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For Those That Have Booked With VV…


Gemina
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What made you chose to book and what have you sailed before?
 

My husband and I are still relatively new to cruising (one Disney completed and one upcoming Royal Caribbean, both with our boys) but would like to book something for just the two of us. I’m intrigued by Virgin Voyages but not entirely convinced yet. I’d love to hear what made others pull the trigger and book!

 

Thanks in advance! I’m a frequent lurker but not a poster. 

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Previously, I had only sailed with Carnival (8) and NCL (10) ... I wanted to expand my horizons, so I booked with VV back in Jan 2020, for a cruise in May 2020... Subsequently, I ended up being cancelled on seven times, but re booked, hoping to finally make it on board. I did make their very first sailing from America on Oct 6th 2021, and it felt great to have finally made it on board. The food, the drinks, and the crew were all great. The ship is beautiful, but quirky, but once you learn your way around, you'll feel right at home. Having no kids on board was a new experience, not that I have anything against them... I can't wait to be back on board next May!...

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No kids

Tips included

Creative food options without specialty restaurant upcharges

Focus on healthy activities

Quirky vibe

Liked Virgin's humane treatment of crew - better pay, better living conditions, free wi-fi, better food, allowing them to express their individualism, etc.

We are booked next March, but just had a chance to go on a two-night "friends and family" cruise prior to the official first cruise Oct. 6. WE LOVED IT! Really enjoyed Sid's review. So much to see that we missed. VV is not for everybody. If you think you might walk around the ship with your fingers in your ears demanding that they TURN DOWN THE MUSIC!!!! - or are offended by the mood lighting/music option in your cabin called "get it on" - don't even consider Virgin Voyages. We've been on many different lines...Virgin is like no other...and in a very good way!

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6 minutes ago, twodjs said:

 

Liked Virgin's humane treatment of crew - better pay, better living conditions, free wi-fi, better food, allowing them to express their individualism, etc.

 

Seconded! This was a big thing for me for sure ( along with the other factors listed)

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We had initially looked back in 2019 when they first announced, but the itineraries were not exciting to us yet so we passed on it.  Now that we are in Covid times, the idea of getting to go on a fully vaccinated cruise to ANYWHERE sounds good and the experience posted by @sid_9169 sealed the deal.  

 

The top two motivators for me with this cruise line are the higher quality of food and the treatment of staff.  How staff are treated on cruise lines has always been a real buzz kill on our previous trips - we even experienced when our room steward was fired mid cruise because a drunk passenger complained about him for something he did not even do (per his tearful claim).  I am a public employee with a social work degree who is very active with my union, so treatment of staff is an important thing to me and it had become difficult to turn a blind eye in the name of "vacation".  As for the food factor, we are foodies and eat high quality, locally sourced, meats while at home. Cruise ship food has never been a draw for us, so the chance for it to be a positive part of the experience instead of a neutral one is a great opportunity.  

 

Other factors are the current bonus offer for sailing with them this first year, the more risque adult entertainment since there are no kids on board, and the improvement in their environmental footprint compared to other cruise lines.

 

We are booked to sail in T-23 days and hope that the trip meets or exceeds all our expectations.

 

Edit to add: Our previous sailings have been on Princess twice and NCL 3 times. They were a mix of lengths and destinations, the most recent was a transatlantic on the NCL Epic in 2019 and the earliest was a round trip LA to Hawaii on Princess in 2004.

Edited by ociana
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I don't have much cruising history, but I have done a cruise to Alaska on Princess, just got off NCL to Bermuda, and then have done two expedition cruises to the Arctic (Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland with G Adventures) and Antarctica (Quark Expeditions). So I don't have anywhere near the cruise experience under my belt that many on Cruise Critic do. I do lots of land-based travel, and try to mix adventure, culture, great food & bev experiences, unique/off the wall lodging, with a bit of luxury or comfort mixed in.

