Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Review

Summary: This is my full review of my experience on the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship. Our cruise was four nights and started in Miami. Keep reading to see what I liked and what could have been better.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Ship

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I am not a big cruise person.

If I’m being honest, I don’t really like ocean cruises all that much. However, I’ve found myself on these cruises time and time again because my family and friends can’t get enough! Because of that, I’ve tried at least four different cruise lines at this point. I can give a very unique perspective of someone who is openly critical about cruises and who has also tried several different companies.

Now that I’ve caught you up to speed with my general distaste for cruise vacations, you’ll know the gravity of this statement: I really enjoyed cruising on the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady. This review will include a few negatives because it wasn’t perfect, but I was genuinely surprised and impressed by how much I liked this cruise.

Let’s break down the different aspects, starting with what we all care about most:

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Restaurant Review

Typically, the food on cruise ships is just okay. I’ve never really been wow-ed by the restaurants on cruises before. That is, until I cruised with Virgin Voyages. I wanted this to be my first section in my Scarlet Lady review because it’s what made the biggest impact on me.

There are several nice restaurants on the Scarlet Lady. My favorites were The Wake (a steakhouse) and Gunbae (Korean BBQ). However, there’s also an area called The Galley. This is what Virgin decided to do instead of a big buffet room that you’d usually find on a cruise. The Galley is a food court-style room that’s open all the time and you simply tell the people behind the counters what you want, and they hand it to you.

Every meal I had on the Scarlet Lady ship was excellent. I don’t mean excellent for a cruise. I mean, just plain excellent.

I wrote a full review of all the restaurants on the Virgin Voyages cruise ships here!

Interior of Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Cruise Ship

The Scarlet Lady is a relatively new ship and has only been cruising since 2021.

The first thing you’ll notice when you board is that the general vibe of the ship is a little different than traditional cruises. When stepping onto a cruise, I would typically picture a grand room with extremely tall ceilings, rich-toned carpet, and a curved staircase to one side with opulent wood hand railings. If you’ve been on cruises before, I think you know what I’m talking about!

However, boarding the Scarlet Lady felt a bit different. It is definitely more modern and in my opinion, catered to a younger audience. There was a DJ playing and the staff all wore bright red hip hop-style outfits. There were neon lights surrounding the first bar we passed. It felt like a party when we arrived!

In general, the ship still felt nice and fancy, but it was much more modern and inviting than I was expecting.

Scarlet Lady Cabins

One thing I love about Virgin Voyages is that their balcony rooms are very affordable. They have cheaper options, but the rooms with a balcony and the iconic red hammock weren’t that much more, so we opted to pay a little extra and have the sliding door balcony (Sea Terrace room).

Our room had two twin-size mattresses pushed together to make a king-size bed. Our friend’s room also had an extra twin-size bed that folded down from the ceiling, so three people could sleep comfortably. Of course, cruise rooms are always small, but this one was big enough to where we could easily walk around all the furniture and never felt cramped.

The only thing I would have changed was the shower. It was pretty small and with a rain shower, it was hard to avoid the water on days that I didn’t need to wash my hair.


Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Itinerary

Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady ship always starts in Miami and sails around the Caribbean, but there are different itineraries to choose from. We chose the Fire & Sunset Soiree cruise.

Our itinerary looked like this:

  • Day 1: Board the ship in Miami
  • Day 2: Key West, Florida
  • Day 3: Day at Sea
  • Day 4: Bimini, Bahamas
  • Day 5: Back to Miami to de-board

On other itineraries, the Scarlet Lady ports at Costa Maya, Puerto Rico, Puerto Plata, Cozumel, and Roatan.

Personally, tropical destinations don’t do much for me. Key West and Bimini were fun for a couple of hours, but I enjoying being on the ship so much more.

The Southern-most point of the USA in Key West

Virgin Voyages On-Board Entertainment

There is a staff group on the Scarlet Lady called the Happenings Cast (they even have their own Instagram page). This is the group of people you’ll see most often at parties and events. They are amazing dancers, entertainers, and just look like a fun group all around. It’s really nice to see familiar faces at almost every event on-board.

Virgin Voyages is well-known for their theme night parties. They have two main theme nights: Scarlet Night and the Pajama Party. Scarlet Night is a night where everyone wears red and attends a big party with professional dancers and a DJ. The Pajama Party is exactly how it sounds: a big party where everyone wears their favorite PJs!

Virgin Voyages Pajama Party

Both of these nights were really fun and I wrote separate blog posts about each of them to go into more detail about what to wear and what to expect at Scarlet Night and the Pajama Party.

Aside from the big events, there was always something going on. There were several shows including The Ship Show and an indoor circus. There are also karaoke rooms you can rent out for your group, a day spa to relax, live music in certain bars, and more. Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady get’s an amazing review for keeping us entertained the entire time!

You can find the schedule each day in the Virgin Voyages app, or you can head to the Coffee Shop or Sailor Services each day to grab a physical copy of the schedule.

Scarlet Lady Cruise Price

The price of your cruise will vary based on which itinerary you choose and the time of year you travel. We took our cruise in January and paid about $1,200 per person. We had two Sea Terrace rooms – one with two people and one with three people. This price includes the room, all food and on-board activities, and most drinks.

I explain in this post that Virgin Voyages doesn’t have a drink package to add on. This means that you’ll have to pay each time you want an alcoholic or espresso drink. Personally, I really liked this! I felt like the drinks were made well and I didn’t have that guilt about not drinking when I already paid for a drink package and needed to “get my money’s worth.”

When you book a Virgin Voyages cruise, you usually get some bar tab included no matter what. Most cruises come with at least $100 per cabin. This can be used on espresso or alcohol. However, if you book through a travel agent, you usually get an extra $100 added to that. I explain more about this in this post!

What I Loved Most About Virgin Voyages

After cruising with different companies over the years, it’s clear that Virgin is intentionally doing things differently. They took all the annoying parts of cruises and made them tolerable, if not fun! Let’s take embarkation for example. Usually, when you arrive at a cruise terminal, you are in a room with hundreds of people all waiting in line to show their passports and get on the ship. Then, you have to meet up with your emergency group and sit through a 45-minute speech about what to do in case of an emergency. THEN, you can finally go have fun.

On Virgin, everyone had a specific time to board the ship (that you picked in the Virgin Voyages app ahead of time), and when we got to the terminal, there was no one there. We walked right up, showed our passports, and made our way onto the ship! Then, we sat down at a bar, got ourselves a drink, watched a 20-minute safety video in the app, checked in with our safety officer for 5 minutes, and were on our way.

That’s just one example of Virgin’s commitment to a hassle-free vacation.

Of course, I already mentioned how good the food was, but this was a big thing for me, so I’m bringing it up again! This is a huge reason I’d take another Virgin Voyages cruise.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Night

Read More About Virgin Voyages

I hope this Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady review helped you decide whether or not to cruise with Virgin, or helped you plan your next cruise with them! I have a few more posts you should check out while you’re here:

Leave a Comment