How does Virgin Voyages Stack Up to Other Luxury Only Cruises? 

A First Timer Sailor’s Review of the Resilient Lady Ship

When it comes to luxury only cruises, the options are seemingly endless. Each company promises unparalleled opulence and adventure. However, amidst this literal sea of choices, one name stands out as the best in luxury cruises: Virgin Voyages. Selecting the perfect cruise line can often feel like navigating through a maze of offerings. However, the award-winning Virgin Voyages brand simplifies the decision-making process with its unmistakable allure and distinctive offerings.

As an exciting newcomer to the industry, Virgin Voyages has quickly made a name for itself as a trailblazer in luxury travel. Amidst the family-oriented cruise landscape, Virgin Voyages strategically focuses solely on adults aged 18 and above. This aspect is particularly significant for travelers seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where serenity and sophistication reign supreme.

Resilient Lady Virgin Voyages

As a passionate luxury travel blogger, I’ve been fortunate enough to venture into the realms of the luxury travel and hospitality industry. However, my recent expedition on the new ship, Resilient Lady, absolutely tops them all and left a lasting impression. In fact, the Resilient Lady was awarded the Editor’s Pick for “Best New Ship” by Cruise Critic in 2023, among many other accolades.

In this blog post, I will explain the unique distinctions of Virgin Voyages’ luxury cruising. Just a heads up: this is a perfect experience for adults in pursuit of refined adventures!

This blog post was created in partnership with Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages vs. Other Luxury-Only Cruises

So how does Virgin Voyages stack up to other luxury-only cruises? Read below to explore the new cruise kid on the block, and my experience on one of the fleet’s new ships, Resilient Lady, including amenities, on board dining, entertainment, customer service, and overall experience. Let’s set sail!

1. The Resilient Lady – A Ship Like No Other

Sails with Virgin Voyages are anything but run-of-the-mill average. In fact, any sail with them will likely end up being one of the most memorable ocean adventures of your life (at least it was for my mom and I!)

The Resilient Lady ship in particular is the luxury liner of all luxury only cruises. It creates a voyage defined by intimacy, innovation, (and inclusivity!) that only small ships can provide. It’s one of the most beautiful luxury cruise ships I’ve ever been on.

Set against the backdrop of its port of call in Piraeus (Athens, Greece), the Resilient Lady ventures into remote locations spanning Australia & South Pacific and Europe. My mom and I specifically sailed on the week-long “Greek Glow” sail that took us through picturesque ports like Santorini, Rhodes, Bodrum, and Mykonos. The best part, is that Virgin often runs limited time specials that provide discounts for solo sailers, discounts for sails during select months, and even flight credits on select cruise itineraries.

You can find affordable flights to many of Virgin Voyages’ ports of call using Skyscanner, WayAway, and Expedia.

This sail itinerary is perfect for those wanting to get a taste of the beauty and diversity of the Greek islands without taking multiple flights or breaking the bank planning an extensive trip. One of the great things about these cruises is that everything is pretty much planned for you!

Resilient Lady Greek Glow ship

So first, the Resilient Lady has the capacity to accommodate up to 3000 people. This is more intimate compared to other cruise lines’ that have capacities of 4,000 to 4,500 on average. On the Resilient Lady, you can enjoy an array of options from well-appointed cabins and rockstar suites to exquisite dining at made-to-order eateries and a number of specialty restaurants. We will get to this part later!Every detail on the Resilient Lady contributes to an exceptional journey, ensuring a voyage that is truly unique and unforgettable.

2. A Revolutionary Approach to Luxury Only Cruising

Perhaps the most attractive aspect to a Virgin Voyages cruise, is that every ship is adult-only. You read that right: adult-only! This creates a mature, fun, and relaxed atmosphere on board. This is perfect for bachelor / bachelorette groups, solo trips, girls trips, couples getaways, honeymoons, and I must say, mother-daughter trips! It’s a safe and controlled environment where you can be yourself and enjoy treating yourself at any hour of the day.

