By GERRY BARKER
Few cruise lines have had a more highly-anticipated debut than Virgin Voyages. Launched under Richard Branson’s Virgin brand, you knew, like his other global businesses — this cruise line would be different. And different it is.
For starters, it’s adults only; You have to be 18 to get onboard. Once onboard, it just feels different — cool and hip, laidback and chill, party or relax — you decide. The giant red “Virgin” logo emblazoned at the top of their ships, and visible from two miles away, says you’ll be cruising the Branson way.
They currently operate two ships — Scarlet Lady (launched after a COVID delay in late 2020) and a sister ship, Valiant Lady, in 2022. Coming this year is a third ship, Resilient Lady, with a fourth on order, Brillant Lady. Classified as “midship” size, they can host almost 2,800 guests at capacity.
We have sailed on both Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, embarking from Virgin’s shiny new, $150 million Terminal V at Port Miami. And if you doubt the marketing genius of Branson, just look at how the terminal is built, facing the Miami skyline — in effect a giant Virgin billboard. The ships themselves are beautiful and sleek, and heavy on health and fitness. In fact, fitness freaks will have a hard time finding something with more to offer than Virgin. Another first: Virgin has the first tattoo parlor at sea, called Squid Ink.
Our cruises have not only been different, but also a lot of fun and good times. Here are 10 things we love about cruising on Virgin, and why we”ll be repeat customers:
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