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Posts posted by Gretchendz

  1. 3 minutes ago, cantgetin said:

    Interesting.  I consider myself rather conservative, but what someone else is doing is not any of my business.  I'd take it as treat everyone decently, as you'd want to be treated, and you'll be fine.  



    Fair enough. I just have a few clients who I know would not enjoy themselves on Virgin. No worries!

  2. On 5/16/2024 at 9:17 AM, little britain said:

    I’ve matched to DBE but I don’t seem to have a membership number??


    It also says my DBE match is good for 2024. Does that mean if I book another VV cruise in 2025 I won’t get DBE?? 


    Your membership number is your sailor id which is usually prominently displayed on your booking confirmation from Virgin.


    If you status matched to DBE before Dec. 31, 2023, then you will have the DBE benefits on any sailings through December 31, 2025.


    Anyone status matching now will get the lower tier Blue benefits.


    You should be able to see the DBEs if you have them if you go into your Virgin booking using your account on the web.

    • Like 1
  3. 3 hours ago, cantgetin said:

    Royal vs. Virgin would be a "no brainer" for me.  I'm a 60 something with no body embellishments and not a partier.  In fairness, I have no loyalty status on Royal, but have done more than 50 cruises on various other lines.

    VV--no kids, free wifi, essentially all included except alcohol.  No drink packages = no people trying to max out their package.  We do have Deep Blue Extras (loyalty on VV), so get some freebies there.  They are offering a status match to the intro loyalty level, I believe. You can get any food served without the sauces. etc.  There  are more "plain" things being offered--for instance, The Galley has a grilled chicken breast plain at lunch and dinner.

    I don't hate kids.  I hate the 10% of parents who allow their kids to run wild, trash beverage stations, push every elevator button, run thru the halls screaming, etc.  Don't talk to me about "adult only" areas unless there is a cruise line that really enforces ALL such areas.

    If you want Broadway style shows, climbing walls, race tracks, ice rinks, etc. VV is not for you.  But I'm old and don't use those things, so see no point in paying for them.



    100% this.

    The only caveat would be if you would be uncomfortable with drag shows.

    • Like 1
  4. 3 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

    Meh.  When you put numbers to it, it becomes pretty clear that this isn't true.  At the end of the day, if a person spent $1,000 to be on this cruise to nowhere, they will have spent $250 for 7 days enjoying the ship's food, drinks and entertainment.  Assuming that there isn't one other single redeeming factor of this cruise, that comes to $35 per day for only those things that I mentioned.  Of course, during the course of that week, there was angst, anger and uncertainty, and that surely eats into the overall enjoyment, but those are intangibles.  And as they say on TV...But wait!  There's more!  That same person gets to book a replacement cruise that presumably will hit all the places that this cruise did not and their $1,000 cruise will cost them $250 of new money. Add it all up, and that is 14 days on a ship with full use of the ship's services and entertainment, of which around 7 days are sea days (some on this cruise and some on the next cruise) and around 7 days are spent enjoying the ports on this itinerary.  All this for $500, or $35 per day.  Yes, there is the inconvenience of having to travel all the way back to Alaska, but if that is a hardship, the replacement cruise can be to any location.  I truly feel for the people who are missing out on this cruise, but it's not as if they were spending it on a ship that was dead in the water with no electricity, plumbing or food.  When the 75% refund and 75% FCC is overlaid on top of this, I'd say that this is pretty good compensation.  


    I have clients on this sailing who are satisfied with the compensation...they are already planning an expensive sailing to Japan with the offer.

    • Like 4
  5. 10 minutes ago, Lustate said:

    Not the only change coming with them either. Not valid with circles for the bonus loot either. Going forward could mean much fewer group bookings for TA. 

    I mean the perk for having a circle and setting them up is basically not there. 

    True. From now on people using MNVVs get no additional benefit for moving their booking into group.

  6. Virgin announced today that from now on (May 15)


    • A sailor can only buy 4 MNVVs while onboard. This was previously 10.
    • If a booking using an MNVV is placed into a Circle (group) it can no longer get the additional Circle loot, just the MNVV loot.


  7. I have a client on board who told me this:

    The captain just updated us and told us Ketchikan and College Fjord will be skipped on this cruise. We are also not cruising the entire Inside Passage.  He also said he will update us tomorrow on whether we will be late in Juneau. We left Vancouver just after midnight.
    The TV has been spotty, but at least it was up for awhile today.  
    Captain also mentioned there will be some compensation issued to all passengers.
    The Starboard propeller has been the issue and it still looks like it is not at 100%, compared to the Port side propeller.
    • Like 2
    • Thanks 3
  8. On 5/8/2024 at 1:36 PM, Cruise Raider said:

    I have heard rumor, but from a reliable source, the Grand might be sold.  
    it’s past time for her to move on .. 



