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Nikki's Blog: A cruise to nowhere with Virgin Voyages

I suppose it was appropriate that I chose Virgin for my first sea cruise. The Scarlet Lady is a modern exciting cruise liner and is the perfect vessel to discover whether cruising is for you.

My voyage began in Portsmouth where I was given a PCR Covid test before I was allowed on board. The procedure was very efficient and safe for everyone and so it was a relief when I was given my special wrist band, information pack and my cabin details. The three day cruise to nowhere could now start.

The Scarlet Lady is an adults-only vessel and is delightfully informal in that the 'sailors', as we were called, are encouraged to use every facility available.

The sun was out that first evening, so even before the ship had sailed, I was on deck 7 at The Dock, which was the outside lounge area at the aft of the ship to enjoy a bottle of champagne. It was quite a sight as we sailed out of Portsmouth watching the crowds at Gunwarf Quay as they waved us off.

Although all food was paid for, I did use my funky wrist band for drinks which works like a contactless card and also doubles up as a room key.

The Scarlet Lady offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars and cafes. It also has a casino, arcade, shops, wellness gym and spa, running track, basketball court, tattoo parlour and karaoke room - in fact there is something for everyone.

I loved being a 'sailor' and really got into the swing of cruising in fact literally, as there was a bright red hammock on my balcony.

The food was excellent. I especially enjoyed The Gunbae Korean BBQ where they cook at your table. Mind you, The Wake for steak, The Extra Virgin for Italian and The Razzle Dazzle vegetarian were also very good.

My first full day on board was warm and sunny so I made the most of it on the large sundeck next to the pool. Here, more food was readily available and staff were serving drinks. There is something very restful about being on a ship by a pool watching the sea slip by.

Come the evening what do all sailors do...? Get dressed up for a night on the town, of course. In Covid times, the ship couldn’t dock but it did have its own theatre where a great show was provided. There was also a Red Room and a night club and even the opportunity to pick up a pizza on the way back to my cabin when I had the munchies. Food is available 24 hours a day.

The three day voyage flew by and soon we were back in Portsmouth, even though we hadn’t gone further than the Cornish coast, but it didn’t matter as I was no longer a cruise virgin.

The voyage is what you make of it and I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t think they would like a cruise as well as those who like cruising with a difference!

I will be returning in February to experience even more of what this rock 'n' roll ship can offer its sailors.

Ahoy, ship mates!


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