Sunday, April 16, 2023

Happy Birthday Cruise to Carrie on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady April 9 - 14, 2023... Highly Recommend Virgin Voyages!

Window Seat for Early Morning Flight to Miami, FL
Sunrise From Flight
Carrie and I left for a cruise on Saturday, April 8. We booked our cruise a few months ago to celebrate Carrie turning 50. We decided on a Virgin Voyages cruise as we had a few friends who had been on the cruise and said it was great.

Our fight left at 5:18 in the morning. We got a hotel near the airport for the night before, but we still had to be at the airport by 4 am. It was great to be able to see the new MCI airport although nothing was open when we were there, or when we returned, but it is nice to have one spot to depart and arrive for the airport.

We flew into Miami and had a hotel for Saturday night, so we did a tour of Little Havana where we had a guided tour to eat, drink, and see the area. It was so fun! We had a great tour guide that was from the area. Delicious coffee, drinks, and food, plus hearing about the area was so interesting. We had a great time before we headed to our hotel.

Carrie and John at Kempton Hotel in Miami
From Balcony in Miami, FL
We had a wonderful evening in Miami where we head a balcony looking out over the inlet to the ocean with so much activity of boats, I could have spent all day watching boats entering and leaving to the ocean. It was so cool! We had reservations at The River Oyster Bar which was walking distance from our hotel which was perfect. We of course had to order oysters and they were delicious. We had six different kinds, I believe, and they were all delicious. The drinks, appetizers, and meals were good too. We really liked The River Oyster Bar and our time spent in and around Miami. 

Disembarkment for Virgin Cruise
Leaving on a Cruise
Finally, Sunday, we were ready to leave for the cruise. We were so excited to be leaving on a cruise that Carrie shouted out to the crowd gathered how excited she was to be leaving. The boarding process for Virgin Voyages was so easy as we were on the ship and had our first drink minutes after boarding. There was a guy in line with us that might have been more excited than Carrie, but it was close. He was singing and giving high fives to the staff as we were heading up the stairs. We think he had done three or four Virgin Voyages before this one as he knew everyone.

Bar We Spent Some Time at Each Day of the Cruise
Bar We Visited Each Day

We visited the Sip Bar each of the days on the cruise. Drinks were great and the bartenders worked their butts off while helping to keep everyone happy and drink in hand. We did go to the Sip Bar each day we were on the cruise. We were sad one night when they closed at 11:30 instead of midnight, but the two bartenders were going to staff party.

There were only two ports being visited on the five day cruise. Carrie and I decided we were going to remain on the ship for the first visit. We had a wonderful time going through the ship, spending time at the pool, and enjoying the ship without it being crowded. We almost did this again the second port day, but decided we should at least say we had been to the Bahamas and put our toes in the sand. It was tempting to not remain on the boat and enjoy the spaces without the people.

Virgin Voyage Hola on side of the Ship
Hola on Side of Ship

We did take a catamaran the first port day which was in the evening which was a lot of fun. The margaritas were not great on the catamaran, but the beer was cold and all part of the voyage. As we returned, I was able to capture a picture of ship with 'HOLA' on the side lit up in lights. While we were on the catamaran, I was able to see some fish "floating on the air" which I had only ever seen on the internet. They were all over the place on the first hour out to the open water along the shore. The way back, I only saw one fly along the top of the water. It was fun and the crew did a good job keeping us entertained and drinks in hand.

Dinner at "The Wake"
Dinner at "The Wake". So good!

We had dinner at just about all the places to eat aboard ship. One of our favorites was dinner at "The Wake". Our seats were in front of the window showing the wake of the boat which was incredible. The meal was good and our waiter was great allowing us use our own bottle of wine and not charge a corking fee. Thank you! 

"The Wake", "The Test Kitchen", and "Gunbae" were my favorites. Least favorite was "Extra Virgin" which was Italian, but it was just OK for me. Main complaint was they were out of all of their wines except for one.

The bars on board were good and we frequented a few of them. It would be nice if only beer is being ordered that would not have to wait for those getting blender drinks, but overall, we had a great time and enjoyed our time onboard. We met so many wonderful people even having dinner with some of them one night. 

Sunset on Catamaran Boat
Sunset from Catamaran

We liked our cruise so much that we put a payment on a future cruise that we get ship credit for and then have to book it within the next two years. I look forward to another trip and to sailing again on Virgin Voyages. It will be fun to see another ship and make new memories to new destinations. 

When we returned to Miami on Sunday morning, we had a cabana reserved for us at a local hotel. We spent the day Poolside at Surfcomber as our flight back to Kansas City did not leave until 9 pm Sunday night. Worked out great as we were able to nap, eat, drink, and be in the pool. It was really a fun spot and once again our waiter took great care of us while we were there.

I am happy that we were able to celebrate the 50th birthday for Carrie doing a cruise. We both had a wonderful time and look forward to cruising again. It had been eleven years since we had last been on a cruise and this did not disappoint. Happy Birthday, Carrie!

See full photo album on Flickr.

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