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No More Reservations for Shows


bdever
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I’m booked on the Scarlet Lady TA for 4/21/24 - 5/4/24 and I noticed in the itinerary listed in the app that the shows Untitled Danceshowpartything, Duel Reality, and Ships In The Night now say “First Come, First Served” instead of “Book on Board”. The only entertainment that says book on board is the LOLz supper Club. What is your take on this? Is this new or has this been done on any other sailings?

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I noticed that too, I think on busy sailings recently there has been many times people complain they didn’t see any shows as they were all fully booked, therefore they’ve now removed booking for many of the Red Room shows. The dinner shows are low capacity so makes sense they needing booking.

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They are testing it out currently on the Auckland to Sydney cruise that is going on right now on the Resilient Lady.  You only have to book paid events like Another Rose.  All other shows are first come, first served.

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With the limited seating vs the larger showrooms on other ships - I think this might be a fail.  Making folks line up is nuts.

 

Then again, Bingo is first come, first served as we found out last time we tried to play.

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1 minute ago, garycarla said:

With the limited seating vs the larger showrooms on other ships - I think this might be a fail.  Making folks line up is nuts.

 

Then again, Bingo is first come, first served as we found out last time we tried to play.

I think it's going to depend a lot on the length of the cruise.  On shorter cruises where shows will only be performed once, might be a bit crazy trying to get in.  But on longer cruises with shows being performed multiple times, it will probably work as the crowds will be spread across the shows.  This is how it always was on Carnival when we cruised with them and it always worked out well.  There was a lot less stress trying to book everything and planning your whole vacation out as soon as you boarded.  We really prefer to go with the flow while on vacation so we're looking forward to this change.

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The problem on previous TAs has been people scooping up multiple reservations for the same show while others were not able to get a reservation.  THen, on show night, there would be a huge number of "no shows," likely due to "been there, done that," and the shows would be quite empty.  We found out later, after choosing to not attempt standby, that on RedRoom show was "nearly empty."  

I can't say I like this approach.  I think a better solution would be allowing only one reservation per person in advance, then the standby line if people wanted to attend a second time.  But such is life. I'm guessing that we won't do any first run shows because I'm not willing to spend an hour in line prior to seating.

 

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I rarely attend the shows - we are primarily Carnival cruisers - trying out Virgin for the first time in May - French Daze & Ibiza Nights.  I was looking forward to trying to to book one or two shows - we are not super into the shows too many other things to do, but I for sure won't be waiting in line.  It is a big reason why I dont attend most Carnival shows - comedy etc. - as I have zero use for line ups.  I don't want to waste that much time of my limited holiday time standing in a line.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Especially if the show rooms are smaller than the larger theatres you see on some of the other lines. 

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I was on a cruise last month, and the reservation system was still in place.  First come, first serve may work.  What Virgin needs to change is the time they open the theater for seating, which is only 30 minutes, I think, before showtime.  Since I have done 8 cruises now on Virgin, I've seen all the shows, so I can find other things to do during that time.

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Funny, since one of the things a VV veteran told me when I was considering the cruise was that it is for people who don't like to stand in line and be told what to so.  Oh well, guess all good things must come to an end. After several VV cruises, I'm not likely to do any shows, but I can promise I won't be standing in line for an hour to try to get a seat.

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I can’t see people lining up for an hour. But even with a reservation I’ve waited 15-20 for doors to open for things before. Especially It’s a Ship Show.

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50 minutes ago, CanadianCruiser21 said:

 

hopefully they also do a headcount of people in line so there aren’t more people in line than there are spaces available. 

That never happened with the standby line on previous cruises.  It would be a good idea though.

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They also need to ensure everyone moves down each row and fills every available seat. In the past there was a lot of single seats being left between groups.

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2 hours ago, raphael360 said:

I’ve never seen Duel Reality completely full even on fully booked sailings. 

I've seen no more bookings available, but there were a few seats in the Red Room.

 

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The valiant cruise that leaves Saturday out of San Juan is listing all evening shows as first come first serve. So I guess they are trying it out here as well. It also lists certain events as virtual queue, not sure how that will work.

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7 hours ago, sfspider said:

The valiant cruise that leaves Saturday out of San Juan is listing all evening shows as first come first serve. So I guess they are trying it out here as well. It also lists certain events as virtual queue, not sure how that will work.

