A Travellerspoint blog

Royal Clipper


sunny 85 °F

Today my brother and I flew Bridgetown Barbados to join Star Clippers Royal Clipper tomorrow. It was a challenge to get into the country. With a 72 hour window for results and the surge of Covid tests happening, we both had to schedule 2 PCR tests in successive days to meet the requirements: One to get into Barbados and one to get on the ship. Although I had taken the correct PCR test for entry, the wording on my document was not correct and they required me to take another PCR test. Although I was able to obtain a test result with the correct wording, the gate guards would not let me correct my mistake. As a result we could not leave our hotel room the first night - not a big deal, as we had both arisen very early for our flight. They promise the result in less than 24 hours.

We checked out of the hotel at Noon and took a taxi for the short ride to the cruise terminal. We still had not received our Covid tests. There were three ships along side - Royal Caribbean, P&O and Royal Clipper and one other ship anchored out.
The check in process was slow but efficient. They checked our paperwork, then gave us an Antigen test, and if we were negative, we were allowed to go aboard. The professed embarkation at 3:00pm and that is when the first folks boarded. We were on board by 3:00pm.

Once boarded, we got our room key and registered our credit card. Our bags were waiting for us by our room.

By the way, our Covid results showed up in 23 and one-half hours......

Dinner was great and we will eat at the same table for the entire voyage for Covid safety. Our table mates are great - a retired London Police Chief and Intelligence officer and his wife, and a London Financial Advisor and his wife. The majority of passengers seem to be from the UK.

At 10:00pm we hoisted the sails and headed to sea for our overnight sail.


Posted by rpickett 16:09 Archived in Barbados Tagged bridgetown Comments (0)

Virgin Voyages

Photo Album

sunny 80 °F

Here is the link to my photo album of the cruise aboard Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

Although not for everybody because it is somewhat non-traditional - it is a great way to enjoy a cruise.

Click Scarlet Lady

Posted by rpickett 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged lady scarlet Comments (0)

Virgin Voyages

Bimini Beach Club

sunny 80 °F

Our final stop on the last day was at Bimini, where the cruise line uses the Bimini Beach Club beach facility. Great Beach, great pools, lots of covered and sunny seating and cabana's if you want to rent them. You take a tram from the pier to the beach club - only a few minutes - and it worked out without a problem. They serve lunch there also - not the typical fare - I had chicken curry with black beans a rice. It was sort of nice to no have hotdogs and hamburgers. All in all it was a great relaxing day.


Posted by rpickett 22:09 Archived in Bahamas Comments (1)

Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady

sunny 80 °F

This was our second sea day as we made our way to the Bimini Beach Club on Bimini. We spent the day relaxing (again) and did some shopping.

Virgin Voyages is not for everybody - especially if you like structure, more formal activities and to be inundated with information. There is no cruise director and no announcements are made ship wide - sort of refreshing. There is a lot going on, but you have the either use the app or look at the story boards placed near the elevator to find out the schedule. If you are not app friendly, this may not be the right cruise.

In The Galley - the closest thing to the Lido on board, you can browse the stations or simply scan the QR code on your table and order whatever you want from the menu that pops up. The servers will bring you your order in a few minutes. In the other restaurants you also scan the QR code for the menu, but in all the restaurants, they have hard copies if desired.

There is no paper on board. All info is promulgated through your app. All transactions are made with your wrist band. The system worked good...but you have to know how to use it. If you just show up at the main specialty restaurants without a reservation, you may be disappointed. This happened to a foursome last night at the steak house, and one of the group said he preferred the fixed dining time. But not to worry, there are many less formal dining options available (taco, pizza, burger, all day breakfast, bento box, noodle shop) and one of the other specialty restaurants was likely available. They do allow you to reserve each specialty restaurant (no additional charge for specialty restaurants) - Vegetarian, Korean BBQ, Italian, Test Kitchen, Mexican and Steak House, but only once during your cruise. I booked our reservations when they opened up two weeks prior to the cruise.

All non-alcoholic drinks are included and the only extra charge I saw on board for was for specialty coffee in the coffee shops. The booze prices are very reasonable, and their bar selection was probably the best I have seen at sea, and even the very top shelf booze was reasonably priced.

One of the busiest places on board was the Squid Ink Tattoo shop. They have three tattoo artists and a reservation requires a $150 non-refundable deposit.

The crew is very happy. We talked to several servers who have worked multiple contracts with other cruise lines, and they like Virgin the best
because of the pay and the crew amenities on board. You could see it in their faces and attitude.


Posted by rpickett 22:08 Tagged lady scarlet Comments (0)

Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady

sunny 81 °F

We arrived at our only real port of call - Cozumel - and would be here until a midnight sailing. We parked at the downtown pier along with Disney Fantasy, which made it easy to explore the city, which is a taxi ride away from the other 'big ship' pier. Cozumel was alive, bustling and everything 'Mexican'. We wandered the streets to my favorite store, Los Cinco Sol where we had some beer and nacho's at Cozumel's top restaurant - Pancho's Backyard - which is in the courtyard of the store . After some shopping we headed back to the ship and watched the sunset.


For dinner tonight, we booked at the upscale, modern "Test Kitchen" where they serve six courses - mushroom, egg, scallop, beef, blue cheese and chocolate. I chose to add the six flight wine pairing to the meal for an extra $35. The only choice you make is for your protein, whether you want venison or beef. I chose the Venison. The whole experience was wonderful, with the same impeccable service that we have experienced throughout the ship.
After dinner we stopped by to hear a set of the Slam Allen Blues Band, which had the audience rocking.


Posted by rpickett 15:27 Archived in Mexico Tagged cozumel Comments (0)

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