As much as my husband and I love traveling with our son, we also love taking some adult time and going on an adults only trip. So when we were invited to take a trip aboard Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady for an unforgettable cruise, we didn’t pass up the opportunity.
You may have seen various commercials and posts on social media about this amazing cruise, and may have thought that this cruise is promising a lot and it may not deliver it all. Well, I’m here to tell you that this cruise delivers all that it states and more.
This adults-only (18+) cruise is an intimate, well curated, and attainable luxury cruise that has a variety of different dining options, entertainment on board, and has cruise experience across the Caribbean, Europe, South Pacific, Transatlantic and more. It’s a cruise that definitely takes the cake in comparison to some of the other cruises that I have been on.
Whether you’re taking a couple’s cruise, girl’s trip, or adult family vacation, Virgin Voyages is the cruise that you want to go with, and here’s some details and my honest review on my recent cruise aboard the Valiant Lady.
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VALIANT LADY VIRGIN VOYAGES REVIEW
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR CRUISE
- Download the Virgin Voyages app. Immediately after you book your cruise with Virgin Voyages, you want to download the Virgin Voyages app and link your booking. The app will be the main way to navigate through your sailing experience. It’ll be were you book excursions, make dining reservations, see what activities are happening on board, and reach Sailor Services if necessary.
- Know what is included. For your cruise experience, your booking includes dining, group fitness classes, basic WiFi, basic beverages (water, soda, tea, drip coffee), and gratuities.
- Know what is NOT included. Shore Things, certain special activities noted on the itinerary, and alcoholic beverages are not included in your package. If you’re planning on imbibing on any cocktails, take advantage of the prepaid bar tab that may be offered that gives you an extra amount of credit to spend on cocktails.
- Pack a red outfit. Scarlet Night, which we will go through below, is Virgin Voyage’s big party onboard the ship. Everyone typically wears red to this event, so back your red outfit!
- Bring a reusable water bottle. There is water provided on board, but unless you take a glass or cup from your room or a restaurant, you won’t find cups at the filtered water stations on board. Additionally, if you get off the ship, you won’t be able to take that cup off and purchasing water can get expensive on port days. Bring a water bottle and fill it up on board before heading off the ship on port days.
- You’ll be given your band on board. When you arrive at the terminal and check in, you’ll be given a band based off your status (Rockstars have black and everyone else has red). This smart band will act as your room key, your way to pay for things on board, and how you “check-in” and “check-out” of the ship.
Staterooms ABOARD THE VALIANT LADY SHIP
Aboard the Virgin Voyages Valiant lady, you’ll find cabins and suites located on different decks and in different areas. During our cruise, we stayed in a Sea Terrace room towards the front of the ship. The rooms, compared to other cruise ships, are moderately spacious. It was really comfortable for two people to relax and sleep in, and okay for when you wanted to have friends over in the room to hang out before heading out of the room to do whatever you have planned for the day.
In each room, you’ll find a bathroom fit for one person it be in at a time, a closet with a hanging rack, cabinets, drawers, and a safe, and a balcony with a hammock and a seating area. The balcony was our favorite place to have breakfast when we had in-room dining.
You’ll also find a tablet in the room that controls the many features of the room. On the tablet, no only can you order specific services and control the TV, but you can also control the lights and curtains, and even set the mood with different colored lights and music.
Dining ABOARD THE VALIANT LADY
There are a variety of different dining options aboard the Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, and with dining being included as a part of the booking, you can try many of the different plates at each of the restaurants you want to visit on board. Each of these different restaurants, truly make you feel like you are in a different place and each of the restaurants offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Sometimes, I even forgot that we were on a ship. It simply felt like we had driven to this specialty dining experience to have a date night or group meal. And of course, remember to bring your band, which you should just be wearing on your wrist either way, so that you can pay for any cocktails that you may want to enjoy with your meals.
Pro Tip: As soon as dining reservations open on the Virgin Voyages app, make your booking to secure your preferred dining time. Depending on when you go on a cruise and which cruise it is, you may find out that many of the time slots book up quickly.
On our first night aboard the ship, we kicked off our dining experience at Pink Agave. You’ll find this restaurant right near Sailor Services on the same Deck as Razzle Dazzle, and upon arriving, you’ll enter through a hallway of lights that will make you feel like you need to take a picture “for the ‘gram” before actually heading to your seats.
This restaurant is one of the best restaurants to go to for large group dining. The table that we sat out fit our large group of 10 and allowed for everyone too see and talk to one another. Additionally, the menu is designed as a shared plate experience which is another great plus for large groups. Everyone was able to taste the variety of delicious, Mexican inspired plates and talk about some of the food pairing with the mezcal cocktail pairings that combined well with the food flavors.
The Test Kitchen was probably my favorite restaurant because of the creativeness of the restaurant and the fact that it had me trying and enjoying foods that I wouldn’t typically order if I saw it plainly written out on a menu. This restaurant is one party laboratory, one part cooking school, and all parts an exceptional dining experience. It’s more of a dressier atmosphere, but then again, it’s a cruise, so you never truly have to dress up. The menu changes depending on when you are on board and when you dine. Our waiter actually told us the night that we came was the first night of the second menu during the cruise. If we had come one night earlier, we would have had a completely different experience.
When you go into Test Kitchen, you’ll find a pre-set menu that doesn’t exactly show you what you’ll be eating in its entirety. Each course will be displayed through it’s main ingredient, and at the time, the only thing you’ll be able to order is a single cocktail or wine or cocktail pairing. We elected for the cocktail pairing and I did not regret it. With the pairings, you get a full wine pour or cocktail per each course, so it’s a good bang for your buck.
