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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Kaltved

Are You a Virgin Virgin? Read This!

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Virgin Voyages Andrea Kaltved

Up until a week ago, I was a virgin... a Virgin virgin. Then I lost my Virgin virginity in the most beautiful way by setting sail on Virgin Voyages' 5-night Dominican Daze itinerary.

If you are still a Virgin virgin, here are the top things you need to know before you commit to losing your... oh fine, I'll stop with the puns. But seriously, read on if you are considering an adults-onlyVirgin voyages cruise.

Need-to-Know #1: All Food is Included... Everything*

*Okay, technically there is one premium item on each restaurant's menu that is a splurge... like the Seafood Boil at Razzle Dazzle or the Whole Roasted Porchetta at Extra Virgin. But with all of the delicious included items on the menu (we're talking Filet Mignon at The Wake and Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass at Extra Virgin and Haemul Pajeon at Gunbae and soooo many more choices), there is absolutely no need to spend any additional money on food.

Need-to-Know #2: Must Like Parties

While any type of person can find their groove on a Virgin Voyages cruise, they are definitely geared toward people who like to party. On our 5-night cruise, there was a pajama party, multiple bar crawls and other booze-related events, dance parties at the nightclubs every night that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, a floaty pool party at The Beach Club at Bimini, and Virgin Voyages' signature Scarlet Night party, which spans the entire ship.

We did not attend every single party - I was with my 71-year-old mother on this cruise, after all - but we went to a fair number and had a blast. At some of the parties we were more like involved observers than active participants, which was totally fine. We did not ever feel like we needed to be in the thick of the party to be having a good time and there were many others who chose to take an observational position with us, so we never felt out of place.

When we did choose to more actively participate in the goings-on, we also felt very much at home, as well. There is a general attitude of acceptance on a Virgin Voyages cruise (see Need-to-Know #4 below) and everyone gets to participate to the extent they are comfortable. Virgin has talented crew members in charge of entertainment called The Happenings Cast - they interact with sailors and put on shows (both rehearsed and improvised) to draw people into the vibe of the ship.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Night Andrea Kaltved

Need-to-Know #3: A Great Deal of Booze

Speaking of a party... where there's dancing, there's Fire...ball. Fireball Whisky, that is. And all the other kinds of whisky. And vodka. And rum. And wine. And beer. And whatever else it is that gets you in the party mood. And it comes at a great deal to you... if you play your cards right pre-cruise.

Virgin Voyages has done away with the tired old cruise drink package routine. You know the one... you purchase a drink package and the other adult(s) in your stateroom also have to purchase the same drink package, even if they don't drink nearly as much as you do... or at all. I am going on another cruise in a few weeks on a different cruise line - referred to only as They Who Shall Not Be Named - and "They" only have one drink package, which is unlimited. Even at the pre-cruise discounted prices, my husband and I would spend close to $1,000 because "They" require us both to purchase the same package. Even if we COULD drink $1,000 worth of booze in a week, I venture to say COULD does not equal SHOULD.

Virgin Voyages has done something really smart here. Pre-cruise, Adult #1 in the stateroom can purchase a $350 bar tab for $300. Or if Adult #1 is a big drinker, they could purchase two bar tabs. Or however many they think they might need. Adult #2 in the stateroom can do the following: 1) Also purchase a $350 bar tab for $300 (or however many bar tabs they think they might need); or 2) Share Adult #2's bar tab.

Virgin does not care how you use your bar tab. You purchased it, you do with it as you see fit. If you want to spend the entire $350 on one really fancy bottle of champagne, great. If you want to whittle away at it one drink at a time (the majority of drinks onboard are around $10), go for it. If you want to buy a $10 shot for 35 of your closest friends, more power to you. If you don't drink alcohol, but want to spend your drink package on pressed juice or smoothies or specialty coffee or other premium N/A beverages, have at it.

And if you don't want to buy a drink package at all, that's okay, too. My mom rarely drinks and I wasn't about to spend the entire cruise making her hold my hair, so we opted to skip the drink package and I just purchased my drinks a la cart.

Here are some things to note about the bar tab:

  1. The bar tab must be purchased prior to sailing

  2. The bar tab cannot be used toward any other onboard purchases

  3. The bar tab is not refundable if you don't use the entire value

  4. You can use your bar tab at The Beach Club at Bimini

Virgin Voyages Andrea Kaltved

Need-to-Know #4: All Are Welcome

Virgin Voyages is an incredibly inclusive cruise line. If I had to sum up the vibe of both the sailors and the crew members, I would call it "You Do You". The main age demographic that Virgin seems to cater to is the 30-50 crowd. I would say the next largest group was 50+. And the 20-somethings rounded out the bunch. There were gay couples, straight couples, girls groups (including a couple of bachelorette parties), friend groups, multigenerational families, and even some solo sailors. There was also a very healthy amount of cultural and racial diversity, too.

In addition to demographics, there was diversity in other areas, too. There were people of all shapes and sizes, clothing of all types of modesty (or lack thereof), people who hung back on the edges of the crowd and people who jumped into the mix. I did not observe or overhear any judgement from other sailors or crew members, nor did I ever feel personally judged.

I think the only thing to note is the lack of musical diversity that my mom and I noticed, and also heard some complaints about from other sailors. As I mentioned above, Virgin Voyages definitely caters to the 30-50 crowd, especially the Gen Xers. I fall into this category, so I was very pleased with the music. The pajama party hosted a mix of 90s hip hop and the acoustic acts around the ship played a lot of Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz and other things us 40-somethings dig. The Beach Club at Bimini had a DJ-hosted pool party in the afternoon that thumped with music that resonated with the 30ish crowd.

But there was really nothing for my mom's age group, which is a poor business decision. These are the retirees with the time and the money to take the cruises. If you want them to book again, you need to give them something they can relate to. With more than 10 bars and other venues, it stands to reason that there could be a greater variety of musical genres represented. We also sat next to a Latinx couple one night during dinner and they mentioned that they were also disappointed with the lack of musical diversity. Other than one Latin band that played some nights at one of the bars for about half an hour each time, the music did little to reflect the demographics onboard outside of the radio edits from Generation X and younger.

Virgin Voyages Pride Andrea Kaltved

Need-to-Know #5: Leave Those Kids at Home!

As I mentioned at the top, Virgin Voyages is an adults-only cruise line. No one under 18 is allowed on the ship. And it is glorious.

I mostly cruise kid-friendly cruise lines because, well, I have a kid. And he likes to cruise. This was my first adults-only cruise and it was absolute heaven. There was no screaming (well, if there was, they wisely made the staterooms soundproof enough to block that out) or crying. If you wanted to stay up late you could. If you wanted to read a book in peaceful solitude, you could. If you wanted to wander aimlessly around the ship, you could. If you wanted to nap on one of the many daybeds conveniently positioned in both the sun or the shade, you could. If you wanted to bar hop, you could.

My point is, most vacations are a break from "real life". And then you have a Virgin Voyages cruise, which is a break from the break from real life! Even if you don't have kids living in your household, if you have cruised before on a different cruise line, you know what it can be like to have children underfoot. It is even more chaotic when they are your own children.

I have never been on a cruise where everyone is so happy and relaxed. And I am convinced it is because the kid factor was removed from the equation.

Virgin Voyages The Dock Andrea Kaltved

If you are ready to book your own Virgin Voyages cruise, I would love to help you. My services are free and I have tons of tips and tricks that I picked up on this cruise to share with you so that you can also experience all of the fabulousness that a kids-free cruise has to offer. Reach out to me at andreak@mickeyworldtravel for more information!

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