Virgin Voyages strives to be different. For example, 86 percent of the staterooms on the Virgin Voyages ships have a balcony. Some of those balconies are for the RockStar suites, which is a bit above what we needed. We originally booked a Sea Terrace in 2019 and received generous discount offers to rebook our 2020 cruise to 2021 and eventually 2022. With those, we were able to score a Sea Terrace XL cabin for less than our original cabin would have cost.
The Sea Terrace XL rooms are the top tier below a suite. The room is similar to the Sea Terrace, but the bathroom is the big difference. If you’ve ever cruised before, I don’t have to explain the difference that a few extra feet in the bathroom can make.
While we’d done some research before our trip, we didn’t obsessively look at every room review. We were pleasantly surprised when we walked into our cabin, which appeared to be plenty big for our 5-night voyage.
The bathroom was to the left as we entered and there was a short hallway into the room. This configuration differs from some cabins where the doors to the toilet and shower are directly off the hallway.
The room was smartly appointed. Since there are no children on Virgin Voyages, all rooms are designed for two guests. You’ll get a king-size bed with a large flat-screen TV. There are spaces on each side of the bed to store items. The bed can also be configured to be 2 twin-sized sleeping spaces, in an L-shape.
There’s a closet and a set of small drawers. They use a curtain instead of sliding doors to prevent movement at sea. If you’ll notice, there’s room under the bed that’s large enough to store most suitcases. You can store your smaller bags in the closet. There’s also a large drawer on one side of the bed (this would be under the bed in the L-shaped configuration).
There’s also a small desk with a stool that has a phone and a tablet that controls all of the room’s functions. In the cabinet is a fridge, suitable to store a bottle of wine you brought with you, and there are the two bottles of water that are refilled throughout your stay.
In all, it’s a well-appointed room and the nicest place we’ve ever stayed on the sea. As for the tablet to control the room, it’s your TV remote and the control for the lights and shades. You can choose from settings “Hangover,” “Get It On,” “Photoshoot” and “Zen” which each has its combination of lighting moods. If you’re like us, we appreciated that the room lights could be set anywhere from 5% to 100%, which meant we didn’t need to use our nightlight to get around the cabin in the dark.
When it comes to the Sea Terrace XL, the most significant difference is the bathroom area. And take my word, it’s a huge difference. There’s a legit sink area with a full-size mirror. One person can shower while the other is using the sink.
There’s a large shower room with a rain shower head and an additional handheld option. It may not look like much, but if you’ve been on a cruise, you know what a massive shower this is. You’re not hitting your elbows every time you turn and there’s no need to duck down to rinse your hair. The rain shower function had excellent water pressure; this was a better shower than I have at home.
The separate toilet room was nothing special but it was sufficient.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the terrace. While it was big enough for two chairs and a table without feeling cramped, it wasn’t massive.
A distinctive thing about Virgin Voyages is the terrace hammocks. I was skeptical about how comfortable they would be. To use them, you have to move the chairs out of the way, but after that, I found it was a nice way to sit and look at the ocean.
Sharon is such a fan of these hammocks that she purchased one to use on our lanai at home.
While it’s easy for designers to fall into the trap of making things so stylish that they’re impractical, the people who worked on the Virgin Voyages cabin were able to find a balance between sexy and functional. They found a way to provide plenty of space to store your luggage while making the cabin a comfortable place where you might want to relax. The bathrooms in the XL Sea Terrace rooms are the nicest I’ve seen at sea and it will be hard to go back to a shower room and toilet closet. While the lighting settings have cheeky names, it’s nice to have a single button to brighten up the room and open the curtains.
While I initially scoffed about the hammock as a marketing gimmick, I now admit that it took the relaxation level to 100% when swinging with the waves while in the middle of the ocean. I even put down my phone and stopped posting to social media to enjoy the view.
On most cruise lines your cabin is a place to sleep, shower and get dressed. It’s not a place where you want to spend your time. While I think most passengers would prefer to use the public spaces of the ship, the cabins on the Scarlet Lady are nice enough that you could spend some alone time relaxing before heading back out for the evening.
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