Jump to content

We're planning on comparing John Padgett's way of thinking with Richard Branson's.


CineGraphic
 Share

Recommended Posts

These two Princess loyalists have decided to cancel our Quebec to Fort Lauderdale sailing on the Caribbean Princess this October, in order to give the new kid on the block a chance,. We are interested in seeing if Richard Branson's spin on sailing suits us better than the recent Padgett treatment.

I've enjoyed flying on Virgin Atlantic in the past, but remember, there's a perfectly good reason why you don't see Virgin Cola for sale anymore, it was horrible.  

 

Thanks to a sale, we were able to get a nice deal on a terrace/balcony cabin for a short B2B totaling 9 days.

This should give us enough time to decide what sort of cruise we'll book for our 25th anniversary in 2024, and who we'll book it with.

 

Just from what we've seen online while doing our homework, it's clear that Princess and Virgin are different in many ways.

This will in no way be an apples to apples comparison.

 

A few of the things that convinced us to give Virgin a try are:

  • 20+ dining venues, no MDR, no buffet.
  • Embarkation doesn't begin until 2:00PM, allowing passengers on-board to enjoy a leisurely/late breakfast before disembarking.
  • Wifi, all-grats, and essential drinks are included. (sodas, sparkling water, non-pressed juices, drip coffee, tea)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking forward to hearing about your experience.  We are considering the same, especially since we know of several Princess crew members that also jumped ship to Virgin.  The crew members are working a lot fewer hours and for a higher salary.

Edited by LACruiser88
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another (former) Princess loyalist here. I tried out Virgin end of February and LOVED it! The dining was out of this world, I really enjoyed the entertainment and lack of kids (I have never cruised without my kids before and never thought I would, but...) and found it so refreshing not to be bombarded with constant sales pitches for everything. I would definitiely say that this was probably one of my best cruises and I am going to sail with them again - maybe not as much as I would like to, due to the kid thing (lol). If they bring a ship to the West Coast I would be sailing with them all the time!

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, CineGraphic said:

These two Princess loyalists have decided to cancel our Quebec to Fort Lauderdale sailing on the Caribbean Princess this October, in order to give the new kid on the block a chance,. We are interested in seeing if Richard Branson's spin on sailing suits us better than the recent Padgett treatment.

I've enjoyed flying on Virgin Atlantic in the past, but remember, there's a perfectly good reason why you don't see Virgin Cola for sale anymore, it was horrible.  

 

Thanks to a sale, we were able to get a nice deal on a terrace/balcony cabin for a short B2B totaling 9 days.

This should give us enough time to decide what sort of cruise we'll book for our 25th anniversary in 2024, and who we'll book it with.

 

Just from what we've seen online while doing our homework, it's clear that Princess and Virgin are different in many ways.

This will in no way be an apples to apples comparison.

 

A few of the things that convinced us to give Virgin a try are:

  • 20+ dining venues, no MDR, no buffet.
  • Embarkation doesn't begin until 2:00PM, allowing passengers on-board to enjoy a leisurely/late breakfast before disembarking.
  • Wifi, all-grats, and essential drinks are included. (sodas, sparkling water, non-pressed juices, drip coffee, tea)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

so no beer, wine cocktails??  what about the per day price point difference using the Princess no frills price and adding grats?   are the itineraries even close to the same?

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, voljeep said:

so no beer, wine cocktails??  what about the per day price point difference using the Princess no frills price and adding grats?   are the itineraries even close to the same?

Virgin doesn't offer a "drink package" (pretty much the only downside in my opinion) but the drinks on the ship were very reasonably priced. You can buy a bar tab (their version of OBC that can be used for alcohol) and they give an additional $$$ amount as a bonus when you purchase. For two of us on a 5 day sailing, we ended up with $300 bar tab, drank as much as we wanted, and still had trouble using it up!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, ceilidh1 said:

Virgin doesn't offer a "drink package" (pretty much the only downside in my opinion) but the drinks on the ship were very reasonably priced. You can buy a bar tab (their version of OBC that can be used for alcohol) and they give an additional $$$ amount as a bonus when you purchase. For two of us on a 5 day sailing, we ended up with $300 bar tab, drank as much as we wanted, and still had trouble using it up!

that works out to about 3 drinks each per day?  $30 per day for 3 drinks vrs Princess Plus $35 per day for 15 drinks ... 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, voljeep said:

that works out to about 3 drinks each per day?  $30 per day for 3 drinks vrs Princess Plus $35 per day for 15 drinks ... 

 

Doesn't matter unless you drink 15 drinks a day, which we don't.

 

Cost-wise, Virgin is more, but we caught a good sale to help lessen the price spread. We don't mind spending more if it's warranted.

 

As for itinerary, the ship is our destination. That and their private resort which from the looks of it, makes Princess Cays look old & tired.

https://youtu.be/F0Tjxk8vdpU

 

Edited by CineGraphic
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, LACruiser88 said:

When it come to itineraries, especially long voyages, Princess has a lot to offer.

 

And I feel in a few years, as the VV fleet grows, they too will be able to offer longer voyages.

At this point the longest sailing they have is the rare transatlantic crossing, which is something we'll consider for our 25th anniversary.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I think that Virgin's cabin set-up as "living room by day, bedroom by night" is genius and the way forward for all cruise lines eventually.  Not saying that their current execution is perfect.  But the idea of having a convertible cabin with a seating area during the day instead of a queen-sized bed taking up all the space is brilliant.  In the afternoon I'd much rather have a living room than a bedroom.  Especially if you want to congregate with others.   

