I’ve started thinking about packing for my cruise with Virgin Voyages. We leave for Miami in three days and set sail in four. And yet I still can't decide one all-important issue...whether or not to pack my workout clothes. I go about 50/50 on packing that stuff for cruises but lately it seems like when I do pack it I'm going "O-fer" for when it comes to actually using it. So what makes me think this cruise could be different? Is it the boxing ring and punching bag on Scarlet Lady? I don’t think so…I’ve never done that sort of workout in my life. It would be just my luck the punching bag would end up punching back!
One thing that has me thinking a bit is that Scarlet Lady is an adults only ship, and she was designed from the keel up to be an adults only ship. Which means Virgin Voyages was able to repurpose all that deck space other ships dedicate to kids’ programming areas to provide adult fun. On paper, Virgin seems to have made good use of much of that space with expanded fitness facilities. But will it get people into the gym or will it end up as underutilized space? In other words, will there be enough on Scarlet Lady to motivate me to pull the workout clothes out of my suitcase, put them on this tired old Grandad bod and actually make it to the gym for a workout?
By now you should know Virgin marches to the beat of their own drummer when it comes to cruising, and their fitness program is no exception. They’ve taken full advantage of the extra deck space they had to work with and augmented the traditional fitness center with novel areas like The Athletic Club. Virgin describes it as an area inspired by NYC’s sports clubs of the 1920s, and in that spirit the boxing ring and punching bag make sense.
Scarlet Lady offers much for the devoted fitness fanatic, but she also offers some interesting options to entice people who haven’t seen the inside of a gym since grade school. From bungee classes that promise workouts in a simulated weightless environment to MyBeast, a Miami Beach inspired outdoor workout circuit that was installed on Scarlet Lady’s pool deck, there are options. One of the more novel concepts Virgin employs on their cruise ships is that all of the group fitness classes are complimentary. And for those addicted to spin classes there is no limit to the number of classes you can take. Scarlet Lady’s fitness program offers group classes at all levels from beginner through advanced. That bungee class sounds interesting...it just might be enough to get me to pack the gym clothes. Still thinking on it.
With all the attention on fitness I would be remiss if I didn’t note that Scarlet Lady’s fitness program is actually just part of an overall Wellness program. Though Virgin leads with Wellness when they talk about their fitness program, I chose not to because from what I can see it is still subordinate. Yes, there is deck space set aside for Yoga classes and meditation, you can get a massage in the spa that is either delightfully tingly or torturously painful depending on your preference, and of course you can get a healthy green smoothie in the cleverly name "Gym and Tonic" bar which is located in the middle of all the fitness areas on the pool deck. But in terms of square footage of deck space, fitness is still the majority shareholder on Scarlet Lady.
I can see where fitness fanatics will love a voyage on Scarlet Lady. The question is, will there be enough to entice regular people with Grandad bods like me to hit the gym? And if we try it once, will we return or will we be headed straight to the medical center? I guess the only way I’ll know is if I pack the workout clothes. I’ll let you know what I decide!
(Originally posted on 7 Oct 2021)