LUXURY TRAVEL • ALL INCLUSIVE VACATIONS
Embarking on a cruise with Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady promises an enticing blend of luxury, all-inclusive offerings, and a vibrant adult-only atmosphere. As avid travelers, but not seasoned sailors, we set sail on the 6-night Western Caribbean Charm, eager to explore what this innovative cruise line had to offer. Our experience was good, though not entirely awe-inspiring. Let's dive into the details that might make this cruise a perfect fit for certain travelers.
Who Would Love This Cruise?
A Virgin Voyages cruise caters to adult couples and diverse family & friends groups seeking a laid-back, party-filled, and adults-only experience. Ideal for celebrations such as birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or a relaxing family gathering, this cruise welcomes individuals of all ages (18+), backgrounds, and lifestyles. If you're open-minded and ready for a departure from traditional cruise experiences and not expecting ultra-luxury, Virgin Voyages awaits with a unique offering.
Embarkation: Smooth Sailing with a Few Bumps
Embarking from Miami's Terminal V, the process was generally smooth. Pro tip: choose your port arrival time early via the app to secure coveted entertainment and activity bookings. However, we found the embarkation process for scheduling activities a bit hectic. The app's connectivity posed challenges, and we experienced a rush akin to Black Friday in the '90s. Despite this, having immediate access to our cabin upon boarding was a welcomed convenience.
First Impression: Diverse Yet Underwhelming
Virgin Voyages boasts a diverse sailor demographic, from ages 18 to 85 and representing every background which we were impressed by. However, our initial embarkation lacked the anticipated excitement. Unlike expected DJ-fueled festivities, hyped up Happenings Crew, the entrance felt subdued. While certain areas of the ship radiated chic and sexy vibes, others seemed rather industrial. For a brand like Virgin, we expected more of a "WOW" factor.
Food & Drinks: A Culinary Delight
Virgin Voyages exceeded expectations in the culinary department. With over 20 inclusive dining options, the buffet was replaced by a food court, and the dinner dining hall transformed into a variety of mouthwatering specialty restaurants all included and unlimited. The food was both unique and flavorful, from The Wake's filet & mushrooms to Gunbae's delightful feast, the dining experience was a highlight. The "Shake for Champagne" experience, allowing sailors to order Moet & Chandon Brut at the push of a button through the app and delivered to where you were on the ship was a delightful touch (they did lose a star here as it could have been more climatic experience on delivery and the champagne was warm). Pre-purchasing a bar tab was also a nice feature that differs from the traditional drink package standard on other cruise lines. Pick an amount you feel suitable, everyone in your cabin is not required to purchase a bar tab, and you can spend it just like cash and can cover others in your cabin or a round of drinks at the bar with new friends.
Cabins: Modern Comfort with Room for Upgrading on Future Cruises
Staying in a Sea Terrace cabin on the 12th deck provided modernity and ample storage. The balcony's hammock was a standout feature, and room technology, including mood lighting control, added a touch of luxury. However, the bathroom size, reminiscent of an airplane lavatory, left us with some frustrations. A larger bathroom would enhance the overall cabin experience so would definitely opt for an upgraded cabin next sailing for not only the larger bathroom, but also music options and full bar. View our video room tour HERE.
Activities & Entertainment: Something for Everyone
Virgin Voyages offers an array of activities, both inclusive and at an additional cost. From karaoke, bingo, seahorse race betting, trivia, the casino, and magic shows to workout classes and themed parties (hello PJ party & Scarlett Night), the ship caters to diverse interests. We thoroughly enjoyed The Grog Walk (additional cost), The Miss Behave Show, It’s a Ship Show, Untitled Dance Show Party, the HIIT workout class (it was intense), and the bungee workout class. The Happenings Crew, however, was a bit of a let down, as they weren’t as lively and involved with the sailors as we would have expected (shout out to Andy the Magician - he was the best Happenings Crew member!). The pool deck, while plain & industrial looking, provides ample seating. Take note, the pool's size may disappoint those that love to lounge in the pool.
Service: Friendly but Selective Hospitality
Service quality varied. One-on-one interactions with staff, especially during dinner and with the cabin steward, were outstanding, they were friendly, accommodating, fun, and informative. But, general interactions with crew members outside their designated areas lacked hospitality.
Minor Complaints: Honesty is Key
A few wear-and-tear issues and service inconsistencies were noticed, likely exacerbated by adverse weather conditions during our cruise. These included wear on ship furnishings, a lukewarm "Shake For Champagne" experience, a balcony needing cleaning (in all fairness, had we asked, our cabin steward probably would have cleaned it), and occasional low-energy crew moments.
In Conclusion: Setting Sail with Virgin Voyages
While our experience on Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady wasn't flawless and some areas fell short of the ultra-luxury expectations, the cruise's inclusive offerings, innovation, culinary delights, and diverse entertainment options make it a journey worth considering. Ideal for those seeking a departure from traditional cruise norms, Virgin Voyages opens the door to a fresh and vibrant sailing experience.
Ready to set sail in style with Virgin Voyages? Contact us now to embark on your next adventure with Virgin Voyages that suits your style and preferences HERE or book your cruise on your own HERE. Bon voyage!
MEET YOUR TRAVEL ADVISORS
Heyyyy!!! We are John & Jennifer -- husband and wife team. Experience seekers, obsessed with good champagne, charcuterie, designing cocktails (John), tacos (Jenn), & of course travel. Our love of travel started with our first international trip as a couple back in 2012 to Punta Cana & then our own destination wedding in 2016 back to where our love for travel all started -- Punta Cana. Hope you can feel our passion, kindness, & connection through all our work and adventures. Welcome, we are excited to have you here!