Virgin Voyages: An Adult Only Cruise Line

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Wait, Laura is excited about a Cruise Line other than DCL?

You might be wondering if you read that correctly, I mean you all know that I only sail Disney and after the many non Disney mishaps you are probably confused. I am going to explain why I am so VERY excited I am about Virgin Voyages and the Scarlet Lady.

One of the main reasons that I prefer to sail DCL to the other lines is the simple fact that it is all inclusive. There is NO up-selling of soda packages, you don’t board a ship to the constant up-selling crew members. No, there are no all you can drink alcohol packages, but that is a positive point for me. The other reasons I only sail DCL: I never feel like I am on a floating city, I don’t need to be on a ship with a billion people with a mall…I have a mall at home, I am not on vacation to shop. I am not a gambler either so I don’t need the casino. The stateroom needs to be bigger than my closet at home, I might only need it to get ready for the evening or sleep, but I do enjoy relaxing in it or my time on the verandah. I expect a certain level of service, I want to be treated like royalty, no matter how long I am sailing. For these reasons, let me introduce you to Virgin Voyages!

Scarlet Lady Flythrough

Adult Only:

The Scarlet Lady is a ship built for adults, just adults, you need to be 18 and older to sail on her. There aren’t very many cruise lines out there that are adult only, some boast adult only sailings, but Virgin Voyages is an adult only cruise line. She just started her Sea Trials this week and all have been successful!

The Scarlet Lady has a gym, spa, pool, athletic club on deck, cabanas on deck, over 20 restaurants, a theater, tons of clubs, bars, and even a tattoo parlor!

The Cabins:

State of the art cabin configuration
The Suites are beautifully equipped

Modern, yacht-inspired aesthetic and clever cabin technology make for more than just a space to live (or sleep). Transform your room at the touch of a button. Mood-matching lights, a configurable Seabed and in-cabin tech come together to make your life easier. Save the friction for the dance floor.

Each Sea Terrace (balcony) has a hammock to relax on, who wouldn’t want one of those?

The suites offer a mini bar, first round is on Richard, as well as an actual record player, marble bathrooms, and so much more.

Beach Club at Bimini: The Private Island

Beach Club at Bimini

The Beach Club at Bimini, located in the Bahamas, where do I even start, there is a pool, cabanas, hammocks in the ocean, food, drinks, a DJ, a bonfire, and a private area for those in the suites. Here are Richard’s words

Since Virgin has a private beach club experience in Bimini, Bahamas, we’d be crazy not to utilize it. But the only way in is on one of our Lady Ships.

See-through water and sandy white shores punctuate this geographically poetic port. And like any good haiku, it’s cloaked in seductive mystery. Besides having access to the island’s incredible biodiversity in marine life, boating, snorkeling and even historic shipwreck diving, sailors get exclusive access to The Beach Club — Virgin’s private beach club experience. Peaceful mornings and restorative days or amplified afternoons at the DJ-led pool party —our club is designed to answer whatever your specific mood is calling for. But regardless of your energy level, the bonfire finale will be nearly impossible to pass on.

This private island alone had me booked as soon as the bookings opened!

The sailings: Where does Virgin Voyages go and how long?

Virgin Voyages will boast 4 and 5 night sailings beginning April 2020. There are 4 main itineraries with a couple of special sailings thrown in.

Maiden Voyage and 2 Sneak a Peak sailings are still available and you can book those now! Take a look:

What’s Included:

EVERYTHING!!! There are over 20 restaurants, a gym, entertainment galore, clubs, gym, all included in your voyage fare. Richard is even including your gratuities and non alcoholic beverages. Why isn’t he including alcohol? He has found that most sailors don’t want to feel like they need to get their monies worth and drink themselves into oblivion.

” We want Sailors focused on the experience not the free drinks in the dreaded wedding and nightclub “crush””.

Virgin Voyages instead promises reasonable drink prices, I have seen the price list and it is less expensive than all other cruise lines let alone what we pay in NYC for a drink.

