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.