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Everything posted by CineGraphic

  1. We are in our 60s,and used to be loyal to Princess. Virgin is in it's own league, and opened our eyes as to things we didn't know annoyed us until we sailed without them. The list includes, announcements. (VV has none except on embarkation and disembarkation days) Virgin also has no art auctions, no photographers, no cruise director, no gold by the inch or rummage type sales. No MDR, and nobody trying to sell you drink packages. What they DO have is a very friendly/happy crew due to some of the best work conditions on board including free wifi. Food cooked ala-minute in the various dining venues, instead of hotel banquet quality fodder that's been sitting in a warmer for an hour or more. They also bring on top-notch musicians and buskers from all over the world for a wide variety of entertainment. Things like soda, individual pizzas and homemade gelato are all included in your fare. They've won too many awards to not give them a try, and if you have any status with RCL, you can score a few extra perks. Check here: https://www.virginvoyages.com/sailing-club
  2. When booked with Deep Blue Extras, our laundry has always been returned the next day. As Mega Rock Stars, our laundry was returned same day.
  3. We found this guy while walking outside on deck 7 during last fall's transatlantic. He definitely came home with us!
  4. The entertainment in unlike anything you've probably seen on other lines. This past week we saw a wonderful cabaret/vaudeville style show which had various acts including the likes of sword swallowers, contortionists, and roller skating acrobats. There's also a hysterical show called, "The Miss Behave Show" in which there is no way to describe, but I've never laughed so hard and had so much fun in decades. They also bring on a wide variety of guest musicians and buskers from around the world. Everything from rock & blues, to salsa and the like. The food is all cooked "ala minute" and not the standard pre-cooked wedding reception fodder that is common on other lines. There are several dining venues to choose from, all at no additional charge. Youtube is very helpful in this case, and I'm sure someone will happily jump in with a few links. The other night, my wife and I ordered a 65 day dry-aged tomahawk stake for an upcharge, and it could have easily fed a family of 5.
  5. We have done an 8 day Caribbean on the Valiant, and have the exact same sailing booked for April of next year,and we just returned yesterday from a 5 day sailing on the Valiant to the Dominican Republic and Bimini. She's a wonderful ship, with a great crew. St. Croix had a lovely small town feel, and was a nice change from the typical Caribbean ports, and in San Juan you dock right in the middle of Old Town. We feel that everything is superior to HAL, and now I only sail with HAL when it's a free offer for a casino tournament.
  6. I'm glad that it's all worked out, but when there's a problem with a booking caused by the cruise line, it's always better to have your TA advocate for you. They represent a larger client base and more $$$ than any individual. Going straight to Princess is like asking a guy who's suing you in court to fix things and make it all right, even though you have a lawyer representing you.
  7. Alvin probably gets paid more than that for each client he brings back from the dead. Here's clearly not a PCL employee, but just a contractor as some hawk-eyed members noted the format of his email address doesn't match that of real PCL employees.
  8. Thanks for sharing....I think several on here doubted that my letter was real. Now get ready to be accused of extortion and all other sorts of nonsense from the Princess apologists, and those who insist that they must be much better passengers than we are.
  9. I believe they have quite the recycling program on board, and Virgin has either already eliminated or is working on eliminating all single-use plastics.
  10. The whole duck thing is such a waste of plastic, and I've heard that crew will get rid of them if they see them before passengers do. Someone on the cruise I disembarked from yesterday brought 700 tiny ducks for a 5 night sailing. 🤬
  11. There were lots of problems and they were all spelled out in a live thread I did back then. Feel free to dig around and give it a good read before making any more assumptions or conclusions . Extortion??? That’s quite a stretch. These problems were mentioned, both on board and in letters to corporate. They were given the chance to fix things, and didn’t. I’m reminded of a woman standing in a long line for guest services during this cruise, and she started screaming F-bombs at the top of her lungs….that’s when I realized Princess didn’t deserve to call themselves the Love Boat anymore.
  12. We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary on a 12 day sailing from Portsmouth to Barcelona in a Sweet Aft Suite, for $200 per person per day.
  13. They cost more, but include more. These are the only cruises we’ve been on where we haven’t had a balance due when disembarking. The food is also on an entirely different level, with no specialty dining charges.
  14. The original status match program for which we qualified is more generous than the new current one, but for Princess, Platinum and Elite qualify. Details and the levels they match for other lines can be found here; https://www.virginvoyages.com/sailing-club
  15. This is probably the only similarity, Virgin has “The Band”. The red ones are for “sailors” and the black ones are for “Rock Stars”. They are made from recycled plastic from the sea, and you are encouraged to drop them off when disembarking for further recycling.
  16. Thanks to their status match program, every time we sail with Virgin, Pam and I each get $100, free specialty coffees daily, free laundry, upgraded wifi, early boarding. and an invite to a champagne reception. $50 is a joke.
  17. The demographic you see advertised is quite different from reality. We’ve yet to smell any weed while on board Virgin. So far only Princess potheads 😁
  18. Food is cooked to order, no announcements, no art auctions, no cruise director, unique shows, no Effy, and the happiest crew at sea who get paid the same no matter if the ship is empty or full. There is even a health and happiness office on board for the crew. On this sailing we’ll have two crew members join us for dinner as it’s their last sailing of their contracts.
  19. Thank you for your kind words. We used to be such cheerleaders for Princess, and always imagined we’d be on a Princess ship, in a suite for our 25th anniversary. We cancelled all of our remaining Princess bookings while still on our first Virgin sailing. There’s literally no comparison. Tomorrow we sail as “Mega Rockstars” with complimentary private transportation to and from the port, a bottomless in-room bar, and all other sorts of wonderful freebies. There’s not a single hint of John Padgett and his nonsense anywhere on the ship.
  20. Our last sailings with Princess were b2b sailings on the Ruby out of San Francisco in April of 2022. These were the worst cruises we’ve ever taken. Among other things, they were taking reservations for both specialty dining rooms but only opening 1 each night. We were served a partially eaten appetizer from another table in Sabatinis, and they did nothing about the pot smokers on board, despite the posted policy. Since then, we’ve been very happy sailing with Virgin Voyages, in fact we’re sitting in a hotel in Miami at this very moment as we are boarding the Valiant Lady tomorrow for our 6th sailing with Virgin since October of 2022. I just received an email from Alvin Stokes, the new head of customer support for Princess in which he apologizes for the delay (2 years) and as an offer to win me back, he’s offered us $50 OBC. 🤣 Needless to say, I think we’ll pass. So glad we unloaded our CCL stock too. I hope they put that $50 to good use instead of digging a bigger hole for themselves.
  21. Anyone booked on deck 13 post drydock have been reassigned elsewhere. Make of that what you will.
  22. The Mega Rock Star offer sold out quickly....even without an itinerary!
  23. Pam and I booked the Canada to Miami leg.....back in 2017 we did a north-bound version of this itinerary on another line and loved it. Our friends wanted to join us, but they always sail as Rock Stars and balked at the price. I was surprised to see that the 16 day PC sailing is $1K less for a sea terrace than the 13 day Canada -Miami sailing. I thought the canal tolls would make the price higher.
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