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The Good, The Bad, and hopefully Awesome - Live Updates from Oct 15th Sailing


bortzct
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3 hours ago, Kesali said:

 

 

Ugh..  I like the sweeter tasting drinks as well.  I do not drink beer and enjoy very few wines.  Liqueurs mixed to make sweet drinks are my thing.  I was really looking forward to a variety of drinks on this cruise as we rarely drink at home or go to bars.  I even have a folder on my phone with photos of various drinks!  I was going to show the bartenders a new one each time and ask if they could make this.  😊

 

I'm glad I decided not to "pre-pay" a bar tab ahead of time.  Thank you so much for that information!!

I'm with you in being glad I didn't prepay a bar tab now that I've seen some of their drink menus! I don't mind light beer but in looking at their beer selections, I didn't see many that appeal to me. I do like wine but I'm sleepy after 1-2 glasses. I'm glad sparkling water is included - I think I'll be drinking my fill on this cruise!

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There are frozen drinks from a machine at the bar next to the net.  They have two flavors.   @Kesali If you like sweet drinks I would recommend the Sangria from the Dock.  I liked the rum punch at the Bimini Beach Club.  It was a bit Smokey but I also liked the Agave Coloda from Razzle Dazzle.

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Just a quick post of some tips/notes while they are fresh in my mind.... 

1) When going ashore at Bimini, you do not need to bring your pool towels from your cabin.  They have beach towels that they will hand out at the end of the gang plank when getting off the ship plus there are towel stations by the pool once at the Beach Club.  You also do not need to bring cash or ID, just your Virgin wrist band.

2) When at the Beach club, there were a lot more available loungers with umbrellas if you go to the left end of the beach - seemed most folks went to the middle or right.

3) music at the beach club gets noticeably louder in the afternoon - getting folks pumped up I guess

4) the tram from the ship to the Beach club is free and there are 2 big trams running continuously so the wait is not bad at all

5) Our cabin had 6 USB outlets and 4 electrical outlets (by the bed and at the desk)

6) every cabin will have a throw in it for those that don't want to deal with the heavier duvet

7) Leave your boarding luggage tags ON your bags the whole trip.  At the end of the cruise, you will use them again if you are having them take your bag off the ship.

8 ) You have to have your bag outside your cabin door by 10pm the last night of the cruise for them to pick up and have waiting at the port for you in the morning.  They use your luggage tag to help sort it at the Port.

9) They only service your cabin once a day but if you ever want a second service/fresh towels, all you have to do is turn on your blue service cabin light by the door or request it on the in room tablet and it will magically get done right away by the squad of Ninja cabin stewards.

10) move your QR reader app on your phone to be right NEXT to the Virgin App because you will use it at every restaurant.  I actually like the QR menus since you can easily expand the text without having to put on glasses 😎

and finally - 

11) The Social Club has free salt water taffy and gummy bears to your hearts content.

 

That's it for now - we just finished dinner and off to a show.  I will post pics and share details on the day later tonight. 😎 

Edited by bortzct
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3 hours ago, Chamoretta said:

There are frozen drinks from a machine at the bar next to the net.  They have two flavors.   @Kesali If you like sweet drinks I would recommend the Sangria from the Dock.  I liked the rum punch at the Bimini Beach Club.  It was a bit Smokey but I also liked the Agave Coloda from Razzle Dazzle.

 

I like Sangrias!  Nice to know I can get one, thank you!  Rum punch will be nice as well.

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6 hours ago, floridatraveler43 said:

Any problems with water? They don't sell water anywhere on the ship; no bottled water or even water in recyclable cans so you have to bring your own water bottle and fill it up yourself.  

 

water is provided in the cabin and refreshed everyday

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Regarding water bottles, does VV sell re-usable water bottles in one of the shops?  It would be nice to purchase a branded VV re-usable water bottle on the ship if I'm going to need to bring one anyways.

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Sorry for the delay but here is the recap from Day 5 (I stayed out too late on our last night to post earlier).

