Upgrading your Cabin

It is possible to upgrade to a better cabin or even a Rockstar Suite prior to boarding. This guide looks at the upgrade system (including last-minute bidding) plus some caveats you should be aware of.

This guide was last updated on 4 January 2024 by Rob Sammons . If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know .

virgin voyage upgrade

There are many different types of cabins available on board Virgin Voyages ships to suit a range of budgets. It is possible to enhance your journey with a cabin upgrade to allow yourself extra space, a balcony or extra amenities. Here’s a guide on how to upgrade your cabin with Virgin Voyages, offering two distinct methods.

Ways to Upgrade Your Cabin

There are two ways to upgrade your cabin with varied pricing depending on your type of voyage.

1. Pay the Difference

If you wish to secure a better cabin without the uncertainty of an auction, you can choose to pay the difference between the current on-sale price and your initial booking.

  • Check the current on-sale price for your desired cabin.
  • Pay the additional amount to upgrade keeping existing promotions
  • Enjoy your new cabin

2. Bid for an Upgrade

Virgin Voyages offers a bidding system against fellow sailors for a chance to secure an upgrade. Not all booking are eligible you can check if you can upgrade currently on the Virgin Voyages website , this system typically opens at approximately 65 days before sail.

Note: Make sure you have pop-up blockers turned off in your browser.

  • Make an offer to add to your original booking price.
  • You’ll receive an email with your offer details (including the ability to cancel).
  • Around 48 hours prior to your cruise monitor both your credit card and email inbox for details
  • If accepted, you’ll be billed for your Level Upgrade immediately. If not accepted you’ll be told Bia email and your original booking will remain unchanged.

Note: You can make multiple bids which are considered on their own. Bidding is limited upwards, so you can only go for a higher category for example a Seriously Suite up to a Cheeky Corner suite .

Types of Cabins

Every type of cabin is eligible for an upgrade excluding the Massive Suite , this is a great way for those in The Insider or Solo Insider cabins to bid up the system with significantly lower prices than purchasing directly.

An inside cruise ship cabin

Keep in mind that there is a limited number of cabins in some categories for example a Solo Insider to Solo Sea View would only have 6 available cabins if they’re all on sale. The highest chance of success will be a bid from a lower cabin up to a standard Sea Terrace cabin as these have the most availability.

Cabin Assignment: Once you win a bid, cabin changes are not allowed. If you are happy with your current cabin placement keep this in mind. Check your cabin number for any issues .

Bidding System and Tips

Check Eligibility:

  • Enter your information on the Virgin Voyages website to determine eligibility
  • This option typically opens up a few months ahead of time, you may receive an email but it is worth checking regularly.
  • Note: Make sure you have pop up blockers turned off for this step.

Bidding System:

  • Utilizes a 5-step bidding system from poor to excellent. Prices will vary depending on time of year, length of cruise and business of the cruise.
  • Check available cabin availability to see how popular your sailing is.


  • Offers can be canceled up to 48 hours before sailing.

Accepted/Unaccepted Bids:

  • Successful bids are typically confirmed 48 hours prior to sailing.
  • Accepted bids are automatically charged to the provided payment method, make sure you have funds available.
  • The new cabin room number will be available in the app within a few hours.

The cabin upgrade system can be a great way to get a bargain on a significantly better room, consider what your price is before bidding and it is worth directly comparing the cabins on the website before bidding, it can sometimes be cheaper to upgrade directly than the bidding system. Remember, once you upgrade your cabin, you can’t change it back, and you might end up with a cabin in a less desirable position. Whether you choose to pay the difference or engage in the bidding process, these steps ensure a seamless transition to a more luxurious cruise.

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I upgraded to a balcony cabin on a Virgin Voyages cruise, and it's the only way I'll ever sail again

  • I booked a Sea Terrace room on a recent cruise with Virgin Voyages. 
  • It was my first time sailing in a room with a balcony. I'll never book a cabin without one again.
  • I loved having a tiny deck to myself, and I was surprised by the views at sea.

After my first cruise in a cabin with only a window, I knew I'd be upgrading to a room with a balcony for my next voyage.

virgin voyage upgrade

When I took my first cruise , I enjoyed having a window in my room  — but a balcony would have been worth the upgrade .

I was onboard Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas , the largest cruise ship in the world , and I couldn't help but think I was missing out on a better experience with a private patio to enjoy the view with the breeze on my face. 

So when I booked my second cruise on Virgin Voyages' Valiant Lady ship , I scrolled past the "Sea View" window cabin and clicked on "Sea Terrace." I'm glad I did.

For my second cruise, I upgraded to a Sea Terrace room with a small, private balcony.

virgin voyage upgrade

On cruises, a room with a balcony is typically more expensive than a room with a window . 

