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Can a Princess Love a Virgin?


Steelers0854
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One might argue that Virgin is everything we would want Princess to be and is a return to the way things were with a more all inclusive experience.  If you love the Princess product the question is should you try Virgin? And if you do will you like it?

 

If I can best sum it up, the answer to any question you might ask is “only if you want to”. Do you need to dress up? Is the entertainment risqué ? Is it a party ship?  Only if you want to!

 

-No gratuities anywhere. Buy a drink, no gratuity. Spa treatment, no gratuity. It’s a wonderful experience.

 

-No one is selling anything anywhere, because there is nothing to buy. No drinks packages, no photographers, no art auctions, no WiFi packages (you can upgrade to premium WiFi but there is no one pushing to). Plenty of folks around to get you anything you want any time you want it though.

 

-No specialty restaurants here. The ship is designed without a main dining room and you go to whatever restaurant you feel like. Want Mexican food, go to Pink Agave. In the mood for Asian, headed to Gunbae. The issue is you really need a reservation especially with a larger party. They aren’t difficult to get, we didn’t have a big issue booking them 60 days out or even a few change when we first boarded. But we often heard staff turning people away that didn’t have a reservation.

 

-they do have a “buffet” with different stations it at no time do you get your own food with the exception of the grab and go section. The fact that they have a grab and go section throughout the day with delicious food you can take with you is amazing. In the “buffet” you can walk up to a station and order anything you want, they will plate it for you. Or sit at a table and a sever will take your order for you and deliver it to you. Only downside, there isn’t any real rotation in the food each day. There will be a special of the day at a few stations but everything else is consistent each day.

 

-food overall was better than anything I’ve ever had at any MDR or specialty restaurant on Princess. They had a lot of options for DW and her allergies. And the food was exceptional. A whole Pizza, included.  Hand scooped gelato Ice cream, included. Sushi, included, at the buffet every day. Ramen, included.

 

-DW and I aren’t the party type. Even though we are at the tail end of our 30s we are old souls. We never once felt out of place or surrounded by a party we didn’t want to be at. I felt more out of place on Carnival than I ever did here. But if you want to party, there is plenty of that on board!

 

-Shows. There aren’t quite as many as on Princess. And what they have is a little more “adult” than in Princess. Think rated R vs anything more than that. They drop the F bombs every now and then, you get the occasional sexual reference but nothing that made us uncomfortable or was overly raunchy.

 

-cost difference. There is a cost difference between Princess and Virgin. But you also have to compare apples to apples. Almost everything is included with Virgin. So when you look at it from that perspective they are closer than they appear. But still if price is your only concern you’re probably going on Carnival 😉

 

-International Cafe: they don’t have a true comparison but I’ve found much more variety on Virgin. There are a number of grab and go places as well as quick service bites scattered around the ship. Walk past the coffee bar and grab a cookie, walk by the social club and get a rice krispy bar etc. plus they have these little carts setup around the ship with healthy snacks like fruit, hummus and salads.

 

-It’s a pretty app based experience on board. There are no overhead announcements (except the mandatory ones like when they are refueling and doing emergency drills) but they send push notifications to your phone letting you know about everything from itinerary changes (we had 2 hours added to a port) to when you can disembark at a port and where on the ship etc. I actually much prefer it because you never miss a message. No running to the cabin door to crack it to hear what they are saying.

 

-The app they have is great, easy to use and navigate, reserve shows and dining, save things to your agenda, order food (free but a single $7 delivery fee) etc.

 

-you’ll see crew everywhere. Virgin has a much more relaxed approach to crew in guest areas. But never did I encounter a situation where crew were anything but professional, warm, fun and helpful or in my way or taking up space in lieu of a guest. It’s actually quite a refreshing experience as a guest vs the overly professional take most other lines have. In fact one small issue maybe you may have a hard time distinguishing some crew from guests as some don’t wear a standard uniform and only have their name tags. But that’s Virgins point, a more seamless experience.

 

-Any fitness class you want is included and they have some excellent classes. Want to do yoga you’re outside in a beautiful space at the very top of the ship. Cycling? They have a studio with ride metrics and cycling shoes they provide. HIIT classes, even a bungee class.

 

-They give you a bracelet and sensor that’s like the medallion but doesn’t have your name or ship info on it. In port Virgin gives port security one of the tablets and they simply scan you sensor and that’s it. It’s wonderful and exactly what Princess should be doing. No pulling out your ID them reading your card or medallion etc.

 

 

Overall DW and I loved our Virgin cruise. They have a more restrictive version of the Future Cruise Deposit, theirs to get the full benefit of you have to BOOK within 60 days and you have 2 years to SAIL, and are only allowed to change your booking 1 time. The only reason we didn’t get one was that we have trips planned through 2026 already.

