TPG Awards: Our pick for 2021's best new cruise ship cabin
With so many cruise lines vying to be the largest, flashiest and most innovative, it takes a lot to disrupt the industry these days. When it comes to accommodations, we've seen everything from two-deck, apartment-style digs to staterooms with their own exercise equipment, plunge pools and baby grand pianos. Even so, Virgin Voyages has managed to offer a fresh take on its first ship, Scarlet Lady.
The vessel debuted in early 2020, but its first revenue sailings were scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the restart of voyages in the U.K. and North America, the ship has impressed many of those who have sailed on it.
This year, the TPG award for best new cruise ship cabin goes to Virgin Voyages' Mega RockStar Quarters Massive Suites. Although the ship has 78 cabins that fall into the RockStar Quarters category, there are just 15 that are considered Mega RockStar Quarters. Of those, only two are classified as Massive Suites, and they don't disappoint.
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Outfitted by British designer Tom Dixon, these 2,147-square-foot suites are less than half the size of last year's winner, but they still pack a punch, with the amount of space rivaling that of many land-based homes.
Overall, the ambiance in these cabins is one of elegant pomp, showcasing decor that's refined and simple with just enough glitz. Navy blue is offset with pops of red and purple. Brass furniture and fixtures further complement the color scheme, and the bathroom's iridescent accent windows add a whimsical rainbow touch to the otherwise white marble surroundings.
Bonus: The bathroom also has a soaking tub — perfect for those days when you need to unwind after a hard night of partying like a ... well, rock star.
In line with what it calls a "Rebellious Luxe" vibe, Virgin Voyages draws on its musical history — remember Virgin Records? — by including a dedicated guitar room, which also serves as a second bedroom with a pull-out sofa. Passengers booked in one of the accommodations will find a selection of axes and an amp. For those who don't play but who still want to enjoy some tunes, the rooms also feature turntables with a selection of records to borrow, tying in perfectly with the vessel's modern-retro feel.
Found on Deck 15, atop the bridge, the Massive Suites also offer stunning views via floor-to-ceiling windows. Each of these staterooms boasts an extra-large balcony with its own hammocks, a private hot tub, loungers, a circular sitting area with a Champagne table at the center and an outdoor shower so you can rinse off under the sun or stars. There's also a large dining table with a staircase built in, allowing you to channel your inner Richard Branson (below, circa the 2018 float-out of Scarlet Lady).
Nuts-and-bolts items in each Massive Suite include a king-size bed with premium linens, luxury toiletries, mood lighting, two full-size closets, a dressing room, a full bar stocked to the specifications of the cruisers booked there, a dedicated team of crew members to help with everything from unpacking to express swimsuit drying, and exclusive access to Richard's Rooftop, a private sun deck for suite passengers.
Travelers savvy (and swift) enough to snag one of these special accommodations also get complimentary transfers to Port Miami along with priority embarkation.
Above all, the Massive Suites are dripping with indulgence. From bowls of all-red gummy bears to butler service, you'll feel like rock 'n' roll royalty if you book one of these cabins for your voyage on Scarlet Lady, cementing their selection as TPG's best new cruise ship cabin of 2021.
Related: Virgin Voyages hopes to draw cruise newbies like me: Here’s my first impression from its first sailing