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The Cruise I Never Thought I Would Take! Scarlet Lady Feb 27-Mar 4 Review


ceilidh1
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Stay tuned...

Still to come: Entertainment, Ports (Cozumel and Bimini), the "Dailies" (or whatever they may be called on Virgin) and general hits/misses/thoughts/opinions. Happy to answer any questions if I can!

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You would think that after five months they would have the testing and embarkation procedure more streamlined... I believe that pretty soon, they're going to require passengers to get their own test, which will hopefully they can get it figured out soon...

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On 3/6/2022 at 5:58 PM, ceilidh1 said:

After this, we hopped back on the metromover and checked out the mall at Brickell Centre. We grabbed some food at an Italian bakery on Miami Ave – sandwiches and desserts to die for, stopped into a CVS for sunscreen and essentials (and a bottle of wine for $4) then headed back to the hotel for a rest!

 

Which bakery did you visit?  We went to Atelier Monnier Brickell and had the best almond croissant I have ever eaten.  That one is on our return list next time.  

 

Edit to add: How did you end up with paper dailies? On our cruise back in Nov we never saw any paper schedules, just the app and a screen we saw by sailor services.  

 

Also, thank you for the great review with all the details!  

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5 minutes ago, ociana said:

Which bakery did you visit?  We went to Atelier Monnier Brickell and had the best almond croissant I have ever eaten.  That one is on our return list next time.  

 

Edit to add: How did you end up with paper dailies? On our cruise back in Nov we never saw any paper schedules, just the app and a screen we saw by sailor services.  

 

Also, thank you for the great review with all the details!  

This was the bakery: Rosetta Bakery | The Italian Bakery

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I was also surprised by the paper dailies, since there is such an emphasis on the app and sustainability. We never asked for them, they just appeared under the door each night. I actually found the app easier to read than the paper but think I'm in the minority - my travel partner had continuous problems with her app.

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 Entertainment

The entertainment on this ship was definitely not your mainstream cruiseline Broadway style show or cheesy Marriage gameshows! The entertainment was “risqué” and extremely different. I won’t pretend I understood a lot of the storylines behind the shows, and some of it wasn’t perfect or polished, but the sheer talent of the performers shone through in everything I saw! There were lots of entertainment options that I didn’t get chance to check out, but I was able to see the main ones and enjoyed every one!

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-          Untitled Dance Show Party Thing: This was one of the shows I didn’t really understand, but loved the dancing and the graphics. This was not a sit down show – the audience stood on the dancefloor and the dancers alternated between dancing on the stage and dancing among the audience. There were lots of video screens, strobe lights, and techno music and this one seemed geared toward the younger crowd.

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-          Never Sleep Alone: Not sure where to start with this one! This was definitely a show that was not family friendly – and that was just fine, since this ship has no kids! The show revolves around a book of the same name, with a sex therapist acting a little like a talk-show host and guiding the audience through ways to improve their sex lives. She called on audience members to participate (they ask when you walk in if you are willing and will seat you accordingly) and this was hilarious! Some of the things asked of the participants were definitely “out there” but it was pretty harmless and very funny to watch!

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-          VHS Workout: This is an exercise classed based on an 80s workout, complete with legwarmers and shake weights. The three instructors were fantastic and highly entertaining. The music was all classic 80s sing-along tunes and the moves were all easy to follow. It was so fun and didn’t feel like exercise at all!

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-          Dual Reality: Everyone said that this was a “do not miss” show, and I second that! It was a blue team/red team contest that had unbelievable acrobatics, dance, and acting! There were several times I was on the edge of my seat, heart in my mouth, and gasped out loud. The talent of these performers shone through, along with the total trust they must have in each other to pull off some of the stunts. I didn’t even get pictures as I was so engrossed in the show!

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-          70s Show/Studio 57: I can’t remember the official name of this, but this was one of the shows that wasn’t completely polished or perfect but still a lot of fun. The show started late as they were rehearsing up to the last second, so this may be one of the newer ones. It was pretty much what it suggests – a show with lots of 70s music and 70s clothing, with some juggling, hula hooping, and dancing thrown into the mix. Once again, some of the entertainment aspects were lost on me – there was a point where they performers just walked around with umbrellas, which I just didn’t get, but still highly entertaining! After the “show” the dance floor opened up and the audience got up to dance to 70s tunes – lots of fun but also probably the first time I have ever danced or been in a crowd of unmasked people since Covid began, so that felt a little odd!

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-          Scarlet Nights: This was not really a show, more of a theme for the night. The entire ship was decked out in red and the evening kicked off with a song and dance number in the centre of the ship (The Roundabout). From here, you followed a cast member to various pop up performances. Our closest cast member took us to a bar and we played charades, then on to another bar where we were entertained by the myth of Scarlet Night. There appeared to be lots of different happenings depending on which cast member you followed – another passenger told me that they had been part of a pirate cast and had to find loot, another said they had been part of a private party that they weren’t allowed to talk about. Lots of fun! The pool party at the end of the evening was something you just wouldn’t get on mainstream lines – the entire cast did dance numbers on the edge of the pool and then invited the audience to get in the pool and dance. Lots of alcohol and water….what could go wrong?

