Virgin Voyages Party Ship – Travel Review

Virgin Voyages Travel Review

By Richard Jones, June 2024

A trip on board a Virgin Voyages party ship will change your mind about cruising.

As we looked over a sea of flannel pyjamas, fluffy onesies, cosy robes, sparkling kimonos and silky nightshirts, any apprehension we had turning up in our cheap satin animal-design PJs faded away. It was our first evening on board Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady and it soon became clear that there is a sea change afoot in the cruise line industry.

The vessel and its two sisters, Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, are the world’s leading adults-only ships, with a fourth, Brilliant Lady joining Virgin’s small but perfectly formed fleet in 2025. And although the ships are pristine and provide pure luxury, if you’re looking for a traditional cruise experience, with strict sailing etiquette, dress codes and rules, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.

Instead, a stay on board a Virgin Voyages Lady Ship can soon turn into one long party.

Virgin Voyages Travel Review

“Boarding the ship and having some fun”

My mate Martin and I were booked onto one of Resilient Lady’s Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems voyages. After arriving at the port in the Greek capital Athens, getting onto our new home for the next seven days was a breeze. We had both completed the necessary registrations on Virgin’s easy-to-navigate app weeks beforehand, so it was merely a case of us slipping on our wearable wristbands (which you use to access your cabin and pay for drinks and shopping), boarding the ship and having some fun.

Our cabin was a Sea Terrace room, and rather than having two single beds side by side, the mega-helpful attendant arranged them into an L-shaped configuration, meaning we had plenty of room to walk around and store our stuff.

There was also a decent-sized bathroom with a rain shower, while the red hammock and chairs on the cabin balcony was the ideal setting to watch the ship dock in the mornings or for an afternoon nap. Martin and I were lucky enough to be given a pair of special black wristbands rather than the usual red, which gave us access to the exclusive Richard’s Rooftop area on deck 16. This was our favourite part of the ship – and for one reason.

Virgin Voyages

“Sunset hour”

From 5-6pm every evening, they hold a sunset hour (or more like two hours if you ‘double park’), in which VIP sailors from the Rockstar Suites can drink as much Moët & Chandon champagne, cocktails, wines and beers as they wish.
The servers weren’t shy topping up the drinks and, along with our new pals Jon and Sharna, we staggered out of Richard’s Rooftop most early evenings, worse for wear.

Away from the Rooftop, there are plenty of other places to hang out on this ‘Lady of leisure’ during the sea days or after a bit of shore leave. The Aquatic Club is the main pool area and has DJs playing throughout the afternoon. Indoors, there is the Social Club Diner and Bar for sports and games, as well as Draught Haus, The Dock House and Sip.

After speaking to many fellow sailors during the week, we all agreed that the Michelin-star standard food on board Resilient Lady was the tastiest we’d experienced on a cruise ship.

Virgin Voyages Travel Review

“After dinner, the ship comes alive”

Throughout the week, Martin and I sampled most of the 20+ eateries on board, including Razzle Dazzle with its contemporary take on American classics, the Korean-themed Gumbae, Mexican-inspired Pink Agave, Italian-flavoured Extra Virgin (the meatballs were amazing), and Test Kitchen’s taster menu with pairing cocktails.

However, our No.1 restaurant was steakhouse The Wake, and we wandered down the grand staircase twice during the week devour the New Zealand lamb chops, filet mignon and roasted polenta. The Galley is the ship’s version of a food court. But rather than it being a standard buffet like on most other cruise liners, it is more like a street market with shops and carts serving up everything from lunchtime bao buns and late-night burgers to succulent sushi and spicy stir-fried shrimp.

After dinner, the ship comes alive, with sailors and staff getting into the spirit for the aforementioned opening PJ Party, 80s Night or signature Scarlet Night, when the guests and staff are encouraged to wear something with a splash of red.

For those who like to see a show, there is game night with a twist with Miss Behave in the Red Room, or live music in On the Rocks. And finally, if you think ‘Lady luck’ could be on your side, the casino is open all day and night.

With all this fun on board, it was tempting to stay on the ship, but this was a cruise after all and Virgin Voyages’ ships stop off at some spectacular destinations.

Virgin Voyages Travel Review

“Crystal clear Adriatic”

After departing Athens, we sailed along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and arrived in the historic city of Dubrovnik.

As a Game of Thrones fan it was fun and interesting to see some of the locations used in the hit TV series, including Cersei’s infamous ‘Steps of Shame’.

On the way back to Resilient Lady, following a walking tour of the walled city, Martin and I stumbled upon a gem of a hotel, the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik, where we had a few cold drinks on the sun deck by the pool before going for a dip in the crystal clear Adriatic.

The ship’s second stop of the week was in Croatia’s second-largest city Split, with its Roman ruins, iconic medieval streets and boat trips to Trogir and Ciovo Island.

Then it was onto our favourite destination of the week, Kotor in Montenegro, which we reached by a complimentary Virgin tender boat.

The views from this Balkan gem reminded me a lot of the Italian lakes, while in the city itself, there is no end of museums, palaces and churches to explore in between the cafe-strewn squares.

Our final stop before heading back to Athens was the Greek island of Corfu. A group of us holed up in a hip beach bar called Imabari in the Old Town, and although it was just a short walk from the cruise terminal, as in all the ports, Virgin provided non-stop shuttle buses for its sailors.

Virgin Voyages

“Lovely people”

During the week on board Resilient Lady, Martin and I visited some fantastic places, some of them for the first time, relaxed on board the spectacular ship and ate our body weight in delicious food in between drinking gallons of champagne and beers.

We had also met some lovely people including Jon and Sharna, who asked us to be witnesses at the renewal of their wedding vows on one memorable sun-drenched afternoon as the ship departed Kotor. Then, as with every other night, we partied into the early hours.

Returning home after a week on board one of Virgin Voyages’ Lady Ships, my body wasn’t feeling too ‘Resilient’ to be honest and I was in need of a detox and some sleep.

Now, where did I put those pyjamas?

Award-winning adults-only cruise line Virgin Voyages offers a seven-night Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems cruise aboard Resilient Lady from £714 per person. Price is based on two people sailing in July 2025 and sharing an insider cabin. It includes all meals, water, soft drinks, tea and coffee, plus free Wifi, tips, group fitness classes, entertainment and bus and tender boat transport from the ports. For more information and to book, go to offers friendly low fares, great flight times, and a 22kg baggage allowance to Athens and other European cruise destinations from 11 UK airports. Please visit
To book parking, hotels and lounges at all major UK airports, go to


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