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Virgin Voyages – Four fabulous nights on the Scarlet Lady

As someone that had NEVER been on a cruise before, I was not sure what to expect on our four night Caribbean cruise aboard Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady.

We embarked from Miami, had a day at sea, a day in Key West, then onto Bimini and finally back to Miami. Despite some less than ideal weather, we had a really good time!

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Spa on board Scarlet Lady
Quiet time at the spa

Things to do on board

It is worth noting that Virgin Voyages is an adults-only cruise, so while there is plenty of entertainment, there are no waterparks, go-karts, wave pools, etc. We met quite a lot of couples who had children at home and just wanted a break for themselves.

Many of the people we chatted with onboard had sailed with other cruise lines, but we kept hearing over and over that Virgin Voyages was the best.


The ship features two pools, and neither are what I would consider large. If you enjoy quiet time at the pool, I recommend going either in the morning, before noon or later in the day after 4 p.m. The middle part of the day it tends to be very busy and more of a party atmosphere and we struggled to find sun loungers when we went around 1pm. We ended up hanging out on deck seven on some very comfy outdoor sofas.


This was one of my favorite parts of our cruise. I opted for an unlimited access package so I could visit the spa whenever I liked during its opening hours. Because the weather wasn’t so nice, I ended up spending quite a lot of time enjoying the salt room, sauna, steam room, mud room, pool, hot tub and cold plunge tubs. If you book a treatment, you get access to the thermal suite. You can also book three-hour thermal suite passes.


Virgin Voyages uses an app to allow you to book restaurant reservations (although they are not usually necessary), spa appointments, Shore Things excursions and see what is happening onboard every day. While it is incredibly useful when it is working, it is temperamental and would frequently crash. We attempted to use it to order room service to our cabin but gave up in the end.


We stayed in a Central Sea Terrace Cabin, and we loved it. Having the balcony and enjoying sunrises and sunsets was amazing. We found the cabin to be quite spacious and would just warn that the bathroom and shower are a bit on the small side. There are larger cabins (suites) that have extended private terraces and larger bathrooms (including ones with showers with a view of the sea).


There were a lot of activities onboard the Scarlet Lady including trivia, karaoke, arts and crafts, and even a star-gazing session. It also felt like there were a lot of choices for enjoying live music at the different bars around the ship. There is also a nightclub with different themed nights if you’re in the mood for a boogie!

I took a morning yoga class while onboard and there are all types of fitness classes throughout the day. The fitness areas were all nicely equipped with beautiful views out to sea.


Depending on which ports the ship calls at, there are Shore Thing excursions which can be booked in advance of your trip and range from snorkeling, to parasailing, to diving with sharks!

On our day in Bimini we decided to do the Sapona Shipwreck Snorkeling Trip. The weather that day was not ideal and the sea was choppy, which was a shame because it meant we only did one of the snorkeling spots.

Most the Caribbean sailings make a stop at Bimini, and Virgin has its own private beach club there. You take a free shuttle from the port to the beach club where there are two very large pools, a beautiful beach, sun loungers, restaurants and bars and private cabanas you can book for the day.

Oh, if you insist!

Places to eat and drink

One thing we really liked about the dining on board was the number of options. Also, there are no buffets or pre-set times you have to have your meals. There are over 20 places to choose from! Here are some of the ones that we tried:


Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, its menu is focused on vegan and vegetarian dishes, although they do offer other options. We had brunch here on our last morning and the apple cruffins were delicious!


This felt like the most “posh” restaurant onboard and specializes in steak and seafood. It is at the back of the ship and the views are beautiful. We had brunch here and I really enjoyed the French toast. They offer a “bottomless brunch” add-on option, which I would probably do if hadn’t booked an excursion that same day. We also had dinner here one of the nights and enjoyed the lamb chops!


We ate at Test Kitchen on our first night at sea. It features a more experimental menu created by Michelin-starred chefs. The menu changes every few days, so if you are at sea for longer, you might get to try more than one of the set menus. While we enjoyed our meal, the portions were a bit on the small side and we ended up having a snack later that evening!


Make sure you are hungry before heading to this Italian restaurant! Out of all our meals onboard, this one was definitely the most filling! We enjoyed handmade pasta, an antipasto board, beef carpaccio, steak and artichokes. They also have amazing sorbet and an affogato cart that comes to the table.


This was our favorite dining experience onboard. It is a Korean BBQ restaurant with tableside grills. Depending on how many people are in your party, you may end up sitting with strangers, but by the end of the meal you will be friends! We met some really lovely people at our table and the service was some of the best we experienced on our trip.


This is a large 24-hour dining hall on the same deck as the pools (Deck 15) with everything from all-day breakfasts, sushi, burger, ramen, bakery, and tacos. The opening times for different restaurants varies, but the app will tell you when things are open. This was our go-to spot for mid-afternoon snacks or late-night treats before bed!

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