 

I didn't pay much attention to the specifics of VV when the initial marketing came out, but just kind of gathered they were going for a different style and to mix it up a bit. I have flown Virgin once and enjoyed the twist on the flight experience just in terms of style, how you ordered food/drink, etc. I recall thinking the pricing on VV was a bit more than I wanted to pay as a solo traveler, and shorter cruises in the Caribbean aren't really that appealing to me. 

 

They came back onto my radar as cruising was starting back up this year. The inclusions were the big draw for me (all food, internet, standard tips...). The variety and quality of the dining is what I want in a vacation. Korean, "upscale" Mexican, an outdoor lounge that serves grilled octopus? Yes. The fact that everything is geared for an adult experience, but with fun details. And then I got a marketing email that included a blurb about transatlantics that caught my eye. I clicked through and saw the 11-day Lisbon-Canaries-Madeira-San Juan itinerary at only $1100 for a solo! That's a bargain any way you slice it. So I booked the solo, but am considering switching up to a sea terrace for another ~1400ish. Still a great deal.

 

Obviously I'm not someone who has a preferred cruise line and I'm just trying things out to see what fits. I won't know if VV does until November 2022, but I'm looking forward to it!

 

 

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16 minutes ago, periodic itinerant said:

I clicked through and saw the 11-day Lisbon-Canaries-Madeira-San Juan itinerary at only $1100 for a solo! That's a bargain any way you slice it. So I booked the solo, but am considering switching up to a sea terrace for another ~1400ish. Still a great deal.

 Hi there.  We are booked on the same sailing - love the itinerary, especially a southern crossing and terminating in San Juan us a huge bonus.  

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Hello .Well after 27 cruises on NCL  i jumped ship to try Virgin. The Reason  Suite  for the price of a cabin on NCL No TIPS they pay their staff salaries. No kids  and the aft suit with the bed looking out the doors. Im booked oct 2022 so time will tell  .I wont give up on NCL but  Virgin Voyages may turn out to be my 1st choice. The layout seems perfect for cruising at this time with covid still around   I cannot wait.  Rick

.  

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Most commercial lines. Cheaper price from the UK and wanted to see if it was good.

Service - great (tho tbf cruise line service is pretty amazing all round)

Ship design - meh, wasn't huge fan of it

Food - excellent, excellent, excellent- really impressed- they should make this a main point in their marketing, it was exquisite!

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We’ve sailed on Royal Carib once (Adventure of the Seas), Celebrity twice (Zenith & Equinox) and the Crystal Esprit. We chose to book VV because it checked a many of our boxes. No kids, Good food, an itinerary we haven’t done before as well as a killer room (Sweet Aft Suite) all combined to make the choice pretty easy. 

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We've cruised on MSC and NCL before booking virgin. The primary reasons we were drawn to trying out vv were:

  • Ship design. Lots of interesting smaller spaces with a design that comes across as both minimalist at times yet still bold without being over-the-top. 
  • Focus on food quality, but no specialty dining venues, just a few additional upcharge items on some menus.
  • 18+ and, judging from YouTube videos, a fun and diverse crowd of "sailors". We just finished our first cruise on Royal on Allure of the Seas and had a great time, but it did reaffirm how much we think we'll like an 18+ voyage. We're both in our 50s and like others were worried we'd feel too old on vv but once again YouTube videos have put our worries to rest about that. It looks like all age groups are having a blast.
  • We liked the various room and suite options. Decided to go nuts and splurged on a "posh suite" on a transatlantic voyage in April 2023. Even though vv doesn't have a drinks package per se, part of the reason we sprung for that level of suite was to get bottomless in-room bar and covered drinks in the rest of the ship too. That plus not having to worry about specialty dining packages lets us just pay upfront then forget about it for the actual voyage.
  • Sassy vibe across the ship and crew. Higher energy and less formal than other cruise lines is really appealing.

April 2023 feels waaaaay too far away: we have 5 upcoming cruises in the next year and a half and I think this is the one I'm looking forward to the most.

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