Scarlet Lady Review and Specifications
Specifications of Scarlet Lady
|Year built||2020 new ship|
|Builder||Fincantieri (Sestri Ponente, Italy)|
|Building cost||EUR 600 million (USD 710 million)|
|Owner||Virgin Group Ltd (UK)|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||278 m / 912 ft|
|Beam (width)||38 m / 125 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||110000 gt|
|Passengers||2770 - 2860|
Review of Scarlet Lady
First Virgin Voyages cruise ship "Scarlet Lady" was named on July 20, 2018, and scheduled for delivery in 2020. Two sisterships (vessels of the same design) are ordered and planned for deliveries in 2021 and 2022. The Scarlet Lady ship is currently under construction at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard (in Genoa Italy).
These liners are known as "Lady Ships" - a play on "your ladyship" term regarding Virgin Group's British heritage. A number of renown designers were chosen to create a new "cruise ship" style and "adult cruising" vacation concept. For ship's interior design, the Virgin cruise line contracted the marine architecture and naval design companies Roman and Williams (NYC), Concrete Amsterdam, Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio (London UK), Gem Srl (Italy), Softroom (London UK), WORKac (NYC), Knibb Design, HL Studio (UK), HKS Architects (Dallas USA), PearsonLloyd (London UK).
Virgin is an adults-only cruise company (passengers' minimum age is 18) officially starting operations in 2020 with MS Scarlet Lady.
The 3 Virgin cruise ships are with capacity 2750 passengers (plus 1150 crew), GT tonnage 110,000 tons, ABB Azipod XO propulsion system (electric drive motors with off-hull submerged azimuth thrusters / 360--degree rotating propellers). These units provide the best maneuverability (allowing in-port navigation without tug assistance) and minimal vibrations/noise. By placing the propulsion units outside the hull, the Azipod system frees up space for more lower-deck staterooms. ABB Ability technology is based on a network using real-time data transferred to remote centers monitoring and analyzing the propulsion system data and also offering remote technical support.
These vessels stand out with innovative design ideas and solutions, as well as the latest marine technologies for energy recovery and environmental impact reduction. Ship's cleaning energy system is provided by the Swedish company Climeon Ocean. The technology allows reducing CO2 emissions by converting diesel engines generated heat into electricity (capacity approx 1 MW) for onboard use. Each of the Virgin liners has 6 such units, saving annually approx 5400 tons of CO2. Ship's waste processing system is provided by Scanship.
Wartsila (Finnish marine technologies corporation / former shipbuilder) was contracted to provide ships' power plants. Each liner is powered by two 8-cylinder plus two 12-cylinder "Wartsila 46F" marine diesel engines. Wartsila's Hybrid Scrubber System operates in both open and closed loop and uses seawater to remove SOx from vessel's exhaust, also significantly reducing NOx emissions. The Wartsila-made navigation and automation control systems are from the company's latest NACOS Platinum series.
Alternative power is provided by 4-stroke engines powering the 4 electricity gen-sets, each equipped with TPL-C turbochargers (by ABB).
Virgin's Scarlet Lady inaugural cruise season (2020) is based on 7-day Caribbean roundtrips leaving from homeport Miami Florida. Departures are on Sundays. During the maiden season, the ship will also visit Cuba. Company's decision was influenced by conducted customer and travel agency research in the UK and North America. All cruises to Cuba offer overnight stay in Havana, allowing passengers ("sailors") to explore the country's capital and its unique nightlife.
- 5-day "Mayan Sol" itinerary visits Havana (overnight) and Costa Maya (Mexico). In Mexico, shore excursions include scuba diving (coral reefs) and Mayan ruins.
- 5-day "Dominican Daze" itinerary visits Havana (overnight) and Puerto Plata (Amber Cove, Dominican Republic). In the Dominican Rep, shore excursions include trekking, surfing, and shopping.
Virgin cruise bookings on Scarlet Lady opened on February 5, 2019 (for customers with pre-sale deposits) and on February 14 (for the general public).