On my cruise with Virgin Voyages, the cheapest room with a balcony was a third-tier cabin — one step above the Sea View room and two above a room with no window.

While Insider got a media rate for the trip, starting rates for a Sea View room on my 7-day Mediterranean voyage start at $4,644. A Sea Terrace room starts at $5,910, a representative from Virgin Voyages told Insider. Both averages reflect the price for two guests.

As soon as I saw the balcony, I knew I'd made the right choice. While reflecting on my trip, I thought about the reasons it was worth the additional price to me.

virgin voyage upgrade

I wasn't expecting much more than a view to stand in front of for my first cruise with a balcony room. So I was pleasantly surprised to find a table and chairs and a large, netted hammock in the small, outdoor space. 

I spent a lot of time on my balcony during the voyage and realized it enhanced the whole experience. From fresh air to sunset views, here's what made it worth the upgrade. 

First off, having a private outdoor space made me feel more relaxed throughout the 7-day journey.

virgin voyage upgrade

A private, outdoor space is everything to me. 

At home , I'm used to spending a lot of time by myself , and my yard is my sanctuary. I live in the bustling city of New York, so having a way to get outside without seeing people helps me chill out. 

I felt the same way about the balcony on my cruise. I loved stepping outside in my pajamas every morning without having to get in an elevator or say hello to anyone. It was a refreshing way to start my day, and I think it made me feel calmer throughout the voyage. 

It was also nice to take breaks from exploring the ship in the evenings. After hours of hanging out on the top deck and socializing with other cruisers, nothing felt better than retreating to my balcony to restore my energy. 

I also didn't have to leave my room to catch the sunset.

virgin voyage upgrade

I rarely see the sun setting over the ocean, so it's always a special sight for me — and one of my favorite parts of cruising . 

During my first cruise, I typically found myself taking a break in my stateroom around golden hour. And when I caught a glimpse of the sun setting out my window, I rushed up to the top deck to get a better view. 

On my second cruise, leaving my room wasn't necessary.

Like the first cruise, I vegged out around sunset on my Virgin voyage. But this time, when I saw the sun setting, I simply hopped out of bed, opened the sliding door, and sprawled out in my hammock. It felt glorious. 

There were other stunning views, too. I got an overlook of each port stop as well as the landscapes at sea.

virgin voyage upgrade

During the cruise, my favorite morning view was the marble mountain range in Carrara , an Italian city in Tuscany. Since my excursion took me into the mountains that day, I thought having a faraway view from my room was the ideal way to start my adventure. 

When I booked my balcony room, I dreamed about mornings like these when I'd open the curtains and see a wide view of the port I'd be visiting.

But there were more views from the balcony that surprised me. When we were at sea, I didn't even consider the views I'd have aside from the open ocean.

But from my terrace, I often got to see faraway islands and mountain ranges. Each time I caught one of these sights, it felt like a special moment. And all of these moments together made me feel more immersed in the environment.

On my final night, I stepped out onto my private deck to see the sunset next to a mountain range and thought to myself, "This is how you cruise."

virgin voyage upgrade

My first cruise made me think that an ocean-view stateroom wasn't enough to enjoy my voyage to the fullest. And my second cruise made me realize I was right. 

From mountain-view sunsets to a breezy hammock just for me, I'll never book a stateroom without a balcony again.

virgin voyage upgrade

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Christine Lozada

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September 19, 2023

22 Top Virgin Voyages Questions ANSWERED

Sailing with Virgin Voyages is simply a different cruising experience. When Virgin Voyages says they are “reimagining cruising”, it means it’s time to reset our expectations and frankly, expect something fresh, unique and NON traditional.

It’s no surprise that people who are considering (or booking to) a sailing with Virgin Voyages have A LOT of questions. Find the top questions asked !

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

22. Is it a swingers cruise?

One of the most intriguing and frequently asked questions about Virgin Voyages is: “Is it a Swinger’s cruise?”. My guess is something went viral somewhere and that suddenly became what people thought of or saw the most about Virgin Voyages.

While swingers “exist”, just like people who prefer oat milk instead of half of half in their coffee “exist”, this is not a cruise that is per-se “for swingers”.

21. Is the food really that good?

Absolutely . The food on Virgin Voyages is exceptional. If you’re someone who relishes dining in cities like LA, San Francisco, New York City, and Miami, you’ll find that the culinary experiences on Virgin Voyages are on par with these locales. The cruise line truly offers an elevated dining experience.

With over 20 eateries on board, there’s a vast array of choices to satisfy every palate. Additionally, all the restaurants are included in the cruise price, allowing for an all-inclusive dining experience. This means you can indulge in as many meals as you desire without any additional costs.

