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johnnycruise2020

Will Virgin Voyages be successful?!

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I'm a huge Virgin fan- I love the trains and planes and felt they have shifted their respective industries.

 

But I'm wondering what can they bring to the cruise market that isn't there already?!

 

There's currently cruises for every type of person/age/interest, food and service is generally excellent across the board.

 

I'm curious to see if they'll make an impact, be successful and change things for the consumer. I'm thinking not so much...

 

What do you all think?! X

 

 

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Well, I do think that Virgin Voyages can be quite successful -- especially in a booming cruise market. That being said, they'd better get 'the show on the road', IMHO. Those of us who plunked down cash for the 'pre-deposit sale', last fall, have been left to cool our heels, with very little info. In the last eight months, we've gotten a handful of artists' renditions for public spaces -- not a peep about the cabins. And, even that was on Facebook -- not the VV website. Those of us here on CC learned the ship's name a little early, due to photo posted from the Fincanteri shipyard.

 

And, while I appreciate the general information that VV recently posted on their website, on the gym, spa, and eco-responsibility, I just wonder how they plan to sell cabins, without telling anyone about them -- including how much they will cost? If the Scarlet Lady really is going to launch, sometime in 2020, they need to do a better job of marketing -- NOW.

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Well, I do think that Virgin Voyages can be quite successful -- especially in a booming cruise market. That being said, they'd better get 'the show on the road', IMHO. Those of us who plunked down cash for the 'pre-deposit sale', last fall, have been left to cool our heels, with very little info. In the last eight months, we've gotten a handful of artists' renditions for public spaces -- not a peep about the cabins. And, even that was on Facebook -- not the VV website. Those of us here on CC learned the ship's name a little early, due to photo posted from the Fincanteri shipyard.

 

 

 

And, while I appreciate the general information that VV recently posted on their website, on the gym, spa, and eco-responsibility, I just wonder how they plan to sell cabins, without telling anyone about them -- including how much they will cost? If the Scarlet Lady really is going to launch, sometime in 2020, they need to do a better job of marketing -- NOW.

 

 

 

Too true!

I can't say I'm overly impressed with the design of what I've seen so far...

I'd be open to trying them just to see but I'm not excited about it anywhere near as I'm about Celebrity Edge or even the new cunard and P&o ships!

 

Hope you have a great cruise!

I'm guessing they need to get the cabins perfect before they give info x

 

 

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It has been frustrating not getting much info for so many months but I suppose its for the same reason the Edge has trickled out reveals....they don’t want other lines stealing their ideas who might be further along in production.

And I suppose not releasing itineraries might go back to them not having enough reservationists hired to handle the potential flood of calls from guests and travel agents.

 

But I wish they would release more. Their facebook page sits virtually idle most of the time.

 

I was all excited to book the inaugural, now not so much. Even cruise lines that have been around decades have issues with maiden voyages , let alone a brand new company, all completely brand new employees. I am thinking now I might wait til the following fall/winter before cruising. That way, if it seems to be not the right fit for me, I can cancel before having to make full payment.

I guess my biggest question right now is whether it will be more of a premium line like Celebrity or mass market like a RCCL , MSC etc...if that’s the case, I dont think I would be too interested. Time will tell, fun to speculate though....

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It has been frustrating not getting much info for so many months but I suppose its for the same reason the Edge has trickled out reveals....they don’t want other lines stealing their ideas who might be further along in production.

And I suppose not releasing itineraries might go back to them not having enough reservationists hired to handle the potential flood of calls from guests and travel agents.

 

But I wish they would release more. Their facebook page sits virtually idle most of the time.

 

I was all excited to book the inaugural, now not so much. Even cruise lines that have been around decades have issues with maiden voyages , let alone a brand new company, all completely brand new employees. I am thinking now I might wait til the following fall/winter before cruising. That way, if it seems to be not the right fit for me, I can cancel before having to make full payment.

I guess my biggest question right now is whether it will be more of a premium line like Celebrity or mass market like a RCCL , MSC etc...if that’s the case, I dont think I would be too interested. Time will tell, fun to speculate though....

Only time will tell. I am hoping it will be a more upscale line like Oceania. We will wait until we know for sure.

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On 7/20/2018 at 2:33 PM, johnnycruise2020 said:

I'm a huge Virgin fan- I love the trains and planes and felt they have shifted their respective industries.

 

But I'm wondering what can they bring to the cruise market that isn't there already?!

 

That is a VERY easy one to answer for anyone that cruised on one of the large cruise lines 15 to 20 years ago. That can be Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian. That is what VV should aim for, and that DOES NOT exist on any cruise line today. Not in the least. I've moved on to Oceania, and its fine, but not even close to what these bigger ships had.

 

Here is a refresher, including some nice things I think should included as well: Included gratuities, no charge for any restaurants and all the food is actually VERY good, no "Haven" or other areas that exclude "lower class sailors" from enjoying the whole ship, all non-alcoholic beverages/coffees included, and maybe 2 alcoholic beverages included per person per day.  Remember midnight buffets? No you don't need to bring those back, but some elegant parties on board once or twice would be nice. And why not give each "sailor" a few free photos to remember the trip for free.  Also, including most excursions would be good, as that is why you likely cruise in the first place.

