Cheryl: On my computer.
Cheryl: Okay. So here we go. And good morning, everybody. Cheryl Echeverria here from Echeverria Travel. And today is Friday, July 10, 2020, and we are going to be talking with another travel partner. This morning, her name is Julia Glick and she is from the hottest sexiest, newest cruise line at sea, Virgin Voyages. I am so excited because I just love everything that Richard Branson does. I guess I grew up with him as a, besides Walt Disney himself. In addition, he passed away when I was a little girl, but entrepreneurs like Dr. Ivan Misner. Who’s a good friend of Richard, and Sir Richard Branson what he does, not only with his business but also what he does with the world and trying to make it a better place for all of us. Therefore, without further ado, I am going to introduce Julia Glick the Southeast BDM with Virgin Voyages. Good morning, Julia.
Julia: Hello. Good morning everyone. In addition, thank you so much, Cheryl, for having me Ahoy.
Cheryl: Ahoy. We are called first mates when we work with Virgin Voyages.
Julia: Yes. Yes. Cheryl is our first mate, our right-hand woman. We like to say aboard our ships, and we love working with you. The partnership is great with all of our first mates, so yes. Thank you so much for having me. In addition, this will be somewhat hot off the press presentation. I am going to go into our Voyage Well program, which is the safe sailing program that we have come out with and just is so proud. Therefore, I cannot wait to go over it with you.
Cheryl: Awesome. I want to know everything about keeping us safe, but I want my clients also to know what the difference is between Virgin and all the other cruise lines out there?
Julia: A lot. Therefore, Virgin Voyages, we are making an epic sea change for all. And what that means is we’re changing business for good from our sailors, our crew, our guests, our partners, like you, and we’ve made some bold decisions. So one, we are adults only, no kids, no kidding. We are 18 and over to sail 21 and over the book, and I know Cheryl, especially this time, many parents have become homeschooled teachers. So adults only, I get so many people saying, yes, yes, yes. I cannot wait for adults only cruise. Therefore, we are, and that is a huge differentiator of who Virgin Voyages is. Another is our dining. Therefore, our dining is not typical on the seas. We have over 20 eateries, all included and we have six full-blown specialty restaurants. In addition, those are fabulous restaurants. Actually. They were, the menus were curated by Michelin star chefs and we have no buffets. “No buffets” is actually, was a pillar of ours because we are a sustainable company and there is a lot of food-based from buffets. However, now in this post COVID world, the buffets are in line with the CDC requirements. Therefore, we do not have any buffets at all.
Cheryl: Yes. That is so awesome because I mean, I love the cruise, but I was never a big fan of buffets even at the local restaurants here, but I am glad that you guys are doing something so much different and including so much. This is because some of the competition out there nickel and dime everybody and you’re getting so much more with Virgin just by listening to your dining, what you’re getting included with them.
Julia: Yes. In addition, just so you know, it is worth, what has included at Virgin Voyages is a value of $600 per sailor. So all of your gratuities are included, which is fabulous. All of your fitness workout classes. We have classes on the hour, every hour, all of your basic beverages, such as water, soda, coffee, et cetera. In addition, all of the amazing eateries, all of the food is included in those specialty restaurants that I was speaking about that is all included. So yes, $600 value per person. In addition, we know, especially when you sail, you do not want to worry about, oh, and do I have my Wi-Fi? Do I have my gratuities? You do not have to worry at all. That is all included.
Cheryl: Awesome. Awesome. I just want to make sure that we are working okay. Still only, see your Ahoy up there. I just want to make great. They did not move any of your slides.
Julia: No worries. Let me see if I have my first one-off. Here is a quick background of me.
Cheryl: Oh there you go. Okay.
Julia: Perfect. No problem. Therefore, my name is Julia Glick. Cheryl works with me. She is an amazing person. My last trip was in 2019 to Norway, to chase the Northern lights, but my next trip will be on Scarlet Lady for October 16. In addition, have you been reading any good books? Cheryl, this was I am reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle right now. Any recommendations on your end?
Cheryl: Well, I am always a big Hemingway fan and I am always trying to catch up with, my favorite, The Old Man and The Sea. I love going back and reading that. Therefore, that is what I am reading right now.
