Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > River Cruising
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

River Cruising Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 19th, 2012, 12:40 PM
milling73 milling73 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Manito, IL
Posts: 76
Default Viking River Cruise - Payment Policy

We took our first river cruise with Viking in April 2012 - The Rhine Getaway. We were so totally impressed with Viking's efficiency, the tours, the ship, the complete package, that upon our return we immediately booked 2 more trips for 2013. And we are now looking at booking for 2014 The Imperial Jewels of China.

However, there is one aspect of Viking that we strongly do not agree with. And I know that Viking monitors these sites, as I've seen them respond -- so this is really an open letter to Viking Management, and maybe if enough of us agree with my issue -- they will respond with a change in policy.

Viking's booking policy is to place an initial deposit, plus insurance, which is reasonable. What is not resonable is that full payment is expected months / year in advance. (Right now for 2014 Jewels of China Full Payment is due by mid-February 2013.)
If I do book with another company, it will be because of their booking policy vs Vikings’. Yes, I know we can get (some) money back, etc..but that is a hassle. Bottom line -- we are giving Viking thousands of dollars, months to well over a year in advance of a trip -- basically deposited on faith that we will go, and that Viking will even still be in business.
I’ve been looking at other lines (Avalon for one). They offer very similar trips / prices. The biggest difference ---- final payment is due 90 days out. That seems so much more fair and reasonable to me.
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #2  
Old December 19th, 2012, 01:30 PM
nana541's Avatar
nana541 nana541 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 2,969
Cool

I too hope Viking is listening..... And that Viking should know they lost me as a cruiser.... I booked a Suite on Avalon for Sept 2013 Paris to Prague! I paid a deposit and also purchased Trip Insurance and do NOT pay the balance until June 2013 - 90 days prior to cruise departing.

So all I can say is that Viking lost a high-end income stream from this cruise passenger.... Not to mention cruises in the future. My plan is to book AMA for Amsterdam to Budapest next. AMA is also not requiring pmt in full months or a year in advance.

Sorry Viking, I love your common sense posts on CC but I will not be joining you on any of your trips due to your "Payment Policies"
__________________
Prior sailings on: Sitmar, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Regent Seven Seas, almost forgot A & K Yangtze River!
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old December 19th, 2012, 01:47 PM
Rxgrad98 Rxgrad98 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 170
Default

I agree!! We just returned from the Viking Sun and had to pay for that trip in full by 5/31/2011 for a sailing on 11/25/2012. It was our first trip with Viking and we enjoyed it tremendously; so much so, we booked a Passage to Eastern Europe sailing for March 2014. That final payment is due by 5/31/2013. They say it's to "lock in" price. I wish they would change their policy; other lines let you pay 70-90 days out, why can't they? I guess they need the money to finance their aggressive longship building program.
__________________


Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old December 19th, 2012, 02:47 PM
newfirsttimer's Avatar
newfirsttimer newfirsttimer is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Milton On Canada
Posts: 928
Default

That's the only reason I don't book with Viking, wanting full payment so far in advance.
__________________
Judy

Scenic Emerald-Paris to Barcelona Sept 2013
Freedom OTS-E. Caribbean March 2013
Scenic Emerald Amsterdam to Budapest Sept 2012
Emerald Princess-S. Caribbean Jan 2012
AMA Amalegro Prague to Paris Sept 2011
Oceania Insignia Venice -Barcelona -September 2010
Coral Princess Panama Canal FLL to LA Dec 2009
Emerald Princess Baltic Aug 2009
Caribbean Princess S. Caribbean B2B Nov 2008
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old December 19th, 2012, 02:56 PM
YoungDubFan's Avatar
YoungDubFan YoungDubFan is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 534
Default

