Scarlet Lady aboard Virgin Voyages – CBS Miami

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sir Richard Branson’s Scarlet Lady prepares to embark on her maiden voyage from PortMiami, promising an adults-only ocean adventure.

CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo joined Branson this week aboard the Scarlet Lady ahead of her maiden voyage to the Caribbean on October 6.

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“Hello Madam, here you are,” said the founder of Virgin Voyages, greeting Petrillo with a glass of champagne.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Voyages, pours Lisa Petrillo champagne during an interview aboard the new Scarlet Lady cruise ship. (CBS4)

The Scarlet Lady is the British billionaire’s first cruise company. Something he says he never understood.

“I was never interested in a cruise and then I thought I was wondering if we could create a cruise ship where myself, my friends and all those millions of people who are not that interested in them. cruise ships, would like to go on, ”explained Branson.

So, they got to work, building the midsize ship, designed to look like a large yacht.

“What we’ve tried to do is create the best yacht in the world, but make it affordable for a number of people on board,” said Branson.

Scarlet Lady has 20 restaurants and unlike all the others, you won’t find a buffet here.

“We are trying to take a different approach. For us, everything is made to order, ”said Nirmal Saverimuttu, Experience Director. “Everything is small with intimate restaurants.”

Chef Levi Mezick oversees the 20 onboard restaurants, from fine and decadent cuisine to casual dining.

“We want to make quality food as fresh as possible so that every passenger can enjoy something that is made up to the minute, just for them,” Mezick said.

The Scarlet Lady was supposed to sail last year, but the COVID closures came just before their maiden voyage. Now, just days before its first passenger departure, strict science-based safety protocols are in place.

“Everyone on board must be fully vaccinated. Both our crew and our sailors (passengers). We also have a test regime on board. The crew has to be tested and we test every sailor before they get on board here at the terminal, ”explained Saverimuttu.

The “adults only” section offers larger outdoor play and relaxation areas for adults. Branson had outdoor dining tables converted into dance floors.

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Lisa Petrillo swings from the hammock onto the balcony of the Scarlet Lady cabin. (CBS4)

As for the 1,400 ceremonial rooms and suites, each has a balcony and a hammock outside.

Petrillo visited one called The Rock Star Suite, which comes with an electric guitar.

“It’s designed by Tom Dickson from the UK, channeling his inner Grace Jones. So they all come with fully stocked guitars, turntables and bars, ”Saverimuttu said.

But that nod to fun and frivolity also turns into a serious side when it comes to sustainability on board, starting with the absence of plastic bottles of any kind on board. The motor also converts waste heat into electricity.

“Our industry needs to lead by example and I think we’re at the forefront of doing that with Virgin Voyages,” said Branson.

Lisa Petrillo chats with Virgin Voyages founder Sir Richard Branson aboard his new luxury cruise ship Scarlet Lady. (CBS4)

Always with an eye for adventure and fun, Sir Richard jumps firsthand wiping away the mess he spilled earlier while opening that bottle of champagne. “Wait, I did it your honor,” he said gesturing to Petrillo, you have to get on your knees too! “

As the two of them knelt down to tidy up a bit, Petrillo asked the 71-year-old explorer if he could ever return to space.

“I booked it for my 90th birthday which is a long way off and I’m optimistic so I booked it for my 100th birthday as well,” Branson said.

“I have a funny feeling that he’s going to get there,” said Petrillo.

Scarlet Lady is making her maiden voyage from PortMiami on October 6 to the Bahamas with now four and five day cruises.

For more information www.virginvoyages.com

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