A new kind of cruise experience is on the horizon.
Virgin Voyages -- the latest business endeavor for business magnate and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson -- is set to debut its first cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, in 2020.
The line has revealed a few of the public spaces on the ship, which will be the first of three released by 2022. However, Virgin Voyages vows an "epic sea of change," with off-the-beaten-path excursions, new culinary offerings, immersive entertainment and a modern touch that it says will shake up the traditional sense of cruising.
Curious about Virgin's first ship? Click through our slideshow to learn everything we know about Virgin Voyages.
Photos: Virgin Voyages
Scarlet Lady, a midsized vessel, will carry 2,750 passengers -- all of whom will have to be 18 or older.
The fact that its ships will be adults only was one of the first things revealed about Virgin Voyages, with president and CEO Tom McAlpin making it clear the line is not for all people.
"A chemical reaction occurs when you put children in water," he said. "They scream."
Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Scarlet Lady will be designed by a "Creative Collective" of 10 designers, none of whom have ever worked in the cruise industry before.
Richard's Rooftop -- located on the ship's top deck and designed by Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio -- features chic circular loungers, giant umbrellas and colored crystals that will cast rainbow reflections around the space. The lounge -- which is named after Richard Branson -- will host a full bar and will be reserved for the exclusive use of the ship's suite passengers.
Also located at the top of the ship, the Athletic Club embodies a "yacht culture" aesthetic. The space, designed by Concrete Amsterdam, will boast the largest daybed at sea (it's meant to be shared) and 10 cabanas overlooking the ocean.
Passengers will enjoy beverage service from the adjacent bar, as well as a 220-square-foot area of triple netting, where cruisers can lay out and look at the open space and decks below.
The ship's main pool -- called the Well-being Pool -- will feature an artistic adult playground and a fitness apparatus Virgin is calling "MyBeast."
Roman and Williams also designed The Dock, an outdoor lounge space located at the back of Scarlet Lady on Deck 7. The Dock -- inspired by the seaside lounges of Ibiza and the Hamptons -- will offer ocean views, and opportunities for relaxation and socialization. It will feature wooden deck chairs, loungers and daybeds.
The Red Room
The Red Room is Scarlet Lady's multiform theater that can transform into four different configurations: Traditional, alley stage (like those used in fashion shows), dance flat-floor, and reverse stage.
Six original shows are being created for the line, including one by a producer of "Sleep No More" and "Queen of the Night." Another show -- called "Duel Reality" -- will be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with a modern twist and acrobatic storytelling.
"Never Sleep Alone," will be a participatory show featuring relationship therapist, Dr. Alex Shiller (the alter ego of immersive performer Roslyn Hart).
The Manor, the ship's sleek signature nightclub located on Deck 7, was inspired by Branson's music industry past (the Manor Studio was a recording studio for Virgin Records from the early 70s to mid-90s). The space is designed by the Roman and William firm, and will primarily feature dance music.
B-Complex, the ship's indoor fitness center, will house four primary fitness rooms: "Build" for strength training; "Burn" for cardio; "Bike" for spin classes; and "Balance" for yoga. For on-demand fitness, some rooms will come equipped with Technogym ARTIS machines.
The Test Kitchen -- designed by Concrete Amsterdam -- will be another dining option onboard Virgin Voyages ships. The area features a funky laboratory-like environment, with metallic furniture, beakers and test tubes, and a lighting fixture that mimics the periodic table.
Extra Virgin -- Scarlet Lady's trattoria-inspired Italian restaurant -- will serve regional dishes and handmade pasta. Other features include a detailed wine menu, a daily Apertivio hour and a variety of digestives and traditional Italian aperitifs.
Geonbae is Scarlet Lady's Korean BBQ restaurant. Each table is equipped with a specially-designed flameless grill, so that diners can cook their own meals. The dining experience will kick off with a complimentary round of soju for the table and, throughout the night, diners will be encouraged to partake in traditional Korean drinking games.
