If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve not been traveling at all. That kind of makes writing about travel somewhat difficult. But I recently had the chance to enjoy a quick getaway out of Miami on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady. Believe me, I was not about to pass on a cruise. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve missed traveling.
Embarkation During a Pandemic
After downloading the Virgin Voyages app in advance, I completed all of my pre-cruise requirements. All that was left to do was to wait for the day to travel to come. I flew to Miami the day as you never know what will happen with the airlines. I’m so glad I chose a flight the day before because some days nothing goes right. I arrived at the airport at 9 am and my 10:50 am flight was already delayed. Unfortunately, my flight was connecting through Phoenix and that delay meant I had already missed my connecting flight.
Luckily, I was flying with American Airlines, and rebooking my flight through the app was effortless. However, it did mean I had a long wait time as my new flight didn’t depart until 1 pm. Oh, and I would be flying into Fort Lauderdale and my hotel was near the Miami airport. But nothing was going to stop me from getting on that ship.
The next morning I dressed and made my way to the Port of Miami and arrived exactly at 12:00 pm. I’ve cruised many times but this was easily the most organized and easy check-in process ever. Living in times of Covid-19, I was happy to travel anywhere, especially cruising. I handed my checked bags over to the porter at Terminal G, the temporary terminal for Virgin Voyages. Don’t forget to tip the porter as they’ll take care of your luggage for you.
The entire process was so organized and all shoreside crew was friendly and helpful to passengers or as Virgin Voyages calls them, sailors.
After that, I had to leave my carry-on luggage on a cart and make my way inside for Covid testing. The entire process was so organized all shoreside crew was friendly and helpful to passengers or as Virgin Voyages calls them, sailors. I was told to complete the form for the Covid test using the QR code provided. I was ushered to another line and then to the area to get tested. The test was conducted quickly and professionally.
Then I was led back outside to grab my bag and then onward to the other entrance. From there I had to sit and wait about 15 minutes for my test results, which were negative. Once negative results are received, you can officially check-in. This is where you will receive your wristband, which is used to charge items while onboard as well as to open your cabin. No more cruise cards and for someone that hates carrying a handbag/purse, this is ideal.
I could hardly contain my excitement as I was so anxious to board. Unfortunately, we were told we had to wait until 2 pm to board the ship. So I somewhat patiently waited just under 90 minutes to get onboard Scarlet Lady.
From the second I boarded the ship, I knew this would be like no other cruise I had experienced before. The ship felt like a resort more than a cruise ship. This was going to be fun!
Once allowed on board, we entered on deck 7 and into the Roundabout. This is where I caught my first glimpse of the interior of Scarlet Lady and I was impressed. This area was also where I would get my safety drill instruction later on. From the second I boarded the ship, I knew this would be like no other cruise I had experienced before. The ship felt like a resort more than a cruise ship. This was going to be fun!
My Sea Terrace Cabin
The next stop was my cabin on Deck 13. While I normally hate when businesses claim they will change and disrupt an industry, usually all I think is “Blah, blah, blah.” However, Virgin Voyages is truly changing cruising. My Sea Terrace cabin on Deck 13 was spacious at 185 sq. ft. It felt bright and modern, with a tablet to not only control the tv, but room lighting, curtains, and more.
Cabin 13 198Z, was located midship port side on deck 13 and the “Z” indicates its port side. An “A” at the end of your cabin means it’s located on the starboard side of the ship.
After checking out my cabin, I quickly unpacked so I could relax. I decided to catch the view of Miami from my 40 sq. ft. balcony. Every balcony comes complete with a hand-woven hammock from Yellow Leaf. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because they appeared on Shark Tank in 2020 and left with a $1 million deal. The hammocks are crafted by female artisans in northern Thailand who use the money to help support their families. I absolutely loved the pop of red and to have a hammock was is just pretty cool. On the theme night “Scarlet Nights,” the balcony lights even glow red.
I took in the view for a short while before deciding I was hungry. Since my flight was delayed and I arrived at my hotel around midnight the night before, I was so hungry. I hadn’t eaten a proper dinner the night before or breakfast that day. I was in full hangry mode when made my way up to the Galley to grab something to eat.
This totally delicious noodle soup was just what I needed. I also had a cucumber avocado roll from Bento Baby to round out my lunch. What I like about the Galley is that it’s totally not a buffet. Grab a seat anywhere, look over the menu, and a server will take your order. Someone will then bring your food to you without you ever needing to stand in a line.
Roaming Scarlet Lady
With a maximum capacity of 4,400 passengers and crew (over 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew), the ship has 1,408 passenger cabins.
After lunch, I decided to explore the ship and it is a huge 17 deck ship! With a maximum capacity of 4,400 passengers and crew (over 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew), the ship has 1,408 passenger cabins. That includes 1,030 balcony cabins, 95 window cabins, 105 inside cabins, and 78 suites. I love that there are so many balcony cabins and if you really want to splurge, check out the amazing suites like the Massive Suite measuring 830 sq. ft. with a 1317 sq. ft. balcony.
I returned to my cabin to check out the safety video on my tv. You can’t attend the safety instruction without having viewed the drill. Check out the location for yours on the back of your cabin door. I went down to the Roundabout for my E7 station and I only had to check-in by scanning my bracelet. The safety officer then gave me and one other person our safety instructions and I was then allowed to go. No waiting on deck in life jackets or sitting around with hundreds of people. Each safety drill is done quickly and efficiently to allow sailors the chance to enjoy every minute of the cruise.
The Redhead in a Red Hammock
With the safety instruction completed, my cruise vacation officially began. And that’s where this redhead decided to relax for a bit and enjoy the traveling life once again. More to come from the rest of my cruise onboard Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady.