to mention the peekaboo bathroom. There's four peekaboo bathrooms around the main pool. What's the peekaboo bathroom? You're on the scarlet lady. You're hanging out by the pool and you say, Man, I got to use the bathroom.

So you come into this really nice bathroom. Oh, you sit down on the toilet and then you look outside. And when we came home, we found out, yes, people can see inside. So if you've got a ship alongside, you're in the bathroom. The people outside can see you. So that actual pool area, even though we've all picked on it, is rather lovely if you can actually get in there to use it, you know, go there before 1030 in the morning.

You should be fine. Or just stay on board during a port day. I like the variety and quality of the entertainment on board was actually a pleasant surprise. I mean, pretty much what we saw before going on this cruise ship, you know, we saw, you know, the loud sex show. We saw the weird dance party thing. Of course, we saw Scarlet Knight.

And we're like, okay, at that. What all the entertainment is about? No, it is not okay. First of all, there is outstanding live music throughout the ship. There are guitar players, the house band lessons.

I don't know.

I mean, they were doing like an Irish band one day. They're doing a rock band, another day. They were incredibly versatile.

But. We came across an amazing blues guitarist named Slam Allen. I had no idea there was blues on the ship. It was cabaret singing blues. There were musicians playing everywhere. I mean, just take a listen to Slam like this.

Boyd already and we are going to.

So if you're the kind of person that just want to have a couple of cocktails and listen to a musician, you can do that. You want to hear a singer, you can do that. You just want to sit quietly and talk with friends. You can do that. And then there's the red room with the big show. Now that's their version of a theater, the very interesting face.

It's like a big black box theater. They have bleacher seats that can come out well. They're not bleachers or individual seats, but they do come out from the wall where they go all the way back to for the untitled dance party thing. It was just a big open floor with a stage in the middle, and it was kind of a weird show, but it was all experimental dance, so it is going to be a little weird, but they had a big dance stage in the middle and then the whole audience were just standing around and they could participate if they wanted to.

Now do a reality was quite an interesting show. It was their take on Romeo and Juliet, and I could clearly see a West Side Story influence as well. What was neat about it, which you could actually follow along. And one side of the audience is on one team and the other side of the audience. On the other team, the story actually work.

Now, where are they? The best show from? They're working on a cruise ship. No, I mean, I made it through about 10 minutes of a dance party thing. But love duel reality the diva with absolutely fantastic. Now, that's like a cabaret show drag show all mixed in one and it was done in the manor, which is supposedly modeled after the original Studio 54 in New York.

Cool venue, great show, a lot of fun. Then, of course, the social club is open all day and night. They've got the game down there. They've got the arcades where you can keep yourself entertained down there. Yeah. Most evening they had a trivia round running back in the couch one night. They even did stargazing out on the back, out on the dock.

And then there is Scarlet Knights. So what exactly is Scarlet Knight?

So that is our answer to every honorary life formal night. Okay. So here at Virgin Voyages, we celebrate the bravery of the sailor and his love for the optimist goddess. Every scarlet Knight. Some call it a holiday, some call it a party. I call it both.

I have to say, Scarlet Knight was a lot of fun. You know, start here in a roundabout. They all start with this dance number. And then more Dancer just suddenly appeared over to the side. And they're doing Sea Chanties. They're doing electronic music. They're doing all kinds of music. And then once they're done in the roundabout, everybody moves upstairs to the pool deck and how it is the sound.

I highly recommend bringing earplugs because the show is absolutely outrageous. It's amazing, but it's loud. I mean, it is beyond loud up there. And I could take it for about 10 minutes. I had earplugs back in the cabin, and by the time I walked back to the cabin, I didn't feel like walking back up to the show. But Scarlet Knight is not to be missed, in my opinion.

Now for some really fun entertainment, they had private karaoke, three booths, small one, a middle one, and a larger one. I don't do karaoke because I don't sing in front of people, but I had so much fun doing private karaoke with my friend. I mean, I don't know if you're going to appreciate my singing.

Ha. There's no under your bed there.

One really fun aspect of their entertainment is the secret shows a crew member will walk up to you and ask you, Would you like to see a secret show? And they'll give you a little hint of what it's about and they'll tell you whether it's sexual in nature or not. Because she has the sexologist or whatever she's called, she puts on a secret show as well.