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Scarlet Lady Review

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Scarlet Lady (Photo: Virgin Voyages)
Gunbae Korean BBQ Restaurant on Scarlet Lady
Artist rendering of the cabins onboard Scarlet Lady (Image: Virgin Voyages)
A Light Show in The Manor.


The line has hired 10 land-based architects to help it created spaces that will be more reminiscent of hotels than other cruise ships. None has designed for the cruise industry before, a critical factor for Virgin Voyages when it sought out people and companies with which to work.

Scarlet Lady will have no main dining room, no set dining times, no dress code and no buffet. All restaurants will be included in the cruise fare, as will basic drinks such as soda, bottled and sparkling water, juices (not including freshly pressed juice), drip coffee and tea. 

Extra Virgin: Scarlet Lady's trattoria-inspired Italian venue will serve regional dishes and handmade pasta made daily. Also on the menu will be a variety of Amari, digestive and other traditional Italian aperitifs designed to stimulate the appetite. The wine menu will feature an infographic to help diners better understand Italian wine and pick out the right option for them. Extra Virgin will also offer an Aperitivo hour each day with drink specials and small plates.

Geonbae: Meaning cheers or bottoms up in Korean, Geonbae is a Korean BBQ restaurant featuring specially designed flameless grills built into the tables so that diners can cook their own meals. The entire experience will begin with a complimentary round of soju for the table and throughout the night diners will be encouraged to participate in Korean drinking games. 

Pink Agave (Deck 5): Pink Agave will be an upscale Mexican restaurant featuring electric blue metallic lighting fixtures, oversized banquet tables and porthole windows to let in natural light. An elongated curved lounger centers the room with round tables for two offering an intimate dining experience. On the menu you'll find tlayudas, memelas, sopes, tortas, esquites, and tamales -- all meant to be shared with the table. The restaurant will feature a bar area in the foyer with an expansive collection of mezcals, or try one of the signature Agua Fresca cocktails. There will also be a private dining room for larger groups.

Test Kitchen (Deck 6): This restaurant is designed to encourage diners to think about their food from a new perspective. The entryway features lighting fixtures that mimic the periodic table to get people into the mood of the laboratory-like environment with design elements that include metallic furniture, beakers and test tubes. The chef-driven set menus are presented in the form of an ingredient list and diners follow along as the chef combines the list of flavors throughout the course of the meal. This eatery will host a number of different experiences throughout the voyage from cooking classes, to mixology school, coffee labs, and even a few late-night lock-ins, where participants will be invited to raid the chef’s fridge and dig into a midnight feast. 

The Dock Restaurant (Deck 7): Set at the back of the ship on Deck 7, this alfresco eatery is a beach club-inspired space serving Mediterranean small plates, salads, dips and mezzes. Flame-grilled skewers will also be available for those who want a hot meal. 

The Galley: Modeled after the popular food halls you'll find in many cities, The Galley will be the main place to grab a quick, casual meal throughout the day. The space will feature a mix of more than eight stations and food carts, each offering a unique selection of signature dishes that changes to suit the time of day. Among the options that will be on offer are a dedicated bakery and pastry shop, a panini shop, a burger grill, a taco shack, a sushi bar with bento boxes, a noodle bar, a soup and salad stand, and a 24-hour American-style diner.

The Pizza Place: Pizza lovers will be able to choose off the classic menu at this spot, where pies are always made fresh, or design their own based on a variety of ingredients. The casual spot will have a beach club-inspired design with white and pastel colored furniture, as well as hammocks for lounging. 

Razzle Dazzle: Perhaps the most energetic dining spot onboard, Razzle Dazzle gets its name and design from the practice of camouflaging ships during World Wars I and II using patterns of black and white paint. On the menu is a selection of vegetarian and vegan fare, as well as a juice bar. To cater to different tastes, diners have the option to add-on a variety of meats or spike their smoothies with alcohol. But food's not the only thing on the menu at Razzle Dazzle; diners will be treated to a performance by Scarlet Lady's resident drag performer and friends. For an extra fee, diners can opt to enjoy bottomless drag-inspired cocktails.

