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Pre-purchase beverage bonus...


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Just came across this on social media and also the Virgin Voyages website... $100 bonus for pre purchase of $300 in Sailor Loot...

With the absence of an actual beverage package, this should help take a bite out of my bar tab...

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Thanks for the heads up!

 

I called and added this, but apparently I won’t receive any kind of confirmation email and it won’t yet be visible to me on my account as they’re still working through these things... 
Best confirmation I could get is that the call is recorded... is that the same message others have received?

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As soon as I saw this offer announced here, I called.  That was a little more than an hour ago.  I wasn't bothered by the 15 minute hold time, but what happened afterwards was annoying.

 

First I was told that this "Sailor Loot" could be used for ANYTHING they sell:  gift shop, shore excursions, bar, and even casino charges.  There were back and forth hold times as the agent consulted with his internal resources.  

 

I was also told that I was not limited to one offer.  And when he confirmed that I could charge $1,000 a day in the casino, I asked to purchase 7 of the $300 credits, which he said would entitle me to $700 of bonus credit.  

 

Since this is "use it or lose it" at the end of the cruise, having $2,800 for my three day Sneak-a-Peek meant I'd still owe:  3 days at $1,000 per day in the casino plus drinks would exceed what I pre-purchased.

 

BUT THEN.... one last hold as he "double checked" before charging my credit card....  This time he read the fine print they have, to see that this is a "special kind of sailor loot" that can ONLY be used at bars on board.  (Despite the wording that specifically states Bimini Beach Club.)  Now he says it won't work for ANYTHING beside bar.

 

So it took 40 minutes to get the real answer.  I did buy one.  The initial hold time before speaking to him had me figuring out how I could drink $400 in basically 2.5 days....  Hmm at $9 a cocktail, $400 buys 44 drinks... to be consumed in 2.5 days.... that's 17 cocktails per day!  Not happening!  Instead, I'm sure I can find a few really good bottles of wine.... I hope.

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1 hour ago, rbt001 said:

Hmm at $9 a cocktail, $400 buys 44 drinks... to be consumed in 2.5 days.... that's 17 cocktails per day! 

I have not heard anything that says those drinks can't be shared, since you bought and paid for them. Get together with a few folks to spread out those 17 drinks, along with the costs.

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2 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

I have not heard anything that says those drinks can't be shared, since you bought and paid for them. Get together with a few folks to spread out those 17 drinks, along with the costs.

Indeed... especially a good bottle of wine.

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I went ahead and called just now to take advantage of the offer... I was on hold for about 15 minutes, and only a couple of minutes later I was good to go. Another poster above stated that they were told that this was only good for "on the ship" bar purchases... I asked if it would also apply to Bimini, as stated in the promo, and they said that it was good for use on Bimini as well as on the ship. In addition, they said that this offer only applies to bar purchases, unlike the other "sailor loot" that I received as a booking promo.

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11 minutes ago, sid_9169 said:

I went ahead and called just now to take advantage of the offer... I was on hold for about 15 minutes, and only a couple of minutes later I was good to go. Another poster above stated that they were told that this was only good for "on the ship" bar purchases... I asked if it would also apply to Bimini, as stated in the promo, and they said that it was good for use on Bimini as well as on the ship. In addition, they said that this offer only applies to bar purchases, unlike the other "sailor loot" that I received as a booking promo.

 

I should have clarified that their print material clearly states Bimini Beach Club, so I didn't want to extend my call any longer for him to verify and confirm it was included contrary to what he had said.  I'm sure it will work at the Beach Club.

 

HOWEVER.... from reading reviews about the Hilton Resort Casino on Bimini, it does appear that the island imposes a 12%VAT on just about everything... including drinks.  So unless VV drops prices to make it inclusive of VAT... that loot won't go as far on the island.

 

The same goes for drinks prior to embarkation in Miami.  7% sales tax is added.  (NCL charges the tax on each drink served in Miami, even if you have a drink package.)

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I'd like clarification on the $300 onboard credit part.  At first I was thinking of nabbing this deal as I thought I could use the $300 onboard credit to pay for casino, shopping, other things onboard and excursions.  Then the lady I spoke with said I could NOT use it to pre-pay/pre-book excursions.  I could only book excursions with that money once I was onboard.  Does that not mean I risk in having an interested excursion book up before I even board if that's the case?

 

She also said it's a use or less for the $300.  If I do not spend the entire $300 while on board, I do not receive a refund of whatever amount is remaining.  Is that common??  I could have sworn with RCL when someone purchases onboard credit ahead of time, they could use it to pay for excursions before their cruise PLUS receive a refund of whatever was not used or cash it out on the ship.

