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Everything posted by creativegenius

  1. Its not a fold out. It is a split bed. The "top" has nothing to do with the main bed. It is two twins pushed together to make the bed. https://cruisefever.net/virgin-voyages-first-cruise-ship-will-have-beds-that-turn-into-loungers/. Very clear in the two photos. When the twins are split they are a sofa and lounger. Not a fold out sofa.
  2. 2/3 of the Virgin Voyages website is about Eat and Drink (of which all the food is included in the fare) and Entertainment. The only thing Virgin has done differently than other ships is put Fitness front and center in their advertising instead of grouping it under "Amenities." The other thing they've done is put some physical activities outside on deck which is quite clever. I've seen outdoor yoga on many ships, but actually moving parts of the gym outdoors is a fun and clever idea. So I'm not sure why you jumped to the conclusion that you have to enjoy fitness to take a Virgin cruise or that Virgin is catering to a fitness crowd. Virgin is obviously catering to a younger generation that predominately has never cruised. They are catering to people who still have visions of "The Love Boat" being the standard of what a modern cruise is. They're also catering to those who are young at heart as Sir Richard Branson so famously is. Virgin is not a 'fitness only' ship as you seem to be wanting to imply. It's an entertainment ship for an audience that wants to do a lot of eating (all meals included), wants to connect socially (WiFi included), wants to have some serious fun (drag queens and incredible looking entertainment venues) and then might want to work off all that food and drink the next day. Or maybe you don't and just want to sit on the big net aft or by the pool. We're booked next August on the Mayan Sol. Doubtful I'll take advantage of much of the fitness other than the treadmill. But that's not why I booked this cruise. This looks like they are building something completely different. And certainly going after a wholly different crowd than what we've sailed with the past 13 cruises. As a couple approaching mid-50's a wholly different crowd sounds like fun. Virgin has the right idea to eliminate 'specialty dining' fees, eliminate soft drink fees, eliminate WiFi fees. I'm hoping some of the other mainstream lines will take notice, especially the WiFi and soft drinks. Now if Virgin delivers on what they are promising it's going to be an incredible cruise line for those of us who want to stay young at heart.
  3. To take advantage of the more personalized service in a smaller venue vs. the MDR. The MDR menus are not bad, but sometimes it can be a bit of a 'cattle call' in the MDRs during busy times.
  4. This review I wrote is a couple of years old, but the lack of adult activities was the only knock we had on the ship. Especially when we saw the mostly empty 'family venues' at night that could have easily converted over to adults only after 10 or 11pm. The nightclub area in the back is a really great idea, but too many small venues crammed into what could have been two or three really nice venues. The food and service was some of the best we have had at sea so we will sail Disney again, but this time we'll have a better plan for the evenings. https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=547367&et_cid=2764671&et_rid=85437048&et_referrer=Boards_Million_Member_Newsub
  5. If you do stay in the inside cabin, use the Bridge View on your television as your "window." That camera is always on and if you turn the brightness down on your TV, it won't be quite so bright in the evening. As others have mentioned, I would at least try for an oceanview room for your first sailing. Allows you to at least look out and see the ocean as you're moving along. Keep in mind that when you are in port, you could have 'neighbors' on another ship looking down into your cabin. We have only sailed balconies though we are starting to see the appeal of saving some money on the longer cruises by going with an oceanview room.
  6. The bed is honestly my only 'concern' about the Scarlet Lady, but I'm reserving judgement on the quality of the bed until after our Mayan Sol cruise next August. Way too many positives throughout the rest of the ship to have the bed prevent me from booking a balcony room.
  7. I'm sure 7 day voyages will become more mainstream after they launch their second ship. It's a great idea to offer these two itineraries for the holidays, especially for adults who don't want to have kids around. 🙂 We're sailing next August on the Mayan Sol since Cuba is out. 5 nights will let us find out if the beds are going to be comfortable. That's honestly my only concern with the ship. The IKEA style convertible sofa beds may or may not be very comfortable. The rest of the ship I'm really excited to see and explore.
  8. There's nothing really 'daring' about the weather. We sailed Equinox two years ago just 3 days before Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean. Equinox altered her 11 day course and we actually had the smoothest sail we've ever had in the Caribbean. Essentially went straight south and then came in behind the hurricane on the way back. We always sail in August / September and haven't had an issue with hurricanes yet. Ships just make adjustments.
  9. My wife handled all the details. I know they increased the price reduction for the Key West trip that made it quite cheap, but with Cuba out, I thought it would be more fun to spend the extra night onboard to really get a chance to check out everything the ship has to offer. And since we have not had the chance to go to the Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya, that made it easier. We never had any plans to cancel as we absolutely want to sail the ship. 5 nights seems perfect since we're still not sure how good the beds are going to be. But with 2 full days at sea, we'll have a good opportunity to explore and test out as many of the 20 eateries as possible. :)
  10. We opted to switch out for the Mayan Sol trip which gives us two days at sea. They offered us a really good deal to stick with the original 4 night cruise which was originally the Havana overnight. I have not had a chance to climb the Mayan ruins in Costa Maya and since that's one of the stops for the Mayan Sol cruise, we made the switch. All in all, I think Virgin is doing a great job with a completely unexpected turn of events. I really feel bad for the folks who were on ships on their way to Cuba when all this idiocy went down.