” Our beverage program will feature the best prices on land and/or at sea, inclusive of gratuity, for the brands offered. We will always offer a single digit option inclusive of gratuity for bubbles, rose, white, red, house spirits and/or beer in every outlet. 70% of our wines by the glass are less than $15 versus 59% of the other premium cruise line, 46% of the urban restaurant and 57% of the boutique hotel. “

Personally, I hate being surrounded by a bunch of out of control, loud, drunk adults behaving like children, which is why I have always sailed Disney. (I realize how that sounds but that is the truth at 50+ years old, I do not need to vacation with unlimited alcohol packages and the results that they bring)

The Customer Service:

This will be comparable to Disney, this is Richard Branson’s company, his standards are high, he is building Virgin Voyages with sailors in mind. I do not think I will be disappointed at all, I need to be pampered.

The Virgin Voyages Promotion: HURRY IT ENDS ON 11/22!

Book with me before November 22nd and I will add an onboard credit for you!

Final Thoughts:

It is hard for me to step out of my comfort zone, I have been disappointed every time that I have. That said, I can’t help but be super excited to be sailing on the Scarlet Lady in October 2020! I believe that Virgin Voyages is going to be a Luxury Cruise Line that will offer the most amazing adult only vacations! Heck, there is even a tattoo parlor onboard!!! (maybe I will finally get my Tinkerbell tattoo:)

Interested in a Virgin Voyage? Contact me, your journey starts HERE! (Hurry, that promo ends in just a few days)

FTJbyLauraGreco /845-781-0315 or request a quote from our blog!

Disney Cruise Line, Concierge Style

Let’s talk about Disney Cruise Line…Concierge Style. Just when you think a Disney cruise can’t be more magical, guess again!

Let me tell you about the cruise I just took with my husband…that’s right…I took a Disney Cruise again…with my husband…no kids. We celebrated our 23rd anniversary in style. I booked the Concierge 1 bedroom Suite. It was MAGICAL!

This was the 4 night HOTHS Bahamian on the Disney Dream and if you haven’t sailed concierge and wonder if it is worth it, let me help you decide.

Your concierge services start prior to boarding, you receive an email and call from the team a few days before your booking window opens asking for your list of things you want to book; cabana on CC, spa treatment, Princess Gathering, Palo/Remy, Port Adventures, etc. you name it, they do it for you. All you have to do is check in. Keep in mind that you do have to be paid in full in order for them to do this.

Once you arrive at port, you go through security like everyone else but once through, you go to the concierge check in area to complete the process. Once you have the key to the world cards, you are escorted into the concierge waiting area. It is quiet and comfortable.

Concierge guests are the first to board so around noon, maybe a little before, the concierge hosts came in and told us that we were going to come through, tap onto the ship, take our boarding pictures, and start our vacation. This was so easy, I’m usually group 1 because I’m platinum but I have to fight the crowds to get to the entrance. NOT this time, this time we just walked in, took our picture, and were announced onto the ship within minutes. MAGICAL.

Once in the atrium we were given the choice to go to the concierge lounge or special seating at the royal palace for lunch. We chose the concierge lounge for cocktails and snacks before lunch. Our room was ready shortly after and we were able to enjoy lunch without our bags in tow.

  • The suite: 1 bedroom sleeps up to 5 guests
    • 2 full baths (1 with spa tub)
      Queen size bed in bedroom
      Full size pull out sofa bed
      Twin size Murphy bed
      2 closets
      1 walk in closet
      Dining room table
      Living room
      2 TVs
      1 TV in Master Bath mirror (no joke)
      Fridge
      2 sliders to balcony

  • Concierge Lounge:
    • Concierge Team located here
      Opened 6am-10pm
      Offers food and beverages all day
      Cocktails at no fee between 5pm-7pm
      Entrance to concierge sundeck through here

    Sun Deck:

    • Sunblock
    • Plush towels
    • Hot Tub
    • Cold beverages
    • Mister
    • Showers
    • Bathroom
    • Privacy
    • Entrance from Satellite Falls

    In concierge we had not 1 but 2 stateroom hosts, we wanted for nothing, I mean nothing. I have to say that I have cruised Disney many times and have never had a complaint about anything but concierge takes it to a different level. My husband sent his shoes to be shined at no cost but who thinks about this? They put out slippers and robes every night for us. Category 4C never came with slippers and robes. Lol!

    Let’s talk about the elusive cabanas…again…platinum Castaway Club member here and my first Cabana. I can absolutely see what the fuss is about and they ARE worth every penny.

