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

Plus high-end dining and lots of CBD cocktails.

November 12, 2018 9:00 am

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 (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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