We were at  Bimini from around 9:30am-9:30pm and it was perfect weather for a beach day - no humidity and a light breeze. Right after you walk off the ship, they have free trams waiting to take you over to the Beach Club. I included a pic of the map of the Beach Club so you can see the full layout. We spent all our time on the beach and in the ocean (coming from Kansas, this is my highlight vs the pool area).  We easily found two loungers with an Umbrella.  They do have several round beds with cover but those were snapped up right away.  They have several bungalows that you can reserve for $350 but in my opinion they did not seem that big of a benefit but you do get a $100 bar credit with it.  Several folks tried to snorkel in the beach area but they said it was kind of cloudy and did not really see any fish. The surf was just strong enough to make getting in and out of the ocean a little tricky if you did not time it just right.  I did see a couple of folks get knocked on their butt or have a wardrobe malfunction after a surprise wave. Enjoyed a frozen skinny-pina (yummy but was $14) and a good lunch before heading back to the beach.  We only had to wait around 15 minutes for a tram to head back to the ship - really great and fun day.  We did not head back for the lighting of the fireball on the beach at the evening since we have dinner and show reservations.

Ate at Extra Virgin, the Italian restaurant and have to admit it gave Pink Agava a run for the money as my favorite restaurant. The food was amazing but the interior decor was rather bland when compared to the other venues. I can not stress enough with how Virgin has really taken the food experience to a whole different level compared to other main stream cruise lines. We did swing back by the cabin to set out our big suitcase before 10pm for them to take to the terminal in the morning.

We went to the "Untitled Danceshowpartything" show and kind of had mixed reviews on it. My husband bailed after 10 minutes - just not his kind of thing. I stayed for most of it but was watching up in the balcony and not down on the floor where everyone stands and is encouraged to dance along to the show.  The stage moves around and uses video screens on all the walls to give you a real 360 degree experience.  Again this is a show that will be a love it or leave it. 

We also headed over the Dock area on the Aft for Celestial Storytelling which had the "Hostess" - the same lady that runs the Never Sleep Alone Cabaret show, doing story telling about Greek mythology and the stars while people lounged on the deck beds looking up at the stars.   It was a beautiful night to do it but several folks did leave before it was over (including us).  We did catch some more of the Pop up performers randomly around the ship and saw a great set by the VV Band at the On the Rocks bar.   

While we were at Bimini all day until 9:30pm the shops and casino were all closed.  Several folks still had ship credit on their accounts to spend so they were stressing when the stores had not reopened after sailing.  They did finally open but it was not until 11pm and were still open at midnight when I headed to my cabin. 

Someone asked about the water - I did see some high end brand refillable bottles in the shops so you can buy them there if you want. I brought one with me that worked out great. They have refilling stations on the decks and then you have 2 large bottles that they fill daily for you (plus you can request more water from your in cabin tablet). I really thought I would miss not having bottled water easily available and I did not at all.

Also - within the App you can chat with Guest Services if you have a question and it will save you a trip to stand in line to talk to someone.  Such a handy option.

Day 6 - time to say goodbye and head home (sad face)

The disembarkation this morning was SUPER smooth and nothing like the Embarkation fiasco. We signed up for the 9am time slot and after enjoying one last made to order omelet at the Galley, we headed to deck 7 and literally just walked right off the ship, no lines, no wait.  Picking up our bag and clearing Customs was just as speedy.  We ordered an Uber to head to the Ft Lauderdale airport to catch our Southwest flight only to find out once we got there, our flight was actually out of the Miami airport - UGH!  That will teach me to not play closer attention.  I had booked many trips over the next 4 months and obviously had not booked round trip out of FLL but had done one ways.  So after a frantic Lyft ride back to Miami we made it to our gate just as they where ready to close the doors. Nothing like hearing your names called over the PA as you are running down the concourse - yikes!

We are back home now and ready to go back to the real world of work tomorrow (more sad face).

Thanks for coming along on the ride!!

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6 hours ago, bortzct said:

Someone asked about the water - I did see some high end brand refillable bottles in the shops so you can buy them there if you want. I brought one with me that worked out great. They have refilling stations on the decks and then you have 2 large bottles that they fill daily for you (plus you can request more water from your in cabin tablet). I really thought I would miss not having bottled water easily available and I did not at all.

 

Yes, that was me.  Thank you.  I was thinking instead of bringing a refillable bottle with me from Canada of just purchasing one on the ship and bringing it back home.  Either I or one of my teens would use it afterwards.

