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Everything posted by cantgetin

  1. Then skip the drag shows.....there is plenty else going on!
  2. There is no membership number as far as I can tell. We've had DBE on all our VV cruises, including the most recent under the new benefits program, and never had a "number" attached in the way other lines do. The current program says it lasts thru 2025. No one knows what will happen after that. I saved my confirmation letter and have that available on line at the ports....only needed it once when they showed my cruise partner had DBE but didn't list me. Got it fixed with the letter. Note that the new benefits are per person, not per cabin....so sign up each person in your group who qualifies.
  3. Have not experienced Mega in Athens, but boarding and disembarkation in Barcelona was smoother than Miami. I would expect your Athens experience to be the same.
  4. The duck thing exploded on our recent TA. Bottom line, if you want to participate, do so. If you don't want to, there's no push to join. We've recently seen octopi and sea horses added to the duck hiding.
  5. In my 60s. Got off my first VV with 3 more booked. I've now done all 4 TAs that VV has done so far. Longer cruises tend to skew a little older, but you'll see that on any line. There is plenty to do on VV, regardless of your age and taste. You may enjoy heavy duty work out classes or chilling on your hammock....or may things in between. It is a myth that VV is for a younger crowd. In 2022, the average age was 43 with a range of 18-90s. I think VV thought they'd attract a younger group and their early ads made it look that way.....not so. What there isn't--kids, beverage packages (no one trying to max out their package on a daily basis), rock climbing wall, go karts, ice rinks, Broadway style shows.
  6. THey were not "FRESH pressed juices." They are "COLD pressed juices" and are poured out of a carton. They were available at only 2 bars during particular hours. My understanding is that the program has now changed and that the juices on the SOR program are no longer the Cold press that anyone can buy for $11-13, but rather are additional options to the standard fresh pressed which sell for about $6. Still limited to 2 bars and particular hours. Don't buy the program for the juices. If you would purchase the Moet and the thermal suite passes anyhow, consider the juice and munchies an added treat. If you won't use the Moet and/or thermal suite, it definitely isn't worth the package cost.
  7. In my experience, longer cruises on VV skew older and have less of a party atmosphere. I am in my 60s, and got off my first VV cruise with 3 more booked! There is a varied group on board, and always something to do whether that was relaxing on the hammock with a book, playing in the arcade, going to an exercise class, etc. There are lots of places to hang out, each with a bit or its own atmosphere. There's a lot of being a kid again--arcade, social club, summer camp activities, etc.
  8. Royal vs. Virgin would be a "no brainer" for me. I'm a 60 something with no body embellishments and not a partier. In fairness, I have no loyalty status on Royal, but have done more than 50 cruises on various other lines. VV--no kids, free wifi, essentially all included except alcohol. No drink packages = no people trying to max out their package. We do have Deep Blue Extras (loyalty on VV), so get some freebies there. They are offering a status match to the intro loyalty level, I believe. You can get any food served without the sauces. etc. There are more "plain" things being offered--for instance, The Galley has a grilled chicken breast plain at lunch and dinner. I don't hate kids. I hate the 10% of parents who allow their kids to run wild, trash beverage stations, push every elevator button, run thru the halls screaming, etc. Don't talk to me about "adult only" areas unless there is a cruise line that really enforces ALL such areas. If you want Broadway style shows, climbing walls, race tracks, ice rinks, etc. VV is not for you. But I'm old and don't use those things, so see no point in paying for them.
  9. We have always had next day return with DBE until the most recent TA. This was also the most full cruise I'd been on, and I suspect that many of us had the idea of doing laundry about half way thru. We were advised in advance that it would be a 2 day return. There were 2348 sailors on board. Price for same day is $50 per bag.
  10. Whether or not late embarkation is a benefit depends on your situation. If you live in FL and are driving or taking Brightline to the port, it may mean that you don't need a hotel. For us, it means that we can sleep late at the hotel after our travel day; we often request a late check out. No need to get up early to get to port. On the flip side, we enjoy a nice breakfast before heading to the airport. We don't need to be up at 6 am to go to a slimmed down breakfast menu and be rushed out of the dining room. Agreed that the benefits are much fewer if you have an earlier flight home. Our return flights from MIA are generally 1-3pm departures, (the choice is 7am or afternoon usually!) so the late disembarkation works great. We also like having cabins ready when we board--no need to pack a "day bag" or lug around your carry on. Of course, the trade off for late disembarkation is a late embarkation. It works well for us.
  11. Midnight EST supposedly but sometimes anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes earlier than that. When the app crashes, your TA can make your reservations for you or you can call VV the next morning and they can do it. Note that I said "when" and not "if." 4 VV cruises, and the app has crashed every time while booking dining. I usually get 2 or 3 nights booked, then it dies.