Not only is the food quality top-notch, but the value is also remarkable, especially since it’s all part of your cruise package. Check out the video below for more info on food !

20. Is it expensive and what’s included?

Virgin Voyages offers a pricing structure that, contrary to some expectations, isn’t more expensive than other cruise lines. In fact, it’s quite competitive and on par with many other options out there.

Here’s what’s included in the price when you embark on Virgin Voyages:

  • Food : All meals from the cruise line’s array of over 20 eateries are included. This means you don’t have any extra cost for specialty restaurants.
  • Gratuities : All gratuities are included in the cruise price, although many travelers, acknowledging the high level of service, still choose to give additional appreciation to the staff.
  • Wi-Fi : Unique to Virgin Voyages, Wi-Fi is included in the cruise price. The connection is notably fast and reliable. However, if you need a connection robust enough for high-quality video meetings, there’s a premium option available at an average cost of around $10 per day. This rate is quite competitive when compared to other cruise lines.
  • Workouts : All workout sessions on the cruise are covered in your ticket price.
  • Regular Drinks : This encompasses basics like drip coffee, water (with fill stations throughout the ship), tea, regular juice, and sodas. For those who stay in their rooms, water crafts are provided, and housekeeping will readily replenish your supply.

While Virgin Voyages doesn’t offer a drink package, the prices for individual drinks are reasonable. For instance, wines are usually priced between $9 and $11, beers around $5-7, and premium drinks like whiskies or select tequilas are also available at competitive rates.

So, while assessing the value, it’s clear that Virgin Voyages offers a comprehensive package with many inclusions that might come as additional costs on other cruise lines.

Tbh, not everyone wants to share how much they paid. So given that.. here’s how much I paid .

How much does sailing with Virgin Voyages vs. another popular cruise line cost? Below is an example of two sailings I took …

19. What is NOT included in the price?

And upgraded food items (I mean, freshly shaved truffles on your pasta wasn’t free the first (or last) time I checked ANYWHERE in life). Or seafood towers (which are amazing).

Seafood tower on Virgin Voyages at The Wake

And excursions. And shopping. The obvious things.

Want to figure out how much you’ll spend on booze? This video will help you .

18. Is it actually adults only?

Yes, Virgin Voyages is an adults-only cruise. This means there are no kids on the boat. Being an adults-only cruise allows for specific entertainment tailored to adults. However, “adults only” on this cruise refers to individuals who are 18 and up, not necessarily 21 and up.

17. Is Virgin Voyages a good cruise line?

Virgin Voyages offers a unique cruising experience that differs from other cruise lines. In the provided opinion, it’s worth trying at least once to experience “sailing the Virgin way.”

However, while it is recommended to be experienced by everyone, it might not be suitable for all. Virgin Voyages is distinct, and whether it’s a good fit depends on individual preferences. The cruise line has various entertainment options, from unique shows to music, and is noted for its high-quality offerings. Potential travelers can find more detailed information and considerations on the Virgin Voyages homepage to determine if it aligns with their preferences.

One key thing to note: Virgin Voyages is not for everyone

Consider checking out the blog post about why by clicking here or watch the full video about it by clicking here .

16. Is it too risqué?

No, it’s not too risqué. The cruise can be enjoyed as a family affair, indicating it’s suitable for various audiences, including (my) parents (who are actually, really awesome people!).

15. Is the entertainment any good?

Yes, the entertainment on Virgin Voyages is good. It’s also different .

The music on board features talented artists, musicians, and singers. The entertainment varies, from unique offerings like drag queen bingo, which is fun and engaging, to other performances showcasing acrobatics, dancing, and singing shows.

The range of entertainment is diverse and caters to different tastes. Additionally, the cruise often brings in different DJs, ensuring a variety of musical experiences on board.

14. Will I be bored?

It’s unlikely that you will be bored on the ship. There are numerous activities available throughout the day. One person mentioned that there were 40 options for activities available before 6:00 p.m.

These activities range from workouts like boy band dance classes and dodgeball to various fitness activities. All fitness-related activities are included in the Virgin voyages cruising price.

Apart from these, there are trivia sessions, and classes such as “rice rice baby” for sushi-making and coffee-making. Some classes might have additional minimal costs, but many are free. There are both free and paid activities available, catering to various interests and preferences.

13. Do I need formal outfits?

No, you don’t need to pack any formal or fancy clothing for the cruise. The cruise’s atmosphere is more fun than formal.

For themed entertainment and party nights like “Scarlet night,” attendees are encouraged to wear red, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. For instance, a red t-shirt from Walmart with a clip-on bow tie would suffice.

