Rockstar style cruising — aboard the Scarlet Lady…

Many of us were mesmerised by the stunning ‘Scarlet Lady’ as she docked in Liverpool this week. Bev Dulson from Coddiwomple Travel was one of the lucky few who spent a night on board the new Virgin cruise ship as it docked in the city on it’s maiden voyage.

The hospitality on board was fantastic, food available in the majority of outlets, anything from pizza, to steak along with copious amounts of champagne (cheers, Richard!) There are a number of bars on board, I particularly liked the dockside house with its nautical, Med atmosphere. There aren’t any set dining times or main restaurants and formal nights with a tux are not what Virgin are looking for, as long as you don’t rock up to dinner in a mankini and flip flops, you’ll be fine. The dining is located in a number of restaurants, including Italian, Mexican and a fabulous Korean BBQ restaurant where you can actually BBQ your own food in the centre of your table whilst enjoying the panoramic views from the restaurant.

I was able to look around a number of the cabins, the rockstar suite came complete with dressing gowns with ‘rockstar’ emblazoned on the back, the bed was positioned diagonally which meant you could watch the sunrise or sunset direct from the comfort of your bed — lifestyles of the rich and rockstars! Not all the cabins are as sumptuous as this, the more standard outside cabins are a lot smaller and the beds can be refigured from a sofa style look to a double bed for the evening. I’m not 100% on those cabins, nothing like reaching your cabin after a long journey to the ship and just crashing out on the bed and having a little nana nap (although maybe that’s the point –as I’ve already mentioned, this ship is not for the nan’s!) That’s just my opinion, others might think that it makes the space more versatile. Either way, the bright colours and up to date technology make these the most advanced cabins at sea.

I didn’t get to see any entertainment, but they did give us a little snippet of what was to come with some fantastically dressed drag queens, the Manor House with its sparkling mirrors — just beautiful and a DJ spinning the decks with some top tunes all through the visit.

Virgin has always been one to push the boundaries (Virgin weddings, anyone??!!) and it continues to do so, with and ice cream parlour called ‘Lick me till ice cream’ and an Italian restaurant called ‘Extra Virgin’, they are clearly having fun with the names of places on board. It’s an adult’s only ship, so they can afford to be a bit risqué. Surprisingly though, there are swings and a see saw, but that sums this ship up, it is an adults playground.

I feel I must mention the staff, I spoke to so many today from bar staff, to cabin stewards, restaurant staff and entertainment team (shout out to the magician — the charmer) they couldn’t do enough for you, they were happy to chat and talk about life on the ship, the seem a generally happy crew, which fits with one of Branson’s ideologies that if you put your staff first, your customers will automatically

be happy. There was a fantastic atmosphere on board, so much so that I really didn’t want to get off.

Liverpool is famous for its nautical links so to have Scarlet Lady setting off on her journey across the Atlantic to New York is fairly iconic and I hope she enjoyed her trip to Liverpool as much as Liverpool loved her visit and I think that was apparent as when I finally dragged myself off the ship and turned round to take one more picture, the side of the ship was lit up with I Heart LPL.

Thanks for an amazing day Virgin Voyages — happy sailing, I’ll hopefully see you soon, with my friends — think my nan will give it a miss! Ahoy!