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Help with spending OBC


mklions
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Hi all,

After nearly 40 cruises on various cruise lines , we have taken the plunge and booked our first cruise on VV   Sailing on the resilient in September.

The catalyst for this booking is that our TA got in touch with a fantastic offer of 1300 dollars OBC , 600 to be used on a drinks package and 700 elsewhere.

Although we like a drink or two 600 bucks will be hard to spend in a week and my question is how to spend the remaining 700?

we are both in our early 60s ( and young at heart) and hoping the cruise will be ok for us?

Any advise most welcome!

mklions.

 

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It’s not too hard to spend the $50 on drinks, especially if you want latte/cappuccino as they are $4 a time plus you can just order the fancy wine with dinner or get the premium spirits in mixed drinks. 
 

for the general sailor loot onboard credit some ideas are;

behind the scenes tour is $200 per person

bingo with the diva drag queen is $30-50 to play.

activities that come with drinks such as Loteria (Mexican card game) with margaritas, food playing workshop, painting (sparking wine is served).

shopping for fragrance, beauty products or clothing.

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As to how to use the "loot," there are many options.  This can be shopping, any onboard activity that incurs a fee (these activities all have alcohol served), booking excursions after boarding the ship, spa, casino.  A haircut, manicure, massage, etc. might be a nice treat.  

As to how to use that huge bar tab, it is not limited to just alcohol.  It can be used for specialty coffee/tea, smoothies, cold pressed juices, and non-alcoholic "mocktails" as well.  In addition, you can use it to purchase drinks for your "new best friends," and you can choose to purchase a bottle of wine or liquor AT A BAR to take home (subject to Customs limits).  Note that anything purchased at the duty free shop is applied to your "loot," while things purchased at a bar are applied to the "bar tab."

 

Also, if your agent didn't mention this, you likely have loyalty status on another cruise line.  Thru 12/31/2023, Virgin is offering a "status match" where, if you qualify, you will get an assortment of perks including priority boarding, an invitation to a cocktail party, premium wifi, a bag of laundry done, a couple items pressed or dry cleaned, and another $100 on your bar tab in addition to whatever I'm forgetting.  Go to the VV web site, scroll down to "loyalty," and complete the form to sign up.

Is VV for you?  Trying out a cruise is the only way to know for sure, but I'm 68 and enjoy it. We do prefer long cruises which tend to skew a little older, but there is plenty on the ship for everyone.  Compared to other lines....better food (most is comparable to specialty dining on other lines), best service of any line, and NO KIDS.

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19 hours ago, mklions said:

Hi all,

After nearly 40 cruises on various cruise lines , we have taken the plunge and booked our first cruise on VV   Sailing on the resilient in September.

The catalyst for this booking is that our TA got in touch with a fantastic offer of 1300 dollars OBC , 600 to be used on a drinks package and 700 elsewhere.

Although we like a drink or two 600 bucks will be hard to spend in a week and my question is how to spend the remaining 700?

we are both in our early 60s ( and young at heart) and hoping the cruise will be ok for us?

Any advise most welcome!

mklions.

 

I've actually had this same issue.  I purchased 2 hammocks and a ton of other merch but this "free" money can also be used for premium dining options like the tomahawk Steak in the Wake as well as on shore excursions (once you board the ship).  It can also be used in the casino and you can use it on alcohol after your bar tab runs dry.    

As long as you're young at heart and not too uptight you'll have a blast and most likely purchase your next VV cruise before you leave the ship.  It's honestly a very different experience from other cruise lines so just board the ship with an open mind and you'll have a fantastic time. 

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On 7/10/2023 at 4:31 AM, mklions said:

The catalyst for this booking is that our TA got in touch with a fantastic offer of 1300 dollars OBC , 600 to be used on a drinks package and 700 elsewhere.

 

That 'fantastic offer' is available to anyone. It's called a 'My Next Virgin Voyage' certificate that you buy onboard the ship. VV is one of the few cruise lines that you can turn that placeholder voyage around to anyone else. So the TA simply purchased that MNVV onboard for $300 and then resold it to you having you pay the full deposit to make up for their $300 purchase. Hopefully they also gave you an additional $300 off the cruise fare from the publicly advertised prices for your cabin.  That's part of the deal too. There are quite a few TAs who purchase these MNVVs to resell.

