It’s time to make a decision on that cruise you have been waiting to take, and as you are making the decision you are probably considering Virgin Voyages. And to be honest, you should be. We took a cruise on Virgin Voyages and immediately thought that we should plan another one on their other routes. While there is so much that I could share about how great Virgin Voyages is, I wanted to answer the one question that I get a lot about our cruise – “Should I get the Virgin Voyages drink package?” The simple answer to that is yes, but I want to dive a little deeper to everything you need to know about the package.
Virgin Voyages is renowned for redefining the cruising experience, and one key aspect that adds to this extraordinary adventure is their exceptional drink packages. In this blog post, we’ll be delving into the delightful world of Virgin Voyages’ drink packages, exploring the various options available, their offerings, and how they can elevate your cruising experience to a whole new level of enjoyment. From refreshing mocktails to exotic cocktails, fine wines to craft beers, and everything in between – let’s raise a glass and toast to the fascinating options that await us on this unparalleled voyage!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VIRGIN VOYAGES DRINK PACKAGES
Let’s first off start by saying that cocktails are not included on the Virgin Voyages cruise. With your ticket, you get full access to your room, onboard activities, and food. But what is not included is the excursions at the various ports as well as the drinks at the various bars, restaurants, and the nightclub on the ship. What Virgin Voyages does offer is a drink package that you can purchase prior to the trip as well as while on board.
THE BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOW
When embarking on a Virgin Voyages cruise, understanding the essentials of their how to get drinks on board can make a big difference in your onboard experience. Virgin Voyages doesn’t essential offer what you would typically think as a “drink package” since basic drinks such as water, soda, coffee, tea, etc. are included a part of the inclusions of your ticket, cocktails, beer and wine are a completely different price. And though you may be thinking “Well, I’ll just bring my own alcohol on board.” Well, that’s not something that you can essentially do. There are some ways where you could bring a bottle of wine on board, but there are set restrictions.
You have a variety of options on board when it comes to buying drinks on board, and there are plenty of places to get them. Between the restaurants and bars, you’ll have plenty of options on where to find a drink to your liking in the atmosphere of your choice. My advice is to get the Bar Tab. When we went on our cruise with Virgin Voyages, I waited until the last minute to purchase one, so we didn’t get one and missed out on a great offer. Here are some details about the bar tab and buying bottles onboard:
THE Bar Tab
Virgin Voyages offers a Bar Tab offering that changes throughout the season. It’s an offer that basically gives you extra money for making purchases towards your drink. To take advantage of this, you’ll purchase a Bar Tab which is essentially you preloading your bracelet / key with money that you can use to spend on drinks. With the pre-purchase of the Bar Tab, Virgin Voyages gives you an offer that if you add on a certain amount of money, they’ll give you an extra. For example, during our trip, if we purchased a $300 Bar Tab, they would then add on an additional $100 – which for two people could be drinks for one night.
There’s no need to commit to a drink package in advance. There is always the option to pay as you go, but a Bar Tab can be worth it. The Virgin Voyages Bar Tab is non-refundable, so if you opt to get it, you need to spend it before you disembark the entire cruise or it’s lost. Some of those who joined us for the cruise ended up actually using their Bar Tab to pay for drinks for others while they were on the trip because they didn’t want to end up with unused credits.
VIRGIN VOYAGES “Bar Package” PROS AND CONS
- You can track how much you spend
- Won’t Feel the Need to Overdrink
- Can be used throughout the trip
- Adds Right to Your Key for Easy Use
- Not Unlimited
- Need to remember to purchase ahead of time
- Credits can’t be refunded if they aren’t used
THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ON THE VIRGIN VOYAGES DRINK PACKAGES
CAN YOU BRING YOUR OWN ALCOHOL ONBOARD?
When we sailed with Virgin Voyages, they allowed up to two bottles of wine to be carried on. And this was something they allowed from original boarding, but when boarding at the different ports, they did need to check to make sure it was something that was allowed. And they are very good with checking, our guys tried to sneak on a bottle of tequila and didn’t get through. But they don’t take it from you and throw it away, they’ll tag it to you, and then you can claim it upon disembarking at the end of the cruise.
HOW MUCH ARE DRINKS ONBOARD?
When I looked back over my invoice to track all of the drinks that my husband and I purchased while on the cruise, I was actually pleasantly surprised about how affordable the drinks were. In comparison to some of the bars and restaurants that I have gone to in Philadelphia and NYC, the Virgin Voyages cocktails are actually on the cheaper side. The highest we ended up paying for a drink was $15 and those were mostly the drinks where my husband decided to get a top shelf alcohol straight.
- Beer: $8
- Cocktails: $9 – $15
- Glass of wine: $6-$18
One thing that we took advantage of, since there are no Virgin Voyages drink packages, were the activities and offerings where drinks were a part of the overall experience such as the Grog Walk, the cruise sendoff, and the drink pairing at Test Kitchen. With the Grog Walk, we ended up paying $45 per person and enjoyed about 5+ drinks as some places let us have more than one. At Test Kitchen, you can opt in for the drink pairing which was $35 per person an included a drink with each course averaging each drink about $6. One thing that also was great was the bourbon tasting that the men ended up opting to take part in. The price to go to the activity was about $25 per person and including tasting a variety of different bourbons, then after the tasting, the $25 could be used to purchase one of the bourbon options on board and those amounts could be combined. So it was 5 men with $25 who were then able to buy a bottle to enjoy onboard. If you’re someone who enjoys cocktails while on a cruise, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the activities and cocktail pairings.
SHOULD YOU BUY THE DRINK PACKAGE?
I highly recommend getting a Bar Tab for your cruise as your “drink package”. Take advantage of the offering if you are planning on drinking cocktails, wine, or beer on board. Though $300 can seem like a lot and you may have a feeling you’ll have leftover at the end, believe me, if there is two of you, you won’t have any left over. For the 6 night cruise, my husband and I actually end up up spending over $300 and would have had an extra amount o spend on drinks with the offer, but since we didn’t take advantage, we ended up paying out of pocket. Looking over the total amount hat we spend on board just on drinks, we racked up about a good $600 for the 6 nights on board – including the cocktail pairings, drink activities, etc. We ended up actually not having to pay the full $600 because my husband p played his hand at Blackjack and ended up winning enough money to cover over half of the bill. We walked off paying about $250 out of pocket, which could have been less if we took advantage of the Bar Tab offering.
HOW DO YOU USE THE DRINK PACKAGE?
Upon embarking on the cruise, you’ll be issued a handy wristband. This wristband serves as your key to convenience, allowing you to not only access your cabin but also make purchases on board. When you’re ready to enjoy a refreshing beverage, simply present your wristband to the friendly crew, who will scan it to process your order and charge the cost directly to your onboard account. If you have purchased a Bar Tab, the drink cost will automatically start to be deducted from the tab amount. Then if you happen to exhaust that amount, you don’t have to worry about reloading, you’ll just begin to rack up the amount for your fianl payment at the end of the cruise. This seamless system ensures that you can savor your favorite drinks without fuss, making your Virgin Voyages experience even more enjoyable.
CAN YOU GET A DRINK WITHOUT THE PACKAGE?
Of course! Without a Bar Tab or “drink package” you just use your wristband to tap to pay for each drink as you go throughout the cruise and at Bimini. The price just totals in the end for it to be billed to your payment method when you disembark. So if you’re someone who isn’t planning on enjoying that many drinks while on board, you may just op to pay as you go.