Scarlet Lady accidents and incidents

Scarlet Lady cruise ship


Length (LOA)
278 m / 912 ft

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CruiseMapper's Scarlet Lady cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 2860-passenger vessel owned by Virgin Voyages. Our Scarlet Lady accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • 2020 - canceled inaugural cruises (a total of 102 Caribbean itineraries/roundtrip departures from PortMiami)
  • pier collision/allision - 2023 (PortMiami)
  • deaths - 2020 (crew)
  • crimes - 2023 (sexual)
  • boat rescue - 2023 (18 Cuban refugees)

23 August 2023Crew / Passenger Crimes

(sexual) On August 23, 2023, at Port Miami's Virgin Voyages Terminal, a 47-year-old male passenger was arrested and charged with a count of possession of child pornography.

The man (Michael Fanning, resident of Atlanta City, Georgia USA) was arrested after a US U.S. Border Protection officer searched his phone and found videos with child pornography - first three, then two more. Reportedly, the video content included the raping of young boys (8-year-olds).

18 August 2023Structural and Technical Issues

On August 16, 2023, Virgin Voyages announced that Scarlet Lady's forthcoming voyage (departure August 18th, Dominican Daze itinerary roundtrip from Miami) is revised. The reason for the change was "undergoing routine engine maintenance that is taking a bit longer than originally anticipated".

The original route was altered and the visit to Dominicana (Puerto Plata/Aug 20, port stay 10 am - 7 pm) was replaced with Grand Turk Island (Cockburn Town). The visit to The Bahamas (Resorts World Bimini/Aug 22, port stay 8 am - 7 pm) remained unchanged.

16 July 2023Ship Collision / Allision

In the early morning on July 16, 2023 (~6:30 am Florida time/~10:30 UTC), while maneuvering for docking in PortMiami (Florida USA) the ship collided with the pier.

According to Virgin Voyages, the collision was due to strong currents, causing the ship's stern to contact with a mooring dolphin (concrete structure used for securing the mooring lines/ropes).

No injuries were reported and the vessel sustained only minor (cosmetic) aft hull damage. After promptly completing the necessary repairs, the USCG cleared the ship for the next voyage (departing in the evening of the same day). The hull damage was fixed quickly and efficiently by the ship’s crew assisted by local contractors.

The accident occurred at the end of the 4-day "Fire Sunset Soirees Cruise" (itinerary July 12-16, roundtrip from Miami) that visited Key West (Florida/Jul 13) and Resorts World Bimini (Alice Town, North Bimini Island Bahamas/Jul 14).

Due to the collision, the next voyage (5-day "Riviera Maya", July 16-21, roundtrip from Miami to Cozumel Mexico and Bimini Bahamas) was delayed by several hours. According to the satellite AIS data, Scarlet Lady left PortMiami at 1:04 am FL time (05:04 UTC) on July 17th. Nonetheless, the Riviera Maya itinerary remained unaffected.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

31 December 2022Boat Rescue

On New Year's Eve (December 31, 2022), while en route from Mexico to Bimini Bahamas, the liner intercepted and rescued a group of 18 Cuban refugees (including women and kids). The makeshift boat (made from scrap wood and fitted with a car engine) was leaking water and drifting in the Caribbean, between Key West (Florida USA) and Cuba.

The small boat was approached at ~5:30 pm Florida time (~22:30 UTC). Reportedly, the immigrants were scooping buckets of water out of the vessel. The cruise ship sent a crew who dived into the sea and swam to the boat with a rope. The Cubans boarded Scarlet Lady (through crew deck 4) then the ship changed course (towards Key West) allowing a USCG boat to pick them up (at ~9 pm / 2 am UTC on Jan 1, 2023).

Curiously, the Cubans were escorted off the ship wearing Virgin-branded spa robes and lifejackets (some were also given Virgin Voyages' crew uniforms /colored in red) while their belongings were loaded in Virgin-branded bags. It took ~15 minutes to load everyone onto the Coast Guard's vessel.

