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Adults-Only Cruise Ships Are Actually Good For Parents

Virgin Voyages will join a growing number of cruise lines offering kid-free excursions.


Family vacations are great, but sometimes it’s nice to get away without the kids. Richard Branson knows that. That’s why Virgin Voyages, the nascent cruise line in the British billionaire’s empire, will be an adults-only line with the amenities to match.

Viking River Cruises instituted a similar policy a few years ago, mirroring that of corporate sibling Viking Ocean Cruises. Those voyages are aimed at travelers 50 and older with interests in art, culture, and exploration. Virgin’s brand is built more around partying than learning, but they share an antipathy towards traveling with (or near) children.

And when you don’t have to worry about making a cruise ship kid-friendly you can focus solely on stuff for adults. Virgin’s first ship, the Scarlet Lady, will set sail from Miami for the Caribbean in 2020. The 2,700 18-and-older passengers on board will have access to a tattoo parlor, boxing ring, and yoga classes. You won’t find a wading pool or playground anywhere on board.

You also will be hard-pressed to find a cruise-standard buffet or formal restaurants. Instead, Virgin is focused on creating a variety of adult-focused options. Among them are a Korean BBQ spot, “test kitchen” with experimental menu options, an international food hall, and something called “bespoke” pizza.

Guests will have the option of staying in regular cabins or RockStar suites, the latter of which are divided into Massive, Fab, Posh, and Gorgeous suites, with varying levels of opulence. The suites come equipped with record players and a variety of LPs, fully stocked bars, and open-air “Peek-a-View” showers. The Massive Suite will also come complete with guitars and amplifiers in keeping with the rock ‘n roll theme.

If you want to bring your kid on a cruise, there are still tons of options, from mainstream cruise lines to kid-focused brands like Disney. And, for those that think the no-kids-allowed policy is bad for these parents, it really isn’t. One of the hardest things for parents, when they’re out on dates with each other, is constantly being reminded of their kids, and worrying. Here, that problem is theoretically solved. Just make sure you have a great babysitter, and that your kids are old enough to be on dry land without your for that long.