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Everything posted by cantgetin

  1. Yes, the crew on VV has commented that they are paid about three times as much as they made on other lines, even with tips counted on the other lines. THey have a single crew mess, not one for crew and one for officers, and that makes them feel like everyone is more approachable. They love the free wifi as that means ability to communicate with family at home. They also get toiletries and laundry products at no cost--again, something else they don't have to pay for or shop for. All this adds up to the happiest crew I've seen on any ship. Food quality and availability is the best I've seen anywhere. It may take you a day or so to figure out that fruit boxes are available in the morning and sushi to go in the afternoon...so if you want an afternoon snack of fruit, grab a fruit box in the morning and pop it in your fridge till afternoon! There are "to go" things available all day, but the contents change as do the hours of the various outlets. There is always something good open; it is just a matter of what time it is!
  2. Or you can have your TA (First Mate) do it for you....that's why they are earning the commission!
  3. Agree, the terms of the bidding say that you will be notified 48 hours before embarkation. At one point they were also offering upgrades at the terminal; don't know if this is still going on. People need to cancel all the time for all sorts of reasons...while covid has obviously been the most prevalent, other stuff happens as well. We were once offered the Roy suite as an at terminal upgrade purchase. I knew the cat 1s typically book 18 months ahead and have a wait list, so asked why--there had been a last minute emergency involving one family member, so they all decided to cancel the trip. Bottom line, the cruise line can't book cabins at that point, but they can potentially get a few hundred or thousand dollars from those already booked!
  4. There is a price limit on what you can order. Anything that costs over the limit is on your stateroom account--the whole cost of the item, not just the portion that was over the limit. So, "most anything" is correct. Not many of us order $900 bottles of champagne, but they are available to anyone who wants to pay for them.
  5. The changes are somewhat subtle and are really nice. 6 restaurants that would be "specialty" restaurants on any other line all included in the cruise fare, reservations recommended but not essential. A food court sort of area where you sit at a table and a server takes your order, does the running around for you, and brings it to you. You can go to the area and point to breads, desserts, or tell them how to make your custom salad, but there is nowhere that you can serve yourself or get near the food like at a buffet. Most of the food is made when you order, so it hasn't been sitting in a steam table for hours. There are a couple of "grab and go" areas where there are prepared foods in with labels in "to go" boxes...grab a box and take it anywhere on the ship. Most places can customize your order. The Pizza Place has a menu, but they will make your pizza any way you want IF they have the ingredients. There is a large salad area in The Galley where you can have them make it "your way." Entertainment is a bit more edgy If you are looking for a cut down of a Broadway show, choose a different line. The entertainers are really good. There is not the "dinner at 6, show at 8" concept. You choose your dinner time. Shows are repeated several times (depending on length of cruise), so you can choose your show nights and times.
  6. Scarlet Lady is almost fully accessible as is required by the ADA for any ship sailing out of the US. You are welcome to bring a walker or scooter on board. There are private companies in the port area that will deliver your rental to the port on the morning of your cruise so it is waiting when you check in and will pick it up after disembarkation. VV has what they call "ambulatory accessible" rooms which work for some people depending on their needs (they don't have all the features of an HA cabin like doors that open, but have a low step shower, bars in the bathroom, etc.) and fully accessible cabins that have automatic bathroom doors, room to transfer, a ramp to the balcony in Sky Terraces, etc. If you bring a scooter, there are areas to charge it near the ambulatory accessible cabins. I won't presume to tell you which cabin type will be right for you as each person is different. I will tell you that the shoreside phone people are not good at explaining the differences. Bottom line, you can use a walker or scooter with either type of room. Most restaurants have varied seating--tell them what you need if the chairs are too low or too soft, there are alternatives. There are entrances that work with a wheelchair or scooter. It is totally up to you whether you use an accessible entrance to anything, whether you bring your device with you , and whether you stay with your device or transfer to a chair (in which case they will take the device to a holding area and return it to you when you are ready). There is a portable device to get people in and out of the pool; you have to let Sailor Services know what time you want it and they will set it up for you. My travel companion has a progressive physical disability, so I've seen her go from needing no help to needing multiple assistive devices. Cruise ships out of the US or those that sometimes sail out of the US are one of the easiest vacations as the ships are built to comply with all ADA regulations. These are MUCH better than hotels, but that's another story. Another advantage to VV--no obnoxious tweens hogging elevators, pushing every button, etc. Most adults will hold the door and let you in rather than rushing the door and taking off before you get to the elevator!!!!
  7. Any beverage that has a charge can be paid with the bar tab, bonus or otherwise.. Bar tab can be shared with anyone you wish....your cabin mate, etc. If you get to the last night and have money left on the tab, buy drinks for your new best friends or buy a bottle of wine to take home.
  8. Yes, they stack on top of any current offer at the time you actually lock in a date. As others have noted, you can only use one booking on board credit per cabin. Absolutely book before the end of August for 2022 dates. I have no personal experience with actually booking the cabin for your friend, but the future booking credit IS transferrable( I have experience with that), and since you are paying, I don't see why the wouldn't let you book in friend's name as well.
  9. You can book a specific cruise while on board or purchase whatever VV calls the future certificate. Yeah, I've purchased one and don't remember the name. If you purchase while on board, you get whatever "deal" is current at the time plus the benefits of rebooking on board. You'll get a great deal IF your next sailing is in 2022 as the August promo is very good. I'm waiting because when they announced the Aug. promo, the cost of the 2023 cruise I want increased by $800 (they removed some 2023 discounts. Thus, I got the future certificate and will wait till a promo applies to the dates I want.