The incident occurred during the 6-day "Scarlet New Year's Ahoy Cruise" (itinerary Dec 27 - Jan 2, roundtrip from Miami) with call ports in Honduras (Roatan Island's Coxen Hole), Mexico (Costa Maya), and The Bahamas (Resorts World Bimini/North Bimini Island).

20 October 2021Other Incidents

For October 20, 2021, was scheduled MHA's "Symposium at Sea" (Marine Hotel Association event) during the ship's PortMiami roundtrip (4-day "Fire Sunset Soirees" itinerary to The Bahamas - Nassau and Resorts World Bimini).

MHA's Symposium had planned various panel discussions and exclusive events for MHA members (top executives, senior hotel personnel), major cruise companies executives (MSC, NCLH-Norwegian, HAL-Holland America, Mystic Cruises USA, Virgin Voyages), ultra-luxury cruise brands (Seabourn, Windstar), vessel management companies (CMI Leisure, Apollo Group, The World ResidenSea), as well as for smaller expedition travel brands (Lindblad Expeditions).

Other major companies that participated in the event were CMI Leisure Management (Miami FL), JNS Foods LLC (Richmond TX), Gourmet Foods Inc (Hayward CA), ADA Cosmetics International GmbH (Kehl Germany).

Previous MHA Symposiums at sea were hosted onboard cruise liners operated by Princess, NCL-Norwegian, MSC.

April 2021Other Incidents

On April 8, 2021, Virgin Voyages cancelled all ex-USA cruises on Scarlet Lady previously scheduled for the period July 4 through September 17.

All affected bookings received 200% in FCC (future cruise credit/of the amount paid) which can be used for another voyage within 1 year of the original/cancelled cruise date. Virgin fully refunded all taxes, fees and pre-voyage sales (if paid in full) within 30 days. The other option was 100% cash refund plus 25% FVC (of the faires paid) to be used within 1 year of the original/cancelled cruise date.

The last cancellations (a total of 17 roundtrips from PortMiami) included the following itineraries and departure dates:

  • (4-day "Richards Birthday Bash") - July 14
  • (4-day Fire Sunset Soirees) - July 28, Aug 11, Aug 25, Sept 8
  • (5-day Riviera Maya) - July 4, Aug 1, Aug 29
  • (5-day Dominican Daze) - July 9, July 23, Aug 6, Aug 20, Sept 3, Sept 17
  • (5-day Mayan Sol) - July 18, Aug 15, Sept 12

The ship's Maiden Voyage from the USA was rescheduled for September 22, 2021 (4-day "Fire Sunset Soirees" itinerary).

Virgin Voyages also announced that after multiple delays (and a total of 102 cancelled Caribbean departures), Scarlet Lady will debut in August 2021 with a mini-season in the UK. The sailings (all roundtrips from homeport Portsmouth England) were open for booking to UK residents only.

December 2020Other Incidents

On December 10, 2020, Virgin Voyages cancelled all Scarlet Lady cruises (Miami-roundtrips) scheduled for January 3 through and including May 5, 2021. The ship's Inaugural Cruise was rescheduled from January 3 (5-day "Dominican Daze") to May 9 (5-day "Riviera Maya").

In early-April 2021 were cancelled 11 more departures (May 9 through/including June 30) and the Maiden Voyage rescheduled for July 4th.

Both cancellations affected a total of 36 departures from PortMiami: 5-day "Dominican Daze" (dates January 3-17-31, February 14-28, March 14-28, April 16-30, May 14-28, June 11-25), 5-day "Mayan Sol" (dates January 8-26, February 5-19, March 5-19, April 2-25, May 23, June 20) and 4-day "Fire And Sunset Soirees" (dates January 22, February 10-24, March 10-24, April 7-21, May 5-19, June 2-16-30).

