Does Virgin Voyages have drink packages? Here’s why Bar Tab might be better

Virgin Voyages is known for providing guests with great value by including more than the typical cruise line in its standard fares. This includes all onboard dining, Wi-Fi, gratuities, group fitness classes, and basic beverages and soft drinks. However, one thing that may feel missing on an adults-only cruise like Virgin is alcoholic drinks. So, does Virgin Voyages have drink packages like other cruise lines to bundle alcohol pricing into one convenient daily rate?

The answer is no, there is no such thing as a Virgin Voyages drink package. Instead, Virgin Voyages has come up with a different way to make covering your drink costs less complicated and ultimately give you a better value. They offer a program called Bar Tab, which allows you to add a prepaid beverage credit to your account and earn bonus drink credits for free. You can then use your Bar Tab to pay for any drink served onboard.

If you plan to enjoy drinks across the ship’s dozen or so bars, it might be worth considering purchasing a Bar Tab. Here’s how it works:

Virgin Voyages includes what they consider to be “essential” drinks in their standard cruise fare, such as still and sparkling water, non-pressed juices, sodas, tea, and drip coffee. Sodas are the main differentiator from many other cruise lines, which often charge extra for soft drinks. Everything else, alcoholic or otherwise, is considered a premium drink on Virgin.

Bar Tab is an onboard credit on Virgin Voyages cruises that can only be used for alcoholic beverages and other premium drinks. By purchasing a Bar Tab, you have the opportunity to prepay for your beverages that aren’t included in your cruise fare, such as alcoholic drinks, specialty coffees, and fresh-pressed juices.

The perk of prepaying for your drinks is that Virgin Voyages throws in an extra $50 credit for every $300 Bar Tab you purchase. This means you’re essentially saving 15% by paying upfront. You cannot purchase a Bar Tab in other amounts, so it’s best to take advantage of the bonus credit offer.

Since Bar Tab is a prepaid beverage credit, it can only be purchased before your cruise. You can do this through the app, website, or by calling Sailor Services or a travel agent. It must be added to your account at least 24 hours before sailing and is not available for purchase once you’re onboard.

Bar Tab covers a wide range of premium drinks, including alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, mocktails, and milkshakes. You can also use your Bar Tab credit for afternoon tea at the Sip Champagne lounge or to “Shake for Champagne,” an app feature that allows you to summon a bottle of bubbly with the click of a button from almost anywhere on the ship. If you’re sailing on a Caribbean itinerary, Bar Tab can be used at the bars at the Bimini Beach Club as well.

Bar Tab also covers the $25 corkage fee if you bring your own wine bottle to dinner at any of the onboard restaurants. Virgin cruisers can bring up to two 750-milliliter bottles of wine on board during embarkation per cabin, along with a dozen 12-ounce cans or cartons of water, soft drinks, non-alcoholic beer, or dietary supplements.

While Virgin Voyages doesn’t offer traditional drink packages, they often run limited-time offers that include free Bar Tab credits. These offers can provide significant savings on your drink expenses. Additionally, passengers staying in a Mega RockStar Quarter suite receive unlimited complimentary premium drinks and two bottles of wine per day.

Enrolling in Virgin Voyage’s loyalty program, called Sailing Club, can also earn you free drinks. Starting with your third cruise with Virgin, you’ll be eligible for a free $100 Bar Tab annually, a daily $10 specialty coffee credit, and an invitation to an exclusive cocktail event on future sailings through the end of 2024.

When considering whether a Bar Tab is worth it, it’s essential to note that Virgin Voyages allows you to share your Bar Tab credit with your cabinmate or even pay for friends’ drinks. This flexibility can help ensure you don’t waste any unused credit at the end of your sailing. However, it’s crucial not to prepay more than you and your companions can drink, as the prepaid Bar Tab is nonrefundable.

By understanding the prices of drinks onboard and estimating your daily consumption, you can determine if purchasing a Bar Tab is a cost-effective choice for you. With the bonus credits included, it’s possible to save money and simplify your drink expenses on a Virgin Voyages cruise.

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