 

Be sure to purchase at least one for yourself while onboard, it's only $300 out of your pocket that goes towards your deposit, $300 off the cruise fare and the $600 OBC. You can purchase up to 10 of these onboard, but you must sail within 2 years.  So in effect, when you purchase an MNVV onboard yourself, you pay $600 less than the advertised price at the time you book your next cruise. 

 

The Bar Tab just happens to be the public special VV is running right now, they've been running that since before Christmas. $300 for 6 nights or less, $600 for 7 nights or longer on all voyages. VV allows you to combine the current offer with an MNVV

 

As for VV, the cruise line is for those of all ages who are young at heart. "Summer Camp for Adults" is how the Gamer described it on our first sailing and it's honestly true. Unlike any other cruise line out there, so casual and relaxed. If they had a larger pool it would be the perfect cruise line for us, but so many others simply don't care that it's a lounge pool. We've sailed Scarlet Lady twice and will be on Valiant Lady for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite things was discovering The Groupie on my first cruise and laughing more than I have laughed in a long time. 

 

One thing you might find a bit lacking will be the Shore Things. VV really goes deep into sustainability, environmental support, animal welfare and supporting smaller local operators. Because of some stringent criteria, their shore things are much more limited than what the other cruise lines offer. We have honestly not purchased any Shore Things yet and have gone with third party operations. It's admirable what VV is doing, but it does limit your options somewhat if you want to book excursions through the cruise line. 

Edited by CruisingWalter
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There are many TAs on various social media sites advertising these deals, especially the MNVV, as if it was something special thru them.  Some have an additional $100 in Loot thru a recent streaming program with a VV person.  They often stop just short of making it sound like the "special" is limited to them, saying things like "We have a limited supply of these offers."  It isn't a lie, but it also is available from almost every TA and the "deal" is coming from VV.  There is actually no reason to book VV without the MNVV offer--if your TA doesn't have it, find one that does!

I may be the only person on my next cruise who doesn't have the bar tab on my next cruise....we booked before that offer came out.  Oh well....

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Thanks for all the replies to my post and the great advice !

 

I have accrued elite status on Princes cruises and have also accrued some reasonably high loyalty tiers with other cruise lines such as P&O, and Azamara.

I am not overly loyal to any particular TA , I just get bombarded with emails and offers each day and shop around before ringing them.

 

I was not aware or made aware of the ‘like for like’ loyalty program that VV offer during my booking process with the TA.

 

Should I get back in touch with my TA and let them know or can I do it myself?  


If so how do I go about it ?, and how do I prove my loyalty status with the other cruise lines? Normally when I book with a repeat cruise line they have all my past passenger details on file.

 

With Princess for example, I get a complimentary mini bar set up in the room ( one per cruise) free laundry ( one per week ) and discount on all purchases. Is this something VV will match? , and is it worthwhile doing?

Thanks again, appreciate your replies.

mklions.

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20 minutes ago, mklions said:

Thanks for all the replies to my post and the great advice !

 

I have accrued elite status on Princes cruises and have also accrued some reasonably high loyalty tiers with other cruise lines such as P&O, and Azamara.

I am not overly loyal to any particular TA , I just get bombarded with emails and offers each day and shop around before ringing them.

 

I was not aware or made aware of the ‘like for like’ loyalty program that VV offer during my booking process with the TA.

 

Should I get back in touch with my TA and let them know or can I do it myself?  


If so how do I go about it ?, and how do I prove my loyalty status with the other cruise lines? Normally when I book with a repeat cruise line they have all my past passenger details on file.

 

With Princess for example, I get a complimentary mini bar set up in the room ( one per cruise) free laundry ( one per week ) and discount on all purchases. Is this something VV will match? , and is it worthwhile doing?

Thanks again, appreciate your replies.

mklions.

All the information on VV loyalty is here, including the current benefits.

https://www.virginvoyages.com/sailing-club

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2 hours ago, mklions said:

 

 

I was not aware or made aware of the ‘like for like’ loyalty program that VV offer during my booking process with the TA.

 

Should I get back in touch with my TA and let them know or can I do it myself?  


If so how do I go about it ?, and how do I prove my loyalty status with the other cruise lines? Normally when I book with a repeat cruise line they have all my past passenger details on file.

 

mklions.

