Entering a busy market with a new product, especially an expensive one from an up-front investment perspective is not easy. Add to that a global pandemic right as the commercial launch was scheduled and you have a “perfect storm” of cards stacked against you. Virgin never lost its mojo though and re-launched with a mission to add a new way to cruise to the mix.
My take after 3 days – Overall Mission Accomplished (with some room for fine-tuning)
Stand-outs include the amazing food. Across all venues, the quality and creativity of presentation is stunning. As a sample, I posted the “Test Kitchen” dinner courses below. Each stage was dedicated to a veggie in creative ways. Absolutely delicious!
Another stand-out are the many cozy hangouts and whimsical outdoor areas. On the picture below you can see the trapeze net on deck 16 that lets you stargazing skyward as well as visually wake surfing downward. The other venue visible is “the Dock” on deck 7 outside. It’s a multipurpose area with bar, Mediterranean tapas and hangout daybeds and chairs. It became our group’s daily gathering space.
Room for improvement – Issues I observed are almost entirely technological in nature.
1) The computer controlled stateroom is unnecessarily annoying with curtains and lights spooking guests as they please!
2) The Virgin App is the other well known pain point. Fortunately the staff is very helpful and well versed in the challenges. tells you just to show up in person. My tip is to not rely on the App and instead talk to staff. It is much faster and far more pleasant.
3) Maps please – Nowhere on the ship are there maps by the elevator banks. It is definitely a miss. I do buy Virgin’s concept of “discovery” as the purpose which is fun for a day or two. By day three however, when you run late for a dinner reservation, not having a map on hand is aggravating to say the least.
This line is all about making sure every one is having a great time in style. I can vouche for it for sure as everyone in our diverse group of advisors (some with Plus ones) experienced excitement and fun.