Viking seems to be the only company that requires payment in full so early. They may claim it is to lock in the price, but other lines will allow you to lock in the price, once a deposit is made. The final price does not go up once booked. I actually put my $250 deposit down in Feb 2011 for a May 2012 trip with Avalon and I was able to lock in the 2011 price while doing so. I don't know why Viking has the policies that they do, but they have more ships than any other company, and obviously don't seem to have much trouble filling these. It would seem that as long as they can fill their ships, they can continue their business practices as they do. They don't mind losing customers to other companies because there seem to be plenty willing to accept Viking's terms. As many have said on many different lines, this is one of the reasons that I will never cruise with Viking.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old December 19th, 2012, 03:29 PM
nana541's Avatar
nana541 nana541 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 2,969
Smile

Well this is apparently a "Business Model" that works for them and they have plenty of Happy Cruisers! I just like to invest in more than one trip and that pmt upfront does NOT work with my "Business Model"
__________________
Prior sailings on: Sitmar, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Regent Seven Seas, almost forgot A & K Yangtze River!
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old December 19th, 2012, 08:54 PM
franski franski is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,329
Default

Actually, Uniworld has a somewhat similar process... if you want their "best" price.

You can get a discount for early booking and paying a deposit. But - the best price is if you will pay in full when booking. We did just that when we booked our cruise in Russia with Uniworld - as the price reduction was significantly more than what we would have made leaving our money in the bank and paying the balance 90 days out.

While I do agree that paying in full up front is not my first choice, I did exactly that for our Viking cruise next April. They had the itinerary, and the price that I wanted - so paying for the entire cruise at time of booking wasn't a big deal - when we ended up with the trip we wanted.

Fran

Last edited by franski; December 19th, 2012 at 08:55 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old December 19th, 2012, 10:33 PM
Cruise Junky's Avatar
Cruise Junky Cruise Junky is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 13,787
Default

Completely agree with you and they lost our booking because of it. We were on the fence between just booking a couple of cities by land or booking a river cruise...not only was the land trip under 1/2 the cost, the full payment deal was a complete deal breaker.
__________________
Coming next
Nov14...European Christmas markets. Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna
Dec 14...Christmas and New Years in Hawaii
April 15...Celebrity Silhouette - Caribbean
Oct 15...Celebrity Equinox. Spain & Portugal cruise

Hawaii - VCR Celebrity Solstice 2014/Paris Land Trip/Hawaii Land Trip X 2 - 2013/Grand Med. - Ruby Princess/South of France 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip - 2011/Panama Canal and Florida Keys - Coral Princess - 2011/Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - 2010/France 3 Week Land Trip - Burgundy/Loire/Normandy/French Riviera/Provence 2010/Mexican Riviera - Sapphire Princess 2009/Coastal - Sapphire Princess 2009/Alaska - Voyage of the Glaciers - Zuiderdam - 2009/Greek Islands cruise + Monaco and Paris by land - Grand Princess - 2008/Land Trip - Maui - 2008/3 Week Land - Paris to Rome - 2007/Hawaii - Pride of America - 2007/14 Day Caribbean - Sea Princess - 2006/Coastal - Dawn Princess - 2006/Barcelona to Venice - Millennium - 2005/UK & Ireland - Land Trip - 2004/AI Mexican Riviera -2003/Coastal - Island Princess - 2002/Maui - Land Trip x 2/Alaska - Dawn Princess - 2001/UK Land Trip x 3/11 Day Circle the Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas - 2000/Mexican Riviera - Rhapsody of the Seas - 1999/2 Week Land Bermuda - Girls Trip - 1997/Married - Maui - 1997
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old December 19th, 2012, 11:47 PM
id est's Avatar
id est id est is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 360
Default

We are trying not to book so far in advance. Acceptable term is not earlier than 3-4 months before the cruise. Thus we'll never have such problems.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old December 20th, 2012, 12:45 AM
franski franski is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,329
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aragon View Post
We are trying not to book so far in advance. Acceptable term is not earlier than 3-4 months before the cruise. Thus we'll never have such problems.
I do wish you luck with that... There is not always a lot of options that close to sailing time - but if you are really flexible with dates, cruise line and cabin category - then you might be able to find a good deal. You might have to look at booking air with the cruise line to get a good price (unless you have points...). We have found our best prices for air are often 7-10 months out.

