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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Perry

5 Tips for Sailing on Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages is dedicated to redefining the cruising experience, with unique and varied restaurants, modern and comfortable staterooms, and surprising inclusions such as Wi-Fi and gratuities—plus, their sailings are for adults only! We’ve been impressed by their dining options, entertainment, and design, and with itineraries in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Australia, they’re a great option for an adults-only getaway.

The smokestack on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady ship
Aboard the Scarlet Lady

Since Virgin Voyages approaches the cruise life a bit differently, the experience can be new even for seasoned cruisers. Here are some of our top tips for sailing on Virgin Voyages

The Band

Rather than key cards, Virgin Voyages will issue every cruiser The Band, a wristband that will function as your stateroom key, sailor ID, and key to charging purchases back to your stateroom. You’ll receive your Bands when you check in for your cruise at the port, and you get to keep it after your cruise is over. We found the fastenings on the Band a little difficult to master—if you’re having issues, Sailor Services onboard is happy to assist.


Dining table at Gunbae, Virgin Voyages' Korean BBQ restaurant
Dining at Gunbae onboard the Scarlet Lady

Many onboard experiences, such as restaurants, shows, fitness classes, and other experiences, offer reservations. We very highly recommend making advance reservations, as these experiences have limited availability and are likely to sell out. Most restaurants will offer reservations prior to getting onboard, but for other activities, entertainment, and spa treatments, you’ll need to connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi once you’re onboard in order to make reservations. These are all limited, so it’s best to make reservations as soon as you can.

The Sailor App

Virgin Voyages’s official Sailor app lets guests link their reservation and view information about onboard venues, make dining and activity reservations, purchase shore excursions, and see a schedule of onboard activities. Keep in mind that most activity information in the app won’t be available until 1-2 months before your cruise. The app is also where you’ll complete the check-in process for your cruise. While you can access your account on the Virgin Voyages website, you’ll need the mobile app to access all the features.

No Buffet?

Rather than a standard buffet, Virgin Voyages offers The Galley. Its layout is similar to what seasoned cruisers may recognize as a buffet space, but The Galley features a mix of concept shops and food-truck-style carts, each spot with signature dishes that change to suit the time of day. Some areas, such as the bakery and sushi bar, function more like a buffet where you go up to the counter and pick what you’d like. Other options, such as the panini shop, American diner, taco shack, and burger grill, are more like a restaurant—for these, you sit down at a table and raise the little red flag on the table’s menu card. A server will come over and take your order, and then bring your food to you at the table.

Don’t Miss Scarlet Night

View of the pool on the Scarlet Lady during Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Night
Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Night aboard the Scarlet Lady

Scarlet Night is Virgin Voyages’ signature onboard celebration, where the entire ship is transformed into a fantastical ocean-inspired party with pop-up circus performances, interactive games, karaoke, myth-telling, and live music, culminating in a drenched-in-red pool and dance party. The party starts early in the evening and goes late into the night. In order to make the most of it, we recommend skipping the dining reservations, or making your dining reservations as early as possible. Also, get in the spirit by wearing a red outfit—stay casual if you like, but go wild if you want to!

Have questions about sailing on Virgin Voyages? Contact our Travel Pros!

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