  12. No, you won't be asked to come back. You will be standing in a line based on your scheduled arrival time and will be able to board when everyone with a time earlier than your's has been processed. There is a very good chance that you will check in and board prior to your scheduled time, but not 2 hours earlier. They do ask you to arrive no more than 30 minutes before your scheduled time.....again, worst case, you stand in a line for your time slot. On our cruises, the first scheduled terminal arrival time has been 1:30. Most of the time, we have been in our stateroom by 2pm. VV does things differently, and there are good and bad aspects to those changes. First, your cabin will be ready when you board. You can go there immediately, drop your carry ons. freshen up, and go to lunch. Secondly, you will not be kicked off the ship at 8am on your last day; the latest disembarkation time is typically 10:30. This makes for a MUCH nicer morning for those with afternoon flights, and the ability to get off as early as 7:30 is still available to those who want it.
  13. Can't address whether people will be back... I've been on all 4 of the TAs that VV has had so far. On the first 3, the average age was 43-45. I have no explanation on this one except that 55 was the stat from Sailor Services, along with 2348 sailing. Maybe the word has gotten out that VV is not just for 20 somethings who want to party hardy (at least on the long sailings). That perception scared off a lot of us at the beginning. Shorter cruises do have a younger crowd. The other thing is that for those of us who booked early, this was the least expensive of the 4 TAs.....maybe that interested the older crowd. On the other hand, one way that VV attracts the younger group is/was their excellent wifi. We qualified for free premium, but the price increase for premium might have scared away some who planned to work while cruising. Standard wouldn't have been good enough for zoom....at least when I tried it.
  14. The Wake was better on the transatlantic just completed. No more long delays and meals taking forever. But yes, there are better steaks in other restaurants.
  15. THey say "next day" but on the recent TA it was 2 days. THursday nite was the last time to send it for Sunday departure. Same at midpoint--send Saturday, get back Monday. On previous VV cruises it was next day as long as turned in by noon
  16. We always found Princess "just OK." Good for Alaska where the attraction was the scenery and wildlife, but the ships themselves were nothing to be excited about. Good for Japan. Entertainment barely OK except for Japan cruises. Food....ok...We did upgrade to a suite on one cruise, and that was better dining.
  17. Not sure what you are looking for in demographic. Typical on VV is average age of 43. On our recent transatlantic we were told it was 55. It was definitely an older crowd than our provious TAs on virgin.
  18. That's the way it should be....and we saw a lot more of that on our recent trip....no instances of 3 managers standing around talking while there was work to be done.
  19. We were given lots of "teasers" on the transatlantic, but it is all really a "wait and see." I suspect the rockstar lounge is a reality.....maybe less so a full restaurant. The 2 hammock sea terraces was an official announcement. Totally agree that the suite experience on VV doesn't offer much compared to other lines. There were issues in getting restaurant reservations even after boarding, which was quite different than our previous cruises. The ship sailed at 2348 Sailors...the most of any cruise I've been on. Previously we had no trouble with same day reservations or making changes as long as we were flexible with times. On this sailing, we got waitlisted a couple of times and had them come thru, but no luck with showing up at 5:45 with fingers crossed (other than waitlist)
  20. The price on the thermal suite keeps increasing also, so that might explain the increase in SOR. In 18 months it has gone from to $39/59 based on shore day or sea day to $79.
  21. When you book, download the app and select a "terminal arrival time." The earliest available is 1:30. You are asked to not arrive at the terminal more than 30 minutes in advance of your time--if you do, you'll be waiting outside. Rockstars will board first, then those with priority boarding. It goes really quickly. We have usually been IN our cabin before 2 with a 1:30 time. The nice thing is that your cabin is ready when you board. You go to your room, drop carry ons, freshen up if you choose, then go to the lunch location of your choice (Galley, Pizza, The Dock, etc.) If you have a later boarding time, like 3pm, you might want to arrive about an hour early. You might stand in line for a while, but will likely be checking in and boarding prior to your time. Do complete all the boarding stuff on the app in advance. That's what makes boarding go so quickly. If you haven't, there is a "help" area to get it done without slowing down those who did it in advance.
  22. This has not been my experience on VV. It does work that way on other lines. On all of our VV stops, the ports have been where we can walk off the gangway (no tenders). As such, there has been no "we take the 200 people in this group first" situation. Yes, if you want to be off early, get to the gangway as soon as it opens. The VV excursion people will have been given a time to meet up, but you can beat them!
  23. The DBE status match ended 12/31/2023, then popped up again for a short time. You can apply after you make your booking and it will take a week or less to process provided it is being offered at the time you sign up. Like most things Virgin, the rules can change at a moment's notice. If you do sign up, sign up for each member of your party. The benefits are per person, not per cabin.
  24. yes...unless the rules have changed. If you use a TA (First Mate), you can also give them credit for your sailing even though you book it with the agent on board.
  25. At other ports, we could disembark about 30 minutes after the ship arrived. Of course. there can always be exceptions for emergencies. Yes, if the ship arrives early and all the needed processes are completed, you might be able to get off early, but not likely. Good luck with talking to Sailor Services shoreside. They only know what their computers say.
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