Julia: Oh, that is a great one. That is a classic. Love it. So updates on Virgin Voyages. So after much discussion and deliberation for the safety of our guests, sailors, and crew. We have decided to cancel all of our sailings up until October 16, which will be our soft launch. We have also rescheduled Richard’s birthday bash for July 14, 2021. Therefore, I like to say he’s Benjamin Button. He is celebrating his 70th birthday yet again. And…
Cheryl: He gets younger with age. He does not show his age at all.
Julia: No, no. He is amazing, I am so proud to work for such a great company and making this epic sea change altogether. Then I know we wanted to chat about our Voyage Well, so I made this presentation to go over it, and really, it is so important. Especially during this time, we want all of the sailors to feel safe, to come on-board. In addition, we want everyone to have a sense of confidence when your guests come on-board. So we are putting together procedures based on the most reliable guidelines out there and we call it Voyage Well. Therefore, we are going beyond just looking out for the wellbeing of our crew and sailors. We are striving to be the best in class, aboard. Therefore, we will share more details of our safe sailing plan as it comes out. However, right now we have established our Voyage Well expert advisory group. Before I go into that, this is something Cheryl that you and I were kind of talking about at the beginning that we already have a great star of Scarlett Lady. Therefore, Scarlet Lady is our first ship she is already out actually, and she will be sailing five and four nights out of Miami. In addition, the way we designed Virgin Voyages was very forward-thinking.
Therefore, we are the youngest and most modern fleet. We have no buffet or self-service food venues, 86% of our cabins have a sea terrace. We have no main dining room. Instead, we have six fabulous restaurants and we have contactless tax. Therefore, you wear a band, which is something that I will go into. In addition, we have our sailor pp that offers virtual queues. So especially when you cruise in the atrium, you always see lines for the customer service area. Here we have virtual queues and chats. Therefore, you do not have to wait in any lines with physical distancing.
Cheryl: That is awesome.
Julia: Yes. It is amazing. We also have a contactless room service called Ship eats and it is fabulous. They hang your food when you order and you do not have to, it is kind of, as Uber eats at seas that are what I would call it. Then we have touchless faucets also in all of our public areas. So this is already who we are and it was a great base to get in line with CDC guidelines. However, of course, like I said, as Virgin Voyages, we are going above and we have made many procedures going forward. Therefore, what we have is we have collaborated with our expert advisory group and this team is composed of our partners that you see here. AtmosAir, Ecolab, Vickand, global public health services, and close collaboration with the CDC. So our goals really are we’re, of course, going to keep you updated with our progress both by updating the given information above and letting you know through emails. So, Cheryl, I will be sending you the same email and then you can always send it to your sailors. We have a lot of PDFs, a lot of information because we know as technology and science improve; our capabilities will improve as well.
So what is Voyage Well? We have three components to it. It is before you set sail, it is onboard and post-cruise. Therefore, before you set sail, of course, we have our expert advisory group. We will be doing additional infrequent pre-boarding health checks and screenings. We also will have thermal camera technology set up for guests and crew. In addition, the great thing about this is we have it in non-intrusive areas where it’s high footfall, such as restaurants and our atrium. In addition, this is to not affect your cruising experience. In addition, we have fair and flexible booking policies as well, which is fabulous, especially during this time
In addition, keeping it distant. I know we have all heard physical distancing. So on the ship; we will be managing personal space by significantly reducing our overall ship capacity for the startup sailing period. We will also have additional measures, to include limiting large groups at our events through virtual ticketing and keeping empty seats between one another. Also leaving tables, empty between groups at each eatery. Then we will be leveraging our contactless experience. In addition, this is what I was speaking about before, and it has called our band and it is amazing. You actually will get this mailed to you 45 days before cruising, and it is no touch payments. Therefore, you pay for anything around a ship. You do not have to touch your credit card or sign anything it is used for embarkation and disembarkation. Provide services for your app, for example, our shake for champagne. You can on the app on our ship, we have “shake for champagne” and we will bring a bottle of champagne to you. In addition, this is also…
Julia: Yes, we are so proud of it. It is a very fun app and we get a lot of fun feedback from sailors. This will also be your VIP access for suite guests. So all suite guests get Richard’s rooftop, which is our suite exclusive lounge. It is fabulous. In addition, this band is used for gaming access at the casino and of course, access to your cabin and suites. Then this is one of the biggest investments that Virgin Voyages has done and we have taken a step further. Therefore, we have installed the latest technology developed by AtmosAir Solutions. It is an air purification system that disinfects air onboard. It leverages bipolar ionization technology. So this air filtration system has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses. It is the first of its kind in the cruise industry. Of course, in addition, the ratio of our entire beautiful sea terrace is 86%. Therefore, we have a lot of balconies for that salt-infused, fresh air.
