Trip Report: Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady 

Trip Report: Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady 

Unleash Your Inner Rockstar: Our Epic Adventure on Scarlet Lady

First off, let me clear up a popular misconception about Virgin Voyages: It’s not a swinger’s cruise! When I first heard about Scarlet Lady, I didn’t know what to think about Virgin Voyages as a cruise line option…but I knew it looked like a LOT of fun!

Virgin Voyages infuses music, elevated food options, incredible port stops and, of course, world-class entertainment into their four ships – Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady, Brilliant Lady and Resilient Lady. Its adults-only environment adds an element of class to the sailing. According to Virgin, the median age of sailors is in the mid-40s, but I saw a diverse range of ages on my sailing.

I wanted to try Virgin Voyages for myself – and am so glad I did because it was everything I didn’t expect… but in a great way!

Read on for a full report of my experience on the Fire & Sunset Soirée sailing to Key West and Bimini.

Many options to get to Miami, FL

We flew into Fort Lauderdale airport (FLL) from Toronto, a great option as there are usually multiple daily flights. Even the locals in Miami I spoke with said they prefer flying out of FLL instead of Miami International Airport (MIA)!


Our stay at the Moxy Miami South Beach

We were looking to kick off our vacation with style, and we did! The Moxy is a funky boutique-style hotel that Marriott operates. The hotel is located on Washington Avenue, just a few blocks from the beach and close to many popular attractions, restaurants, and nightlife spots. It features a chic and playful design, bright colours, bold patterns, and funky art throughout the property. The lobby has a retro-inspired bar and lounge area, while the rooms are designed with an industrial-chic aesthetic.

Virgin Voyages cruise terminal in Miami (Terminal V) is one of the most gorgeous cruise terminals I’ve seen. But even better than its aesthetic appeal, the terminal’s staff made the embarkation experience seamless. Virtually no more than 20 minutes were standing in line to check in and get on the ship – and no time waiting to disembark at the end of the ship. That was a big plus for me.

The Scarlet Lady offers a range of amenities and activities, including 20 different dining options, a spa, many fitness areas, a tattoo parlour (Squid Ink – note: you MUST make reservations upon embarking on the ship to get a spot), a great selection of retail boutiques, nightclub (The Manor), two pools and multiple hot tubs.


Our Accommodations on the Scarlet Lady: Sea Terrace Cabin

We loved our cabin – my husband is six-foot-plus, and he felt the space was roomy enough for him. It made great use of space and had a sleek design. I loved the lighting and the control tablet, which made it easy to control the room’s lighting, open and close curtains, and more.

As for other accommodations, the Scarlet Lady offers a range of staterooms and suites, both interior and with balconies, and RockStar Suites, which offer additional amenities such as a personal assistant and access to a private members-only lounge.


A foodie’s paradise

The food was a HUGE highlight for me.  It was unexpectedly amazing to be honest – plus, there was lots of flexibility with dining times. My favourite restaurant was The Wake. I recommend booking this restaurant for your first night, at around 7:30 p.m. (after the sail away party, which offers complimentary bubbly). Why, might you ask? If you are seated at the restaurant window, you’ll have a glorious view from the aft of the ship of the gorgeous Miami skyline at night.

The other restaurants were incredible and unique as well, for different reasons. I also really loved The Galley – a food hall that offers a variety of casual eateries, including a burger bar, a taco stand, and a sushi bar. You can book your dining 60 days out on the Virgin Voyages app.

In addition to these restaurants, the Scarlet Lady also has a number of bars and lounges, where passengers can enjoy a variety of cocktails, beers, and wines.

Speaking of cocktails – one thing that I appreciated about Virgin Voyages was that truly EVERYTHING is included. Their current promotions even include throwing in a bar tab per cabin! But rest assured, if you’re not one for cocktails, that’s ok too. There are multiple specialty coffee and smoothie stations around the ship.


Enjoy the party or sit back and relax

There are many special pop-up events and activations on the ship. On your first night, you can head to a PJ party at the Manor, and the sailing’s Scarlet Night party brings the glam and fun out of everyone. Be sure to pack something red.

My husband loved the arcade and social club – mostly because he could play all of his retro video games without spending a dollar.

We were lucky on the ship to catch the last performance of Never Sleep Alone, a show with origins in NYC. The quality of the on-ship entertainment is incredible!