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1 hour ago, rbt001 said:

The same goes for drinks prior to embarkation in Miami.  7% sales tax is added.  (NCL charges the tax on each drink served in Miami, even if you have a drink package.)

Yes, local taxes do apply. So the increased price if in port would be deducted from the balance on your account. All ships are required to charge it. Don't know of any that lower prices in port. 

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Never mind my previous post.  I believe the person I spoke with was incorrect telling me I could use the $300 towards anything on board.  It looks like the money can only be used for drinks.  Hence, it's a drink package by a different name.  😄  I couldn't possibly drink $400 worth of drinks so I'm passing on this offer.

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Does anyone know if the Coffee Place is included in the "Bar" purchases? They show the coffee bar when you look at the Promo. With Coffee, I MAY be able to come up to $400 in 5 days but I am not sure. I guess you can shake your phone for a bottle of Moet and use a bit up pretty quickly.

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12 hours ago, Kesali said:

Never mind my previous post.  I believe the person I spoke with was incorrect telling me I could use the $300 towards anything on board.  It looks like the money can only be used for drinks.  Hence, it's a drink package by a different name.  😄  I couldn't possibly drink $400 worth of drinks so I'm passing on this offer.

Yes, they were wrong.  In theory, their guest accounting system should be able to hold credits on your folio that can only be applied towards certain charge categories --such as beverage-- while excluding others, such as casino, gift shop, excursions.

 

My agent, at first, said the same:  it's good for everything.  Then just before posting the $2,100 I wanted to buy, he decided to read the fine print while I waited on hold.  To me, for my 3 day cruise, that would have been a great deal since I would have a $700 bonus which would have all be used in the casino (3 days at their $1,000/day max.)  I reasoned that if he was wrong and onboard I could NOT use it as was related, they would make an exception to the "use it or lose it" nature, for a refund, given no one at VV would expect a solo traveler to consume $2,800 of alcohol in 3 days.  

 

But returning from hold, he did backtrack and state it only works for bar charges.  I had been on the phone close to an hour, so I bought just one and did NOT ask if it's good at the coffee bar.

 

Note the language in their promo's states "Premium Drinks."  My BELIEF is they do not mean top shelf brands.  I think they simply make the distinction between "Basic Beverages" which are free, as described and "Premium Drinks" which must be bought.  Hopefully that includes specialty coffees.

 

 

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Just added it to my cruise.  What I understand. Can be used towards any drink you have to purchase on both the ship and Beach Club. It's use it or loose it. You can buy drinks for others with it.

 

Bar Tab Offer

Bar Tab Terms and Conditions

1.  Offer Terms.  These terms detail the “Bar Tab” Offer.  We’re offering our passengers (that is, “Sailors” in our branding voice) the opportunity to pre-pay their on-board bar tabs in $300 U.S. dollar increments.  Virgin Voyages will then add an additional $50 U.S. dollar credit to that Sailor’s folio.  Bar Tabs may be purchased up to 11:59 p.m. the day before the voyage sets sail.


Travel Agents (or “First Mates” in our branding voice) can purchase a prepaid Bar Tab for their Sailors and earn commission on the purchase amount.


Prepay Bar Tabs may be purchased by calling Virgin Voyages prior to sailing, or through your First Mate. 
 

2.  Caveats/Exclusions.


2.1 The Bar Tab (both purchased and bonus) is non-refundable Sailor Loot; it must be used by the end of your voyage.  The Bar Tab can only be used on drinks purchased onboard our ships, or at The Beach Club at Bimini. It may not be transferred to pay for other experiences e.g. Spa or Shore Things, and any unused Bar Tab credit will not be refunded to the Sailor at the end of the voyage.  It may not be transferred to another user (though one may purchase bar drinks for another Sailor).  Bar Tab may not be cancelled and is non-refundable from the moment of purchase.  Should the voyage date change, the Bar Tab may be transferred to the new voyage.  Bar Tab is likely not insurable.


2.2  First Mates do not earn commission on the bonus value we give Sailors on us.  To the extent Bar Tab is purchased, First Mate’s Commission on Bar Tab (10%) to be paid post-voyage with other pre-voyage sales commission, provided Sailor makes the voyage and does not cancel the Bar Tab before the voyage.


2.3  Promotional Bonus: Virgin Voyages will add an additional $50 Bar Tab U.S. dollar credit to a Sailor’s portfolio, on top of the $50 detailed in Section 1 above, for any Bar Tab purchase made through 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2020.  Sailor loses the $50 promotional portion if the reservation is cancelled, even if later re-instated.
 

