When Virgin Voyages’ first ship, the Scarlet Lady, debuted in 2020, the design of the cabins left quite a bit to be desired. For a cruise line that positioned itself as “premium,” the cabins were a bit stark and lacked a premium feel. Most cabins looked like an Apple store met an Ikea. In addition, the modern design didn’t leave much room for storage space with few closets and drawers.
A design overhaul after six months?
In an almost unheard-of move, Virgin Voyages announced that it’s changing the decor of the staterooms on the Scarlet Lady. The ship hasn’t even been in service for six months, yet it has had a significant overhaul. To be fair, the ship was completed in 2020 and sat around unused for a year during the shutdown, but it’s still very early for such a widescale upgrade. The ship has already had half of the staterooms upgraded, with the remainder to be completed soon.
What’s changed in the cabins?
The cabins will have a much warmer feel with natural wood slat installed as an accent wall. Over the bed, a wood finish is applied to the beam and across the room. These subtle changes make a huge difference, warming the space considerably and making it feel much homier. The cabins also pick up some much-needed storage space.
What’s stayed the same?
The cabins keep some features that people love, like the dynamic mood lighting that can be adjusted with an in-room tablet.
One part that it’s surprising they didn’t revamp was the bed layout. The cabins on the Scarlet Lady don’t have a couch; instead, they have a bed that can be converted from a king-size bed to a couch and single bed. Virgin Voyages originally planned to have room stewards, or what they call “cabin hosts,” change the configuration from a bed to couch in the morning and change it back in the evening. Once the ship launched, it was clear many passengers didn’t see the benefit of this service. The switch is no longer automatic, and instead, guests can request it using the tablet in the cabin.
The lack of a couch is ok for many, but this layout is odd when the room is set up as two beds. The beds are put into an L-configuration with two people’s heads right next to each other. It’s a little odd but not a deal-breaker for many.
A Move In The Right Direction
Virgin Voyages is a new cruise line that launched at the worst possible time during the first global shutdown of the cruise industry. Once they got up and running, they quickly started taking note of a guest’s comments. While they set out to change the industry with new and innovative things, it’s clear not everything worked. This change shows that Virgin Voyages is aware of its shortcomings and looking for new solutions. Not only will their next ship, the Valiant Lady, feature this new design, but to go back and revamp an already new ship is an impressive way to enhance the guest experience.
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