Ahoy there, fellow sailors! If you’re anything like me, you’re already dreaming about your next Virgin Voyages cruise. But before you set sail, follow my Virgin Voyages Packing List to make sure you’ve got everything you need. As a frequent traveler and recent Virgin Voyages sailor, I’ve got some insider tips that will help you prepare for adventure. From famous Scarlet Night to the infamous Virgin Voyages dress code (or lack-thereof), I cover it all.
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The Ultimate Virgin Voyages Packing List
As with any cruise, your Virgin Voyages packing list will vary slightly depending on the route, time of year, sailing length, and weather. But in this ultimate Virgin Voyages packing list, you’ll find the essentials you can’t forget on any cruise, whether you’re sailing on the iconic Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady, Resilient Lady, or Brilliant Lady.
Virgin Voyages: What to Pack for Your First Sailing
Before you read on, make sure to bookmark these other Virgin Voyages guides to prep for your first sailing:
★ Virgin Voyages Dress Code + What to Wear on Board
★ Virgin Voyages Drink Package (Bar Tab) Review + Drink Prices
★ 7 Insider Tips to Enjoy Virgin Voyages’ Beach Club at Bimini
★ Virgin Voyages Vegan Guide
★ Virgin Voyages Spa Prices + Thermal Suite Pass Guide
★ Eastern Caribbean Antilles Cruise Review
★ Cruise Port Guides
Virgin Voyages Packing List Essentials
1. Something Red
The Virgin Voyages Scarlet Night is one of the most iconic events on board. While you’re not required to wear red, its more fun if you do. Since there isn’t a dress code on board Virgin Voyages boats, you can wear anything from an old red tee shirt to a floor-length dress.
My Scarlet Night outfit doubled as a port day outfit while exploring San Juan, Puerto Rico
If you’re like me and you don’t own anything red, head to a thrift store or quickly order something online (peruse red outfits on Amazon here). Personally, I grabbed a red crop top at a thrift store in Miami and paired it with a black denim skirt and my favorite travel sandals (these ones). My goofy husband wore a red satin button-down shirt (several sizes too small) that he found at the same thrift shop. We expected more people to be wearing silly outfits, but he was the only one outside of the crew.
Another event on board is the Virgin Voyages Pajama Party. You’ll want to have some pajamas to wear—whether they’re your actual pajamas, or something you buy ahead of time specifically for the cruise (check Amazon options here). As with Scarlet Night, the Virgin Voyages dress code is casual and varied. You’ll see couples in brand-new matching pajamas sets (like these), as well as plenty of people in regular clothing. If you want to go all out, figure out your pajama outfit ahead of time. But if you don’t care to dress in pajamas, you won’t be the only one.
PS: I have several pajama recommendations in my Virgin Voyages Dress Code article.
3. Travel insurance
While something red and pajamas are optional, travel insurance is something you absolutely need. Although you can expect things to go smoothly when you’re on your cruise, you never know when you might have an unexpected flight delay on your way, lost luggage in the airport, or an emergency while exploring a port city.
SafetyWing is my go-to insurance whether I’m living abroad or just spending a week or two on vacation. Their policies covers travel delays, lost checked luggage, natural disasters, personal liability, and dozens of adventure sports. Planning to rent a scooter on Cozumel or go canyoneering in the Dominican Republic? Make sure you choose a travel insurance policy like SafetyWing. It’s a small price to pay for a stress-free and enjoyable cruise.
4. Digital necessities
Unlike most other cruise lines, Virgin Voyages has free wifi (woohoo!). However, if you want to stream or download music or videos, you have to pay extra. Because of this, I highly recommend downloading music and shows ahead of time. You’ll thank yourself later!
Before you leave for your cruise, you should also figure out if you’ll need cell phone coverage in the port cities you’re visiting. Some phone plans include international coverage, and others don’t. If your plan doesn’t include the countries you’re visiting, you have three options: (1) upgrade your plan with your current carrier, (2) purchase a temporary eSIM through Airalo, or (3) plan to explore without phone coverage.
Whichever option you choose, I recommend downloading the local map on the Google Maps app, and downloading the local language on the Google Translate app if you don’t speak the language. If you download these two things correctly, you will be able to access the local map and Google Translate without data or wifi.
Beautiful balcony views on the Valiant Lady (perfect spot to read a book!)