Julia: And highlighting. Yes. A fun fact. We have hammocks, red hammocks on every single balcony. Therefore, during the Caribbean, you can lay there and feel the Atlantic Ocean breeze. It is fabulous.
Cheryl: I have seen the photos and little videos here and there that. I think that is very awesome because when you are in the Caribbean or whether you are just sailing in the ocean and you just want to have that full Caribbean feeling, you just lie back in the hammock and they are big enough for two people. Therefore, you and your loved one could just sit there and just rock back and forth. It is good to sleep in too. Therefore, it is a good sleeping option.
Julia: Yes. Yes. It is amazing. In addition, we also have, in case, you want a table and shares, and we have that too. Therefore, there will also be two chairs and a table for you, but everyone loves the hammock. It is just so comfortable to lie on. I agree. Then of course I am highlighting this again, is that we do not have any buffets. In addition, frankly, it was because of our sustainability. In addition, we want you, our sailors to have an amazing food experience. Therefore, all of the food is made to order and that is why we have no buffets
Then the clean scene. Therefore, what we will be doing before and on, we will be adopting the use of advanced cleaning tools like fogging and UV technology. Therefore, this is the same ultraviolet irradiation method used in hospitals and labs. Every single piece of luggage and delivery to the ship is fogged down. All of the cabins will be fogged before sailor stepping on-board. In addition, in the case, you do want to change your cabin. That will be fog during the voyage as well. Therefore, we will also be incorporating the latest hygiene initiatives specifically for COVID-19. We will be saying sanitizing dispensers in every public space, touchless increased hygiene, signage, and leveraging hospital grade EPA registered disinfectants from Ecolab. Then we are since Ecolab is one of our partners as well. We are identifying specific high touchpoints across cabins, public spaces, restaurants, and recreational areas that will be disinfected frequently. Therefore, this means that you do not have to worry about touching a door handle or an elevator button when you are sailing aboard us. [Crosstalk 15:20]
Cheryl: I am going to interrupt you one second, Julia, because some of our listeners here may never have taken a cruise before. In addition, I am just going to say straight across the cruise line industry. In addition, I have been cruising since God knows I have been on at least 40 cruises since I was little. In addition, I have to say, they are clean. It is like any other place you go through. However, these steps are putting into because of the pandemic, because of what has been going on. That they are doing double duty with all these cruise lines or all-inclusive resorts, wherever you’re planning on going is that they are making the extra efforts to make sure that nobody gets sick. In addition, we have to make sure as a client that we are not sick when we are coming on board as well. Therefore, it goes both ways. I am sorry to interrupt you. Go ahead, Julia.
Julia: No, no, I could not agree more. You know, I have sailed, I have not done 40 sailings. That is much more than I have done. Probably about 10 so far. In addition, I agree. It has, I mean, cruising is just I miss it so much. I have to say it is just my member. My first cruise was just so magical. Yes. In addition, and they do, I remember they pretty much clean almost three times a day in your cabin. Therefore, it is just it is amazing. Moreover, I have this ending, I have this video and I hope it kind of sums up everything that I spoke about in a digestible manner. Moreover, I just want to make sure the sound works. So hold on one second.
Julia: With technology, it is always a little; it is a little bit difficult. Okay.
Cheryl: Do not worry about it. We have had technical difficulties in the past. I will ask you for it and we will just put it in the end. Therefore, my clients know that sometimes, especially with Zoom things do not work a hundred percent. Therefore, that is why I am a fun business. If things that they say happened for a reason. So we will, we will pray that it works.
Julia: Okay. Let us rock and roll here. It goes. That is it. I went over my, our whole Voyage Well program. I hope you would join it and feel free. I am sure that some of your guests are going to have questions. Therefore, I am here.
Cheryl: Well, let us, let us talk about the itineraries that Virgin is going to be doing, especially Bimini.
Julia: Yes. Yes. Therefore, Bimini is our private exclusive beach club when we are there, it is only for Virgin sailors and it is fantastic. Therefore, is Bimini beach club is exclusive and it is on our entire itinerary. Therefore, we do four and five night’s sailings or four-night calls to Key West and also Bimini. In addition, the beautiful thing about our itineraries is when we were founded six years ago and we did a lot of research. All the sailors said they wanted later stays. Therefore, you will notice our departure times are much later than other cruise lines. For example, our Bimini beach club, we depart at 10:00 PM. Therefore, you get to enjoy it there. Oh, it is beautiful. It is kind of like Ibiza, Mykonos inspired. Amazing.
