10 Tips Before Taking Your First Virgin Voyages Cruise

Things to know before cruising with Virgin Voyages

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Going on a Virgin Voyages cruise? Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned cruiser, you should know is that Virgin Voyages is different in many ways from most major cruise lines. Their unique cruising approach offers an experience that many people enjoy, but some aspects may be unexpected.

In fact, I had a great time on my first Virgin Voyages cruise, but there are some things I wish I had known before I boarded Valiant Lady.

For a smooth sailing experience on this adult-only cruise line, there are some important things you’ll want to know. In this post, I share tips that will help to make your first Virgin cruise a success!

Virgin Voyages cruise

10 Tips Before Taking Your First Virgin Voyages Cruise

1. Book Your Shows Right Away


Virgin Voyages is a cruise line known for its high-quality and unique entertainment. Since the shows are very popular and have a limited capacity, you’ll want to book them as soon as you board the cruise ship on embarkation day.

If you’ve sailed with other cruise lines, it’s important to note that the shows on Virgin Voyages are a bit risqué and can push the boundaries. Although they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I enjoyed the shows and found them a breath of fresh air.

If you’d like to see the shows on Virgin Voyages, you’ll have to connect to cruise ship Wi-Fi and book through the mobile app. The process is very straightforward, and the crew members will always help you if you have any issues.

2. Be Prepared for a Unique Cruise Experience

If you’ve never sailed with Virgin Voyages, it’s important to be aware that it will be different than you might expect. Whether it’s the style of seating, unique shows, or the fact that you have a sailor’s bracelet instead of a keycard, Virgin Voyages is not a traditional cruise experience.

When you sail with Virgin Voyages, you’ll notice their employees wear very casual uniforms. This is a big difference from other contemporary and premium cruise lines.

On Virgin Voyages, boarding typically starts at 2:00 PM. This later embarkation time benefits those disembarking. Virgin has a late debarkation, which ensures that you won’t feel rushed on the last morning of your cruise, allowing you to fully enjoy your cruise experience.

Since Virgin Voyages is an adult-only cruise line, the music, decor, entertainment, and parties will be catered to an 18 plus demographic. In the evening, you can attend themed events like a festive Pyjama party and Scarlett Night.

Overall, Virgin Voyages offers a very different cruising experience. For those used to traditional cruising, sailing with Virgin will feel unique and refreshing.

3. Attend the Sailaway Party for Free Champagne

Since there are no drink packages on Virgin Voyages, you’ll want to take advantage of the free offerings. At the sailaway party, there will be free champagne for all cruise passengers.

While there’s no limit to the amount of sparkling wine you can enjoy, it’s important to be mindful and not overindulge. After all, the goal is to have a great time, not to feel unwell!

Cruise tip: Ask the bartender for orange juice to make an embarkation day mimosa.

4. Make Your Dining Reservations Before the Cruise

Virgin voyages the Wake lamb chops

On Virgin Voyages, it’s important to remember that dining reservations can fill up quickly. Many first-time Virgin cruisers may not be aware that they can make their dining reservations in advance.

Although you can still book and change your reservations once you’re onboard, it’s a good idea to make your reservations in advance so you can plan your days accordingly. This early planning can help you secure your preferred dining times and avoid any disappointment.

5. Try Every Restaurant

As a cruise line, Virgin Voyages is known for having some of the best cruise food at sea. Everything from their food hall (The Galley), to their included specialty restaurants, casual dining options, and takeout boxes is amazing.

It’s worth trying the wide variety of restaurants, from The Wake, a steakhouse and seafood restaurant, to Pink Agave, which serves Mexican cuisine, or Gunbae, the Korean BBQ restaurant. There is also Razzle Dazzle, which offers veggie-conscious dishes, Extra Virgin, which serves Italian cuisine, and Test Kitchen, which offers an experimental dining experience.

On Virgin Voyages, the culinary adventure is all-inclusive. This means you can savor the diverse flavors of the world without worrying about extra costs. It’s a warm invitation to try new dishes, explore different cuisine styles, and enjoy a unique culinary experience without additional expense.

