Cruising Is Back!

Ahoy! I recently returned from my voyage upon the spectacular “Scarlet Lady.” Embarking in Miami for a five-night cruise we sailed to Cozumel, Mexico, and spent a day at the Virgin Voyages Beach Club at Bimini. We ended up back in Miami. All of the itineraries are incredible!

The Beach Club at Bimini view from a cabana

Because of the tentative return to cruising, I want to share my honest experience. I broke it down into a few categories that I feel are worth considering before booking any vacation.

  • Safety
  • Amenities
  • Service
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Wellness

1. Safety

Scarlet Lady docked at her homeport in Miami at Terminal V

Top-notch! At the port in Miami, everyone was required to take a Covid test. Before boarding, we were escorted to a lounge to wait for our test results. Once we showed our negative test results to a Virgin Voyages representative, we were able to board! At the time I was onboard, masks were still encouraged to be worn in indoor spaces. All employees wore masks for the duration of the cruise and I was overall really impressed with the attention to detail on board.

2. Amenities

Cheeky Corner Suite terrace

Walking into my suite for the first time was such an experience! The space is used really efficiently and despite the smaller size, it felt extremely open and functional. Niki’s room (Cheeky Corner Suite) was next level. Her balcony, in-room record player, and fully socked bar really felt like a taste of rockstar lifestyle.

3. Service

The service on the Scarlet Lady exceeded all of my expectations. It was the most incredible example of hospitality and everyone I encountered made me feel welcome. Every day I ran into “Mamita,” our room attendant. She’s a seasoned cruise ship employee with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Conversations with her in the hallway were a highlight of my day, every day! I have nothing negative to say, truly, about all of the onboard service. Every dinner meant another fun conversation with a new server.

4. Dining

Close up of the table while a group of people grill and eat at Gunbae. UK Photoshoot / Atlantis Shoot Dates: Sept 27-30, 2021 Usage: Full Buyout Goal: Food & Beverages Deliverables: Retouched images, gifs, and videos TEAM Photographer: Scott Grummett Agent: Terri Manduca Food Stylist / AD: Elisa Merlo CD: Christian Schrader Art Buyer / Producer: Kathy Boos

This is an area Virgin Voyages prides itself on. Because it’s an adults-only cruise line, there is a little more experimentation with the food. Every single night my favorite restaurant changed! I needed more time so I could go back to each restaurant again. We especially loved “Gunbae,” a Korean BBZ restaurant where our server prepared our food and encouraged drinking games at our table. “Test Kitchen” was also a unique experience. Six courses of interesting, and delicious dishes, plus the opportunity to add a wine pairing. Check out their more than 20 onboard dining options!

5. Entertainment

The Roundabout in the atrium

You won’t find typical cruise ship entertainment onboard The Scarlet Lady. It was energizing and exciting to experience such different performances. More than once I thought, “what have I gotten myself into?!” But in a fun way! 

6. Wellness

I included this category because there were so many offerings onboard.

  • Aquatic Club
  • Athletic Club
  • B-Complex
  • Dry Dock
  • Redemption Spa & The Tune Up
  • The Perch
  • The Runway
  • Training Camp

Honorable Mention:

Virgin Voyages made it so easy by creating an app. I was able to tentatively plan out my week before I was on board. During the week it was so helpful and it allowed me to change plans, see the current schedule, navigate the ship, and more!

I really don’t have enough good things to say about this experience – 5 stars! Not only would I go again, but I would also love to sail in the Mediterranean!

Niki (71)