Athens is the third home port for Virgin Voyages, with the Resilient Lady sailing out of Piraeus starting with her maiden voyage in April 2023. I sailed on the Greek Glow itinerary in August 2023. Below is my experience with embarkation.
The port of Piraeus is located southwest of downtown Athens. Piraeus is a huge port not only for cruise ships but also for ferries going to the various Greek islands. During my visit, there were at least five other cruise ships in port and dozens of ferries of various sizes.
Virgin Voyages, as of Summer 2023, uses Cruise Terminal C. Terminal C is remote. I would highly recommend taking a taxi to your ship if you are coming in from Athens. I took a taxi from Gazi (a neighborhood in Central Athens) using FREE NOW and it cost me a total of €13.90. Definitely worth the price.
There is a Metro station in Piraeus but it is a 30+ minute walk from Terminal C. This is not a place to save money especially with luggage on a hot Athen’s day. Just take the taxi.
If you are coming all the way from the airport, you could take the Metro in and then a taxi from a Metro station to save some money.
The embarkation process in Athens is completely different than in Miami. Virgin Voyages uses a shared terminal (Terminal C). It is not a modern or luxurious terminal.
When you arrive, there is plenty of space for the taxi to drop you off. You will see the ship and tent where you will check in.
There are plenty of staff in Virgin shirts willing to take your luggage (or just carry it on).
Head into the tent. If you have Deep Blue Extras, are in a Suite, or have a Splash of Romance package, you will have priority boarding. Tell the person at the front door and they will direct you where to sit. If you have this priority boarding, it doesn’t matter what time your app said to check in. You get to board during the priority (first) boarding.
Have a seat in the tent and wait to be called. Virgin Voyages did offer cold towels and water while waiting in the warm tent. I arrived around 1:15 and only had to wait about 15 minutes for priority boarding to start.
While sitting in the tent, see if you can get on the ship wifi. I was able to and began booking my shows while waiting.
Once your group is called, you will walk next door to the actual terminal building (the structure on the left below) to go through check in and security.
Once you do that, you can head on board the ship. I was on board by about 1:45 and while not as glamorous as Miami, was probably a bit faster since it is a smaller facility.
Remember to get to your stateroom and get on the wifi as soon as possible to start booking your shows, fitness classes, or other classes that are only bookable from the ship wifi.