Now that Virgin America—home of moody lighting and the abundantly creepy seat-to-seat chat option—has been handed over to Alaska Airlines, (Sir) Richard Branson is at long last fulfilling his life’s ultimate purpose: Getting his adults-only cruise line off the ground.
Virgin Voyages was first announced in 2015, but the project stalled for a couple of years while Branson was engaged in other matters. But on Tuesday, he dropped 200 feet from the sky into a Miami shipyard to announce that the cruise line would finally be underway in 2020. Also, no one under the age of 18 will be allowed. As Branson told Condé Nast Traveler:
We want to get people who’d never dream of going on a cruise ship. We’re going to start without kids, which will make me a very unpopular granddad. It sends a message. I think there are a lot of people who find that kids running around a cruise ship gets in the way of their holiday. But then I’m sure we’ll become kids-friendly with a ship down the line.
Cruises are the ideal vacation for families with kids, since the ships are effectively their own fortified little islands where they can eat soft serve ‘til they puke, leaving the actual business of puke-cleaning to a clench-jawed staff member. And unlike at malls or amusement parks, parents don’t have to worry that their child is going to get lost in a endless expanse of manicured bushes or Aeropostales if they turn around for five seconds to pay for a funnel cake. Where’s a kid going to go on a cruise ship? Into the engine room? Into the ocean? Terrible options, both, but probably pretty unlikely. Surely they have a “Please Keep Out of the Ocean” sign or an electric fence or something.
But kids also do all sorts of awful things, including but not limited to repeatedly shitting in the Mickey pool. I am sure Branson envisions a blissfully shit-free experience for grownups looking to take in several gallons’ worth of martinis without the screech of a single toddler or shrill whine of a bored teen. I don’t think it’ll work, though.
Abolishing kids is certainly not a guarantee that shitting in pools won’t happen, since drunk adults—especially drunk adults temporarily liberated from the sticky shackles of parenthood—tend to be just as horrible as children, if not worse. I mean, the only person to have managed to fall off the side of a cruise ship in recent years was a 35-year-old man. I also don’t recall the last time a group of babies got hammered and started brawling on a Carnival Cruise to Mexico, or the last time a five-year-old tossed an 18-ton anchor off the side of a Holland America ship after a night of partying.
What I’m saying is: The only good cruise is a cruise with literally no other passengers on it, adult or child. Please let me know when that’s in the works.