Unforgettable couples getaway on Virgin Voyages

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With one of our daughters aged 18 and the other 15, we are now able to contemplate a couple’s getaway without them. After all, we have travelled to more than 40 countries together over the year, so leaving them at home once wouldn’t hurt, right?!

I saw an ad on Facebook for a short cruise with Virgin Voyages, three days and four nights out of Melbourne. After travelling with our teen daughters for many years, a getaway without kids sounded very appealing.

We had never cruised before, so for us, this seemed like the best taster to see what all the hype was about. So, did the Virgin Voyages cruise from Melbourne meet our expectations? Read on to find out!

standing on the dock ready to board the the Virgin Voyages Resilient Lady
Boarding the Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady in Melbourne, preparing for a 3-day, 4-night cruise.

Virgin Voyages in Australia

Virgin Voyages made quite a splash with its entrance into the cruise market as an adults-only cruise line.

This was a great option for a short but close couples getaway. The Resilient Lady was scheduled to leave Melbourne on Saturday afternoon and return on Tuesday morning which worked perfectly for us.

Having never experienced a cruise before, we thought this would be a great way to tip our toes into cruising.

Virgin Voyages was certainly on the expensive side compared to some other cruise lines in Australia, but it offered several differences compared to P&O or Carnival.

The Virgin Voyages App

Before you board the Resilient Lady, you should have downloaded the Virgin Voyages App. This shows you what is going on around the ship.

Prior to your departure you can book your sittings at the 6 signature restaurants on board and book the day excursions that interest you.

We found that the app didn’t work well, and we missed a few opportunities to book prior to departure.

You can book once you get on board, but it can take some time with many others having to do the same thing.

Looking for more travel tips for couples? Discover a romantic couple’s stay at Sydney Harbour.

The signature restaurants on board

Virgin has a new take on eating; it offers signature restaurants you need to book into (these are listed below).

A collage of food taken by couples on their getaway at from the Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady
Some of the amazing food we had onboard

The price is included in your voyage, like all cruises. There were several amazing choices, including:

  • Extra Virgin – Italian Restaurant
  • Gunbae – Korean BBQ
  • Pink Agave – Mexican
  • Razzle Dazzle – A bit of everything
  • Test Kitchen – Lab-inspired meals
  • The Wake – Steak and Seafood

Besides these restaurants, there was a central eating area called the Gally, featuring many options. It felt like we were eating in a shopping centre food court and the fight for a table you could sit at was very real!

You could choose just about anything in the Gally from fresh cooked roasts, to bento boxes and mouth-watering desserts throughout the day. Our absolute favorurite was the Pistachio Macaron!

In other areas dotted around the Resilient Lady were a pizza restaurant, an ice cream bar (cheekily called Lick me til ice cream!), numerous coffee shops, and some little snack stalls around the pool area and viewing decks.

*Some of the cafes will charge you for your coffee as it is not included

If you cannot book one of the restaurants online, head to Sailor Services on the day of departure. The restaurants always save some space for the voyage.

Feeling Snacky?

One of the things that really surprised us about the food on board the Resilient Lady was it wasn’t a buffet like we had expected. There were even snacking options.

You can pick up a muffin or snack not only from the cafes but also from small fridges dotted around the ship.

In these, you will find small snack boxes with granola bars, small salads, and fruit and nut mix, which can all be taken back to your room. They also have a little charcuterie pack that is perfect for enjoying on your balcony!

The Rooms at the Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady

We initially opted for an inside room, as that met our budget at the time. We considered upgrading to a Porthole Room, but about a week from departure, we were offered to upgrade for a small fee to a balcony room.

Some of the other rooms on the Resilient Lady include:

  • Rock Star Suites
  • Mega Rock Star Suites
  • Sea Terrace
  • Sea View
  • Insider Cabins

The Balcony Room was large and comfortable, with an air conditioner, TV, and all the modern conveniences. I loved the fact that rooms had USB power points for charging.

* Just a hot tip: if you open the sliding door to the balcony, your air conditioner will turn off.

Interior of a cabin on Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady, featuring a comfortable bed, modern decor, and a window with an ocean view.
The balcony in our room

All Deck Rooms have the signature Virgin Voyages hammock outside on your balcony, which is a brilliant way to watch the world go by. The balcony option would be amazing if you had great weather while on your Virgin Voyages cruise.

You could enjoy a few cold drinks out there, but unfortunately for us, the weather was so cold we found it hard to stay out there for long.

Another plus to the Balcony Room was that the bed could convert into a couch if you wanted to watch a movie or work on your computer during the day.

You could request for it to be converted from bed to couch in the morning with the housekeeping staff. At the end of the day, they would change it back and make up your bed.

We found the cabins on Virgin Cruise Line to be big enough and comfortable enough to spend some time in our room and relax. Just quietly, we may have had a quick afternoon nap on day two!

Have some time after your cruise in Melbourne? Here are all the best things to do in Melbourne

Onboard Entertainment

Having never cruised before, I expected more from the ship entertainment wise. There were no cinemas or many free activities during the day, except for the option to sit around the pool or in the bars drinking.

Pool area on Virgin Voyages' ship, featuring lounge chairs, umbrellas, and passengers relaxing by the water on a sunny day.
Enjoying one of the pool areas

We participated in one of their paid activities- a food photography experience. Ultimately, my wife showed the lady leading the activity how to use her camera better than she did but it was great to meet more people we were cruising with.

There was the usual casino and nightclub, but not much else. They had a nightly stage show that you had to pay extra for. We found ourselves enjoying the classic arcade games most nights.

There was a massive gym and an amazing walking track on the roof. You could play basketball or pickleball, watch a few movies in your room, or read a book on the deck chairs.

Wi-Fi is free on board but don’t expect to be able to stream movies unless you upgrade to Virgins paid Wi-Fi.

Scarlet Night

Virgin Voyages has a signature night for each cruise called Scarlet Night, where people are encouraged to dress in red. The party starts indoors with dances, magicians, and acrobats and later moves outdoors to the pool area.

This was a fun night with pumping music and flowing drinks. People danced on the decks and in the pool like my wife did with some newfound friends.

We later learned that this would be Virgin Voyages’ first and possibly only season sailing out of Melbourne. They had decided to reposition the Resilient Lady to Central America next summer.

After booking your trip, check the prices. If they fall, it is worth asking Virgin for a free upgrade since you paid more!

How do I pay for the extras onboard the Resilient Lady?

Before you board the ship, you are checked in, your details are checked, and you are given a fob that is attached to a bracelet.

This fob has all of your credit, or Bounty, as they call it, details. When you need to pay for a drink or snack that is not included in the price of your cruise, you will scan this, and that is how you pay.

*If you lose your bracelet, go and see the team at Sailor Services

Our thoughts on our Virgin Voyage

Did we enjoy our foray into the cruise lifestyle? Yes and no. The boat was new and stunning, but it lacked activities unless you wanted to eat and drink.

It might have been a better experience if we had gone with another couple of friends. I will go on a cruise again. Yes, I always believe in giving everything a second chance.

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Author bio:

Father, husband, traveller, and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not discussing travel or planning travel, you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate, having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.

Having a beer in Pilsen Czech
Mark Wyld

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