    We had Cabana #23 on Serenity Bay. I need this all the time. We took the tram to Pelican Bay (2nd stop) and then switched trams to Serenity Bay. Quick note that I had been there 3 weeks prior and it looked A LOT different as Dorian had left her mark. (We were the first passengers let off the ship on the 9/9 sailing)

    Once at Serenity Bay we checked in at the cabana check in and our concierge host was there to meet us. They put us on a golf cart and took us to the cabana. Paradise…it was a day in paradise.

    Cabanas:

    • Ceiling fan
    • Living area
    • Porch with seating
    • Floats
    • Hammock
    • Fresh water shower
    • Safe
    • Towels
    • Sunblock
    • Fridge filled with beverages
    • Cabana attendant

    Of course this cruise was filled with everything that I love about Disney cruising, tequila/margarita tasting, Palo Brunch, chocolate martinis, seeing my friends on board, like my dining team and Kerishia.

    Disembarking: This was the one thing, that while convenient, I didn’t love. As a concierge guest you have priority disembarkation. This means that from 7-8am the concierge hosts walk you off the ship. You must be out of your rooms by 8am which is standard. Why is this different than what I am used to and why didn’t I like it?

    You see, I don’t like leaving the ship. Let’s face it, who does? I usually get to the dining room for my farewell breakfast at 8am and leave the ship at 9ish. This time I was off the ship at 8am, I didn’t get to say goodbye to my friends Burak, Helsniki, and Eka, and I didn’t get my Route 66. Keep in mind, it was my choice to try this priority disembarkation but in the future I will go to my farewell breakfast.

    Is concierge worth the money?

    I say yes, yes it is. If you like the extra touches, if you want the cabana, if you love your own space on the ship, this is the way to go.

    Now will I be happy in January when I am in my home stateroom 7614 Cat 4C?? HECK YES!!! Disney service is amazing no matter what category you’re in, whether you are on a 2 night or 14 night sailing, concierge or not. This my friends is the Disney Difference!

    Have you sailed concierge? Do you want to? Check out my Facebook page for the live tour of my suite! http://www.facebook.com/ftjbylaura

    Website: http://www.fairytalejourneysbylaura.com

    Email: FTJbyLauraGreco@gmail.com

    Phone: (845) 781-0315

    Part 2…There Is Magic After All…The Disney Difference

    We had just stepped off the Celebrity Infinity, what we needed was some magic, something magical to bring to you.

    It just so happens that we were headed to Walt Disney World and we couldn’t get there fast enough. We had a new VIP tour to take and a lot to accomplish in a one night stay so we hopped in the rental car and I drove (perhaps too fast) to Orlando.

    Once we arrived everything just started to fall into place, everything was becoming magical, the Disney difference was becoming very noticeable.

    We pulled into the car return at MCO and we walked across the street to the B side of the terminal, right to the Magical Express, and right into the bus to the Contemporary. The time it took for all of this…10 minutes.

    The drive to the Contemporary takes 30-45 minutes depending on traffic so we just sat back and enjoyed the videos and planned our 2 day strategy. The only mystery we had, would we be able to score our fastpasses to meet party Minnie and Mickey, you see, we can’t link our tickets until we pick them up at the park.

    We arrived at the Contemporary, our room wasn’t ready yet, it wasn’t even noon yet…did I mention that I drove a bit fast from Ft. Lauderdale? We were starving so we had lunch at the Contempo Cafe.

    After our bellies were full, first time in 2 days, we headed to the gates of the Magic Kingdom on the monorail. We were so excited, we were home and we wanted our tickets so we could begin our list of things to do.

    Once we arrived, we headed straight to guest services to pick up our tickets. This is where we were brought to tears, legit, actual tears of joy. The true Disney difference was shown to us by none other than Stephanie W.!

    You see, we were so tired, so upset by the experience on the cruise that it just poured out of us. There was an issue linking Emily’s ticket to her magic band and our MDE accounts were not linked properly. Stephanie took the time to fix this for us, she worked so hard deleting old accounts and re-linking bands and accounts. This was quite the difference from what we had just experienced. However, it didn’t end there!

    I asked if there was anyone inside the park that I could ask about fastpasses, I explained that we were only there for the 2 days and we really needed our pics with Mickey and Minnie for our pages. Stephanie told me that she was the one who could do that and you know what, not only did she give us the fastpasses for that meet and greet for that second, she gave us 3 anytime fastpasses for each park for the 2 days we were there. Em and I were in tears as they started popping up on our app…but Stephanie wasn’t done.

