Day 5 (Part 2)
After breakfast we head to deck 7 to the Social Club for an adult painting party with a mural that was created for Virgin by New York-based street artist Tyler Wallach.
It’s then time to disembark and explore Ajaccio on the west coast of Corsica. We wander through narrow streets with market stalls and colourful banners, passing under shady trees to escape the scorching heat until we reach the beach, Saint-François, not far from the port on foot.
Some agents head to the famous art museum to see the largest collection of Renaissance paintings outside of Italy or to explore the one dedicated to Napoleon, but we’re keen to spend a few hours soaking in Corsica’s cerulean blue sea.
Later, as we embark the ship we are met with flashes of scarlet. The exterior of the ship is bathed in vivid red, transformed via the balcony lights on each cabin’s terrace. Inside the elevators change from purple to red and there’s a real party vibe on deck.
For the one night only on every Virgin cruise, every ship is transformed for a ‘Scarlet night’. Forewarned, we dash to our cabins to change: red is the colour of the night so be sure to pack something that really rocks.
Deck 7 is THE party zone with pop-up acts and different shows performed by the ship’s crew and entertainers telling the story of ‘Scarlet night’ in a clever, mesmorising fashion.
For dinner we head to Extra Virgin, an Italian restaurant with a fine selection of wines, cheeses, meats and finger foods to start, followed by pasta, fish or steak. After the most decadent dessert we head up to pool deck 15 which is no longer a daytime lounge spot but a party zone with the scarlet goddess herself.
The party is hosted by the ‘Diva’, a resident drag queen and incredible vocalist, with the same performers from the big shows onboard now exhibiting an energetic display of acrobatics and juggling diablo sticks and hula hoops poolside.
The party cranks up a gear with the crew jumping in the pool and ‘encouraging’ sailors (passengers) to dive in and make a splash.
The after party starts up at the Manor nightclub – thank goodness it’s only a short walk back to our cabins…
Day 6 – Part 1
We wake up from the aftermath of Scarlet night and head to the galley for a healthy breakfast of fruit, granola and yoghurt washed down with a double coffee chaser.
With the five-day Seminar at Sea completed, some agents are already busy taking bookings.
And one agent, Gaynor, loves the cruise so much she’s already sold a Virgin cruise and visited the ship’s tattoo parlor to have the ship’s anchor inked on her arm.
“As cruise addicts, we’ve been on so many cruises, but we love Valiant Lady. You can party as much as you want or leave it – it’s up to you.
“Tattoos are so personal and this voyage has shown me just how much I love cruising. It will also be a reminder of how far I’ve come. I have so many happy memories and new friends from this trip. When you start out and you’re new to travel, especially if you leave a high-profile corporate job, it’s a massive leap of faith. I’m grateful for where I am but I know I’m capable of so much more.”