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Glad you all liked my live review and found it helpful for your cruise planning! Especially on a new cruise line or ship, I always search the boards for the latest reviews or chats on it before hand. That way I don't feel so lost that 1st day - I act like I actually know what I'm doing. LOL

On the questions about shaded areas at the beach club, We had no issues finding loungers with umbrellas for shade on the beach. Around the pool area there is not as much shaded areas. We did notice that there were more in umbrellas and loungers available if you went to the left side when you approached the beach, As most people tend to go to the middle or to the right. Once the ship gets full capacity, that could all change. If you go over before 11am, you will have tons of Prime spots to pick from. It did not get hopping until after lunch time.

No, Virgin will not be my next cruise. I already have two Royal Caribbean cruises planned for Dec and February and then a Celebrity cruise planned for January. I am excited for the Celebrity Millennium cruise as we splurged and got a Sky Suite - never done that before.  The Feb cruise will be on Royal's Allure of the Sea which will be my first time doing their mega Oasis class ship. I love the size and design of their Freedom class ships - my most favorite design so far of all the cruise lines I have done so far.  Virgin is my #1 pick for food but feel they need to broaden their entertainment options. All their venues are small so they need more options so people don't rush and book up all the spots for the three shows they do have. It would be nice to have just one sports bar on the ship - their was a ton of folks Lined up on our top deck on Sunday watching the jumbo tron on the Royal Caribbean ship which was playing the Cowboys game as there was nowhere to watch it on the Scarlet lady.  No going to lie, I would have like to see a Comedy Club too but that might not be hip enough.

Virgin does give you a different cruise experience and at 50% capacity, now is a fantastic time to cruise them.

 

 

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@bortzctOooh, you are in for a treat with that Celebrity cruise! Be careful...once you get into suites, it's hard to go back to regular balconies! Hubby and I usually go in a sky suite but we've splurged on Celebrity suites (the next one up) a couple of times for special occasions. Luminae is absolutely incredible (try the smoked tomato soup at embarkation day lunch - I always have 2 bowls!) and you'll have access to Blu as well (though we find Luminae is so excellent that we don't need to dine elsewhere). 

 

Thanks again for a fantastic review! I'm just taking a break from packing for our sailing on Sunday...best get back to it before I get completely side tracked, lol.

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On 10/19/2021 at 11:42 PM, floridatraveler43 said:

Any problems with water? They don't sell water anywhere on the ship; no bottled water or even water in recyclable cans so you have to bring your own water bottle and fill it up yourself.  


There are two carafes in the room which they refresh every day and you can request more at any time on the app. You can also order water in a glass at any bar (I think). There are refillable water stations around the ship if you have a bottle. Most are on 15. I’ve been pouring my carafe water in to my bottle. They do sell refillable bottles on board but they are expensive ($25 or $32? For the Swell bottles) and the shops aren’t open all the time so my suggestion is buy a cheap water bottle and bring it. The water tastes great. 

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On 10/22/2021 at 12:03 PM, Ginnyfyr said:

@bortzctOooh, you are in for a treat with that Celebrity cruise! Be careful...once you get into suites, it's hard to go back to regular balconies! Hubby and I usually go in a sky suite but we've splurged on Celebrity suites (the next one up) a couple of times for special occasions. Luminae is absolutely incredible (try the smoked tomato soup at embarkation day lunch - I always have 2 bowls!) and you'll have access to Blu as well (though we find Luminae is so excellent that we don't need to dine elsewhere). 

 

Thanks again for a fantastic review! I'm just taking a break from packing for our sailing on Sunday...best get back to it before I get completely side tracked, lol.

Thanks for the Celebrity tips- looking forward to having the “Suite” experience. Hope you are having a wonderful cruise right now!!!

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On 10/22/2021 at 8:49 AM, floridatraveler43 said:

Sorry, I meant did the lack of water pose any problems for you during the cruise? Virgin is the first cruise line I know of where you can't get bottled water pre-cruise or from any bar on the ship.

It did not cause me any issue at all. It actually helped get me in the habit of carry my I insulated refillable bottle with me vs going through multiple bottled waters per day. I had no issue getting more water while on the ship - either from the Galley or any of the bars will gladly give you a glass of ice water. I filled my big refillable Bottle and took it to the beach at Bimini and it worked out great. I really thought it would be an issue but it was not.

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