Inspiration Destinations Australia Why Virgin Voyages is the Perfect Trip for First-Time Cruisers 

Why Virgin Voyages is the Perfect Trip for First-Time Cruisers 

December 4, 2023
The Dock House, aboard Virgin Voyages' cruise ships, is just one reason why these adult-only itineraries are the perfect for first-time cruisers.

Cabins fit for a rockstar, Mad Men-inspired martini bars and floating specialty restaurants with Michelin Star chef-curated menus: Virgin Voyages sails beyond the everyday to provide adults-only experiences that reimagine cruising as you know it.

Departing all year round from Miami and seasonally from Barcelona, Athens, Sydney and Melbourne, each of Virgin Voyages four super yacht-inspired vessels delivers hijinks on the high seas in abundance. Expect unlimited dining across all onboard restaurants, a life-changing spa, DJ sets and absolutely zero children.

It’s a winning combination, and the awards speak for themselves: Condé Nast Traveler honoured Virgin Voyages as its #1 Best Large Cruise Ship line in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2023. The newest addition to Virgin Voyages' fleet, Resilient Lady, has reached Australia’s fair shores for the first time this year and to celebrate her arrival, we've rounded up a few reasons why Virgin Voyages is perfect for first-time cruisers and solo travellers seeking kids-free adventures. Plus, you can hear more about it on our brand-new podcast, Travel in 20.  

The organising is all done for you

From the moment you step foot onboard, every detail of your sailing has been handled. Your luggage is even delivered straight to your cabin! While travel isn’t always easy (especially for a first-time cruiser), Virgin Voyages takes the stress out of planning your itinerary as well as deciphering passport and visa requirements. Forget the small stuff: you’re free to worry about the big decisions, like whether tonight’s vibe is tacos and tequila, arancini and amaretto sours or barbecue and beers (all available, just in case the triple threat is what you're feeling.) 

Then there’s Shore Things, Virgin Voyage’s onbeat and (sometimes) offbeat excursions designed to cater to every traveller, from full-day heritage, art museum and waterfall tours in Tasmania to Caribbean beach club cabana parties. No matter what you're interested in, whether it’s laidback cultural discoveries or high-octane rapid river adventures, Virgin Voyages will take you there. 

It’s an all-inclusive escape  

The Dock House onboard Virgin Voyages.

As a first-time cruiser, you’ve probably heard stories about hidden taxes, pesky disclaimers and awkward designated dining times. Virgin Voyages deftly avoids this issue with all meals across every onboard restaurant included... and there’s not an overcrowded buffet in sight. We’ve selected just a few of our favourites. 

Razzle Dazzle 

It’s all in the name: with an eye-catching, colour-filled design and an all-day offering guaranteed to please, Razzle Dazzle’s got laidback bites covered. Show up in the (late) morning for a long boozy brunch or graze your way through the restaurant’s impressive vegan- and vegetarian-focused plates, including an irresistible ‘impossible’ burger with poblano salsa and fresh avocado.

Pink Agave 

Spicy, salacious and oh-so-shareable – as far as Pink Agave’s concerned, it’s always the perfect time for tacos and tequila, and even better if you bring friends. Sip your way through the world’s largest mezcal collection at sea, hit the classics – guacamole topped with pomegranate, grilled street corn and chocolate-stuffed tamales are all must-orders – and let the good times roll.

Gunbae 

Onboard Korean barbecue restaurant, Gunbae.

Ruled by smoke and fuelled by soju, Gunbae provides a decidedly authentic barbecue that’s difficult to find outside of Korea, let alone on the high seas. Expect traditional drinking games, sizzling meat cuts and crispy fried chicken aplenty. At Gunbae, playing with your food isn’t frowned upon – it’s encouraged.

Extra Virgin 

If your idea of a perfect evening involves a perfectly mixed negroni and a bowl brimming with gnocchi, Extra Virgin’s the place to be. Drawing on flavours from Catania to Como, evenings at this Italian eatery begin with bold antipasti and finish with tableside affogato. It’s authentic Italian served the only way Virgin Voyages knows how: with a heaping of generosity and heart. 

The Wake 

The Wake.

With unbeatable views over the ship’s trail and oodles of old-world chophouse charm, The Wake offers the perfect place to sample the boat’s very finest. Equal parts pared back and decadent, the menu ranges from hamachi crudo – yellowtail sashimi served on a bed of rhubarb, hibiscus and basil – to filet mignon cooked just how you like. Finish with the restaurant’s eponymous signature dish: lashings of decadent chocolate mousse on a bed of shortcrust pastry and topped with caramel and hazelnut.

The Test Kitchen 

Boundary pushers rejoice: The Test Kitchen offers mixological masterclasses and dazzling culinary experiments in form and flavour. Chef-driven tasting menus take familiar concepts to exciting new territories – you’ll feel like you’re in a cooking school, laboratory and avant-garde eatery all at once. 

There’s 24/7 entertainment 

Onboard entertainment.

Virgin Voyages gleefully swaps the classic onboard Broadway production for first-to-sea modern entertainment, with a festival-inspired commitment to luxurious whimsy promising moments of surprise and wonder. Pyjama parties, disco clubs and circus-meets-Shakespeare acts are just the beginning.

The unquestionable highlight of any Virgin Voyage is Scarlet Night, a celebration that transforms the entire ship into a ruby-tinged palace steeped in sea myth and the sensational. Be sure to dress in your finest red – this is one party you won’t want to miss.

The onboard facilities are out of this world 

Voyage Virgin's onboard spa, Redemption.

It begins with unlimited, free-flow non-alcoholic drinks, including still and sparkling water, non-pressed juices, tea and coffee and soft drinks. After something fancier? There are wine, beer and cocktail offerings to suit every budget, from poolside mojitos at The Aquatic Club to imported tap beers and boilermakers at The Draught House. Every bar on board has something worth raving about, like The Dock House’s premium rosé program, matched with and best accompanied by a selection of infinitely grazeable mezze plates. The best part? All tips and service fees are covered.

Virgin Voyages’ fitness game is similarly top-notch, with all gym classes, guided meditation sessions and yoga workshops all included. Never had the chance to run with the sea breeze in your hair? You’ll love the Runway top deck running track, offering spectacular views of the infinite blue beyond from every angle. That’s without even mentioning Redemption, the vessel’s sprawling onboard spa, offering everything from acupuncture to Ayurveda

The cabins are rockstar-worthy 

Sea Terrace.

Even the entry-level staterooms boast countless clever touches, including unlimited free Wi-Fi, eco-friendly flourishes and mood lighting. If you’re a land-only traveller accustomed to a certain level of luxe, it’s the Rockstar Quarters that demand your attention. Offering marble-clad bathrooms, a bottomless in-room bar, a private terrace and exclusive access to the ship’s best bits – including the suite-only lounge, Richard’s Rooftop – it’s undeniably one of the finest cruise suites in the world.

Featured image: courtesy of Virgin Voyages.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out Red Alert! 5 Things to Know About Virgin Voyages.

About Nate Robinson
Mad for travel and an incorrigible foodie, Nate is as at home in a Mexican taqueria as he is at Tsukiji. When he's not abroad, you can always find Nate with a book in one hand and a tiki cocktail in the other.

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