I’m back with another Virgin Voyages review, this time focusing on Virgin Caribbean cruises!
Before we get into all the details, you should know that Virgin is sharing their richest offer of the season: Voyages throughout the end of April 2023 in the Caribbean will receive 60% off their second sailor and $200 of sailor loot (onboard credit to use on spa services or shore excursions). Ship, ship, hooray!
I took my first-ever cruise last year when we went on Virgin’s French Daze Ibiza Nights cruise, and it was absolutely epic. I never thought I’d be a cruise person but Virgin has definitely turned me into one.
After going on our Mediterranean cruise last year (you can read my Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady review here), I couldn’t wait to go on another one. I think I’m addicted.
For the Med cruise, Omied and I went just the two of us and we had an amazing time. But I was definitely left thinking about how Virgin Voyages cruises would also be perfect and so much fun for group travel.
Fast forward a few months, and The Babes got to go on a Caribbean cruise with Virgin and bring our men! What a dream.
Most of us hadn’t met each other’s partners before and of course, the guys hadn’t met each other, but once we were all on board, we had SUCH a fun time.
There were ten of us in total so we were rolling pretty deep. A Virgin Voyages cruise is ideal for group travel because you can easily do things together like dining, excursions, or hanging out by the pool. Or, you can do your own thing during the day and then meet up for drinks (ideally at Richard’s Roofdeck if you’re a Rockstar) and dinner in the evening.
I’m telling you, ideal.
Plus, Virgin knows how to throw a party.
I was also wondering if after doing a European cruise I might feel a bit…idk, underwhelmed by a Caribbean cruise. Not so. There are so many great itineraries and destinations worth stopping at and especially if you like diving, you’ll have a blast in the Caribbean!
Shop outfits from the cruise:
So let’s get into more deets on our Virgin Caribbean cruise and what to know before you go to make the most of your trip if you’re hopping on a Virgin Voyages ship soon too!
Virgin Caribbean Cruises: All the Deets
Virgin Caribbean Cruises Itineraries
Of course, no Caribbean cruise would be complete without the chance to explore the beautiful ports of call. Virgin Voyages’ itineraries include stops at destinations in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands. Passengers can participate in a variety of shore excursions, from snorkeling and scuba diving to cultural tours and beach activities.
Virgin has several different Caribbean cruise options. We did the Western Caribbean Charm. Here’s a quick rundown of all the Caribbean sailings:
5 nights: Miami • Puerto Plata • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami
Western Caribbean Charm
6 nights: Miami • Roatán • Costa Maya • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami
Eastern Caribbean Antilles
8 nights: Miami • Puerto Plata • San Juan • St. Croix • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami
5 nights: Miami • Cozumel – Playa del Carmen • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami
Fire & Sunset Soirées
4 nights: Miami • Key West • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami
5 nights: Miami • Costa Maya • Beach Club at Bimini • Miami
After going through all of the Virgin Caribbean cruises and options, we picked Western Caribbean Charm because it included Mexico, Honduras, and the Bahamas so we’d get plenty of variety, and it sounded like the perfect amount of time to be out at sea. Eastern Caribbean Antilles also sounded appealing with so many different destinations, but 8 nights at sea felt like a lot and a smidge too many days.
If you’re worried about safety in Honduras, Roatan is an island off of Honduras and our guide told us that the island has a low crime rate because offenders are shipped back to the mainland. However, we did hear from others that the island has a trafficking problem, so as with any foreign country keep your wits about you. We felt safe the entire time with our excursion group.
Virgin’s Caribbean cruises depart from the Miami cruise port. Flying into MIA would def be the most convenient, but flights were super expensive coming from California and Fort Lauderdale airport is another option to look into.
We ended up flying into FLL and taking an Uber into Miami which took about 50 minutes. This ended up saving us a few hundred dollars, so it was definitely worth it.
When we flew back to California, we flew out of MIA and honestly I wished we’d just trekked back up to FLL. The MIA airport is a sh*tshow and our flight was a few hours delayed due to something security-related that was happening at the airport. They wouldn’t tell anyone what was going on but it resulted in the tram being shut down and entire portions of the airport being closed off, so people couldn’t get to their gates. It was madness.
I overheard a local saying he usually tries to fly out of FLL even though it’s further because something like this is always happening at FLL…lesson learned!
Also, Miami has Alto which is like a much nicer version of Uber! The cars are spacious and there’s plenty of room for luggage. Download the app for a free trial & use code WTFAB for $20 off your first 2 rides.
Know Before You Go
One of the nicest things about Virgin Voyages is that the price of your cabin includes all of your meals onboard, shows, wifi (albeit, slow wifi), soft drinks and drip coffee, and gratuities.
Once you’re on the ship, your wristband functions as your room key as well as your credit card, so you don’t have to worry about bringing a purse or wallet with you.
