Virgin’s first cruise ship boasts a drag brunch, sex workshop and tattoo parlour

Cruises have been off-the-market for the last year or so due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now some travel companies are tentatively beginning to allow guests to sail the high seas once more.

However, if you were looking for a relaxing trip around the Med or a family friendly week in the sun then this ship is not the one for you.

The Scarlet Lady is the first ship by Virgin Voyages – the company owned by Richard Branson – and it’s cruise includes sex workshops, tattoo parlours and raunchy themed events.

The luxury cruise shop sails from homeports in San Juan and Miami – and the ship has a unique approach to holidays.

A number of different events are in place around the summer season including Never Sleep Alone – this sex and relationship workshop is crossed with a playful late-night cabaret which “puts you at the helm of your sexual destiny”.

The show is produced by the ship’s “resident sexologist” and includes whip demonstrations, oral sex techniques to try and if you join in with the show you might even win some free champagne.

According to the Metro: “Carnival masks and condoms are distributed to the audience, waiters are delivering colourful cocktails, and despite it being just two o’clock in the afternoon, the overall mood can only be described as slightly delirious.”

Other shows include Duel Reality – a circus re-telling of Romeo and Juliet – and Phantom Folktales – a collection of “song driven micro-plays and ethereal moments that happen throughout the ship that seemingly appear out of thin air”.

There’s also Scarlet Night, produced by Randy Weiner, where for one night the entire ship is transformed into “a menagerie of delights and euphoric exaltation” – and all guests must wear red!

And, that’s not to mention Untitled DancePartyShowThing which is launching in the Autumn and combines a club with an “absurdist dance party”.

Other levels on the ship include The Manor nightclub which spans over two storeys and three bars.

Plus, there’s a vinyl record shop, private karaoke, a casino and an arcade.

Fancy packing some wellness into your trip? Head to the yoga studio to realign your chakras, the Redemption Spa for some pampering, the salon or barbers or even the athletic club to work off the results of the evening before!

There’s also a jogging track running around the ship for those who like to stay in shape and the Gym & Tonic juice bar for a morning refreshment.

Oh, and did we mention Squid Ink – the on-board tattoo parlour for guests who want to immortalise their trip in body art?

And, foodies won’t feel left out on the Scarlett Lady as there are 20 bars and restaurants scattered around the ship’s 17 decks.

One even throws an amusing drag brunch while others offer Michelin-starred dinners and late night bites.

World-class chefs like Brad Farmerie (of PUBLIC in NYC) and Sohui Kim (of The Good Fork and Insa in NYC) are a few of the names behind the menus and Virgin promises that there are no buffets or generic dining halls.

The Wake offers steak and seafood while Pink Agave is the go-to for when you crave Mexican food.

Plus, there’s Korean BBQ at Gunbae, veggie delights at Razzle Dazzle and there’s even an experimental eatery at The Test Kitchen.

You can also chow down on ice cream, mezzo, Mediterranean food, Italian dishes including pizza, Hawaiian poke bowls, Ramen, Bento boxes, sweet treats, American Diner food, pastries and toasties.

So, even the fussiest eater will find something totally delicious to tuck into.

The ship is an adults-only cruise which looks to be geared towards a younger Millennial and Gen Z crowd – and all food, tips, basic booze, group workouts and wi-fi are included in the ticket price.

Even the staff uniforms are designed by avant-garde fashion star Gareth Pugh.

Scarlet Lady was set to go on her maiden voyage in the Caribbean in 2020, but the pandemic pushed this back and the ship won’t leave for Miami until October.

Until then, the cruise has been sailing along the South Coast of England from Portsmouth.

Four-night Caribbean cruises from Miami in October start from £485pp, excluding flights.

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