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6. Book Fitness Classes on Embarkation Day

Virgin Voyages offers complimentary fitness classes. You’ll have the chance to try spin, HIIT, yoga, meditation, bungee, and more!

These classes are often quite expensive on land and are worth trying on a cruise, especially when they’re free. However, due to their popularity and limited spaces, they fill up quickly.

For instance, the bungee workout class is only offered twice throughout the cruise, and it has only 14 spaces available. This means that it can be pretty hard to get a spot in the class.

If you want to try a fitness class, you’ll want to book it immediately on embarkation day. You can book fitness classes from the Virgin Voyages mobile app once you connect to the cruise ship’s Wi-Fi.

Cruise tip: If there are no spaces left in a fitness class, you can still show up and take someone’s place if they do not attend the class.

7. Look for Bar Tab Promotions in Advance


Since Virgin Voyages does not offer a beverage package, the best way to save money on drinks is to purchase a bar tab in advance. Typically, you’ll load your bar tab in $300 increments.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for deals when you’re booking your cruise and check your e-mail leading up to it. Virgin often offers fantastic promotions that include bar tab credits, which can enhance your cruise experience and even save you money.

For instance, if you purchase a $300 bar tab before your cruise, Virgin Voyages may give you an additional $50. This means you’ll have $350 to spend on drinks.

It’s important to note that soda, sparkling water, drip coffee, juice, and tea are included on Virgin Voyages. However, you must pay for cocktails, beer, wine, and specialty coffee.

8. Familiarize Yourself With Virgin Voyages Unique Lingo

One thing that makes Virgin Voyages stand out from other cruise lines is their unique cruise lingo.

For instance, instead of being called a cruise passenger or a guest, you’ll be called a “sailor.” This means “Guest Services” is called “Sailor Services” on Virgin.

Virgin Voyages uses different names for their cabins. For example, an interior cabin is called an “insider,” an ocean view cabin is called a “sea view,” and a balcony cabin is called a “sea terrace.”

Furthermore, the shore excursion desk onboard Virgin Voyages is called “shore things.” Virgin Voyages loves to use puns that fit the fun and unique onboard atmosphere.

Related: I Had a Balcony Cabin on a Virgin Cruise & it Was Very Different. Here’s Why

9. Take Advantage of the Free Wi-Fi

In contrast to other cruise lines, Virgin Voyages offers free basic Wi-Fi. This means you can stay in touch with your friends and family, post on social media, and use the internet while at sea.

One of the major reasons I love Virgin Voyages is that it offers included Wi-Fi. While other cruise lines offer basic Wi-Fi packages that cost around $15 per person per day, the included Wi-Fi makes for an amazing all-inclusive experience on Virgin Voyages.

10. Bring Red Clothing for Scarlet Night


Scarlet Night is a staple on Virgin Voyages and a can’t-miss event. For Scarlet Night, you’ll want to pack red clothing to wear for an evening of themed activities, dancing, and surprises.

When it comes to themed parties on a cruise ship, it does not get better than Scarlet Night. On Scarlet Night, the lights on the cruise ship will go red, and there will be ship-wide announcements letting sailors know to head up to the top deck.

There will be a live DJ, dancers, a massive inflatable octopus, and a pool party vibe on the top deck. This event is fun and worth attending if you’re looking for the complete Virgin Voyages experience.

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Final Thoughts On Tips Before Taking Your First Virgin Voyages Cruise

Virgin Voyages is one of my favorite cruise lines, providing a cruise experience like no other. Whether it’s your first cruiser or you’re an experienced cruiser, Virgin Voyages is a great way to spend your cruise vacation.

Would you try cruising with Virgin Voyages? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


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Author Bio: Ethan Schattauer has been cruising with his family since he was four years old and has been on more than 30 cruises. As a frequent traveler, Ethan shares his unique perspective on what cruising is like from a young person’s perspective. Ethan also writes about men’s fashion, travel and college advice on the website WhatToWearMen.com.


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