Archive for the ‘Virgin Voyages’ Category

Virgin Voyages Dining Revealed

November 8, 2018


Virgin Voyages has revealed details of their designs for on board restaurants, lounges and casual dining.

No extra charges will be imposed for eating at any of the 20-plus dining venues on board Virgin Voyages’ first ship Scarlet Lady.

Virgin Voyages “does not believe in paying more for great food” and is ditching the traditional supplements levied when dining in speciality restaurants at sea.

All eateries on board have been created “to offer exceptional made to order eats” and the company has “opted to include all restaurant food in the voyage fare”.

Virgin Voyages will ban single-use plastics for passengers and there will be no buffet on board the ship.

The company claims it will be able to “significantly reduce” waste and reinvest savings into clean technology and quality products for passengers.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said: “There’s a Virgin twist on everything you’ll see aboard the Scarlet Lady, which means there will be no stuffy formalities, boring buffets and no main dining rooms.”

The 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady is due to enter service on Caribbean itineraries from Miami in 2020 as the newest ship sailing to Havana on selected cruises.

The line aims to bring city-like eating to sea and “throw out the traditional cruise dining rule book”, with no buffet, no main dining room, no forced formal wear, no assigned seating or dining times.

Restaurants will be open until late into the night and some until the early hours of the morning

President and CEO Tom McAlpin said: “We want our eateries to delight and ignite serendipitous experiences, so have set out on a mission to capture the spirit of dining in the best cities of the world and bring it to sea.

“Because food is the fuel for our bodies and souls, and we’re Virgin Voyages, naturally it all had to be included within your ticket price.”

The dining option include:

Wake – Situated in a 5,866 square foot space at the aft of the ship with views of the ship’s wake, the restaurant aims to serve a “theatrical take” on steak and seafood in an experience inspired by The Wolseley – London and The Grill – New York.

Razzle Dazzle – With an interior scheme that nods to the namesake, the bold camouflaging of ships from World War One using patterns of black and white paint, Razzle Dazzle will offer vegetarian and vegan food plus a juice bar

The Test Kitchen – Offering “avant-garde cuisine,” the laboratory-like eatery is part cooking school and part restaurant. Chef-driven set menus will be presented in the form of an ingredient list to passengers who discover how the chef combines the list of flavours throughout the course of the meal.

Geonbae – A Korean barbecue restaurant “hosted by the loudest servers at sea”. Each meal will begin with a complimentary round of soju for the table with passengers encouraged to take part in lively Korean drinking games.

Pink Agave – A Mexican restaurant designed to be a lively shared plate experience, where the DJ amps up the energy of the room as the evening hours slip away.

Extra Virgin – A trattoria serving regionally-inspired Italian food with handmade fresh pasta made daily.

Dock – A beach club-inspired space offering Mediterranean small plates, salads, dips and mezzes.

The Galley – Modelled on popular food halls where visitors can taste food from different restaurants, this will be the main space for quick and casual meals throughout the day with more than eight shops and food carts including a bakery and pastry shop, panini shop, burger grill, taco shack, sushi bar with bento boxes, noodle bar, a soup and salad stand, and a 24-hour American diner.

The Pizza Place – Passengers can design bespoke pizzas in a beach club-inspired designed space.

(Virgin Voyages)

Malcolm says: To be honest I’ve not been over excited about Virgin’s cruise product so far. I did not warm to the ‘Vitamin Sea’ and a Tattoo parlour concepts.  However the dining is much more interesting news.

It seems like Virgin have adopted an NCL type ‘Freestyle’ dining system, but without the surcharges. I fully support the philosophy: “Virgin does not believe in paying more for great food”. However anything lost in terms of potential on-board spend, will surely have to be added to the Virgin fares?  However, personally I’d rather pay a bit extra for all my food included, than for alcohol included.

One commentator (Mary) has quite rightly pointed out that some areas on-board ‘Scarlet Lady’, like ‘The Galley’ do resemble a “Buffet”, even though Virgin do not support the concept!

Virgin Targets Cuba


(Rendering courtesy of virgin Voyages)

Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, will feature Cuba as one of her voyage destinations during her inaugural season in 2020.

The decision to sail to Cuba was influenced by customer and travel partner research it conducted in North America and the United Kingdom.

Both groups consistently rank the Caribbean island as one of the most desired and interesting destinations to visit on a voyage.

“Virgin Atlantic has been visiting Cuba for 13 years, and I cannot wait to see our iconic Scarlet Lady gleaming in the Havana Harbour,” said Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

“Havana is the perfect place for our sailors* to go and experience a city that exudes an irresistible energy and passion.”

All sailings to Cuba from Miami feature an overnight stay, meaning sailors have time to really explore and experience the capital city’s vibrant nightlife and cultural heritage.

Specific sailing dates relating to Virgin Voyages’ visits to Cuba will be released when the company opens up bookings for sale next year.

(Virgin Voyages)

Scarlet Lady slide-show (External): HERE (Internal): HERE

*Richard does not mean the crew, he calls the passengers ‘sailors’.


Virgin Voyages Order 4th Ship

October 31, 2018


Virgin Voyages has signed a contract with the Fincantieri shipyard, in Italy, for the construction of a fourth cruise ship.

