I recently took my first cruise onboard Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady and stayed in the cheapest cabin available. Scarlet Lady is Virgin Voyages' first ship that debuted in 2020, and there are a total of 1,408 passenger cabins onboard this realtively new cruise ship.
For $1,734, we stayed in one of the interior cabins, called the Insider. This cabin was assigned at booking, and the price included gratuities. Virgin is one of the more inclusive mainstream cruise lines, so this rate also included wi-fi; essential drinks like drip-coffee, non-pressed juices, and soda; and over 20 different dining options.
I have stayed in other interior cabins before and know from those experiences that these tiny cabins can often feel cramped, dark and almost an afterthought when it comes to staterooms. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of my cabin on Virgin’s Scarlet Lady, however, as they market their cabins as spacious enough for 1-4 people to stay comfortably.
Our stateroom was located on Deck 10, which ended up being a perfect distance between the decks that had food and entertainment. We were tucked within a hallway that connected the starboard and port side cabins that ended up working out well, as we could exit the elevators on either side and get to our cabin easily.
Immediately upon entering our cabin, with our room key bracelet in place of a traditional room card, we were impressed. The space of this Insider cabin rivaled spacious balcony rooms that we have stayed in on other cruise lines.
Not only was the bed not squeezed between the walls, but there was enough space to have a separate chair, and an ottoman tucked away under the desk. They also provided good sized closet and an armoire with plenty of drawers.
We were happy to find out that our suitcases fit under the bed, much like other cruise lines. This always helps us maintain the space that we have in the cabin. We were shocked to see that there was enough space on both sides of the bed to walk around, with each side also having its own arm table.
True to Virgin's style of being trendy and modern, each room comes equipped with an tablet that allows you to control the lights and temperature of the room. They actually have quite a few preconfigured mood settings for you to choose from, ranging from Hangover with low, soft lights, to Zen, which featured blue tinted lights.
This tablet also controlled the TV, which had a wide variety of popular shows and movies to watch. This was a great surprise, as our previous sailings on other cruise lines we have been stuck with few channels to choose from if we wanted to watch any television.
Once onboard, we were alerted that we had yet to watch our safety video, which could be done from either our phones or the stateroom television. We opted to play the videos on the TV from the tablet; however, it did not sync with our accounts to indicate that we had, in fact, completed the (quite long) videos, and we ended up needing to watch them again from our phones later to complete our safety briefing. Had this feature worked correctly, it would have been a great alternative to watching from your phone.
From the tablet, you could also make room service requests. Plus, we noticed that one of the options was to turn our room into “day mode.” This essentially meant turning our bed into a couch to lounge on during the day. We weren’t quite sure how this would work in space, but we requested this change on our second day while we were in port and came back to a large sectional sofa set up.
This was a perfect way for us to relax in the room without messing up the bed. It also made the room feel more spacious than it already did. Without having to make another request, we were happy to see that our normal bed had returned once we came back from dinner.
Another common complaint about cruise ship cabins are the bathrooms. They are known to be tiny, with some showers barely offering enough space to turn around in. While the bathroom itself was nothing to write home about, the shower felt quite a bit bigger than other cabin showers we’ve had.
It also featured both a rainfall shower head and a wand which provided a spa-like experience. Another surprise was that they offered shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the shower, while other cruise lines typically just offer a combination shampoo and body wash mixture.
Something else that we were surprised by was that each day we had a fresh carafe of water on our desk waiting for us. We also noticed that we had an extra carafe chilling in the fridge as well. Since Virgin Voyages doesn’t offer bottled or canned water and instead relies on water stations, this was a great way to ensure that if you got thirsty during the night, you always had something to drink.
Another thing we really appreciated about this stateroom was the amount of outlets available. At the desk, we had two standard outlets, a European outlet, and two USB outlets. On each side of the bed, there was another configuration of two USB and one standard outlet available also.
Considering some of the other cruise cabins we’ve stayed in have only offered two standard outlets for the whole room, this was a great surprise to find. It would be easy for four people sharing this cabin to have plenty of charging options.
The room itself felt very modern and well decorated. With the multitude of lightning options, it was easy to accommodate whatever mood we were in, from relaxing to getting ready for the day exploring the ship or going ashore.
Another feature the rooms have are the room status lights. From inside the closet, you are able to select a do not disturb feature, turning the light under your room number red, or a cleaning request that will turn the light blue when your room needs servicing.
Overall, while I would love to see if their balcony cabins, which Virgin Voyages call Sea Terraces, are worth the hype, I would not hesitate to book an interior cabin again onboard one of their ships.