Christine Lozada at Scarlet Night on Virgin Voyages

There are also other themed parties like a pajama party, but participation in these themes is optional. You should wear whatever makes you comfortable. While you can dress up if you choose to, it’s not a requirement.

Do consider a helpful (and free!) packing checklist. Read the full blog post by clicking here or see the full video by clicking here .

Don’t forget to pack THIS!

Virgin Voyages has reimagined sailing and what you need to pack on for this trip is DIFFERENT than a normal cruise line. There are many items I wish I knew to bring (that I didn’t have with me on my first sailing). Get a free printable pack list and save yourself the headache!

What to Pack for Virgin Voyages by Christine Lozada

OR if you’re just looking for some inspo! See the curated list of Amazon items I’ve put together (and use!) for Virgin Voyages.

12. What can I use sailor loot on?

Sailor loot is more versatile than one might initially think. While some believe it’s only applicable to alcohol and specialty drinks, its actual use extends much further. Specifically, sailor loot can be used:

  • On excursions, referred to as “shore things” when at port, through Virgin voyages.
  • For food upgrades. While all food is generally included in the cruise cost, if you’re looking for specific delicacies such as freshly shaved truffles on your pasta at Extra Virgin, the Italian restaurant, wagyu beef at Gun Bay, or the Seafood Tower at The Wake, sailor loot can cover these extras.
  • At High Street, a shopping area on the cruise where various items can be purchased.
  • At the spa, specifically recommended is the thermal suite.
  • Additionally, there are ways to get free sailor loot, which can be applied in the same manner.

Read more on the Virgin Voyages website.

Remember, the best kind of sailor loot is free sailor loot, which you can get a TON of by booking with a travel agent. I encourage people to use Sea Sun Vacations to get a free no-stings-attached quote.

11. How do I book my entertainment, shows etc?

  • Use the Virgin Voyages App : All bookings for entertainment, shows, and dining are managed through the app on your phone.
  • Booking Dining : It’s recommended to book your dining 45 days before your sailing. Set a reminder on your calendar to avoid forgetting.
  • Booking Upon Arrival : Once you arrive at the port and connect to Virgin Voyages’ free and included Wi-Fi, you can use the app to book the rest of your activities. As a tip, as soon as you’re at the port waiting to embark, start using the app to make these bookings.

Want to SEE this blog post with more helpful tips? Check out the full video !

10. Should I prepay my bar tab?

  • Deals & Offers : Virgin Voyages sometimes provides special offers where they add extra money on top of a prepaid bar tab.
  • Consider Consumption : If you aren’t planning on consuming a lot, it may not be worth prepaying a large bar tab. You should only prepay for what you anticipate you’ll drink.
  • Estimate Costs : Before deciding, review the drink menu prices to gauge your expected daily spend. For instance, if you anticipate spending around $50 a day on drinks, or considering purchasing high-priced bottles, calculate what suits your budget best.
  • Alternative : Instead of prepaying, explore opportunities to get free or discounted sailor loot by availing of promotional deals and offers provided by Virgin Voyages or their partners.

9. Is sailing alone fun?

  • Accommodation Options : They offer “solo sailor insider” rooms which are a great option if you are a single person. These rooms are smaller and provide an economic option for solo travelers. You also have the option to upgrade your room if you wish.
  • Daily Meetups and Events : Virgin Voyages organizes daily meetups and events specially designed for solo sailors, facilitating opportunities to meet other people easily.
  • Mobile App Features : The mobile app used for various bookings on the cruise also enables you to link up with other sailors, inviting each other to dine or attend entertainment and shows together, enhancing the solo sailing experience.
  • Group Experiences : The cruise offers experiences such as dining at Gun Bay where you can sit in a group with other sailors, possibly playing drinking games over dinner, providing a fun way to connect with others.
  • Online Communities : If you feel anxious about sailing alone, you can connect with other solo sailors before your trip through Reddit forums and Facebook groups organized by sailing and sale dates, allowing you to make friends before you even start your journey.

Therefore, solo sailing can not only be fun but a great opportunity to meet new people and have unique experiences.

8. What is there to do in Bimini in the Bahamas?

In Bimini, Bahamas, there are various activities and places to visit:

  • Beach Club : Once you arrive in Bimini, you can take the free tram to the Beach Club, which is a popular destination for many visitors. It’s described as fantastic, with further details available in the full video .
  • Explore the Island : The tram has a stop where you can rent a golf cart, boat, or jet ski to explore the island on your own.
  • Hilton Resorts World : If you’re interested in gambling or simply want to spend your day at a resort, the tram will take you to Hilton Resorts World.
  • Tours : Bimini offers various tours. You can book these through Virgin Voyages or independently. Some of the top-rated ones can be found by clicking here , but they give a chance to explore more of what the island offers.
  • Natural Beauty : Bimini is highlighted as a beautiful destination, making it a picturesque place to relax and enjoy.

