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Is Virgin too different/much of a turn-off (and not a turn-on?)


johnnylikely
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Obviously horses for courses etc

But I'm really wondering if Virgin have shot themselves in the foot by being too different (for the sake of it).

I was in a circle of very seasoned cruisers and not one even them even seemed remotely interested in cruising with the (adamant to not in fact!).

I know VV is going for a new market but I doubt that that will be enough to fill their ships- they need the oldbies and newbies to survive?

I tried them as I wanted to make up my own mind and it's the food that's won me over- everything else is a bit meh, but at the right price I'd consider them for sure!

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I've only done a cruise with Virgin (and booked for more with them) and I wonder if I would be happy on some other lines.

I love that I don't have to worry about an extra 18% being added on.

The fact it is like eating in a normal city (just book restaurants) appeals, rather than being in the same place nightly. No real dress code also is good.

Also just knowing that soda is always included is nice.

 

My only main complaint is the pool....

Edited by jon81uk
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On 3/14/2022 at 11:01 AM, jon81uk said:

I love that I don't have to worry about an extra 18% being added on.

My only main complaint is the pool....

That 18% IS added on, you just don't see it, it's buried in the fare. And that pool... Especially on Scarlet since she was designed for the Caribbean, it's the one aspect of the entire ship that makes the least sense. Especially with the well-being theme of the cruise line, I would have expected them to make a killer solarium, indoor pool that turned into an entertainment, club venue at night. 

 

We are sailing Scarlet in July and it was the food that primarily attracted us. We've sailed Princess, Celebrity, Disney, Royal, Holland America, NCL and sailing Carnival next week so it'll be good to compare and contrast what VV is doing vs. everyone else. We already know we're going to love our balcony. Thanks to the 200% credit from the first cancelation and the 125% from the second cancelation, we're in a Cheeky Corner Suite. It'll be our largest balcony so far. 🙂 

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I've cruised (in order):

Cunard QE2

USS Ranger, Independence, and Kennedy

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas

Disney don't remember

NCL don't remember

Regent Seven Seas Alaska

Carnival don't remember

Ecoventura Origin Galapagos

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

 

Unless it is a small, specialty cruise, like Regent and Ecoventura were, I'll never sail anything but Virgin, again. It was that different, in a very good way.

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On 3/19/2022 at 10:18 AM, creativegenius said:

That 18% IS added on, you just don't see it, it's buried in the fare. And that pool... Especially on Scarlet since she was designed for the Caribbean, it's the one aspect of the entire ship that makes the least sense. Especially with the well-being theme of the cruise line, I would have expected them to make a killer solarium, indoor pool that turned into an entertainment, club venue at night. 

 

We are sailing Scarlet in July and it was the food that primarily attracted us. We've sailed Princess, Celebrity, Disney, Royal, Holland America, NCL and sailing Carnival next week so it'll be good to compare and contrast what VV is doing vs. everyone else. We already know we're going to love our balcony. Thanks to the 200% credit from the first cancelation and the 125% from the second cancelation, we're in a Cheeky Corner Suite. It'll be our largest balcony so far. 🙂 

 Yeah I guess that tips are actually included but I prefer not noticing it, also the included soft drinks and similar.

 

We've just done the Valiant Lady MerMaiden cruise Portsmouth to Zeebrugge and got upgraded to a corner suite! The balcony was enormous but not really the weather for using it! The suite itself is nice, great bed, bathroom is a good size and loads of storage including under the bed!

Also first round of mini bar is free (half bottles of all spirits, wine, moet) and free moet hour in the afternoon too.

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8 hours ago, jon81uk said:

 Yeah I guess that tips are actually included but I prefer not noticing it, also the included soft drinks and similar.

 

We've just done the Valiant Lady MerMaiden cruise Portsmouth to Zeebrugge and got upgraded to a corner suite! The balcony was enormous but not really the weather for using it! The suite itself is nice, great bed, bathroom is a good size and loads of storage including under the bed!

Also first round of mini bar is free (half bottles of all spirits, wine, moet) and free moet hour in the afternoon too.

Do you mind me asking @jon81uk if you got upgraded before you got on board or after? And if before, did you bid for it? I’m due on board next Friday 🙂

Edited by demon_princezz
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7 hours ago, demon_princezz said:

Do you mind me asking @jon81uk if you got upgraded before you got on board or after? And if before, did you bid for it? I’m due on board next Friday 🙂

We didn’t bid, just got lucky a few days (less than a week) before.

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I've only cruised on Princess so limited comparison. I always book mid ship cabin with balcony and from what i renember the cabin on princess was much larger, that said the vv cabin is very functional. They miss a lot techie opportunities in the cabin, no music channel, Bluetooth speakers etc and no ability to cast to TV, yet they have mood lighting and auto curtains which for me are not a win. 

I'm enjoying Virgin better by the day. Sure they'll get it right in time.

Also this was a fair bit cheaper than princess. 

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On 3/19/2022 at 6:18 AM, creativegenius said:

That 18% IS added on, you just don't see it, it's buried in the fare. ...

 

How do you know this? Perhaps Virgin compensates employees in a different manner.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, cabins smaller than Princess?  That's going to be interesting.  I did address some of the "is this for me" issues with my TA prior to booking as he's cruises VV several times.  My initial impression was that it was designed for 20 somethings spending daddy's money.  He agreed that the ads seemed that way in the beginning, but they have definitely changed their target demographic to something more in the 50s range.  It will be interesting to see. I'm ready for a good cruise with no kids.

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8 hours ago, cantgetin said:

Wow, cabins smaller than Princess?  That's going to be interesting.  I did address some of the "is this for me" issues with my TA prior to booking as he's cruises VV several times.  My initial impression was that it was designed for 20 somethings spending daddy's money.  He agreed that the ads seemed that way in the beginning, but they have definitely changed their target demographic to something more in the 50s range.  It will be interesting to see. I'm ready for a good cruise with no kids.

@cantgetin I wouldn’t say Virgin balcony cabins are smaller than standard Princess balconies ie cabins without the additional sofa. The bathroom arrangement may seem smaller, but the shower is much bigger on Virgin and Princess is still a major fail for me for insisting on using shower curtains instead of doors. 
I was on Valiant earlier this month out of England and passenger age was generally 30-60. However I was also on Scarlet last August from the same port and it was more 25-50. It definitely skews to a younger demographic, but more than anything it’s targeting those keen on health and wellness, and who have an active lifestyle. There’s been a lot of grumbling about a lack of organised activities, but there are actually quite a lot - it’s just they’re mostly ones that require you to work up a sweat. Which is kind of the point of the brand.

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13 hours ago, demon_princezz said:

There’s been a lot of grumbling about a lack of organised activities, but there are actually quite a lot - it’s just they’re mostly ones that require you to work up a sweat. Which is kind of the point of the brand.

Totally agree!  We were on a 5 night and felt like we didn't have enough time to do everything we wanted to or eat everywhere we wanted to, but we also spent most of our daytime doing fitness classes or reading a book/enjoying the pool. 

 

Yes, the age range skewed a bit older, as some others have mentioned, because that's where most disposable income is.  We're early-mid 30s, had a great time, and didn't really feel that any other passengers' ages had any impact (positive or negative) on our enjoyment of our vacation.

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