 

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-          The Diva: The Diva did two drag shows and I loved them both. So entertaining, with a mix of singing, dancing, and calling on audience members for games and fun. Very talented and very enjoyable – again, this might not be for everyone!

 

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Thanks for this comprehensive review.  My son is on the Scarlet Lady now.  My husband and I (early 50’s) have been cruising Celebrity in recent years but considering a Virgin cruise for next year if we can convince my son and his GF to join us.

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·         Ports

-          Cozumel: I hadn’t researched or planned anything for Cozumel, which is totally unlike me! I just couldn’t bring myself to become too excited in case this cruise never actually materialized. I toyed with the idea of staying on the ship and just enjoying the peace and quiet, but the sailing was less than 50% capacity anyway, so every day felt like a sea day! I reached out to members of @sid_9169 Tribe, who had been to Cozumel, and they recommended Paradise Beach Resort. It was easy to grab a taxi outside of the terminal and, for $17, it whisked me away to Paradise Beach.

 

The $52 all inclusive all day fee seemed pretty reasonable, but they did have pay-as-you-go rates and also an add on for the water park features. I had no interest in the water park (lots of slides/obstacles in the ocean) and figured that after a couple of drinks and a bite to eat I would easily spend more than the all-inclusive price, so it was a no-brainer.

 

We had arrived around 10:30am so it was still pretty empty and we had the choice of beach or pool, sun or shade. We chose two loungers on the beach, in the shade. We had two waiters who kept us well stocked with food and drinks – basically everything on the menu was included and delivered to the lounger. There was a restaurant area if that was preferred, but I was happy to be waited on! I made it my goal to try every cocktail on the menu and am proud to say that not only did I accomplish it, but I also got in a bonus “off menu” cocktail! The drinks were great – not watered down and pretty authentic. There were lots of food options – we tried the guacamole, salsa, nachos, burritos, and tacos and all were very good. The resort had a very nice pool, lots of loungers on the beach, the waterpark area, and some watersports for an added cost. It never got too busy and was a relaxing day! When we were ready to head back to the ship, there were plenty of cabs waiting outside the resort.

 

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-          Bimini Beach Club:

This was the only aspect of the trip that I actually planned and dreamed about, since this day was the day that I turned 50! I stayed up until midnight the day that shore excursions opened, and immediately booked a beach cabana. On this day, the cabana was $300 (for up to 6 people) and this included $100 worth of drinks. Every time I checked after booking, they were sold out and the price was listed as $500.

 

On arrival in Bimini, we took the little tram, free of charge, to the beach club. At reception, we were handed a wristband and given our cabana number. The cabana was basic, but included two loungers that were in the sun, two daybeds in the shade, a bean bag, table, charging outlet, and drink and food service. The beach club was beautiful – two big pools, amazing beach, restaurant area, and lots of different seating options. We probably didn’t “need” a cabana given the low number of passengers on our sailing, but it was worth every cent not to have the uncertainty over whether we would need to race off the ship to get the perfect spot. It was also really nice to not have to go up to the bar or restaurant and just be pampered!

 

We arrived around 10:30am and there was plenty of seating of every variety available by the pool or on the beach. By around 11:30am, most of the prime seating was taken, but the beach guys were going around providing umbrellas to those who were in the sun and wanted shade.

 

The $100 drink credit worked out perfectly – no one seemed to have any consistent information over how this credit worked. The shore excursion description (and some reviews from past sailors) implied that you would be supplied with either wine, beer, or cocktails and everyone had to have the same option (kind of like a bucket of beer, for example). Others reported that $100 was added to your bar tab and you just used this to pay for drinks. For us, our server told us that we had $100 credit and to just order drinks with her and she would let us know once it was used up. The cocktails were around $12-$15 each and we had 8 between us, so I’m pretty sure we went slightly over the $100. However, we were not charged anything and were never presented with a bill.

 

In terms of food, lunch started at 12pm and after that there were light bites from 3pm onwards. The food was good, but definitely not as good as on the ship – the curry was my favourite by far!

 

The only negative I would give for the beach club was the constant thumping, loud, techno music at the pool. Initially, this was fun as the performers from the ship were dancing and creating a pool party atmosphere. However, after this piece was over, the obnoxious music just continued the entire day – not very conducive to a relaxing beach day. Even the folks sitting in the pool area didn’t seem into the music, so it seemed a little unnecessary. We didn’t stick around for the bonfire, and headed back to the ship around 5pm after a truly great day!

 

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10 hours ago, ceilidh1 said:

Don't get me wrong, I love listening to music, but the loud obnoxious thumping did not mix well with a relaxing day at the beach!

If you end up on the beach further away from the DJ, the music isn't really that loud, but yeah, I agree it was super loud if you were remotely close to the pool. 

 

We grabbed a daybed in the middle of the Rockstar area, and the noise level was tolerable... until a group decided to bring their bluetooth speaker and blast tinny-quality streaming music with commercials womp womp.  If you're going to blast people with poor sound quality, at least opt for the premium subscription 😝

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