https://www.googleoptimize.com/optimize.js?id=OPT-MDQ4PTQ

We have sailed twice with Virgin Voyages in the past year, and we loved it so much we have booked another cruise for later this year on Virgin’s newest cruise ship, the Resilient Lady. Richard Branson’s move into the cruise industry has certainly ruffled feathers. He has, in our opinion, introduced an improved approach to cruise holidays, his new ships have his competitors trying to copy his winning formula, but they are falling short of what he has brought to the cruise market.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady docked in Toulon on the Irresistible Med itinerary. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady docked in Toulon on the Irresistible Med itinerary. © Awesome Travel Holidays

Four ships are planned, two currently sailing, the Scarlett Lady and Valiant Lady, while the Resilient Lady will set sail around May 2023, with the Brilliant Lady expected to hit the waves in 2024. These are beautiful cruise ships, inspired on the design of a super yacht, created as a boutique hotel at sea, delivering a cruise experience like no other.

The beautiful coastal city of Miami is the base for Scarlett Lady, making an ideal destination to add on a city break and a road trip down to the Florida Keys, the Everglades, Orlando, or exploring the east and west coasts. Barcelona is the home port for Valiant Lady and a superb city to spend a few nights pre or post cruise. While Athens will provide the home berth for the newest ship to join the fleet, the Resilient Lady.

Here are 10 Reasons why we think Virgin Voyages are ‘Simply the Best’

Here are 10 Reasons why we think Virgin Voyages are ‘Simply the Best’

1. Virgin Voyages Staff are Amazing

Without a shadow of a doubt, Virgin Cruises has overall the best staff we have ever come across on a cruise ship. They are truly amazing, engaging and exceptionally well trained and we mean all the staff, regardless of where they work, front of house or back of house, it makes the cruise so much more enjoyable. They create the vibe, they are allowed to be themselves and encouraged to engage, they provide the synergy to really make the cruise so, so special.

We cruised onboard the Valiant Lady’s ‘mer-maiden voyage out of Barcelona in May 2022. Richard Branson was on that cruise and at an event onboard he proudly announced that “the ship’s crew were comprised from over eighty different nationalities”.

Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady Bar Staff on the Irresistible Med itinerary. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady Bar Staff on the Irresistible Med itinerary. © Awesome Travel Holidays

2. Virgin’s Cruise Ships are so ‘Sexy’

Richard Branson has created, truly beautiful, cruise ships. The design is exceptional, incorporating cutting edge technology throughout. Integrating thoughtful design which just makes the ships feel so comfortable and intimate. Nothing is huge, it’s all about venues that make you feel cosy, relaxed and on holiday.

All three ships are essentially the same, small tweaks in the design and the décor, to enhance the finished product. All the ships have the same brilliant layout, Virgin have created a unique brand at sea – a boutique hotel at sea.

- Virgin Voyages – A scaled model onboard Scarlett Lady. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – A scaled model onboard Scarlett Lady. © Awesome Travel Holidays

3. Virgin Voyages creates Intriguing Journeys

For us, cruising is really about the itinerary, finding new destinations and having the day to explore. If we like it, we will return and spend more time uncovering the treasures, if we don’t, we know why, and move on.

As medium sized cruise ships, Virgin ships can access smaller ports where the larger cruise ships simply cannot dock, making for better itineraries and more interesting ports of call. Virgin cruise ships carry a maximum of 2,770 Sailors (passengers) and 1,150 crew, if your social, everyone can become a friend.

Virgin have selected incredible itineraries, whether that is in the Eastern or Western Mediterranean, or the Caribbean, they have put a lot of thought into creating interesting routes. The Resilient Lady is heading ‘Down Under’ in October with a variety of exciting itineraries enroute via Dubai and Singapore and a summer season sailing around Australia and New Zealand.

Most cruises have an overnight or a full day in port which is so cool, we did Ibiza last year on the Valiant Lady, which was amazing. On the Caribbean cruise we did a whole day at Bimini in The Bahamas, what a beach, what a beach club, what a day.

Virgin Voyages – A scaled model onboard Scarlett Lady. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – A scaled model onboard Scarlett Lady. © Awesome Travel Holidays

4. Virgin Cruises are ‘Adults Only’

All Virgin Cruises are ‘Adults Only’. The entertainment, the fun and vibe it’s all centered around adults. We love it, as I am sure many whose kids have left the nest or those without, will testify, makes for an awesome cruise. If you have kids leave them at home and cruise, you’ll love it.

The minimum age to travel is 18+ but there must be one person who is 21+ in the same cabin. The minimum age to book a cruise is 21+.

5.  Virgin’s offers Exceptional Dining Onboard

No buffet restaurants, none, they are all ‘gone with the wind’, thank goodness. If you are vegetarian there is plenty of choice at all the restaurants. It’s all about choice and variety, with freshly prepared ingredients presented, in five delightfully different restaurants and a stunning food court with an assortment of cuisines.

We found the food delicious, and the venues are so distinct, making every meal an occasion. And there’s no additional charges for ‘speciality’ restaurants which is common now with other cruise ships (however, some special dishes may have a surcharge).

