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Virgin Voyages Caribbean Cruise Review 2022 — Scarlet Lady Cruise

Properly pals, I by no means thought I’d say this. Nevertheless it seems I am a cruise particular person. I do know. I’m simply as stunned as you might be. However I don’t even really feel an oz. of disgrace in admitting this.

Rising up, I used to be at all times *so* jealous when my classmates spent spring break aboard a cruise ship with their households, coming again to high school with tan strains and images of themselves with parrots perched on their outstretched arms. My mother has struggled with movement illness her complete life (simply ask the workers at Common Orlando who needed to carry her off the 4-D Harry Potter experience whereas teenage Hannah hid within the reward store in embarrassment), so my household by no means went on cruises. We had been a crew that stayed on dry land, and I got here to just accept that.

However my curiosity about cruises by no means actually went away, regardless of the stigma that generally they are often, nicely...cheesy. I disagree although. I imply, a) I like boats, b) I like touring, and c) I like the thought of meals and leisure being mere steps away always. Figuring out all of that, wouldn’t a cruise be every thing I may ever dream of?! These factors all ran via my thoughts after I was given the chance to board a Virgin Voyages five-night cruise to the Caribbean on the finish of June. I accepted the provide and introduced my BF together with me (sure, he is conscious of how fortunate he’s).

(Heads up:
The editor acquired a comped cruise and flights for ~researching~ this journey.)

As a longtime life-style editor, Virgin Voyages has been on my radar for awhile now. They really shook up the cruise trade after they introduced the debut of their first ship, Scarlet Girl, in early 2019, which I will share extra about in a minute. They now have three different vessels, one in all which you may quickly see on this season of The Bachelorette, when the forged takes their love choices out on open water.

Hannah Chubb

virgin voyages

Hannah Chubb

Virgin Voyages stands other than different ships by being all-inclusive (minus alcoholic drinks) and adults solely (18+ bay-bee), not having gown codes, banishing buffets, eradicating tipping from the equation (suggestions are utterly constructed into the value of the cruise itself). They’re additionally somewhat extra quirky and progressive than different, extra basic, cruise strains. Living proof: there’s a tattoo parlor on board, you may guide onboard actions by way of their Virgin Voyages Sailor App. So, say you need a cool drink on the pool deck. You merely open the VV app, shake your cellphone, and a bottle of champagne will probably be delivered wherever you might be on the ship. That’s the kinda top-notch service you may count on.

Whereas Scarlet Girl has a number of sailings throughout the Caribbean (every begins and ends in Miami, however they enterprise to completely different stops throughout Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas) the crusing I went on was referred to as the Dominican Daze. There have been four-ish days at sea, together with a day in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and a day in Bimini, Bahamas (which is definitely solely 50 miles from South Florida). Lemme stroll you thru my expertise.

The place you are staying…

As talked about, I’ve by no means been on a cruise earlier than, so I’ve nothing to check it to, however I feel the easiest way to explain the Scarlet Girl is to image an enormous grownup playground. It has l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y every thing you would consider on board (however really, I attempted to consider issues they need to add and I got here up with nothing) and was constructed particularly for child-free enjoyable. Each house on the ship is tremendous luxe and appears model spankin’ new. Each floor and house can also be spotless, which is all I may have hoped for on this casual-three-years-of-COVID period (FYI: you need to be totally vaxxed to board the boat).

virgin voyages

Hannah Chubb

virgin voyages

Hannah Chubb

The Ship Areas

Scarlet Girl has 17 decks—most of that are full of issues to do and see. Along with the many bars and eating places, which I will focus on in depth later (as a result of…vital), different ship areas embody areas devoted to wellness, health, and simply plain enjoyable. Highlights embody:

  • Redemption Spa: AKA the place I bought most likely the perfect Swedish therapeutic massage of my life. There are additionally separate areas on the ship to get mani-pedis, blowouts, eyelash extensions, and extra self-care-esque remedies.
  • The Manor: The 2-story nightclub on board! I danced my booty off right here at midnight on my birthday (sure, I spent my birthday on the cruise, and sure, I would do it once more).
  • The On line casino: Just about because the title describes. You’ve got bought all of the regulars: slot machines, poker, roulette, craps, numerous alcohol…you recognize the deal.
  • Excessive Avenue: Mainly a floating mall! It took a lot willpower to stroll previous the lovely Marc Jacobs baggage daily on my technique to dinner, however right here I’m surviving. There’s additionally a retailer that sells on a regular basis necessities in case you occur to neglect one thing on dry land.
  • The Groupie: Personal karaoke rooms. Want I say extra?
  • The Arcade: A room stuffed with arcade video games, no quarters crucial.
  • Voyage Vinyl: Hipsters, this one’s for you. It is a floating file store.
  • Acquatic Membership: Each cruise ship wants a pool, and this ship’s bought two. One is extra relaxed, whereas the opposite principally turns right into a Vegas-style day celebration. Choose your poison.
  • The Athletic Membership: I really cannot clarify how good the fitness center is. It is actually pristine. And by “fitness center” I do not imply one little space devoted to exercise gear, as a result of there are a number of. There’s additionally a boxing ring, basketball courtroom, group health space (did I point out all courses are included?), outside playground, and extra.
  • The Perch and The Runway: Situated on the tippy high deck, The Perch is a delegated yoga spot and The Runway is a working observe, each overlooking the ocean under.
  • Squid Ink: The aforementioned tattoo parlor on board. Enroll fast if you wish to get inked, as a result of appointments guide up quick.
  • The Web: A large, suspended catamaran internet that allows you to lie excessive above the wake under. Kinda terrifying, not gonna lie, but additionally tremendous cool and ‘grammable.

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    The Cute Lil Cabins

    Scarlet Girl has 1,330 common cabins and 78 suites (that are known as “Rockstar Quarters,” naturally), most of which have a terrace with a hammock overlooking the open sea. Whereas the usual cabins aren’t large (you might be on a ship, in any case), they do make fairly environment friendly use of the out there sq. footage. For instance, our room (and most rooms) included a queen-sized mattress that may rework right into a sofa if you wish to host pals, a “glam” space with a giant mirror and nice lighting, a minibar with a wine and bottle opener, a toilet with separate pods for the bathroom and rain bathe, and a pill that controls the lighting, leisure, and temperature within the cabin. The crew was additionally out there 24/7 to deliver something you wanted to the room—whether or not or not it’s water, ice, towels, meals, or booze.

    What you’re consuming and ingesting…

    I’ve at all times heard that cruise ship meals is fairly meh. Like, the identical menu for a complete week sort of meh. However that’s so removed from the case on a Virgin cruise it’s not even humorous. Scarlet Girl has greater than 20 completely different eateries on board, every with full menus, so that you’ll by no means should eat the identical meal twice (except you need to…which you would possibly).

    As I discussed, alcoholic drinks come at an additional value, however you will discover them rattling close to all over the place onboard. Craving an ice-cold pina colada or beer? Employees will serve you your required drink in mere minutes. A couple of issues will value you some additional money: Fancy espresso drinks (common espresso and tea can be found without spending a dime), and a menu merchandise or two at every restaurant, like the big seafood towers or tomahawk steaks.