These options give visitors a range of activities to enjoy during their stay in Bimini.

Christine Lozada at Virgin Voyages Private Beach Club in Bimini Bahamas

7. Should I get a room with a balcony?

When considering whether to get a room with a balcony, take into account the following points:

  • Popularity : The majority of the rooms on Virgin Voyage cruises are balcony rooms, with over 80% of them offering this feature.
  • Comfort and Experience : The rooms are described as exceptionally comfortable. Spending time on the balcony can greatly enhance your cruising experience. The person speaking in the transcript admitted to being surprised by how much time they spent in their room, specifically enjoying the balcony.
  • Preference : The individual expressed a preference for having a balcony due to the comfort and views it provided.

6. Are the rooms nice?

The rooms on Virgin Voyage cruises are described as exceptionally comfortable, with a significant majority being balcony rooms.

In fact, over 80% of the rooms have balconies. The individual in the transcript mentioned being genuinely surprised by the amount of time they spent in their room, suggesting that the rooms are conducive to relaxation and enjoyment.

Additionally, the rooms have modern decor and offer conveniences such as in-room water (both still and sparkling) that can be requested through a tablet system in the room.

The room attendant checks in with guests regarding their preferences and ensures their needs are met. Furthermore, the rooms are described as being quiet due to effective soundproofing.

Terrace Balcony Stateroom on Virgin Voyages

5. Can I have two people in a room but not the same bed?

Yes, you can have two people in a room without sharing the same bed. The rooms on the Virgin Voyage cruises can have different configurations.

If you’re traveling with someone who is not a significant other and you don’t want to share a bed, there are ways that the room can be configured by the staff to accommodate your preferences.

4. Are the rooms noisy? 

The rooms on the Virgin Voyage cruises are not loud. They have really good soundproofing, so disturbances from external noise are minimal.

Even with the entertainment and glamorous nighttime parties on board, the inside of the rooms remains quite quiet.

3. Should I upgrade my room to rockstar rooms?

Deciding to upgrade to the Rockstar rooms on Virgin Voyage cruises depends on your personal preferences. Consider two main points:

  • Space and Comfort : If you value having more space to move around and spend time in your room, then upgrading to one of the bigger rooms or suites might be a good fit for you. While the current standard rooms are comfortable, they are not overly spacious.
  • Rockstar Status Benefits : Upgrading to a Rockstar Suite, which is larger than the standard Terrace rooms, gives you Rockstar status. This status provides access to exclusive amenities and events, such as Richard’s Rooftop, where there’s a daily cocktail party. Additionally, having this status allows you to enjoy certain privileges, enhancing your overall cruise experience.

If these considerations align with what you’re looking for, then upgrading to a Rockstar room might be worthwhile.

2. Is it just a bunch of young people?

No, the cruise is not just for young people. While there might be a perception that it’s primarily for Millennials or Gen Z, in reality, the average age of passengers ranges between 30 and 60.

Based on the given experience from the last three sailings, many people were celebrating their 40th birthdays, and a significant number of passengers were in their mid-50s and 60s.

1. How can I get a good deal on Virgin Voyages?

To get the best deal on Virgin Voyages, while there are various methods to save on a cruise, it’s recommended to explore deals that might not be commonly known or accessible to everyone. Specifically, I had no idea that travel agents DO have access to exclusive deals that we simply don’t get as everyday travelers. I booked my last sailings through Sea Sun Vacations. Consider getting a no-strings-attached-quote by clicking here .

Christine Lozada on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

Bottom Line

If you’ve skimmed to the end of our FAQ guide for Virgin Voyages, here’s a quick recap:

Virgin Voyages offers a unique cruising experience distinct from traditional ports, prioritizing your comfort with amenities like a free tram for transportation and over 80% of their rooms boasting balconies.

Entertainment isn’t just for the younger crowd; guests range in age from 30 to 60, ensuring a balanced vibe for all. The ship isn’t just a “party cruise”—it offers quiet, soundproofed rooms and diverse entertainment options.

Additionally, there’s a chance to elevate your experience with Rockstar status, granting access to exclusive events and areas on the ship. If cost is a concern, we’ve touched upon tips for snagging the best deals. Virgin Voyages is redefining the cruise experience, and this guide is here to help you navigate it.

Don’t forget there is a video version of this blog post with more helpful tips!

