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Virgin’s adults-only ship will have a boxing ring and a spa — but no plastic straws

The boxing ring is among several new athletic features available on Virgin Voyages’ upcoming Scarlet Lady ship, sailing from PortMiami in 2020.
The boxing ring is among several new athletic features available on Virgin Voyages’ upcoming Scarlet Lady ship, sailing from PortMiami in 2020.

Virgin’s highly anticipated adults-only cruise ship has a name: The Scarlet Lady.

The Plantation-based cruise line on Friday announced its first vessel’s name — an homage to sister company Virgin Atlantic’s earliest planes — and more details of the ship’s environmentally-focused vision and public spaces, including an outdoor gym area.

Virgin, like some other cruise lines, will aim to eliminate plastic straws and other single-use plastics with which guests interact. Bottled water, condiment packages, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers and take-away coffee and tea cups will also get the ax.

Instead, the cruise line will launch with recyclable and reusable materials on its ship. The move is similar to one that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings took when, earlier this year, it outright banned plastic straws on its three cruise lines: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Royal Caribbean Cruises brands — Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises — will ban the straws by 2019, and Carnival Corp.’s nine brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, don’t give out plastic straws anymore, except for frozen drinks. They’ve moved to a “request only” policy.

Virgin also announced plans to launch the “Scarlet Squad” program, which will recruit support and mentor female crew members and grow their access to leadership roles in the marine, technical and hotel management sectors which, historically, have been male-dominated.

“Across the maritime industry, we can do better in onboard recruiting and leadership representation for women,” said Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages in a release. “I want all future crew to know that Virgin Voyages will create an onboard environment that is fair, inclusive and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The program is particularly noteworthy given Virgin’s track record as a company that has used young attractive models at many of its announcements and press events. When Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson first announced that the Virgin ships would sail from PortMiami, he did so accompanied by nautically dressed models.

More details of the program will be released at a later date, Virgin said.

New public spaces revealed

In May, Virgin released the first images of some of the public spaces on its first ship, including lounging areas and a laboratory-inspired restaurant.

Now, the line is revealing some of the spaces for active travelers as part of the line’s “Vitamin Sea” directive, which focuses on health and well-being.

Among them: The Crow’s Nest, a secluded sundeck with 360-degree views for sunrise and sunset yoga classes, and The Runway, Virgin-red a running track.

Both areas will be connected to The Athletic Club, an “adult-play” area located at the top of the vessel whose centerpiece is a red-and-white semicircular lounger, the largest seabed at sea. The area will also include an outdoor training zone with a boxing ring and strength and gymnastics equipment reminiscent of 1920’s New York sports clubs, Virgin said Friday. There will be oversized gaming for adults, cabanas and a bar. The B-Complex gym will include strength, spin yoga and cardio equipment.

For those worried the vessel would be a all loungers and no pool, Virgin has clarified that the ship will have a small “well-being pool,” which will set next to some Venice Beach-like equipment and fitness apparatus. In renderings, the pool sits under a small round opening in the deck above.

The vessel will also have a spa, called Redemption, located on the fifth floor. It is inspired by an underwater cave, with a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools, quartz beds, and spa treatments. At night, the spa will host spa parties in its thermal suite. Other additions include a stand-alone blow dry bar called the Dry Dock salon and a Stubble & Groom barbershop that includes a male pedicure spa.

The 2,700-passenger Scarlet Lady, which is only for passengers 18 and up, will being sailing to the Caribbean from PortMiami in 2020. A second ship is due for delivery in 2021.

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