    They have announced she will be deployed to the Caribbean,but it doesn't mean you're wrong I guess 🙂

    • Like 1
  9. 4 hours ago, happy42cruise said:

    I would add that if you order something & you do not care for it you can ask for something else & it will be graciously replaced.  You may also order more than 1 entree (in the MDR) if you are undecided on what you want.  You can always find something to eat on a cruise ship!


    We have a family member addicted to pasta. Every night she ordered an entree and an order of the fetuccine alfredo. Several times, more than once, we would order one for the table to share as a side.


    My husband and I picked up on the idea of ordering it as a side to share years ago when our table was near an Italian family. Every night they had the fettucini as a side.

    • Like 2
  10. 5 minutes ago, nhraformula00 said:

    Going on the Emerald in 11 days for our 1st. Princess and our 23rd cruise over all. This is good to hear. ????? Are the beds comfortable. Hope they are not hard.


    I love their beds and we like soft mattresses.

    • Like 1
  11. I have not sailed the Rudy lately, but I did recently come off the Emerald. The food was the best I have ever had on Princess in 30 years.  I spoke to a maitre d and told him that. He said that right after Covid, they had cheaped out (my words not his) and the customer complaints were huge. So, in recent months, they have upped their game. I would seriously discount complaints that are more than 6 month's old. Not saying they were wrong, just saying things may have improved.


    We though the MDR food was so good, that the specialty dining did not seem to be much of an upgarde.


    Full disclosure, we almost never go to the buffet, so these comments are for the dining rooms.


    I will say that MDR breakfast was weak, but lunch and dinner were great.


    By the way, as a certifiable coffee snob, they did away with the coffee made of syrup that Princess customers had complained about for years. It was actually drinkable now!


    Hoping your experience was like ours!

    • Like 5
  12. For those of you who wanted more details. They posted the terms and conditons today:

    1. Alaska Front(ier) of The Line Offer

    Updated: May 8, 2024

    1.  Offer Terms. The Alaska Front(ier) of The Line Offer is available for placeholder purchases made after 12:01 a.m. local US east coast time on Wednesday, 08 May 2024 while supply lasts (inventory is expected to be exhausted near the beginning of September 2024)  (“Offer Period”) for voyages onboard the Brilliant Lady during her 2026 Alaska Season. Pricing is as followed:

    • $500 Sea Terraces and below 
    • $1000 RockStar Quarters
    • $2500 Mega Rockstar Quarters

    See Section 2 below for Eligible Voyages.  This "Alaska Front(ier) of The Line” Offer is subject to all restrictions and exclusions set forth in Section 3 below.

    2.  Eligibility.  Eligible Voyages are voyages to be released aboard Brilliant Lady 2026 Alaska Season that fall within the offer terms, subject to availability on a first come basis, and does not guarantee a spot on the MerMaiden voyage. 

    3.  Caveats.

    3.1  "Alaska Front(ier) of The Line” Offer is not available for, or combinable with, Virgin Voyages’ Incentive and Contracted Circle Programs, Chartered Voyages, or Tour Operator bookings. 
    3.2   We are unable to apply the "Alaska Front(ier) of The Line” Offer to existing bookings (no cancellations or rebooking allowed). Application for placeholder will only be applicable for these Alaska sailings.

    3.3  Deposit is fully refundable up to twenty-four (24) hours prior to the last voyage departing Seattle in 2026.  Any unused placeholders will be auto-refunded after the final voyage of the 2026 Seattle season.

    3.4  We reserve the right to modify this Offer at any time.  

  13. This is very annoying. They used to provide distilled water. To verify, I reached out to Cunard because this is a change. They responded:


    Distilled water is NOT available on board and guests must determine a suitable alternative or carry their own supply. Any additional required supply can be arranged through the port agent at the guest's cost. 

    Pre-cruise messaging advises the same as above to guests.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  14.  From Virgin:

    All perks are per eligible Sailing Club sailor. Bar Tab, Wi-Fi, laundry service, and coffee charges may appear on the Sailor’s account, but will be waived before a credit card is charged at the end of the voyage.

