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All Virgin Voyages cruises canceled through October 15, 2020

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Just received word that Virgin Voyages has canceled all of their sailings through October 15, 2020. This includes Richard's Birthday Bash, which as been rescheduled for July 15, 2021.

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Someone has posted on Facebook (apologies, don’t know what their source is)...

 


As our most important partners, we wanted to update you first about our recent decision to postpone our sailings through October 15th, 2020 — which your Sailors will be notified about on Thursday, May 21. We’ve been working hard to find a way to set sail by August, but that hasn’t turned out to be possible.

We appreciate how many of your Sailors were excited to sail with us, so we understand how disappointing this news is. But we trust you and your Sailors will understand our decision given the evolving global health challenge we’re all up against.

As of right now, our first sailing is planned for October 16th, 2020, and we’ve rescheduled the Richard’s Birthday Bash sailing for July 14th, 2021. This sailing will still be a once in a lifetime experience for us to have fun, while also continuing our tradition of doing business for good.

To make up for these changes, we’re offering the most flexible and fair options out there for your Sailors. For first-time canceled Sailors, we’ll be auto-crediting double the amount they’ve paid to date toward their voyage fare. And if they book their next sailing before June 30th, we’ll give them up to $500 to spend on board. If they’d prefer a refund, you can call or email us anytime between May 21st and December 31st, 2020. Please know that if a Sailor contacts us directly, we will honor their request and you will still be tied to their booking.

For Sailors who have already received the full 200% in Future Voyage Credit, they will get to keep it. But, if they’d prefer, instead of the 200% Future Voyage Credit, we can refund the full paid amount along with a Future Voyage Credit equal to 25% of the paid voyage fare that can be used on a future sailing. 

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Seems like it's the message that went to all "First Mates" (travel agents).  I was booked on the Birthday Bash, and I'm half bummed it's cancelled/half relieved that we finally have an answer.  Will likely just take the refund at this point.

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From the looks of their website, they have added some real world photos of the view from the aft suites. Rock star suites (not the mega ones) appear to no longer include private transfers and premium wifi. I also read online on a FB group that they will be reducing the prices of rock star suites so this reduction in services makes sense.  

 

I am just happy to hear they are not going out of business!! 

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Yes, an announcement went out stating that fares for Rock Star suites were going to be lowered and some perks were being eliminated.  I'm disappointed as who knows what else will change now.

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9 minutes ago, flgrl67 said:

Yes, an announcement went out stating that fares for Rock Star suites were going to be lowered and some perks were being eliminated.  I'm disappointed as who knows what else will change now.

Hope that's not retroactive! I'm booked in a Rock Star on a Med voyage next year, and those extra perks were definitely part of our justification for paying the higher prices!

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It said that more info is coming out in the next few weeks.  What worries me is that by next year (when we would re-book for) that they could change/eliminate more perks. It is making us rethink taking this cruise, or at least booking again until we see how it does it the next year or two.

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This is the announcement I was waiting for.  Hopefully they'll announce some 7 day Caribbean cruises for 2022, otherwise I'll take the refund.

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We're booked on Richard's Birthday bash and the August 7 Inaugural.  I'm definitely going to rebook for the birthday bash next year and I hope that we can get booked on the October 16th sailing.  We were supposed to be on the April 1 cruise so it appears that we won't get anything further in perks for this cancellation.  That's fine.  Like someone else said above, I'm just happy to know one way or the other.  

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We were booked over Labor Day and with all the news I am not surprised.  Virgin will end up in a good spot because they have only 2 ships to manage and they are both brand new.  Not sure at this point what we will do but like our other 4 trips this year that have gone kaput we will figure something out.

 

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I think this is probably where I have to call it. I had rebooked to the end of October with the 200% credit, but I'm starting to feel like leaving this much money in the hands of any cruise line right now is just playing with fire. I know that the cancellations will ultimately hurt them worse, but it's just business.

 

It was one thing when it looked like some cruise lines would resume in July/August; I would at least have a sense of how things were going on other cruises before I decided whether to board. But my cruise would happen just a few weeks after they start things up, and that's too close for me. 

 

I'll probably wait a couple of weeks for this round of cancellations to make its way through their customer support, then call for a refund.