    She asked if we were allergic to dairy products, we said no. She disappeared for a second. When she returned she had 2 vouchers, she said she was giving us each a Mickey bar, then she said that the 2nd voucher was for 2 pairs of ears!!!! Did Disney just do what Celebrity didn’t? Did Disney just compensate us for something that they didn’t do?? YES THEY DID.

    Stephanie W. took the time, listened to what had happened, and even though Disney had nothing to do with our bad experience that had ended just a few hours earlier, she brought magic back to us. This my friends is the Disney difference, this is why Emily and I truly love Disney and send our clients there with no hesitation.

    We sent an email to Disney about Stephanie and received one back right away thanking us for telling them and they were going to tell Stephanie’s manager. Hopefully they have done something special for her.

    The magic is real at Disney. There are no truer words than “The Disney Difference”

    Thank you Stephanie W., we hope you will read this.

    Have you had magical moments? Let us know, drop a comment below.

    Part 1…Laura & Emily Sail Celebrity Cruise Line

    As travel agents, Emily and I feel that in order to stand by the companies we book your trips on, we have to try them to ensure that we know the ins and outs, ups and downs, and of course their value.

    Just a few weeks ago we completed our re-certification of our 5 Star Academy Celebrity status and decided to give them a try for ourselves, after all, they are Royal Caribbean’s upper tier! What could go wrong?

    We booked a 2 night Bahamian sailing from Ft Lauderdale to the Bahamas, an inside cabin on deck 2. We made our plans, booked our flights, our pre-stay hotel, and counted down to our cruise. Understand that I was nervous as I had sailed other lines, am a DCL girl, I don’t love deck 2 or inside staterooms, but I was going in with an open mind.

    Our booking window opened and we realized that soda, bottled water, or any non alcoholic beverage required a beverage package. Wait, really? Emily purchased one for us, no big deal, right? I decided that we should have the classic beverage package so we could have a few adult beverages, easy enough, I upgraded us. BUT THEN after reading what that didn’t include, which is pretty much any alcoholic beverage you would actually order, I called to upgrade it and I couldn’t. I had to repurchase it and the original packages had to be refunded…this took weeks. Lesson learned.

    Also worth noting, when booking excursions, don’t call them Port Adventures because the crew members get very rude about it, you have to pay upfront. We booked a really nice one to Pearl Island, it was the best part of the trip.

    Embarkation day finally came, we woke up, picked up a rental car, drove to the port, and the adventure started.

    Parking: the parking garage is FAR from the ship, no joke, we walked down 3 flights of spiral steps with our luggage and then hoofed to the ship.

    Check in: seemed organized, different lines for concierge, aqua class, new sailors. The issue, they kept taking the new sailors and moving them into the other lines which was clearly annoying the concierge and aqua class guests and rightfully so!

    Boarding: we were able to walk on right away, we got there later than our port arrival time. We walked onto the ship deck and that is where you scanned your key, once through there you were handed a glass of champagne and that is where ALL of the constant up-selling starts.

    Emily and I walked onto the ship and we were greeted by head waiters of the restaurants asking if we wanted to make reservations for dinner, bartenders asking if we wanted the beverage packages. Not one welcome aboard, not one moment of peace.

    We toured the ship, the pictures make it look beautiful but as we soon found out we realized it was deceiving. I will cover that in a few minutes.

    We went to eat lunch at the buffet. Wasn’t the best but we found something to eat. There was a beautiful sheet cake that said “welcome aboard” but someone was guarding it and said we couldn’t eat it…true story. Please note that someone stole a piece 😂😂

    Our room was ready and we were excited to put our things down. As we headed down to the 2nd floor there was a bad odor, a mix of smoke and mold. Other guests noticed it too and were commenting as we all walked further and further down the hall.

    Our room smelled awful, it looked ancient, we were afraid to sleep under the covers. The bathroom was missing parts of the mirror, the sink was rusted, and worst of all, the water ran brown. We didn’t want to be in there at all, we headed to the pool.

    It was loud, the DJ was jamming but we just wanted quiet so we went to the solarium, this is the pool for adults only and part of the spa. It is indoors and should have been paradise. PS: the Spa Cafe was not open once the entire cruise.

    Not only did children arrive in this pool but a very loud drunk group of adults, about 10 of them, came with there own speaker and started partying IN the pool…remember it is indoors so it echos. Not ONE crew member put a stop to it. This happens both days.