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How fast is the internet on the new Virgin Voyages cruise ship Scarlet Lady? We put it to the test

Gene Sloan

Looking for a cruise ship with internet service fast enough to let you do video calls with your friends back home and maybe watch a Netflix movie or two?

You can include Scarlet Lady , the new adult-oriented cruise ship from start-up line Virgin Voyages , on your shortlist.

As I found in recent days during a series of speed tests, the internet on Scarlet Lady is adequately fast to allow for video calls without hiccups and video content streaming.

Just don't expect to be able to do bandwidth-hogging activities such as gaming. While reasonably fast by cruise ship standards, the internet service of Scarlet Lady remains far slower than what you're probably used to at home.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's new cruise newsletter .

I put Scarlet Lady's internet service to the test as it sailed on its maiden voyage from Miami -- a four-night itinerary to the Bahamas that included stops in Nassau and Bimini. The ship will sail year-round out of Miami through at least April 2023.

The 2,770-passenger vessel is one of the newest cruise ships at sea, and -- as I'll explain below -- that's a factor in the internet speeds it's able to offer.

How internet works on cruise ships

I'll get to the results of my speed tests on Scarlet Lady in a moment. But first, for those of you who haven't cruised before, here's a little primer on internet on ships.

Unlike at resorts on land, the internet on cruise ships is often quite expensive -- more than $20 a day on some lines. You could easily spend upwards of $100 a week on cruise ship internet just to connect with one device. You'll often pay even more if you want to have multiple devices online at the same time.

RELATED: I've been on more than 150 ships; here are my first impressions of Scarlet Lady

Internet on cruise ships also generally is much more sluggish than what you've experienced on land. On many cruise vessels, you'll be lucky to get download speeds of 5 megabits per second (Mbps). Where I live in North Carolina, by contrast, the local cable company's least-expensive internet package promises download speeds of 200 Mbps.

Cruise lines really are doing their best to deliver fast, affordable internet just like you'd find at home. And they've made great strides in recent years.

But delivering fast, inexpensive internet to people on ships that are on the move in the open ocean is neither easy nor inexpensive . Remember, there are no high-speed cable lines connecting to moving cruise ships. When you're getting internet on a cruise ship, you're getting it via a very expensive satellite system that's designed to be compatible with a moving target like a cruise ship.

Virgin Voyages internet service at a glance

Virgin Voyages offers two levels of internet service on Scarlet Lady:

  • Basic is a relatively slow service designed for general internet browsing, checking email, messaging and posting on social media that does not support streaming.
  • Premium Voyage is a faster service that's billed as fast enough to stream movies and music and do many of the other things you would normally do on the internet.

No matter which one of the two levels of service you choose, you'll find that the internet is "always on" on your device while you're on board. You don't have to log on and log off every time you want to use it. There also are no complex passwords to remember to get online.

Note that Virgin Voyages' internet service not only works on Scarlet Lady but also at The Beach Club at Bimini, the line's private beach destination in the Bahamas. Every Virgin Voyages sailing out of Miami makes a stop at Bimini for a day at the beach club.

RELATED: There's a 'secret,' off-menu steak on Scarlet Lady

The internet service also will work on more than one of your devices at the same time, something that is not always the case on cruise ships. I only paid a single, one-time fee for the faster Premium Voyage service, but I was able to be online simultaneously on both my laptop and my iPhone. On some ships, you can only be logged onto the internet from one device at a time.

What does Virgin Voyages' internet service cost?

In a notable twist, the Basic internet service on Scarlet Lady is entirely free.

That's right; you won't pay a single cent to surf the web or check your emails while sailing on the ship.

This is unusual in the cruise industry, where internet access often comes with an enormous daily charge. On a recent sailing that I did with Celebrity Cruises , top-speed internet service came with a sky-high cost of $34.99 per day for a single device. That worked out to $244.93 for a week-long voyage .

Virgin Voyages is one of just a handful of cruise lines -- mostly very high-end cruise lines -- that include internet access for free as part of an all-inclusive or nearly-all-inclusive fare structure.

virgin voyage upgrade

While the starting fares for Virgin Voyages sailings are relatively high as compared to the starting fares at such lines as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line , the line is notably including the cost of not just basic shipboard Wi-Fi but also gratuities, wellness classes and access to all shipboard restaurants in its base fares.

But note that only the Basic internet service is included in Virgin Voyages fares. If you want to have access to relatively fast internet -- and we're guessing you do -- you'll have to pay extra.

To line's faster Premium Voyage internet service comes with a $50 upcharge for a four-night cruise, although you can get it for just $40 if you book it on the first day of the voyage (see the screenshot above of the landing page you'll see when you log on for the first time).

There also is an option to buy the faster Premium Voyage service for just a single day, at the cost of $15.