Cheryl: And I like also have Virgin do their pricing as per couple in the room and not just per person. I mean, you do get the breakdown, but the way it is priced is the price per couple, in each stay room.
Julia: Yes. Yes. We have called it. We like to say we do not nickel and dime. Meaning what you see is what you get. In addition, we are very proud of that. Then another fun fact is we also have 46 solo rooms and these sell out so fast because these solo rooms have no single supplement.
Cheryl: This is very good. If people do not understand that, a single supplement if you are cruising and going anywhere. In addition, it is going to tour something; you usually pay almost double or triple, just for a single person traveling. Moreover, Virgin Voyages has a single, if you are traveling as a single you are more than welcoming, you are only paying for that person in the room. You are not paying for a person and a half or two people in the room. So what about you, your wheelchair accessible rooms? How many do you have on the ships?
Julia: Pardon, what was that?
Cheryl: Your wheelchair accessible rooms?
Julia: I believe we have, I have to verify, I believe we have say 10 to 15. I have to double-check though on that.
Cheryl: That is average per, per cruise line.
Julia: Yes. Yes. I think I am pretty sure it maybe 12. I know it’s between 10 and 15
Cheryl: I do work with people with special needs disabilities veterans. Therefore, we work with the gambit of people, including me who am disabled. Therefore, we want to make sure that everybody that wants to cruise on Virgin Voyages can. Moreover, I know some people that are currently working partnership with Virgin have ever said that they are a great partner to work with and they are very open-minded about things. Therefore, I am glad to hear about that.
Julia: Absolutely. Yes. We are fully ADA compliant.
Cheryl: What I want to talk about this, the special, the rock star suites, and especially the dancing on the table.
Julia: Yes, yes.
Cheryl: Yes. They are a special suite called RA. What are they? Rock star rooms?
Julia: I can show you, let me bring up my other presentation. I will show you the massive suite. It is amazing. Hold on one second.
Cheryl: And that dancing on the table comes from actually, Sir Richard Branson and there are some stories when he was younger. That he’s mentioned that he’s, you know, he gets happy, gets up on the table, and dances on the table and he wants everybody to have the freedom to do that as well. So I, I…
Julia: Can you see the screen that I am sharing?
Cheryl: I can see the screen. Yes.
Julia: Yes. So here, yes. This is the massive suite. This is an amazing suite, and I will also show you the perks. Therefore, our mega rock star perks are amazing. This is super inclusive. So you have a bottomless in-room bar, you get a private transfer up to 50-mile radius, daily spa access, premium Wi-Fi. Moreover, this is a massive suite. Moreover, when we say massive, we need massive. It is over 2100 square feet, full bar vinyl record. One hundred percent clear marble. Moreover, here is the table you are talking about Cheryl. So this is where it looks like steps because there have been times when Branson likes to dance on tables. Therefore, this is an homage to him.
Cheryl: I am going to say that, you know, like with everything, when I am qualifying my guests for the type of service they are looking for. I am going to say Virgin Voyages is for everybody. However, you got to have that little hipster in you because if you are not, you are not going to enjoy this trip. You have to have, I guess, a little bit of a relaxed background. And if you wanted this to have fun adult fun, but not go, you can go as crazy as you want, but also have that little bit of mature background as well. I think Richard designed Virgin as himself in a ship. I am going to just say that. I mean, he is a little, he’s, you know, the British are very different from people here in the US they are very, you know, they, they, they go out there and they try everything. They do everything and relax and they have fun. Therefore, Richard took everything about him and just put it into this ship. And I’m just so excited about going because my husband and I, I am in my fifties, my husband’s going to be 70. Moreover, you know, we just cannot wait. We just cannot wait to try her out.
Julia: No, and I could not agree more. I like to say Virgin Voyages is simply for the young at heart. Bring out your inner child and come on a board and you are going to have an amazing time. Moreover, yes, it is laid back, but we also have amazing, amazing restaurants like The Wake, which is our steak and seafood restaurant. There is something for everyone, aboard Virgin Voyages. It is really…
Cheryl: Wellness as well with all the yoga and the back of the shift that has that big yoga area. And…
Julia: Yes. Yes.
