Many of the major cruise lines have their own private islands (e.g.: Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay). When Virgin Voyages launched last year, their Caribbean sailings included a stop not at a private island, but at a private, exclusive beach club located on a public island. Virgin Voyages’ The Beach Club at Bimini is a large, private beach club offering pools, beachfront access, and much more.
During my most recent sailing on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady, I was excited to check out the Beach Club at Bimini. Bimini is located off the coast of Miami (about a 2-hour ferry ride away), but our stop there was on the third day of our particular sailing. It does vary by itinerary.
Read more about the Beach Club at Bimini – Virgin Voyages’ private beach club destination. Note that Virgin Voyages is an adult-only cruise line.
Review of the Beach Club at Bimini
We arrived at the cruise port of Bimini early. After breakfast at the Razzle Dazzle on the Scarlet Lady, we packed up a bag with sunscreen, books, a portable charger, and other beach essentials. Although we also packed beach towels, those were not necessary as there were racks of colorful towels available as we exited the ship.
Before you go, check the Virgin Voyages app for specific details on what documentation you’ll need for the day. This can vary depending on your plans in Bimini. We just needed our band, as well as a photo ID. Purchases at the Beach Club at Bimini can be made with the Band, so cash typically isn’t necessary.
Once you exit the ship, you’ll be able to walk down a short pier to get to the trams. The island of Bimini isn’t a private island for Virgin Voyages, so there are other things you’ll be able to do at the island beyond the beach club.
The actual Beach Club at Bimini is private just for the cruise (for the day), and is located at Resorts World Bimini. On days where Virgin Voyages is not in port, the Bimini beach club is used by other cruise lines as well as by Resorts World Bimini.
Once you get on the tram, you’ll be driven to the beach club. It isn’t very walkable, so you’ll want to take the tram even if you are someone who enjoys walking. The tram ride isn’t too long, and there’s also a stop for those going on shore excursions.
If you are on the ship, hoping to see the beach club, you’ll be out of luck. It isn’t visible from the ship, unfortunately.
Once you exit the tram, you’ll be at the entrance of the beach club. From there, you can choose which area to set up for the day – there are lots of options.
I’ve been to the Bahamas many times but hadn’t been to Bimini. I was impressed with how beautiful the island is, with gorgeous light blue water and soft sand. I’d love to return in the future.
Excursions at Bimini
During your day at Bimini, you’ll have a number of excursion options, if you choose. Of course, you don’t have to book anything – you could easily just spend the day at the beach or the pool. Sun loungers and umbrellas are complimentary and there seemed to be many available in a variety of spots.
At the actual beach club, you are able to book various types of cabanas, including lagoon, grove, and beach cabanas (as well as private cabanas dedicated to guests staying in Rockstar Suites). These are smallish cabanas, with different amenities like daybeds and some included drinks. I found the prices to be relatively affordable in comparison with other cruise lines, but they are definitely smaller cabanas.
On my second visit to the Beach Club at Bimini, we rented a cabana by the pool and beach. It included $100 of bar credit and had food and drink service. These are popular, so if you see one available on the app, you should book it as soon as possible.
Because Bimini is not a private island, you’ll have more opportunities for excursions beyond the beach club. These include shark snorkeling, dolphin safari, a mid-afternoon cruise, a historical tour of the island, and a scuba dive.
These official Virgin Voyages excursions, called “Shore Things”, can be booked in advance on the Virgin Voyages website or on the app. I’d recommend doing that as early as possible, because availability may be limited. If you have to go through customs, you may need additional documentation, so make sure you check before you leave the ship.
Timing at Bimini
Unlike other cruise ships, Virgin Voyages is docked at their private destination for the entire day into the evening. So, you don’t have to worry about leaving just as you are having fun. Instead, you’ll be able to stay until around sunset. On our voyage, we had to be on board by 7:30 pm, but this varies by ship and itinerary.
Party at the Beach Club at Bimini
Virgin Voyages is known for its amazing signature dance parties, held each day of your cruise. At Bimini, the party is a pool float party, which takes place in the middle of the day. There are also other activities, including morning yoga, as well as a pool DJ playing music throughout the afternoon. In the evening, you can watch as the fireballs and a beach bonfire are lit on the beach.
Beach at Bimini
Speaking of the beach – Bimini has a gorgeous one, with beautiful blue water and a beautiful white sand beach. It is more northern than popular Caribbean islands, so the water can be cooler in the winter months. During our May cruise, I found the water to be a little chilly but not cold at all.
There were plenty of chairs with umbrellas set up along the beach. Whether you want a full sun location or prefer the shade, there were lots of seating options.
Pools at Bimini
While we really did love the beach area, there are also two gorgeous lagoon-style pools overlooking the sea. There is seating along the pool, and the water is nice and warm. We also spent some time sitting in the shallow seats along the pool. You’ll probably want to visit both areas during your day in Bimini.
In addition to the beach and pool areas, there’s also a terrace area as you enter the beach club. This area has different types of seating as well as a bar. There’s also a bar overlooking one of the pools with fun hanging wicker chairs.
Bars and Food
You won’t go hungry or thirsty at the Beach Club at Bimini. There are bars located throughout the resort, and servers also walk by the chairs taking orders. You can charge all of your drinks with your band, so there’s no need for cash or credit cards.
Coconuts are also available if you’d like to try local juice. They are delicious and are also fun for photos. Choose one from the cart, pay, and a server will make a hole in it for you.
Lunch is also included on the island. It includes things like conch and mango salad as well as Bimini snapper. We really enjoyed our lunch – it’s a step above standard BBQ fare.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a Virgin Voyages passenger, it’s free to visit the Beach Club at Bimini. When Virgin’s ships are in port, it is exclusively open to those passengers.
They do, but only when Virgin isn’t using it. You’ll usually have to pay to visit the Beach Club at Bimini when cruising with other lines.
Yes, if you have bar tab money, you can use it at the beach club.