We’ve already looked a bit at what travelers can expect from Virgin Voyages, but there’s a lot more to anticipate when the new cruise line sets sail in 2020. Although the brand’s approach is informed by traditional seafaring, it’s also introducing its own innovations, making for a unique experience that is sure to turn heads.
Scarlet Lady, an adults-only vessel promising “Epic Sea Change for All,” is now bookable by “First Mates” — what the line playfully calls its travel advisor partners. In fact, it unveiled FirstMates.com as a dedicated website for all interactions. There, agents will find educational and marketing aids, in addition to reservation tools.
Virgin has expanded on the site with the First Mates SeaCiety Facebook group. The closed group is accessible to agents who have already registered as First Mates. Once they’re signed up, new “edutainment” videos pop up automatically in their Facebook feed. Advisors will find stylish content that teaches them about the brand’s values so they can best sell the product.
Once guests are onboard — and before they check out the tattoo parlor or all-inclusive dining options — they’ll want to acquaint themselves with their stateroom or suite. Most standard cabins will feature unique convertible Seabeds. Half the standard configuration can swing to the side to create a sectional sofa. Mood lighting further accentuates the space, with colors that change throughout the cruise.
Other configurations range from Insider staterooms (including solo rooms for single travelers) to RockStar Suites. The latter, as the name implies, showcase a “Rebellious Luxe” lifestyle. The 2,147-square-foot Massive Suite, the largest stateroom in the RockStar Suites category, has its own music room. Additionally, several suites sport outdoor showers. What’s more, suite occupants will have backstage access, including admission to Richard’s Rooftop private club.
Meanwhile, interactive “happenings” throughout the ship and The Red Room theater will put a fresh spin on entertainment. The theater can take multiple forms, including a traditional proscenium stage, a fashion show alley stage and a dance floor. Six original shows for the ship are in development.
Of course, there are wellness facilities, too. The Crow’s Nest, for example, is a panoramic sundeck for daily yoga, and The Runway is a jogging track that skirts the smokestack. There’s also the Athletic Club — equipped as a 1920s-style sports club with a post-workout bar — and the B-Complex Gym.
For more rest and relaxation, there’s the Well-being Pool, along with Redemption, the vessel’s spa, which will have its own parties as well as a hydrotherapy pool, a mud room, a salt room, cold plunge pools, quartz beds and treatments. Dry Dock will serve as a blow-dry bar, and Stubble & Groom will be a dedicated barbershop.
After gleaning consumer insight, Virgin has made Cuba one of Scarlet Lady’s initial destinations (sailing from Miami), with overnights in Havana. Every voyage will also include a stop at The Beach Club in Bimini, Bahamas, with daytime coastal relaxation and evening pool entertainment from the likes of DJ Mark Ronson.
The line’s second ship will embark from a new port facility in Miami. The 100,000-square-foot terminal will open in 2021 on the northwest side of Dodge Island.