 

Ultimately Princess is still our Favorite if you force me to choose, but it’s so close that Virgin will be in the mix a lot more than not. For us, right now it would look like:

 

Princess/Virgin/Disney(if cost we’re not a concern)

Celebrity/Royal

Not Again: Carnival/NCL



happy to answer any questions you may have or provide any additional context. 

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You had me at the title of the thread! 😂 That was a great read and very nice to see your comparison. We have friends who love Virgin cruises and have been encouraging us to give it a try so we are considering it now that we can travel kid free. We already are frequent flyers with them so might as well jump onboard. Thanks for the review!

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You are most certainly tempting me to give it a try!  However, I’m sure that when perusing their cruises there will be sticker shock.  Thank you for your very thorough review.

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3 minutes ago, Steelers0854 said:

happy to answer any questions you may have or provide any additional context. 

Thanks for the summary. Like your title. What was your itinerary? For us their Caribbean itineraries are lacking as far as different ports. Keeps us from booking Virgin. Even though we've been to just about all the ports/islands that doesn't stop us from going back. 

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Thank you for your detailed review!  We have been tempted to try them as we have several ex-Princess crew member friends that are now at Virgin.  We get regular messages from them to come try it out.

 

Since we like to book cruises of 30+ days, we are waiting for them to extend their itineraries in length and locations.  🙂

 

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35 minutes ago, Lady Arwen said:

You are most certainly tempting me to give it a try!  However, I’m sure that when perusing their cruises there will be sticker shock.  Thank you for your very thorough review.

  we have another one coming this fall, it's a blast 🎆 🎉  👍

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1 minute ago, c-boy said:

  we have another one coming this fall, it's a blast 🎆 🎉  👍

I’m sure you and @jwattle have a blast wherever you go!  Please post a review.  Give my regards to your better half.

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53 minutes ago, Steelers0854 said:

One might argue that Virgin is everything we would want Princess to be and is a return to the way things were with a more all inclusive experience.  If you love the Princess product the question is should you try Virgin? And if you do will you like it?

 

If I can best sum it up, the answer to any question you might ask is “only if you want to”. Do you need to dress up? Is the entertainment risqué ? Is it a party ship?  Only if you want to!

 

-No gratuities anywhere. Buy a drink, no gratuity. Spa treatment, no gratuity. It’s a wonderful experience.

 

-No one is selling anything anywhere, because there is nothing to buy. No drinks packages, no photographers, no art auctions, no WiFi packages (you can upgrade to premium WiFi but there is no one pushing to). Plenty of folks around to get you anything you want any time you want it though.

 

-No specialty restaurants here. The ship is designed without a main dining room and you go to whatever restaurant you feel like. Want Mexican food, go to Pink Agave. In the mood for Asian, headed to Gunbae. The issue is you really need a reservation especially with a larger party. They aren’t difficult to get, we didn’t have a big issue booking them 60 days out or even a few change when we first boarded. But we often heard staff turning people away that didn’t have a reservation.

 

-they do have a “buffet” with different stations it at no time do you get your own food with the exception of the grab and go section. The fact that they have a grab and go section throughout the day with delicious food you can take with you is amazing. In the “buffet” you can walk up to a station and order anything you want, they will plate it for you. Or sit at a table and a sever will take your order for you and deliver it to you. Only downside, there isn’t any real rotation in the food each day. There will be a special of the day at a few stations but everything else is consistent each day.

 

-food overall was better than anything I’ve ever had at any MDR or specialty restaurant on Princess. They had a lot of options for DW and her allergies. And the food was exceptional. A whole Pizza, included.  Hand scooped gelato Ice cream, included. Sushi, included, at the buffet every day. Ramen, included.

 

-DW and I aren’t the party type. Even though we are at the tail end of our 30s we are old souls. We never once felt out of place or surrounded by a party we didn’t want to be at. I felt more out of place on Carnival than I ever did here. But if you want to party, there is plenty of that on board!

 

-Shows. There aren’t quite as many as on Princess. And what they have is a little more “adult” than in Princess. Think rated R vs anything more than that. They drop the F bombs every now and then, you get the occasional sexual reference but nothing that made us uncomfortable or was overly raunchy.

 

-cost difference. There is a cost difference between Princess and Virgin. But you also have to compare apples to apples. Almost everything is included with Virgin. So when you look at it from that perspective they are closer than they appear. But still if price is your only concern you’re probably going on Carnival 😉

 

-International Cafe: they don’t have a true comparison but I’ve found much more variety on Virgin. There are a number of grab and go places as well as quick service bites scattered around the ship. Walk past the coffee bar and grab a cookie, walk by the social club and get a rice krispy bar etc. plus they have these little carts setup around the ship with healthy snacks like fruit, hummus and salads.