Secondly, first-class treatment on-board is not just a promise; it’s a commitment. From the moment my mom and I came on board, the attentive and friendly crew ensured every need was met. And just for the record, we are super laid back and easy to impress by the way. Furthermore, we got to board the ship 2 hours earlier than other passengers as VIP sailors. I’ll explain more on this later, so keep reading!

luxury Virgin Voyages cruise

Virgin’s innovative feature, the Sailor Loot program, allows seamless navigation of the ship. With this Sailor Loot (which is essentially like digital cash), you can book excursions, shop, or purchase specialty beverages and dishes at on-board restaurants and bars. This definitely made my mom and I’s cruise experience more convenient!

Tips and gratuities included in the cruise fare alleviate any concerns about additional expenses. Virgin offer’s flexibility in case plans change, allowing modifications to sail dates or the names on booked voyages and dates of shore excursions. This allowed my mom and I to focus solely truly enjoying our voyage.

3. Child-Free Days at Sea

Jumping on a childless cruise with Virgin Voyages is like unlocking a serene adult paradise.

Just imagine: There are no kiddos in sight. It’s just you, your favorite people, and a ship sailing into the sunset bursting with good vibes.

Virgin Voyages pool deck

Now, don’t get me wrong. A cruise ship can be a great place to take a family vacation. However, sometimes you just need a break from the kiddie pool (especially if you’re single or on a honeymoon). A sail with Virgin Voyages will help you unwind, reconnect, and rediscover yourself in the company of like-minded adults.

You can enjoy vibrant pool deck parties, a casino (open select hours) and intimate gourmet dining experiences without possible disruptions from younger travelers. In the world of luxury cruising, Virgin Voyages’ reigns supreme for those seeking an unparalleled adult-only adventure on the high seas.

4. A Focus on Health & Wellness Among Luxury Only Cruises

One of the many reasons I chose Virgin Voyages is the brand’s premium focus on passenger well-being. In fact, all of their Lady Ships offer a comprehensive array of wellness options that transform cruising into a rejuvenating retreat.

On our first full day at sea, we enjoyed a three hour early morning session at the ship’s Redemption Spa. The wellness center offers a Thermal circuit (jacuzzi and cold plunge), mud room, salt room, sauna, steam room, and heated marble hammam benches.

Resilient Lady Redemption Spa

We watched the sunrise from the spa’s salt room as we pulled into the port in Santorini. It was truly ethereal!

Pro tip: Book the earliest morning session at the spa. This will ensure a less crowded environment and a more intimate and serene experience. Redemption Spa provides towels, lockers, and changing rooms. Read below to learn about the other wellness amenities available on-board the Resilient Lady:

The Aquatic Club

The Aquatic Club provides a sophisticated pool deck. It offers a serene space to detox and unwind after a wild night or busy day of shore excursions. Whether guests prefer lounging in daybeds or taking a refreshing dip, the ocean breeze creates a tranquil ambiance for ultimate relaxation.

Pro tip: use your Sailor Loot on the Virgin Voyages app! Buy a mango smoothie or a fresh pressed carrot-ginger juice from Gym and Tonic — they will bring it right to your lounger!

The Runway

This is Virgin Voyages’ signature running track. It offers an elevated pathway for fitness activities with its Virgin-red hue color and panoramic views of the sea. Here, you can enjoy rejuvenating jogs or leisurely strolls. Anything goes!

The Tune Up

This mini spa offers luxurious manicures and pedicures ranging from organic soaks to decorative nail art. Additionally, guests can access Medi-spa services like Botox, fillers, or IV therapy. This can offset lack of sleep and buzzy beverages from the night before, of course!

Virgin Voyage Cruises Tune Up Salon

After booking a traditional pedicure through the Virgin Voyages app, I experienced ultimate pampering while overlooking the emerald waters of the Aegean Sea. This alone puts Virgin Voyages at the top of my favorite luxury cruise lines!

5. Dynamic Dining Options

Virgin Voyages’ on-board dining options alone set it apart from other luxury-only cruise lines. Long gone are the days of traditional buffets and assigned seating. The Resilient Lady offers 20 different eateries that serve gourmet cuisine featuring flavors from around the world. Some of these include Razzle Dazzle, The Test Kitchen, Gunbae, The Pizza Place, The Galley, Pink Agave, The Dock House, Grounds Bar, The Social Club, and more!

