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
- Have dinner at The Wake at 730 pm on sail away night – the view from the aft is incredible!
- Bring fun pjs to wear at the PJ party on the first night.
- Bring something red to wear on Scarlet night.
- As soon as you get to Terminal V, hop on the ship wifi and book any classes or shows.
- 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!