For An “Epic Sea Change”
A fifth-generation Floridian, Tom McAlpin has spent nearly his entire career focused on oceans. As a teenage diver, he scraped barnacles off boat bottoms and today, he serves as president and CEO, Virgin Voyages, launching in 2020. Promising an “Epic Sea Change for All,” he leads a team focused on new ship design and construction, “sailor” (guest) experiences, service, crew, safety and operations.
In 2020, Virgin Voyages’ first ship, the 2,700-passenger Scarlet Lady, will set sail from Miami to the Caribbean including Cuba. McAlpin personally explored Havana (see photo, below left) to evaluate shore options. The adults-only Scarlet Lady will debut the cruise industry’s first tattoo parlor, an innovative “Vitamin Sea” wellness program and a 220-square-foot netting area (as on a catamaran) where passengers can relax and gaze down at the ocean. A new “Scarlet Squad” initiative will mentor women in shipboard roles.
Creative ideas flow from Virgin Voyages’ new Plantation, FL, headquarters with entryway “red lighting,” an open office concept and décor touches including Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson’s memorabilia and a claw-footed bathtub holding plastic pink flamingo “tosses.” Simply put, McAlpin has created an incubator for innovation.