Posted November 1st, 2017, 12:34 PM
Now VV has it's own forum, let's start some threads. Here are some things I would like to see:
1) I thought I read (or maybe not) that VV would be 18+. Good start
2) Reciprocity with other cruise line loyal cruiser programs.
3) Suite lounge
4) Some sort of innovations although, I don't have anything specific in mind.
5) Fast, reliable wifi
6) Unique lounges such as Celebrity Martini Bar or World Class Bar
7) A crew that enforces policies such as chair hogging
8) Less emphasis on speciality dining and more emphasis on traditional MDR dining.
9) New Caribbean itineraries with overnight stops.
Kinda General in nature but I'm sure others have a lot more specific ideas. Let's hear them..
1. Yes, and glad to hear this is the case! (Although 21+ would have been a bit more appealing!)
2. Not too worried about this, as Branson has stated he would be targeting new or relatively new cruisers who are unlikely to have high status on any line.
3. Hopefully no, I would like to see them move away from "gated by fare" areas. I'm all for a wide range of room options, from singles to lavish suites; however, I feel like it would be a bold statement on their part to not restrict any of the common areas of the ship, regardless of cabin type purchased. I think there is a lot that could be offered to passengers in suites that wouldn't take away space from others; super upgraded room service menus, butlers, a complimentary spa service, plunge pools on balcony, etc.)
4. Some changes and innovations that break the mold would be very appealing! For example, traditional cruise ship theater could be replaced with several smaller intimate venues, offering a range of activities such as live music, a club/space for dancing atmosphere,"game nights" etc. As a mid 30-something person, most of my peers think traditional cruise entertainment is cringe-worthy (as do I), and maybe a range of options instead of one big production would be more appealing.
5. Fast (and included) unlimited wifi would be tremendously appealing to the market Branson is trying to target. While I understand the appeal of disconnecting, I'd like to have the option to do that when I wish. Right now, I have to buy an internet package, and either pay up for unlimited, or manage minutes just to do a few quick daily checks (elderly family, vet, etc.) I think it would be very refreshing if they just included it in the cost, and let people decide for themselves how much they wish to utilize it. Since they are going 18+, I think they will would be remiss not to include complimentary internet for parents leaving kids at home. I also think Virgin is savvy enough to realize the impact a positive social media prescence will have on their brand.
6. Big yes for unique lounges and bars! Would love to see more craft beers, a dynamic wine list/wine bar, a craft cocktail bar, etc. Celebrity has great bars, and i think Virgin could even expand upon these concepts. I would expect that they will offer a drink package as an option, or as part of the fare.
7. Yes- the chair hogging is a major annoyance of mass market cruising. There has got to be a better way to handle it than the way it is handled now on most ships. Maybe Virgin can pioneer a new system to thwart the 6am towel game
8. I have to respectfully strongly disagree with you on this point. The "banquet hall" feel of the MDR has very little appeal to me, and I would love if they introduced several smaller, more intimate venues included with the base fare. In addition to this, I would like to see those venues have changing menus (or at least specials) each night (not just a static menu like a specialty restaurant does). In addition, I would be VERY shocked if there is not at least one full plant based eatery on the ship (or at the very least, vegan options in all venues). Richard Branson has both spoken out on this topic as well as invested in the future of plant based foods, so I fully expect to see that included in some way on his cruiseline.
9. Yes! I would love to see a new private island, and itineraries that branch out from the standard East/West ports of call in the Carribean.
Although, if their target market is new cruisers, the itineraries may not need to be very exotic to attract first timers.
Overall, I think they are in a great position to do some of the things people wanted to see on Celebrity Edge, but that Celebrity could not do without alienating some of it's older/long time clientele (understandable). Can't wait to see what's in store!