When you purchase cocktails or premium coffee drinks like a latte, your server will just scan your wristband.
Oftentimes Virgin will have promos going on in the app where if you buy a bar tab ahead of time, you can an extra $100 credit on top of that. If you’ll be drinking it’s definitely worth it to do that beforehand.
There’s about a $3,500 difference between the Sea Terrace and Rockstar suite, so a pretty big jump. If you’re thinking of making the leap, here’s what you can expect that’s included in RockStar Status.
Some of the key benefits of RockStar status include priority boarding, meaning that guests can avoid long lines and enjoy a smooth and hassle-free experience.
RockStar guests also enjoy a range of upgraded amenities and services. This includes access to exclusive areas of the ship, such as the Richard’s Rooftop, a private outdoor lounge area reserved exclusively for RockStar guests. This area features stunning views of the ocean and provides a serene and exclusive space to relax and unwind, with free champagne happy hour every evening.
RockStar guests also get larger rooms and suites, which are some of the most exclusive and extravagant accommodations at sea. These suites feature a range of high-end amenities, including a large private balcony with stunning ocean views and much larger bathrooms than regular rooms.
Other benefits of RockStar status include priority access to dining reservations and a dedicated concierge service to assist with any requests or needs like making reservations for dining and excursions at the beginning of your voyage.
At the Beach Club in Bimini, RockStars have access to an area just for them, so you won’t have to worry about finding a comfortable spot to enjoy your beach day.
Overall, RockStar status onboard Virgin Voyages provides guests with a truly luxurious and exclusive experience. From upgraded amenities and services to exclusive events and experiences, this status is designed to provide guests with the ultimate VIP experience at sea.
Shore Things (Excursions)
Virgin Voyages offers a range of shore excursions for guests to experience during their Caribbean cruise. These excursions, known as “Shore Things.”
Some of the most popular Shore Things excursions in the Caribbean include:
1. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The Caribbean is known for its stunning coral reefs and marine life, and guests can explore these natural wonders on a guided snorkeling or scuba diving excursion. These excursions are led by experienced guides and offer a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the underwater world.
2. Cultural Tours: For those interested in learning about the history and culture of the Caribbean, there are a range of cultural tours available. These tours provide guests with the opportunity to visit historic sites, museums, and cultural landmarks, and to learn about the unique customs and traditions of each island.
3. Beach Activities: With its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, the Caribbean is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Virgin Voyages offers a range of beach activities, including beach parties, water sports, and beach yoga classes.
4. Adventure Sports: For those seeking a thrill, there are a range of adventure sports available, including zip-lining, rock climbing, and ATV tours. These excursions provide an adrenaline rush and a unique way to experience the natural beauty of the Caribbean.
5. Food and Drink Tours: The Caribbean is known for its delicious cuisine, and guests can sample some of the region’s best food and drink on a food and drink tour. These tours provide guests with the opportunity to taste local specialties, such as jerk chicken and rum punch, and to learn about the region’s culinary traditions.
We’ve had mixed experiences with Shore Things. As I wrote about in my Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady review post, I wouldn’t recommend booking Shore things for the Mediterranean cruise because they were things that would be easy to book yourself (and way cheaper if you did so).
On our Caribbean cruise, we had some winners and some busts. Here’s what we booked and my thoughts:
First of all, the port here is an absolute sh!t show. It’s jam-packed with tourists, super hokey, and it’s like a maze to try to get out of. At one point I looked at Omied and said, “Get me the eff out of here!”
We did the snorkeling at all three of our stops because Omied and I love diving, and the snorkeling in Costa Maya was our least favorite by far. We booked the Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkel Tour and the area that they took us out to for snorkeling was just ok.
There was some really pretty fan coral and huge brain coral which was fun to see, but hardly any fish. There was also a ton of plastic in the water, which was pretty upsetting.
We were really excited to snorkel here because it’s part of the Mesoamerican Reef, and I’m sure there are other parts of the reef along Mexico that are absolutely epic to dive in—this just wasn’t it.
For this port, if you’re going to book an excursion I would say do something else like the kayaking one or one of the ruins tours.
Or, skip booking an excursion altogether and just take a cab into town and grab tacos at Cameroncito Caribeño (this was a rec from our guide on the snorkel trip and we had some delish fish tacos here!) and then walk over to the beach and hang out at one of the many beach clubs (we went to Yaya).
If you’re on one of the other cruise itineraries that stops in Cozumel, be sure to check out this Cozumel travel guide.
In Roatan, our group booked the Jungle ATV and Beach Escape—and this tour went from one of the worst to the absolute best, just by chance. Here’s what happened.
The ATV tour was a bust. I know we look cute in the pics but I’m just tellin’ it like it is.
