Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cabins: What is accommodation really like? We look inside
Virgin Voyages cruises attracted plenty of attention when the new cruise line appeared on the scene, with first ship Scarlet Lady sailing this summer - so what are the cabins like onboard?
Virgin Voyages cabins range enormously depending on guests' needs and budgets.
There are plain "cabins" - Insider Cabins, Sea View cabins, Sea Terrace cabins - "Rockstar Quarters" which include the suites - Brilliant Suite, Cheeky Corner Suite, Seriously Suite and Sweet Aft Suite - and the "Mega Rockstar Quarters" - Gorgeous Suite, Posh Suite, Fab Suite and Massive Suite.
World of Cruising's ambassadors Richard and Helen Chalu of YouTube channel Visit With Us headed aboard Virgin Voyages ship Scarlet Lady to check out what it's really like to stay onboard and film their experience.
They visited the Sea Terrace, the Seriously Suite and the Massive Suite - to find out what upgrades get you.
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Sea Terrace cabins - complete with beds that turn into sofas - during the day were met with "judgmental disapproval" from bloggers and "screams of IKEA" when the suites were unveiled.
However, there's plenty to like about this room, according to Visit With Us. "We found the room to be reassuringly solid," said the duo.
There's a little vanity table "being the offending white glossy material" which proved useful and "was actually big enough for most of our stuff."
There's also "the smallest shelf in the world above some handy sockets" but "the rest of this unit was useable if not a little cluttered with stuff Virgin expects you to use or buy."
- READ MORE: What Scarlet Lady guests really think of the new cruise ship -
Water is provided in the cabin which is "welcome" and the fridge is empty.
A couple of things did "raise an eyebrow," however. Firstly there's the ¢30 'Sail into Sleep' kit - "a sturdy linen bag containing multi-sensory therapeutics."
More intriguing is the ¢30'Time to Play' kit is for when you're ready to "go below deck." Oh matron.
This pack includes a bullet vibrator, a condom, lubrication and a penis ring - not that you'd know from the outside, the box is labelled with such euphemisms as "jelly" and "party hat". Insert Virgin pun here.
Moving on, Visit With Us found the seating in the Sea Terrace quite frustrating, with the "inclusion of a lone chair a bit puzzling."
"Even a wider love seat that squeezed in two people would have been more welcome but I suppose that's not needed if you choose to convert the bed into a sofa bed during the day," the team commented.
There's a handy curtain by the door where you can hide your stuff and there are lots of little fun and practical touches in the cabin.
For instance, there's the little red octopus toy - the ship's spirit animal because it is strong and flexible" - and a gold tray which "revealed a playful design detail that most of us won't notice." You also get a red blanket.
- READ MORE: Virgin Voyages new ship Scarlet Lady review -
Mood lighting is a perk of the cabin and "lends itself well to the glossy whiteness of the room" so even in broad daylight you can shut out the world, turn on the mood lighting and tuck into the "Time to Play" kit...
As for the bathroom, this is "small" in the Sea Terrace but "at least the glass shower door opens both inwards and outwards" and the shower is "plenty strong enough."
Outside, the balcony "has a hammock that will draw you in and never release you from its comfy grip" although there's only one so you do have to share!
Verdict: "Overall we liked it more than we thought," said Visit With Us. "The interiors may remind you visually of IKEA but they have the feel and build quality of John Lewis."
The Seriously Suite is the "entry-level suite" as it's the smallest of the "Rockstar Quarters" but is well worth the upgrade. "We loved the Seriously Suite," said Visit With Us.
Guests even get bathrobes that say "Rockstar" in gold on them, so you know you're getting bang for your buck.
For Visit With Us, the bathroom "was the highlight of this category... it's absolutely gorgeous with floor to ceiling marble and the most spacious walk-in shower that's almost as big as the one in the Massive Suite."
- READ MORE: How to be a savvy cruiser - Virgin Voyages top tips -
Maybe not a room to share with just a friend though as a "cheeky window into the room adds to the saucy fun," noted Visit With Us. "The rainbow semi-reflective glass gives you just the amount of visibility from the bedroom to arouse a little bit of interest" from anyone in the bedroom.
The main bedroom is "equally as fabulous," said the pair. "It's spacious, the bed faces the sea and there's enough storage for all your stuff (although not an awful lot more than the Sea Terrace category)."
The suite comes with "a lot of little details too, most of which have a price tag" - so don't take them with you as you will be charged!
One of these is "the much-celebrated turntable" but Visit With Us was unimpressed, branding it "a bit of a gimmick and in our opinion a waste a valuable desktop space." Guests are given "two random albums" to play but there is a record shop onboard should you wish to purchase more.
Suite guests will also find drawers with glasses and cocktail-making equipment. These have "that initial wow factor but quickly reveal a few problems."
For instance, there are no proper wine glasses so if you choose a wine package you'll have to request some, and while the cocktail making kit is "impressive," you'll still be missing most of the ingredients to actually make yourself a cocktail even if you choose the liquor package so unfortunately, this drawer is "next to useless."
- READ MORE: What's onboard cruise ship Scarlet Lady? -
As with the sea terrace you only get a single chair, so Visit With Us resorts to bringing in a balcony chair (of which there are two) and the table to make the space a bit more practical.
Mood lighting is again praised in this room. "At night this suite comes into its own and the mood lighting in here is nothing short of fabulous," said the duo. You can also tilt the TV towards the bed.
Verdict: "We absolutely loved the Seriously Suite," said the World of Cruising ambassadors, "and for us is the pick of the whole ship in terms of balance of space, design, practicality, comfort and value."
The Massive Suite is the top accommodation onboard and is positioned at the most forward part of ship. As Visit With Us put it, the room is "the biggest, brashest and most bodacious dude/babe cave of the whole ship."
Again, Virgin is keen to emphasise the Rockstar angle here and guests in the Massive Suite get a personal music room complete with four guitars hanging on the wall. The instruments are "proper branded gear not some cheap knock offs" but it's unlikely they'll be used for anything apart from "drunk Instagram poses," note our ambassadors.
- READ MORE: Best cruise ships for sports fans & thrill-seekers -
The bathroom is vast and marble but "the position of the bath is more than a bit jarring... plonked in a marble corridor" rather than by a window or TV "like a last-minute thought... hardly a location you'd like to wallow in."
The shower is huge and, like in the Seriously Suite, comes with a window into the room - although over a bench seat not the bed. Another criticism was that the bed itself does not face the sea.
"For all its pomp and grandeur I don't think this suite was very well laid out at all - Virgin Voyages could have done much better" especially given the very hefty price tag, said Visit With Us.
The outside space received high praise, however. "The terrace has got to be the biggest cruise ship balcony in the world," said Rich and Helen. Here you can find two hammocks, a hot tub, various table and chair options and more.
A downside though is that large parts of the balcony are overlooked by Richard's Rooftop (a members-only sundeck) that sits above the Massive Suite which isn't great for privacy.
Verdict: "Overall we found the interior oddly laid out - trying to be too cool at the expense of practicality or comfort," said Visit With Us. "The outside could have scored a perfect 10 were it not for the potential privacy issues in certain areas of the terrace."
Rating: Suite 5/10, Terrace 9/10
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