Tourism & Cruises

Here’s what Virgin has planned for its cruise ship suites. Think party like a rockstar.

Two 2,147-square-foot “Massive Suites” aboard The Scarlet Lady will include a music room.
Two 2,147-square-foot “Massive Suites” aboard The Scarlet Lady will include a music room. Virgin Voyages

Want a spot at “Richard’s Rooftop” — a members-only club named for Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson — aboard Virgin Voyages’ first cruise ship? Then you’ll have to book one of its 78 suites when tickets go on sale next month, the company said Wednesday.

The suites — dubbed RockStar Suites — will have a retro style, featuring black, mirror-like wall sections, gold accents, and mounted guitars, an homage to Virgin’s roots as a record company. The suites make up a small fraction of all cabins aboard The Scarlet Lady ship. Virgin Voyages wouldn’t say how many cabins the ship will have, but it will carry around 2,700 passengers. The ship will sail from PortMiami in 2020.

The suites will come in eight variations. The largest room, at 2,147 square feet, will sleep six and have a private outdoor shower, and a dining table with a staircase for easy scaling/dancing. The smallest suite, at 352 square feet, will have a bathroom with a window — a cruising rarity. Each suite will have a record player and a full bar. London-based Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio crafted the rooms.

Massive Suite terrace (day).jpg
Outdoor areas on both “Massive Suites” will have outdoor showers and scalable dining room tables. Virgin Voyages

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” said the founder of the Virgin Group in a statement. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our sailors like the rockstars they are.”

The perks that come with booking a suite will extend beyond your spot at Richard’s Rooftop. Suite guests will have a wardrobe team to help passengers pack and unpack, a nightly swimsuit-drying service, private transportation to and from the airport and faster boarding. Even more perks apply to 15 suites dubbed “Mega RockStar Suites,” including a team that stocks the bar based on passengers’ personal preferences.

Virgin Voyages declined to comment on the prices for any of the suites.

London-based Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio crafted the rooms aboard The Scarlet Lady cruise ship. Virgin Voyages

As the newest company in the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages is doing things a bit differently. The Scarlet Lady will be adult only, and have just one small pool — a contrast to its competitors, which are constantly battling it out for the highest water slide at sea.

Branson announced last year that Virgin will join cruise companies Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC by building a cruise terminal at PortMiami, planned to open by 2021. Virgin has ordered three more ships, for a total of four on the way.

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Taylor Dolven covers the tourism industry at the Miami Herald, where she aims to tell stories about the people who work in tourism and the people who enjoy it. Previously, she worked at Vice News in Brooklyn, NY, where she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of NY for a national investigation of police shootings.