September 2020Other Incidents

On September 29, 2020, Virgin Voyages cancelled more Scarlet Lady cruises (all departures from October 16 through November 27 including) or a total of 10 additional itineraries. The Inaugural Cruise 2020 (originally planned for August 7) was once again rescheduled - for December 2 (previously for October 16).

On October 27 were cancelled all the remaining itineraries (scheduled for December 2020), with the maiden voyage (brand inauguration) rescheduled for January 3, 2021.

Next list shows the duration, departure dates, itinerary themes and USD prices per person (double-occupancy lowest cabin rates) of the additionally cancelled Scarlet Lady voyages (in October-November) leaving roundtrip from PortMiami.

  • 5-day "Dominican Daze" - Oct 16 ($1800), Oct 30 ($1850, Nov 13 ($1850), Nov 22 ($1800)
  • 4-day "Fire And Sunset Soirees" - Oct 21 ($1500), Nov 4 ($1500), Nov 18 ($1500), Dec 2 ($1750), Dec 16 ($1350)
  • 5-day "Mayan Sol" - Oct 25 ($1650), Nov 8 ($1750), Nov 27 ($1750), Dec 11 ($1500)
  • (music-themed) 5-day "Sofi Tukker On Deck" (Dec 6, $1400) to Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and Bimini Bahamas
  • (Christmas-themed) 7-day "Holidays And Nights" (Dec 20, $2600) to Amber Cove, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Bimini.
  • (New Year-themed) 7-day "New Years Ahoy" (Dec 27, $3250) to Amber Cove, San Juan and Bimini.

23 June 2020Other Incidents

(crew repatriation) On June 23, 2020, the cruise liner left its anchorage off PortMiami on a Transatlantic crossing (crew repatriation voyage) to Port Genoa (Italy), where arrived and docked on July 6.

The ship was passenger-free and carrying only ~270 crew. Despite the fact that all the crew were tested negative for Coronavirus, the US CDC agency didn't allow the crew to be repatriated via commercial flights from the USA, so Virgin Voyages planned to repatriate them via flights from Italy.

For a total of 20 days, the cruise liner remained berthed at Fincantieri's Riva Trigoso shipyard (Santa Limbania, Genoa) for routine maintenance works. Scarlet Lady was scheduled to return back to homeport Miami Florida in late-August, starting regular roundtrips on October 16th.

22 May 2020Crew / Passenger Deaths

(crew suicide) On May 22, 2020, a 32-year-old male crew was found dead in his cabin. Reportedly, the man (Filipino) committed suicide (died from "apparent self-harm" / USCG). He was employed as a Hotel Utility/ Custodial.

The incident occurred while the cruise liner was at sea (off East Florida's coast) and free of passengers. Following the tragedy, in the afternoon the ship was allowed to enter PortMiami and berthed to offload the body. Local police officers boarded the vessel for investigation. The ship remained docked between 12:20 PM (May 22) and 5 PM (May 23).

Scarlet Lady was laid up off Florida after Virgin Voyages suspended passenger shipping operations due to the global Coropnavirus pandemic. Virgin Group also postponed the cruise brand's inauguration (maiden voyage from Miami) rescheduling the departure from August 7 to October 16.

20 May 2020Other Incidents

On May 20, 2020, Virgin Voyages cancelled more Scarlet Lady cruises (all departures through October 15) or a total of 15 additional itineraries. The Inaugural Cruise 2020 (originally planned for August 7) was rescheduled for October 16. The special 4-night "Richard Branson's 70th Birthday Cruise" (originally planned for July 15, 2020) was rescheduled for July 14, 2021.

Next list shows the duration, departure dates, itinerary themes and USD prices per person (double-occupancy lowest cabin rates) of the additionally cancelled Scarlet Lady voyages, all roundtrips from Miami Florida.

