I recently went on my first-ever Virgin Voyages cruise. My 4-night sailing onboard Scarlet Lady departed from Miami, Florida and sailed to Key West, Florida, as well as Bimini, Bahamas.
While Virgin Voyages is known for being one of the more expensive mainstream cruise lines, they do include a lot more in their standard fare than other lines, such as Carnival or Royal Caribbean. You won't have to worry about purchasing cruise add-ons like internet packages or specialty dining.
In total, I spent $2,300 on everything from my base fare to transportation costs, excursions, and souvenirs.
I spent $188 on transportation-related costs
I live near Sarasota, Florida, which is an easy 3 1/2 hour drive to PortMiami, where the Virgin Voyages terminal is.
For our drive down, we spent around $100 in gas round-trip, and the parking at the port ended up being $88. With Virgin not starting their boarding process until the afternoon, we opted to drive down the morning of the cruise to save on hotel costs the night before. This could have easily added an extra couple of hundred dollars!
I spent $1,734 on Virgin Voyages' cruise fare
When booking this sailing, we opted for the cheapest cabin we could find. This interior cabin, otherwise known as "The Insider" on Virgin cruises, ended up costing $1,734. While the cabin itself had no windows, it was impressively laid out and felt upscale even though it was small.
This cost included the cabin, all food onboard, Wi-Fi for both passengers, and essential drinks such as water, juices, coffee, and sodas. As with most cruise lines, this also included our entertainment and activities onboard, which ranged from group fitness to drag shows, pool parties, and everything in between.
Unlike other cruise lines I had sailed on, there was no upcharge for specialty dining venues, as each of the restaurants onboard Scarlet Lady was included in our price. While these dinner venues did have certain upcharge items, such as lobster at the steakhouse, we didn’t indulge in any of those extras.
Virgin Voyages does not offer drink packages unlike most mainstream cruise lines, and all drinks aside from the essentials are priced a la carte. That being said, you can often find booking promotions that will offer you a bar tab to cover these charges.
When we booked, we were given a $300 bar tab, and were also able to status match with our Royal Caribbean Diamond status to gain an additional $200, which brought our total bar tab to $500 for the sailing. This ended up being more than enough for all of the cocktails, mocktails, and specialty coffees we enjoyed over the 4 days, and we left the ship with over $100 in our bar tab still available.
I spent $218 while ashore
When we stopped at our first port, Key West, we decided to splurge on some activities. Neither of us had been to Key West before, and we decided the best use of our day would be to take the Hop On Hop Off Trolley tour that circled most of the island.
This cost $116 for two people, and it ended up being a great way to tour the island while hearing about the interesting history of the unique stops.
This tour also allowed us to hop on and off at our leisure at one of their 13 stops near the historical and tourist sites. We decided to first hop off at the Southernmost Buoy for an obligatory tourist photo (for free!). Afterward, we walked to the nearby Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.
Here, we purchased two tickets to walk through the conservatory, which was filled with hundreds of free-flying butterflies, two mated flamingos, and some colorful birds. For two tickets utilizing a military discount, the total came to $31 with tax.
After this stop, we hopped back onto the trolley and rode it back to Mallory Square, where we had started. At this point, we were starting to get hungry and opted to walk to the famous Sloppy Joe’s restaurant and bar. We ate a quick lunch here while enjoying some live music, which ended up totaling $60.
After lunch, we knew we couldn’t leave Key West without trying some of the famous Key Lime Pie. We went to the Key West Key Lime Pie Company and purchased a slice of key lime pie and a, rather large, scoop of key lime pie ice cream for $11 total.
Once we were completely full of food, we decided to walk back towards the ship. We stopped at some local vendors and ended up purchasing a shirt and a Christmas ornament for souvenirs, costing $48. After purchasing these, we decided to head back onboard the ship for the rest of the day.
The next day we arrived in Bimini and spent our day at the included Virgin’s adults-only beach club. Here, everything was included for cruisers from transportation to food and activities. The bar tab also worked for the bars at The Beach Club, so we didn’t end up spending any extra money that day.
I spent $120 on miscellaneous items onboard
With most things on the ship included in our cruise fare, we really didn’t end up spending much onboard.
One night, my husband decided to try his hand at the casino and withdrew $100 from the ATM, and on our sea day, I finally decided to purchase another Christmas ornament for $20 from the onboard shops, totaling $120 for our onboard spending.
Between the cruise, activities, souvenirs, travel, and onboard spending, I spent a total of $2,308 for my 4-night cruise onboard Scarlet Lady.
Both my husband and I agreed that while the price may seem high out of the gate, it would probably be less than we would spend on other comparable cruises.
Without having to pay for Wi-Fi packages, drink packages, and specialty dining restaurants, our total price for the cruise was actually lower than our typical 3- to 4-night cruises.
Of course, aside from the cost of the cabin, the other things we spent money on were personal preferences, and we could have easily enjoyed the cruise without purchasing any of them. The cruise itself felt more all-inclusive than other cruise lines and seemed to be a great value for what we paid.
We also agreed that if we were traveling with friends or adult family members we would recommend sailing on Virgin again. For the total price, it was a great quick vacation, and we left feeling like we had gotten more out of this trip than we had expected.