  10. Many places will offer 1/2 size portions, particularly the pasta dishes in Extra Virgin. You can always get things without sauces, etc. But as a runner, I suspect that you are more interested in the underlying nutritional items than what is done with them. Each locations offers vegetarian and vegan items. Razzle Dazzle is "plant forward" with meat based items called "naughty." Talk to your server in any restaurant to get stuff the way you want it!
  11. You can either call VV shoreside and they will make the reservations for you now, or you will be meeting with your rockstar host in the Manor right after boarding and that person will make them all for you at that time. The ships are sailing less than half full at this point (rare exceptions) and there are tons of reservations left. They just aren't on the app. If you change your mind while on board, you can either ask your rockstar agent to change it for you or do a walk up. Very easy.
  12. If you had purchased this bar tab, VV would have refunded it. Since it is a free bar tab, you can use it for any item not covered on your rockstar benefits or use it to treat any of your new best friends on the trip. You aren't losing anything as it was free to begin with. No, you can't tip with it. Your cruise fare includes all tips. The only way to give an extra tip to someone is in cash. This isn't expected, but I've never seen anyone on any line turn down an extra tip!
  13. I've also seen articles on how the VV model is unsustainable, they are going to be bought out, etc. I honestly don't believe that is realistic any time soon. While it is true that they can't go on indefinitely with cruises less than 50% full, they are in a unique position....they had barely launched in March 2020 when the pandemic shut them down. As I understand it, there had been a few publicity/press events, but no sailings with paid guests. Based on that, they've really only been in business for a year. Unlike other lines, they didn't have a bunch of loyal cruisers just waiting to return. They planned to launch one ship per year, and were suddenly launching 3 in one year (one now delayed) They are definitely doing things differently--no last minute "fire sales" just to get people on board as many lines do. Yes, they do offer some good specials if their deals happen to meet your needs, but you won't see any totally ridiculous prices. Slight, but not huge reductions for not selecting your own cabin. They have recently started selling upgrades at the terminal; I don't know whether this means that complimentary upgrades have disappeared. Their initial round of advertising was poorly aimed at a younger crowd than they are actually attracting; more recent ads have changed considerably. How long will they give this experiment? As long as there are large investors willing to buy them more time, there's no reason to shut down. Only time will tell if it is a long term success. There are only a few lines in the "adult only" market. Hopefully they'll do well.
  14. As far as I know, most or all onboard activities can't be booked till you arrive at the terminal. This is definitely true for things like fitness classes. You CAN book them as soon as you can log onto the terminal's wifi. One of the reasons VV gives for the smaller ports that they use is so that people can stay close to port and still have things to do. People might be able to give suggestions if you are looking at a specific port or ports. When going off on our own we (translate that "I" who am always the worrier) plan to be back at the port an hour before the required time. So far, it has always worked.
  15. You are smart to not risk it. Normal is 7:30 as the earliest disembarkation (at least that's what it was for our sailing),but you never know what will happen. There can be a delay caused by US Customs, the ship can arrive late, etc. On other lines, we've had weather delays due to fog. Have a nice breakfast and enjoy your leisurely disembarkation.
  16. There are lots of You Tube videos that will show you what to expect, both in general and as a solo. Why not join the roll call for your cruise date (scroll under the boards)
  17. No, but the app has a history of being wonky. I know we all hate to wait on the phone, but that is often the easiest way to make things happen.
  18. Unless they have changed it, it can be used for things like alcohol pairings at Test Kitchen or bottomless mimosas at brunch as well as the Pub Crawl--basically things that are totally alcohol or involve alcohol, as well as items like specialty coffees, teas, smoothies that have a charge, cold press juices. Basically, it covered any beverage that had a charge in addition to alcohol in any form.
  19. The app is often not complete. You will be able to book fitness classes on the app at the terminal (use VVMiami wifi or similar name). It is something to do while waiting to board. I don't know if this happens in Barcelona as well. On both ships there is a big red desk after you board. If you need help with reservations for classes, dinners, etc. they can help you there.
  20. There are a huge number of YouTube videos about the food as well as web sites and videos showing the menus. Every food location on the ship is included in your cruise fare although a few of the main restaurants have an item with an "upcharge." There are plenty of excellent choices without ever paying for an upcharge item. The rest is as above. If you have difficulty making reservations on the app, there is a large red table you'll see after boarding where they will help you get the reservations you want. Yes, walk ups are on a "space available" basis, so if you want a particular restaurant or time, you are better with a reservation.
  21. Yes, you can purchase more than one "deposit" or future cruise credit and they are transferrable. You just purchase it in your friend's name. I know this for sure because we did it a few weeks ago. There is a limit to how many you can purchase. The "deal" varies, and has changed at least 5 times since Oct. 2021, meaning that you do not know what it will be when you cruise. NOTE--some lines do not allow you to do this! VV does, at least as of July 2022. Something to consider...until Aug. 31, VV has a great deal going on cruises during 2022. There is NO single supplement and there is a $100 bonus on bar tabs. This, in English, means that you can book a 2 person sized cabin and only pay for one person. If your future cruise is in 2022, this may be a better deal for you than getting a booking on board discount of $300, depending on how you feel about having a larger cabin.
  22. You can drop luggage early at Miami. Sorry, I don't know about Barcelona (yet).
  23. The $100 bonus is for 2022 cruises, but I can't explain why you can't add a bar tab to your other cruises. Perhaps call VV or have your travel agent do it.
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