Fran
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old December 20th, 2012, 10:03 AM
id est's Avatar
id est id est is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 360
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by franski View Post
We have found our best prices for air are often 7-10 months out.
Fran
Yes, I know. Thanks for good advice.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old December 20th, 2012, 10:06 AM
jacksonnh's Avatar
jacksonnh jacksonnh is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Holliston, Mass
Posts: 536
Default

I believe Vantage also has a sliding discount scale concerning payments. 10% if paid twelve months in advance decreasing as you approach the sailing date.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old December 20th, 2012, 01:52 PM
nordski nordski is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Orangeville Ontario
Posts: 987
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by franski View Post
I do wish you luck with that... There is not always a lot of options that close to sailing time - but if you are really flexible with dates, cruise line and cabin category - then you might be able to find a good deal. You might have to look at booking air with the cruise line to get a good price (unless you have points...). We have found our best prices for air are often 7-10 months out.

Fran
Interesting comment that best air prices are often 7-10 months out . We have kind of assumed that 3-5 was best, and indeed we had to wait for that time period for our upcoming cruise. The price dropped $300. pp.

Perhaps this recent example was an anomaly and we should adjust our thinking.

There is some suggestion that airlines are going to reduce the number of flights to Europe this year and that may exert pressure on prices and make timing even more important.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old December 20th, 2012, 04:00 PM
franski franski is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,329
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nordski View Post
Interesting comment that best air prices are often 7-10 months out . We have kind of assumed that 3-5 was best, and indeed we had to wait for that time period for our upcoming cruise. The price dropped $300. pp.

Perhaps this recent example was an anomaly and we should adjust our thinking.

There is some suggestion that airlines are going to reduce the number of flights to Europe this year and that may exert pressure on prices and make timing even more important.
We usually book our trips 9-12 months out (or more...) We booked our "Passage to Eastern Europe" cruise for April 2013 in mid-July - and then started watching for flights. Of course, open jaw is more expensive - and figured anything under $1000/pp into Bucharest and out of Budapest would be a great price. We booked for just under $800/pp - and were thrilled. The current price (just over 4 months out...) is over $900/pp - still not bad, however...

Same with our trip to Russia... We booked our air 9 months out - and managed to get into St. Petersburg and out of Moscow for under $1000/pp.

I have seen some great sales on cruises - but when I looked into air, the cost of travel eroded any cost savings associated with the cruise itself.

It can be time consuming to keep a close eye on the cost of flights - but it has usually worked out well for us.

Fran
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old January 24th, 2013, 08:47 PM
NT_Aussie's Avatar
NT_Aussie NT_Aussie is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 5
Default Not that far out for us

We are booked on a cruise this June - we booked it July last year and paid our deposit - our balance is not due for another couple of weeks , which is 4 months out. I had to pay our airfares then and there on the spot - so don't have a problem with paying Viking 4 months out. Seems reasonable as if we withdraw (oh so unlikely) then they have time to find a new passanger
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old January 24th, 2013, 11:09 PM
Cruise Junky's Avatar
Cruise Junky Cruise Junky is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 13,787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NT_Aussie View Post
We are booked on a cruise this June - we booked it July last year and paid our deposit - our balance is not due for another couple of weeks , which is 4 months out. I had to pay our airfares then and there on the spot - so don't have a problem with paying Viking 4 months out. Seems reasonable as if we withdraw (oh so unlikely) then they have time to find a new passanger
I wouldn't have had an issue with 4 months in advance. When we were looking the price went up quite a bit if the cruise wasn't paid in full within a few weeks of booking.
__________________
Coming next
Nov14...European Christmas markets. Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna
Dec 14...Christmas and New Years in Hawaii
April 15...Celebrity Silhouette - Caribbean
Oct 15...Celebrity Equinox. Spain & Portugal cruise