All of the food was phenomenal, but below were my mom and I’s favorite and what we ordered at each:

Extra Virgin

Extra Virgin, the ship’s upscale Italian restaurant, stands as a culinary delight. From handmade pasta to the freshest seafood creations, each dish is a testament to the gourmet dining experience onboard. It was our favorite dining option!

What to order:
– Semolina Fried Calamari
– Braised Mini Meatballs
– Braised Pork Cheek
– Olive Oil Cake

food on Virgin Voyages Cruise

The Wake

The Wake specializes in premium steaks and seafood, offering a sophisticated dining experience against the backdrop of stunning ocean views. This was definitely the most crowded and difficult restaurant to get a reservation at on the ship. However, that was a good thing as it proved the food was phenomenal!

What to Order:
– Clam Chowder
– Filet Mignon
– Pan Roasted Atlantic Salmon
– Creamed Spinach

6. Unique Itineraries and Shore Excursions

Many Virgin Voyages sail itineraries showcase lesser-explored places, allowing passengers to immerse themselves in local cultures and beautiful landscapes. The Greek Glow Cruise on Resilient Lady, for instance, takes you on a journey through the enchanting Greek Isles as well as the West Coast of Turkey, providing the ultimate taste of the island life.

Greek Glow cruise Virgin Voyages

Shore excursions, which are integral to getting the full experience on luxury only cruises, can be booked seamlessly through using Sailor Loot on-board or online. While the exact cost of Shore Excursions varies, it’s advisable to book eligible excursions well in advance to secure a spot on popular tours, especially for small groups. You can also book private tours on select Shore Excursions, though you can expect to pay more money. 

7. Phenomenally Fun Entertainment

Entertainment on board every Virgin Voyages Lady Ship is taken to a whole new level with high-energy nightclub performances, immersive theater experiences, and a variety of engaging events. The Resilient Lady hosts world-class DJs, Broadway-style shows, and late-night live music. There’s never a dull moment!

My mom and I went to the PJ Party adorned in our matching pajama sets, ready to drink champagne, dance under the stars, and snack on popcorn. The next evening, we tried our hand at winning drag BINGO with The Diva (and were unsuccessful), but it was fun all the same! The final night on the ship we attended the acrobatic show, Another Rose, and were more than impressed by the show’s talent.

Resilient Lady Ship Virgin Voyages

An absolute can’t-miss event on any Virgin Voyages cruise is Scarlet Night. Everyone on board dresses up in their brightest red attire to party well into the night. They mix and mingle, dance on the pool deck, drink, enjoy pop-up-circus acts, and party the night way to great music. It’s by far the biggest celebration among luxury only cruises!

8. Superlative Service

We had a great experience with Virgin Voyages staff both on and off the Resilient Lady ship. From communicating with Customer Service, to checking in a port, and finally boarding the ship, staff provided professional service. Many of them went above and beyond when delivering our food, helping us with our luggage, or helping us navigate the ship the first couple of days.

The Virgin Voyages app further streamlines the onboard experience, allowing passengers to book group fitness classes, gain access to Wifi, book shows and other entertainment, and order room service with ease. It was so quick and easy to use that my mom and I ordered in-room dining service for breakfast and dinner in the same dayThe app becomes a personalized concierge, ensuring that everything from dining preferences to excursions is seamlessly integrated into the journey. It’s truly a first-class experience!

The Clew (Conclusion)

There is no question that Virgin Voyages stands as a trailblazer among luxury only cruises. From its adult only approach, to fine dining and entertainment, Virgin Voyages surpasses expectations at every turn.

If you’re seeking a once-in-a-lifetime voyage that blends wellness with adventure and exquisite cuisine, Virgin Voyages is the ultimate choice.

Pro tip: Even though cruise travel is much different than land travel, you’ll still need to book a great travel insurance! While 99 percent of travel goes smoothly, all it takes it the one instance to ruin a perfectly good time — and your wallet. Check out the travel insurance policies from World Nomads and Safety Wing. You’re sure to find something that meets your trip needs.

Virgin Voyages cruise amenities

To book the Greek Glow sail, or to select your own sail itinerary to all corners of the globe, visit their website. You can explore sail dates and itineraries, their full fleet of Lady Ships, and each one’s range of destinations and inclusive amenities. It will leave you feeling on top of the world — literally.

Bon Voyage!

