Last week I was invited aboard Scarlet Lady by Virgin Voyages on her world Launch and the beginning of her Showcase tour.
It’s an exciting time as both Scarlet Lady and Virgin Voyages are being showcased to the world! New company and a new ship.I had a fantastic time aboard Scarlet Lady and honestly loved her. I wasn’t sure that I would. I didn’t think I’d be quite cool enough, but I can honestly say I thought she was absolutely fabulous. I understand not everyone will like her, it would be boring if we all had the same tastes.For her purpose, of 4-5 night short Voyages around the Bahamas. She is perfect. I think I love her so much, as she is in such extreme contrast to the usual companies I sail with, P&O and Cunard.
Here are five things I like and five things I am still pondering over…
5 things I liked about Scarlet Lady
1. The design of her public areas are fabulous. It is clear that so much care and attention has gone into each individual area of the ship. Virgin Voyages idea of getting designers who’ve never designed a ship was a brave idea, I really think it has paid off. Scarlet Lady is definitely different. I do however feel like I’m on a cruise ship still, though a very trendy, Uber Cool one!
2. The Entertainment on board is mad. Insane. I didn’t always understand what was happening but I absolutely loved it. It’s in such stark contrast to a string quartet or watching the Ballroom dancing in the Queens Room I have become used to! Duel Reality was nail biting, energetic and fascinating! The dance show Untitled Dance Show Party Thingy was bizarre, vibrant and fabulous!
3. Food, oh my the food I tried was delicious! I dined in The Test Kitchen in the evening. The Test Kitchen is branded as a cooking lab and restaurant. Inspired by Escoffier’s Ma cuisine. The meal itself was a show! The menu is presented to you as a list of ingredients, so you don’t really know what to expect until the dish arrives. Everything was delicious and the perfect portion to fill you but not make you uncomfortably full. A selection of Test Kitchen specific cocktails can be ordered to compliment the unique menu. I’d definitely dine here again. I also ate in Razzle Dazzle. I really really really wanted to visit Razzle Dazzle. The bold design enticed, so when it was a breakfast option I was there at 0700! Razzle Dazzle is a vegetarian – forward restaurant, my understanding is that it is vegetarian but will serve some meat. We ordered vegetarian Breakfasts and thoroughly enjoyed them! There was so much food, excellent service , I would definitely eat here again!
4. I love the concept of lots of different eating places aboard Scarlet Lady. I do also love a main dining room aboard a ship. However Scarlet Lady is far too cool for a MDR… 20 individual eating places is genius, it’s just a shame on a 4 night voyage you won’t be able to try them all! Ah it is an excuse to book another Voyage!
5. Scarlet Lady is so beautiful inside and most definitely outside too! I love the Virgin take on a ship Livery. The silver hull , red funnel, the outside sea terrace lights that spell out messages. She is absolutely stunning and that was on the murky, misty backdrop of Dover. Consider how fabulous she will look in Miami and the Bahamas. I can not wait for those photographs!
5 things I’m Pondering over, about Scarlet Lady.
1. I stayed in a Sea Terrace room. A unique selling point of Scarlet Lady’s rooms are that you can have a sofa in the daytime and a bed at night. In theory, this is a fabulous idea, more space during the day, always a bonus. However in reality you are not likely to be in your room much, especially not on a short Voyage. I think I’d request my cabin steward to leave my bed as a bed.
2. Scarlet Lady is perfectly designed for short cruises, small pool, minimal amounts of storage, perfect for a short break. I however always want to cruise for at least a week, preferably two. I do hope that Virgin Voyages make their voyages longer. I could of course book back to back Voyages, but I’d rather the atmosphere of one big ship community going on one long cruise!
3. I am sure you have already read / watched fellow influencers / bloggers commenting on the lack of pools and nowhere to really swim aboard Scarlet Lady. I did assume that the pool would of been much larger on board. However this would only really bother me in cold weather cruises. In nearly a decade of an annual Caribbean Cruise I can count on one hand the amount of times I have swam in a ship pool in the Caribbean. I spend so much time in the Caribbean Sea instead!
4. There is a lot of cool, groovy, beautiful seating aboard Scarlet Lady. All fantastic, fabulous and instagram-able docked in port. I worry on hitting swell , of which I have a few times in the Caribbean, what will happen with all these stools… I’m not sure I’ll feel too safe perched on a stool in high swells. Though swells will mostly be calm and I’m sure this wont be a problem!
5. My only other wonder is that the seating dotted around isn’t particularly comfortable and there isn’t really a lot of it. However I think I am thinking about this with a P&O / Cunard cruiser head. Scarlet Lady is far too cool to sit around in the Roundabout, you’ll be far more likely to be busting a move dancing to the resident DJ.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit aboard Scarlet Lady and am very grateful to Virgin Voyages for inviting me along and gifting me an overnight stay.I thoroughly enjoyed taking photos of this beautiful ship and have truely fallen in love with her. She will change peoples ideas of Cruising, she is unique, she is special.I can not wait to take a Voyage aboard her, though I do think I will be more likely to take a Voyage aboard Valiant Lady as it’ll be much more convenient to get to Barcelona than Miami!Exciting times for Virgin Voyages!