 

None of this is what I would call "luxury" and I don't see VV as a high-end cruise line. Instead stop nickel-and-dimming, and make the vacation that people have saved up a year or more for memorable. When you get off the ship, you should be remembering the great times you had, not trying to figure out why your credit card was just charged $1296 for gratuities and extra charges.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ano said:

 

That is a VERY easy one to answer for anyone that cruised on one of the large cruise lines 15 to 20 years ago. That can be Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian. That is what VV should aim for, and that DOES NOT exist on any cruise line today. Not in the least. I've moved on to Oceania, and its fine, but not even close to what these bigger ships had.

 

Here is a refresher, including some nice things I think should included as well: Included gratuities, no charge for any restaurants and all the food is actually VERY good, no "Haven" or other areas that exclude "lower class sailors" from enjoying the whole ship, all non-alcoholic beverages/coffees included, and maybe 2 alcoholic beverages included per person per day.  Remember midnight buffets? No you don't need to bring those back, but some elegant parties on board once or twice would be nice. And why not give each "sailor" a few free photos to remember the trip for free.  Also, including most excursions would be good, as that is why you likely cruise in the first place.

 

None of this is what I would call "luxury" and I don't see VV as a high-end cruise line. Instead stop nickel-and-dimming, and make the vacation that people have saved up a year or more for memorable. When you get off the ship, you should be remembering the great times you had, not trying to figure out why your credit card was just charged $1296 for gratuities and extra charges.

 

 

+ 100    From a big fan of Oceania.   Doing these things could give them a run for their money.

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Oceania is $2000pp for an inside and at least $2500pp for a balcony. I don’t think virgin can charge these prices and fill those ships. Even the new celebrity edge is less than this in its opening season and even much cheaper for 2020. 

 

Oceania Large ship capacity: 1250

Scarlett Lady capacity: 2700

 

Although I do agree and I would like to see a cruise line do that, there is just no way they could fill the ships. Remember, the most profitable airline is spirit, you know, the definition of nickel and diming. I find most people like a cheap upfront price and the ability to pick and choose extras later. Except later, when people are on vacation they let free and spend away. The cruise lines are very aware of this. 

 

Oceania’s customers are not people that “save all year to go on a vacation” they are wealthy and affluent people who don’t like the stuffiness of 6 star cruising. 

 

What I was hoping VV to be, never happened. What celebrity edge became, is where I want to be.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, amscene1 said:

Remember, the most profitable airline is spirit, you know, the definition of nickel and diming. I find most people like a cheap upfront price and the ability to pick and choose extras later.

Spirit has a profit margin of 14%, same as Delta which doesn’t operate under the same ultra low cost business model as Spirit.  Only Allegiant and Frontier have wider profit margins in the USA but none appear on the list of most profitable airlines simply because they are not big enough to generate the revenue to place them on that list.

 

While these ULCC’s have definitely carved a niche in the aviation industry, they are small in comparison, and their business model is not one favored by most air travelers who are interested in more than just a cheap seat to get from point A to point B. 

 

I don’t believe that an ultra-low cost model would work in the cruise industry. Let’s not forget Easy Cruise which introduced a completely unbundled cruise experience, where you had to pay for everything, from meals to housekeeping services. The fact that they are no longer in service should be a testament as to how unsuccessful that concept was. 

Edited by Tapi

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Regardless of what our picture looks like, we much prefer casual dress and creative, relaxed food options. We are both vegetarian, so glad to see that choice is addressed. Have been on lots of cruises and like the out-of-the-box creativity here. Don't have a deposit in yet, but will keep an eye on the progress.

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On 11/7/2018 at 6:33 PM, ano said:

 

That is a VERY easy one to answer for anyone that cruised on one of the large cruise lines 15 to 20 years ago. That can be Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian. That is what VV should aim for, and that DOES NOT exist on any cruise line today. Not in the least. I've moved on to Oceania, and its fine, but not even close to what these bigger ships had.

 

Here is a refresher, including some nice things I think should included as well: Included gratuities, no charge for any restaurants and all the food is actually VERY good, no "Haven" or other areas that exclude "lower class sailors" from enjoying the whole ship, all non-alcoholic beverages/coffees included, and maybe 2 alcoholic beverages included per person per day.  Remember midnight buffets? No you don't need to bring those back, but some elegant parties on board once or twice would be nice. And why not give each "sailor" a few free photos to remember the trip for free.  Also, including most excursions would be good, as that is why you likely cruise in the first place.

 

None of this is what I would call "luxury" and I don't see VV as a high-end cruise line. Instead stop nickel-and-dimming, and make the vacation that people have saved up a year or more for memorable. When you get off the ship, you should be remembering the great times you had, not trying to figure out why your credit card was just charged $1296 for gratuities and extra charges.

