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Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Which to Choose?

If you are having trouble choosing between Virgin Voyages and Celebrity cruises, then a good way to decide is to consider what type of vacation you are looking for.

Virgin Voyages has a unique way of cruising that offers an adult-only experience with an emphasis on music, health and wellness, and great food. There are unique entertainment options and amenities for adults, such as a topless area, tattoo parlors, PJ parties, and more, plus a spa and casino.

Never Sleep Alone event at The Manor The Manor

Celebrity, on the other hand, has a strong focus on upscale amenities and activities for all ages. Kids can join their programs and play sports, learn new skills, watch movies, or enjoy the ship’s pool and outdoor activities. Adults can relax in the spa, visit one of their many upscale restaurants and bars, or try their luck at the casino.

To be fair, both Celebrity and Virgin Voyages are award-winning cruise lines. However, there are distinct differences between the two. That’s why in this article, we will make an in-depth comparison of Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity so you can decide which one is best for you. We will discuss important factors such as cost, amenities, dining, entertainment, and more.

Scarlet Lady

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Virgin Voyages Overview

Virgin Voyages is a young cruise line with its first ship, the Scarlet Lady, taking sail in 2021. Since then, the cruise line has added three more ships and continues to expand its itinerary offerings.

With Richard Branson at the helm, the cruise line has taken an original approach to how to cruise, including reducing environmental impact, an adult-only atmosphere, and unique entertainment and dining options.

So far, the company has been recognized for its pioneering efforts, winning multiple awards such as 2023’s Cruise Critic’s Best Overall Cruise Line and Cruise Critic Best Cabins, Best Dining, and Best-Value-For-Money awards. Virgin Voyages is the first cruise line to win all five Cruise Critics awards in a calendar year.

Even though Virgin Voyages only has four ships, they still have voyages that sail in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand). The downfall of only having four ships is that their departure ports are limited. More than likely, this will change as the cruise line launches new ships and expands its itineraries in the future.

Virgin Voyages has a hip atmosphere with no kids running around, plenty of space to lounge and relax, and top notch restaurants.

A poke bowl and drink on a table at Sun Club Cafe. UK Photoshoot / Atlantis Shoot Dates: Sept 27-30, 2021 Usage: Full Buyout Goal: Food & Beverages Deliverables: Retouched images, gifs, and videos TEAM Photographer: Scott Grummett https://www.scottgrummett.com Agent: Terri Manduca Food Stylist / AD: Elisa Merlo CD: Christian Schrader Art Buyer / Producer: Kathy Boos

Plus, Virgin Voyages has gone away from buffets and charging extra for specialty restaurants. Instead, each ship has more than 20 dining options to choose from, and all food, basic drinks, and gratuities are included in your fare.

Even though Virgin Voyages seems like a cruise that younger adults would love, you will find older generations aboard as well. After all, if you are young at heart and love to experience something new and exciting, Virgin Voyage may be the perfect cruise line for you.

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Celebrity Overview

Since Celebrity has been around much longer than Virgin Voyages, it’s no surprise they have a large fleet. In total, there are 15 vessels, with some accommodating over 3,000 people and smaller ships that transport under 50 people.

You can probably guess by the name that Celebrity has a strong focus on luxury. While onboard, you can enjoy award-winning cuisine, impeccable customer service, a wide range of cabins, and activities for all ages.

Like on Norwegian cruise ships, Celebrity kids and teens can join a camp at sea, play games, swim in the pool, watch movies under the stars, and more. While the kids are playing, adults can gamble at the casino, enjoy adult shows, enjoy a cocktail at the lounge, or have a romantic dinner.

Passengers can enjoy entertainment and amenities while sailing through Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean.

Virgin Voyages offers voyages ranging from 4-14 nights, whereas Celebrity has cruises that last from 3 to 18 nights.

Since Celebrity has more ships at its disposal, they offer more departure ports than Virgin Voyages. This may be beneficial to families and couples who need more flexibility when planning their vacations.

The Beach Club at Bimini

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Cost

For many travelers, cost is a vital factor when planning a cruise vacation. However, the cost varies greatly depending on the cruise itinerary, the number of days at sea, the accommodations you choose, and the number of people in your party.

On average, guests on Celebrity cruises can expect to pay $200 a day per person for a basic cabin with no view. For a luxury suite, you can expect to pay $650 or more. Virgin Voyages isn’t much different, as you can find deals for $180 a day or pay $700+ for Mega Rockstar Suites.

It also depends on when you purchase your cruise package. Travelers who watch for deals can score discounts with either cruise line. You can also choose to work with a cruise travel agent who can get you the best possible price.

It’s important to note that gratuities are included with your Virgin Voyages fare. This is nice because you don’t need to budget for additional costs after you book your cruise. With Celebrity, gratuities are not included and range from $17 to $21 per person per day (subject to change). Depending on how long your voyage is, this can add up quickly.