We all thought we’d have a little free reign to ride the ATVs around a bit and actually go fast. But it ended up being a bumper-to-bumper situation along a trail where we followed a guide and had to keep stopping and slowing down to keep enough distance between ourselves.
At one point the guide even had us going around in a circle like 10 times just to keep us busy. We were so bored.
After the ATV tour, we were taken to the beach. The beach club was fine and we were going to hang out, grab a bite and a drink, and relax. But I got to chatting with someone who worked there and I asked about renting snorkel gear and if there was any decent snorkeling right off the beach.
He said that you needed to rent a boat to go out just five minutes off the beach, and then you’d be able to see an incredible reef. He kindly called some guys he knew with a boat to see if we could hire them out for a quick snorkel trip, and they made it happen!
Omied and I were absolutely blown away by what we saw. I’ve been diving all over the world—Hawaii, The Great Barrier Reef, The Maldives, Fiji, The Bahamas—and I’ve NEVER seen a reef so beautiful and diverse. We were in awe.
You can see what the reef looked like in this IG Reel:
We only had 30 minutes out there before we had to go back in time to get back on the ship, but we felt so lucky that we were able to get a peek at how incredible Honduras’ reef is and it made us want to come back to Roatan some day to do more snorkeling.
So all that to say, skip the ATV tour and if you’re into snorkeling, book one of those excursions!
Also, the view of the reef from the ship was incredible…
In Bimini we booked the Sapona Shipwreck Swim and Snorkel excursion and we had a great time. The shipwreck is really cool to snorkel in and you can swim through the actual ship.
The ship has created an artificial reef and there were lots of fish to see. We also spotted some sting rays.
I was dying to do the Hammerhead Shark Dive, but it’s a scuba dive, and Omied and I aren’t certified (yet!). If you’re adventurous, please do this one for me and let me know how it is, k?
Looking at the website, it looks like they now have a Dolphin Safari where they go out and try to find dolphins and let you swim with them. If you’re lucky enough to get to find them and to do that, it’d be magical!
Bimini also of course has the Beach Club at Bimini, so our idea was to do the 2.5-hour snorkel trip and then relax at the Beach Club. Our plans got a bit ruined by the weather—it was cold and drizzly so we high-tailed it back to the ship and opted for champagne in the hot tub. But on a nice day, I could see the Beach Club being so fun.
The food and drinks onboard the Virgin Voyages ships are lit.
The restaurant options onboard Virgin Voyages are a standout feature of this cruise line. The cruise ship has a variety of restaurants, from upscale fine dining to more casual options, all included in the price of the cruise.
The food program and menus have been designed by renowned Michelin-star chefs, and the menus feature a range of international cuisines, as well as vegan and vegetarian options.
I won’t go into all the deets on the restaurants and my favs in this post because you can find all that info in my Valiant Lady review post—the restaurants on the Scarlet Lady are the exact same.
Just know you’ll never go hungry on any Virgin cruises.
Like I mentioned, Virgin knows how to throw a party, and the most fun night on the ship is Scarlet Night! Everyone wears red so don’t forget to pack a red outfit.
How handsome are all our men in their red blazers?? And how fire are all my Babes?
Shop our Scarlet Night red outfits:
Taking a shot and then jumping in the pool on Scarlet Night is my favorite. We all danced our faces off and had the best time! Sadly they no longer let you jump in the pool from the edge (I’m sure that was a hazard), but you can still jump in from the steps.
And I highly recommend you do, because when’s the next time you’ll have the opportunity to jump in and dance in a pool fully clothed without a care in the world??
We also noticed that there weren’t quite as many show options on the Caribbean cruise as there were on the Mediterranean, but we were still plenty entertained. Don’t miss Duel Reality!
Besides the parties and shows, you’ve also got two pool areas, an arcade room, tarot card reading, pajama parties, drag shows, trivia nights, bar crawls, and more—you’ll never get bored.
Wellness: Gym & Spa
I did not hit the gym once during our Caribbean cruise, but I did make it there during the Med cruise. They offer group classes as well as a very well-stocked gym.
The spa is lovely and features several different sauna and steam rooms, cold plunge pools, a hot tub, and a mud room. It’s the perfect way to detox after Scarlet Night.
The massages and treatments are pretty pricey but you can also just book a few hours to enjoy the spa facilities for a much more affordable price. Just make sure to stop by the spa beforehand to reserve your time slot.
That’s the scoop on Virgin Caribbean cruises! Like I said I’m addicted and I’m now eyeing the Brilliant Lady or Resilient Lady cruise ships for another epic trip. I think the Greek Island Glow is at the top of my list!
Remember to use this link to get 60% off your second sailor and $200 of onboard credit!
Wednesday 12th of April 2023
I've been telling my friends Virgin Voyages would be perfect for a group couples trip!! Sending them your post to convince them so we can gooo ;)