The fourth ship will be delivered at the end of 2023. The deal is valued at approximately 700 million euros.

The new vessel will be a sister ship of the three ships already on order with Fincantieri.

Construction is already underway in the shipyard in Genoa and the first three ships. These will enter service in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The fourth vessel is expected to be very similar to the other three at approximately 110,000 gross tons, with 1,400 guest cabins designed to accommodate more than 2,770 passengers, accompanied served by 1,100 crew members.

(Virgin Voyages)

Malcolm says: Virgin are obviously very serious about entering the cruise market. It will be interesting to see if they really can offer anything different. Their new mid-sized ships will be welcome but those allergic to mega-ships.

‘Scarlet Lady’ will have a Tattoo Studio: SEE HERE

Virgin’s Scarlet Lady Will Have a Tattoo Studio

October 19, 2018

Squid Ink at Sea (Courtesy Virgin)

Virgin Voyages has announced that their first cruise ship, the Scarlet Lady, will have a tattoo studio aboard, called Squid Ink.

Virgin Voyages has formed a partnership with the ink industry experts from World Famous Tattoo Ink.

“Tattooing is a time-honoured seafaring tradition, and we’re continuing that legacy with rock and roll style by bringing some of the best ink artists to sea,” said Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages. “Our sailors are looking to make lifelong memories, and we think there’s no better way to commemorate their first voyage with us than with a souvenir they’ll never lose track of.”

Lou Rubino Jr.

When Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady sets sail in 2020 from Miami, she will have two full time resident tattoo artists on board, handpicked by ink industry guru Lou Rubino Jr.

Squid Ink will also feature a line-up of guest artists including the “tattoo industry’s most sought-after trendsetters and celebrity artists,” Virgin said.

All tattoos will be created with original vegan ink, according to Virgin.

In addition to tattoos, Squid Ink will also offer body piercings as well as permanent makeup treatments using vegan-friendly Perma Blend pigments.

“The World Famous Tattoo Ink family has been working with sailors, pirates and rock stars for more than 50 years,” said  Lou Rubino Jr., owner of World Famous Tattoo Ink. “As global acceptance of tattoos and body art continues to grow, partnering with Virgin Voyages gives us the unique opportunity to bring colour to places people might have never thought possible before. We couldn’t be more excited to leave our mark on the sea travel industry.”


Virgin Voyages external renderings: HERE

Malcolm says: I’m not convinced that the idea will take off. Virgin are clearly trying to do things differently, to differentiate their product ‘Virgin Voyages’ from their competitors (RCI, NCL, MSC etc.) in a already busy market place.They clearly want to appeal to the younger generation.

O.K I’m not anti-Tattoo at all, but I’m not sure that this is a good idea.  That heady mix of alcohol and the holiday mentality could result in some big regrets when the Virgin “Sailors” get home and see their creations in the cold light of day.  Maybe Virgin will also have  a branch of “Tattoo Fixers” on-board? Anyway, the Tattoo artists will need a steady hand at sea!

Of course cruise tattoos are not new:

A Royal Caribbean fan! (Source unknown)

What do YOU think of the idea?

Virgins: Vitamin Sea

August 27, 2018

You too could look like this!

According to Virgin Voyages: “To us, Vitamin Sea is everything. Learn more as our crew talks about our well-being philosophy”.

See the Virgin Voyages video: Here

I appreciate that Virgin are trying to do things a little differently with their new cruise brand, but ‘Vitamin Sea’ does not appeal to me.

So is it an innovation or as one commentator put it “A load of patronising b**”?



Why sunbathe on the prom when you can box? (Courtesy Virgin Voyages)

Do you like to keep fit at sea, or like me, keep fat?

Please discuss!

Virgin Voyages “Scarlet Lady”

July 20, 2018


Virgin Voyages has unveiled the long-awaited name of its first ‘Lady Ship’ today – “Scarlet Lady” – at its shipyard in Genoa, Italy.

Founder Sir Richard Branson and president and CEO Tom McAlpin revealed further details about the cruise line’s debut ship, including a ban on single-use plastics on board and the plans for its wellbeing programme, “Vitamin Sea”.

Virgin Voyages describes its Vitamin Sea wellbeing programme for passengers as being inspired by the oceans and their importance in health and well-being for the planet and our daily lives.


Looks like hard work! (Courtesy Virgin)

Also on board will be The Runway running track, The B Complex with rooms for spin, yoga and cardio and The Athletic Club, which includes a boxing ring and gym equipment modelled on what you’d find in 1920s New York sports clubs.

Passengers will have ample opportunity for pampering in the ship’s Spa, Redemption, and in the blow dry bar, barber shop, male pedicure spa and mani-pedi spa.

virgin-voyages-scarlet-lady(Text/Image Virgin Voyages)

Malcolm says: The Virgin Voyages fleet will comprise three 110,000 ton, 2,750 passenger ships (lower berths). So they are pretty big, but not enormous, when compared to the P&O’s Iona, RCI, NCL and MSC ships.

The first one, which will debut in 2020, will sail seven-night Caribbean itineraries out of Miami. Deployment for the second and third, which will sail starting in 2021 and 2022, is not yet known.