    • $100 promotional Bar Tab: a Bar Tab credit applied to the folio of the eligible sailor only
    • Unlimited premium Wifi: provided where available
    • Priority Boarding: early boarding time and dedicated queue in Terminal V and where available globally (cabin mate of Sailing Club sailor will be permitted to join when arriving together)
    • Dedicated Sailing Club Sailor Services Support: pre-voyage dedicated phone option for Sailing Club members. Onboard Sailing Club representative at the Sailor Services desk
    • Cocktail Event: invitation to 1 x Sailing Club cocktail reception per voyage (cabin mate of Sailing Club sailor will be permitted to join)
    • Laundry service:

    - Blue Extras: includes one bag — express service is not included and laundry service is             unavailable on the voyage's final day
    - Deep Blue Extras: includes two pressed items, one specialty-cleaned item, and one bag — express service is not included and laundry service is unavailable on the voyage's final day

    • Specialty Coffee Credit:

    - Blue Extras: One specialty coffee per day at bars or restaurants. Not available through Ship Eats. Alcoholic coffee cocktails not included.
    - Deep Blue Extras: Two speciality coffees per day at bars or restaurants. Not available through Ship Eats. Alcoholic coffee cocktails not included.

    3. Qualification details.

    Blue Extras and Deep Blue Extras are available to Sailors who have earned these perks on all voyages until 31 December 2025.



    Notes from me:  They won't check whose laundry is in the very large laundry bag 🙂


  15. Hoping this can clarify some of the differences people are experiencing.


    Last year, with Virgin, you could status match to many cruise lines and they gave you Deep Blue Extras (the better package). That opportunity ended December 31, 2024.  However, if you did status match during that time, you will continue to get DBE until December 31, 2025. 


    After December 31, 2024 we don't know if they will extend or not.  However, once you get four sailings with Virgin completed, you will earn DBEs the regular way.


    Under the new program in 2024, you can status match but only to Blue Extras. They also changed which lines and levels qualify as many people with MSC status were using a big loophole to get in.(No judgement on this, I coached many of my clients through how to do it.)


    In terms of sharing benefits with your cabin mate, it is benefit dependent.  You can both early board together if you have priority boarding. No one checks whose laundry is in the bag. You can certainly share the bar tab. Technically these go to the qualifying sailor only but if you have your cabin accouts set up to one account, you can both use it. You can invite a +1 to go to the cocktail party.


    Blue Extras:

    • Dedicated Sailing Club Sailor Services support 
    • Cocktail Event
    • Laundry Service (1 bag of laundry)
    • Speciality Coffee

    Deep Blue Extras:

    Sailors who are part of the Sailing Club who have completed four (4) eligible voyages will unlock Deep Blue Extras perks and will receive these perks per qualifying sailor on their fifth lifetime voyage. 

    • $100 promotional Bar Tab
    • Unlimited Premium Wifi (where available)
    • Priority Boarding: a dedicated embarkation queue
    • Dedicated Sailing Club Sailor Services support
    • Cocktail Event
    • Laundry Service (2 pressed items, 1 specialty cleaned item, 1 bag of laundry)
    • Speciality Coffee Credit

    The coffee credit used to be $10 per day now it is:

    - Blue Extras: One specialty coffee per day at bars or restaurants. Not available through Ship Eats. Alcoholic coffee cocktails not included.

    - Deep Blue Extras: Two speciality coffees per day at bars or restaurants. Not available through Ship Eats. Alcoholic coffee cocktails not included.





    • Like 1
  16. On 5/2/2024 at 3:07 PM, Tralfaz1138 said:

    The Virgin site shows May 8 for the New York and Los Angeles sailings, and May 22 for Miami.  Then Alaska is late summer.


    Just adding that if you want the $500 Alaska Fron(tier) pass--basically a $500 deposit that gurantees you early booking when the Alaska itineraries come out, on May 8 there will be a form you or your TA completes.

    • Like 1
  17. Virgin is very different (in good ways IMHO) from other cruise lines.  However, I do not recommend it to people who are not into an open and accepting atmosphere.  People who are offended by drag shows should not sail Virgin.  If you are offended by the fact they call theirfree gelato place "Lick Me Till Ice Cream" you should not go.

    • Like 4
  18. There are two sizes of the plastic luggage tag holders...Cunard uses the skinnier ones, but you could certainly manage with the wider ones.


    Besides using the plastic covers makes you look like a veteran knowledgeable cruiser 🙂

    • Haha 1
  19. Congratulations! That will be a very special experience!


    We sail the QM2 transatlantic at least once a year.


    It looks like others have covered the sheltered balcony question.


