Words to describe, Virgin Voyages "Sailors" - "Young at Heart, but Open-Minded". Is this you?
Photo courtesy of Virtuoso - Virgin Voyages "Scarlet Lady"
Other words that we were given in our presentation about Virgin Voyages included “cheeky” and “edgy”. Of course, if you know anything about Richard Branson, those words likely also pretty much describe him along with being a brilliantly successful billionaire, adventurer and entrepreneur.
Virgin Voyages also happens to be completely adults only and the required age is 18 years or older to board any one of their 4 ‘lady’ ships. They describe their voyages as best suited for people who are “culturally conscious, progressive thinkers looking for new travel adventures”. 57% of passengers are ‘couples’ and age doesn’t matter one ioata. The basic premise is that you need to be young at heart, but it doesn’t matter how old you are as long as you’re at least 18 years old.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Social Club Area
Virgin’s ships are larger than my preferred ship size with the capacity for 2,762 passengers. They even have inside staterooms although 86% of their staterooms have balconies and 93% have ocean view. They really do appeal to so many people though with their ‘fair’ pricing on their alcoholic drinks and much less ‘nickeling and diming’ than most larger cruise lines.
They’ve won numerous awards in the few short years that they’ve been sailing including in 2023, they’ve won 5 of Cruise Critics' awards including: “Best Overall Cruise Line, Large Ships”, “Best Dining, Large Ships”, “Best Service, Large Ships”, “Best Value-for-Money, Large Ships”, and “Best Cabins, Large Ships”.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Awards 2023
They pride themselves on being ‘relaxed, flexible, and always authentic’, ‘where laid-back tranquility meets exhilaration’. They have no buffets, no pre-set times for dining and their food is all ‘made-to-order’ from 20+ unique eateries and all food is included. They also don’t charge any extra for their Wi-Fi, group fitness classes, entertainment, gratuities, and essential drinks which includes sparkling/still water, drip coffee/bagged tea, non-pressed juices, and soda and carbonated beverages.
The unique eateries include everything from steak and seafood, to Mexican, to Korean BBQ, to Italian, to Mediterranean, to food-truck-style carts, to healthy options like soups and salads and even a test kitchen with chef-driven tasting menus. There is so much variety for everyone and they also have plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options too. Definitely, something for everyone!
Photo Courtesy of Virtuoso - Virgin Voyages Brunch Selection
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - The Test Kitchen
I mentioned their ‘fair’ pricing on alcoholic drinks and that equates to $5-6.00 beer, $9.00 basic cocktails, and 42% of their wines are under $10.00, with all of these prices including the tip. They also have a ‘bar tab’ option that you can prepay for one person or for an entire stateroom with an ongoing promotion of pay $300.00 you get an added $50.00 shipboard credit to go with it.
They have this incredible app that enables you to do so much ‘at your fingertips’ including never having to stand in line for anything including check-in, dining, booking shore excursions, and even getting Champagne delivered! Yes, all you need to do is ‘shake’ your phone with the app, and you’ll be delivered a bottle of Moet & Chandon almost anywhere on board the ship! Note, you do have to pay for the champagne.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Champagne!
They’ve also outfitted the ships with so many ‘healthy options’ for physical activity including a 255 meter long “Runway” as they call it on the top deck for running or walking, indoor fitness studio, and even an outdoor training camp facility that includes gym equipment, boxing ring, basketball court, and so much more. Plenty of high intensity and more relaxing options too including yoga. They also have plenty of healthy drink options to go with your workout routine including fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and energy drinks.
Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Onboard Fully-Equipped Gym (Indoor)
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - One of the many Outdoor Fitness Options
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Fitness Camp Area "Boxing Option"
Along with the fitness areas, they also have many spa options including their “Redemption Spa” including the Thermal Suite that includes a mud room, salt room, sauna, steam room, hot and cold plunge pools, and heated hammam benches.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - One of the many features of the "Thermal Suite"
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Redemption Spa
Entertainment on board the ship comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s definitely NOT your typical Broadway Musical, by any means. They call their entertainment modern and immersive. They have what’s called a “Scarlet Night”, an Under the Stars “PJ Party”, an “Untitled Danceshow Partything”, a “Miss Behave Show”, an “It’s a Ship Show”, a show called “Dual Reality”, various “Festival Stage Acts”, and so much more. You just have to cruise to be able to see what they mean but they’re all incredibly entertaining.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Onboard Entertainment
They also have a casino, an arcade games area, a private karaoke area and even an on-ship record shop called ‘Voyage Vinyl’ where you can listen to your favorite tunes.
Last, but certainly not least, their accommodations are varied, but the really exciting, thrilling options that seem to sell out first include their “Rockstar Quarters” which include their luxury suites. They have both Rockstar suites ranging from 352 square feet to 857 square feet and then they have “MEGA” Rockstar suites that range from 570 square feet to 2147 square feet. All of these suites include access to the exclusive “Richard’s Rooftop” deck, boarding through a VIP entrance, priority access to booking and 24/7 access to “Rockstar Agents” answering any and all needs.
Photo Courtesy of Virtuoso - Richard's Rooftop
Of course, they also have inside staterooms as I mentioned before along with both Sea View options with a porthole and Sea Terraces with a balcony.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Sea Terrace Stateroom
As for where they sail, they’re in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific and they do Transatlantic crossings. They also have their very own private island in the Bahamas called “Beach Club at Bimini”. Great beach and pool cabanas, entertainment, good food and beverages and plenty of other shore excursion activities. In fact they have plenty of shore excursion options everywhere they dock to suit those seeking daring, energetic, relaxing or cultural encounters.
Photo Courtesy of Virgin Voyages - Beach Club at Bimini
The other thing I really love about Virgin Voyages is their focus on Sustainability. Richard Branson quotes “There is nothing more important in this world than our oceans, and we're on a mission to protect them and set an example. Success needn't compromise sustainability". They’re committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and they’re doing such brilliant work so far with all they’ve done with their ships, their shore excursions, and their practices. It’s all very impressive and genuine.
I foresee this to be such a great opportunity for a group of friends, whether it’s all-women, all-men, a combination thereof or even a multi-gen family with adult kids. It takes just 10 staterooms to make a group and be able to reap the benefits of a group including onboard ship credit and more. There are some other great specials with them now including an extra 15% off for Florida residents, early booking and early payment discounts, up to 30% off savings, no single supplements for European travel this Fall (if booked by September 28th), and much more! Let me know if you’re interested in putting together a group of like-minded friends and family as you’re certain to have a GREAT time!