Whether it was an unlucky turn of events or just making guests wait longer for something extraordinary is not entirely clear, but after almost 20 months of delay Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady sails from Miami today.
The vessel was just weeks away from her debut back in March of last year when the pandemic hit, so was the wait worth it?
It is the cruise line that isn’t really the traditional cruise line, the cruise ship that does everything it can to do things ever so slightly differently. There is no main swimming pool, there are no main dining rooms, but there is a tattoo parlor onboard. And the good thing is that she is now in Miami, and yes, the wait was most definitely worth it.
The MerMaiden Voyage
Virgin wouldn’t be Virgin if there weren’t something special on the plans for the first-ever cruise from Miami onboard Scarlet Lady. In fact, today’s voyage is the first-ever cruise onboard the ship which is not bound by restrictions or dubbed a preview voyage. According to the cruise line, the Mermaiden Voyage will be something special indeed:
“Scarlet Lady will offer her Sailors an experience of a lifetime, full of surprise and delights, mermaid-forward experiences woven throughout the voyage, and of course, mermaids and mermen celebrating alongside guests.“
After spending some time in the U.K. offering guests staycation cruises around the British isles, Scarlet Lady today departs on the first of four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries from PortMiami. Virgin Voyages has done its best not just to be different but to show guests how a yacht-like experience can be had for just a fraction of the price:
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, says: “For more than 50 years, Virgin companies have been bringing innovation to industries. Virgin Voyages is very much charting our own path, offering a fresh perspective on cruise travel with a mix of the familiar and a healthy dose of Virgin satisfaction.”
The vessel will have a huge variety of cruises available in the coming months. Four-night Bahamas cruises, dubbed “Fire & Sunset Soirées,” will call in Nassau, followed by the Beach Club at Bimini, a signature event including restorative morning yoga classes, lounging by the pool in a private cabana, sunset bonfires, and DJ-led flotilla parties.
Also Read: IDEAL Things to Do in Bimini, Bahamas
Other cruises include five-night “Riviera Maya” cruises to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen, “Mayan Sol” voyages to Costa Maya, Mexico, and “Dominican Daze” voyages to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages, says, “After many years in the making, we are excited to officially launch Scarlet Lady and welcome Sailors in the U.S. aboard for an unforgettable experience. With Michelin-starred dining, incredible spa, phenomenal onboard entertainment and amazing crew, our promise is to deliver a sophisticated, yet relaxed, adult-only experience — free of formality, where ordinary becomes extraordinary. We call this ‘Setting Sail the Virgin Way.'”
If you are thinking about taking a cruise onboard there are some precautions you will need to consider. All guests and crew onboard Scarlet Lady must be fully vaccinated without exemption. As the vessel is adults-only, children are not allowed on board.
In addition to the vaccination requirement, all guests are required to undergo a COVID-19 test before boarding, which the cruise line will cover.
Virgin Voyages aims to offer the safest possible travel experience for its guests, including additional sanitization, physical distancing, limited occupancy, and following local government guidelines in each destination the cruise line sails to.
Scarlet Lady was built by the Fincantieri shipbuilders in Italy and completed on February 13, 2020. The 110,000 gross-ton cruise ship has space for 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew members.
Three sister ships have been planned, of which one is sailing the Mediterranean this summer, Valiant Lady. A third ship, Resilient Lady, is scheduled for completion in August 2022, and the fourth vessel will arrive in 2023.