I cruised Valiant and Scarlet Lady – How do they compare?

Comparing Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady: Cruise Differences.

I cruised on Scarlet Lady in August 2021 and Valiant Lady in March 2022.  While these Virgin Voyages ships may seem almost identical, there are subtle differences that I observed during my 3-night voyages on each. Let’s dive into these distinctions.
I cruised on Scarlet Lady out of Portsmouth in August 2021 and I cruised on Valiant Lady in March 2022.  Here are the differences between the ships.  Pretty much these ships are identical, if you partied hard enough you would swear you were on the same ship but here are some subtle differences that I noticed during my 3-night cruise on each ship.

Scarlet Lady.

Virgin Voyages Cabins:

The cabins are different from any other cruise line, with this day-to-night configuration.  For the Sea Terrace cabins and Rock Star Suites, a hammock on the balcony was certainly original and received rave reviews.
Originally Virgin went with minimalist decor with hardly any storage space.   Following the guest’s feedback regarding the lack of storage, they have changed Valiant Lady’s cabins by adding more storage and adding these cool wooden beams and wood finishings.
I was disappointed to find that you still can’t play music.  Remember in our 90s we used to play our favorite tunes while getting ready for a night out.  Well, there is still no way of playing music through a speaker or choosing tunes on the TV. Come on Virgin, it’s Virgin why can’t we play music in some of the cabins?

 

To be honest Virgin have nailed it because who wants to be in the cabin when there is so much fun to be had in public areas?

Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady different Entertainment:

Virgin Voyages knows how to entertain its guests. Here’s a glimpse into the onboard entertainment:
  • Free Prosecco: On the second night, you can enjoy complimentary Prosecco – a delightful touch.
  • Pajama Party: A unique twist to your typical cruise entertainment, this onboard pyjama party kicks off your voyage. Just a friendly tip – opt for comfortable nightwear like a slinky nighty and silky dressing gown for added comfort during the night.
  • Untitled Dance Show Party Thing: This mesmerizing dance show is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The talent and skill displayed are remarkable.
  • Scarlet Night: A night for Rockstars, where you dress in red and party like a true Rockstar in The Manor.

Food Choices and Restaurants on Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady.

Virgin Voyages maintains consistency across its dining venues. Some highlights include:
  • The Galley: While I’m not a big fan of the Galley, it features creatively named food stations like “Noodling Around,” “Taco About It,” “Tap it Hot,” and “Tap it Cold.”
  • The Wake: A modern twist on Surf and Turf, offering a delicious dining experience. Highly recommended.
  • Test Kitchen: The Test Kitchen features an intriguing and unique menu, although its offerings on Valiant Lady mirrored those on Scarlet Lady. It’s good, but it would have been nice to see a different menu.
  • Extra Virgin: We had a fantastic dining experience on the last night, ordering an array of dishes to share with friends.
  • Brunch in the Wake: A great option when you need a carb and coffee fix after a night of fun. Highly recommended.
And last but not least, the best hot dog ever – a tempting treat you’ll want to savour more than once.

Comparing Scarlet Lady and what was missing on Valiant Lady. 

The swings on Scarlet Lady
 
I loved the Swings on Scarlet Lady. Sadly not there on Valiant Lady another subtle difference between the two ships.
While both ships are quite similar, there are some differences in ship features. On Valiant Lady, the swings that added an element of fun on Scarlet Lady are missing. Additionally, the shuffle table is now located inside the Arcade instead of the corridor. The artwork also differs, with Valiant Lady featuring seahorses instead of octopuses.

Onboard Shops

The onboard shops have a few variations. Valiant Lady doesn’t include a MAC boutique or Bulgari Boutique. Instead, you’ll find Peek a Boo, a sunglasses shop, and an extended Logo wear collection in place of Bulgari. The good news is that the cosmetics and perfume section has been expanded, ensuring you can enjoy duty-free cosmetics and fragrances. There’s even a rumour of a potential Chanel boutique in the future.
And let’s not forget the Vinyl Record Shop – a unique shopping experience. Plus, the Tattoo Parlor is perfect if you’re considering some ink during your Virgin Voyages cruise.

Valiant Lady Destinations

On this voyage, Valiant Lady docked in Zeebrugge, providing an opportunity to explore Bruges. The ship offers a free shuttle bus to Blankenberge, where you can catch a train to Bruges. Trains run every hour, and the return ticket is affordable, especially when compared to the ship’s transfer cost. Make sure to synchronize your timings with the hourly shuttle bus schedule and the train schedule. Walking into Bruges from the train station is a highlight of visiting this beautiful city. Don’t forget to savour Belgian waffles, beer, and chocolates.
There is local transportation in a lot of cruise ship ports.  So off we went to explore, I was apprehensive because my sister and brother-in-law came with us.  They had never cruised before, so I didn’t want to get them lost.  But I found it all relatively easy here are the steps we took, which saved us approx $50 each = $200 / £150.  Download your FREE Maps by clicking on this page.
Get the Train from Blankenberge to Bruges
  • We took the free shuttle bus that the cruise line provided from Zeebrugge to Blankenberge.
  • We walked around the corner to the train station, the signs the same in any language.
  • I got in the cue and paid for return tickets to Bruges – €6.73 / $7.39 / £5.65.  
  • Trains run on the hour, and the ticket lady explained in English our train from Blankenberge to Bruges and what time the trains were to return.  
  • Blankenberge is a small station, see this picture.  It is easy to figure out which platform. Most people we spoke to were friendly and conversed in English with us.
  • When we arrived, it was easy to walk into town. It was a beautiful walk.
  • Getting back was just as easy, and we saved $200 / £150 because the ship was providing a shuttle bus into Bruges from Zeebrugge, but it was $60 per person, which I thought was expensive.

Conclusion

If you’re planning to cruise with Virgin Voyages and need tips or advice, feel free to reach out. I’m here to help you have the best time on your cruise.  Book a FREE 15-minute call with me for advice about cruising on these amazing ships.  Click here