Virgin Cruises' private island resort "Bimini Beach Club" (Bahamas)
The liner Scarlet Lady is the first cruise ship to stop at "Bimini Beach Club" (Virgin Group's private island resort in Bimini Bahamas). The exclusive destination allows Virgin's Sailors to enjoy world-class entertainment from a rotating cast of DJs led by Mark Ronson. Virgin's Bimini Beach Club offers premium food with locally sourced ingredients and traditional Bahamian favorites like banana leaf-wrapped queen snapper, conch and mango salad, Bahamian rum cake. The complex has 6 bars, outdoor lounge areas with hammock groves, beach loungers, watersport activities, (optional/at extra cost) private poolside and beach-side cabanas for rent.
RockStar Suite passengers benefit from complimentary food service, exclusive bar and outdoor terrace lounge, VIP beach cabanas. The 7-mile (11-km) long island offers extraordinary activities like boating, snorkeling, wreck diving. The partially sunk wreck of SS Sapona (concrete-hulled steamship that ran aground in 1926) is located just a few miles off island's southern coast.
Virgin's private resort is located on North Bimini Island and at a short bus transfer from the docking pier. It was built via partnership with Resorts World Bimini. This is a 750-acres (3 km2 / 1,2 ml2) beachfront resort-casino-marina-hotel complex operated by Genting Group (Malaysia-based multinational corporation). North Bimini is approx 68 km (42 ml) east of Miami. Resort's estimated building cost is USD 220 million. Virgin's Bimini Beach Club overlooks the sea and features a large lagoon-style swimming pool. The "resort experience" also features morning open-air exercises (yoga and meditation), afternoon DJ poolside parties, night beach bonfires and live musical performances.
In mid-January 2019, Virgin Voyages announced details on ship's RockStar Suite cabins. All staterooms are designed by Tom Dixon Design Research Studio (interior, product and design consultancy). All staterooms are "smart", with mood lighting and sensors auto-adjusting the lighting according to passenger's movements. The cruise ship has a total of 78 cabins in the category "RockStar Suite", including 15x "Mega RockStar Suites" (9x Gorgeous, 2x Posh, 2x Fab, 2x Massive). Most of them are on Deck 15, with the above Deck 16 housing one "RockStar Suite Sailor" (bow-facing Owner Suite).
The decor is music (rock-and-roll) themed, with a retro-futuristic design, a color palette of deep blues with iridescent dichroic elements in the cabin's bathroom. Massive Suite has a separate bedroom that doubles as music room (fitted with electric guitars and an amplifier). Cabin's terrace (bow-facing) is fitted with Jacuzzi, dining area (6-seat table with built-in stairs), lounge area (circular sofa with low table), padded sun loungers, 2 hammocks, outdoor shower, catamaran net (canopy partially covering the terrace), live plants.
All categories RockStar Suites have marble-clad bathroom (with hot tub, premium brand bath products, rain shower head, multi-colored dichroic glass doors and windows), Terrazzo flooring, Tom Dixon brand furniture, large mirrored vanity tables, modern sofas, low tables, cabinets, large smart TVs, vinyl turntable (gold-plated player with a collection of records), complimentary full bar (nautically-themed barware kit), brass and leather finishing. RockStar Suite passengers enjoy exclusive access to “Richard’s Rooftop” (VIP club lounge located forward on Deck 16). RockStar Suites receive as perks (price-inclusive amenities and complimentary services) airport-ship transfer (via private drivers), priority helicopter arrangements, luggage assistance, private walk-down service (express VIP pathway) at Virgin Voyages Miami Cruise Terminal (upon arrival), anytime boarding, early access to special shipboard events, clothing pressing, nightly swimsuit drying.
All staterooms offer as standard amenities European King-size bed (premium linens, plush bedding), wall-mounted reading lamps, bedside tables, mirrored vanity table / writing desk with stool, large wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), large smart TV (with infotainment system - Internet, movies on demand, ship info channel), large balcony (furnished with white-colored padded loungers, low table, 2-seat sofa, Yellow Leaf hammock, dining table / custom-designed champagne table fitting an ice bucket). Balcony access is via floor-ceiling sliding glass doors.
Every cabin is to be equipped with a custom-designed “Seabed,” described by Virgin as the “first-ever transformational cabin bed at sea.” It is meant to encourage in-room hangouts and eliminates the “unspoken awkwardness of having no place for guests to sit but on the bed." That popular mood lighting which is familiar to those who have flown Virgin America (part of Alaska Airlines), is into play. Cabin lights automatically adjust to “enhance the time of day based on where the ship is in the world.” There are also special staterooms for groups, which have 4 “chalet-style” bunk beds, and rooms designed with solo travelers in mind.