    Cunard does offer insurance, but honestly you are likely to get more for less money with a third party insurer as Cunard will only cover the cruise itself, not all the other expenses that go with such a trip like hotel, flights, etc. (Unless you buy them through Cunard)  Any good travel advisor can quickly get you some quotes and help you choose one that is right for you.


    There are a number of travel advisors who book Cunard and sail it themselves. They can answer a zillion questions for you. It costs no more than if you book it yourself directly. Many will add some on board credit for you as well.


    Incidentally, if you do decide to use a TA you can transfer the booking to them if it is less than 60 days from when you made the booking.


    Generally buying a precruise hotel is more expensive through cruise lines. But you are right to plan to come in at least a day early!


    Normally, with Cunard you will pay a 25% deposit, typically refundable (unless you booked with a nonrefundable deposit, which I do not recommend, especially this far out). The typical final payment date should be 120 days precruise.


    Of course, the good people of Cruise Critic will have your back as well.


    Hopefully you got your questions answered!  There so many special secrets and fun things about QM2. The history, the magnificent library, and Homer Simpson, among others.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  20. Here is what is posted on the TA First Mates site: Brilliant 4 You Pass
    We have created a bundle of voyages (similar to our Summer Season Pass), for Sailors to
    enjoy all four of the Brilliant Lady MerMaiden Voyages during her inaugural season. With these
    deposits, Sailors can sail in luxury in a Seriously Suite RockStar Quarters. Sailors will also
    receive exclusive perks and benefits when they book a Brilliant 4 You Pass.
    This special offer has a limited availability and is available while supplies last. It will be
    announced on May 1st and we will start accepting deposits on May 8, 2024.
    Pricing & Deposit Breakdown
    Sailors will be able to put a deposit down on this collection of voyages starting on May 8,
    Seriously Suite:
    ● Deposit amount: $10,000
    ● Total amount: $40,000
    NOTE: The total amount does not include any applicable taxes and fees.
    Perks & Benefits
    RockStar Quarters
    ● Secure the same Seriously Suite on each voyage
    ● One (1) complimentary Shore Thing per voyage
    ○ This excludes premium tours.
    ● Exclusive invites to our launch events in NY, Miami, and LA
    ● Richard’s Rooftop access
    ● Curated in-room bar on us
    ● Priority booking for Shore Things
    ○ These Sailors will be able to book their Shore Things 140 days prior to the
    Voyage Start dates
    ● Rockstar agents
    ○ This includes access to the RockStar Agents pre-voyage and during
    Sail Dates
    Please keep in mind that these Voyages are being sold as a package with the “Brilliant 4 You
    Pass” offer, however they are NOT Back-To-Back Voyages. The Sail dates are as follows:
    ● New York City MerMaiden - Sept 5, 2025
    ○ 5-Night Bermuda
    ● Miami MerMaiden - Oct 17, 2025
    ○ 8-Night to San Juan, Philipsburg, Tortola, Bimini
    ● Los Angeles MerMaiden - April 7, 2026
    ○ 5-Night to Santa Barbara, San Diego, Ensenada
    ● Seattle (Alaska) MerMaiden - May 2026
    ○ The dates and itinerary are still being finalized for this MerMaiden Voyage,
    however, it is included in the Brilliant 4 You Pass.
    First Mates will call Sailor Services to book the “Brilliant 4 You Pass” offer on or after May 8,

  21. Alaska Fron(tier) Of The Line
    On May 8, 2024, we will start taking deposits from our Sailors so they can secure their spot on
    any sailing during the Alaska Brilliant Lady Summer 2026 season (including the Seattle
    MerMaiden). These deposits will provide our Sailors with a 1-week priority booking window
    access and a guaranteed spot on one of our new Alaska itineraries before they are opened for
    public sale.
    We are putting the finishing touches on the itineraries included in the Alaska Season, but it will
    be Sailing in May 2026. More details will be provided when they are available later this year.
    Pricing & Deposit
    ● Deposits will be collected on a per-cabin basis
    ● Required deposit amount per cabin (shown in USD, but will be converted and offered in
    multiple currencies):
    ○ Sea Terraces and Below - $500
    ○ RockStar Quarters - $1000
    ○ Mega RockStar Quarters - $2,500
    ● Deposits are only available for our inaugural Alaska season sailings
    ○ This excludes the Voyage prior to the Seattle MerMaiden (From Cali to Canada
    May 3 - May 11, 2026)
    ● Sailors must sail by the end of September 2026
    You will be able to fill out the Alaska Front(ier) of the Line form once it is open on May 8, 2024.
    Check back here for the link to the form on May 8, 2024.
    More information coming soon.

    • Like 1
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