 

-It’s a pretty app based experience on board. There are no overhead announcements (except the mandatory ones like when they are refueling and doing emergency drills) but they send push notifications to your phone letting you know about everything from itinerary changes (we had 2 hours added to a port) to when you can disembark at a port and where on the ship etc. I actually much prefer it because you never miss a message. No running to the cabin door to crack it to hear what they are saying.

 

-The app they have is great, easy to use and navigate, reserve shows and dining, save things to your agenda, order food (free but a single $7 delivery fee) etc.

 

-you’ll see crew everywhere. Virgin has a much more relaxed approach to crew in guest areas. But never did I encounter a situation where crew were anything but professional, warm, fun and helpful or in my way or taking up space in lieu of a guest. It’s actually quite a refreshing experience as a guest vs the overly professional take most other lines have. In fact one small issue maybe you may have a hard time distinguishing some crew from guests as some don’t wear a standard uniform and only have their name tags. But that’s Virgins point, a more seamless experience.

 

-Any fitness class you want is included and they have some excellent classes. Want to do yoga you’re outside in a beautiful space at the very top of the ship. Cycling? They have a studio with ride metrics and cycling shoes they provide. HIIT classes, even a bungee class.

 

-They give you a bracelet and sensor that’s like the medallion but doesn’t have your name or ship info on it. In port Virgin gives port security one of the tablets and they simply scan you sensor and that’s it. It’s wonderful and exactly what Princess should be doing. No pulling out your ID them reading your card or medallion etc.

 

 

Overall DW and I loved our Virgin cruise. They have a more restrictive version of the Future Cruise Deposit, theirs to get the full benefit of you have to BOOK within 60 days and you have 2 years to SAIL, and are only allowed to change your booking 1 time. The only reason we didn’t get one was that we have trips planned through 2026 already.

 

Ultimately Princess is still our Favorite if you force me to choose, but it’s so close that Virgin will be in the mix a lot more than not. For us, right now it would look like:

 

Princess/Virgin/Disney(if cost we’re not a concern)

Celebrity/Royal

Not Again: Carnival/NCL



happy to answer any questions you may have or provide any additional context. 

Thanks for sharing this! You provided great context and your comparisons seem thoughtful and fair. No I need to research and price Virgin. 

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54 minutes ago, karatemom2 said:

You had me at the title of the thread!

 I put a lot of thought into it I know it’s corny but I thought it was fun!  Thanks for the kind words. 
 

52 minutes ago, doghog said:

What was your itinerary


I knew I forgot something! Here is the link to my Live From with all the details. But it was round trip from Puerto Rico. Great southern island stops!

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Wishing on a star said:

THANKS!!!

What about deck areas and the very very limited pool space???


yes the pool is extremely small, there is PLENTY of deck space even on a sea day as long as you don’t mind being away from the pool. They have different types of loungers, some in the shade and some in the sun. 

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I have cruised both lines (granted my last Princess cruise was 10+ years ago) and I can't find any reason why someone who normally cruises Princess shouldn't cruise Virgin. Just as long as you go in knowing that it's different. While I enjoyed my Virgin cruise, and would cruise them again, I found that I prefer the more "traditional" style of cruising with a MDR and not just restaurants.

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Here are some of the pictures of the best parts I reference above:

 

Scarlett Night Deck Pool Party (if you weren’t there you had no idea it was going on, so easy to avoid if you don’t want to participate)

 

IMG_1787.thumb.jpeg.79377d4dd37dec58fc857010efe3030e.jpeg

 

great blooming spaces around the ship:
IMG_1635.thumb.jpeg.24a0711024de1db0c44bf0d654a7ef6c.jpeg

 

Amazing shows:
IMG_1757.thumb.jpeg.c4ac58d7cee93db42b6774b14cb2504c.jpeg

 

Great Grab and go sections around the ship:

IMG_1570.thumb.jpeg.0bfb3d75d0bc31f9f016934e43878f61.jpeg

 

Nice thermal spa but not worth the week long pass:
IMG_1543.thumb.jpeg.90197ab961bdc0ab9bdd714df0aff4ed.jpeg

 

Great cabin (Sea Terrace aka Balcony)
IMG_1529.thumb.jpeg.9c0962b6a4d00df0743f1a1c46e40dda.jpeg


IMG_1526.thumb.jpeg.18a12d90c8612092b3ee2eb72cb4b0e9.jpeg

 

IMG_1525.thumb.jpeg.aeae2af23efaa21a586769743541f0ed.jpeg

 

And a “Buffet” with good options as well, free sushi basically all day and always fresh

IMG_1532.thumb.jpeg.16f6e4551154c2d2d35cc25c9f5fd55a.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, New2cruise2022 said:

Just read the LIVE! Great pictures with detailed info. I’ll be a Princess for a week on Discovery in 7 days, but I could see myself being a 40-something-year-old Virgin in my future travels. 


thanks for the kind words. There was a huge age range. We dined next to a gentleman in his 60s cruising solo, there was an 82 year old in a show we attended and of course some younger couples as well. Honestly, the age demographic was much closer to a Caribbean Princess cruise than not. And the no kids is a very nice thing as well. 

