Scarlet Lady: The fun has arrived
Passengers – or rather Sailors – board the ship on deck 6. Their first sight is a large sculpture of popped muselets (the wire cage that fits over champagne corks) in brand red. The message is clear – the party has already started. If you could distil the Scarlet Lady experience into just one floor, deck 6 would be the well-packaged, fizzy result.
On entry Sailors can have the makeover montage of their dreams. A series of boutiques flank the entrance, from the beauty spot Makeup Porthole to Drydock, the hair salon and the much-advertised Squid Ink tattoo parlour. Opposite the fun morphs into luxe cool at the On The Rocks, a mixology-focused cocktail bar decked in velvet and burnished metals. The signature Virgin flare comes in with the interlocking hexagonal tables and stunning crystal crowning the bar. Live music equipment is set in the corner of the bar, nestled so intimately with the chairs and tables that guests will be inches away from the musicians. The rest of the deck is where the action is – the large, decked out casino, throbbing nightclub The Manor and flex event space The Den.
The question everybody is asking is… How red is Scarlet Lady? The answer? Just red enough! Virgin have made much of their amazingly ‘grammable flagship vegetarian-forward restaurant Razzle Dazzle, with it’s red and white ‘dazzle’ camouflage décor and scarlet bar area. While the rest of the vessel is studded with Virgin’s brand colour, the taste level is impeccable. This should hardly be surprising, given the powerhouse team behind Scarlet Lady’s design, including Dee Cooper, Senior Vice President of Design at Virgin and Callie Tedder-Hares of Volume Creative.
The design throughout is fun without sacrificing style. The neo mint of the cooking-lab-cum-restaurant brings a retro-futuristic vibe to an area that has the tricky challenge of marrying utility and leisure. Freshly Mediterranean Dock House dispels the easy-wipe vibe of casual dining in a breeze of cool linens, low, cushioned seats and standout patterned cushions. The Loose Cannon taps into the tried-and-tested sailor theme but leans into tattoos and leather. The nearest the ship comes to old-school is with The Wake, which brings art deco into the 21st century, dispelling stuffy formality and leaving gleaming luxe interiors.
The lighting is excellent throughout. Any ship seeking to make the most of its limited space must somehow tussle with the challenges of lighting windowless spaces to seem airy and filled with sunlight. Scarlet Lady makes this attempt and succeeds, knowing exactly when to swing for neon-drenched and when to open the space with nearly natural light. Speaking of neon, it seems as though there is no corner left under designed. From neon catchphrases and living walls to entryways ringed with glass bulbs and monochrome swathes, Scarlet Lady is an Instagram-addicts dream. In a ship that offers the Rockstar life, every wall is a step-and-repeat.
Make sure you join us at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America, 8-9 June 2021, at the Miami Beach Convention Center