Scarlet Lady doesn’t have a traditionally designed theatre, but the “Red Room” is a performance space with tiered seating on either side of the floor that becomes the stage. We only saw ‘Duel Reality’ which is an exceptional acrobatic show, not to be missed, but other shows are held here.
“The Manor” is a two-storey venue that hosts live music, comedy acts and at other times is a full-on nightclub.
Close to the “Roundabout” (which is the spiral staircase connecting decks 6 & 7) light-hearted quizzes are held, music played a DJ close to the Voyage Vinyl record shop.
Various ‘parties’ are held in the Aquatic Club (pool deck), from a ‘Glam Retro’ pool party to the extravagant ‘Splash of Scarlet’ a full-on pool event framed by a huge blow-up Octopus!
There is also impromptu entertainment throughout the ship on the lead up to the pool party. Splash being the operative word as sailors are encouraged to dance, dive, and jump into the pool!
Other events are staged around the pool when temporary stages are erected at various times of the day, so you need to check the planner either on the app or on the screens displayed around the ship.
Live music is also performed near bars such as ‘On the Rocks’ on deck 6.
Private Karaoke is available in “The Groupie” on deck 7 close to the Red Room.
There is a fairly large casino with numerous ‘slot’ machines and gaming tables.
Bars and Lounges
There are 12 bars and lounges (not including those in the main restaurants).
All have the normal beverages available with some speciality drinks and cocktails unique to each bar.
The Sun Club (overlooking the Aquatic Club pool)
Athletic Club (located aft)
The Aquatic Club
Gym & Tonic
Deck 7 – all with sea views
Dock House (indoor bar with a laid-back Mediterranean beach style)
The Dock (outdoor bar overlooking the wake with day beds, tables chairs and sofas)
Loose Cannon (in the style of a Dive bar)
The Social Club with nearby arcade games
Draught Haus (a tap room)
Sip (a stylish champagne bar)
On the Rocks (described as a cave bar but with sea views on one side)
Scarlet Lady offers a wide range of activities around the ship from organised fitness classes in various venues, some complimentary, some for a nominal fee.
There is a dedicated jogging/walking track (The Runway) on deck 17 together with an outdoor Yoga space in The Perch. 6 laps of the track equals 1 mile.
On deck 16 there is a basketball court, boxing rings, and punch bags. Also, various benches circular swings, and see saws are available plus “The Net” which is a suspended catamaran net located aft opposite the Athletic Club bar giving views down to deck 7 and “The Dock” and the open sea.
The “Training Camp” for group fitness sessions together with numerous outdoor equipment for personal use is also located on deck 16.
A fully equipped gym (B-Balance) on deck 15 on both sides of the Well Being pool, one side Burn & Bike with a bike studio and Build & Balance on the other with a balance studio. “The Tune Up” is close to the main pool and is a Medi-Spa.
Along “The High Street” there are a variety of shops from “Necessities” for everyday essentials, to Bulgari for upscale jewellery and the Logo shop selling branded merchandise for Virgin Voyages and Scarlet Lady.
There is also “Dry Dock” for ladies’ hairdressing, “Stubble & Groom” for men’s barber services, “Makeup Porthole” for cosmetics, “Booty Free Shop” for duty free sales (not available on our sailing) and “Squid Ink” the onboard tattoo parlour.
Located on deck 5 is the “Redemption Spa” offering full spa services and “Sailor Services” which provides the equivalent of guest services. “Sailor Services” are also available by either using the tablet in your room or on the app with message services available.
There are a large variety of outdoor areas with a huge variety of seating from day beds, benches, sofas, steamer chairs, stools on and around deck 7, covered benches with large red striped back cushions and footstools and deckchairs on deck 16 and the obvious sun loungers around the pool deck.
There are also a set of cabanas for rent on deck 16, small ones with just a day bed to larger ones with day beds and sofas and armchairs. All include a refrigerator for keeping beverages chilled.
The Athletic Club has red sofa seating all around the aft circular area.