Not only was the entertainment great, but the quality of wellness and fitness offerings stood out to me. Wellness is a prominent focus for Virgin. All group fitness classes are included in your fare, and there is a significant amount of space on board dedicated to physical activity – from basketball nets to boxing rings, you’ll find it on board. There’s even a medspa , complete with IV hydration therapy…let me tell you, it really works.

Even shore excursions are varied in theme – you can choose to navigate Key West yourself (like we did) or take it up a notch and go parasailing over the keys…it’s all up to you!

Important note: Once you hop on ship wifi at Terminal V, book your classes and special events asap.


The Bimini Beach Club

Bimini is one of the most enticing of Bahamian islands. Sitting on the westernmost part of the Bahamian Islands, it is the far less-visited port home to a decidedly more intimate. The sand is white and soft, and the water is clear and turquoise! Virgin’s beach club itself is small but spectacular, with a great stretch of beach, lots of lounge chairs and umbrellas, two pools (one loud, the other less loud), and several bars and dining stations. I loved this spot on our sailing, and it’s a staple for all of their Caribbean itineraries.


The final verdict? I loved it!

The ship’s focus on sustainability (no single-use plastics), wellness and inclusion stood out to me in a sea full of competition (pardon the pun). And, the elevated dining and stunning Bimini Beach Club allowed me to realize the relaxed luxe vibe they were going for.

Interested in sailing the Scarlet Lady? Connect with Pink Palm Travel for a free travel consultation today.


My Top 5 Travel Tips

  1. Have dinner at The Wake at 730 pm on sail away night – the view from the aft is incredible!
  2. Bring fun pjs to wear at the PJ party on the first night.
  3. Bring something red to wear on Scarlet night.
  4. As soon as you get to Terminal V, hop on the ship wifi and book any classes or shows.
  5. Booking a tattoo? Do it on the last night. New tattoos + water and sun don’t mix.

Scroll through my photo gallery from the trip below!

Celebrity Cruises Embraces the Magic of St. Maarten for June Caribbean Comeback

Celebrity Cruises Embraces the Magic of St. Maarten for June Caribbean Comeback

Celebrity Cruises announced its long-anticipated return to cruising today, as company President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo confirmed that the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, the ship at the forefront of the fleet’s $500 million modernization program and featuring the exclusive open-air hideaway The Retreat®, will homeport in the tropical paradise of St. Maarten beginning June 5.

Beginning March 25, eager travelers can turn their vacation dreams into a dream vacation when booking opens for new seven-night itineraries departing through August to some of the best-loved Caribbean island destinations. The ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative test result within 72 hours of embarkation.

Guests can take advantage of special air and sea pricing offering exceptional savings on all Summer 2021 St. Maarten sailings starting at $1,999* per person for a veranda stateroom. The offer applies to new bookings and flights must be booked through Flights By Celebrity and prices include airfare and taxes. No promotional code is needed.

Cruising the Caribbean: Experience Highlights
Celebrity’s new summer season of Caribbean cruises provides a week of indulgence on a luxury cruise ship with world-class dining experiences, thrilling shows and dreamy, stylish staterooms all while basking in the sun, culture and history of some of the most beautiful islands on the planet. Two different itinerary offerings include:

  • Aruba, Curaçao and Barbados – This trifecta of spectacular islands offers plenty of wonder from Aruba’s natural rock pools, caves and volcanic lava formations; to the colorful Dutch-colonial-style buildings and the Willemstad City Center UNESCO World Heritage Site in Curaçao; to snorkeling and catamaran sailings in the cool blue waters of Barbados.
  • Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados – In addition to the many water adventure offerings in Barbados, this itinerary adds in St. Lucia’s lush green landscape and relaxing Sugar Beach; along with one of the British Virgin Islands’ treasures, Tortola, with its mountainous landscape and beautiful sandy coves that are enough to make any beach lover swoon.

With cruise vacations beginning and ending in St. Maarten, guests have plenty of time to experience this island’s fusion of Dutch, French and Caribbean culinary classics, stunning beaches and renowned snorkeling and diving options. 

Celebrity will offer a range of curated tours for all interests and price points at every port of call. Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours will also be available for those guests preferring to explore the destinations with only members of their family or traveling companions.