5. Kindle or book
Very few things are as idyllic as the experience of immersing yourself in a book while soaking in the sun on vacation. Whether you’re a frequently reader at home or not, a cruise is a great time to start (and finish) a new book. I recently invested in a Kindle and its changed the game for me. No more carrying around heavy books or squinting to see in dim light. Plus, you can switch between numerous books without adding any weight to your suitcase. Make sure you download your books before boarding the cruise, unless you want to pay extra for a wifi upgrade.
Headphones are a must for me, for both exercise and lounging. Certain areas of the ship can get loud, and if you want to block out the noise, you can pop in some noise-cancelling AirPods and play some of your downloaded songs. Also, if you want to take advantage of the ship’s stunning upper deck track or gym, you’ll probably want to listen to your own music.
7. Tote bag or Backpack
You need some sort of bag to carry your belongings around the ship (and of course on port days). I prefer a simple tote bag to bring my Kindle, phone, headphones, and water bottle with me around the ship, but a small backpack works as well.
7. Sunglasses (plus extras!)
Sunglasses are a must have item for almost any cruise. I always bring two pairs, just in case a lose one. Plus, it can be fun to have several pairs to choose from!
My favorite sunglasses are SOJOS. They’re affordable (usually under $20), fairly good quality, cute, and always fit my small face surprisingly well (and my husband’s face too). I always have a pair of their vintage round frames, plus a second pair.
Don’t forget a few bathing suits (essential item in my Virgin Voyages Packing List)
Everything turns red on Scarlet Night!
The amount of clothing you bring on your cruise depends on the length of your sailing, and your own personal preference. For this article, I’m going to assume you’re heading on an 8-day cruise, but this list would also work for a shorter cruise if you want plenty of clothing options. I’m also assuming you’re headed somewhere warm, since most of Virgin’s current routes sail through warmer climates.
What to Wear on a Virgin Voyages Cruise
Virgin Voyages Clothing Packing List Women
- 1 comfy tee shirt
- 5 tank tops and short sleeve tops
- 2 athletic tops
- 3 dresses
- 3 bathing suits
- 1 pair of jeans or flowy pants
- 1 pair of jean shorts
- 1 pair of comfy shorts
- 1 pair of athletic shorts
- 3 pairs of socks
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 1 sports bra
- 1 regular bra
Virgin Voyages Clothing Packing List Men
- 4 tee shirts
- 3 button-up shirts (casual and fancy)
- 2 athletic shirts
- 2 pairs of swim trunks
- 1 pair of jeans
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 pair of athletic shorts
- 5 pairs of socks
- 8 pairs of underwear
What is the Virgin Voyages Dress code?
Short answer: Virgin Voyages does not have a dress code. But read my full article on the topic for more info about what to wear!
Don’t forget shoes! From fancy dinners and sea days by the pool to adventurous excursions and foot tours of foreign cities, you’ll want to a variety of footwear without overpacking. I only brought three pairs of shoes on my Virgin Voyages cruise, and it was perfect for me.
Virgin Voyages Cruise Shoe Packing List for Women
These are the exact shoes I brought on my Virgin Voyages cruise. I would 100% bring these three again.
1 — Arizona Essentials Plastic Birkenstock Sandals: These comfy plastic Birks have replaced my flip flops! Since they’re plastic, they work well for days by the pool and at the beach, but are also comfortable enough to walk in all day. (Buy here).
2 — Glenda Platform Birkenstock Sandals: Another comfy pair of Birkenstocks that can easily be dressed up for a fancy dinner, worn around the ship, or in a port city. I love how comfy, cute, and versatile these shoes are! (Buy here).
3 — Thrifted Tennis Shoes: I have an old pair of thrifted tennis shoes that are small and light. I rarely wear them, but they come in handy for hikes and other adventurous activities.
Other comfy and cute shoes for your cruise: Reef Water Vista Waterproof Sandals, Mayari Birkenstock Sandals, Plastic Thong Birkenstock Sandals, and Classic Arizona Birkenstock Sandals. (Can you tell I’m a fan of Birks?)
Virgin Voyages Cruise Shoe Packing List for Men
My husband wishes he just packed two pairs of shoes. Here is his ideal cruise packing list for shoes:
1 — Mens Arizona Essentials Plastic Sandals: These shoes are so versatile and comfy! They are perfect for exploring a port city, spending a day at the beach, wandering around the ship, or even wearing to dinner. (Buy here).
2 — Running Shoes: Versatile running shoes for a morning run around the beautiful top-deck track, or for exploring a rainy port city. (Buy here).
