Come Sail Aboard Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady
Act my age? Not a chance!
At 72, acting my age isn’t one of my more admirable personality traits, and there’s everything to assist me in avoiding it by sailing on Virgin Voyages’ new Resilient Lady. I’ve sailed on dozens of cruises geared for my demographic, and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them, the energy-filled vibe of this one overcame a flawed initial skepticism. The brainchild concept and trend-setting initiatives implemented by Sir Richard Branson and his team have won me over. They’ve uncovered a missing link in attracting new sailors, and while I’m not new to cruising and may not be their target audience, I’m sold on their unique take on cruising.
Start Me Up
Prior to embarkation, the Virgin Voyages app ignites the excitement and kicks things off with a wealth of pre-cruise information. With 20 dining venues, engaging shows, pampering treatments in the Redemption Spa, and day and night activities, there are decisions to be made, and this hi-tech tool makes planning much simpler. The app becomes your daily program with your choices, loves, and favorites documented.
I may not have the moves like Jagger, and with my rockstar dreams quashed long ago, stepping aboard this haven of hip recreated the fantasy. I didn’t spring for one of the ultimate rockstar suites, but our balcony stateroom was simply the best. It was spacious and contemporary in design, and starting the day with a swing ‘n’ sway in the bright red hammock on the balcony stoked a definite chill factor. Totally mint!
More trendy than traditional, glitter than glamour, there’s cheeky design everywhere. Otherworldly, avant-garde, and retro mildly describe the whimsical aesthetic of furnishings in the public areas. Private cabanas, lounge beds, and corner sectional sofas surround the central pool area, with the high seas’ largest well-being pool just steps away. Reserved for Rockstar Suite guests, Richard’s Rooftop is an exclusive sanctuary with hot tubs, circular sunbeds, and cabanas with trampoline mattresses, all bringing visions of chic stardom to life.
Work out with complimentary fitness classes or bike and burn, lift, row, walk, or run in the B-complex gym filled with a bevy of cardio equipment, and for a souvenir that lasts a lifetime, head to the Squid Ink Tattoo Studio. It’s all about Livin’ La Vida Loca!
They Will, They Will Rock You
Daytime DJs by the pool recreate the vibe of an Ibiza beach club. Top-notch musicians perform in the Sip Lounge and the more intimate On The Rocks bar in the evenings. With nightclub venues springing into action for late-night revelry, you can leave those foxtrot and waltzing skills home. This is not your grandparent’s cruise. Rock on, baby, this ship is lit and legit!
As for shows and entertainment, I’m at a loss to describe it, but what I can muster is, “it is absolutely the most incredibly produced and uniquely presented program of entertainment I’ve ever encountered.” The week’s lineup is a full-fledged detour around what you’ll experience anywhere on the high seas.
Even the venues diverge from the ordinary. The Red Room is a multi-form, ever-transformational theater that one night hosts a bacchanal of music, dance, and aerial acrobatics in the fast-paced Persephone show as guests stand and observe amid the celebration. The next night, the room transforms into a seated theater for a performance by Tape Face, an internationally celebrated comedic mime, and on other evenings, late-night dance parties, live game shows, and theater performances unfold.
Work through a maze of mirrors and gleaming lights into the eclectic two-story The Manor. Enjoy a five-course meal with free-flowing champagne in snazzy surroundings while a troupe of singers, dancers, and acrobats perform Another Rose, a dinner theater cabaret on steroids. Later in the evening, the place morphs into a sexy 70’s nightclub ambiance and a drag queen cabaret will float your boat on another night.
Eats, Treats, Edgy and Veggie
It should come as no surprise that Virgin pushes culinary boundaries with creative and cutting-edge menus served in a casual and playful style. The traditional concept of a main restaurant supplemented by additional cost specialty venues has been thrown overboard. Virgin has spread its dining options over twenty different specialty alternatives, all at no additional cost.
The Wake, with its decadent steakhouse feel, Extra Virgin for a touch of Italy’s la dolce vita, the elevated Mexican dishes of Pink Agave, and the table side grilling in Gunbae Korean BBQ evokes the diversity of culinary alternatives available. The Test Kitchen offers an ever-evolving tasting menu where food meets science , and Razzle Dazzle serves up daring, head-spinning twists on American standards.
Venue names like Noodle Around, Let’s Taco About It, Hot Off The Press, Bento Baby, The Sweet Side, Diner and Dash, Well Bread and Burger Bar extol the tastes available from The Galley, a full assembly of innovative kitchens, cafes and diners.
The Dock House offers unparalleled views of the passing sea while you sip on a curated rose’, entertained by moody live acoustic music and nosh on mezze selections from a roving cart.
Lick Me Till..Ice Cream & The Social Club Diner soda fountain treats satisfy the mid-day munchies, and The Pizza Place is perfect for lunch or those late-night hunger pangs.
Vegan, vegetarian, or GF sailors will be pleased to know that menus are loaded with dishes of delight especially designed for their respective diets.
Grown Up Fun
Virgin Voyages has taken the adults-only concept into a visionary new realm. The experience is never too sophisticated to be dull or decadent to be slightly raunchy. Chic, whimsical, and edgy with a significant degree of fashion and class, it was poppin’ to experience Virgin Voyages’ entry into the future of cruise alternatives. ‘Party on, Wayne’. ‘Party on Garth’! (Too old?)