top of page

Understanding Virgin Voyages Lingo

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Virgin Voyages Ship

If you hadn't realized it already, Virgin Voyages does things a little different than most other cruise lines. We're digging into all things Virgin with a series of posts but today we're going to talk about the Virgin Voyages Lingo as some of it may be new to even experienced cruisers.

Sailors: Let's get started with a pretty obvious one, instead of passengers Virgin Voyages calls their customers sailors. I'm not going to lie, I like it! It sounds much more exciting than being a passenger.

Voyages: Another one that's pretty clear is voyages. Instead of a cruise, Virgin takes their sailors on voyages. Sounds much more fancy, doesn't it? Stick around, it gets better!

Virgin Always Included Luxury
Always Included Luxury: Here's where it starts to get fun. What the heck is always included luxury? This is a phrase that relates to Virgin Voyages transparent pricing model. Instead of paying a price that you find online and then having lots of "extras" to pay for either before you board or once you're on the ship, Virgin Includes so much more in their base cruise price. The Always Included Luxury includes:

1. Every Restaurant onboard the ship. Nope, you didn't read. While all the dining is special, Virgin doesn't have a buffet or a "main dining room" like you're used to. What they do have is 20+ eateries that are ALL included in your cruise fare. Even better, the food is sustainably sourced & made-to-order.
2. Gratuities are included in the fare you see when booking your cruise. No need to pay them separately!
3. Wifi is also part of that always included luxury. No $20 per day (or more for the "faster" wifi) on other ships. The wifi on Virgin is included as part of your fare.
4. Group Fitness Classes are included as well. I'm not one to spend time in fitness classes on vacation, but if you are, Virgin is going to be great for you! These classes include yoga, meditation, spin and more.
5. Many drinks that you'd either need to pay for or have a drink package are included free of charge on Virgin Voyages. This includes still & sparkling water, soft drinks, non-pressed juices, drip coffee and tea. Alcohol is NOT included but we'll get to that next.

Virgin Voyages Bar Tab
Bar Tab: So, unlike the drink packages that you may be used to on other cruise ships, Virgin offers a bar tab instead. This may be a let-down for some heavier drinkers, but for every $300 you purchase as a Bar Tab Virgin will throw in an extra $50. The benefit to bar tabs is that you can purchase as many or as few as you want and you can use buy drinks for anyone with your tab since you are paying per drink. Important Note: Bar Tabs can ONLY be purchased prior to cruising. You can purchase them on the Virgin app, by calling Sailor Services or through your travel agent...which we'd love to be, by the way! Another quick side note - Virgin often includes a $300 or $600 Bar Tab as a perk when booking (depending on the length of the voyage). Feel free to reach out to us and we'll find you all the voyages with the best perks!

Sailor Loot: Think of sailor loot as what other ships would call an onboard credit. You can purchase sailor loot prior to your cruise in increments of $25, $100 or $200 and it can be used to purchase pretty much anything onboard the ship and at the Beach Club at Bimini including specialty drinks, spa treatments, at the tattoo shop, retail shops and in the casino (but the sailor loot cannot be cashed out). Sailor loot is NOT sold at a discount prior to the voyage and it's important to note that it is ALL applied to the voyage you purchase it for. Basically you gotta use it or you'll lose it. If you're like me and want to have everything taken care of before cruising it's nice to have some but I'd suggest being cautious about how much you purchase so you aren't running around the last night buying things you don't want or need just so you don't lose what loot you have left!

The Band: Virgin does have plenty of live music onboard but the band is something else entirely. Instead of having a card that you have to keep track of for the length of the cruise Virgin Voyages provides sailors with The Band, a wristband that will function as your ship pass, key card to your room and for all onboard purchases. This is AMAZING for people like me who spend lots of time at sailor services getting new cards for the ones I've lost. Which brings us right to the next Virgin Voyages phrase...

Sailor Services: This is probably obvious by this point...they are the equivalent of guest services on other cruise lines and they will provide you amazing service both before and during your voyage.

Shore Things: Shore Things are Virgin's answer to excursions. It's more than just a name, Virgin takes a completely different approach to tours than any other cruise line. For starters, they only work with tour operators that are committed to sustainability. Most of their Shore Things are smaller groups than what you may be used to and many focus on immersing sailors into the local culture.

Sea Terrace: This is a stateroom with a balcony. Pretty easy but it is worth mentioning that all Sea Terraces include a red hammock!

Virgin Voyages Rockstar Quarters
Rockstar Quarters/Mega Rockstar Quarters: Instead of suites, Virgin has Rockstar quarters and Mega Rockstar quarters for their biggest, swankiest suites. Sailors staying in Rockstar Quarters also receive additional perks!

ShipEats: This is Virgin's answer to room service. Order food from the app and it'll be delivered to your room. Pro Tip: There is a $7 charge for ShipEats UNLESS you add a chargeable item to your order so I'd highly recommend adding a beer, glass or wine or specialty coffee to your order so you get free delivery!

Sailing Club: You can probably figure this one out all by yourself, the Sailing Club is Virgin's loyalty program. This is a brand new program for Virgin that's launching this year so they will almost certainly tweaking it to make it better but currently there are three ways to earn and use perks

1. Sea Blazers: These are sailors that cruised with Virgin in 2021, Virgin Voyages first year of operations. These sailors will get perks like an exclusive cocktail event, a complimentary $100 bar tab AND a bonus $125 bar tab (instead of $50) for every $300 Bar Tab purchased FOR LIFE!

2. Sea Rovers: These are sailors that have cruises at least twice between January 1, 2022 & December 31, 2023. On your third voyage you will get the Deep Blue Extras (perks including a cocktail party and $100 Bar Tab) and a $100 Bonus on every bar tab purchased through 2024.

3. Match and Sea More Program: If you have loyalty status with most other cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Disney to name a few, Virgin will match your status and you will get the Deep Blue benefits on your very first cruise.

First Mate Certificate
First Mates: Last, First Mates are travel advisors, like us, who specialize in helping sailors book a voyage with Virgin. First Mates services cost you absolutely nothing and you won't pay a penny more for your cruise either! We'd love the opportunity to earn your business and your trust. If you'd like help booking your next voyage with Virgin, just fill out the form or call or text us anytime at 800-368-3395 to see how we can make your next vacation the best one. Not to brag or anything, but I am a Gold certified First Mate, which just means that I've taken (and passed!) every course that Virgin Voyages offers for their travel professionals. What I'm saying is, I think I know my stuff and I'd love to use that knowledge and my love of planning to help you! You can also browse all of the amazing voyages yourself here.

Before you leave, take a quick second to join our Virgin Voyages Tips & tricks group on Facebook to connect with other sailors, share your experiences and ask questions!


bottom of page