  11. No, not outrageous. Normal for cruising. Things change quickly, witness the sudden Cuba ban with ships literally on their way to docking. May not have anything to do with the cruise line and everything to do with the tour operator. Cruise do not operate the tours in most cases, they contract third party tour operators. Equipment breaks, people quit, issues happen, etc... We've missed ports of call and have had tours cancelled the same day we arrive. Typically you DO get some sort of a notification that the tour was cancelled or altered, but as for it being cancelled, not unexpected in the world of cruising. You have to be ready to 'go with the flow' onboard.
  12. For us, we're more interested in checking out the ship than the ports. We were booked on a 4 day Havana Overnight cruise, but since the orange clown made the ban, we changed it to the 5 day Mayan Sol which includes Costa Maya. That's the one port we really want to sail into so we can go walk the Mayan ruins. For us it's more about seeing what Virgin is all about than the ports of call. Cuba is still a bucket list destination and once this administration is gone, that will be corrected I'm sure. But for now, we're ok with the 'boring' ports of call, more time to spend on the ship checking out what it has to offer and see if it's a line we want to continue to sail.
  13. Thanks. My wife seemed to think the glass blowing area was going away to be replaced with a LCG. The new screen back there on the Lawn looks fun though. Looking forward to watching movies under the stars, although I will say the steady rumble from the stacks back there will make quiet movies a bit challenging to watch.
  14. Yeah we knew about the change. Our friends Sean and Stef showed the new glass show on their YouTube show. Glad we got to see the original show, they did an awesome job with that. As we have an 11 night cruise coming up we just might book that glass session.
  15. They removed it? It was supposed to be a part of the "revolution" under the movie screen. I didn't notice the hot glass venue in the videos of the lawn club, looked like it was gone. But hard to tell since they pull that metal gate down over it when it's not open.
  16. Those big shade sails have been there all along. We sailed Equinox a few years ago and that pool area looks basically identical to when we sailed.
  17. Lawn Club Grill is hands down our least favorite restaurant on Celebrity. It's a fun idea, but the quality of the food was the weakest of any Celebrity restaurant. We were actually disappointed when we heard it was coming to Equinox as we are sailing her in September.
  18. I'll second the person who mentioned Smithsonian. They have quite the array of global travel with and without cruising. Google Smithsonian Journeys.
  19. Agree with the two cruise line choices, especially Holland. We are really looking forward to the new Virgin Voyages though. 18+ only. Yay!
  20. Excellent review and travelogue. Please post a link to the VLOG when you have it up and running. Love your style. Have an awesome cruise!!
  21. From what we've read part of the grassy area will remain but it will be restricted to suite guests. This might have changed but it sounded like it was going to be a cabana type of area requiring a fee or suite admission, similar to the Sanctuary on Princess. Lawn Club Grill was our least favorite restaurant on the Reflection. Overpriced and not that great of quality for what you paid. We're sailing in Sept. after the "revolution" so it will be interesting to see how she has changed from when we sailed last year.
  22. That setting only has to do with your cellular service, nothing to do with WiFi which is what you'd be using onboard the ship. Turning off Data While Roaming will ensure your phone will not attempt to use any data services when cellular service appears at port. If that's turned off, then your cloud backup service would not attempt to do any backup because there'd be no connection. My issue was happening on board while connected to the WiFi. Once I turned off the cloud backup, everything worked as it should on the ship. Good luck finding your answer! For what it's worth, we switched to T-Mobile 2 years ago in part because we get free data service in 150 countries included with service. No additional fees. Since then we've been able to use our phones for email, texting and internet service at any port in the Caribbean, no extra charge. 25 cents per minute if we decide to make a call. Signal has been excellent in every Caribbean country.
  23. Thanks for the review. We were much more excited about this ship before it came out. Might consider a tour once the prices fall down to more normal range. I'll have to look online for those red slipper pics! Nicely done.
  24. For those booked on the November 7th sailing on Empress to Cuba, we noticed that the entire itinerary has been reversed and the Havana stop was shortened by about 3 hours. One of the reasons we booked this particular itinerary was the late sail away from Havana which was supposed to have been 8pm allowing us to grab an early dinner on shore. We didn't see the need to book an itinerary with an overnight stay in Havana. Obviously cruise lines can change an itinerary at will, but we never received any notifications from RC about the changes. We discovered it today when showing friends the cruise online, we realized all the stops have been reversed and the Havana stop shortened. Just an FYI for those booked on Empress on this particular Cuba cruise and you might want to check your itinerary online if you're sailing later this year to see if it's been changed too.
  25. Back to Back is what was recommended by the marketing department for the time being. Until they get the second ship, they'll probably stick to 5 day maximums. 4 ships total are on order.
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