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, JimmyVWine said:

Personally, I think that Virgin's cabin set-up as "living room by day, bedroom by night" is genius and the way forward for all cruise lines eventually.  Not saying that their current execution is perfect.  But the idea of having a convertible cabin with a seating area during the day instead of a queen-sized bed taking up all the space is brilliant.  In the afternoon I'd much rather have a living room than a bedroom.  Especially if you want to congregate with others.   

I also never realised how much I would love a hammock on the balcony until I actually had one...

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, CineGraphic said:

 

Doesn't matter unless you drink 15 drinks a day, which we don't.

 

Cost-wise, Virgin is more, but we caught a good sale to help lessen the price spread. We don't mind spending more if it's warranted.

 

As for itinerary, the ship is our destination. That and their private resort which from the looks of it, makes Princess Cays look old & tired.

https://youtu.be/F0Tjxk8vdpU

 

Princess Cays is old and tired even on the Carnival scale.  

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have done two 3 nighters out of the UK on Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady and found the VV ships to be fantastic. Loved the range of different venues and it did help being in a Rockstar suite with a huge wraparound balcony!. The staff were wonderful and very engaging too. The entertainment options took a little while to get used to but we enjoyed lots of great live music and there was enough to keep you busy (lost my other half for a while to the free games arcade full of eighties classics).

 

There were a wide range of bars and drinks - had a little problem finding enough frozen drinks (for me) but there were suitable alternatives. We did the bar tab and also had lots left over which we had to spend in the stores.

 

The dining venues we did try were very good but we would have difficulty doing a long cruise as my other half will only eat certain menu items and it will get boring doing a repeat every few days.  Hence we prefer a MDR/buffet to back this up. Their pizza place wasn't open during dinner and the Galley had limited options at that time. (caters more for breakfast and lunch).

 

However, we wouldn't hesitate to do another VV cruise if it was the right length and itinerary. I'm sure you will enjoy!

 

 

 

Edited by dides
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LACruiser88 said:

Looking forward to hearing about your experience.  We are considering the same, especially since we know of several Princess crew members that also jumped ship to Virgin.  The crew members are working a lot fewer hours and for a higher salary.

 

An officer I'm friends with was looking to switch to Virgin as well, but decided on Viking Ocean instead.

The starting salary was more than double of what they were making after many years with Princess.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've looked at Virgin Voyages but their pricing for a 4 or 5 day cruise isn't enticing for me. They might not call the buffet a buffet, but that's exactly what it is. On our last cruise on the Wonder of the Seas in Roatan, we were docked next to the VL. We also happened to run into a couple of people from her. They had a total of 590 guests on board, and the response we got from the passengers we saw was never again.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, deliver42 said:

They might not call the buffet a buffet, but that's exactly what it is

 

These two small things prove that it's not a buffet: 1) Everything is cooked to order and brought to your table. 2) You don't see anyone walking around with ribs, fruit, salad, and pie all on one plate.

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are going to stray from Princess too.  But it's only because they no longer cruise to some of the itineraries on our bucket list.  We've experience some minor issues with Princess but nothing that has approached the "we're never setting foot on a Princess ship again" point.  If some of the things that have happened to others happened to us we may think differently.  (Hope I haven't jinxed it.)  So we will hang in there a bit longer and see how it goes.  Hope you find what you're looking for on Virgin!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

Personally, I think that Virgin's cabin set-up as "living room by day, bedroom by night" is genius and the way forward for all cruise lines eventually.  Not saying that their current execution is perfect.  But the idea of having a convertible cabin with a seating area during the day instead of a queen-sized bed taking up all the space is brilliant.  In the afternoon I'd much rather have a living room than a bedroom.  Especially if you want to congregate with others.   

Murphy bed??  Know nothing about Virgin cruise line.  Makes sense if they can design it that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Steelers36 said:

Murphy bed??  Know nothing about Virgin cruise line.  Makes sense if they can design it that way.

 

Not a true Murphy, but it can be converted into a couch during the day if you like.

I think we'll keep ours in the bed configuration. 

Here it is in day mode:

cabin1-696x391.jpg.1fc71455b13b3ae389f7e3ff431a68a4.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We’ve been Princess loyalists for nearly 35 years & have canceled our future cruises and booked Oceania which friends who also sail on PCL rave about the O life. It’s on a previous Renaissance ship like the most recent Pacific Princess which we never had the opportunity to sail. Our disappointment in the Padgett management is the primary reason we’re leaving Princess. When considering what the O price includes it’s not much more than on PCL for our 2023 Regatta cruise.

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, CineGraphic said:

 

Not a true Murphy, but it can be converted into a couch during the day if you like.

I think we'll keep ours in the bed configuration. 

Here it is in day mode:

 

 

5 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:

This…becomes this…

 

 

Thanks to both of you for the photos.  We switched to SINGLE config some years ago in our typical PCL Inside cabin as it gives a roomier situation in the cabin.  We will probably do the same with a Balcony I moved us to for last leg of our Fall journeys.  Not sure what we would prefer with Virgin - they must have a way to do two singles.  

Edited by Steelers36
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s concerning to read many of you longtime Princess loyalists and CC contributors are straying. We haven’t sailed since the restart, but I want us to form our own opinion, and 🤞 we experience our beloved Princess. I did share with him about Oceania operating the Pacific’s sister ships. I had forgotten about that, and since he reallllly misses the Pacific and sails for itins, that may be a good one try someday. Happy sailing everyone, and please share your experiences on the other lines!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • Special Event: Q&A with Laura Hodges Bethge, President Celebrity Cruises
      • Hurricane Zone 2024
      • Cruise Insurance Q&A w/ Steve Dasseos of Tripinsurancestore.com Summer 2024
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...