Prior to the start of the pandemic, I was offered the amazing opportunity to sail on the then-brand new Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady. It was just supposed to be a 2-night preview cruise, but because of the cancellations and rescheduling due to Covid, I was granted a full 4-night cruise in a wheelchair accessible balcony cabin. I was very apprehensive about the wheelchair accessibility of the ship and my state room because I couldn’t find any information online. My experience turned out to be the best on any cruise ship in my life!
Scarlet Lady has 30 accessible cabins divided between interior and balcony/terrace categories. For my cruise, I stayed in a wheelchair accessible Seaview Terrace cabin (12-154 Z). The mattress on the bed is thinner than other cruise ships I’ve been on, but was extremely comfortable. It rests on a metal frame, with tons of space underneath to accommodate a hoist. Please note that the queen size bed cannot be separated into two twin beds like on other cruise ships. There are USB Ports and electrical outlets on either side of the bed, as well as light switches. This comes in very handy if you have to charge a mobility device or medical equipment. The bed height was approximately 22 inches from the floor to the top of the mattress.
The bathroom was phenomenal for accessibility. The electrical pocket door has hands-free sensor access. The roll-in shower is small, but there’s easy access to the shampoo and soap dispensers, the water controls, and the shower head. There are grab bars around the toilet, and the sink was easy to roll under. The bathroom doorway width is 33.5 inches and the toilet seat height is 17.7 inches.
There is plenty of space around the bed and in the cabin in general for a power wheelchair or a larger scooter to maneuver. Storage space is at a minimum, but there are some drawers and plenty of low rails to store clothes in the curtained closet area. The cabin has a desk with a mini refrigerator, the TV, and two complementary carafes of water. Above the desk you’ll find one of the room’s best features – a tablet, from which you can control the television, room lighting, and the thermostat.
I didn’t explore the balcony because the door was too heavy for me to open by myself. But there is a ramp to help you easily roll over the threshold onto the balcony. The entrance to the stateroom is 33.4 inches wide. My only disappointment with the cabin was that there was no automatic door opener for the cabin itself, which was odd considering how automated everything else was.
In December 2022, I will be sailing on the Scarlet Lady‘s sister ship, the Valiant Lady, to Roatan, Costa Maya, and The Bimini Beach Club. I will be staying in a wheelchair accessible interior cabin, and I look forward to telling you all about that experience in a few months!