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Food & Drink

Eating and drinking are a large part of any cruise vacation. When comparing Virgin Voyages and Celebrity, their approach to food is quite different.

Virgin Voyages has more of an all-inclusive style with all meals and basic drinks included in the fare. You can choose from more than 20 restaurants, ranging from casual to fine dining. Dishes onboard Virgin Voyages have been created by Michelin-starred chefs, and there are some unique offerings like a “test kitchen” and a vegan restaurant.

Dish presentation from Test Kitchen. UK Photoshoot / Atlantis Shoot Dates: Sept 27-30, 2021 Usage: Full Buyout Goal: Food & Beverages Deliverables: Retouched images, gifs, and videos TEAM Photographer: Scott Grummett https://www.scottgrummett.com Agent: Terri Manduca Food Stylist / AD: Elisa Merlo CD: Christian Schrader Art Buyer / Producer: Kathy Boos

Plus, soft drinks, tea, juices, water, and basic coffees are included in your fare on Virgin cruises. Even though alcohol isn’t included in your fare, drinks are fairly priced, with beers and basic cocktails ranging from $5-$10. In addition, there are champagne and wine-by-the-glass options that can be purchased for under $10. Passengers can also choose to buy a $300 bar tab prior to departure that gives a $50 credit bonus.

Celebrity has a different food and drink structure than Virgin Voyages. Travelers can choose to buy the basic fare package or Classic Drinks Package. If you choose the latter, then all non-alcoholic drinks, gratuities, and alcoholic drinks with a value up to $9 are included in the fare. If you choose to get a more expensive alcoholic drink, then you pay the difference.

Also, not all restaurants are included in your fare with Celebrity. Some of the specialty restaurants need to be paid for separately. However, it may be worth it as the cruise line was awarded Best Cruise Line for Food & Dining in 2022.

Virgin Voyages does give you the peace of mind that no matter how fancy the restaurant is, you don’t have to pay extra. With that said, it still may be worth it to try out some of the specialty restaurants with Celebrity.

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Entertainment & Activities

You won’t have a problem finding activities or entertainment while aboard either ship. Ocean cruises, in general, do a good job of keeping passengers busy. Since Celebrity cruise ships are typically bigger and allow children, they have a little more to offer in terms of activities.

For example, Celebrity’s biggest ship has five pools in total, with three being general access, one adults-only, and one exclusive. In addition, they have a kids camp, basketball, outdoor movies, bingo, entertainment space, pickleball, Broadway shows, game shows, and more.

On the other hand, Virgin Voyages only has one general access swimming pool. There is also a dipping pool that is towards the rear of the ship. Virgin Voyages entertainment is unique, with festival-like parties, PJ parties, piano bars, dance parties, and more. You will also find a tattoo parlor and a vinyl record store with a DJ on site, in addition to a casino and a nightclub.

Men playing a game at the Casino

For those who want to stay on top of their fitness goals, you will find an onboard gym on both ships. However, Virgin Voyages has a strong focus on wellness with a large gym, group classes, and a jogging track. When you are done working out on either ship, pamper yourself with a spa treatment.

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Typical Passengers

Being an adult-only cruise, Virgin Voyages isn’t for families with young kids. You will find solo travelers, couples, and adult groups ranging from ages 18 and up. In general, the average age group is from 30 to 50.

Redemption Spa

Since Celebrity has more ships, they have a variety of clientele on board, ranging from older families with young kids to couples and solo travelers. Even though there are kids on board, there are still plenty of adult-only areas.

Both cruise lines attract different types of cruisers, and it really depends on your preferences. If you are looking for a party setting or want to be surrounded by all adults, then Voyages may be the best choice. However, if you want an all-encompassing experience with kids’ activities, upscale amenities, and entertainment for all ages, then Celebrity may be better.

Fab Suite terrace

Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity: Final Verdict

At the end of the day, there is no clear winner between Virgin Voyages vs. Celebrity. Both are award-winning cruise lines that offer the chance to have an unforgettable vacation.

Celebrity has the advantage of more ships, ports of call, and activities for all ages. On the other hand, Virgin Voyages offers a unique atmosphere with an emphasis on adult fun.

Consider your budget and the type of vacation you want to have when deciding on a cruise line. Both offer plenty of entertainment, amenities, and restaurants, but the key is finding out which one meets your needs best.

If you aren’t sure if Virgin Voyages or Celebrity are right for you, we have other articles that may help, including Royal Caribbean vs. Celebrity, Virgin Voyages vs. Carnival, Norwegian vs. Carnival, Royal Caribbean vs. MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean vs. Celebrity, Royal Caribbean vs. Princess Cruises, Viking vs. Oceania, Why Are Disney Cruises So Expensive?, Norwegian vs. Princess, Carnival Cruise vs. Royal Caribbean, and 10 Best Honeymoon Cruises and Cruise Lines.

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