Virgin Voyages is the Cruise Line for Adults Who Like Waiting in Line

If you’re looking for a different cruise experience, Virgin Voyages might be for you.

They’ve got their own lingo, a unique take on entertainment, dining, and the overall feeling is different than the other major players. I’ve been on two sailings, and as a travel advisor I’ve sold well over 100 cabins to clients but I always issue the same warning: be prepared to wait in line.

Some of the entertainment options and almost all of the dining venues require reservations. Although everything is free, a reservation system is in place to help manage the flow of people in and out of the venues. Except, it’s not working.

On my most recent sailing on Valiant Lady every venue I showed up to with reservations had a long line about 20-30 minutes long just to get to the host stand to either be seated or allowed into the show. At Gunbae, the onboard Korean barbeque dining venue, my reservation was scheduled for 6:30pm. After arriving 5 minutes early, I waited in line for 25 minutes, and finally made it to the host stand at 6:55pm. This was when I was told it would be an additional 20-25 minutes before a table would be ready. My party and I were finally seated about an hour after our scheduled reservation.

As you walked around the ship it was easy to spot where the next show or entertainment option would be because lines of people formed outside the venue about an hour in advance of the scheduled start time. Then as the doors would open no one would check reservations, there would simply be an employee standing at the door with a click-counter as the stampede of cruisers made their way inside.

Don’t get me wrong, the food is amazing and the shows are unlike anything at sea. However, don’t make plans an hour before or an hour after your scheduled events or reservations. You’ll need that time to line up.