Pink Agave is the first of two Virgin Voyages restaurants to be revealed. Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio designed the venue, an upscale Mexican restaurant that will be located on Deck 5. The space will feature a curved lounger at the center of the room, round tables for two, a private dining room for larger groups and a bar area in the restaurant's foyer.
Razzle Dazzle's name and design pay homage to World Wars I and II, when painted black-and-white patterns were used to camouflage ships. The venue will offer a selection of vegetarian and vegan fare, as well as a juice bar. However, diners will also have the option to spike their smoothies and to add on a variety of meats to their meals.
But food's not the only stand-out feature at Razzle Dazzle. Passengers will enjoy performances by Scarlet Lady's resident drag performer and friends. Bottomless drag-inspired cocktails will be availble for an extra fee.
Passengers can pay for tattoos, body piercings and permanent makeup treatments at Squid Ink, the first tattoo shop at sea. The venue will host two resident tattoo artists and feature a lineup of guest artists, including the likes of Spike TV's "Ink Master" star Sarah Miller, surrealist specialist Arlo DiCristina and the illustrative specialist Jime Litwalk.
The ship's spa -- dubbed "Redemption" -- will boast an underwater cave theme, complete with a hydrotherapy pool, cold plunge pools, quartz beds, a mud room and a salt room. At night, the space will transform into a gathering spot, with spa parties and a DJ.
Of Scarlet Lady's 1,408 cabins, 93 percent will have ocean views and 86 percent will have a balcony (which Virgin calls "Sea Terraces").
All standard cabins will boast modern amenities, including a 43-inch and 4K flatscreen HDTV, rain shower heads, and an in-room entertainment system. Sea Terrace cabins will have handcrafted hammocks on balconies.
Most rooms will also sport the innovative Seabed concept, which converts from a full-sized bed to a lounger depending on the time of day.
The ship will have 78 "RockStar" suites with retro-futuristic designs and yacht-like accents, including leather finishes and marble bathrooms.
Suites will also come with working vinyl turntables (a collection of classic records included), balcony hammocks and a fully equipped bar. Other perks include priority boarding, private transfers to and from the ship in Miami, and early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants and shore excursions.
The 2,147-square-foot Massive Suite will be the largest accommodation onboard. Each of the two Massive Suites onboard will sleep up to four people, and contain a master bedroom, a living room and a large marble bathroom.
Massive Suite (Continued)
Other features include a music room -- which doubles as an extra bedroom -- stocked with musical instruments and an amplifier, and an expansive balcony with a hot tub, peek-a-view outdoor shower, a circular conversation pit, a lookout point with stargazing loungers, two hammocks, and an outdoor dining table to accommodate up to six.
Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady will debut in 2020 and sail four- and five-night Caribbean cruises from Miami. Itineraries will include a five-night Mayan Sol cruise to Costa Maya, a five-might Dominican Daze voyage to Puerto Plata, and four- and five-night cruise to Cuba.
All sailings will feature an overnight stay or a late-night sailaway, as well as port call at The Beach Club in Bimini.
The moment you step aboard a luxury cruise ship, a hostess is at your arm proffering a glass of bubbly while a capable room steward offers to heft your carry-on as he escorts you to what will be your home-away-from-home for the next few days. You stow your things (likely in a walk-in closet) and then emerge from your suite to get the lay of the ship. As you walk the decks, friendly crew members greet you ... by name. How can that be? You just set foot onboard! First-class, personalized service is just one of the hallmarks of luxury cruise lines. You can also expect exotic itineraries, varying degrees of inclusivity in pricing, fine wines and gourmet cuisine as well as universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. That being the case, you might think any old luxury cruise ship will do, but that's not quite true. Like people, cruise ships have their own unique personalities -- and some will be more suited to your vacation style than others. Lines like SeaDream might not offer the most spacious suites, but their intimate yachts can stealthily visit ports that large ships can't manage. Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are owned by the same parent company but Regent offers a completely inclusive vacation experience, while Oceania draws travelers with a more independent streak. Take a look at Cruise Critic's list of best luxury cruise lines and ships to see which one resonates with you.