    There was nowhere quiet on this ship so we went to the spa…more up-selling. This was lined with crew members handing us their cards, it was almost funny.

    The ship set sail and off we went, and downhill from there. It’s a lot so I will just bullet point it from here.

    • Went to the coffee bar, they lost our room keys, took them an hour to tell us, blamed us, then admitted that another guest must have picked them up. (The issue, these keys have your room number on them) They took another 1/2 hour to get us new keys
    • Went to front desk to tell them about the mold and smoke smell. Woman didn’t care, whispered to us that sometimes people break the rules and still smoke on their rooms
    • Mold/dirt/towels/dishes/empty bottles all over the ship. Never cleaned…the entire time!
    • Pool decks never squeegeed, water, hair, filth all over
    • Parts of spa never working
    • Crew members, who are they? Did we even have a cruise director? Does anyone have a uniform? Why are they all rude?
    • Mistakes on our bill, why can’t guest services fix them??
    • Dinner, couldn’t even get through that without our waiter asking if we wanted to pay to eat dinner at a restaurant the next night
    • Did I mention the ship is filthy? How about the poop on deck 3 outside of a stateroom??this is real folks!

    All of the above was day 1, we still had to get through the second day. The good news is that we would be at the beach in Nassau all day and not on the ship.

    Again, no guidance, we basically had to walk off the ship and find our excursion. While trying to do this we were approached by our crew people dressed as sailors and pirates hounding us to take pictures. Best part, one was smoking while working. Yup.

    We found our group and they asked if we had towels. None of us did so back to the ship we went, where they took our room numbers!!! Were we going to be charged for towels too?!?

    The island was gorgeous, we did not want to leave it. The excursion included lunch, the beverages were at an additional cost. This was the best part of the cruise.

    We headed back to the ship and my heart, the Disney Magic was in port. I had to go to her, I had to just breathe clean and speak to a Cast Member. I hugged him and cried, he welcomed me home, he just let me stand there, it was if he understood. Lol!

    Emily and I approached the Infinity and grabbed some pictures of the exterior, maybe it’s time for her to be retired. We knew we had to just make it through the night. We did!!!

    We found the martini bar, figured out we should have been there the entire time. Packed our bags and went to sleep.

    At no point did we receive comment cards, at no point did we receive acknowledgment to any of our concerns or complaints, at no point did anyone even apologize for the lost keys.

    We had express walk off in the morning and as we sat in the lounge waiting for the ship to clear we heard nothing but complaints. Some first time cruisers vowing never to cruise again, some Celebrity fans saying they were done with them. It was truly sad.

    My friends, here is the kicker, the icing on the cake: As Em and I stepped off the the ship onto the gangplank I said “I’ve never been so happy to step off a ship in my life”. This was heard by a Celebrity crew member who actually asked why I said that. Emily thanked her for being the first to ask and we kept walking. As we stepped into the customs area this crew member said, and I quote, “MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST STICK WITH DISNEY CRUISE LINE”! Yes folks, she said this to which I said, “not a problem”

    We tried friends, we really did try. I have heard the following “what do you expect from a 2 night cruise”? We expect service, the same service that we get on a 7 night cruise. The same service the DCL gives you on their 2 night cruises. We expect better for ourselves and our clients.

    We have emailed and spoken to Celebrity, all pictures have been sent to the correct departments. We were offered a small (and I mean small) voucher for a future cruise so they can show us that they are better than this.

    The good news…our adventure did not end here, it ended magically at Walt Disney World! Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog….

    Do you have thoughts? Would you give them a second chance? We would love to hear from you, drop a comment!

    Marvel Day at Sea, you have to do this!

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    If you have never been on a themed Disney Cruise before and you are a Marvel fan, even if you aren’t a Marvel Fan, a Marvel Day at Sea is for you!

    The Disney Magic comes alive from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Marvel Characters roam the ship, photo ops galore! Marvel movies all day in the theaters, a special Marvel menu in the 3 dining rooms, a deck show that leads into fireworks, it is just fun packed!

    For those of you that have cruises DCL before and are wondering what happens to Pirate Night, nothing at all. Pirate night still happens and you still have fireworks there too, of course weather permitting. Two nights of fireworks, it’s a win win!

    For more information on Marvel cruises, Star Wars cruises, or any other sailings, contact us!img_1162