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Types of On Board Credit (Sailor Loot & Bar Tab)

When it comes to onboard credit, Virgin Voyages deals in two types: Sailor Loot and Bar Tab. You’ll need to understand each credit type this guide will help you navigate them and make the most of your credit.

A shop with a number of Virgin Voyages branded items including hats and t-shirts
Sailor Loot can be spent on everything on board including merchandise © Photo by Virgin Voyages®

When it comes to on board credit, Virgin Voyages deals in two types: Sailor Loot and Bar Tab. Here’s a breakdown of each credit type and additional information to help you navigate and make the most of your credit:

On Board Credit Types:

  1. Sailor Loot:
    • Think of Sailor Loot as your ‘credit balance’ – you will likely start a voyage with some Sailor Loot as it’s a very popular perk when booking your cruise through a travel agent or direct with Virgin.
    • Sailor Loot can be used for any on board expenses, including services like spa treatments, drinks, treat yourself items, gambling in the casino, store purchases, spa treatments, doctors anppointments and even tattoos!
    • This credit provides flexibility, allowing you to use it for anything available on board except My Next Virgin Voyage.
    • When you have spent all of your Sailor Loot you will start running up a negative balance which will be settled before you disembark.
      • Virgin will take your negative balance from you automatically on the day you disembark if you have registered a credit card in the app or with Sailor Services.
      • If you’d prefer to settle up in cash you can do this at Sailor Services at any point before you disembark.

  2. Bar Tab:
    • The Bar Tab is specifically designated for purchasing drinks during your cruise.
    • It covers a wide range of beverage options, such as cold-pressed juices, cocktails, coffee, alcoholic beverages, bottomless brunch and Afternoon Tea.
    • You don’t need to tell the bar to use your Bar Tab – if possible the Bar Tab will be used up before you start dipping into your Sailor Loot.
    • Frustratingly, right now, it cannot be used for alcohol-related events like Grog Walk, Shot for Shot, Mix it Up etc.
Two colourful cocktail drinks against a brightly lit bar background
Speciality cocktails available on Virgin Voyages®© Photo by

Purchasing a Bar Tab

You can buy a Bar Tab of ahead of your voyage using the Virgin Voyages. As a reward for adding a Bar Tab Virgin will give you an added incentive depending on which Bar Tab you purchase.:

Tip: If you plan on spending more than one Bar Tab will allow, you can buy more than one! For each Bar Tab you buy you will receive the incentive along with it.

Use our exclusive Bar Tab Calculator to see how many Bar Tabs make sense for you and your voyage based on your level. A great way to break the ice at the PJ Party is to ask “so, how many Bar Tab’s did you buy?!”.

Linking a Bar Tab or Sailor Loot

When it comes to sharing purchases on board with Virgin Voyages, linking accounts together is an option. The Bar Tab and promotional Sailor Loot are automatically assigned to the first sailor on the booking or whoever is selected for purchased Bar Tabs. There are two ways to link your with anyone in the same cabin:

  • Pre-Sail: Before setting sail, you can link Bar Tabs in the Check-in section. Under Payment Method, select “footing the bill” for the sailor you want to share with. It’s important to note that this action will share all sailor loot and any purchases made by that sailor.
  • On Board: Alternatively, you can link Bar Tabs together while on board by speaking to Sailor Services. This can be especially useful if plans change or if you wish to adjust sharing preferences during the voyage.

Important Information:

  • The Bar Tab can only be purchased in advance via the Virgin Voyages app.
  • Multiple purchases of the Bar Tab are allowed, providing you with additional bonuses and credits.
  • Promotional offers, including Sailor Loot and Bar Tab, are frequently available from Virgin Voyages or your travel agent.
  • To view these offers, navigate to your account section and look for the “Add-Ons” section specific to your sailing.
  • Please note that the app may not always accurately list all available promotions and offers. It’s recommended to check the account section on the website for the most up-to-date information.

By understanding the different types of onboard credit available, such as Sailor Loot and Bar Tab, you can take advantage of these benefits during your Virgin Voyages cruise. Whether you opt for Sailor Loot to indulge in various onboard services or utilize the Bar Tab for refreshing drinks, these credits enhance your experience and allow you to make the most of your sailing adventure.

About the author

Co-Founder and Director. David has a background in web design and development and writes travel content, vacation guides and tips about Virgin Voyages.

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  1. Heidi Peeples says:

    What happens if you don’t use all of your bar tab? Is it refunded? Can it be used elsewhere? Or do you just loose it?

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Hi Heidi, Bar Tab and Sailor Loot are use it or lose it situations you won’t get a refund so make sure it’s spent up before the final morning 🙂

  2. Quanita Miller says:

    Will the Sailor Loot work at the Beach Club at Bimini and what the minimum to put in the Sailor Loot?

    1. Rob Sammons says:

      Yes it will as it uses the ships system. You don’t need to put any money into sailor loot as you can use your card

  3. Harrison Stell says:

    Can my wife and I share one bar tab? Ie we purchase one for $300 and share it?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Harrison, you can indeed just link together pre sail or on board, some more info: Bar Tab Guide

  4. Axelskater says:

    Can Sailor Loot be used to prebook a Shore Thing?