All Virgin Voyages cabins have soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I’m happy to use the provided body wash and hand soap, but always pack my own shampoo and conditioner. My recommended toiletry packing list for Virgin Voyages cruises includes:
Shampoo Bar & Container: Solid shampoo bars help cut down on liquids and space when traveling. I love Bambu shampoo bars and use both them at home and while traveling. They’re the only shampoo bars I’ve found that don’t leave my hair feeling thick and full of buildup. (Buy Bambu shampoo bar four pack, buy Bambu shampoo bar single bar). Bonus: I always keep my shampoo bar in this handy container!
Face Wash Bar: After having such a good experience with shampoo bars, I recently started using a face wash bar. Like shampoo bars, face bars cut down on extra liquid and space in your bag. Plus, they’re more cost effective than regular face wash in my experience. (Buy natural vegan shampoo bar).
Toothbrush, Toothpaste & Floss: Don’t forget your dental essentials! Since I travel full time, I bring my normal toothbrush, which is a Burst electric toothbrush in lavender. My husband has a Burst brush in Black, so we just bring one charger when we travel to save space in our bags.
Deodorant: My favorite cost-effective natural deodorant is Arm & Hammer Essentials (unscented).
Sunscreen: Make sure to pack your favorite sunscreen. I use Innisfree face sunscreen and a body sunscreen.
Dramamine or other sea sickness medicine: Since Virgin Voyages boats are so new, you may not need dramamine, but its better to pack it just in case.
12. My personal Essentials
Besides the other essentials on this list, I have a few items I won’t travel without, including:
1 — Jewelry organizer: I finally found the perfect travel jewelry organizer and I can’t go anywhere without it now! It keeps my necklaces from tangling and fits plenty of earrings, rings, and bracelets. Plus, it takes up very little room in my bag. (Buy here).
2 — Mirrorless camera: I used to travel with a DSLR but it was so heavy! I recently switched to a mirrorless Sony A7 III and I’ll never go back. I also bring a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens, which is light and versatile, making it perfect for travel.
13. Optional: two bottles of wine
You can’t bring food or drinks on board, but you can bring two bottles of wine to store in your room. If you like wine and want to save a little on drinks during your cruise, take advantage of this rule!
Exploring my favorite port city on our Virgin Voyages Cruise: St. Croix USVI
Virgin Voyages Port Day Essentials
Reusable water bottle
A reusable water bottle is a must for port days, and can be useful on board as well. Lots of people like HydroFlasks, but my personal preference is a Miir Narrow Mouth Bottle because they are easier to drink from, a little lighter, and less expensive.
If you plan to do any sort of adventure activities during your port days—like snorkeling or canyoneering or scuba diving—I highly recommend investing in a GoPro. I have the GoPro Hero 11 and I love it.
It’s always a good idea to have some cash, no matter where you go. I always bring a few twenty dollar bills regardless of what country I’m in (it’s really come in handy a few times!) If I’m spending more than a day in a different country, I always bring local currency as well. But since cruise port days are so short, I typically just bring U.S. dollars and if I need to, I get some local currency out at an ATM.
A good day pack is a must for cruise port days. I prefer to bring a large fanny pack like this one from Cotopaxi. It fits my phone, wallet, chapstick, snacks and even a small water bottle. If I need more supplies, I’ll bring a small backpack.
Prohibited Items and Things to Leave at Home
There are a few things that you should not bring on a Virgin Voyages cruise. Make sure to leave these unnecessary and/or prohibited items at home.
- Food and drinks (besides two wine bottles): Other than two wine bottles, you can’t bring any food or drinks on board a Virgin Voyages cruise. Unfortunately, this means that you can’t bring your own snacks. It also means that you technically can’t buy something edible (like chocolate) in a port city and bring it on board. However, I did end up buying chocolate in the Dominican Republic and no one took it from me when I boarded the boat. Thankfully, all Virgin Voyages cruises are all-inclusive (and vegan-friendly), so you’ll have all the food and snacks you’ll need on board.
- Curling irons: You can’t bring curling irons on board, but you can bring straighteners.
- Laptop: Laptops are allowed on board, but I would recommend leaving yours at home. My husband and I typically travel with a laptop in case we want to watch shows, but you have to pay extra to stream shows. Plus, Virgin Voyages’ cabins have TVs with plenty of free movies and shows preloaded.
The stunning walkway to the Manor
Final Thoughts: Virgin Voyages Packing List
Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on packing for your upcoming cruise, you’re ready to set sail and make unforgettable memories. Is there anything else you’d add to my Virgin Voyages packing list? Let me know in the comments!
Essential Cruise Travel Resources
Have a cruise coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.