As someone partial to a drink or two when on a cruise, the drinks experience on Virgin Voyages, for me, is a fantastic one, and there are several reasons why I feel this way. Here is our Guide to the Virgin Voyages Bar Tab and the Bars onboard Virgin Voyages.
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The first one, and it’s a big one, is how I’m not reminded of how all the other lines operate their drinks packages whilst ordering a drink onboard Virgin Voyages.
How do other lines do Drink packages?
Being asked what drinks package I’m on, did I want a drinks package? It would be better if I added X+Y dived by C = $$$… makes perfect sense to someone, I’m sure, but hardly the relaxing cruise experience I’m looking for on my holiday. Did it always make sense? Does it save us money? Only sometimes to me, personally!
You don’t need a package because, on Virgin Voyages, Essential Drinks are included in your cruise fare. So you can get essential drinks like Tea, drip coffee, non-pressed juices, plus soda and water anywhere on the ship and not have to show a room keycard.
That extends to your cabin, where a Carafe of still or sparking water awaits you when you arrive. More is available daily during the cleaning service or at the touch of a button. This is wonderful, as I never really understood why I need to pay extra to have water available in my cabin on other cruise lines or make sure I make the most of my drinks package by collecting cans or bottled water before the end of the night and my daily allowance of drinks resets.
When it comes to what Virgin Voyages calls “Premium Drinks”, which in short is anything you need to pay for, such as wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, mock cocktails, pressed juices and speciality coffee, you can pay as you-go by charging to your room.
Once you have settled into your cabin on the ship and watched the safety film, you begin to explore your new surroundings. While taking a break at one of the bars, the bartender asks what you want to drink.
Instead of immediately asking about your drink package, they inquire about your preference for beer, wine, or cocktails. You request a cocktail, and they ask if you have a preferred spirit. You feel relaxed and enjoy the experience as they create your personalised drink. The cocktail bursts with flavour and lacks artificial aftertaste or excessive sweetness from cheap spirits or mixers. You thank the bartender and savour your delicious drink while admiring the stunning view.
What is the Virgin Voyages Bar Bar Tab?
We have a full episode of Magically Cruising Dedicated to the Bar Tab; why not listen along?
However, they also offer something truly unique to them in the form of their Bar Tab. Think of this as putting your card behind the bar to order drinks as much as you like.
With a simple tap of your sailor band, you can charge drinks against your bar tab and have that spend come off the bar tab as you go.
This does away with the need for everyone to have an expensive drinks package if only one of you enjoys a tipple and the other doesn’t, but also you can order a drink for someone else you are sailing with or a friend you meet onboard and not worry about needing their room key, or a million questions to check that you understand that it won’t come off your package etc.
Best of all, you add the Bar Tab in increments of $300, and for every $300 you add, Virgin Voyages will add an extra $50 as standard. There are ways to get more bonus loot based on loyalty and promotions, but as a standard, every $300 you add becomes $350.
You can either share that between the cabin, or add one each. It’s upto you how you spend that bar tab, but note that it can only be used to purchase premium drinks. You can buy any drink onboard the ship, or their private beach club resort on Bimini, from a $3 coffee, up to a bottle of champagne, but it cant be used to pay for drinks experiences such as Grog Walk, the onboard bar crawl, or Shot4Shot, the Mixology class.
The only thing to be aware of is if you spend only some of your bar tab by the time your cruise finishes, it does not roll over as credit for another cruise or get refunded.
Bookable Drink Experiences Onboard Virgin Voyages
If you are a bottomless brunch lover, then make sure you book a table at either The Wake or Razzle Dazzle. For $25 at the time of writing, you get two hours of bottomless drinks to match your brunch experience. This includes beer, wine, mimosas or a signature mimosa cocktail.
This is the onboard pub crawl. It’s usually on the first night or two of your sailing and is a fantastic fun way to meet new sailors and get to know The Happenings Crew onboard.
During the ship bar tour, you will visit a few bars where you will be offered a drink at each location. There will also be a stop where you can enjoy some plates of food to keep you energised. Additionally, some fun games have been planned to help you socialise and get to know your fellow sailors.
At the time of writing, this was $45 pp and could be booked once onboard.
Shot for Shot
Think of this as a Mixology class, where you will be taught how to make several cocktails and get to sample them, with a mix of old-school drinks and some with a more contemporary Virgin Voyages Twist.
Shot 4 Shot happens in Test Kitchen, a beautiful backdrop for a mixologist class. It includes a phone photography lesson so you can proudly take pictures of your newly made concoction.
At the time of writing, this was $45 pp and can be booked once onboard.
Restaurants with bars you can visit
Each of the six main restaurants has its own speciality cocktails to try while you enjoy the fantastic food onboard. However, one lesser-known secret is that some of the restaurants also have their own bar, where you can go for pre-dinner drinks or sit after.
