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Scarlet Lady Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
204 reviews
Scarlet Lady (Photo: Virgin Voyages)
Gunbae Korean BBQ Restaurant on Scarlet Lady
Artist rendering of the cabins onboard Scarlet Lady (Image: Virgin Voyages)
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Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Best for: Hip 30- to 40-something couples who enjoy late-night entertainment, foodies, health and fitness fans

Not for: Those who want a traditional cruising experience, families.

Bottom Line: Virgin Voyages has ripped up the rule book with Scarlet Lady, creating a ship that caters for a demographic that may have never thought of cruising as a vacation option


Scarlet Lady made its debut on the world stage in February 2020, but it was not until August 2021 that it finally sailed, starting with a series of short cruises to nowhere in the U.K. before moving to Miami in fall 2021. It's safe to say that the line's first adults-only ship (three more are on their way) divides opinion. You want on trend food, late night sexy shows and a tattoo? Scarlet Lady could be for you. You want set dining times, formal nights and revue-style entertainment? Perhaps look elsewhere.

But before you roll your eyes, it's not just about clever word play and simply renaming traditional cruise venues -- Virgin has genuinely tried to do something different.

From the moment you board, the ship sets the mood. You walk into a glass-encased entrance which refracts light in a stream of rainbow colors, leading into what Virgin calls "the roundabout." There's a DJ spinning vinyl records at great volume, people are sitting around sipping cocktails, tattooed baristas hurry back and forth -- it's designed to be like a hip hotel lobby, not your typical cruise ship atrium.

And that's the aesthetic Virgin is trying to create. Scarlet Lady is more similar to a W Hotel than it is to a cruise ship, from the mood lighting in the corridors and he design of the cabins to the main reception and the dining venues. It manages to deftly combine this with nautical touches and a nod to tradition, however. The promenade deck wraps right around the ship (rare in modern vessels), for example, but it's not an empty space with a few spots for deck chairs -- it's got seating, bars and restaurants, creating a buzzing atmosphere on a warm Caribbean night.

The Virgin way Is not just show. Special attention has been given to the food, which is exceptional. There is no main dining room, and each restaurant gets its own galley, executive chef and team, meaning both the food and the service is outstanding. We were genuinely impressed by the quality and the variety, from molecular gastronomy Test Kitchen (our favorite) to Korean BBQ Gunbae and vegetarian Razzle Dazzle and The Galley, essentially a food hall at sea.

We were blown away by the entertainment -- a show called Duel Reality, which is a riff on Romeo & Juliet/West Side Story, with some of the most amazing -- in fact, the most amazing -- acrobatics we have ever seen. And it's immersive if you are in the front row.

An impressive 86 percent of cabins (or Sea Terraces) have a balcony, which are deeper and wider than on many other ships -- and each has a hammock, which is a really lovely touch. The cabins' design, with the walls at a slight angle, makes them less cookie-cutter than your traditional cruise ship, though it does mean shower rooms are smaller (yet they still have modern glass doors).

Staff are cheery (wait for your first "Ahoy") and empowered -- sleeves rolled up, tattoos on display, piercings and stylish haircuts de rigeur. There's a vibe onboard this ship like no other, almost like you are a specially invited guest. That a "rockstar" in Virgin parlance, and really that's how the ship and the crew make you feel.


Health & Safety

Virgin is mandating that only fully vaccinated passengers are allowed to sail and will be rapid testing passengers prior to embarkation. The line is endeavoring to get all crew vaccinated and tests every two weeks (note crew wear masks).

Before Boarding

  • Double vaccinated two weeks out from sail date
  • Proof of double vaccination with a CDC-issued card
  • Completed health check form
  • Antigen test before boarding

Onboard

  • Sanitizing stations
  • Touchless faucets
  • Sanitization signage
  • Enhanced sanitation protocols and adapted AtmosAir technologies that kill 99.9 percent of bacteria in the air.
  • Social distancing signage
  • Decreased capacity (on initial sailings)
  • Wearable technology
  • No buffets
  • Contactless room service delivery
  • Virtual queuing technology
  • Mask wearing dependent on local government guidance (encouraged but not enforced) for sailors; mandated for crew

Off the ship

  • As on the ship -- i.e. physical distancing
  • Bubbles may be required, depending on destination

Pros

Cons

Bottom Line


About

Passengers : 2,750
Crew : 1,160
Passenger to Crew : 2.37:1
Launched : 2020
Shore Excursions : 109

Sails To

Sails From

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • All dining venues
  • Gratuities (though not additional spa tips)
  • Soft beverages, including branded sodas
  • All theater shows
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the gym, but not most classes
  • Wi-Fi

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Spa treatments
  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including iced-tea), coffee, select juices and branded sodas
  • Shore excursions
  • Photos and art work

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Dress Code

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More about Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

Where does Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady sail from?

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady departs from Miami

Where does Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady sail to?

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruises to Miami, Bimini, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Key West and Roatan

How much does it cost to go on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady?

Cruises on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady start from null per person.
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Cruiser Reviews

More than a holiday is an experience…

That’s the way to describe my experience onboard the Scarlet Lady (Virgin Voyages)… it was a truly great experience as I was able to relax and disconnect from work.... Read More
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Hector.borges84

First Time Cruiser

Age 30s

A whimsical sensory overload, and incredibly unique ship.

This is not a ship, Scarlet Lady is a luxury superyacht, the elevated experienced onboard can be compared to Soho House, but with added trademark Virgin attitude.... Read More
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london_tash

First Time Cruiser

Age 30s

Disappointed

Practically non existent...a circus act which was very good, a sex show which was fun but ridiculous and a Scarlet Lady night that your encouraged to wear something Scarlet for as this night " is going... Read More
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Sonev.

2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

A Beautiful Lady

Lady has to offer.... Read More
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Denny Boy

2-5 Cruises

Age 50s

Virgin Voyages Fleet
Scarlet Lady
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