New Ship Guide: Scarlet Lady
When is Scarlet Lady slated to make its North American Debut?
Cruise line newcomer Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady will officially make its North American debut on October 6, 2021. Following a series of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ship will begin homeporting from PortMiami sailing Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries. Through the end of the year, Scarlet Lady will sail a range of 4- and 5- night cruises, with port stops including Key West, Costa Maya (Mexico), and Virgin Voyage’s own private destination the Beach Club at Bimini (Bahamas).
Virgin Voyages will require all guests to have received the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to cruising. Upon embarkation, each guest must present their vaccination card to board the ship.
Cruising on Scarlet Lady? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you board.
About the Ship: Scarlet Lady is the first ship from Virgin Voyages and the line’s creator Sir Richard Branson. The unique onboard amenities, cabins, and fun atmosphere are certain to make waves through the cruise world. By design, Scarlet Lady (as well as all Virgin Voyages ships) is adults-only, meaning there are no guests under the age of 18. Everything has been designed around this concept, so expect to find more bars and lounges, late-night activities, spa and fitness activities, and less waterslides, kids clubs, and family events.
At full capacity (excluding current COVID restrictions), the ship can carry up to 2,770 total passengers and 1,150 crew members. One of the most unique parts of Scarlet Lady are its innovative cabins that combine smart design and innovative technology. Each room features a bold color palette, mood lighting options, a flexible bed configuration, and push-button service. There are 5 categories of rooms, ranging from inside cabins with 105 sq ft, all the way to the suites (named the ‘Rock Star Quarters’) which accommodate 2-4 guests and come with a host of special perks.
Activities + Entertainment: As designed, Scarlet Lady’s amenities are a twist to many of the activities and entertainment options you will find with other cruise ships. Want to chill out? Head to the Redemption Spa for a seaweed wrap or hot stone massage. Wellness lovers can take part in a number of group fitness classes (think sunrise yoga, boxing classes, and HIIT cardio), or enjoy the scenery of the ocean from the onboard jogging track. The Aquatic Club features a pool to enjoy cocktails and soak in the sunshine as you cruise along. Want to get some ink to remember your trip? Yes, you can do that too at the Squid Ink onboard tattoo studio.
The entertainment options you will find on Scarlet Lady are highly immersive and modern. Programming includes shows developed by world-renowned artists, producers, and directors. Want to dance the night away? Head to the Alluring Nightclub, inspired by Branson’s first recording studio, featuring funky 70’s decor and a punk-vibe. You can also enjoy live shows at The Red Room, try your luck at the Casino, or play a game at the Arcade.
Dining: Scarlet Lady offers 20 restaurants, none of which feature buffet-style dining. All meals are included with each Virgin Voyages fare, so you won’t be in for any surprises with the bill. There are a variety of late night options, as well as high-end experiences designed by Michelin star chefs. A sample of eateries includes The Wake (steak and seafood), Pink Agave (Mexican dishes), Razzle Dazzle (vegetarian menu), The Test Kitchen (experimental menu), Gunbae (Korean bbq), The Dock House (Mediterranean), The Pizza Place, Extra Virgin (Italian cuisine), Dinner & Dash (24-hour diner), Sun Club Cafe (poke bowls), and The Gallery Food Hall.
Virgin Voyages partnered with a number of mixologists to create Scarlet Lady’s beverage program. Basic drinks (water, juice, soda, tea, and coffee) are included in each fare. Cocktail packages can be purchased for an additional cost. Lounge and bar options include the Draught House tap room, the Sip champagne lounge, On the Rocks martini bar, The Red Bar, as well as a number of outdoor venues serving up poolside libations and frozen concoctions.
Pricing: Sailings are filling up quickly with Virgin Voyages official debut in the Caribbean! With a high demand from travelers wanting to sail on the anticipated Scarlet Lady, we recommend booking NOW if you are considering cruising as prices are only going up.
It’s important to note that Virgin Voyages fares include all dining, tips, basic beverages, and Wi-Fi.
Right now you can expect to pay about $150 per person per night for entry-level accommodations. Want to splurge for a balcony cabin room for a little extra space? This class of accommodations currently starts at around $190 per person per night.
What to Expect at Embarkation & Onboard Protocols
At embarkation, all guests will be required to present their COVID-19 vaccination card as well as complete a health questionnaire. According to the line, some cruisers may be required to take an antigen test before boarding, in accordance with CDC guidelines at the time of the voyage.
Virgin has instituted an onboard health and safety protocol they’ve named ‘Voyage Well’. This new program includes deep cleaning measures, reduced ship capacity, social distancing protocols, and a digital app experience for many items such as payment, reservations, and queues.
Regarding mask-wearing while onboard, Virgin’s policy is, “For masks, we follow the same guidance as is recommended on land in accordance with the CDC and UK government — so if people are advised to wear masks there, we will do so at sea, as well.”
With so much to see and do in the ports Scarlet Lady visits, we recommend planning your shore excursions before you get onboard. Top-rated excursions by port include:
The Beach Club at Bimini - This tropical paradise is the newly-created private destination from Virgin Voyages. Set on the tiny island of Bimini in the Bahamas, this resort-like oasis is the perfect place to spend some time when you are not exploring the island. At The Beach Club, you can enjoy activities like yoga and an evening beach bonfire, or lounge by the pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Virgin Voyages has a number of curated excursions arranged by the Beach Club, like swimming with dolphins and a Culture and Heritage tour of the island. You can also opt to reserve a special private cabana on the beach or grove at the Beach Club.
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