    This is the place you may be treating your self:

    The Extra ~Informal~ Eateries

    • The Galley: Mainly a meals courtroom at sea, however every thing is free. There are eight completely different outlets able to take your order, together with a noodle bar, panini store, taco joint, sushi spot, American diner, and extra. The Galley can also be the place you will discover allll the free cold and hot drinks, together with a touchscreen soda fountain with Coca-Cola merchandise.
    • The Dock Home: A Tulum-esque indoor/outside space with loads of Insta opps and cute seating. Come right here to graze the day away on shrimp skewers, mezze, and different Mediterranean goodies.
    • The Pizza Place: Private pie on demand, just about any time of day. The white pizza with a fried egg and truffle oil on high…chef’s kiss.
    • Lick Me Until…Ice Cream: Quite a few flavors of ice cream and quite a few flavors of cones. Want I say extra? (Get the malted strawberry.)
    • The Social Membership: Should you had been on the lookout for me on the ship, my BF would most likely inform you to go to The Social Membership. Not as a result of I used to be being social (though I did play some foosball and air hockey in there), however as a result of it has snacks on snacks on snacks. And GOOD ones. Suppose: gentle pretzel with cheese dip, freshly popped popcorn, rooster wings, fancy scorching canines, and a stocked sweet bar.

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      Additional Virgin

      Hannah Chubb

      virgin voyages

      The Sit-Down Eating places

      • The Wake: A surf and turf restaurant that I swear rivals a number of the greatest steakhouses in New York. This was hands-down my favourite place we ate on the ship, open for each breakfast and dinner. For breakfast, order the French toast. For dinner, go all out and get the seafood platter, filet mignon, and allllll the perimeters, like creamed spinach, twice-baked potatoes, truffle fries, and their insanely poufy buns. Lastly, Baked Alaska for dessert.
      • The Check Kitchen: You shouldn’t count on a giant, bountiful meal right here, nevertheless it positively is among the most original eating places on the ship. Designed to appear like a laboratory, the Check Kitchen is half cooking faculty and half eatery, with only a checklist of substances offered to you earlier than you dine. Did I eat asparagus ice cream? Sure. Did I like it? Probably not. Would I inform others to test it out? Completely. Stay somewhat.
      • Pink Agave: With a give attention to the delicacies of Mexico Metropolis, this isn’t your normal taco shack. They’re slinging elevated variations of basic Mexican dishes, from tortas to tamales and the entire tequila in between.
      • Additional Virgin: My BF considers himself to be an Italian meals connoisseur, and even he stated this was a number of the greatest Italian meals he’s ever had in his life. The apps had been all to die for—nonetheless fascinated about the fried artichokes and charcuterie board—and the pastas had been clearly tremendous recent. The bomboloni (Italian donuts holes!) for dessert actually tied all of it collectively.
      • Razzle Dazzle: That is the place to go should you wanna go all-out with a meal however your cruising companion desires to eat one thing wholesome (or vice versa). You’ll discover a menu stuffed with vegetarian and vegan meals, in addition to a juice bar. Nonetheless, in basic Virgin style, every of the objects will be made “naughty” by including meat or booze.
      • Gunbae: The primary Korean BBQ restaurant on a cruise ship! The meal begins with a complimentary spherical of soju for the desk (sipped throughout a waiter-run ingesting recreation), and contains many extra rounds of scrumptious meats served on every desk’s flameless grill. Put together for plenty of pork stomach.

        virgin voyages

        virgin voyages

        Whereas the entire sit-down eating places and a number of the informal eateries provide alcoholic bevvies, there are additionally six devoted bars on the ship: The Dock, an outside oasis with Tulum vibes; The Draught Haus, a comfy pub-style bar with eight beers on faucet and growler service; Athletic Membership, an outside bar outdoors the fitness center with video games and cabanas for stress-free; Sip, a devoted champagne lounge that gives a day excessive tea; The Manor, a nightclub-style spot; On the Rocks, a “cave” bar in a cute lil nook; and Richard’s Rooftop, a secluded outside lounge reserved for suite company. Cheers!

        virgin voyages

        Hannah Chubb

        virgin voyages

        Hannah Chubb

        What you are doing and seeing…

        Truthfully, should you get bored on a Virgin Voyages cruise, it is most likely your personal rattling fault. There’s a lot to do, there is a good probability you may by no means even get to attempt all of it…which, after all, is a good excuse to guide one other journey ASAP.