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I spoke with them as well last night for clarification. The guy was very clear:

 

  • Use it or lose it, the entire $300+$100 will not be refunded if it is not spent.
  • This is bar tab only, not sailor loot. So no shop purchases, no excursions, no casino credit, etc.
  • This is put in one person's name, not both, so if it goes on your account, you will need to make all purchases for your partner if you want to have it count towards that $400. I can see this easily going wrong and leading to dissatisfied cruisers who thought it would apply to both, and who end up with a bunch of charges on one account, and unused credit on the other. That seems like an error in judgment on Virgin's side; too much potential for misunderstanding.
  • However, it does count for BARISTA drinks as well, so you can buy mochas and such with it!
Edited by 70KToM
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9 minutes ago, 70KToM said:

I spoke with them as well last night for clarification. The guy was very clear:

 

  • Use it or lose it, the entire $300+$100 will not be refunded if it is not spent.
  • This is bar tab only, not sailor loot. So no shop purchases, no excursions, no casino credit, etc.
  • This is put in one person's name, not both, so if it goes on your account, you will need to make all purchases for your partner if you want to have it count towards that $400. I can see this easily going wrong and leading to dissatisfied cruisers who thought it would apply to both, and who end up with a bunch of charges on one account, and unused credit on the other. That seems like an error in judgment on Virgin's side; too much potential for misunderstanding.
  • However, it does count for BARISTA drinks as well, so you can buy mochas and such with it!

While each guest has their own folio (or room account) most of the guest accounting systems allow individual charges to be transferred between.  While I can't say whether they will or won't, it just seems reasonable that a couple in a room could transfer between accounts to absorb the credit at the end of the cruise.

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15 minutes ago, rbt001 said:

While each guest has their own folio (or room account) most of the guest accounting systems allow individual charges to be transferred between.  While I can't say whether they will or won't, it just seems reasonable that a couple in a room could transfer between accounts to absorb the credit at the end of the cruise.

Reasonable, yes, but I don't remember any instance on a ship where if the ship board credit is assigned to one person in the cabin, it could be transferred to anyone else. That is why I was wondering if my wife could use the app on my phone to buy a drink without my wrist band being there. That would make it so much easier and allow us to share the bar account.

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3 hours ago, twodjs said:

Reasonable, yes, but I don't remember any instance on a ship where if the ship board credit is assigned to one person in the cabin, it could be transferred to anyone else. That is why I was wondering if my wife could use the app on my phone to buy a drink without my wrist band being there. That would make it so much easier and allow us to share the bar account.

 

While they've promoted the ability to shake you device to order Champagne, I don't think that means a device with their app can act as a payment method.  I'd bet when the champagne arrives, they'll still scan the band.

 

My actual experience with transfers was on Princess.  My credit card was paying for two separate rooms.  Each had a ridiculous amount of OBC and guest services volunteered to transfer between to consume the credits, stating that they saw my credit card paying for both rooms.  On another Princess sailing, I was sharing a mini-suite with two others for a short cruise.  All three of us had our own folios.

 

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On 2/19/2020 at 5:33 PM, rbt001 said:

 

While they've promoted the ability to shake you device to order Champagne, I don't think that means a device with their app can act as a payment method.  I'd bet when the champagne arrives, they'll still scan the band.

 

My actual experience with transfers was on Princess.  My credit card was paying for two separate rooms.  Each had a ridiculous amount of OBC and guest services volunteered to transfer between to consume the credits, stating that they saw my credit card paying for both rooms.  On another Princess sailing, I was sharing a mini-suite with two others for a short cruise.  All three of us had our own folios.

 

If we even see an app--They have had YEARS to work on the app, yet they couldn't release it in December when it was supposed to be ready, and still have not.. They do not have the best app developers for sure..

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On 2/20/2020 at 10:21 PM, garymfreedman said:

If we even see an app--They have had YEARS to work on the app, yet they couldn't release it in December when it was supposed to be ready, and still have not.. They do not have the best app developers for sure..

 

YEARS?  More hyperbole?

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Email from Virgin:

 

We are so glad you are interested in our current Bar Tab offer. Sailors can purchase it on a per Sailor basis (so $300 each) or it will be added to one Sailor's name. The additional $100 offer ends on March 31st. After that date Sailors who add the Bar Tab will receive and additional $50 to spend on board. 
 
The Bar Tab purchases will also include our fresh-pressed juices, specialty coffees, and other specialty drinks that do not necessarily have alcohol.
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