Staterooms are divided into all 8 categories - ranging in size from Massive Suite (200 m2 / 2150 ft2, 6-passenger) down to Seriously Suite (33 m2 / 355 ft2, 2-passenger). All cabins have a “sea terrace” (private, step-out balcony) and are serviced by “Rockstar Coordinators” (personal assistants), while “personal wardrobe teams” provide luggage packing and unpacking.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Dining on Virgin Voyages ships is ticket price-inclusive - no extra charges are applied to any of the 20-plus onboard dining options. The cruise company doesn't believe in "paying more for great food", so it ditched traditional surcharges levied in specialty restaurants. All eateries on Scarlet Lady offer "exceptional made-to-order eats" - complimentary.
As part of the company's sustainable travel policy, Virgin Voyages banned single-use plastics and there is no buffet food on the ships. All shipboard food is made-to-order - to reduce waste and lower energy consumption and emissions. Savings are reinvested into fresh (locally sourced) top-quality products, exotic ingredients, highly trained staff, and clean technologies.
The company doesn't follow any traditional cruise dining concepts. Virgin ships don't have the main dining room, buffet restaurant, dress code (formal wear policy), assigned dining times or seating. All these concepts were replaced with intimate (boutique hotel-type) eateries offering 20+ dining options - all of which are included in cruise fares.
Follows the complete list of Scarlet Lady restaurants and food bars.
- The Galley (main venue for casual dining and quick meals) is modeled on popular food halls. Here guests can taste food from various onboard restaurants via 8 shops and carts, including panini shop, bakery and pastry shop, taco shack, noodle bar, burger grill, a sushi bar with bento boxes, soup, and salad island, 24-hour American diner.
- The Test Kitchen (laboratory-like eatery with metallic furniture, beakers, test tubes) offers "avant-garde cuisine". It is a part restaurant, part cooking school. Chef-driven menus are presented in the form of ingredient list to guests to discover how the chef combines the flavors throughout the course of each meal.
- Wake (sized 5866 ft2 / 545 m2) is a steakhouse-seafood restaurant located aft and featuring views of the ship's wake. It serves "theatrical take" food inspired by The Grill-New York and The Wolseley-London.
- Geonbae (Korean barbecue restaurant) is "hosted by the loudest servers at sea". Meals start with complimentary soju (distilled beverage) for the table with guests encouraged to take part in Korean drinking games.
- Pink Agave (Mexican restaurant) provides shared plate experience with DJ music until late. It features porthole windows, metallic lighting fixtures, large tables, elongated curved area (intimate seating with 2-seat tables), separate bar (in the Lobby), private dining room (can be booked for parties and other private events).
- Extra Virgin (trattoria restaurant) serves traditional Italian food specialties, including handmade fresh pasta.
- Dock (beach club-inspired restaurant) offers Mediterranean cuisine with small plates, dips, mezze, salads.
- The Pizza Place (beach club-inspired restaurant) offers complimentary oven-baked gourmet pizzas by the slice.
- Razzle Dazzle is ship's vegan-vegetarian restaurant. Part of Razzle Dazzle Restaurant is the Red Bar - juice bar offering fresh-squeezed juices and tonics, as well as crafted cocktails from a menu that varies every night. In two days per cruise, at Razzle Dazzle is hosted Drag Brunch featuring live entertainment by "sassy drag queens".
Virgin cruise ship passengers are offered complimentary water (filtered and sparkling) at all onboard bars and dining venues. Throughout the ship, there are also complimentary water stations.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Each Virgin ship features 93% oceanview cabins and 86% balconied staterooms (called "sea terraces"), casino, several live entertainment venues (similar to traditional theater lounges).
Ship's signature venues include:
- Athletic Club (training center) is an outdoor gym area with a boxing ring and gym club equipment) located top-deck aft. Part of the Sports Deck is also the raised jogging track (Runway track, red-white colored), sundeck with open-air lounge (furnished with double daybeds and semi-circular loungers), triple netting area (overlooking below decks), 10 private cabanas (cushioned bed, low table, 2 lounge chairs), beverage service (from the outdoor Sports Bar), foosball tables, swimming pool, showers.
- MyBeast is an outdoor playground / poolside gym area.