        This is what you may count on:

        The Ship Occasions

        There’s additionally a complete schedule of occasions deliberate for daily of the cruise, which you will discover on the app or printed out and introduced all through the ship. On the sched, for instance, you may discover all of the reveals (which I will get to quickly), any pop-up experiences, recreation nights the place you may meet and play with new pals, musical performances, late-night themed events, and extra.

        The largest occasion of every crusing is known as Scarlet Evening, during which everybody clothes up within the coloration crimson. All the night time is principally one huge efficiency stuffed with surprises, which concludes with a dance celebration into the night time. (Suppose: an really enjoyable center faculty dance however with alcohol.) The dance celebration usually takes place round the principle pool, however ours was held within the Pink Room theater as a result of it was raining. Nonetheless enjoyable!

        The Exhibits

        It is not a cruise with no some late-night leisure, proper? Each Scarlet Girl crusing options six unique reveals, most of which embody some enjoyable viewers participation. My favourite two had been Duel Actuality, a Cirque du Soleil-style manufacturing with some mind-blowing acrobatics, and By no means Sleep Alone, a hilarious and risqué interactive present run by a “intercourse therapist” named Girl A (I might very a lot advocate not seeing this one together with your dad and mom).

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        The Excursions

        The Virgin Voyages app will present you the completely different excursions you may guide in all of the locales during which the ship docks—and you need to completely attempt a minimum of one. Whereas they’re an added value, they allow you to really get out and expertise the town you are docking in for the day, and there are lots to select from.

        We selected to do a jungle buggy experience throughout our cease in Puerto Plata, and all we needed to do was go away the boat and observe the flags to satisfy up with our group. From there, a tour firm drove us to the jungle, the place they set us up in a go-cart-style buggy (information flash: we bought hella muddy), then later introduced us to a close-by seashore to chill off within the clear blue water. Different choices in Puerto Plata included a ship experience with an open bar, snorkeling, a downtown strolling tour, a cave-diving expertise, and extra.

        virgin voyages

        Hannah Chubb

        virgin voyages

        Hannah Chubb

        There have been additionally excursions out there for each Miami (the day earlier than and after the cruise) and Bimini, however we selected to not take part. Primarily as a result of we have finished all of the Miami Issues™ earlier than and since we had been lifeless set on spending our at some point in Bimini at Virgin’s extremely anticipated Seashore Membership at Bimini.

        The Seashore Membership

        Which brings me to: The Seashore Membership at Bimini, which is basically a non-public slice of paradise constructed completely for Virgin Voyages company. (Sure, “unique” sounds obnoxious, however generally it is good to go someplace the place you recognize there will not be one million little children working round.) After taking a fast little tram experience from the boat, sailors can determine whether or not they need to lounge by the lagoon-style pool or seize a chair on the seashore, which overlooks water so completely turquoise individuals positively assume I over-edited my Instas.

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        Within the morning, the membership presents waterfront yoga. After that, the vibes steadily get amped up all through the afternoon, with a pool celebration stuffed with floaties led by a killer DJ. A night seashore bonfire with acoustic musical performances brings the day to a detailed earlier than sailors head again to the ship and search out aloe for his or her sunburns (simply me?).

        virgin voyages

        Hannah Chubb

        virgin voyages

        Hannah Chubb

        And don’t be concerned—there’s numerous consuming and ingesting to be finished on the Seashore Membership, as nicely. Along with varied bars (together with a swim-up possibility), there are additionally a few onsite meals spots. Excellent news: the meals are all included within the all-inclusive bundle, and embody regionally impressed dishes like conch and mango salad, corn on the cob, BBQ ribs, and Bahamian rum cake. Drool, child, drool!

        The ultimate verdict

        If I used to be one for dad jokes, that is the place I would say, “So yeah, we hated it!” However I am not. And we frickin’ beloved it. Should you’ve solely ever considered cruises as holidays for the retirees in your life, I hope you rethink that notion. As a result of cruising is cool now, child!

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