For everyday eats when you really don’t want to go to a specialty dining location, head to The Galley. The Galley is the ship’s food hall that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This was our favorite place to visit when we just wanted to grab some food quickly before heading off the boat for port days, or when we didn’t have any group meals planned or dining reservations, because you can just go, sit down, and order food from any of the places located in the Galley.
You’ll find a variety of foods such as ramen, bento boxes, burgers, tacos, pastries, and so much more. I often found myself here on afternoons when I needed to get a little bit of work done on board. I would bring my laptop, sit down at one of the tables, and order some food.
OTHER RESTAURANTS FOR GRAB & GO
For late night eats and grab and go dining, there are quite a few options. You can get ice cream at Lick Me Till…Ice Cream, and you get get a personal pizza at The Pizza Place. Of course, there are also small dining experiences that you can have at some of the bars and social lounges on board, but we get into that below
Bars AND Cocktails ABOARD THE VALIANT LADY
When taking a trip with Virgin Voyages, cocktails are not included in the reservation price. They don’t offer beverage packages, but you can buy a prepaid bar tab depending on if it’s offered at the time of your cruise. Other than purchasing cocktails during dining experience, you’ll have cocktails that you can order at the variety of bars around the ship along with cocktail experiences that you will be required to book and pay for ahead of time such as the Grog Walk (which is like a bar crawl aboard the ship) and the Whiskey Tasting where they actually let you use the money that you paid to book the tasting experience towards a bottle to purchase and take home. (Note: If you do purchase any alcoholic bottles onboard or purchase on port days and bring on the ship, it may be held for you until the last night of the cruise.)
Cocktails onboard range between $8 – $20 depending on where you are and what you are purchasing. The tab can run up pretty quickly just by order two drinks per each dining experience. Even with us getting complimentary champagne with Rockstar status during the one hour happy hour, many of us ran up a $250 bar tab person person over the six nights.
For those to have Rockstar status, you’ll also get access to Richard’s Roofdeck – a bar area with cabanas, two hot tubs, and a bar. This is also the location where Rockstars can enjoy a one hour champagne happy hour at 5pm each day depending on the weather.
For cooler days when we weren’t too comfortable being in the pool, Richard’s Roofdeck was our go-to place for ordering cocktails, eating a few bites of pizza and hanging out in the hot tub.
Sip Lounge is a champagne bar that houses to many great experiences and is a central place that any people go for cocktails. When it’s too windy for champagne happy hour at Richard’s Roofdeck, the happy hour will be moved to this bar.
During the day, you can also book an Afternoon Tea experience with a champagne upgrade depending on how you are feeling.
We loved heading to Sip for cocktails right before dinner because of the great cocktail menu and sophisticated ambiance.
ON THE ROCKS
On the Rocks is a bar located right in the center of the ship under the spiral staircase. At night, you’ll find live music and during the day, you’ll find a variety of different activities happening here. This was our favorite bar to head to after dinner for late night drinks if we weren’t heading into the Manor for a show or to dance the night away.
THE Pools ABOARD THE VALIANT LADY
On the Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, you’ll find the pool deck on Deck 15. The pool deck is made up of two main pools, the circular wellness pool that is located near the fitness center and the main pool which is at the center of the deck. Both of these pools can get crowded quickly, especially or sea days, so if you’re looking to get loungers at the main pool right at the pool edge, you’ll want to claim a spot early.
Near the wellness pool, you’ll also find hot tubs to relax in and both pools are accompanied by a bar with servers who will take drink orders and bring your drink to you wherever you may be. Sometimes, they take it to a whole other level and come into the shallow part of the main pool to bring you your cocktail.
As a heads up, the pools are not that large, and the main pool has two ankle high shallow sides on each side with a somewhat chest high deep middle section.
Activities & Entertainment ABOARD THE VALIANT LADY
Located right off the casino, The Manor is the center of nightlife aboard the Valiant Lady. This nightclub doubles also as a place to head to for shows such as the Drag Show with the Diva and Circus Disco. We found ourselves at the Manor almost every night because each night was a new theme. The first night, they had a pajama party, another night was 80s night, and then there was a night when the dance floor doubled as an interactive dance party show.
The Manor has two floors which both include bars. You can sit above and watch the dance floor below as your sip on cocktails or you can hit the main floor and dance the night away. Also, in the Manor, you’ll find a small room on the main floor that also includes seating and games for guests to play. The Manor made nights aboard the ship super fun and because of this location, we always had something to do before putting our heads to a pillow.
THE RED ROOM
The biggest night on the ship is SCARLET NIGHT. This is the night where the ship transforms into a maritime show that follows a story of love. Get ready for the night by putting on your red outfit, enjoying dinner at one of the amazing restaurants, and then heading out to the main staircase for the night to start with different events and experiences happening around the boat before the epic pool party.
Midway through Scarlet Night, you’ll head to the main pool to watch a show and then be invited to party in the pool where you can dance in the shallow end of the main pool or be daring and jump in the deeper section to party and just enjoy this epic night with all the guests onboard. And don’t worry, the night doesn’t end right when the pool party ends. The party continues in the Manor for the after-party.
This is a must attend party when you are taking a cruise with Virgin Voyages. It was my favorite night and it made the entire cruise worthwhile. With various cruises taking you to the same port locations that Virgin Voyages does, this night was one of the aspects that set Virgin Voyages apart from any other cruises I have been on.