Virgin Voyages made a splash when they debuted in 2020. The cruise line threw away long-time cruise traditions in favor of a hip and modern sailing experience.
The Virgin Voyages drink package takes a different approach from mainstream cruise lines. Virgin Voyages replaces the standard beverage package with a “Bar Tab.”
As you’ll read below, the Bar Tab provides greater flexibility for passengers but may not offer as much of a discount as traditional beverage packages.
Does Virgin Voyages Offer a Drink Package?
Virgin Voyages does not offer a traditional beverage package, unlike most mainstream cruise lines. Rather than an all-inclusive drinks plan, Virgin offers a “Bar Tab.”Guests can use the bar tab to purchase drinks onboard the cruise ship and at Virgin’s private island.
What’s the Bar Tab on Virgin Voyages?
The Bar Tab on Virgin Voyages acts as a pre-paid drink plan.
Guests (or Sailors as Virgin calls us) can pre-pay for onboard credit to pay for drinks on the ship and at Virgin Voyages’ private island, Bimini.
According to the cruise line, “We listened when [guests] shared that they hated the rigid rules, and did not want to subsidize the drinking habits of others by paying high individual beverage prices designed to cover inclusive options. Sailors also loathed having to calculate how many drinks they needed to have per day in order to see “value” in their package, which is often 10+.”
Additionally, the Bar Tab has fewer restrictions than traditional beverage packages, as guests can use the tab to purchase a greater selection of drinks offered on the ship. There are no price restrictions, limits on sharing, or hidden fees.
While cruise lines often prohibit passengers from sharing beverages, Virgin Voyages doesn’t have the same restriction. Guests can share the Bar Tab and individual drinks with family members, friends, and travel companions.
Perhaps the most significant benefit is that you don’t need to purchase the Bar Tab for everyone sharing a cabin. In other words, if Victoria wishes to buy the Bar Tab, I’m not forced to purchase it if I won’t be drinking.
At the time of writing, Virgin Voyages is topping off Bar Tab’s purchased before the sail date. For every $300 purchased in advance, Virgin is adding a bonus of $50.
In other words, you can spend $350 on drinks when adding $300 to your tab.
We’ve seen similar promotions with offerings as high as a $100 top-up when guests add $300 to the bar tab.
Once you’re onboard the vessel, purchasing drinks is the same as any other cruise line.
Simply tap your cruise card at any bar or restaurant to purchase a drink.
Important Note on Virgin Voyages Bar Tab
The bar tab is non-refundable. In other words, if you don’t use the entire bar tab, you won’t be entitled to a refund.
Our advice is to purchase a bit less than what you think you will consume. You can purchase the individual drinks on your cruise card if you go over the bar tab.
But, do your best to avoid pre-paying more than you will spend. Any money not spent from your bar tab by the end of your cruise will not be returned to you.
What Drinks are Free on Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages offers a great list of complimentary beverages that include:
- Non-pressed juices
- Drip coffee
- Still and sparkling water
Virgin Voyages Drink Prices
Since Virgin Voyages doesn’t offer an unlimited drinks package, you might wonder, “how much do drinks cost on Virgin Voyages?”
Fortunately, the drink prices are very reasonable.
Virgin promises that the Bar Tab allows the cruise line to sell drinks at more reasonable prices than cruise lines that offer a drink package. The cruise line boasts that “70% of our wines by the glass are less than $15″– far more than other mainstream cruise lines.
The drink prices on Virgin’s cruise ships are lower than other cruise ships and much more comparable to drink prices on land.
Beers are priced around $5-$9, while basic liquors and cocktails run $9-$18 per drink.
Virgin’s signature drink is Champagne which starts at $9 a glass and up to $1,000 for a bottle.
Best of all, Virgin Voyages drink prices include automatic gratuity and taxes.
The cruise line eliminates the guesswork and hidden fees.
In other words, the price you see is the price you pay.
Of course, you can always tip extra if the service is good.
Below is an example of the drink prices on Virgin Voyages cruise ships:
|Beer||$5 – $9+|
|Can of Beer||$5 – $10+|
|Cocktails||$13 – $18+|
|Mocktails||$18 – $15+|
|Standard Wine (by the glass)||$9 – $1445|
|Champagne (by the glass)||$9 – $12+|
|Bottle of Moët||$95|
|Specialty Coffee||$3 to $5|
Virgin Voyages “Shake for Champagne”
As we’ve said, Champagne is the signature drink on Virgin Voyages cruise ships.
The cruise line loves to promote their bottles of bubbly. The cruise line “Sailor app” has a feature called “Shake for Champagne.”
When the apps open, shake your phone to reveal the secret Champagne delivery button. When you press the button, a bartender will deliver a bottle of Möet to your location on the ship.
According to Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin, “It’s never too early for Champagne and there’s always something to toast to while aboard Scarlet Lady. We want our Sailors to enjoy a glamorous holiday and what better way to feel like a RockStar than a sip of bubbly whenever and wherever you want it.”
Virgin Voyages Drink Package FAQs
Can You Bring Drinks on Virgin Voyages?
Guests can bring two 750ml bottles of wine per cabin on Virgin Voyages cruise ships.
Guests must bring the wine in their carry-on, not their checked luggage.
Can You Bring Water or Soda on Virgin Voyages?
Guests on Virgin Voyages can bring water or soda. However, Virgin Voyages has banned single-use plastics from their fleet. So, stick to cans or boxes if you wish to bring water or soft drinks.
What is the Drinking Age on Virgin Voyages?
The drinking age on Virgin Voyages is 18 while at sea.
Most guests that sail with Virgin will be over the age of 21, as those aged 18 to 20 must meet specific criteria to sail with the cruise line:
– The departure port must be outside of the US
– Share a cabin with someone over the age of 21 who will be legally responsible for the individual
– Be married to another guest
– Be an active member of the military
Can the Bar Tab be used at Bimini?
Guests can use the Bar Tab at Virgin Voyages’ private island Bimini.
Is Soda Free on Virgin Voyages?
Yes, soda is free on Virgin Voyages cruise ships. They are one of the only cruise lines to offer complimentary pop and sparkling water.