After initially planning to sail in 2020, Virgin Voyages Scarlet lady is finally ready to take water. The ship will embark on its maiden voyage from Miami to the Caribbean on October 6, and Robb Report got a glimpse of all the top-notch amenities aboard Richard Branson’s adults-only cruiser as it docked in New York this week.
As you would expect from something under the Virgin label, the 2,770 passengers Scarlet lady– whose name is inspired by one of Virgin Atlantic’s first planes – takes luxury to a cheeky new level, as only Branson can. This is in part because the brand has teamed up with an impressive roster of designers for a different take on how most other ships are developed.
Instead of a more holistic strategy, “each space was designed to be self-sufficient. Each space has its own background music, lighting and design, ”said Frank Weber, senior vice president of hotel operations at Virgin. This translates into striking spaces that could just as easily be at home on land or at sea. The list of interior designers recruited includes well-known names such as Roman + Williams, Concrete Amsterdam, the Design Research Studio of Tom Dixon, Knibb Design and Softroom of London. The stylish crew uniforms were designed by British designer Gareth Pugh.
Scarlet ladyThe various spaces also ensure that there are separate areas for fun, relaxation and entertainment, and plenty of places designed for adults, as everyone on board must be at least 18 years old. “Adult-by-design is really something that was needed in the industry,” Weber explains.
Thus, on board, you will find the very first tattoo parlor at sea; a record store; a luxury shopping arcade with revolving partners like Bulgari and Gucci; and a one-of-a-kind convertible theater featuring three unique shows (no Broadway shows here). The chic nightclub was designed by Roman + Williams, while the two pool decks have plenty of hot tubs, lounge chairs, and swings, plus 10 private cabanas.
In the spacious spa, there is a large thermal area, several treatment rooms (one with a quartz massage bed) and three different fitness centers. A bright red running track surrounds the top of the ship, and there’s a separate studio that hosts free yoga, barre, boxing, and spinning classes.
Food is another major focus of the ship, and instead of a main dining room, there are six different restaurants, none of which have a buffet. These are also not your typical dining experiences on cruise ships, as each restaurant sports a distinctive design and concept.
“Main dining rooms on ships have always been a thorn in the side,” says Weber, who worked in the cruise industry for decades before joining Virgin Voyages. “The main dining room of a ship takes up so much space and is really only used for dinner. Dividing these spaces into smaller spaces makes better use of the space. Here, each restaurant has its own style with its own kitchen, executive chef, manager and staff. They really operate like a restaurant on earth.
The Wake is the chic and sophisticated steakhouse, boasting an Art Deco-inspired design, decadent seafood towers, and table-top cocktail service, while Razzle Dazzle is a modern veggie restaurant that you can enjoy. easily imagine Los Angeles or Miami. Extra Virgin is an aperitif-inspired Italian concept with terrazzo trays, and Pink Agave is a Mexico-style place with what Virgin claims to be the largest collection of rare tequila and mezcal at sea.
Two of the more unusual offerings for a cruise ship are Test Kitchen, which serves a tasting menu in its show kitchen and hosts cooking classes; and Gunbae, a trendy Korean barbecue restaurant with bespoke table grills and free Soju welcome worms.
In addition to these sit-down restaurants, there are many more places to refuel, including an all-day dining area, ice cream parlor, craft beer bar, pizzeria, Mediterranean lounge, and a superb champagne bar in partnership with Moët & Chandon which offers many vintage bottles à la carte. All reservations on the ship are accessible via an application, which also offers a particularly fun feature: Shake for Champagne. Any passenger can shake their phone and a bubbly interface will appear, allowing you to order a glass of champagne that will be delivered to you anywhere on the ship.
There are 1,400 cabins on board, and although some of the standard rooms are small (although 80% have balconies with pretty red hammocks), there are 78 spacious suites, all designed by Tom Dixon. The largest are the two 2,147 square foot Massive Suites, which include a guitar room with an additional sofa bed, a spacious living room with a wet bar, turntable and record collection, a sumptuous master bedroom with live lighting. ambiance and a large marble bathroom with tub and peek-a-boo shower.
There is also a large outdoor terrace with Jacuzzi, dining table, lounge chairs and hammocks, and for the ultimate VIP experience, guests also have access to Richard’s Rooftop, a private area by the main pool with its own bar and lounge. many comfortable seats. Scarlet Lady will be based in Miami and San Juan and will sail primarily in the Caribbean. Five-night cruises start at $ 1,925 per person for a Sweet Aft Suite, the entry-level suite category.