Wake: The largest restaurant onboard, this 5,866-square-foot dining venue is located at the back of the ship, offering beautiful views of the ship's wake. Wake will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. At night the space will serve as the ship's steakhouse with offerings that include a raw bar (designed to look like the bow of a speedboat), and land and sea classics. A tableside cocktail cart will make its way around and the wines will be served by sommeliers using magnum bottles. 

Of the 1,408 cabins on Scarlet Lady, 93 percent will have ocean views, and 86 percent will have a balcony (which the line refers to as Sea Terraces). Cabin categories will include Suites, XL Sea Terraces, Sea Terraces, Sea Views, Insiders, Social Insiders and Solo Insider. All rooms will have presence sensors to detect when someone has left the cabin and will go into energy saver mode, triggering the blinds to close and air-conditioning to adjust to an eco-saver temperature.

All standard cabins will feature an in-room entertainment system with a 43-inch and 4K TV, mini bar, desk with mirror and flexible wardrobes. Bathrooms will have rain shower heads, while rooms with balconies will have handcrafted hammocks on them. Most rooms will also have the innovative Seabed that converts from a full-sized bed to a lounger.

The ship will have 78 "RockStar Quarters" that include retro-futuristic designs with yacht-like touches such as leather finishes, brass glam stations (i.e. makeup vanities) and marble bathrooms; amenities that include working vinyl turntables (with a collection of classic records), terrace hammocks, full bars and cocktail kits with the first round on the house; and benefits including priority boarding and early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants and excursions, and even private transfers to and from the ship in Miami.

There will be eight types of RockStar Suites onboard:

Seriously Suite: The 24 Seriously Suite 352-square foot cabins (size includes the balcony) will feature a fully stocked bar, peek-a-boo shower and balcony hammock.

Brilliant Suite: The 18 Brilliant Suites will be 481 square feet (including the balcony) and feature an open floor plan. The rooms, will be able to sleep up to four and feature a fully stocked bar, large convertible sofa, peek-a-boo shower and balcony sun chairs.

Sweet Aft Suite: There are seven of these suites onboard, three with the "biggest" balcony, two with an "even bigger" balcony and two with a "pretty big" balcony. Positioned centrally at the back of the ship, these two-person rooms provide wake views even if you're sitting in bed or taking a shower. Sweet Aft Suites range in size from 416 to 661 square feet, depending on balcony size.

Cheeky Corner Suite: There are 14 of these suites onboard, six with "biggest" terrace balconies, four with "even bigger" terrace balconies and four with "pretty big" terrace balconies. All can sleep two people and feature an open bedroom overlooking the wake of the ship, a large wardrobe with extra space, and a corner sofa. Cheeky Corner Suites range in size from 607 to 847 square feet, depending on balcony size.

The four largest types of suites all will be located on Deck 15 and feature added perks including a custom bar setup and a RockStar concierge to fill their rider (a list of requests, most commonly given by a celebrity to a venue, that could include such items as a bowl of Lucky Charms, all green M&Ms, an electric guitar and more).

From smallest to largest, the four Mega suite categories are:

Gorgeous Suite: These nine suites measure 570 square feet, can sleep up to four people and feature an open floor plan with distinct lounge and bedroom areas, plus a luxe marble bathroom with a peek-a-boo shower and an expansive balcony with outdoor shower.

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Posh Suite: The two 833-square-foot Posh Suites will sleep up to four and feature separate living and bedroom areas, a convertible sofa in the living area, an extra half bathroom, and a balcony with a peek-a-view outdoor shower, stargazing lounges, a sofa and hammock.

Fab Suite: The two 950-square-foot Fab Suites will sleep up to four and feature distinct (but not completely separate) bedroom and living areas. The living area will have a sofa that converts to sleep two, an extra half bathroom and an entertainment credenza, while the bedroom space will have a large wardrobe with extra closet space. Highlights of the balcony include a peek-a-view outdoor shower, stargazing loungers, a sofa and hammock.

