You’re in for a treat on Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady
Melbourne is home to the ship's inaugural Australian season.
What we'll be covering
The idea of a cruise has rarely excited me until now. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is that drew me to Virgin Voyages or convinced me to splash out some Velocity Points for a cabin without much resistance. Now I’m eagerly awaiting our turn to sail on Resilient Lady in early 2024.
Looking deeper, one of Virgin Voyages’ main appeals is its generous inclusions – such as specialty dining, soft drinks and gratuities – built into the fare. There are no buffet lines here. Being able to dine at the vessel’s six premium restaurants or at the many other casual establishments across the decks is a drawcard.
There’s also something to be said about the Virgin brand’s flair. It promises something out-of-the-ordinary. Its sailings are adults-only. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that as a relatively new ship, all the cabins are slick and modern.
Ahead of my full cruise review in 2024, join me and our fellow Point Hacks video guru, Toby, as we check out Resilient Lady in all of its glory at the Melbourne launch party.
A look at some of the cabins
Resilient Lady is not setting out to be the world’s largest cruise ship. As an adults-only playground, it doesn’t have to be, either. The ship’s 1,408 staterooms range from the 16 sqm Solo Insider to the extravagant 79 sqm Massive Suite.
Both of those are outliers, though. The vast majority of guestrooms (1,030, to be exact) are Sea Terraces, most of which hover around 17 sqm and come decked with a balcony and Virgin’s signature scarlet hammock. If you redeemed Velocity Points for an all-inclusive Access Key, then the Sea Terrace awaits.
But for the budget-savvy sailors, Insider and Sea View cabins offer greater value for money – especially if you’re going to spend most of your time outside, anyway. And for those looking for a splurge, the ship’s 78 Rockstar and Mega Rockstar Suites are sure to please. Richard’s Rooftop access, a fully stocked bar and dedicated attendants await.
The Sea Terrace
Colour me impressed. I’m booked in a Sea Terrace and reckon I’ll feel right at home here. There’s enough space to manoeuvre around the ‘transitional sea bed’, which can transform back to a couch during the day if you prefer.
A nifty tablet controls all the cabin’s features such as the lighting, temperature and automatic blinds. Want to get ‘in the mood’? Swipe up on the lighting panel to reveal some preset options. ‘Get It On’ automatically closes the curtains and switches the lighting to a sultry purple…
The Sea Terraces also come in an XL flavour which adds a slightly larger bathroom with double the vanity space and a separate toilet cubicle.
The Posh Suite
To be clear, redeeming Velocity Points for an Access Key doesn’t grant access to a suite. But you could apply for a ‘Level Up’ upgrade or book the suite outright, of course. The Posh Suite adds a separate living room and a wider balcony.
All suites (known as Rockstar or Mega Rockstar Quarters in Virgin Voyages parlance) come with a complimentary mini-bar and access to Richard’s Rooftop.
The Massive Suite
I can’t help but take a peek at Resilient Lady’s grandest offering. The Massive Suite is the pinnacle of the Mega Rockstar Quarters, boasting an oversized balcony that comfortably takes up half of the entire ship’s width. With two hammocks, plenty of social seating and even a personal jacuzzi, you could host a small party here without a sweat.
Retreat inside to kick back with four guitars to play at your pleasure. Or perhaps, gaze at the stars through the in-room telescope. As for me, I can only dream for now.
Eat your fill onboard
I’m so glad Virgin Voyages includes group fitness classes onboard. Because I’m going to need them – chances are, you might, too. All 20+ eateries are included in the voyage fare. The six headline specialty restaurants are:
- The Wake: elegance, steak and seafood
- Razzle Dazzle: vegetarian and vegan-forward menu
- The Test Kitchen: experimental, multi-course lab
- Pink Agave: upscale Mexican
- Gunbae: Korean BBQ with a social twist
- Extra Virgin: upscale Italian
Reservations for these restaurants open 45 days before departure on the Virgin Voyages app, but you can also book onboard or walk up, subject to availability.
Other casual eateries include The Galley (a food court), The Dock House (casual Mediterranian), The Pizza Place and Lick Me Till Ice Cream (both self-explanatory). Yes, late-night pizza and ice cream cravings won’t be an issue here.
Dinner at Extra Virgin
My dinner reservation is at Extra Virgin. And let me tell you, the food here rivals any decent Italian restaurant on the ground. Particular highlights include the Italian Stallion limoncello-based cocktail and the grilled sea bass. Tender and perfectly spiced, I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.
Pizza, ice cream, snacks and more…
Even before embarking on this media visit, I knew I would have to try the pizza. And I’m pleased I did. As with most of the other food onboard, my half-and-half is cooked to order. I sneak a bite mere moments after it comes out of the oven, and it’s glorious.
At the food court, I spot many other tempting bites such as avo on toast and Spanish pintxos bites. Over at the ice cream parlour, a range of cone flavours joins the various ice creams on offer.
Party ’till you’re scarlet… or not
For those sea days, there’s no shortage of entertainment spaces to keep you occupied. From quiet board game sessions by the porthole to late-night basketball amidst the glowing hoops, most whims are catered for.
Resilient Lady social spaces
As someone who appreciates the quieter things, I’m looking forward to spending a good chunk of time on activities such as racing friends in the arcades (all free to play). At The Social Club, literally, hundreds of board games are just waiting to be played. I’ll indulge them. Night-time basketball on the illuminated hoops is tempting as well.
Indulge in the thermal spa
For a change of pace, consider spending some time at the spa. Entry is free for Mega Rockstar customers. For everyone else, we’re told an entry pass will cost around US$35 per person. Inside, you’ll find a sauna with a view, various pools and even a mud room, which is included with the pass.
The treatment room looks dreamy, though massages and other treatments come at extra cost. The ship also hosts a sizeable gym with classes and the latest equipment – I’ll check it out next time.
Persephone in The Red Room
The Red Room is the ship’s main entertainment venue. It’s a flexible space that could be a traditional theatre or in the case of Persephone, an immersive performance area around the audience. Persephone is the ship’s headline show, pitched as “a unique retelling of Greek mythology with the ultimate mix of acrobatics, singing, dancing.”
It’s a visual feast – the perfect prelude to my actual feast later.
Led by the ‘Happenings Cast’, Scarlet Night is a whole-ship activation that eventually culminates in a thumping party on the pool deck.
There’s somewhat of a story to it as well – the night starts with inflatable octopus tentacles appearing at various points throughout the ship as cast members surprise and delight guests with performances. They later disappear, only for the giant octopus goddess to reveal herself at the pool.
Everyone’s encouraged to participate by dressing up with a splash of red. But if you’d rather chill out, that’s no issue at all! The whole ship is your domain, after all.
Summing up: Now we’re voyaging
Resilient Lady is a truly impressive vessel. I’m genuinely excited to hop on board with my Velocity Points redemption. Not only is everything refined and modern, but I can tell that a lot of thought has been put into curating the experience for guests. This is the Virgin brand at its best.
All photography by Brandon Loo and videography by Toby Venus, who both attended the media event as guests of Virgin Voyages. Brandon travelled to Melbourne at Point Hacks’ expense.