What it's really like on a Virgin Voyage

The day finally arrived! October 6, 2021, a day that will live in Mermaid History as the Scarlet Lady set out on her Mermaiden Voyage to the Caribbean with revenue passengers.

Virgin Voyages AHOY Sign

I was lucky enough to be able to sail on the Mermaiden Voyage in a Solo Insider Cabin. As one should expect for an inaugural sailing, there were some kinks that needed to be worked out. The hiccups were minor, and Virgin did a great job of resolving them when they would.

Over the four nights on the ship, there were extraordinary experiences, plenty of time to recharge and relax, and even at times, I forgot that I was on a ship instead of an oceanfront boutique hotel.

Merman on the Mermaiden Voyage
Mermaids and Mermen were all over this voyage

Instead of writing a play-by-play of my time on the ship, I’m going to use this opportunity to share the most significant wins, the opportunities for improvement, and a few secrets that you won’t know until you’re on the ship.

I’ve posted videos on YouTube that I’d encourage you to check out if you want to see more of the Scarlet Lady and get an idea of which type of cabin is right for you.

If you’re planning on booking a Virgin Voyage, be sure to give me a call or shot me an email. I’d love the chance to talk to you about the Scarlet Lady and Virgin in more detail and help you get the most out of your vacation.

The Scarlet Lady
The Mermaiden Voyage is a once in a lifetime experience

Virgin Voyages Biggest Wins:

  • The ship – The Scarlet Lady and her soon-to-be-launched sisters are unlike any other cruise ship I’ve sailed. The ships were designed by individuals outside of the industry, and it does have a boutique hotel feel in the main areas on Decks 5, 6, and 7.

Deck 6 roundabout looking up to deck 7
The Roundabout on Scarlet Night

  • The wearable band works beautifully. The bracelet is your room key, charge card, and for those staying in Rockstar or Mega Rockstar Quarters, how you’re identified as being a part of the cool club. I had no issues with my bracelet (apart from taking longer than I care to admit figuring out how to make it large enough for my wrist), and each time I needed a drink or wanted to make a purchase it was just a tap on the crew’s iPhone.

  • The food was fantastic across the ship. You can taste the difference between having your food prepared fresh versus cooked in a massive kitchen in bulk. Each restaurant has its dedicated kitchen, and the options in the Galley cook it right at their station.

Gunbae on the Scarlet Lady
Don't miss Gunbae

  • The entertainment was terrific! Virgin is first and foremost an entertainment company that has started a cruise line. All the entertainers put on a great show at each activity/show that they’re doing. If you didn’t see it, check out my Reel on Instagram of Abi the Hostess for an example.

VHS Workout
The VHS Workout should not be missed

Virgin Voyages Biggest Opportunities:

  • The App SUCKS; it has been an ongoing issue for Virgin as they were getting ready to launch into the Mermaiden Voyage. I had to reinstall it twice while on the ship, and others couldn’t get it to work at all. Virgin is aware of how bad this is and is working to fix it, which according to the crew, we had it better than those on the UK sailings….so progress is at least being made (slowly). Even when I could use the app, the hours for what’s open weren’t always accurate.

  • Hours for the food options. The main restaurants are open during standard meal times, but the other options on the ship are not consistent, and the Galley closes far earlier than you would expect it to. The second night of the cruise, I got to the Galley at 10:15 PM looking for dinner and was told the options were noodles or breakfast. It was disappointing that they didn’t have more options open later, especially given that the activities and parties go on until 3 AM just about every night.

  • When this voyage was originally booked, we expected to go to Key West. That was changed a few months before we sailed since the Keys don’t want cruise ships (yet). Instead, we went to Nassau and with all-aboard not until 7:30 PM. I’ll give Virgin credit for having excursion (Shore Things) options that weren’t the run-of-the-mill ones you see on every cruise line, but the options were still minimal. Also, we did not need to stay in Nassau as late as we did, as it would seem everyone was onboard well before 7:30 since the ship started to pull lines right at 7:30.

Coffee in the Galley
Having coffee in the Galley on Nassau Day....or my first "sea" day

  • The Mermaiden Voyage was much more subdued than I expected. There were a few small treats left in our cabins, a handful of unique experiences, but it felt like they wanted it to feel like a regular voyage.

Virgin Voyages Biggest Surprises:

  • The app would randomly ask me to fill out a quick survey about some part of my day. The first time it asked about my dinner experience the second night, I gave them an earful about my experience in the Galley. To my surprise, the manager for the Galley came and found me the next night at dinner to apologize and to ask for more details so they could work to make improvements. I was beyond impressed that they cared that much to seek me out and that they genuinely wanted to knock this experience out of the park.

Deck 15 is ready for the Scarlet Night Pool Party