At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not a massive fan of big cruise ships. But I grew up with parents that absolutely love cruising. Needless to say, I couldn’t get away from it. Even though I’ve been on 10+ cruises, I’m by no means a cruise expert. However, when reading about Virgin Voyage’s launch, I must say I felt immediately intrigued.
An adult-only cruise, it boasted unique dining options and unconventional entertainment. There were plenty of sexual innuendos and even a tattoo parlor onboard… A cruise line that’s hip, cool, advocates for social responsibility, and hopes to inspire guests to live more sustainably? Sign me up!
Here’s what I took away from this one-of-a-kind experience.
How do I describe Virgin Voyages in three words? Swanky, surprising, and edgy.
The minute you walk into blaring music and a lively dancing crew, you realize this is not your regular cruise experience. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But my initial impression and overall experience definitely shifted and improved during the four nights my friend and I spent onboard.
First off, let’s get one thing straight. All of the cabins on the Scarlet Lady appeared sleek and modern. They also featured clever (and useful) technology.
We upgraded to a cheeky corner suite in the Rockstar quarters. This provided us with access to Richard’s rooftop, a VIP lounge area on the upper deck. There, we enjoyed select beverages, early booking, and access to a dedicated RockStar agent.
Our cabin proved amazing. What did Virgin Voyages mean by “select beverages”? Basically, a fully stocked bar in our cabin. What’s more, our RockStar agent was very helpful throughout the cruise. In other words, the upgrade was worth every penny.
What was one of the things that most intrigued me before boarding? The food. And I can happily report that it didn’t disappoint.
In fact, it exceeded my expectations. My favorite dining spots included the Test Kitchen, a laboratory-like eatery that’s part cooking school, part restaurant, and perfect for curious eaters who enjoy a tasting menu. I also highly recommend Gunbae, a fun Korean BBQ experience (complete with soju drinking, of course).
That said, we enjoyed all of our meals, without exception.
On the sustainability front, the coffee cups are compostable, and all of their to-go boxes are reused, including the bento boxes that offered fresh fruit and granola parfait fixings in the morning and sushi the rest of the day.
All dining is included except for alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees (I somehow survived without lattes), and a few food items that you can “treat yourself” to.
The Virgin Voyages cruise advertised the slogan, “Expect the unexpected.” And, indeed, the shows and performances proved unique. The main performances, Duel Reality and Never Sleep Alone, were fantastic. And their live band sounded tight and sophisticated.
I only caught a couple of the pop-up performances. And, quite frankly, I didn’t get them.
One unexpected and unique aspect of the Virgin Voyages experience was cast members’ roles in day-to-day life onboard. You could meet and mingle with many of them. I saw them eating at the Galley, dancing at the Manor (the nightclub), and cheering on the live band at the Roundabout.
Due to COVID-19, Virgin Voyages was still limiting its offerings. With a dinner theater, a drag queen brunch, and more performances coming up, this is likely one of the aspects that will change and improve the most in the coming months.
The other improvement I hope to see involves the tech side of things! Virgin Voyages is a very tech-focused cruise. For example, I absolutely loved the bracelet fob that acted as our room key/mobile wallet. I could also get behind the tablet in the room, which controlled the curtains and mood lighting. (There was a “get it on” mood if you’re wondering).
The app, however, definitely needs work.
It made some aspects of the experience harder to navigate. FOMO was real. While it became a funny conversation starter among fellow cruisers: “Is your app working?” We’d want and expect the app to work seamlessly if they’re going to continue to rely heavily (or solely) on this technology.
We went on a short 4-night cruise with only two stops. Our Bimini excursion got canceled due to the weather, so we only got to experience a Sea Turtle and Reef Snorkel.
One of the company’s goals is to promote social responsibility by working with local companies and communities. I’d love to learn more about the actual impact of these experiences, and it would have helped us understand why and how certain vendors get selected.
But, hey, following a sea turtle around for 20 to 30 minutes felt beautiful and surreal. And a reef shark surprised us, making for an added bonus.
I didn’t get to experience the spa or any of their services. But I visited the Hamman area, and it oozes wellness and mindfulness. Described as a “cross between a week spent in Bali and two hours at a cafe in Amsterdam,” I would definitely have spent a morning or afternoon there on a more extended cruise.
The gym was very nice. We couldn’t book the group and spinning classes via the app, but we did yoga and worked out on our own.
The service was impeccable. Every crew member I interacted with was very attentive and more than willing to go the extra mile to ensure we had a great cruising experience. From our housekeeper to all the waiters to our RockStar agent.
What’s more, you can tell that every crew member on board is genuinely excited to work on the Scarlet Lady, a fact that shows in everything they do.
All told, I loved our whirlwind trip on a Virgin cruise ship. And so did my friend. Sure, there were tech issues needing resolution, but I’m looking forward to going back in 2022, dates TBD.
Virgin Voyages is for those who are open-minded, adventurous, and looking for a truly unique experience.
If this is something you and your closest friends are interested in, grab that red dress or accessory, and let’s set sail! I have special credits and promotions I can pass on to you and your group. So, let’s chat.
COPYRIGHT © OUR WHOLE VILLAGE 2021
PLAN A TRIP
FREE TRAVEL GUIDE
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
+1 305 432 2612
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.