Hawaii - VCR Celebrity Solstice 2014/Paris Land Trip/Hawaii Land Trip X 2 - 2013/Grand Med. - Ruby Princess/South of France 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip - 2011/Panama Canal and Florida Keys - Coral Princess - 2011/Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - 2010/France 3 Week Land Trip - Burgundy/Loire/Normandy/French Riviera/Provence 2010/Mexican Riviera - Sapphire Princess 2009/Coastal - Sapphire Princess 2009/Alaska - Voyage of the Glaciers - Zuiderdam - 2009/Greek Islands cruise + Monaco and Paris by land - Grand Princess - 2008/Land Trip - Maui - 2008/3 Week Land - Paris to Rome - 2007/Hawaii - Pride of America - 2007/14 Day Caribbean - Sea Princess - 2006/Coastal - Dawn Princess - 2006/Barcelona to Venice - Millennium - 2005/UK & Ireland - Land Trip - 2004/AI Mexican Riviera -2003/Coastal - Island Princess - 2002/Maui - Land Trip x 2/Alaska - Dawn Princess - 2001/UK Land Trip x 3/11 Day Circle the Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas - 2000/Mexican Riviera - Rhapsody of the Seas - 1999/2 Week Land Bermuda - Girls Trip - 1997/Married - Maui - 1997
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old February 1st, 2013, 08:42 AM
TravelBugM's Avatar
TravelBugM TravelBugM is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mississauga, Canada
Posts: 270
Default

We booked Viking's Douro River cruise almost a year out and paid in full. When booking, there were certain categories already sold out and only a short time later the ship was completely sold out for our dates and many dates offered before and after our dates.

Supply and demand seems to play a big factor. Viking had the dates and length of cruise we wanted, so we paid and are now looking forward to our cruise.

Would the payment in full deter me from booking Viking in the future? Probably not if they were offering what I was looking for.
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old February 1st, 2013, 03:44 PM
MareT MareT is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Elmwood Park, NJ, USA
Posts: 220
Default Lamdur

You might want to use their custom air. It's $50 pp. We used them and were able to get non-stops to and from. Of course, we are fortunate to live close to a major airport. Research what flights you would want . . see if you can come up with something better and call their custom air. It may be worth the extra $50 pp.
__________________
11/1/2014 - Explorer of The Seas - 14 nights
11/8/2012 - Viking Helvetia - Rhine Getaway
11/6/2011 - Celebrity Silhouette - 12 Days Caribbean
8/2004 - NCL Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
8/2003 - Celebrity - 13 Days Mediteranean
8/1998 - RCCL - Grandeur of Seas
8/1993 - RCCL - Majesty of Seas
7/1979 - Home Lines - Oceanic
7/1976 - HAL - Rotterdam
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old February 1st, 2013, 09:31 PM
topcop's Avatar
topcop topcop is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 412
Default

This is a little off the subject but what does everyone think of the Viking Advertisements indicating 2 for the price of 1?

We cruised with Viking several years ago and it was fantastic. I mean it was the perfect vacation. The crew was wonderful, the food, the scenery, everything.

However, I am annoyed with advertisements that say "Two for the price of one" and show a figure of say $4,000, but that is "Per Person" So the cost for two is really $8,000.

I must get a card or brochure weekly from Viking with these so called special fares. It was so disappointing to call and find that the price shown was more like a bait and switch.
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 11:28 AM
delraydoll delraydoll is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Delray Beach, Florida
Posts: 146
Default Viking's Payment Policy

I've posted on this subject before. We're doing Viking for the first and last time in June, Berlin-Prague. The final payment date is negotiable, but you really have to "deal" with your travel agent and Viking. We booked the trip for May '13 in May '12, and they wanted full payment the end of that month. After negotiations, we didn't have to make final payment 'til Dec.

Uniworld and Avalon, at least, offer a deep discount if you pay in full up front, up to $2,000/couple!

Plus, with Viking, you might be charged foreign transaction fee depending on your credit card as the charge goes thru as Basel, CH (Switzerland). You'll be reimbursed the fee by your travel agent or Viking, but the fact that I hadn't been told about this in the first place is what annoyed the heck out of me.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:36 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.