Virgin Voyages Part 1: Solo Sailor and More
Let me wade into the Virgin Voyages discussion. From the perspective of a fat, middle-aged gay black male solo sailor. A lot of others have stepped into the discussion, both cruise regulars and non-cruise regulars. I fall into the latter category; I have taken 2 cruises before this. As a detailed planner, I tend to take advantage of vacations for major events or major destinations. From Songkran in Bangkok to Carnival in Rio. You can’t really experience a Pride when you are in port for only 9 hours, and most of the port stops are far from the major cities where Pride events happen, such as with Le Havre for Paris or Long Beach for the nearest Cruise Port to Los Angeles. You can’t really experience a Pride when you are in port for only 9 hours, and most of the port stops are far from the major cities where Pride events happen, such as with Le Havre for Paris or Long Beach for the nearest Cruise Port to Los Angeles..
The thing about Virgin Voyages, though, is this might actually be a possibility with them having some overnights. It might be a way to experience an LGBTQ event in Ibiza (overnight port) and move on to another port in the next day or 2 or Amsterdam where they currently also have an overnight stay. With that in mind, I decided to give Virgin Voyages a sail. My thoughts on Virgin Voyages are that it is for everyone, but mostly for the LGBTQ Community and our allies. No, you are not too old. No, I am not too fat. And no, being a solo sailor is not going to be an issue.
I booked a 4-night cruise on the Sunsets and Soirees Itinerary, with stops in Key West as well as their private beach club on Bimini. Once I boarded the Scarlet Lady and got to my stateroom, I watched the Muster Video on my TV and explored a little bit of my stateroom, and it is where I found my Solo Sailor Letter. I was aware that they had a Solo Sailor program and event, but wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t think I would meet up with 20 plus members of the Solo Sailors Club and we would talk and ask each other how our cruise was going every time we saw each other.
We started off with our FIRST event, which was the official meet and greet. We introduced ourselves to each other, had a sip of our champagne, and then went over to the Sail Away Party; which sadly, due to rain, had to be moved indoors for my sailing. After that, you could take in a group dinner at Gunbae, but as I hadn’t eaten since I got my complimentary breakfast at the hotel that morning, I had already eaten my first onboard meal at The Galley. Even though I didn’t go to the Dinner with the Solo Sailors, I did run into a few of them at the show that night, and we talked about our experience so far. I then ran into another Solo Sailor later that night when I got my late-night Pizza! So it certainly created a feeling of camaraderie, and knowing each other allowed you to never feel that alone on a cruise full of couples!