 

 

 

From what you mentioned, it appears it is not Oceania you should be going with, but with Oceania's rival company Viking. This is because the latter company may tick most of the boxes you indicated. On a Viking cruise, the following are included:
 

1) Wine and drinks for lunch and dinner

2) Excursions

3) Free visits to Speciality restaurants

4) Gratuities included (UK and Australian fares, for some reason tickets sold in US do not include gratuities)

5) Free Wifi

6) Free use of Sauna

 

When we went on Viking, at the end of the cruise,  they sent us an invoice which came to ZERO. What we paid for our fares was all we spent with them.

 

There was certainy very little "nickel diming", if any, which went on . (Of course, they still charge extra for better wines, select drinks package, excursions other than the single included one at each port,  massage , etc. But is that nickel diming?)

 

Viking is not exactly the top range of the deluxe luxury cruises, but the lower end of the luxury cruises (others may disagree) . If you shop around , sometimes, you get very attractive fares.

 

From reading the posts, it appears Virgin Voyages is not targeting the luxury market, but something between a little below that. 

 

Whatever market they are targeting, it would be interesting to see how they are going to make themselves stand out in the crowded ocean crossing business.


I read somewhere that VV intends to be for "adults only". Don't think that is a new concept. If I am correct, Viking Cruises caters to adults. Certain P&O ships also have cruises that caters for adults.


Really, VV needs to put on its thinking cap to be more innovative and imaginative, something which others have not thought of and have already introduced.

Edited by Gnoelj

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I  think virgin will look into every market like they do, and as a add on could well put a ship into Barbados as a cruise and stay package for the Brits, he has the aircraft and fly,s daily to the island, at this present time the company works with Carnival with Facination  doing the Winward Island,s and uses many hotel on most island,s

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Viking is a fine cruise company, but they are a bit too successful and seem to sell out years in advance. I can't commit that far in advance.

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10 hours ago, so,ton saint said:

I  think virgin will look into every market like they do, and as a add on could well put a ship into Barbados as a cruise and stay package for the Brits, he has the aircraft and fly,s daily to the island, at this present time the company works with Carnival with Facination  doing the Winward Island,s and uses many hotel on most island,s

 

Barbados would be the bomb. I've heard good things. VV would be rocking it by getting okayed for Castaway Cay.

Edited by B-Rizzle

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A private island stop would be nice to have, in the itinerary. Turns out, Sir Richard just happens to own one, in the BVI. However, I think that he still has a home on Nekker, and he might not be too keen on having 2,000 of his closest friends 'dropping in', on a regular basis! :classic_wacko:

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If Sir Richard won't let everyone drop by on the inaugural cruise, I have a farm outside of Kansas City, MO with a cave that can be set up as a conference room.  It used to be an old Halloween Haunted House by the old owners so it wouldn't take too much tweaking to get the proper lighting and seating for folks.

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On 11/17/2018 at 8:03 PM, ano said:

Viking is a fine cruise company, but they are a bit too successful and seem to sell out years in advance.

And I think that's the answer to the nay-sayers, who claim that an adults-only cruise line won't be successful. 😉

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On 7/20/2018 at 10:33 PM, johnnycruise2020 said:

I'm a huge Virgin fan- I love the trains and planes and felt they have shifted their respective industries.

 

But I'm wondering what can they bring to the cruise market that isn't there already?!

 

There's currently cruises for every type of person/age/interest, food and service is generally excellent across the board.

 

I'm curious to see if they'll make an impact, be successful and change things for the consumer. I'm thinking not so much...

 

What do you all think?! X

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

I did say!!!... I can’t say the first reviews have been encouraging... 🤭 they should’ve hired me as a consultant (I did write to them haha!) 

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If they run VV as they did with their train company in the UK - it will very shortly be a case of a slightly used ship for sale. 

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Only time will tell.  Richard Bransen is excellent at trying things out-Sure Virgin Cole failed, but Virgin America, and Virgin Atlantic were successes.. No truly successful person did create some failures in the process of throwing a bunch of mud on the wall, and seeing what sticks..

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Posted (edited)

One thing is for certain, the timing of the start of this operation could not be worse.  I'm sure they are facing a slew of cancelations and a dramatic drop in new bookings, just like all cruise lines right now.  I hope they have deep pockets to get through it, because it could go on for a bit.  The cruise industry as a whole is currently suffering a perception problem.  Many currently view cruises as plague ships and won't be caught dead on them.  Virgin is trying to attract the non-cruiser, and being that this niche is already skeptical of cruises, it might be an even harder sell with all the virus publicity going on.  VV of course has no database of past passengers to market to, so that doesn't help their situation.  

 

Several cruise lines are taking steps to promote confidence in booking a cruise, such as waiving all cancelation penalties for cruises booked during a certain time frame.  I think this is a smart move, as the consumer right now is very leery of cruises and needs a little nudge to take the plunge and make a booking.   

Edited by eroller

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