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A Virgin Wish List – Mr. Branson … Richard … we’re ready to be shaken up.

Porthole’s Monday Mantra

Virgin thoughts…Virgin thoughts…Virgin thoughts…

A Virgin Wish List

Mr. Branson … Richard … we’re ready to be shaken up.

It’s an amazing time for us cruise nuts! In the coming years, we’ll see exciting new ships from Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Seabourn. And how about Crystal Cruises? They’re blowing everyone out of the water with ocean ships, yachts, riverboats, ocean-going residences, and even an airplane. Show offs.

But the cruise news that most sets my heart a-flutter is Virgin Cruises.

Ah … Richard Branson. He’s probably the only long-haired Englishman I ever had a crush on who never had a hit record. He’s a high-school dropout, an adventurer, and a billionaire visionary who eschews suits and ties and probably never uses any of that senseless corporate language that’s so annoying. My kind of businessman.

Virgin Cruises promises to shake things up and I trust Branson enough to believe that. Since I haven’t been asked to participate in the focus groups that are being conducted during the line’s planning stages, I’m forced to submit my thoughts and questions here:

 

Accommodations: Let’s go crazy! How about a luxurious sundeck suite with a magrodome roof? A “Fishbowl” category could be comprised of cabins beneath the water line, each offering an ocean view of the sea life swimming by. A budget-priced alternative might be “The Camp Grounds,” tents erected on the open decks with shared outdoor showers and port-o-sans.

Music. Do not let me walk into a lounge aboard Virgin and hear “Girl from Ipanema.” Virgin must continue the industry trend of mind-blowing music theme cruises and I’m thinking bands like The Who, U2, and the Stones.

Cruise Director. Will you continue the current trend of cruise directors with unnaturally cheerful dispositions, superhuman energy levels, game show voices, and $80,000 worth of caps on their teeth? Just curious.

Dining. Please be sure to separate the Virgin Cruises dining program from that of Virgin Atlantic. We’ve all read that letter of complaint and we’re concerned.

Chair Hogs. Let’s have an innovative, high-tech solution to this problem! Maybe ejector-seat deck chairs that can sense flip-flops, towels, and books and will propel them into a dumpster if the property is unattended for longer than 20 minutes.

Dress code. We’ve seen your wardrobe. Will shorts and T-shirts be mandatory on formal night?

Smoking. You’ve built a business empire, repeatedly cheated death, and are launching people into space, but can you find a happy resolution to this conflict? I’m thinking not. Prove me wrong.

Shore Excursions. A beach party on Necker Island is a no-brainer. Better start polishing the silver.

 

I’ve always expected magic and a little mayhem from the Virgin brand. Now that it’s stepping on my turf with Virgin Cruises I expect the same from the line’s ships.

All I can say is “Welcome aboard!”

 — Judi Cuervo

 


Photo: Virgin Cruises


What do you want to see from Virgin Cruises? Chime in in the comments below!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Loved your ideas for Virgin Cruises, Judi. You’re such a great writer. After reading your piece, my mind began to wander. You got me fantasizing about all sorts of cruise possibilities. The favorites I’ve been thinking about are a series of Virgin Lover’s cruises. One of them begins with a magical ship-to-shore, sunset balloon ride wisking you off to a private island while you and your lover sip champagne. You land near a luxurious Moroccan tent by the shore that’s exotically decorated with Turkish carpets, exquisite antiques and piles of plump, silken pillows. Discreet servers indulge you in delicious drinks and gourmet delicacies. Your favorite music wafts in via high end speakers hidden amongst the palm trees and tall beach grass. You can dance naked on the beach under the stars all night, roll around in the sensuous tent all night – or – be transported to a beautifully elegant treehouse high on a hill with a 360 view of sea and shore. You’re lulled to sleep by sweet songs of nightingales and soothing sounds of distant waterfalls. All this indulgence goes on for several decadent days. Then, one night, an exquisite replica of a floating Egyptian palace arrives for you. It’s like something out of Cleopatra’s decadent reign. You and your Mark Antony enter the magnificent barge that’s bathed in the golden glow of hundreds of candles. The heady fragrance of luscious gardenias and rose petals is swirling through the salty sea air. You lounge across a sumptuous bed as your lover peels you a grape while your floating palace slowly sails you back to your cruise ship in sensuous bliss…

  2. Well now….your ideas certainly blow the pants off my fishbowl cabin category and a beach party on Necker Island, don’t they?? I’m delighted that my topic has inspired you to conjure such a vivid fantasy of the ultimate lovers’ cruise. You lost me at the peeled grape though. I’d want a meatball parmagiana hero or something. Thanks, Rose! An amaaaazing comment!