“Richard’s Rooftop” is a private area for those in the Rockstar Quarters suites providing loungers, seating, cabanas, and a bar.
Future Voyages (“Get Lost”)
This ‘office’ is located on deck 7 close to “The Roundabout” and as the name implies is the place where you can sign up for future voyages, taking advantage of any special offers.
Alternatively, you can purchase next voyage deposits (minimum of 1 costing $300, up to a maximum of 4) that is valid for 2 years and can be applied to any sailing as the deposit. However, if you choose Rock Star accommodation, there will be a need to add a supplement to the deposit certificate if you only purchased 1.
The offer onboard for us was if we charged a next voyage deposit to our account, the consultant automatically processed a credit of $300 to the account meaning in effect it didn’t cost us anything. Once the certificate is added to my Virgin Voyages account and used towards a future voyage, a discount of $300 will also be applied.
When our bags were tagged at the start of the voyage, instructions stated that you should keep them on for the whole duration of the sailing.
This made sense when I read the guidelines for putting your bags outside your door by 10pm on the night before leaving. As I didn’t read this until the morning of departure, it was of little use.
You could disembark from 7:30 am until the last call at 10:45 am.
On our final morning we headed to The Galley for a light breakfast and after packing our final things, we headed to deck 5 just before our booked time of 8:30 am expecting a line of people waiting to disembark.
So pleasantly surprised to find no line as we made our way through Sailor Services where all the staff were bidding us farewell, scanned our bands for the last time, down the gangplank to a shuttle bus. We passed through the cruise terminal (no passport control required as we hadn’t set foot on any foreign soil), no customs check and out to a catch a taxi to the railway station. Painless.
Summary & Conclusions
So, has Virgin Voyages built a ship that is attractive, providing a wide variety of comfortable accommodations, numerous venues providing great service and food with a wide range of activities and entertainment? Well, in our view the answer is a definite yes!
Lack of announcements during the day means you aren’t being disturbed constantly and being encouraged to attend activities.
The staff are engaging and provide a great service. The ‘uniforms’ are quite casual, but distinctive enough for you to recognise them.
As mentioned earlier, servers enquire as to whether you have any food allergies or special dietary requirements before taking your order, a great service.
Being able to message “Sailor Service” via the app instead of lining up on deck 5 works well.
The technology touches of electrically operated curtains, mood lighting and the services available via the in-room tablet was nice.
The offering of ‘snacks’ at several venues was a nice touch.
The huge variety of seating on the open decks should be enough to appeal to a wide range of ‘Sailors’.
The attention to detail in the decoration of venues making them different was excellent and the variety of places to visit on a ship this size is good.
The size of the ‘formal’ restaurants and the variety of seating in Pink Agave, The Wake, Extra Virgin, Razzle Dazzle, Gunbae and The Test Kitchen was exceptional.
The minimalist look and furnishings in the rooms may not be to everyone’s taste, we liked it.
Are there any negatives?
These will vary depending on people’s tastes and expectations.
Please bear in mind, these are solely our opinions.
If booking online, not having the ability to choose your cabin is a disappointment us.
There is a large overhang from deck 15 so for those cabins on deck 14 this could result in a lack of sun on your terrace at times. Also, we did experience noise from the movement of both people and furniture above. If we had been able to choose our location, we would not have chosen deck 14.
Perhaps the size of the main pool will be disappointing to some, but not to us. But the fact that there is only 1 main pool on a ship this size is a surprise to be honest.
The bathrooms in the cabins are a little snug and there is a lack of drawers and shelving, but it is manageable. The unique use of the “Seabed” as a sofa may disappoint some, but we got used to it.
The lack of notifications via the app or TV regarding disembarkation was something we did miss.
The balcony furniture is a little strange considering the space provided and some will expect lounge chairs in place of the small metal chairs provided.
Directions and signage around the ship are a little too subtle, so finding places can be a little challenging at first.
Public bathrooms don’t appear to be in the most convenient of places.
After all this, would we cruise with Virgin Voyages again – a definite YES!