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Just off 11/12-11/17 Sailing


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Random thoughts from the cruise:
- The Virgin Voyages App stopped working around 24 hours prior to sailing. We stayed at the Intercontinental across from the port and tried to lookup our boarding time at dinner the night before but the app failed to connect. We asked Virgin about it and they said it was expected. So we just showed up at 2pm when general boarding started with no problems.
- Embarkation was fairly painless. You register for the covid test while you wait in line outside. There are Virgin employees walking around outside as you line up with a QR code that takes you to the registration website. We were released in a group into the building. Once inside you check-in at the covid test desk, walk to the test location, take the test and then walk to the cruise check-in. Cruise check-in was super simple and our test results came back as we were finishing up the check-in. From there we waited a few minutes and then were allowed to board. Super quick and easy.
- The app and the entire IT system on board needs a lot of work, but I'm sure it will get better. Once on-board you will need to connect your devices to the ships wifi, pick a package from free to premium and then load the app. Couple of tips on getting the app to work although this is from an iPhone users perspective:
    - The ship wifi is called Marmaid4U-ScarlettLady
    - For this WiFi network, make sure you turn off Private Address support. You can find this in Settings-> WiFi -> (Press the i next to the Mermaid network)
    - If you have and ad blocker app or some other form of VPN on your phone, you must turn this off to use the app. Also make sure to turn off auto-on for the VPN.
- The crew wear masks, but none of the guests. We were fine with this as all crew and sailors (passengers) on-board were vaccinated and the crew is tested regularly. It was so nice to be free of masks, even for a short cruise like this. In contrast, the Celebrity Apex cruise we took in September required masks but it was not adults only and thus all on-board were not vaccinated.
- The food is FANTASTIC, although we were not fans of Test Kitchen. My wife and I love prix fixe menus and the expected fine dining experience, but the Test Kitchen is just trying too hard and the food doesn't reach the heights they are hoping to achieve. It was just ok, which is way below the bar. Everything else was fantastic! This includes the Galley, which was great as we are not Buffet people. Extra Virgin and Pink Agave (Italian and Mexican) restaurants were our favorites.
- We were in a standard balcony room. It was small but functional. Bed was fairly comfortable. There isn't a ton of storage so for cruises over 5 nights it might be an issue for some. Laundry service isn't that expensive. I think a bag of laundry was $30. The bathroom is small but also functional. I'm 6'3" and fit in the shower, but just barely. Taller sailers may have issues. The shower has a rainfall head and a wand head, which was nice. Room AC worked well. Stewards. kept the room spotless.
- Shows were unique, fresh for the most part fun, although I wouldn't consider them a highlight. You do realize quickly how different this cruise is though when you attend the "Never Sleep Alone" show... Just, wow...
- The crew was super engaged, friendly, helpful and just a ton of fun. We were able to talk to a few of the crew and they all loved working for the company. One crew member had worked for Disney before this contract, which she also loved. She said Virgin was as good as Disney to work for but with Tattoos... 🙂
- There is no cruise director per se. They have broken up the role of the cruise director into different personalities that is represented by a different person. Not sure I'm into it as there was no single person running the show, at least not that we could tell. 
- We were often not sure what came next. There is a Line Up in the app, but it didn't have everything listed and we were constantly running into things we didn't know about. I think this is expected, but its a bit disorienting when you are planning your day.
- The spa was great. Massages were really good.
- Costa Maya was Costa Maya. Been there, done that...
- Bimini is terrific. Food was good. Plenty of places to sit. Pools are beautiful. We highly recommend the sunset cruise if its available. Really nice way to finish the day before dinner.
- Disembarkation was super easy. Virgin disembarks up to 11am so no need to wake up early and chow down breakfast before you have to run off the ship. We really loved this!
- We will most definitely be back on a Virgin Voyages cruise. We like to travel with two other families and next year we will all be over 18, including the kids. Can't wait!
Hope this was helpful

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Our cruise leaves next Sunday.  How is everyone dressing in the restaurants? I've looked at the dress code and it seems really relaxed. 

I've read you can fill up a growler or crowler on board.  Do they provide the crowler or growler? 

Edited by imahistorygeek
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12 hours ago, _tacocat_ said:

Did it say growler/crowler on the menu?  I wonder if it's a 54oz pour for a pitcher...

The official language in the media fact sheet reads "The bar will also offer a growler service, so Sailors can enjoy the expertly curated craft beers in any of the Scarlet Lady's uniquely designed public spaces or in the comfort of their cabin." 


There's no date on the fact sheet, so this info could have changed. I've not seen any posts about it anywhere except a menu with the 54oz pour. 

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Thanks for your review. We agree with much of what you said. 


We found the spa lacking in comparison to the Day Pass Experience on other ships - heated loungers are flat marble slabs - barely warm, and uncomfortable. One lukewarm pool, a teeny warmer tub (no bubbles), two ice cold tubs. No rain shower type experiences. The mudroom was unique and we liked the salt room and sauna. A three hour pass for $70 - seemed a bit overpriced for the amenities.


We loved the food! (But we did miss access to pasta in The Galley.) Pink Agave was our favorite followed by Extra Virgin and The Wake. We were disappointed in the Test Kitchen (my DH was still hungry) and Gunbae (after visiting a real Korean bbq).  Be aware that reservations can be very difficult to come by, especially with the wonky app. 


We feel they need more activities and entertainment onboard - nuff said.  Again, shows get sold out early. 


Cabins are serviced once daily (as opposed to twice on most lines) unless you are in a suite.


The beach club is a lovely location. No activities to speak of, food is limited. There is no service for drinks at loungers.We only stayed for a couple of hours.


We stayed in a suite - it came with many extra amenities, a Rockstar Agent (who was the equivalent of a butler on some lines), but ours was very inexperienced and easily frazzled. Our cabin steward was the best ever!


The ship is unique and gorgeous. It was refreshing to sail a line with new ideas and concepts. I'll withhold final judgement until they sail at full capacity because I am very dubious of their ability to meet the same levels of service.

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I was on this cruise too, and am still on board as a B2B. The app is still messed up. During the captain's sail away announcement in Miami (only PA announcements are on embarking and debarking, and during crew safety drills - wonderful) he apologised for the problems with the IT system, which at the time was in semi-meltdown. I agree that the cruise otherwise was, and continues to be, flawless. I don't agree about the Test Kitchen, it's been my favorite restaurant. It's a matter of taste, and I think it's good that Virgin isn't playing to the lowest common denominator. I wasn't so impressed with Extra Virgin or Gunbae, but I'm okay with that. Everyone's definition of excellence is different.

Edited by fubarbloke
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On 11/20/2021 at 6:38 PM, Duquesmom said:

Is there a place onboard with computers for “sailors” to use?

A friend is sailing soon & wants to know if she needs to take her laptop.



I did not see any computers for use on board anywhere, just people with their own laptops.  

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