Thanks, can you please report back on how things go as well as how the “virtual queue” works?

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1 hour ago, marcoigna said:

Not to be bougie - but one of the perks with Mega Rock Star was your roadie to get u into anything.  Wonder what happens there, or another lost perk for MRS. 

Generally for the shows that didn’t have reservations before this change apparently there was a seperate rockstar queue so I expect that’s the same, rockstar basically queue jumps to get into the theatre.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just off Valient.  The only show that allowed for reservations was the ship show.  All other shows were first come, first served, and there were no "virtual queues" even though the app made mention of them for certain events.  There was a rockstar line for the ship show (you still needed a reservation), but there were no apparent rockstar perks otherwise.  It seemed that they were saving seats for Mega's at the Duel Reality show that we attended, so maybe there still is a priority perk for them -- but nothing for "regular" rockstars.  

 

Please take this with a grain of salt, but it actually worked very well.  The grain of salt is that our ship only had around 1800 sailors on it (from what we were told).  Nothing in the red room was 100% full (Bingo with the Diva was close and that event created the longest line we saw all week - but all Bingos actually had a long line due to card sale delays).  We arrived 10-15 min early for pretty much everything, though a few events in the Manor the best seats were mostly gone at the 15 min mark.  Other than Bingo and the ship show there were not really lines for the shows we went to, though people could have lined up before the venue opened, we just never saw lines as we always got there later and were able to walk in and still get really good seats -- again, ship was not full.  

 

I was pretty angry when I learned that we would be guina pigs for this new format since we had early boarding (i.e. early reservation) privileges, but in the end, it worked just fine with 1800+ people.  This was our first voyage with Virgin so I can't compare it to the old way and I have no idea how long the lines were for you to scan in when you had a reservation, but it was nice to just walk in and grab a seat with no waiting in line and a short 10-15 min wait before the show started. 

 

VHS was also first come first served, which I was again annoyed about because I was worried that we wouldn't get in on the day it fit into our schedule.  I think we got there a little more than 20 min early to make sure we got in and it was not a problem for us or those arriving after us.  Other fitness classes (bungee, etc. still required reservations).   

 

I guess on a full ship, arriving 30 min early might be necessary, especially for shows in the manor.  Time will tell. 

 

Hope this helps!

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@sfspider thank you so much 😊 I really appreciate the time you took to detail your experience! I’m going to use it as a primer for sure as I suspect the sailing I’ll be on will have slightly more sailors than yours but not much. I will plan on arriving early for shows in The Manor for sure! 

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No problem. I hope you have a similarly smooth experience. We had such a a wonderful cruise and saw almost every show. Our cruise was 8 days which also could have impacted how easy it was because they did most shows several times which likely spread the crowds. We skipped untitled dance, which they only performed once.  On a 4 or 5 day cruise that is mostly full, I suspect that there will be increased competition for seats.

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13 hours ago, sfspider said:

No problem. I hope you have a similarly smooth experience. We had such a a wonderful cruise and saw almost every show. Our cruise was 8 days which also could have impacted how easy it was because they did most shows several times which likely spread the crowds. We skipped untitled dance, which they only performed once.  On a 4 or 5 day cruise that is mostly full, I suspect that there will be increased competition for seats.

My sailing is 14 nights.

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I see mixed reviews here but as past sailors (and ones upcoming in May), we think this is an epic fail.We saw nothing wrong with the reservation system for these shows last year, it worked splendidly. It also enabled you to have piece of mind you had seats, and allowed you to schedule all of your activities knowing you would make it to a show because you had it reserved already. For instance, scheduling a dinner beforehand knowing that as long as you got there by a certain time , you had guaranteed seats.   We have talked to travel agent friends currently sailing, for instance on the Resilient lady, and some shows have lines over an hour beforehand.  Who wants that?  We do not want to spend our time on ship waiting in lines, especially knowing that the old system never required it.  And we can't imagine the ship staff being enthusiastic about having to add line and crowd management to their responsibilities.  This pilot needs to go bye bye, and quickly.  We have a cruise upcoming in mid-may and we see the "first come first served" notes in our app for all shows.

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