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Credit: Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages makes maiden voyage - what's onboard cruise ship Scarlet Lady?

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Virgin Voyages today celebrates the line's first official sailing as cruise ship Scarlet Lady sets off from Portsmouth with passengers onboard.

Virgin Voyages is a brand new cruise line whose debut was marred by the pandemic - but the line has now returned to the seas in its full glory.

New cruise ship Scarlet Lady - the first of four in the line's fleet - is making six UK sailings this summer before heading to Miami.

Virgin Voyages is proudly all-inclusive and all-adult and is determined to set itself apart as the 'fun' cruise line for over 18s.

So, what can guests expect onboard the brand new vessel, from cabins and dining to entertainment and activities?

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Scarlet Lady cabins

Scarlet Lady has 1,330 cabins and 78 RockStar Quarters on board – with 86 per cent of cabins featuring a balcony and 93 per cent overlooking ocean views.

One quirk of the cabins are the transformational cabin beds: a luxury cruise interior first, which means you've plenty of space to play during the day before your bed is put down at night.

There's also sensory lighting, a 43” 4+ flat-screen HD TV, a minibar, vanity areas and bathrooms with a rain shower.

- READ MORE: 80's legend Martin Fry of ABC to join Scarlet Lady this summer -

The suites boast retro-chic furniture mixed with futurism décor so expect everything from lavish marble bathrooms to plush velvet cushions.

Fifteen of the suites make up the top tier Mega Rockstar Suites. 'Massive' is the ‘penthouse’ suite of the ship and comes with its own private terrace, hot tub, and music room. What's more, anyone staying in these rooms gets access to the onboard hair and make-up team as well as premium wifi.

Scarlet Lady has 1,330 cabins and 78 RockStar Quarters on board. Credit: Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady dining

First thing you should know is that Virgin Voyages has waved goodbye to set menus, strict dress codes or enforced mealtimes. Instead, there's food from 20 plus eateries, basic drinks (filtered still and sparkling water, non-pressed juices, sodas, teas, and even drip coffee) and all tips included.

The restaurants are led by a collective of Michelin-starred chefs, including the world’s only Korean BBQ at sea and handmade pasta made fresh onboard, every day.

The Wake which provides steaks, seafood and a full raw bar, as well as a cocktail trolley; Mexican restaurant Pink Agave comes complete with a master of ceremonies who guides you through a highly curated dining and drinking experience; and Razzle Dazzle Restaurant offers a veggie-focused menu and signature cocktails to name just a few dining experiences.

- READ MORE: Virgin Voyages offers dining with a difference -

The Test Kitchen is part cooking school and part restaurant, with classes and evolving tasting menus, while Lick Me Till Ice Cream is a whimsical ice cream shop that includes six seasonal homemade, artisanal flavours.

Should you fancy more than one cuisine, there's The Galley. Modelled on a food hall, this spot offers sailors a variety of options, including a dedicated bakery and pastry shop, a panini shop, a burger grill, a taco shack, a sushi bar with bento boxes, a noodle bar, a soup and salad stand, and a 24-hour American diner.

Another perk of the ship? Exclusive to the Virgin Voyages Sailor App, a shake of the phone reveals a secret Virgin Voyages Champagne button that delivers a bottle of Champagne anywhere on board!

Scarlet Lady offers food from 20 plus eateries. Credit: Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady entertainment and activities

For party animals, there's The Manor - a two-story resident nightclub inspired by a classic theatrical ballroom that’s been mixed up with a ‘70s punk vibe. Alternatively, The Red Room, the first multi-form theatre at sea, offers festival-inspired shows.

Over in The Beach Club, enjoy everything from morning yoga on the beach to DJ-led pool parties in the afternoon.

If you want to keep fit, head to B-Complex - it features the ultimate well-being and fitness experience with its Build, Bike and Balance rooms, all with dramatic ocean views. All group fitness classes are included in your booking, including yoga, meditation, cycling, HIIT classes, and more.

- READ MORE: Why Virgin Voyages is so special -

Meanwhile, up on deck, the Athletic Club includes an outdoor active training camp, a boxing ring and a basketball court.

There's plenty to look forward to post-workout, too. Redemption Spa, inspired by an underwater cave, features all the spa classics, as well as a mud room where Sailors can slather themselves in mud and a custom-built salt therapy chamber.

And, once you're suitably relaxed, you can make sure you're glowing on the outside, too, with a visit to the Dry Dock blowout bar or the chaps can head to Stubble & Groom.

Of course, if you really want to commemorate your cruise, there's Squid Ink - the ship’s very own tattoo studio.

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