Massive Suite: The two largest suites onboard will be the 2,147-square-foot Massive Suites, each of which will be able to sleep up to four people. The suite complex will have a master bedroom; music room (which doubles as an extra bedroom) stocked with guitars and an amplifier; a living room with vinyl turntable; dressing area with a hot tub, vanity and two wardrobes; and marble bathroom with a peek-a-boo shower that overlooks the bedroom and out to the ocean. Each Massive Suite also has an expansive balcony with a hot tub, peek-a-view outdoor shower, circular conversation pit, lookout point with stargazing loungers, two full-length hammocks, and an outdoor dining table for six. A staircase leads to the top of the table for rockstar-style table dancing.

Athletic Club Lounge (Deck 16): Located at the top of the ship, the Athletic Club will be a yacht-inspired lounge, featuring the largest daybed at sea (it's meant to be shared) -- a white and red-striped semi-circular lounger, perfect for sunbathing or star gazing. Next to the daybed will be a 220-square-foot area of triple netting where cruisers can lay out and overlook the open space and decks below, just like they would if sailing on a catamaran. The Athletic Club spans the entire aft of the ship and has 10 cabanas overlooking the ocean with beverage service from the adjacent bar.

The Dock (Deck 7): Another outdoor space is The Dock. Located at the back of the ship it will offer views of the ocean, and provide a space for relaxation and socialization. Inspired by the seaside lounges of the Hamptons and Ibiza, the space is designed for cruisers who want to relax peacefully during the day with a cold beverage and a book, while surrounded by natural beauty. It will feature wooden deck chairs, loungers and day beds.

Richard's Rooftop (Deck 16): Also located on the top deck, Richard's Rooftop will be a chic outdoor lounge (with full bar) reserved exclusively for the ship's suite passengers. Named for Virgin's founder Richard Branson, Richard's Rooftop will have a futuristic feel with circular loungers, giant umbrellas and accents of colored crystals that will cast rainbow reflections around the space.

The Manor (Deck 7): The Manor will be the ship's signature nightclub, where you'll find dance music late into the night. According to the line, the emerald, aubergine and gold space is outfitted with "details, platforms and corners that make it both somewhere to see and be seen."

Gym and Tonic Bar: The spot for fresh, cold-pressed juices. 

Virgin Voyages wil offer what it calls a "Vitamin Sea" ideology onboard its ships, putting healthy travel at the forefront of many of its onboard experiences. There will be plenty of spots for rest and relaxation, as well as several locations to help people stay fit, along with a wide variety of group fitness classes provided at no additional charge. There will be no automatic tips charged to spa services. 

Crow's Nest: Located near the top of thie ship, this secluded sundeck, which has 360-degree views, will be the location for sunrise and sunset yoga. 

Atheletic Club (Deck 16): Inspired by the sports clubs of New York City in the 1920s, the Athletic Club is an outdoor training zone with a boxing ring, plus strength and gymnastics equipment. 

B-Complex: This indoor fitness center will be filled with strength, spin, yoga and cardio equipment in its Build, Burn, Bike and Balance rooms. For on-demand fitness, the Burn and Build gyms will be equipped with Technogym ARTIS machines. 

Redemption (Deck 5): The ship's spa will boast an underwater cave theme and will feature a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools, quartz beds and an array of spa treatments. At night the space transforms into an evening hot spot, with spa parties and a DJ spinning tunes. 

Well-being Pool: The ship's main pool; the area surrounding the pool will feature an artistic adult playground and fitness apparatus called MyBeast.  

Stubble & Groom: The men's barbership, compete with a male pedicure area overlooking a porthole ocean view. 

Squid Ink: The first-ever tattoo studio at sea will offer a selection of exclusive tattoo designs created specifically for Virgin Voyages, as well as piercings and permanent makeup. The studio will have two resident tattoo artists, and will occassionally host well-known artists, as well. 

Virgin Voyages wants brand loyalists who have never cruised to make the leap and try out the new brand, so first-time cruisers are likely. Branson also has said his ships would target younger passengers, a coveted demographic in the cruise industry. The line's cool vibe and big personality could go a long way toward reaching millennials.

Scarlet Lady will sail four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries out of Miami. Options will include four- and five-night Mayan Sol cruises to Costa Maya, Mexico, and five-night Dominican Daze voyages to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. All voyages will feature either an overnight stay or a late-night sailaway. All sailings will visit Virgin's private port in Bimini. The port will feature a DJ, fire pits and a pool.

All sailings will depart Miami at 7 p.m.


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