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First time with Virgin Voyages


Maxximum23
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We are going on an Eastern Caribbean Cruise with Virgin Voyages, First time we have sailed with them. Previously been with MSC, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.

 

Do you have any good tips please on cruising with Virgin?  We have reserved the speciality restaurants though they are late in the evening.

 

What tends to be the age group too that sails with Virgin?

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Once onboard a lot more dinner reservations times will be available so once you have the shows booked you can move your dinners around. That’s the biggest tip, get on the app as soon as you are onboard and book fitness classes, activities and shows on the app then sort dinners. You can also book brunch at the Wake and Razzle Dazzle.

 

Age group is everything from 18 to 80 but a majority is 30-55, varies a lot with the length of the cruise too.

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1 hour ago, Maxximum23 said:

Do you have any good tips please on cruising with Virgin?  We have reserved the speciality restaurants though they are late in the evening.

Is there anything you particular want to know about? I sailed on Valiant Lady in the summer and just booked back to back sailings for this summer on Scarlet Lady.

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First hint--get rid of any preconceived ideas you have from other cruise lines.  VV is quite different, and most of the differences are good.

 

There are no specialty restaurants, just restaurants with different themes, different menus and no main dining room.  Many reservation don't open till after boarding, so as others have said, you can move your times after boarding,  If you require assistance, go to Razzle Dazzle on deck 5,  Download the app before you cruise, and get on line as soon as you are on the ship to book entertainment, classes, etc.

The average age on VV was reported by the company as 43 with a range of 18-90s.  It does vary with length of cruise--shorter cruises over holiday periods tend to be younger.  

Depending on your plans after the cruise, make a reservation for brunch on your disembarkation day. One of the nice things about VV is that you aren't rushed off the ship; you can be on board till 10:30.  You can leave your carry off luggage in your cabin, go to a nice breakfast, and return to the cabin to get your stuff.  If you have a hotel the night before embarkation, ask about a late check out or go to the terminal whenever you wish--you can drop your luggage and take a shuttle to Bayside (a shopping and eating area).  Complete your sign in on the app and get a boarding time!

The only dress code request is to wear something red for Scarlet Night....but this can be as simple as a  red headband or pocket handkerchief.  While most people make a little effort at dinner, you can eat in any restaurant on the ship in a t shirt and jeans if you wish.  Of you can wear a ballgown or tux.  Bottom line, other than basic decency, you be you.

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6 hours ago, Maxximum23 said:

Thank you, good advice. Which cruise terminal do Virgin use in San Juan please? Also is it worth a look around the old town in San Juan?

 

I hope you are flying  in the day before because you know...airlines nowadays...

 

San Juan Terminal
Pier 4
Paseo Concepcion de Garcia
Old San Juan PR 00901

 

 I think San Juan is worth a visit. The most recommended places to see (which can be walked in a leisurely hour or 2...more if you like to amble 😞

 

1) El Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort El Morro)

2) Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

3) Castillo San Cristóbal (Fort San Cristobal)

4) Plaza Colon (Columbus Square)

5) Museum of the Americas

6) Plaza de Armas (Arms Square)

7) La Fortaleza (The Fortress)

 

 

Edited by Gretchendz
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Hi Phoenix 1975

 

Do you really need to book the shows in Virgin, can’t you just turn up?  There seems to be a lot of admin beforehand booking everything on the App.

 

Thank you

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11 hours ago, Maxximum23 said:

Hi Phoenix 1975

 

Do you really need to book the shows in Virgin, can’t you just turn up?  There seems to be a lot of admin beforehand booking everything on the App.

 

Thank you

Depends on the show and how busy the cruise is. Things like the It’s a Ship Show dinner show are limited capacity so you probably won’t get in without reservation. But Untitled DanceShowPartyThing is a standing show and they don’t always even check for reservations. Other stuff like Miss Behave and Duel Reality is inbetween, best to reserve but standby might be possible.

 

Some things in the Manor don’t need reservations, you just show up early enough to get a seat.

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13 hours ago, Maxximum23 said:

Hi Phoenix 1975

 

Do you really need to book the shows in Virgin, can’t you just turn up?  There seems to be a lot of admin beforehand booking everything on the App.

 

Thank you

I agree with this. I'm one of those odd people that likes to disconnect from my phone on vacations such as a cruise.  Having to battle and figure out reservations along with constantly being connected to your phone feels a bit counter productive.  

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There is a standby line for almost everything except the dinner shows. (Ship Show on Valiant and Scarlet).  For all else, standby line usually gets in as there are always people who make reservations and then don't show up.  If there is something happening that you want to see, just show up and you'll likely get in.

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Yes, I am aware of the standby. But recent reviews and videos from FULL ships have noted that people were being turned away from standby and that reservations were sometimes full before later embarkation people got onboard - even to try to make dinner reservations at a regular time (i.e., no 10 PM dinner seating). 

 

Though my experience has really only been with Windstar and Azamara, late embarkation is something we tend to enjoy. We are never in a hurry to get onboard, nor do we feel pressured to get onboard as soon as possible to try to secure reservations and events. 

 

It seems somewhat strategic by VV to make you board ASAP to begin spending. Just my observation. 

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21 hours ago, gsutiger2 said:

 

 

It seems somewhat strategic by VV to make you board ASAP to begin spending. Just my observation. 

There's not much to spend on when you board....drinks, but most people have a complimentary bar tab.  You can book spa, and excursions, but that's about it.  Shops are closed, on Scarlet and Valiant, all dinners are included.  We've had priority boarding and basically we order lunch then divide on conquer (one does any dinner changes while the other does activities on the app).  Watch muster video, unpack and settle in, do muster check in, get some complimentary ice cream......Squid ink reservations don't start till 7,

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Book shows as soon as you get onboard. Move around your restaurant bookings if necessary as soon as you get onboard. Remember there isn’t enough space for everyone in the restaurants or theaters.

 

Ask for mattress padding if you don’t like the bed. 

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