VV will still be at the top of my cruise lines to book, if the world ever goes back to normal and if they still exist. I just don't see a reason to give them an unsecured loan of several thousand dollars right now. 

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Richard Branson probably picked the worst time in the last 50 years to start a cruise line -- not that he could have known, but bad luck for him!

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1 hour ago, rabidstoat said:

Richard Branson probably picked the worst time in the last 50 years to start a cruise line -- not that he could have known, but bad luck for him!

Possibly true. To his credit, they are brand new ships, one still being built, and they seem like they would weather a downturn more than a line with 20 or 30 ships...

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We are rebooked on Richard's Birthday Bash for next year!! With the generous rebooking credit we have upgraded from a  central sea terrace to a cheeky corner suite with the biggest terrace!! And we got $500 on board credit!!!

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With our travel insurance for this trip, if they go bust we'd get our money back so we're actually relieved they canceled and gave us the 200% credit. We were planning to change the cruise to next year anyway. Now the three rooms in our party will either all turn to suites or if possible we'll use the credit to book more rooms and bring family. 

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The reason I’ve opted for refund is that theres no way in telling what a future cruise will look like post-pandemic. What you pay for now may not be what you get next year. Too risky to book anything until the story plays out. 

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21 hours ago, pcalv said:

The reason I’ve opted for refund is that theres no way in telling what a future cruise will look like post-pandemic. What you pay for now may not be what you get next year. Too risky to book anything until the story plays out. 

 

Excellent point!  I strongly suspect that many of the changes the cruise lines will be required to make in order to maintain a safe, socially distanced, environment will result in a degraded customer experience.  It's wise to wait until you know what you're buying before you buy it.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, mnocket said:

 

Excellent point!  I strongly suspect that many of the changes the cruise lines will be required to make in order to maintain a safe, socially distanced, environment will result in a degraded customer experience.  It's wise to wait until you know what you're buying before you buy it.

Very accurate @mnrocket for us to know what we are buying and we are weighing that before we make our decision.

Edited by Nymich

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Its some really sad news. Just a few weeks ago I was reading how they were going to start operations in August and now its postponed till October. I hope people who have already booked their cruises with Virgin will stick to it and wait till October. I wouldnt miss a chance to cruise with them 

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6 minutes ago, Roger88 said:

Its some really sad news. Just a few weeks ago I was reading how they were going to start operations in August and now its postponed till October. I hope people who have already booked their cruises with Virgin will stick to it and wait till October. I wouldnt miss a chance to cruise with them 

With the offer they are giving I would expect that nearly all of us who booked will be on VV at some time.  The cash refund WITH 25% FCC is the classiest offer in the business and tells us to come back.

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In case anyone else was on the fence... We were booked for October 2nd cruise and were canceled. We opted for the 200% credit. We went from having a room with a balcony for the three of us, to having two balcony rooms with two people in each, plus a third room for a solo inside cabin. Couldn't beat that. We were able to turn one room into three and add two more sailors for no additional cost. And between the three rooms we still have $750 room credit left. 

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My cruise was for August 21st.  Frankly I'm glad Virgin Voyages cancelled it.  My friend & I did not want to take the trip this summer after the pandemic broke out.  I do not believe I would have been able to rebook and was waiting until it got closer to summer to see what happened.  We will rebook for next summer as I cannot take a trip during school months.

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On 5/21/2020 at 4:00 PM, Tuasdad said:

With our travel insurance for this trip, if they go bust we'd get our money back so we're actually relieved they canceled and gave us the 200% credit. We were planning to change the cruise to next year anyway. Now the three rooms in our party will either all turn to suites or if possible we'll use the credit to book more rooms and bring family. 


Just as an aside — I thought most travel insurance explicitly excluded bankruptcy? I might be misremembering something I’ve heard on cruise radio recently ...

 

My trip was originally for March, purchased insurance pre-pandemic, and they let me move the same policy to the October trip (which I haven’t cancelled yet). So that particular policy predates a lot of the new pandemic clauses they’ve added ... (I’m just thinking out loud here). 

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2 hours ago, Katieniesen said:

Has anyone canceled and gotten their refund yet and the 25% FCC?

I requested my refund 2 days ago. I wouldn’t expect it to be processed for a month at the earliest but I’ll share when it does come through

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