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Everything posted by cantgetin

  1. Some people have reported asking about upgrades at port and getting them, others have been told "no" at the port. No logic seems to apply. You can get 1/2 portions at the restaurants just by asking. VV does not show which cabins are available. If you are interested in a particular location, you can call them and ask whether it is available.
  2. There are solo cabins available in several categories, making cruising solo much more affordable than on some other lines. There are various social media groups for most cruise dates, and these often organize on board activities from simple "meet and greets" to group excursions or on board parties. The sail away party on the first day is a great time to talk to people. I've never had trouble meeting people to talk with or spend time with, whether on VV or any other line. On the other hand, if you are looking for a lot more than conversation, VV isn't The Love Boat.
  3. My TA has cruised VV several times and was happy to book my trip. VV calls them "First Mates."
  4. It doesn't make sense to have 2 ships in the Caribbean in the winter, especially at current occupancy numbers....so maybe.
  5. We've done about 10 cruises on Princess, most recently in a "window suite,: VV is different, and in my opinion, better. But then, I feel that the best thing about Princess is the different itineraries. We've done 2 cruises in Japan (B2B) and Alaska B2B that wouldn't have been possible on any other line. Frankly, I find Princess to be "beige" in more ways than the color. The suite dining was nice with Sabatini's breakfast and 2 specialty dinings each week. But on one of the specialties, the lava cake was raw and the service was nasty...and we were too tired to care. I've never experienced anything like that on VV. Things I love about VV...the "all inclusives" are just what I end up buying on other lines....soda package, wifi, tips. The dining is amazing. The restaurants are the equivalent of a "sit down" on all other lines, but are totally included. The pizza is like it was on Princess before they changed their recipe. We don't drink much, so drink packages are a waste of money for us.....VV doesn't have them. The biggest perks of a suite on VV seem to be alcohol and a larger room. You might be happy with an XL Sea Terrace, which is a lot less than a suite. There are other suite perks, mostly at the Mega Rockstar level. Honestly, I'd start in an XL on a short cruise, and then move to one of the smaller suites in future cruises if the XL wasn't large enough for you. Princess regular cabins are tiny. VV are not huge, but are adequate. Spa is Steiner, same as on Princess. Thermal suite is a little more fancy, but same idea. Shows on VV are like nothing you've seen before. Definitely NOT boring, third rate singers. The ships are bright, lively. Food is amazing, wether in the galley (food court, not buffet...stuff is fresh made when you order!) or restaurants ALL food, with rare exceptions of 1 item in a few of the restaurants, is all included. Service is top notch. I would cruise Princess again for an itinerary I wanted. I'll cruise VV again for 100 reasons. And start with NO KIDS. Princess isn't kid heavy and most of the kids are OK, but there are still some unsupervised trouble makers.
  6. As a mega rockstar, you can get any bottle up to $90 sent to your room at no charge,
  7. Yes, there are roll calls here and on multiple social media sites. I'm not aware of any professional photographers around the ship like other lines do, but Virgin does have photo machines--like the old fashioned machines where kids made funny faces with friends. I don't know what they cost, sorry.
  8. You can start making reservations for entertainment and fitness classes (as well as adding dining) as soon as you can log onto VVMiami wifi in the terminal. You don't have to wait to board the ship. Great way to use any down time while waiting to board. There will be a big red table on (I think) deck 7 after boarding. They will fix up your dining reservations. There are also walk in reservations available usually with only a 5 or 10 minute wait. On a 4 night cruise, you can't eat at all 6 restaurants for dinner. Consider doing brunch at Razzle Dazzle and/or The Wake so you can experience more. 4 nights is not really long enough, but better than nothing. Bring something red for Scarlet night (can be a simple an a handkerchief in a pocket, a red t-shirt, or a crazy red formal dress! Anything goes. Also, bring PJs for the PJ party on the first night. There are lots of good reviews on social media as well as places you can view all the menus. Perhaps watching one or two would give you an idea of what to expect. You will get your bands at the terminal--no worries there. VV is A LOT different from Celebrity or Royal. I think you'll find the VV crowd older than you might expect. There are some quirky things, but there is SO MUCH good (and I'm a lot older than I used to be!)
  9. You could, but it would be awkward at best. If you want to eat in all 6 on a 4 night cruise, do brunch in Razzle Dazzle and The Wake and dinner in the others.
  10. US has released all regulations, so ships departing from US are welcome to book at full capacity. Now they just have to get people to book! Many of the more well established lines are cruising at or near 100% capacity. The other thing that will always make VV capacity numbers look lower than some other lines is the way it is calculated. Very few VV cabins will sleep more than 2 people, while on some other lines, most sleep 3 or 4. "Capacity" is calculated based on 2 persons in each cabin that will hold 2 or more, 1 person in each solo cabin= 100%. If there are 3 or 4 persons in cabins, that raises "capacity" above 100%. It is not unusual for a line like Royal or Disney to sail at 150% or above. VVs current ships can't get to those numbers.
