Written by Sylvia Longmire, Spin The Globe, November 10, 2021
Bimini Beach Club is the exclusive Virgin Voyages Bahamas retreat, located on the tiny island of Bimini. The Scarlet Lady cruise ship makes port calls here during every cruise out of Miami, and it is one of the rare Caribbean private resorts where the cruise ship can actually dock. This means that passengers who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids can just roll off the ship and not have to worry about using a tender boat to reach the dock.
That being said, the Bimini Beach Club is just one of several resort areas on the island of Bimini, and it is not within rolling distance of the dock. This means you have to take a tram for about a seven minute ride to get there. The good news is that the tram is wheelchair accessible with a ramp, and the space at the front of the tram can hold two wheelchairs side-by-side. There are slots for tiedowns, but the tiedowns were not present, and the tram driver didn’t seem too anxious to get them out. That being said, the tram moved very slowly, and despite some rain and slippery surfaces, I did not slide around or feel unsafe or unstable at all.
The launch of Scarlet Lady was delayed by a year and a half due to Covid, and I had only seen some vague sketches of the Bimini Beach Club leading up to my cruise on November 3. I was somewhat skeptical about the accessibility of the Beach Club based on these sketches, but I was very pleasantly surprised to know that the accessibility was actually quite wonderful!