It’s difficult to choose a favourite restaurant but the Test Kitchen was sublime, but so too was The Wake, and oh boy, the Korean BBQ was just unbelievable, such a cool vibe, and there’s more, much more. We will cover the restaurants in more detail when we visit each ship.

Virgin Voyages – The Lively Korean BBQ Restaurant Gunbae onboard Scarlet Lady. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – The Lively Korean BBQ Restaurant Gunbae onboard Scarlet Lady. © Awesome Travel Holidays

6. Virgin’s Cosy Cabins and Superb Suites

There are 1,408 cabins and suites, and, oh boy, if that Rockstar Suite suits your budget, wow, what a treat that is at sea.

The balcony cabins are called, Sea Terraces, and they are amazing. Let’s start with a hammock on every balcony, great place to lay back and watch the world sail by. All the cabins have neat technology operating everything from the TV to the curtains, to the mood lighting, to ordering room service. The room has everything you need, there’s adequate space for storage and hanging space. The bathrooms have a rain shower which is amazing. The double bed is easily split into a twin configuration.

Even the inside cabins (‘Insiders’) are delightful, would have happily stayed in one. They are elegantly designed with plenty of space. The advantage of an insider cabin is that if you have a late night, sleeping in is brilliant, as they are nice and dark.

The suites are to die for, and if your budget allows, it’s worth considering an upgrade. Spacious, elegant and a selection of options to suit your preferences. They also come with exclusive access to Richard’s Rooftop, a really cool area to chill and enjoy the sunshine while sipping on your favourite cocktail.

Virgin Voyages – The Sea Terrace Hammock onboard Valiant Lady. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – The Sea Terrace Hammock onboard Valiant Lady. © Awesome Travel Holidays

7. Live Music on Virgin Cruises

I think Richard’s love of music shines through on his cruise ships. The artists we have had the pleasure of watching performing have been utterly amazing. Unbelievably talented guitarists, vocalists and bands provide a line up along with the other entertainment which truly makes Virgin Cruises stand out against its rivals. They perform in multiple venues across the ship, for me there is nothing like sipping your favourite tipple, while enjoying the genius of a talented artist.

Virgin Voyages – Live Music onboard Valiant Lady sailing out of Ibiza. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – Live Music onboard Valiant Lady sailing out of Ibiza. © Awesome Travel Holidays

8. Live Entertainment on Virgin Cruises

The entertainment is a little naughty, but very unique and the venues are delightfully intimate. From live bands to solo guitarists to impressive shows at sea, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The performances are original, extremely well presented and the talent of the entertainers is exceptional. The pool parties are epic, Virgin’s crew know how to lay on a pool party, the best ever at sea.

Virgin Voyages – Live Show onboard Scarlet Lady sailing out of Puerto Plata on Dominican Daze cruise itinerary. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – Live Show onboard Scarlet Lady sailing out of Puerto Plata on Dominican Daze cruise itinerary.
© Awesome Travel Holidays

9. Health and Wellbeing is a focus on Virgin Cruises

There is an emphasis on health and fitness and the facilities, classes, instructors and variety offered onboard is fantastic. Whether you are a fitness freak or just enjoy a good workout, it’s all happening onboard a Virgin cruise.

Virgin Voyages – Outdoor Boxing onboard Scarlet Lady. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – Outdoor Boxing onboard Scarlet Lady. © Awesome Travel Holidays

10. On a Virgin Cruise – It’s actually – ALL INCLUSIVE

Well, it’s actually ✅ ALL INCLUDED: 🍕Dining at 20+ unique eateries, 💵 Tips, 🥤 ‘Soft’ Basic Bevies, 📶 Wi-Fi and 💪 unlimited group workouts 🔞 Exclusively Adult Only.

The bar is not included, but the alcohol prices are enticing. Seriously, you buy a bar tab, and you control your spending. The bar prices are very reasonable, just like you are down at your local pub, so no big surprises, and you are in control. We enjoy a tipple and were amazed at just how affordable they have priced the drinks onboard; we were pleasantly surprised.

Unlike most other cruise lines where both need to purchase a drinks package, on Virgin you can buy one bar tab and manage it as and when you need to, its all very adult and your Virgin wristband is all you ever need onboard, that gets you in and out of the cabin, on and off the ship, and gets a drink in when you need one.

Virgin Voyages – Valiant Lady pool party, the best pool parties at sea. Source – Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – Valiant Lady pool party, the best pool parties at sea. © Awesome Travel Holidays

THE VIRGIN VERDICT:

Our favourite cruise brand by a nautical mile. Hands down, the best experience on a cruise ship we have had at sea. Virgin Voyages should be the cruise of choice for anyone going on holiday without the kids. It’s for the young at heart and its most definitely not for those who love traditional, formal cruise holidays.

So, why not join us on a cruise this summer?

Virgin Voyages – Boarding Valiant Lady after a wonderful day exploring the old town of Ibiza. ©Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – Boarding Valiant Lady after a wonderful day exploring the old town of Ibiza. © Awesome Travel Holidays

Just thought we needed to end with a sunset.

Virgin Voyages – Sunset from our Sea Terrace onboard the Valiant Lady in the Med. ©Awesome Travel Holidays
Virgin Voyages – Sunset from our Sea Terrace onboard the Valiant Lady in the Med. © Awesome Travel Holidays