How fast is Virgin Voyages' internet service?

While on board Scarlet Lady, I signed up for the faster of Virgin Voyages' two internet options, the Premium Voyage service, so that's the only one I was able to test.

I ran speed tests of the Premium Voyage service many times during the sailing, at different hours of the day, using the website speedtest.net both on my laptop and on an iPhone 13 Pro. What I found was that the service usually offered download speeds of between 3 Mbps and 8 Mbps. The upload speeds at any given moment typically were around the same amount as the download speeds or even higher, which surprised me. During a recent test of the internet on a Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean, the upload speeds only were about half of the download speeds.

Here's a speed test I conducted at about 5 p.m. on Oct. 7 when Scarlet Lady was docked at Nassau, which is on the Bahamian island of New Providence. It recorded download speeds of 3.13 Mbps and upload speeds of 3.19 Mbps. At the time, I was sitting near the swirling staircase at the center of the ship's two main interior public decks.

virgin voyage upgrade

Below is another speed test I did the next morning when Scarlet Lady was docked at the island of Bimini.

As you can see, both the download and upload speeds for the internet on Scarlet Lady at this point (down at 3.79 Mbps; up at 5.23 Mbps). were a tad higher than they were when the ship was docked in Nassau. But it wasn't a huge difference. I conducted this speed test while in my cabin, a windowless "inside" cabin on deck 13.

virgin voyage upgrade

One thing that I found while doing the speed testing was that I routinely got a better speed when using my iPhone 13 Pro than when on my laptop. On my iPhone, I regularly recorded download speeds in the 6 Mbps to 8Mbps range, although I did see the downland speed on my iPhone dip as low as 3.81 Mbps at times.

In comparison to internet speeds at resorts on land, the internet speeds that I measured on Scarlet Lady may seem notably slow. But I found Scarlet Lady's internet fast enough to do almost everything that I wanted to do with it.

I was able to work fine in TPG's many cloud-based systems without noticeable slowness, including our publishing system, where I loaded up dozens of 2 MB to 4 MB photos without trouble to accompany multiple stories posted from the ship .

I also was able to stream podcasts and television shows at night in my cabin. But the television show streaming wasn't always smooth. I experienced repeated freezing of the screen for 10 to 20 seconds while playing an episode of "Bosch" one night from my Amazon Prime account.

In theory, the ship has enough bandwith to allow for such streaming. Amazon Prime says the recommended minimum speed to stream standard definition content is 1 Mbps. Amazon Prime recommends 5 Mbps for high-definition streaming.

Factors affecting internet speed

Internet service on cruise ships is generally faster on newer vessels, and Scarlet Lady is one of the newest ships sailing on the world's oceans. Newer ships have been wired from the beginning with higher-speed internet in mind.

Internet speed on cruise ships also can be affected by where the ships are located at any given time, and also by the weather -- both factors that can affect the connection to satellites.

Bottom line

Scarlet Lady, the first cruise ship from Virgin Voyages, may not offer internet that is as fast as you get on land. But for a cruise vessel, it boasts reasonably solid internet service -- assuming you pay the upcharge to get the line's faster Premium Voyage service.

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  • Virgin Voyages

Cabin Upgrade Bids

By GE65 , February 3, 2023 in Virgin Voyages

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Cool Cruiser

I’ve seen a few posts here about the opportunity to bid for cabin upgrades.

We’re booked into one of the lifeboat restricted view cabins for Valiant in August and might change for a decent deal; when and where does the chance of upgrading appear?


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You will get an email about 30-60 days before cruising with info about bidding.  You will learn whether your bid was accepted about 2-5 days before sailing as they try to sell cabins at full price as long as they can.


8 hours ago, GE65 said: Hi, I’ve seen a few posts here about the opportunity to bid for cabin upgrades. We’re booked into one of the lifeboat restricted view cabins for Valiant in August and might change for a decent deal; when and where does the chance of upgrading appear? Thanks.

As a heads up, I would not count on getting one no matter what you bid. They have a structure where they work through various matrix first like when you booked, what you paid, if you had any good offers etc and eventually get to us "normal" folk. We bid on more than the going rate for a cabin upgrade last year (as in more than the cabin sells for) as it was sold out but accepting bids. Never got any of them, but people who paid less, bid less, but just struck it lucky got them on the cheap. 

Thanks for the comments.

200 days to go, so will see what happens in a few months.

