Many cruise lines offer a variety of traditional drink packages for guests to purchase while enjoying their cruise vacations. These drinks packages can range from a soda package to a coffee and juice package to an unlimited premium drinks package.
Drink packages are an optional add-on for passengers. Still, everyone in the same cabin must purchase the same package, which can become problematic for those who do not drink alcohol.
The drinks package can be a cost-effective way to drink a variety of beverages on board but can cause overconsumption of alcohol to ensure that the passage is getting their money’s worth.
Some drink packages have limitations, as you can only have 15 drinks in one day, you cannot purchase a drink for another passenger, and not all drinks are included or are at a premium higher than the drinks package.
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Virgin Voyages offers passengers the option to purchase a $300 bar tab where passengers can enjoy unlimited specialty coffees, juices, premium drinks, wine, beer, and cocktails during the cruise. Virgin runs promotions, but for each $300 bar tab purchase, sailors will receive an additional $50.
Bar tabs can only be purchased ahead of time and come in increments of $300. However, the bar tab can be shared with your cabinmates and others you meet on the various cruise ships.
When Virgin Voyages came onto the cruise scene, they took a different approach to drink than other cruise lines. To offer a more inclusive approach to those that do not partake in alcoholic beverages, Virgin Voyages developed the bar tab.
Virgin Voyages also focuses on sustainability, and they believe that with many of the drink packages, guests overindulge by trying to get their money’s worth. By encouraging passengers to be thoughtful in their cocktails, VirginVvoyages drink prices can reduce waste and the number of ordered excess drinks.
I cannot drink heavily on a cruise, so the bar tab was a fair way to budget for my drinks. On a four-day sailing, my sister and I accidentally had a $600 bar tab and additional sailor loot, and we found it to be a struggle to drink the entire bar tab!
I am not the target audience for an unlimited drinks package. I am picky about my drinks and wine. Virgin offers fair drink pricing and high-quality cocktails,, so I felt very intentional with each beverage I purchased.
Eventually, we started getting bottles and glasses of Moët & Chandon to ensure our onboard credit would go down. The bar tab doesn’t cover any specialty classes.
Some perks of the bar tab:
Coming from New Orleans, I found that the drinks were reasonably priced. With adult beverages, you will always pay a premium for Champagne or wine (that is why I like to bring my own on!), but you will find good value in many of the cocktails.
Virgin Voyages include a variety of non-alcoholic drinks in the voyage fare. These drinks can help you get through your day and support your detoxing lifestyle (before retoxing again). The essential drinks, also known as Basic Bevvis, include:
These Basic Bevvies are available to passengers free of charge and can be found throughout the ship in restaurants, bars, and lounges.
Virgin Voyages offers a few fun alcohol-themed events during the cruise that you cannot use your Virgin Voyages bar tab to pay for. The Grog Walk is a bar crawl that brings you to a few of the different bars (or bars inside of restaurants), and you get to know some of your fellow cruisers.
Alcohol Tastings (or Seminars) are an opportunity to learn more about different liquors. You can pay extra for these and get all the tips and knowledge about liquors like mezcal.
High Tea happens on sea days. For a nominal fee, you can have high Tea, bubbles, and tea sandwiches to live the high life!
You need Sailor Loot (or a credit card) to pay for these extras.
It wouldn’t be a cruise if you couldn’t get free drinks! Other than all the basic Bevvies, there are a few ways to score complimentary booze while on a Virgin Cruise. If you want all the freebies, check out these activities for a complimentary boozy beverage.
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One of the most fun ways to get a bottle or two of a bottle is to share your app for Champagne! Moet & Chandon is Virgin Voyages’ signature champagne, and passengers can order a bottle wherever they are located.
To order a bottle, open the app and shake the smartphone. You will then have a chilled bottle of Moet & Chandon delivered to your location. You do not have to be in the curated champagne lounge to shake for Champagne either!
Each cabin can bring two 750 ml bottles of wine or Champagne on board for personal consumption during their cruise. The bottles must be brought onboard through carry-on luggage and can only be drunk in your stateroom. If you want to bring a bottle of wine or Champagne to a restaurant, you must pay a $25 corkage fee per bottle.
You can not bring hard liquor on board to make your drinks if making drinks on board is what you have to do to have fun. Book a Rockstar Suite!
While in international waters, Virgin Voyages’ drinking age is 18 years old. When in a United States port, the drinking age is 21, and in a foreign country, virgin Voyages will follow the laws of that country.
How big of a bar tab depends on how much you and your party drinks and if you plan on celebrating! A $300 bar tab would have been enough for my sister and me for a four-day cruise. We calculated how many cocktails, glasses of wine, and Champagne we would have, so we assumed this would be enough. We had over a $700 bar tab and struggled (but managed) to drink all the cocktails needed!
The bar tab is a non-refundable onboard credit that you pre-paid. If you are worried that you will not be able to spend all of your bar tabs, get in just one bar tab and then pay for the rest of the drinks out of pocket.
Yes! Gratuities, tips, or whatever you want to call it are included in the price of the drink. I love that the drink prices have built-in tips because you do not need to worry about paying a premium price tag on a drink and then tipping on top of that. If your crew members go above and beyond, you are more than welcome to give an additional tip, but it is not necessary on Virgin Voyages.
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Bottomless Brunch – For $25, you can get a mixture of Rose wine, Sparkling Wine, Mimosa, Filthy Bloody Mary, Heineken, or Strongbow apple cider. Let me tell you this – I love Flithy Bloody Mary Mix! It is the perfect thing to get over (or start) a hangover!
Test Kitchen – For $25-35, you can have a curated beer pairing, cocktail pairing, or wine pairing to go with your six-course meal! Good for six drinks!
Beer – If you head on over to the Draught Haus, a nautically themed bar, you can get a large number of beers for under $9
We tried as many beverages as possible when we sailed the Scarlet Lady! Even though there wasn’t a Virgin Voyages drink package, I felt like we got our fill of juices, coffees, and cocktails. I loved being able to buy individual drinks and not having to worry about getting my money’s worth because I needed to drink 10-15 drinks a day. With fair drinks pricing, I could order a cocktail or two without the guilt of a traditional beverage package.
Here are some of our favorite drinks:
Popcorn Old Fashioned – The popcorn old fashioned from Razzle Dazzle is a super cute drink and is Instagrammable. I was surprised to learn about the cocktail coming in a popcorn container and actual popcorn!
Smooth Sailing – The Smooth Sailing cocktail from On the Rocks (with Hennessy) was one of my favorite cocktails to get! It was delicious, not strong, and of high quality.
Moët & Chandon – We had to get a glass or two and a bottle of Moet & Chandon. It was my first time trying it! Blame it on my over-inflated bar tab, but I loved drinking this Champagne! When I switched over the back to sparkling wine, it was just not the same.
Oaxaca in Fashion – You may notice that we gravitate towards old-fashioned cocktails! The mix of chocolate bitters and mezcal was delicoius. This was one of the most potent drinks I had on the cruise, and we got a few throughout the entire cruise.
In short, no Virgin Voyages does not have a drinks package but they. Do have their own Virgin Voyages bar tab. If you are not a huge drinker or only like to buy drinks occasionally while on a cruise, the pre-paid bar tab is perfect for you and your krewe!
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