  • 4 day "Fire And Sunset Soirees" - Aug 12 ($1650), Aug 26 ($1550), Sept 9 ($1500), Sep 23 ($1600), Oct 7 ($1500)
  • 5-day "Dominican Daze" - Aug 7 ($2000), Aug 21 ($1900), Sept 4 ($1800), Sept 18 ($1750), Oct 2 ($1750)
  • 5-day "Mayan Sol" - Aug 16 ($1900), Sept 13 ($1650), Sept 27 ($1700), Oct 11 ($1750)
  • 5-day "Mk On Deck" - Aug 30 ($1850)

After the May-announced Scarlet Lady cruise cancellations, all rebookings made with the 200% FCC were fully refunded (200%) and additionally received 25% in FCC (to be used on another booking). Virgin Voyages also introduced the "Smooth Sailing Program" which allows for itineraries in 2020 (through December 16) the final payment dates to be moved to 60 days (previously 120 days) prior departure. Smooth Sailing also allows cancellations up to 48 hours (prior departure) with receiving a full (100%) refund in FCC.

12 March 2020Other Incidents

Due to Coronavirus concerns, on March 12, 2020, Virgin announced that postpones the brand's inauguration (Scarlet Lady's Showcase Tour / media event in PortMiami) for July 15th (ex 4-day "Richard's Birthday Bash"), with the inaugural cruise departing on August 7th from Miami. The ship's originally planned maiden voyage was on March 29th (3-day "Sneak-A-Peek Cruise").

All the scheduled between March 26-August 7 departures (a total of 29 itineraries) were cancelled. Next list shows the duration, departure dates, itinerary themes and USD prices (per person, double-occupancy lowest cabin rates) of the cancelled Scarlet Lady voyages, all roundtrips from Miami Florida.

  • 3-day "Sneak-A-Peek" - Mar 26 ($1650), Mar 29 ($1800)
  • 4-day "Fire And Sunset Soirees" - Apr 1 ($1300), Apr 15 ($1500), Apr 29 ($2150), May 13 ($2150), May 27 ($2150), Jun 17 ($2050), Jul 01 ($2050), Jul 29 ($1900)
  • 5-day "Riviera Maya" - Apr 05 ($1300), Apr 19 ($1800), May 17 ($2550), Jun 26 ($2350)
  • 5-day "Mayan Sol" - Apr 10 ($1600), Apr 24 ($2700), May 08 ($2500), May 22 ($2600), Jun 07 ($2300), Jun 12 ($2500), Jun 21 ($2300), Jul 19 ($2150), Aug 02 ($1950)
  • 5-day "Diplo On Deck" - May 03( $2450)
  • 7-day Atlantis Virgin Caribbean Cruise (May 31, LGBT cruise charter)
  • 5-day "Mark Ronson On Deck" - Jul 05 ($2300)
  • 5-day "Dominican Daze " - Jul 10 ($2300), Jul 24 ($2300)
  • 4-day ""Richard's Birthday Bash Cruise" - Jul 15 ($3050)

All affected bookings were provided with the options to cancel with a 125% refund (100% monetary refund) plus 25% in FCC (future cruise credit) or rebook with 200% refund in FCC. As a promo offer, bookings made by June 30, 2020, received up to USD 500 per person in OBC (onboard credit). A full (100%) monetary refund was optional for cancellations made between May 21-December 31, 2020.

02 March 2020Other Incidents

In early-March 2020, Virgin Voyages planned to showcase the new cruise brand in NYC (New York USA) by docking for several days there company's first vessel Scarlet Lady. However, due to Coronavirus concerns, the cruise ship's docking in NYC was cancelled. The planned visit was to present the new ship to travel agents and major media.

The ship was on a Transatlantic crossing from Liverpool UK and carrying ~850 passengers. Instead to NYC, it headed directly towards PortMiami (Florida USA). Virgin's CEO Tom McAlpin commented on March 2nd that "In the light of growing media focus on global health concerns, we do not feel that it is the right time to showcase our brand in New York. As a result, we have postponed our media and showcase events in New York City."

The new liner arrived in PortMiami on March 7th, bypassing NYC and visiting only Dover, before the Atlantic crossing to the USA.

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