First, your TA should have told you about the status match program!  You can do it yourself.  Go to Virginvoyages.com and scroll down till you see "loyalty."  There you will find the application as well as the list of what qualifies for the match.  What I submitted was a screenshot of my status as shown on the other line's website, but you can use anything that documents your status.

 

It is NOT a "like for like" match.  It is rather that if you have a high enough status on any other line to qualify,  you will get VV's "Deep Blue Extras" package.  What this includes is also listed, but the short list is priority boarding, an invitation to a cocktail party (unlimited drinks for the hour or so), $100 in a bar tab free (no purchase required), $100 bonus on any purchased bar tab (rather than the current $50 bonus), one bag of laundry + 2 press or dry clean items, Free premium wifi, $10 credit per cabin per day at The Grounds Club (specialty coffee and tea) and probably some stuff I'm forgetting.  Is it worth doing?  On our 14 and 15 night cruises, the laundry alone was worth the minimal effort of signing up.  Al benefits are per cabin, not per person. 

You will get an email confirming that you qualified and you will see "Deep Blue Extras" listed under "add ons" on the web site. It wakes about a week to process.

Edited by cantgetin
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Wow,

What a easy thing to do, within a couple of hours of uploading my Princess loyalty status we received the below email.

Thanks for all your help.

Mklions.

 

 

Were thrilled to let you know that you qualify for our Match and Sea More Program which means youve automatically secured Sea-Rover status. Youll now have access to our Deep Blue Extra perks which are per cabin and are applicable to eligible voyages through December 31, 2023.

  • $10 Daily Specialty Coffee Credit Per Cabin: Because you deserve to be glamorously caffeinated for everything you've got planned.

  • $100 Bar Tab Credit Per Cabin: Sip on cocktails, mocktails, smoothies and more with $100 in drink credits on us. Bar Tab cannot be used for Happenings that include alcohol, such as, Food of the Gods and Gram, the Grog Walk, or Shot for Shot.

  • An Exclusive Cocktail Event: A stunningly curated and extra-special cocktail party for those with Deep Blue Extras.

  • Expedited Boarding: A VIP-style dedicated line at embarkation awaits you at the terminal.

  • Laundry Service: Two (2) pressed items, one (1) dry-cleaned item, and one (1) bag of laundry on us.

  • RockStar Agent On Board: For any and all of your needs, you'll have access to a dedicated agent.

  • Unlimited Premium WiFi (where available): If you can dream it, we can stream with access to our premium WiFi.

 

Outside of December 31, 2023, youll receive a $100 Bar Tab bonus with the purchase of $300 Bar Tab through 2024. 

 

You dont need to worry, as your loyalty status match is anchored to your Sailor profile, so any applicable perks will be automatically applied to your eligible voyage(s). It is important to know that as of now, the Virgin Voyages app and website doesnt show a badge for Sea-Rover, so you may want to keep this email for your own personal peace of mind, as we are able to see Sea-Rover status anchored to your Sailor profile, but you are not currently able to verify via the app or website.

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I don't mean to demean your TA but they really should have told you about it.  It's why a good  TA who knows you and your background/history can make a huge difference for the value you receive versus just getting ads.

 

So glad you got it. The Deep Blue progam is awesome.  Priority boarding was a breeze in Miami. The free laundry bag is WAY bigger than other cruise lines, the $10/day specialty coffees are great (just be sure you get them from one of the 3 Grounds spots onboard or they are not free),,,I could go on and on.

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It is so weird......both of us qualify for DBE.  I know the benefits are per cabins, but for our upcoming cruise, they showed it for both of us under the "add on" tab. Then they took it off me and left it on for my cruise buddy.  It doesn't matter, but is a little odd that they can't seem to get anything "right" the first time.  They also have added and removed a $100 loot on my April cruise twice!  I never know what will be showing when I look!

 

And I agree with Gretchen--your TA should have either done this for you or told you about it and how to do it.  

 

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Do I have to have a Virgin Voyage booked before I can apply for the Match and Sea More Program?  Or, can I do it ahead of time and apply whatever member number is generated to a later booking?  

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24 minutes ago, shoptom said:

 

It sounds like tattoo time to me!

Wrong--a bar tab can only be spent on drinks (alcoholic or non).  You would need Loot or a credit card for a tattoo.