  11. 1000 sailors on board puts you at a bit over 35%....so numbers are increasing, but still quite low.
  12. Usually day of sailing. We had to upload passport and attest that we had been vaccinated, but they didn't need to card until embarkation day. I know you said your vaccines were international. The state I was in has both an on line version as well as the physical card; might that be a possibility where you were?
  13. Not usually, but there are private companies that offer shore excursions. The biggest thing in Bimini is hanging out at their "private" club. It is really an area that VV rents for themselves when a ship is in port; food, beverages, pool, beach, chairs, etc. are included in the cruise fare.
  14. They will alter recipes in the restaurants based on dietary needs. They normally ask, but if they don't, you can bring it up. It is also helpful if you call the restaurant in advance so that anything that needs a lot of preparation can be handled before you get there. The one where this is most important is Test Kitchen. If there is any doubt, the chef will come out and speak with you about your needs. In Test Kitchen, don't accept the word from a server that they prepare things in advance and "can't change it." They WILL adapt to your needs, especially if known in advance.
  15. The Sky Terrace I have booked has increased about $600 in price since I booked. So the increase seems to be pretty much across the board.
  16. There is a difference between what you might be able to get away with and what is allowed. VV is supposed to be adults only.
  17. It depends on the length of your cruise. On cruises of 5 days or less, you can only book one advance reservation on the app for each restaurant. On a 14 night cruise, you can book 3 reservations at each restaurant. In addition, you can walk up at any of the restaurants and they'll advise you of the likely wait time without a reservation. Most of the time, the wait is really long (not)....usually about 10 minutes.
  18. I've also read that VV is now charging for tests at the port. I believe it is on the VV web site under the wellness section. https://www.virginvoyages.com/voyage-well#europe-health-wellness-todo THe VV web site says testing at the terminal in Barcelona is $43 USD.
  19. Essentially any pharmacy. Your hotel should be able to help you schedule one near the hotel.
  20. I read that there were some software glitches during this promotion and that VV is "reviewing" at least some of the awards. If it stays, good for you. If not....oh well
  21. I'm getting an error when I try to go to my account on the VV website this morning. The Share the Love promotion ends today, so perhaps they are upgrading the website. Just my guess. App works fine for me--iOS
  22. I think Kchasteen hit it right on target. With cruises from Miami running at 25% - 35% full, there are plenty of seats and quiet places all over the ship. When the ships are more full, a quiet hang out with hot tubs will be a higher priority.
  23. Each restaurant and bar has its own drink menu. If you google "Virgin Voyages menus" you can find them posted with prices. I don't know if I'm allowed to post a good link here, but I'll try. For this one, you have to click on each venue to see what they offer. https://eatsleepcruise.com/virgin-voyages-restaurant-guide-with-menus/
  24. I think Walter is correct, and agree with his reasons. On the phone, a VV rep told me that their "target" for the next cruise I'm booked on is 65% but they were "no where near that yet." From that, I would infer that they have sales targets, but from what I've read in reviews, most Caribbean sailings are at about 25% booked. They have taken the approach of not reducing fares beyond offering the "we pick your cabin," probably as to not anger those who booked early. I've read that upgrades at the port are easily obtained if requested. At Walter noted, the original advertising turned off many people, including me. I thought the ship was a bunch of 20 year olds cruising on daddy's money. It took some good words from people who had cruised with them and their no kid policy to get me on board. Their recent ads are definitely targeting a mixed age range. The other issue is likely to be their 4-5 night cruises. While this is great to "try out" a line, many people feel that they want a longer cruise to make it worth the travel to the port. People tend to prefer a 7-8 night cruise. Whether VV will adapt to that is unknown, but for now, they are seeing a higher rate of B2B cruisers than most lines. Finally, their prices are higher than many of the popular lines--another reason someone who is just "looking for a cruise" might choose another line. However, for many, once you cruise on VV, you are hooked.
  25. Again, I haven't tested the system....but I've heard that the embarkations from Barcelona are sticking to their 72 hours while those from Miami are a bit looser and making it more like 2 days. If you can wait till Wednesday afternoon, I'd do that. Why chance them insisting on another test if you don't have to? The only place I've been required to do the "poke your brain" swab was at the hospital prior to surgery for a PCR test....and this was also one where they had to do the swab. Everywhere else for whatever reason has been the much more superficial swab, regardless of which test they were running.
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