We were on a sailing that was only about half full and lots of people got upgrade bids accepted for moves to better views or inside to sea terrace.  The suites were sold out early on, but VV still accepted bids on them--no one canceled so no one got moved to a suite as far as the large FB group could tell.  Bottom line, VV wants to maximize their income on each sailing.  It doesn't cost them more to have you in a better view or sea terrace vs. oceanview or inside.  So, if they get an extra $125 from you, that's to the good for them.  One hint...bit an "uneven number."  If the minimum bid is $100, bid something like $107.  First, you're identified as bidding higher than the minimum and secondly, it triggers something in the algorithm to improve your chances.

Many thanks 🙏  



I think one of the reasons they take bids on suites that are already sold-out is to see what folks are willing to pay.

18 hours ago, CineGraphic said: I think one of the reasons they take bids on suites that are already sold-out is to see what folks are willing to pay.

Yep, helps with with a massive data capture and a flavour of the market pricing for the suites. 


One other thing to keep in mind with upgrades is that no single upgrade lives in isolation. The cruise line (or 3rd party company managing the upgrades) will want to string together a chain of upgrades that make them the most money. Sometimes that can mean someone with a lesser bid will win a cabin because their original cabin is an upgrade for someone else who did bid a lot of money, and the two bids combined will more than make up for the fact that they bid less than someone else.

Another point, there are relatively few "big" upgrades  on the Virgin ships.  They have 1400 cabins total, of these over 1000 are sea terraces and 78 are suites.  So there are not a lot of people in oceanview or inside cabins  to begin with.  With the ships only half full on many sailings, if you bid on an upgrade from one of these, you will probably get it.   There is a fair amount of bidding to upgrade from a limited view sea terrace making these bids less likely to happen, but again, on sailings that are not full your chances are good.  The XL sea terraces and suites are very popular and are often sold out before the bidding process starts.  However, there are always situations where people need to cancel, so nothing is impossible.


also your "biddable pool" seems to be limited by what you initially book.  when i've been in a suite, i've been able to bid all the way up to massive, but when i've been in an XL, my bids top out at gorgeous

I don't know whether VV sells upgrades at the terminal or not.  Some other lines have this option available. There is a specific desk or person who has a chart showing what is available and what the cost would be to move from each cabin type to these available cabins. The nice thing about that is that the person will have exact room numbers, so you will know where you are going AND that opens this option to people who need an accessible cabin but might want an upgrade.  If you don't get your bid, it may be worth asking at the terminal.

4 hours ago, cantgetin said: I don't know whether VV sells upgrades at the terminal or not.  

They do.  There is an "Upgrade Desk" right after you check-in, on your way to security. (In Miami)

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  1. Level Upgrade Bid

    Here's the step-by-step to your Level Upgrade. Enter your info above to see if you qualify. Name an amount to add to your existing booking price. You'll get an email if your price is accepted and you'll only be billed then. If your offer isn't accepted, you aren't charged and your original booking remains the same.

  2. Cabin Upgrades

    After 120 days, you can upgrade your cabin all the way up to 48 hours before your voyage. Of course, applicable fare increases would apply. When can I place a bid through Level Upgrade?

  3. Guide to Upgrading your Cabin on Virgin Voyages

    1. Pay the Difference. If you wish to secure a better cabin without the uncertainty of an auction, you can choose to pay the difference between the current on-sale price and your initial booking. Check the current on-sale price for your desired cabin. Pay the additional amount to upgrade keeping existing promotions.

  4. Level Upgrade Terms & Conditions

    The following terms and conditions detail the " Level Upgrade " program. This program allows a passenger (referred to herein as "passenger," "you," or "Offeror") booked on one of our voyages to submit an Offer to upgrade from the cabin or suite (collectively "cabin (s)") category originally booked to a higher cabin category ...

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    If not, you pay nothing and keep the stateroom you have. Note: The bid offered for the upgrade is in addition to the price of your original cruise ticket. Gorgeous Suite. From $4575 USD per cabin. Brilliant Suite. From $2625 USD per cabin. Cheeky Corner Suite- Biggest Terrace. From $2600 USD per cabin.

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    April 19, 2012. USA. #4. Posted August 31, 2022. NO, bit a strange number at least a little above minimum bid. Your chances improve if you use something "different." If minimum bid is $100 (I know that's not realistic, but for example,) you bid $107 or $117. Most people will bitd $100 or $101.

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    Navigating the Virgin Voyages Level Upgrade Program. One of the ways to enhance your Virgin Voyages experience is by considering the Level Upgrade program. This initiative allows you to bid on cabin upgrades, potentially giving you access to larger rooms and additional amenities. Here are some tips:

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    Also remember, the level upgrade bid is NOT your last chance at getting an upgrade. You can also do it when you check in AND when you get on board at Sailor Services. Ships are at 50 to 60% capacity. If you can't bid up to a sea terrace, you must be on an extremely popular cruise. Absolutely 100% Give it a shot.

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