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1 minute ago, Steelers0854 said:


thanks for the kind words. There was a huge age range. We dined next to a gentleman in his 60s cruising solo, there was an 82 year old in a show we attended and of course some younger couples as well. Honestly, the age demographic was much closer to a Caribbean Princess cruise than not. And the no kids is a very nice thing as well. 

I have 6 nearly grown kids. Love them all and the years raising them and vacationing with them … but I definitely could enjoy a cruise with NO kids. 

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1 hour ago, Steelers0854 said:

 

-cost difference. There is a cost difference between Princess and Virgin. But you also have to compare apples to apples. Almost everything is included with Virgin. So when you look at it from that perspective they are closer than they appear. But still if price is your only concern you’re probably going on Carnival 😉


happy to answer any questions you may have or provide any additional context. 

 

Thank you and well done.  I find a lot of what you describe very appealing. 

 

My problem with everything included fares is I am paying a considerable amount for things I will not use and do not want.  

 

Seems what Virgin includes in the base fare might work better for us when doing that apples-to-apples comparison.   Is the following pretty accurate? 

 

Included in base fare: Grats, all dining options, wifi, nonalcoholic beverages (water, iced tea, soda & drip coffee),fitness classes.  

 

Not included:  alcoholic beverages, fancy coffee, SPA services, upgraded wifi, port fees (??)

 

Thanks again.  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, New2cruise2022 said:

I have 6 nearly grown kids. Love them all and the years raising them and vacationing with them … but I definitely could enjoy a cruise with NO kids. 

on these ships, it's a time for us to be kids..😃

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I would love to try Virgin, I suspect it is particularly well-suited to me.  But traveling solo and paying a 100% supplement on an already-increased fare puts it out of reach.  I wish they had better options for solo travelers!

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1 hour ago, ldubs said:

 

 

Included in base fare: Grats, all dining options, wifi, nonalcoholic beverages (water, iced tea, soda & drip coffee),fitness classes.  

 

Not included:  alcoholic beverages, fancy coffee, SPA services, upgraded wifi, port fees (??)

 

Thanks again.  

 

 


Bingo!  Couldn’t have said it better myself. There are some paid extra experiences on board but most a tied to drinking, bar crawls, tastings etc. I believe there was an art class as well that was extra but those types of things are few and far between. 
 

I forgot one other huge thing. A Non-smoking casino. We don’t gamble but it was AMAZING as you have to walk through there to get to several venues. It made me actually want to use it. Wish everyone would go smoke free. They did have a smoking room on board and it is right next to the casino. And the casino was super busy the whole time so clearly smoke free doesn’t negatively impact them. 

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1 hour ago, Ellipooh said:

I would love to try Virgin, I suspect it is particularly well-suited to me.  But traveling solo and paying a 100% supplement on an already-increased fare puts it out of reach.  I wish they had better options for solo travelers!

Have you checked? I heard they had interior rooms that were specifically for solo travelers. 

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1 hour ago, Ellipooh said:

I would love to try Virgin, I suspect it is particularly well-suited to me.  But traveling solo and paying a 100% supplement on an already-increased fare puts it out of reach.  I wish they had better options for solo travelers!


 

Our adult only cruise ships aren’t just retreats for the rich and reality TV-famous, though. The Insider and Sea View cabins are priced attractively for people traveling alone — and subscribers to the Virgin Voyages email list are often notified of promotions on double occupancy rooms with no single supplement, meaning you can spread out without the customary extra charge. 

Take advantage of booking a single cabin on board a Virgin Voyage cruise ship, find a solo cruise deal and start saving. Our cruise cabins are super-yacht inspired cabins, built to optimize space and views. Perfect for solo travelers yearning for sophistication, relaxation, with VIP service!

 

https://www.virginvoyages.com/ahoy/stories/cruising-solo

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Sooo, my DH and I are probably booking for 2025.  The prices are actually not that bad for what you get.  Looking at Europe in a balcony cabin.  Lots of attractive amenities.

 

Thank you for sharing your adventure.  You’ve certainly sold us!

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