- The Crow's Nest (aft sundeck) offers 360-degree views and is furnished with loungers and mats colored in Virgin's signature red. Here are also hosted sunrise and sunset outdoor yoga classes.
- The B Complex in an indoor fitness center with Technogym ARTIS equipment, floor-ceiling windows and separate rooms (studios) for cycling, yoga, cardio and spinning classes.
- Gym and Tonic Bar serves cold-pressed fresh juices.
- The Manor is the ship's 2-deck high Disco Nightclub with a large dance floor.
- The Dock is an outdoor lounge (aft on Deck 7) with cushioned wooden furniture (loungers, deckchairs, daybeds).
- Richard's Rooftop is a top-deck VIP area (Suite passengers only sundeck) furnished with daybeds, deckchairs, circular loungers, large umbrellas, colored crystals.
- Redemption is the ship's Spa complex (on Deck 5) consisting of Reception, Mud Room, Salt Room, Hydrotherapy Pool, cold plunge pool, Jacuzzi, Thermal Suite (indoor spa with porthole windows, plunge pool and Jacuzzi), treatment rooms (for massages and treatments) with quartz-mattress beds, Dry Dock Salon (hairdressing services), Stubble and Groom (barbershop), Blow Dry Bar, Male pedicure Spa, Mani-pedi Spa. At night, the wellness complex transforms into a dancing lounge with live DJ music.
- Squid Ink is a tattoo studio via a partnership with World Famous Tattoo Ink. The facility is operated by two full-time tattoo artists (handpicked by Lou Rubino Jr) plus celebrity artists. All tattoos are created by using original vegan ink. Other services at Squid Ink include body piercings and permanent makeup treatments (using certified vegan Perma Blend pigments).
- The Red Room was designed by theatre consultants Auerbach Pollock Friedlander and renowned architects WorkAC as the first ever transformational multi-form theater at sea. The Red Room transforms into 4 different configurations: an alley stage used in fashion shows, a traditional Proscenium stage, a dance flat-floor configuration, and a unique reverse stage setup. The first at-sea theatre enables the cruise line to create different experiences for each day of the cruise. Scarlet Lady offers 6 original shows that include production by Randy Weiner (The Donkey Show, Queen of the Night, Sleep No More).
Virgin cruise deals
In regard to onboard gratuities, the company has "No Tipping" policy, which means all gratuities are included in the base cruise fares. Also included in basic fares are beverages, all eateries, group fitness classes. The company also doesn't charge penalties or change fees. Customers are able to hold staterooms for 24 hours with no money down once they've placed a 20% non-refundable deposit. They also have a 7-day grace period allowing them to change bookings for any reason. Cruise departure date and names on bookings can be changed without fees or penalties.
Shortly before opening the bookings on Scarlet Lady (Feb 14, 2019), Virgin announced all-inclusive deal policy by which cruises are sold "by cabin price". Fares are also inclusive of dining (shipwide / 20 options, some 24-hour), unlimited WiFi, all fitness classes. Cabin pricing only varies by the number of occupants. For 5-day itineraries, fares start from ~USD 250 pp per day (excluding taxes-fees).
Scarlet Lady wiki
Scarlet Lady ship's construction started with the steel-cutting ceremony held on March 22, 2017. Ship's keel laying ceremony was on October 31, 2017, attended by Giovanni Toti (Liguria's President), Marco Bucci (Genoa's Mayor), Richard Branson (Virgin Group's founder), Tom McAlpin (Virgin Voyages' President and CEO) and Alberto Maestrini (Fincantieri's General Manager). Boy George (UK singer, songwriter, fashion designer) performed as superstar DJ. During the ceremony were revealed ship design and hull art.
On July 20, 2018, was the drydock's flooding, during which 2 drydock-assembled hull sections were floated out and connected. On the same day (also at Sestri Ponente Shipyard, near Genoa) was held the steel-cutting ceremony for the second Virgin cruise liner.
Vessel's launch (float-out from drydock) was on February 8, 2019. The special ceremony was attended by Tom McAlpin (Virgin Voyages President and CEO), Luigi Matarazzo (Fincantieri Merchant Ships Division's Director) and Paolo Capobianco (Sestri Ponente Shipyard's Director). Ceremony's godmother was Giuliana Rindone (shipyard employee).
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