Test Kitchen – This is the smallest bar out of them all, so not an easy one to get a seat in. Recommend the cocktail pairing with the main dining menu.
Extra Virgin – Has a small counter bar just as you walk into the venue that is available for pre-dinner drinks or just to pop in for one if space is available. Recommend – Filthy Dirty Martini
Razzle Dazzle – This one is hidden at the back of the restaurant and is often referred to as the Red Bar. It is located at the back of the restaurant and is often where Grog Walk will begin, but it’s a great place to sit, enjoy a drink, and watch the kitchens at work. Recommend The Gold Fish Cocktail
Pink Agave – This is a lovely bar just inside to the left as you walk in, with pleasant seating and a great place to try one of their speciality cocktails! This bar also hosts a special after-hours event on some nights, so check the sailor app; it’s a bit like a private party/lock-in event in the restaurant, and is a lot of fun with a DJ set up and Miami club vibes. Recommend – Margarita or anything with Tequila.
Book your Virgin Voyages Cruise Today
If you would like to book your Virgin Voyages Cruise today, you can use the below link to see the latest offers and self-service your booking. Any bookings made using this link will be linked to Magical Traveller (it will say Sold and Serviced by Kieran Miller at the top); you will have complete control over your booking and can pay Virgin Voyages directly.
If you book using our Book and Go link by clicking the image below, we will add bonus sailor loot to your account as a thank you, $25-$200, depending on cruise duration and cabin purchased. Sea Terrace cabins receive $100 on sailings four nights or more as a guide. An email will be sent within 24 hours from Magical Traveller confirming the loot will be added within 30 days before you sail.
If you would like to add hotels and accommodation, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we can make your cruise a fully ATOL-protected holiday.
Main Bars and Lounges onboard Virgin Voyages
You can find all the menus and bar tariffs by clicking here
Sip – is a gorgeous, sophisticated bar is the place to head if you love all things champagne and champagne cocktails. It’s a fun venue to people watch in, as it’s near both the central Roundabout and The Red Room, where evening entertainment takes place, so it has decent footfall throughout the day. This is also where you will find afternoon tea, which starts at $25 (alcohol-free)
Draught Haus – If you’re a draught beer drinker, you’ll want to head to Draught Haus to experience some unique drinks only available here, including imported beers and shots.
Grounds Club – the perfect place to get my favourite midday drink, a Caffe Corretto (spiked coffee) and then some peanut Brittle from Social Club. This is one of two handmade coffee locations on the ship, so head here for your daily fix of handmade coffee.
Loose Cannon – A little surprise hidden gem that many miss, think of it as your local seaside pub, a small bar hidden at the back of The Social, but perfect for grabbing a beer or a cocktail with a board game or friends.
Juice Bar – If you’re looking for a healthy start to your morning before or after morning workout class, this will be the place to get your pressed juices or smoothies.
Dock – Now, this is one of my favourite places on the ship to relax and unwind. Perfect for cocktails, whether it’s inside or on the aft of the ship, sat in the sun with a selection of the delicious mezze style foo.
The Manor – is a two-story nightclub with perhaps the most iconic entrance at sea. During the day, it’s used more as a lounge with anything from 80s-inspired fitness classes to Drag shows; then into the early evening, it will be the home of cabaret-style shows before turning into a full-featured nightclub into the small hours of the morning.
Casino Bar – This is a small bar, not really a destination in itself, designed more to serve those who want to play the nearby slots or tables, it can often build a large crowd in the evenings of those waiting to enter the nearby night club, The Manor.
On The Rocks – is a great bar for cocktails, live music from the house band, regular magic shows in the early evening and singers, both in-house and guest. It’s a great place for pre and after-dinner drinks and is often used as a meet-up location to meet fellow sailors you have met in the day. Recommend Espresso Martini
The Galley – Wine & Beer are available on tap. Just touch your Sailor band to the terminal and fill your glass. Several drinks are also available from the servers on request, but no full-featured sit-down bar.
Gym & Tonic – Perfect place for poolside/hot tub drinks while enjoying the sun. With both upper and lower deck locations, there are plenty of options for grabbing a drink and soaking in a hot tub! – Recommend: Frozen Margarita
Aquatic Club – Sip cocktails or beer by the pool with your favourite cold or frozen drink while your legs dangle in pool water!
The Athletics Club – Perfect place to chill in the sun on the panoramic day beds, or grab one of the beds in the middle of the deck and relax as the ship sails away from port. Drinks here often have a healthy twist, with cocktails featuring coconut water and aloe juice. Recommended: Rosé all day
There are plenty of options to enjoy a drink onboard Virgin Voyages, as an adult-only cruise line, its fantastic to have such a wide range of options for places to get a drink and to see some unique and craft cocktails designed explicitly for Virgin Voyages, alongside some cruise classics too.
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*Note, all prices shown were correct at time of posting and are subject to change, terms and conditions apply, ask for details and terms