    1. VV Insider says:

      It unfortunately can’t, more info on booking excursions here.

    2. John Heath says:

      We are currently on Resilient Lady and when our Shore Things were rescheduled the refunds and purchases were processed via our Sailor Loot

  5. I am affected by the cancellation of Resilient Lady sailings with three of my five B2B sailings cancelled, of course i had sailor loot of $600 for each of the three cancelled sailings…is there any way to move it to the non cancelled ones and also as i was supposed to cruise from UK to Australia and will now be dumped in Athens is there an option to cancel either of the first two legs without penalty?

  6. Virginia Krafft says:

    I have $600 sailor loot already loaded into my add ons from a promotion from previous cruise. Next Cruise is 6 months away but an add on of spa package is offered to buy in add ons already Does this automatically get deducted from my sailor loot or does it get debited now from my credit card?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Virginia, Sailor Loot is only for use on board, it can not be used pre-sail for any packages.

  7. Neil says:

    How does spending work when you have both a bar tab and sailor loot? Do drinks automatically get charged on the bar tab and purchases automatically on sailor loot? Do you see the balance of both credit and purchases in de app?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Neil, Drinks will first get charged to your bar tab until that is complete, then it’ll move onto sailor loot and finally credit card/cash. The app will display how much bar tab is left in the wallet section.

  8. Ruth says:

    I see in my booking that I have $300 sailor loot. I’m confused between this and bar tab. Is this $300 is part of my booking and then I can use it to buy drinks like cold pressed juices and cocktails?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Ruth, Sailor Loot works for every purchase on board.

  9. Karen says:

    Now I’m confused. I thought you could leave the $250US holding fee in cash in Sailors loot instead of using a credit card which you would pay bank overseas fees on if it’s used? And would get it back when you dock

    1. VV Insider says:

      Hi Karen, this guide covers holding fees: click here.

  10. Kathy Laube says:

    I am sharing a room with a friend. Can we have separate accounts for drinks?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Yes by default accounts are already separated

  11. Jeff says:

    Can you take cash in Australian $’s and load up for casino? Or how does casino work?

    1. VV Insider says:

      You can take AUD and convert it to USD, from what we’ve heard the rates are pretty bad. We’d recommend you stock up on USD off the ship before hand or you can use your account directly.

  12. Debra Kennedy says:

    We are doing b2b from Uk-Perth 6 legs. Is our fill bar tab on our account from UK or is it loaded as we start the next leg of our journey?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Typically the bar tab is done by leg, however last year Virgin Voyages did extend across different legs which isn’t standard, it’s worth having a bar tab set up for each leg separately.

  13. Julie says:

    Can you pay for your drinks with cash?

    1. VV Insider says:

      You cannot pay cash in exchange for drinks at a bar or restaurant but you can add cash to your on-board spending account at sailor services, it will then be debited when you present your band or cabin number at venues.

  14. Julie says:

    Are you able to keep track of your bar tab spending while onboard?

    1. VV Insider says:

      Yes, you can see your available balance in the Virgin Voyages app at any time during your voyage.

  15. Terri says:

    My boyfriend drinks a lot more than me. We have seperate accounts. How are we suppose go half in sailor loot as i will use it for drinks or bingo. Can we split the sailor loot so he can have his half snd i have mine? He has the sailor loot on his add on and he has also bought extra 300 for drinks. We are coming onboard Saturday

    1. You can combine accounts or you can get sailor services to move any charges to each account

  16. Pam says:

    How many drinks are you allowed to drink for the Bar Tab 1 that cost $300?

  17. E says:

    It’s specifically says on the VV website that sailor loot cannot be used to purchase alcohol, but this article implies that it can.

    1. VV Insider says:

      Sailor Loot can absolutely be used on alcohol. Can you share the link to the conflicting information please so we can investigate?

      1. Tim says:

        My guess is they read where you can’t use Sailor Loot to buy “Bar Tab”.

  18. Steve says:

    We purchased the $300 bar tab which provides $350 credit for cocktails. That amount is more then enough for us. My question is what is the benefit of purchasing Sailor Loot? I can use my credit card on file with Virgin to cover all other on-board charges. Sailor Loot must be used in entirety any not spent is not refunded. If that’s the case then why would you risk loosing the funds/credit you didn’t use when you could simply use your credit card for all on-board purchases at the exact amount all of which are billed to your card at end of cruise.

    1. VV Insider says:

      Great question. Sailor Loot is promotional only – you’re not able to add Sailor Loot yourself, it’s simply made available by participating in an offer or deal with Virgin Voyages or your travel agent. This, in large part, is why it’s also non-refundable – because it was never real cash to start with.

  19. Peter Solas says:

    I know bar tab is use it or lose it, but do you get unused sailor loot refunded?

    1. david says:

      Sailor Loot is generally non refundable but if you end up with a credit at the end of your voyage for legitimate reasons (for example a cancelled ‘Shore Thing’ excursion or a win in the casino or bingo) you can ask sailor services for a refund to your card or a cash payout.

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