Are you one of those folks who thinks a cruise is not for you? I have heard all the objections. Cruising has this stigma that you may experience long lines, buffets with foods to make you fat, and huge bills you must pay before you disembark. Besides, it sounds like a great way to spread the dreaded COVID-19, now doesn’t it? Allow me to paint a very different picture and, in the process, perhaps change your perception enough to reconsider. A recent article in AGENT at HOME magazine by Theresa Norton makes a wonderful case for the brand spanking new Virgin Voyages brand. I am a big fan and hope to sail with them soon!
Some fun facts and “Virgin Voyages Vocabulary”.
On a Virgin voyage:
- Passengers are called SAILORS.
- Travel Advisors are called FIRST MATES.
- The ships are referred to as LADY SHIPS, a reference to founder Richard Branson’s British heritage and the term “your ladyship”.
- The ships are for ages 18+, hence considered ADULT BY DESIGN.
- The design of each ship includes a contemporary look, sleek, glamorous, with a bit of nautical naughtiness. They like to refer to the experience with them as MODERN ROMANCE OF SAILING.
There was a great anticipation of the Scarlet Lady’s debut. Sadly, it was greatly marred by a world pandemic. Just as she was crossing to come to her Port of Miami home for the first time, the crisis caused the ship to head back to Europe in order to return her crew safely home.
Innovative upgrades for your health and safety are being fitted to both Lady Ships Scarlet and Valiant as I write. I am particularly impressed with the announcement recently that an ionization ventilation system will filter air pathogens to above 99.9% efficiency. I want one in MY home! Other alterations taking place currently may include a refitting of door handles and other potentially germ-ridden touch points.
Your ship credit card will be a snazzy red bracelet that will allow for touchless transactions (you’ll see lots of the brand’s signature red!) All dining is included and there will be NO BUFFET, plus you will find more than 20 dining venues on each of the 2,770 passenger ships. Dining will be in a city-like setting. Additionally, there will be no formal dining room, as well as no assigned seating or dining time. I love this: In Razzle Dazzle you can order any dish “naughty” with either meat add-ons or a shot of booze. It is here at brunch where you can see a performance by the ship’s resident drag performer. How much fun would that be?
To be sure, this cruise experience is designed for the young at heart. And as the cruise fare includes gratuities, all entertainment, nearly all beverages except alcoholic or specialty beverages, it is quite a good value for an upscale and inclusive experience. Alcohol will be priced reasonably, while you still may find a glass of expensive champagne as desired. Beers will start at $5 (including gratuity), cocktails $9, and nearly half of the wines by the glass are under $10. That’s great value when compared to the typical at sea bar pricing.
Even your group fitness classes are included, which is amazing. Wellness is a huge part of the Virgin Voyage experience, and the ships have wonderful amenities, including a secluded sundeck with a 360-degree view for yoga classes.
There is an upscale barber shop called Stubble and Groom, The Dry Dock is a blow dry bar with hair and scalp treatments, and you can even find the first tattoo studio at sea, called Squid Ink. Fun, right? Maybe I will get my first tattoo when I sail soon!
Your accommodation choices are amazing. Beds can be made into day beds/couches by day to transform into an extra comfortable space (or not… your choice if you love to nap!). I really love what I see in the 78 Rock Star Quarters, and there are 15 MEGA RockStar with extra perks like private transfers, early boarding, and access to an exclusive rooftop lounge and thermal spa. Add to that a stocked bar and premium Wi-Fi. Oh, I forgot to share that Wi-Fi is included in every cruise fare, too!
Goodness, I haven’t even touched on the itineraries you can sail. Valiant Lady will sail the Med from Barcelona, and in Miami, Scarlet will soon have her very own embarkation location (See the rendering pic below!). The plans look amazing for this unique and very cool home port! Bimini in the Bahamas will be the private island beach club location, and you will have lots of options for 7 night or shorter voyages. That’s perfect for busy folks or those VIRGIN cruisers who might not be certain that they will enjoy sailing and want to test their sea legs out with a shorter cruise.
That is an aerial 0f the beautiful beach club on Bimini, and you can enjoy it all day! Are you convinced yet? Here’s a link to the Virgin Voyages website so you can really dig in and begin to choose your favorite voyage. But remember, don’t book direct, because I can help with all those peripheral details. I would love to help you choose, so do reach out when ready to be a SAILOR, okay?
This is one adventure you won’t want to miss out on, I promise. Spread the word. I am thinking I may have to test these waters very soon. When I do, I will invite you to join me! Now is the time to book, because once sailors return and word is out, I will bet you pricing will increase. Seriously, there is nothing better to lower your stress level than to be on a ship’s top deck, wind in your hair, and no land in sight. Ahhhhhhhh. Something to look forward to.