Virgin Voyages offers great value to its guests by including more than typical cruise lines in its standard fares: all onboard meals, Wi-Fi, gratuities, group fitness classes, essential beverages and soft drinks. is known for providing But when he’s on an adults-only cruise like Virgin, he may feel like he’s missing one key element. It’s an alcoholic drink.
Does Virgin Voyages offer drinks packages like other cruise lines that combine alcohol charges into one convenient daily price? There is no such thing as a Virgin Voyages drinks package, but in true Virgin fashion , cruise lines have come up with another way to reduce the cost of drinks and ultimately offer better value.
Instead of a restrictive drinks package that may not include all of the best drink options on board, Virgin Voyages offers a bar tab where you can add prepaid drink credits to your account and earn free bonus drink credits. We offer a simpler program called . You can then use the bar tab to pay for drinks served on board.
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If you plan on eating at one of the ship’s dozen or so bars, you may want to consider pre-purchasing a bar tab. Here’s how it all works.
How does Virgin Voyages’ Bar Tab work?
On Virgin Voyages, the standard cruise fare includes what the line deems “essential” drinks: sparkling water, carbonated water, unpressed juice, soda, tea, and drip coffee. Carbonated beverages are a key differentiator from many other cruise lines, which often charge extra for soft drinks. Anything else, alcoholic or not, is considered a premium drink by Virgin.
Bar Tab is an onboard credit on Virgin Voyages cruises that can only be used towards alcoholic beverages and other premium drinks. Purchasing a bar tab allows you to pre-pay for drinks not included in your cruise fare, such as alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees, and freshly squeezed juices.
But what’s the point in paying for your drinks in advance?
The perk is that Virgin Voyages will give you an extra $50 credit for every $300 bar tab you purchase, effectively saving you 15% by paying up front. Bar tabs cannot be purchased for any other amount. (Even if you could, why pay another amount upfront if you don’t get the $50 bonus?)
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The best part about Bar Tab is that it’s a prepaid beverage credit, so it can only be purchased before the cruise (through the app or website, or by calling Sailor Services or your travel agent) and added to your account at least 24 hours in advance. need to do it. A few hours before departure. This offer cannot be used after the ride.
Which premium drinks does Bar Tab cover?
Unlike Sailor Loot, which is Virgin Voyage’s equivalent. Bar Tab, an in-flight credit that can be used for everything from spa and retail purchases to shore excursions, can only be used on alcoholic beverages and other premium drinks. (Previously there was a loophole where Bar Tab credits and Sailor Loot credits were combined within the Virgin app, allowing passengers to purchase items other than drinks with Bar Tab credits, but this has been resolved.)
In addition to alcoholic beverages, Bar Tab’s premium drinks include specialty coffees like espresso drinks, cold brew, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, mocktails, and milkshakes (and boozy drinks too!). Bar Tab is a credit towards your drink spend, so you don’t have to worry about per-drink price limits. That’s why it’s so easy.
Bar tab credits can also be used towards afternoon tea in the Sip Champagne Lounge and Shake for Champagne, an app feature that lets you summon a bottle of bubbly with the click of a button from almost anywhere on the ship. If you’re sailing on a Caribbean itinerary, Bar Tab is also available at Bimini Beach Club’s bar.
If you bring a bottle of wine to dinner at the ship’s restaurant, the bar tab will also cover the $25 corkage fee. (Virgin Her cruisers allow up to two 750ml bottles of wine per cabin on board, and up to 12 12oz cans or cartons of water, soft drinks, non-alcoholic beer, and dietary supplements on board) can.)
However, bar tabs do not apply to Virgin’s interactive beverage classes and cannot be used on bottles of wine or spirits that you plan to take away from the ship (i.e. to purchase duty-free liquor).
Are there any great deals on Virgin Cruises drink packages? How else can I save on drinks?
As mentioned above, Virgin Voyages doesn’t have drink packages, but they often run limited-time offers that include free bar tab credits. I saw an offer in November 2023 that gives you a $300 free drink credit when sailing 4-6 nights and a $600 bar tab credit when sailing 7 nights or more.
Virgin also sells some add-ons to cruise packages, including Bar Tab credits and other complimentary drinks. For example, if you add the Splash of Romance package to your sailing, you’ll get non-beverage perks like daily cold-pressed juices, complimentary champagne shakes, and special Sailaway Hours.
Similarly, the celebratory Splash for Your Bash package includes drinks for groups at two special private events: a bottomless brunch and a dinner party.
Passengers staying in the Mega Rockstar Quarter Suite receive complimentary premium drinks anytime (up to $25 value per drink) and two complimentary bottles of wine per day (up to $90 value per bottle) . Suites are more expensive, but once you’re on board, you don’t need to spend extra money on drinks.
Finally, you can also get a free drink when you sign up for Virgin Voyage’s loyalty program called Sailing Club. Starting with his third cruise with Virgin, he will receive a complimentary $100 annual bar tab, $10 daily specialty coffee credit, and invitations to exclusive cocktail events on future cruises through the end of 2024.
Is Virgin Voyages Bartab worth it?
There are some key differences between Virgin’s Bar Tab and other cruise lines’ typical drink package formats that make it easier to get your money’s worth with Bar Tab.
Virgin Voyages does not require all guests in a cabin to have their own bar tab (unlike many other cruise lines where all adults staying in the same cabin must pay for their own drink package) ). In fact, you can even share Bar Tab credits with a passenger (you don’t have to be present to order) and pay for a friend’s (or stranger’s) drink, which is very convenient if you still have credits left. is. At the end of the voyage.
As Virgin’s website says, “it pays to pay in advance,” that is, only if you know how much you plan on drinking. The main drawback is that prepaid bar tabs are non-refundable, so if you have any credits remaining at the end of the sailing, you will lose any unused amounts.
To make it worth adding Bar Tab to your account and to save money instead of wasting it, you should avoid paying more upfront than you and your friends can drink. You may also benefit from Bar Tab credits to help you stay on budget for certain drinks.
On Virgin Voyages, specialty coffees average $4, beers average $6-7, basic cocktails average $10, and glasses of wine average $11. You can use these prices to estimate the number of drinks you’ll need per day to redeem your $300 or $600 Bar Tab credit.
For example, if you buy a $300 bar tab on a six-night voyage, you’ll need to spend at least $50 on drinks per day to break even. If you are sailing with a partner, dividing this by 2, it is clear that if he drinks only 3 alcoholic drinks each, he can achieve an expenditure of $25 per day per person. If he orders approximately 5 alcoholic drinks each day on a 6-night voyage, his bar tab will cost her $600, twice as much as hers.
If your voyage is shorter, say four nights, you’ll need to spend $75 per day on drinks, so you may need to enjoy extra drinks to use up your $300 bar tab. This means she will have at least 7-8 drinks per day if drinking alone (even more if drinking mostly beer) and he will have 4 drinks per person per day if sharing the bar tab with a passenger. Only the cup.
Virgin’s Bar Tab offers a very flexible format, so if you plan on drinking alcohol during your cruise, you can’t go wrong with this (unless you’re staying in a top suite that includes drinks).
If you typically spend at least $300 on drinks when cruising alone or with a companion, you might want to prepay your bar tab and save 15% with Virgin Voyages’ $50 bar tab bonus offer Probably.
If you’re on a short cruise and your group doesn’t drink alcohol, it may be difficult to use up your $300 bar tab on specialty coffee and freshly squeezed juice.
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