Updated: Jun 9
So... it happened! The moment I'd waited for! Almost TWO YEARS in the making! A return to cruising!!!
If you know me, then you know that I can flip a coin on which vacation type I enjoy the most! After this cruise, I think I'm about 51%/49% cruising to land vacations!
I'd been waiting for the inauguration of Virgin Voyages since I first heard about them in 2018. They were originally scheduled to start sailing in 2020 to the Caribbean from the port of Miami with most of their itineraries to include Havana, Cuba. Well, we all know what happened with that. Right when they were ready to drop in the water. So, they had to realign. Then, 2020 rolled around, COVID happened, and the next thing we know Earth had been brought to her knees. While 2021 started off the same way that 2020 ended, even with the CDC guidelines being about as clear as Organic Chemistry, we began to see inklings that cruising might not be, no pun intended, dead in the water.
With this excitement, CDC guidelines in one hand, Virgin released itineraries in the other, I secured our sailing!! Literally, the first sailing AFTER the original CDC expiration date for cruising restrictions. They would retract those dates and create new ones, but I digress :)
My husband and I had the opportunity to embark on a Virgin Voyage on Scarlet Lady from November 3-7, 2021. Originally the stops were Key West, and Bimini Bahamas, but then they called an audible and switched Key West to Nassau (that's another story for another post). No biggie. They could've added another day at sea, or stayed in Miami, we wouldn't have cared. We cared that we were vaccinated, boosted, cruising again, and above everything else, WITHOUT KIDS!
<-----Greeted by some of the Virgin Crew with Champagne!
We opted for a Cheeky Corner Suite, and with that came the Rock Star privileges! From the moment we graced Miss Scarlet with our presence (or really, vice versa), we were given the Rock Star treatment! From the minimal waits through security and COVID testing to being led to the Rock Star boarding lounge to meet our concierge!
We were first in awe of the sheer energy of the boarding process! Where else can you board a ship and be greeted with Champagne, led to a "special lounge" and actually meet your concierge in person! These are the people who will help make your vacation most memorable! And did I say, NO KIDS?? I'm sure I've said that, and I must apologize in advance, because I'm sure I'm going to regurgitate it. A LOT. :)
So, one round of champagne on our way to the lounge, to enjoy another couple of rounds of champagne before heading to our suite. The meet & greet was a nice touch because it allowed a good Q & A session with the teams, they gave you the "lay of the land" with using the app (Virgin's only way to function while sailing), a high-level snippet of what's to come in terms of events, making reservations, etc. It was time well spent.
(Editor's note: I'm no social media expert by any means. The videos/photos shared are taken by the REAL me. So, you'll hear/see all of my goofs and blunders. No "B" reel here :))
Our Cheeky Corner Suite, 8011A (I'm a port side girl, IYKYK) came with a Vinyl player, and on deck for us were quite a few surprises! Spice Girls greatest hits, Lady Gaga, and Pharrell, (to know me is to know that I LOVE the Spice Girls and Lady Gaga!) So those were added bonuses! When booking the RockStar and Mega RockStar Suites you get to choose a libation package. We chose the Bubbles package which included a bottle of Moet, Chandon, and two of Virgin's signature bubbles. At first, I felt guilty for indulging in so much Champagne so quickly, but then I remembered, NO KIDS! The biggest thing was to remember how to get back to our suite!!! With the wristbands that served as your key and wallet, I didn't even have to remember to carry either!
It took us a minute to figure out how to get the door opened. We had to make sure our wristbands were facing the door panel properly. :)
<----The Rockstar bands are black, the standard bands are red...
Unfortunately, I somehow reformatted my memory card in my camera, so my initial pictures and videos of the suite are lost. However, please enjoy all of the videos and pictures that weren't lost at sea!
Miami is such a beautiful place, I couldn't help but take pictures of the landscape as we waited to disembark and capture our initial waves...
November 4, 2021, the ship docked in Nassau. As we had been to Nassau before, we opted to stay on the ship and explore! Here are a few pics from our balcony of beautiful Nassau!
Here are more pics from our exploration of Miss Scarlet as well as a peek into Richard's Rooftop!!
Come back to read Part 2! It will be posted soon! I will get into the day-to-day details of the cruise, restaurant reviews, show reviews, cabin reviews, and MORE! Join us next time on Scarlet Lady from June 23-28, 2023. Secure your space now!!! Visit www.gdstravelsolutions.com/voyage for full details!
**6/9/22** - Part 2 (yeah I know it's been a while), is published! Read it here!!!