Layna Mcmoran, our Marketing Executive, took her sister on a trip around the Med with Virgin Voyages. This wasn’t just any old trip, this was her first ever cruise! Of course, we had to know her thoughts!
I have got to say, I am 100% a converted cruiser! After not really understanding the hype around cruising for many years, I now see why people love it so much.
I went on board Valiant Lady with Virgin Voyages and it was more than I ever expected. Going off the things I’ve heard about cruising in the past, I was expecting to be surrounded by an older generation, getting dressed up in ball gowns for formal dinners, missing out on the culture of destinations due to spending so much time onboard a busy ship, but, my goodness, how wrong I was!
From what I have heard about Virgin Voyages compared to other cruise lines, it’s definitely more party than other cruise lines but there was also a really relaxed, informal atmosphere on board which suited me and my sister perfectly. We enjoyed doing what we wanted, when we wanted. Whether it was dressing to the nines on Scarlet Night or heading to the Pizza Place for a 2am slice.
Onboard Valiant Lady
My first impression of the ship was that it was INSANE. From seeing it for the first time in port and checking in, to fully exploring what it had to offer, we loved it. It felt so luxurious onboard but not too fancy and uptight. The atmosphere was pure fun. There were hot tubs, fitness classes, a running track, a DJ by the pool, there’s not much more you could ask for!
The entertainment was incredible too. From cabaret to comedy nights, there was something for everyone to enjoy which we really appreciated. The talent of all the performers onboard was second to none – strangely not something I expected. Whilst being spoiled for choice, you did have to make a choice and get there relatively early as seating was limited and it seemed to get busy quite quickly.
Fab For A Fitness Fanatic
Now, let’s talk about fitness classes. As a gym-obsessed girl, I was really excited for the vast range of classes onboard and all the equipment available. They did not disappoint. The instructors of the classes were so passionate about fitness, knew what they were doing and really pushed me to my limits which was fantastic. I took part in the HIIT class, spin and bungee class. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite fit the VHS workout into our busy schedule (a good reason to go back onboard!). These were all included in our cruise fare so we didn’t have to pay anything extra at all!
My favourite class, unsurprisingly, was the bungee class. It was such a workout but so much fun at the same time. The superman pose flying through the air is something I wish I could add to my ordinary weekly workouts at home!
As this is such a popular class, it did get booked up for the week within the first day of the cruise which left us a little disappointed. However, we got chatting to one of the gym instructors who informed us that often most people didn’t turn up for the class so we could fill any empty spaces. This is actually what we did, the class was practically empty when we took part.
My preconception of cruise food was very much the same everyday, buffet-style dining and one formal dinner evening. I honestly didn’t have high expectations but I was blown away. It was some of the best food I have ever eaten.
All the restaurants were absolutely fantastic and we were shocked at how much food we could actually eat in one night! From a 4 course meal to 10pm freshly-baked cookies and 2am pizza. It was like being treated to a 5 star restaurant every night and I can’t even pick a favourite.
As a huge foodie, it’s worth going on a Virgin Voyages cruise solely for the food! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the Pizza Place – ha! Open till 2am, the Pizza Place was visited often by us. There was nothing better, after a busy day of exploring, than taking a freshly, oven-baked pizza back to your cabin and watching a movie. That was the charm of the cruise, there were options for staying up all night or cosying up in bed early. Not to mention, this was ALL INCLUDED!
As a first time cruiser and being prone to seasickness, I was worried about how I would feel onboard. I was pleasantly surprised as I rarely even noticed any movement of the ship at all and got used to it quickly.
However, I did get struck by the dreaded seasickness one evening when a slight storm came in as we set sail out of Palma. The staff were amazing and they really took care of me. They were always on-hand to ensure I was well taken care of, providing seasickness tablets, bringing extra towels to the room and even checking on me the next morning which was a really appreciated touch.
It didn’t spoil anything though as it only lasted the night. Arriving in Ibiza the next morning made me instantly forget any sick feelings. We had a walk around the Old Town market stalls before heading up to the Cathedral where you had the most stunning views. We even saw Valiant Lady docked in port which was lovely.
My Final Thoughts
As a first time cruise, I had basically no expectations but I loved every minute! Waking up to a new destination every morning, spending your days exploring the towns and then evenings with plates of amazing food. It was fantastic to meet new, like-minded people and experience first class entertainment. What’s not to love?
I would 100% cruise again and recommend Virgin Voyages to everyone.
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