Scarlet Lady Review

A great winter escape from the New England cold

Review for the Caribbean Cruise on Scarlet Lady
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CapeCruiser88
2-5 Cruises • Age 30s

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Sail Date: Feb 2024
Traveled with children

My wife and I (29/35) recently returned from a four-day cruise on the Scarlet Lady. As a whole, we had a fantastic time. After a carnival cruise, my wife said she would never cruise again, but I convinced her to join me on this one, and she loved it. Virgin does things differently which makes cruising feel classier, e.g. no kids swimming in the hot tubs, no buffets, and good, varied dining options. Their focus on "wellness" also makes the cruise feel slightly less like an all-out expedition in overconsumption. The cabins were high-tech, clean, and well-designed. There are hot tubs throughout the ship which allowed for multiple times when we had the tub to ourselves. The pool is busy but there were always spots either on deck or above the deck. The boat is very segmented which meant there were always bars with no wait to grab a drink or to find a secluded spot to relax. The boat itself was well-maintained, clean, and felt new. We stopped in Key West which was not crowded at all and we had a great day there. We also stopped at the beach club in Bimini which was a great time. There were plenty of chairs, a party at the pools for folks into that, and the food was shockingly good. They did run out of a lot of alcohol by the end of the day but I think that may have been by design to get people back to the boat.

Some things that could be improved: For whatever reason, they designed the beds to be converted couches in the rooms, which made them slightly less comfortable than one would expect but not enough to prevent sleep. We opted to have some laundry done (for $30) and they stated we would have it back by 5:30 PM the next day but we never got it back until calling twice two hours before leaving the boat. There were some other small things like there was one day in the gym where there were no wipes anywhere and no staff to tell the issue to. They also offer some grab and go items like salads, but they never had dressing to go along with it which kind of defeated the purpose. While the boat being segmented, as noted above, allowed for you to feel like you weren't in the midst of thousands of people, it did tend to make it feel like some of the community spaces of other boats were missing, specifically thinking of the atriums on carnival or even the evening dining spaces. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very easy, however, there is no airport shuttle which seems crazy. Instead, you have to stand outside and wait around an hour for an Uber to try and make it through the traffic to you. I can't fathom why Virgin would not set up an airport shuttle and charge $20. Seems like a win-win for everyone involved. Lastly, the entertainment is subpar. One show was pretty good but another was just bad. The performers were all great but the second show just seemed poorly written and choreographed. There are also a lot less planned activities than other boats which I kind of missed. We were excited to do trivia but it was always way too packed, I think because it was only one of a few activities aside from some workout classes. I was hoping to do a couples massage but the price would have required a second mortgage on my home. I also hope they consider a proper drink package (i.e. unlimited) in the future instead of just prepaying with a small added bonus for drinks. I would have gladly paid more upfront instead of having to guess how close we were to tapping out our bar tab, which we did, and then having to cover the cost on the back end.

All in all, any negatives were very minor and were far overshadowed by the positives. I just thought they were all worth noting for those looking to get a clear view of what the boat was like. We had a fantastic time and I expect we will be sailing Virgin moving forward.

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