I recently set sail on Virgin Voyages 5 night Dominican Daze sailing onboard the Scarlet Lady. Let me take you along and give you a small glimpse of what you may experience on your own and with a small group.
For the pre-cruise day and day one check out my previous blog here.
Day 2 – At Sea Day
Even though I was up late I still got up early. It is important to note that there is nowhere to get coffee prior to 7:00 am. There are two places to get specialty coffee onboard, The Grounds Club on Deck 7 and The Grounds Club 2 on Deck 15 inside The Galley.
As part of the Deep Blue Extras, there is a $10 per day coffee credit. I intended to make use of those credits daily! An Angelino with a shot of Baileys is just the right start for a morning. Coffee in hand I was ready for breakfast. Found a table in The Galley and had bacon, eggs, toast and hash browns and planned the day with friends.
After breakfast we spent a few hours at the pool. Our choice for the morning was the medium Well-Being pool. There were not a lot of people yet and the water was just right. Water space is the one thing I personally think Virgin Voyages could improve upon.
There is one large main pool, medium pool and two hot tubs all on Deck 15. In the afternoons it is very crowded in the water areas. We had other activities planned for the afternoon and beat the crowds.
The highlight of the afternoon was Bingo with the Diva. This was the absolute best bingo event I have ever been to. Very entertaining! We all loved the Diva so much we decided to find other shows featuring the Diva during the cruise. This bingo was not like other cruise ship bingos.
There were no computers and the bingo cards had punch outs instead of daubers. I had two cards and had some difficulty keeping up. We were not big winners at bingo so our consolation prize was pizza and ice cream. It was then hammock/nap time before dinner at 6:00 at Extra Virgin.
HOT TIP: Bingo with the Diva is not specifically reserved. Purchase cards when they go on sale to ensure a spot. They only sell a specific number of cards to match the Red Room capacity. Cards go on sale about one hour before bingo starts.
Extra Virgin is the Italian restaurant onboard. Appetizers and charcuterie were served family style. My favorites were the calamari and meatballs. Entrees were placed individually and pasta was served family style. I again ordered the steak.
Our evening entertainment was a comedy show. The comedy performers do rotate and this particular comedian is only for a limited time. We were not impressed and ended up leaving the show early. It was a cross between comedy and singing. On our previous Scarlet Lady sailing we had the opportunity to see Puddles Pity Party which I thought was absolutely amazing.
Day 3-Puerto Plata
Our first port day! Today we are visiting Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. I had not visited this port before and was excited to see it. Interesting fact, there are two cruise ports in Puerto Plata. Virgin Voyages ports at the newer of the two, Taino Bay, which opened in December 2021.
I did not plan an excursion as my intent was to explore the port area. There are excursion options and I really like how Virgin Voyages has smaller, more intimate excursion groups. This allows guests to get a closer look at the culture and experience.
Some examples were spending the day and cooking with a local farmer and visiting a local woman’s co-op to do art projects. There were also cigar tours, waterfalls and run tours.
The port area is full of shops and restaurants. It has a very large pool area and even offers a lazy river. All in all a very nice place to spend the day off the ship without booking an excursion.
I found it to be very similar to the port in Costa Maya but larger. We were the only ship in port on this day so it was nice to not have crowds.
We spent a couple of hours walking around Taino Bay before heading back to the ship. Others in our group stayed behind and spent some time at the pool and lazy river.
I would not have minded but being a little frugal, I knew I could eat and drink onboard for no extra cost and did not want to spend any more than I already had.
Back on Ship
Back on the ship we dropped our purchases and headed to the pool. With most people being in port it was not very crowded. The pool bar makes the most wonderful drink called a Skinny Pina. It is a pina colada made with coconut milk. YUM! This was pretty much my go to drink the whole cruise.
SIDE NOTE: Onboard drink prices are very reasonable. The Skinny Pinas were about $13 which is comparable, if not slightly less than other cruise lines.
After a day of sun we took a break and went to The Galley for a late lunch. I tried the pork tacos. They were okay. I am somewhat of a picky eater and did not like the salsa/garnish. Luckily, the Social Club was open and I was able to get one of the delicious soft pretzels and cheese to take back to my room. Okay, maybe I took two, but who’s counting.
By this point I was ready for a nap. The big question was: hammock or bed? Hammock! I lounged in the hammock for a while. Oh my goodness it was amazing! Slight breeze, mostly shaded, and super comfortable. I was asleep in no time.
Dinner this evening was at The Wake. The Wake is Virgin Voyages steakhouse. Unlike the previous two dining experiences, each course was served individually. I had clam chowder as my appetizer and the filet mignon as my main. Sides were served family style. For dessert my choice was the chocolate tart.
Tonight’s show was Dual Reality. An acrobatic show in the Red Room. This show is similar to Cirque du Soleil with a storyline. A Romeo and Juliet battle by acrobatics. Duel Reality is one of the main staple shows that can be found on all Scarlet Lady sailings. We did see this on our previous sailing but enjoyed it again on this one.
REMINDER: Shows like Duel Reality cannot be booked until after you are onboard and on the ships wifi. Book as soon as you are able. Arrive early to secure your seat. Standby lines are available without a reservation and open up approximately 10 minutes before show time. Standby seating is not guaranteed.
Coming up in Trip Report Part 3: Another day at sea and Beach Club at Bimini.
To learn more about Virgin Voyages or to book your next cruise contact your journey planner.
Shout out to Embrace the Journey Travel Planner Mary K Allen for writing this blog and sharing her experience. Learn more about Mary K here.