Cheryl: I have so many people that like doing, yoga and health and fitness, but they could also have that little extra sweets and stuff and not have to worry so much.
Julia: I could not agree more. Yes. Wellness is a huge part of a full Virgin Voyages is because we believe there is a balance in life. In addition, we completely understand that we want you to have a rejuvenating experience. So yes, we do. Sunrise, sunset yoga and they are at the perch. What you were speaking about in the back and just breathtaking. I know, especially during this time I have been doing yoga almost every morning.
Cheryl: I have to go back; [inaudible 27:19] get out there walking so I could fit into a new, sexy bathing suit.
Julia: I know we have to get our post-quarantine bodies ready.
Cheryl: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Therefore, Julia, I have a question. In addition, I have been on the first mate’s website. Are there any specials coming up that I can offer my clients? Or is it the price, I mean, like I said, you’ve mentioned it, I’ve mentioned it, everything, almost everything is included in your trip, but is there anything special coming up that we should know to let my clients know to get on board? Any special attributes.
Julia: Yes. Therefore, we made some voyage fare adjustments, a lot of our fares have now been lowered temporarily up to 30% off, and you will see it on our website. Therefore, it is an amazing, amazing value. In addition, we did this, we call it fair and flexible because we know this year got off to a rough start and we are committed to providing an amazing experience. Therefore, we want to be sure that exceptional value remains and we want sailors to people to have the opportunity to voyage with us. So yes, 30% off our voyage fares. [Inaudible 28:42] Great value.
Cheryl: And when is the, I know they are in the production of the next ship, which is going to be sailing the Mediterranean. Do we have any news on the new ship?
Julia: Yes. Therefore, Valiant Lady did her float out and it was so amazing to see a few weeks ago in Genoa. So Valiant Lady is slated for summer 2021, and she will be a sister twinship to Scarlet lady. In addition, she will be sailing out of Barcelona, and we are so lucky. We have a Sunday turn there, which is great for flying. Therefore, if you want to fly out, enjoy the weekend in Barcelona, you have an entire weekend. So we expect her to be up at, she’s open for sale and people are already booking for 2021 for the Barcelona itineraries you can do back to back sailings.
Cheryl: I will be posting it because as we know, July is Christmas in July and I am posting sales every day. Moreover, I am to be posting about Virgin. Do we have any0 on YouTube, is there any new sale outs or anything on both ships that I could post? This is because I know when corona came out. All, all the cruises were canceled, but are there any updated videos that I could share with my clients to show, not just the renderings, but the actual videos of the ship.
Julia: We do not have any videos, but I can show you in firstmates.com, we have our updated image library and has all real photos now of all of the suites, all of them.
Cheryl: Yes. I have been playing around with the website. Therefore, I have seen it. I was just wondering since I add you on here, any new YouTube stuff out there yet.
Julia: Not yet. No. I wish nothing new yet.
Cheryl: Okay. Also of course, Virgin Voyages does groups. You do circles.
Julia: We do. Yes. We have a lot of groups, for example, 50th birthday singles groups. It’s a lot of milestone like anniversaries and with the groups, it’s 10 cabins or more,
Cheryl: This is great.
Cheryl: Awesome. Therefore, I want to thank you so much, Julia, for coming on today and in the future. I do remember people, I do virtual nights and I will have Julia on talking about everything. Virgin Voyages, especially when the new ship is out also for the Mediterranean. Julia, thank you again for coming to the Echevarria later on this afternoon. In addition, I will let my clients know that if I need anything or you need anything, I reach out to Julia. Julia works with me and she works in conjunction with my clients and me. Therefore, anything that Virgin can do, I will reach out to them to reach me. Remember Echevarria Travel Services, all United States from Washington State, all the way down into Florida, from New York to California and everywhere in between.
We love our veterans, people with disabilities, all clients, and to reach us is (407) 910-6469, reservations at Echevarriatravel.com. All of this information will be in the comment area of both podcasts and YouTube videos. Please subscribe and share with your friends and family and post on your Facebook pages. We love you following us and commenting, and we look forward to seeing you next Friday, where I will have a Patricia Murphy from Smarty Pants marketing here in central Florida. Therefore, if you are looking to need help with social media, especially, Virgin Voyages, if you guys need some extra help with any social media, she is the best and she will be on my show next Friday. So come on and hang out and have a great Friday with Talk Travel with Cheryl, have a great day, everybody. Thank you. And God bless.