If you have leftover money on your bar tab, you can spend it on a couple bottles of your favorite wine or liquor FROM A BAR, and of course will be subject to customs regulations. If you buy at the duty free ship, it is charged as loot.  You can also buy drinks for any friends you make on the ship.  The idea of the bar tab is that you have that much money to spend on alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, smoothies, cold pressed juices, specialty tea and coffee for anyone you choose.  It isn't like a drink package on other lines where it is only for you--you can share it with anyone.

So, if you aren't drinking up your tab, share it with someone who booked before this free offer was available (like me on my next cruise), with anyone you meet on the ship, or buy a couple bottles of something to take home...or both.  Our last booking included a bottle of Moet that we didn't really want--it went home to become an engagement gift for a friend.

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  • 6 months later...
On 7/11/2023 at 8:17 AM, CruisingWalter said:

 

That 'fantastic offer' is available to anyone. It's called a 'My Next Virgin Voyage' certificate that you buy onboard the ship. VV is one of the few cruise lines that you can turn that placeholder voyage around to anyone else. So the TA simply purchased that MNVV onboard for $300 and then resold it to you having you pay the full deposit to make up for their $300 purchase. Hopefully they also gave you an additional $300 off the cruise fare from the publicly advertised prices for your cabin.  That's part of the deal too. There are quite a few TAs who purchase these MNVVs to resell.

 

Be sure to purchase at least one for yourself while onboard, it's only $300 out of your pocket that goes towards your deposit, $300 off the cruise fare and the $600 OBC. You can purchase up to 10 of these onboard, but you must sail within 2 years.  So in effect, when you purchase an MNVV onboard yourself, you pay $600 less than the advertised price at the time you book your next cruise. 

 

The Bar Tab just happens to be the public special VV is running right now, they've been running that since before Christmas. $300 for 6 nights or less, $600 for 7 nights or longer on all voyages. VV allows you to combine the current offer with an MNVV

 

As for VV, the cruise line is for those of all ages who are young at heart. "Summer Camp for Adults" is how the Gamer described it on our first sailing and it's honestly true. Unlike any other cruise line out there, so casual and relaxed. If they had a larger pool it would be the perfect cruise line for us, but so many others simply don't care that it's a lounge pool. We've sailed Scarlet Lady twice and will be on Valiant Lady for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite things was discovering The Groupie on my first cruise and laughing more than I have laughed in a long time. 

 

One thing you might find a bit lacking will be the Shore Things. VV really goes deep into sustainability, environmental support, animal welfare and supporting smaller local operators. Because of some stringent criteria, their shore things are much more limited than what the other cruise lines offer. We have honestly not purchased any Shore Things yet and have gone with third party operations. It's admirable what VV is doing, but it does limit your options somewhat if you want to book excursions through the cruise line. 

   We also have the 600$ bar tab and 700$ in loot, I am pretty sure we can manage the Bar money(oops). But need to figure out how to spend the loot.  Can we purchase one of the MNVV with it?

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2 hours ago, KHB1985 said:

   We also have the 600$ bar tab and 700$ in loot, I am pretty sure we can manage the Bar money(oops). But need to figure out how to spend the loot.  Can we purchase one of the MNVV with it?

No MNVV is charged directly to a credit card, not to the room account, that loophole was closed two years ago.

 

Behind the Scenes tour at $200 per person is an easy way to use up loot, but spa access, bingo, activities and shopping are all good uses.

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2 hours ago, KHB1985 said:

   We also have the 600$ bar tab and 700$ in loot, I am pretty sure we can manage the Bar money(oops). But need to figure out how to spend the loot.  Can we purchase one of the MNVV with it?

No, an MNVV is one of the few things that you can't use loot for--it must be credit card.  You can use loot for any excursions booked on board, spa, haircut, tats, buying a hammock (if they have any in stock), designer purses....I don't gamble, but there used to be a way you could use it in the casino,  My understanding of that was that you can't reclaim any loot you  put in as casino money but don't use but you can get out any winnings in cash. Someone else will need to fill you in on those details and whether it can still be done.  Heck, bid on a seahorse for the race.  

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We have Deep Blue Extras for having status on another line.  Our boarding time is the latest available (3:30 for a 4:00pm sailing).  The priority boarding as described by other posters works how?  Is there any way be can board earlier?

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