The Celebrity Revolution
From bow to stern, Celebrity Millennium has undergone one of the largest re-imaginings in history to ensure an unparalleled new luxury experience for guests. The ship now boasts brand new staterooms, freshly appointed restaurants and lounges; and a redesigned spa offering guests unparalleled ways to relax and recharge.  At the all-exclusive The Retreat, guests enjoy a private sundeck and redesigned lounge offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, live entertainment, and around-the-clock butler and concierge service.

Some of the additional onboard enhancements include:

  • Completely redesigned, contemporary staterooms and suites inspired by award-winning British interior designer Kelly Hoppen’s designs for Celebrity Edge and featuring Celebrity’s eXhale bedding with its luxurious Cashmere™ mattresses;
  • Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges where guests can enjoy unparalleled culinary experiences in captivating environments;
  • New boutiques featuring the hottest designer names;
  • Celebrity’s Advanced RFID lock technology with digital key access to every stateroom door.

Healthy at Sea
The company’s first priority is the health and safety of guests, crew, and the people in the places that its ships visit.

Celebrity Millennium will sail with comprehensive, multilayered health and safety measures developed with expert guidance from parent company Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel and Global Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer; and local health and government authorities. These measures, including vaccination requirements, will evolve in keeping with current public health standards. Details on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience can be found at https://www.celebritycruises.com/healthy-at-sea. In addition, guests must meet St. Maarten’s travel requirements, which currently include presenting a negative PCR test taken within 72-hours of arrival to the island.

Simplifying the luxury vacation experience, Wi-Fi, drinks and tips are now ‘Always IncludedSM’ on every Celebrity cruise. And, Celebrity’s “Cruise with Confidence” program provides flexible cancellations and best price guarantees.

For more information on Celebrity Cruises’ new St. Maarten cruise offerings, guests and travel advisors should visit https://www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-deals/caribbean-cruises-from-st-maarten-2021.

*For the pricing specified herein, taxes, fees and port excursions are additional and apply to each guest.

Royal Caribbean Launches New Adventures From Barbados

Grandeur of the Seas Debuts Three Distinct Itineraries to the Sought-after Islands of the Southern Caribbean, beginning December 2021

Royal Caribbean International will for the first time call Barbados “home” next winter, offering travelers fresh ways to experience the southern Caribbean on Grandeur of the Seas. Three distinct 7- and 14-night itineraries will each feature a unique lineup of bucket-list destinations – including three new ports of call in the islands of Tobago, Trinidad and St. Vincent. Showcasing the natural beauty and cultures of the region, weeklong sailings will island hop to a different destination every day or offer late-night stays in the famed ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaireand Curacao. Grandeur’s longer escapes will tout an overnight stay in Aruba coupled with visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, among others.

January 2021 – Royal Caribbean International will call Barbados home for the first time beginning December 2021. The line will offer vacationers new ways to experience the southern Caribbean on board Grandeur of the Seas, including three new ports of call in the islands of Tobago, Trinidad and St. Vincent.

Barbados is known for its rich history and celebrated for its kind and hospitable people – a defining Bajan trait passed on for almost 400 years and still strong today. Adventure-seekers looking to discover the Bajan island vibe will have diverse experiences to choose from across the country’s 11 parishes – a mix of coastal, rural and urban neighborhoods, some sophisticated and luxurious, others immersive and based in nature. Spanning 166 square miles between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the island affectionately known as “Little England” is chock-full of natural and cultural heritage to satisfy wanderlust of all types.

Royal Caribbean’s new 2021-22 winter cruises from Bridgetown, Barbados open for sale today. The itineraries depart on Sundays and ports of call for each are: 

  • 7-night Southern Caribbean Island Hop: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting Scarborough, Tobago(new); Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); St. George’s, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Roseau, Dominica; and Castries, St. Lucia
  • 7-night Southern Caribbean Adventure: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George’s, Grenada; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and Port of Spain, Trinidad (new) 
  • 14-night Ultimate Caribbean: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George’s, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba (overnight); Willemstad, Curacao; Port of Spain, Trinidad(new); Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Royal Caribbean’s inaugural season sailing from Barbados adds even more variety to the cruise line’s current 2021-22 winter season. New departure ports and destinations will bring a breadth of fresh experiences for travelers to make the most of their highly anticipated vacations.