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Come along on some of my adventures, training and musings about travel.
Virgin Voyages offers an adults only crise option that I have now experienced on 2 of her 3 Lady Ships. I also am a gold level Firstmate (their travel agent training platform) . Virgin Voyages offers an Eco conscious cruising option by limiting single use plastics, reducing food waste , special energy saving innovations, and recycling plastic from the oceans to make your all access bracelet. Though there are only adults aboard there are plenty of ways to let your inner child free or act as grown up as you please. With Richard Branson at the helm it is not surprising that music and entertainment are a key factor of the cruise. The entertainment is different from other ships I have sailed but not in a bad way. So many musical groups at different spots across the ship. Shows are interactive in a way that is very different from other lines. The resident Diva offers full shows or appearances across the ship. Entertainment staff to get the party going across the ship and into the night. These cruises definitely let you be you; whether, it is dressing casual, to the nines, or in costume. Much of your pre-cruise planning and during cruise activities are completed on their app.
My first cruise was on the Valiant Lady round trip from Barcelona with my almost 30 year old son. Arriving a day early we hit he ground running and did a tour to the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres since my sons first tattoo was inspired by what we call the Daliphants. That is a bit of a drive both direction but if you are into art well worth it. That jet lag is a real things and not long after freshening up and grabbing a bite we called it a night. The morning before the cruise we had a Private tour of Barcelona. in 6 hours we fit quite a bit in including Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia Church, the Gothic quarter, and lots of other sites of Barcelona before checking in at our assigned time for the cruise. Check in was relatively easy as we showed up right on time. If your early you may have to wait in designated areas until your time. Fortunately the point of the later boarding is that your cabin will be ready when you board.
My son and I sailed the Irresistible Mediterranean itinerary on the Valiant Lady in a balcony cabin. The bed set up is a bit different than other lines and they generally have it set to chill during the day in a lounge type set up and then if you were not sailing with your kid the beds would be pushed together in the evening. We did fine for space as far as storage . The bath rooms are pretty small so if this concerns you and XL cabin maybe a better bet. They supplied the basics as far as toiletries and a blow dryer. Cabins are controlled with a tablet or switches. Each cabin has carafes for still and sparkling water and you can order more, ice, or towels on the app. They also offer High level suites referred to as Rock Star or Mega Rock Star suites that come with alcohol, increasingly larger cabins and balconies as well as personal agents to help you with all things you need on the ship. These Suites also have sole access to Richards Roof top and the happy hour there. Some even allow you to check out records to get the person vibe you want for your trip. Most all Balcony cabins have a Hand woven Hammock chairs to lounge away on. They are surprisingly comfortable.
Virgin Voyages doesn't offer a drink package for purchase. They may offer a bar tab or sailor loot at booking. You can also purchase a bar tab and for each $300 you purchase you get at least $50 free. On all my cruises I average about $400 myself in drink spending but I opted for so tasting menus, bottomless mimosas , and other things that likely pushed that past the initial $300 spend. Many of the bars have specialty items that can only be found at that bar. You can also shake for Champagne on the app and after a bit a water shows up no matter where you are with an ice bucket and the champagne. This can be included with some of the things like Deep blue extras or the Romance package.
There are a few differences in decor and shows from the Valiant to the Resilient ladies. One of the biggest is that Valiant has the Ship Show that is a free variety show with a meal. I like the show but was not the biggest fan of the food. We grabbed a bits as a walk in at one of the other options afterwards. Resilient Lady has Another Rose which is not free. The show is quite good, interactive , with good food and plenty of drinks included to make the cover charge make sense. The other main shows are also different between the ships with the exception of Around the world in 80 that is similar but with different Divas. Worry not though Scarlet night is alive and well on all ships and is a fun time if you go with the flow and take it all in. PJ night was also a constant. You can still bring 80's gear and/or your best dress for We Fancy night as other themes you may encounter.
The Irresistible Mediterranean was a good itinerary and had one more port than this years cruises have. I think all of the Option can be a good choice depending on your interests. Most ports you can explore from the ship the nearby ports or you can book tours. Most offer a Little Train or HOHo bus option for pretty cheap or There is a provided shuttle bus to the port town. It is always important to remember if you book outside of Virgin Voyages and your tour experiences and issue and you are late they don't have to wait. Our Cinque Terre tour had a ferry issue that would have made us late had we not booked with Virgin voyages. I would be happy to share individual port experiences but that would take a book. At Ibiza where we overnighted I did book other non ship tours to Hot Air Balloon and Para-sail since we had lost of time in port.
My husband , sister in-law, and Brother in-law, and I sailed the Resilient Lady from Athens on both the Greek Glow and the Adriatic Gems itineraries. We stayed in a similar cabin to the one I traveled with my son in. We were also both luckY in that we had the same cabin for both sailings. Again we flew in a day early and toured Athens including the Acropolis the first day. Our cute boutique hotel Athens 21 near Monastiraki Square had a view of the Acropolis from their Terrace that fulfilled a desire I had to see it at night. Breakfast was large and included and then we explored more down to Syntagma Square for the special Sunday changing of the guard and to see the Olympic stadium.
These two cruise itineraries are bucket list places for sure. We had no preset notions on Croatia or Montenegro but we loved them both. We had 5 days out of the cruise where we cruise where we were ported at Greek islands (Corfu, Santorini, Rhodes, and 2 days in Mykonos) that were lovely. Turkey was lush and green all the 3 hour drive we had to Ephesus and in general blew us away. My husband alone took 200 to 300 pics each port day. LOL It would be hard to pick a favorite.
My daughter mad us a mascot we named Virginia. She is a red and white crochet octopus that took on a life of her own and went everywhere with us. She had quite a following on our cruise and became a real diva. Virginia likely has pics at your bucket list spots.
Disembarkation on both trips was really quick and easy. Taxis are available at both ports if you don't prebook a transfer. If you are not flying home the early there are also luggage storage services at the port or even ones that will pick it up at the port and meet you at the airport at an allotted time so you can make the most out of your time.
Overall I would do another one. In fact I really hope to do Australia and New Zealand in 2025 on the Resilient lady during our winter months. There will be a 4th lady ship soon with other new Itineraries and of course there are always the Caribbean cruises on Scarlet Lady or Valiant lady in the winter. If you are open minded and want to enjoy a cruise the way you want to while allowing others to do the same sans kids this is the line for you.
There are a few things I would change but they are minimal. We would have loved a change in menu for the 2nd week. The music across the ship is nice but sometimes the volume is a bit much. I wish there were more pools or hot tubs though we never really had to wait too long for space.
Please fill out the request form (call 620-481-1659 email firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in a cruise. I generally have extra bar tab or sailor loot above you booking on your own. I also have place holders that mean you get $300 off the advertised price plus $600 in sailor look an top of current offer. If you are a fan of Virginia we can work out a way to send her to you for your trip as ling as she makes it safely home.