On-Board Tattoos and No Kids Anywhere: How Virgin Voyages Will Redefine Cruises

Plus high-end dining and lots of CBD cocktails.

By Kirk Miller

 
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12 November 2018

We’re not into the whole mall-at-sea, “we’ve got ziplines!” vibe that most cruise lines are offering these days. But the more we hear about Virgin Voyages — the nascent cruise line from the Richard Branson-founded Virgin Group — the more we’re changing our minds about sailing the open seas with a few thousand strangers.

And that’s because the first of three VV ships, the 2700+ passenger Scarlet Lady, promises (ironically?) an elevated experience on the water.

Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages (4 images)

Five things we like so far, based on recent announcements:

  • It’s kid-free. The “Adult By Design” experiences are for those 18 and over. “Let’s face it, even parents could use a holiday from their little ones sometimes,” as their site notes.
  • The dining is Michelin-star quality and Hollywood glamourous. The cruise line partnered with Michelin-starred chef Brad Farmerie (Saxon + Parole, Public in New York City) and movie set designers Stephen Alesch and Robin Stanfeder to create a “narrative” for the 20+ boutique dining options — which doesn’t include buffets, but does include an experimental, lab-like restaurant (Test Kitchen), Korean BBQ (Geonbae) and an Italian restaurant with a “mobster’s lair” private dining space (Extra Virgin).
  • There’s a bar in every restaurant. Try the candy-striped Razzle Dazzle, inspired by the dazzle camouflage of World War I British Navy ships, which features naughty and nice menus, drag performances and CBD cocktails (there's a wellness streak running throughout the ship, though you can still get plenty boozy).
  • Also, there are no reservations, no assigned seating and all food is made-to-order.
  • You can get a tattoo while you’re on board, courtesy of Lou Rubino (World Famous Tattoo Ink, Soho Ink).

Virgin Voyages launches in 2020 from Miami to various points in the Caribbean.  

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