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𝟏𝟎 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐬 + 𝟏𝟎 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 @dominicanrepublic 𝐚𝐬𝐚𝐩!

There are way more than 10 reasons why you should book a flight to the stunning island of the Dominican Republic, but here’s what convinced me:

1. The beaches. The Dominican is known for having some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world! 
2. The hospitality. This goes without explanation, but the locals are so welcoming and truly want you to enjoy their country!
3. The cuisine. Think flavorful dishes like soups, thick stews, desserts, fried chicken, and plenty of fresh fruit 🥭🍍🍌
4. Saona Island Reserve. Waist-deep turquoise waters, gorgeous oceans and beaches, and stunning scenery provide peace and tranquility. 
5. Breathtaking landscapes and national parks.
6. Luxury hotels + resorts. The DR is known for having some of the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the world, especially in and around Punta Cana. I recommend staying at @sunscapecoco which is a @sunscaperesorts property by @hyatt! 
7. Amazing Nightlife + entertainment. The DR is the birthplace of the merengue and bachata after all!
8. The rums. Dominican rums are known for their high quality. They are aged in American oak barrels and then distilled in column stills. The tropical climate also is a huge factor in the maturing process and taste! 
9. The wildlife. Flamingos, cushion starfish, whales, dolphins, lizards, crocodiles, and more than 300 species of birds!
10. Tropical surroundings. The DR is home to the most northern rainforest in the world! 

What would you want to experience first? 🇩🇴

***View my Dominican highlight to see everything I did during my time there with @sunscapecoco and @amstardmc! #UnlimitedFun #SunscapeResorts #WorldofHyatt #AmstarWelcomesYou #DominicanRepublic #puntacana #caribbeantravel
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐢𝐫𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞 👌🏻😮‍💨

The 5-star luxury @sunscapecoco resort in Punta Cana @dominicanrepublic is nothing short of a dream stay. The @hyatt property offers 24 different on-site restaurants and bars My favorites were DaMario’s for Italian cuisine and Blue Water Grill steakhouse!

It also provides 24-hour room service (late night pizza + fries yes please!), a full service spa, daily activities and family-friendly entertainment on-property, six pools, access to a stunning white sand beach, beach lounge chairs and cabanas (for rent), gift shops, a casino (if that’s your thing), and an on-site medical clinic. 

For those visiting with kids, a section of the property contains the Explorer's Club for kids ages 3-12 which offers a large playground, pool, arts and crafts, and movie nights. A kid approved snack + food truck is also nearby.

Want to explore beyond the resort? You can easily book private transport or a tour at the @amstardmc desk in the front lobby or before your arrival.

It really has everything you could want or need! 

What’s a place you keep your phone on airplane mode to truly enjoy the experience? Let me know below!
#UnlmitedFun #SunscapeResorts #SunscapeCoco #DominicanRepublic #Caribbeantraveler #Caribbeantravels
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 ::

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𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

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𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢 𝐆𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐨 @puntacana 𝐃𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 ✨

I had 4 full days to spend in the eastern region of the @dominicanrepublic (which was definitely not enough time to see everything!) but made for a great intro to the DR. 

Here are just a few must-do activities to check out when you visit!

✨ Stay at the newly updated @sunscapecoco by @hyatt. This 5-star all inclusive @sunscaperesorts property offers *24*on-site restaurants, bars, and cafes for unlimited food + drinks. It also has a spa, multiple pools, and beach access.
✨ Visit the Basilica Nuestra Señora De La Altagracia in Higuey. It’s one of the most important religious sites in the country!
✨ Spend a few hours at Playa Macao. It’s a beautiful white sand beach with bright turquoise waters!
✨ Try traditional food such as Dominican fried chicken, Bandera Dominicana (rice, beans, and stewed chicken), and Sancocho (a hearty stew).
✨ Spend a day exploring the islands of Cotubanamá National Park with @amstardmc 🌴 

Do you have plans to visit the @dominicanrepublic soon? You can see more from my time there in my IG stories and my “Dominican” highlight! 
#DominicanRepublic #puntacana #puntacanaexcursions #dominicana #UnlimitedFun #sunscaperesorts #SunscapeCoCo #caribbeantravel #caribbeanvibes #amstarwelcomesyou #dominicanrepublic🇩🇴
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