What Makes Virgin Voyages Stand Out From Other Cruise Lines

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Virgin Voyages is different from other cruise lines. What makes them stand out from the rest? 

We recently sailed on Virgin Voyages for the first time on the Scarlet Lady. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous. I’m introverted, like to chill, and am not a party person. I quickly learned that Virgin Voyages welcomes everyone to be themselves, and you can enjoy and go at your own pace on their cruise.

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So much more sets Virgin Voyages apart. Being an adults-only cruise line is a big part of that. We gathered what we think are the top differences so you can decide if you want to sail the Virgin Way.

Have you sailed on Virgin Voyages before? Let us know in the comments if you agree and what else makes this cruise line stand out.

The hammocks

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Before we go deeper into this list, we’ve got to talk about the hammocks. The red hammocks in the Sea Terraces are one of Virgin’s signature fixtures on their ships. They are incredibly comfortable and relaxing and were a big reason I wanted to book a Virgin cruise.

Other cruise lines do not have hammocks on their cabin balconies. And they truly missed the boat on this one.

No screaming kids and their enabling parents

Let’s play a game: spot the child.

That’s right. It’s an adult-only cruise line, and it doesn’t cost excessive money to experience. The experience vastly differs from sailing with kids or little to no kids. Jacuzzi’s are full of adults. Pool decks aren’t overrun by screaming kids. Parents aren’t making excuses for their children and letting them off the leash to do what they want. Let’s be real… sometimes, the real problem is the parents.

I don’t hate kids. I have nieces and nephews that I love and will be cruising with soon. But there is a time and a cruise line for a family cruise, and it’s not on Virgin.

It’s nice to have some adult time. Our Virgin cruise had a chill yet cheeky vibe, and I liked it.

No nickel and diming

You get what you pay for. There are no surprise charges when sailing on Virgin Voyages. From the moment you step aboard, essentials like sodas and basic Wi-Fi are all part of the deal, included in your cruise fare. Fancy an internet upgrade? Premium Wi-Fi is available, but that’s entirely up to you. When did you last hear “basic Wi-Fi included” on a cruise?

Going on a cruise sometimes feels like a constant upsell, from soda packages to specialty dining packages sold before you even set sail. Virgin Voyages charts a different course. Here, every meal is in the house. Granted, if you decide to splurge on a seafood tower at The Wake, that’s extra, but we’d say that is fair. With the feast you’re getting everywhere else, it hardly stings.

While other lines seem to charge extra for every turn, Virgin keeps it simple and straightforward. Is there pressure to spend more to enhance your vacation? No. Even the arcade games don’t ask you for a quarter.

Note: Specialty coffees and alcohol are not included. This is fair because not everyone wants a latte every day and drinks alcohol.

Virgin’s welcoming vibe, “Be you, Do you,” is genuine

While I’m not saying you can’t be yourself on other cruise lines, Virgin has created an environment that makes everyone comfortable. They’ve nailed this welcoming atmosphere where being you feels accepted and celebrated. It’s all about that “Be You, Do You” mantra they live by, and it shows. It feels like Virgin’s saying, “Hey, come as you are, and let’s enjoy the ride together.” While you should strive to be yourself everywhere, Virgin makes it effortlessly cool and genuine. They’ve created this space where everyone’s invited to the party, no exceptions. This includes no strict dress codes.

We love the inclusivity.

Wave goodbye to buffet lines and stuffy main dining rooms

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Virgin’s flipping the script on cruise dining. No more elbowing through buffet lines or sitting in those formal dining rooms. Instead, we’ve got The Galley – think foodie heaven meets casual hangout spot like those food halls now popping up in major cities with an array of different eats from Ramen to a 24-hour American diner. Then, there are the sit-down restaurants, each offering a different theme and menu. We loved that they even had Korean BBQ on the ship, one of our favorite meals on land. Other casual eats like the Pizzeria make fresh pies throughout the day until late at night.

Plus, the food is some of the best we’ve eaten on a cruise. The best part is that it’s ALL included.

A playground for the young at heart


On Virgin Voyages, age is just a number (though you’ve got to be 18 to come aboard). Picture this: one moment, you’re sharing a laugh with a young couple, and the next, you’re admiring a pair of seasoned sailors owning the dance floor during Scarlet Night, their zest for life infectious. In moments like these, I think, “That’s the energy I want when I grow up.”

Everything on the ships is tailored for the young at heart, kicking off with their legendary themed parties like the Pajama Party and Scarlet Night. At The Social Club, board games await those ready for playful competition. The Groupie offers karaoke rooms for those eager to belt out their favorite tunes. And for a dash of nostalgia, the arcade games invite you to challenge your reflexes and relive the glory days. The entertainment and shows onboard are modern and sometimes cheeky. The Happenings cast is there to help keep you on your toes and ready to have some fun.

Fun is the main agenda, and every day is an invitation to play.

You’re treated as adults

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While Virgin may cater to the young at heart, there is also an undeniably mature vibe. The first clue? The undeniable absence of a cruise director at our ear every moment of the day, trying to remind us where to go or what to do. Instead of being herded from one activity to the next, you’re treated like the adult you are, with the freedom to craft your own adventure. Updates and options are at your fingertips through an app, allowing you to tailor your day exactly how you like it without all the annoying PA announcements.

 It’s about choosing your moments, whether diving into the lively atmosphere when the mood strikes or opting for something more subdued without feeling missing out.

Virgin’s vibe? Your vibe…

You can customize your trip. Do you want the solitude of the spa? You can be that person by the pool with a book, or you can be that person partying it up until you greet the sunrise. You can spend it in the gym and take advantage of their free fitness classes. Your daily routine has a wide spectrum of choices, and you can spend your days how you want.

Virgin’s got a green heart, and we appreciate it

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Virgin’s got a green heart. Sure, the big players in the cruise world are all trying to step up their eco-friendly game, but Virgin Voyages? They’ve stepped it up. Ditching bottled water is a game-changer for us as thirsty passengers and Mother Earth. Instead, water pitchers (still and/or sparking) are refilled daily, water stations are available throughout the ships, and sparking water is readily available. They encourage you to bring your refillable water bottle.

It’s a non-traditional style of cruising, and it may not be everyone’s cup of tea

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Virgin Voyages is doing its own thing, and it’s not for everyone. Think of it as the cruise line that decided to throw the rulebook overboard. They’ve mixed up a fun, fresh, and a bit cheeky vibe, which might take a minute to get used to if you’re a Virgin newbie. You’ll either love what Richard Branson has done, or it won’t be your cup of tea—simple as that.

Think of it not as a cruise but as a massive yacht. It’s all about that chill yet luxe life where you’re relaxing or living it up with foodie eats, great music, and a vibe where you plan to enjoy the moment as you see fit.

Is Virgin Voyages worth it?

Virgin Voyages is worth cruising on! Its adult-only aspect alone makes it tempting to book. The food, entertainment, and value of everything included make it worth it.

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Kathy Ava

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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