Well, first off, this is not your grandmother’s cruise. Although grandmothers and EVERYONE else are welcome onboard a Virgin Voyages Cruise. Not only welcome, but this is an instance where there is truly something for everyone.
While the dining and the technology are certainly different than traditional cruises, these changes present a total upgrade to the cruising experience.
What’s special about a Virgin Voyages Cruise? Here are 8 key differences I noticed while onboard the Scarlet Lady, sailing from Miami to Costa Maya, Mexico.
From the moment you encounter the Virgin Voyages crew you feel a level of familiarity. This is not an impersonal cruise-bot. There is laughter and an appropriate level of banter that carries through the entire cruise between the sailors (cruisers) and the crew.
Much like the affable crew, the decor is spot-on. From the whimsical ice cream parlor to the sophisticated Champagne Bar, each area of the ship has a curated aesthetic vibe. Not a tired and worn 90’s pattern in sight.
This was my favorite aspect of the ship. I’ve never been a huge fan of buffets visited by 1000’s of people each day. But, especially after the past few years, I think we’ve all leveled up our expectations when it comes to food safety and sanitation. On a Virgin Voyages Cruise, you get to enjoy hot, made-just-for-you, delicacies throughout the ship. In place of the traditional buffet, there is a “Food Court” set-up with servers bringing you freshly made orders directly to your table. Don’t worry, it’s still all-you-can-eat, just a little more sanitary! ( I sure had my fill of Carnitas and Fried Avocado Tacos!!)
Perhaps the best representation of the Virgin Voyages style, there is no formal night or really any dress code at all. You are free to be as formal or informal as you like. What they do offer is Scarlet Night, a shipwide party where everyone is encouraged to dress up (however they see fit). While this may veer too far off the cruise ship protocol for some, for me, it was amazing!
Being kid-free allows the adults on the ship to really relax, parents or not. Charging for wine, beer and spirits keep the quality at a higher level. While there is no beverage package per se, you basically buy a bar tab (in $300 increments) before your cruise and use it as a debit system. Prices are reasonable and the selection is in the premium category.
Make-up and hair workshops, sunrise yoga, wellness classes, food-plating, and photography are just a few of the ways you can spend your time at sea. Being a culinary travel specialist, I made sure to hit the food-centric options and loved the presentation by the crew members.
More than just sitting in a vast theater watching a comedian or Broadway-style show. Entertainment on a Virgin Voyages cruise is much more immersive. Often taking place in a public space on the ship or in an intimate theater. The private Karaoke rooms are a blast. You can belt out your favorite songs with a state-of-the-art sound system (all included with your fare).
And they are all included in your cruise. Being a foodie this was another big highlight for me. There is no main dining room with set eating times. You make reservations at one of the onboard restaurants at the time that works for you. There are menus for every palate. And, like traditional cruises, you can have all you want inside the restaurant.
Curious about sailing a Virgin Voyages Cruise? I’m happy to tell you more about my experience onboard.
Whether you are a seasoned cruiser or a new sailor, I would love to help you find the perfect cruise for your style. To set up a complimentary vacation call with me click here to find a time that works for you. We can chat for about 20 minutes about your vacation ideas, then I’ll get to work planning the perfect trip for you.
The Scarlet Lady is currently sailing from Miami to the Yucatan, the Dominican Republic, Bimini, and Key West. If you would like to learn about other great foodie spots in the Caribbean here are a few options, Caribbean Culture and Cuisine: Dominican Republic,Caribbean Culture and Cuisine: St. Lucia, Caribbean Culture and Cuisine: Aruba.
At Gourmet Adventures Travel Co., I craft culinary getaways for travelers who love to eat well and yearn to truly savor the authentic side of their destination. From a river cruise through Provencal wine country to a journey through the heady spice markets and medinas of Morocco, you'll taste your way through the world's most enchanting landscapes.