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  #1  
Old October 17th, 2013, 07:54 PM
remydiva's Avatar
remydiva remydiva is offline
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Default Are you kidding me Viking?!

2015/2016 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
2-FOR-1 CRUISES—OFFER EXPIRES OCTOBER 31, 2013

This was the heading of todays email from Viking that included the teaser of "$2000 per couple off airfare!"

I am NOT paying in full for a cruise that is 3 yrs off just to help Tor build another ship,

Just my two cents worth so pardon my venting...
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  #2  
Old October 17th, 2013, 09:19 PM
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Hydrokitty Hydrokitty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remydiva View Post
2015/2016 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
2-FOR-1 CRUISES—OFFER EXPIRES OCTOBER 31, 2013

This was the heading of todays email from Viking that included the teaser of "$2000 per couple off airfare!"

I am NOT paying in full for a cruise that is 3 yrs off just to help Tor build another ship,

Just my two cents worth so pardon my venting...
I don't blame you for venting. First, I would NEVER pay in full for a cruise that was three years off....too many things can happen in that time. Company I use for cruising suggests that I pay in full at booking or soon after IF I want to get their "$1000 savings"j offer. Problem is I get more interest on my money in that time period than $1000 so I don't pay until the last minute....and I still get the "two for one" price, which is really totally subjective. The company sets the brochure price for your trip at say $8000 per person, then cuts it to 50% off special price....voila $8000 per couple, which is what the trip is worth in the first place.
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Sailed:
Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Cruises, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, 2010
Alaska, Holland America, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, 2011
Russia and Ukraine, Vantage, 2012
Panama Canal, Celebrity Infinity, 2013
Columbia and Snake Rivers, American Cruise, 2013
Gateway to the Black Sea, Vantage, 2014

Other:
England
Italy
France
Monaco
Greece
Turkey
Iceland

Not yet Sailed:
Trans Canada Rail Odyssey ,Vantage, June 2015
Switzerland Rhine & Mozelle, Vantage, August 2015
Elbe: Berlin to Prague

Bucket List:
China and Yangtze River Cruise
Australia and New Zealand
South Africa, Odyssey
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  #3  
Old October 17th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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The FTC started enforcing a rule against department stores that requires them to have sold an item at the so-called "original price" before they can claim reductions. Apparently this doesn't apply to cruise lines (not just Viking). Maybe it works for people booking their first cruise, but once you get on all the mailing lists you realize that the lines that offer 2-for-1 do it ALL the time.
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  #4  
Old October 17th, 2013, 11:20 PM
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nana541 nana541 is online now
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Welcome to Viking world!!!! Pretty unbelievable huh :0
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  #5  
Old October 17th, 2013, 11:21 PM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrokitty View Post
Problem is I get more interest on my money in that time period than $1000 so I don't pay until the last minute.....
Wow... I really need to look for a different financial institution.

Although paying that far out isn't my first choice, if I can get the trip I want, for the date(s) I want - at a price that is reasonable - I will book because I know the interest I would make on the price of the cruise is really insignificant.

Even if you have paid in full, Viking still has a cancellation policy. If I have to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances, I will get most of my money back (depending on how soon to sailing you cancel...) and always have travel insurance to help out if I need to cancel last minute.

I am looking for Viking to put out all of the their 2015 itineraries - as I want to travel on the Elbe --> and options are limited. So, yes, I will pay in full - and am prepared to do so to get the cruise I want.

Fran
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  #6  
Old October 18th, 2013, 09:47 AM
Talisker92 Talisker92 is offline
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Fran,
If you want to cruise the Elbe, go with Vantage. They require final payment 3 months prior to sailing.
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  #7  
Old October 18th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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oysterdam oysterdam is offline
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Default return to the old days

Demand for river cruises is so strong that cruise lines (Viking) can ask for full payment far in advance and still get it.

This is how cruise payment used to be handled for some lines twenty years ago. High demand, not enough berths, sellers market, seller controls the terms.

Quite a contrast from ocean cruises where cabins are often available on most itineraries a few weeks before departure.
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  #8  
Old October 18th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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jacksonnh jacksonnh is offline
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As with many items, demand drives the price.
Another issue that keeps appearing on CC is ships berthing together in port. With all the new ships being built and lack of new dock space, this will become common practice.
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  #9  
Old October 18th, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talisker92 View Post
Fran,
If you want to cruise the Elbe, go with Vantage. They require final payment 3 months prior to sailing.
I agree....I'm always a little suspicious of paying in full for something such a long time before I actually get it.....Viking is a huge company that keeps expanding it's fleet....with so much competition out there I have to wonder are they using money paid for tomorrow's cruise to pay today's bills? I already booked Vantage China for 2015 and it will be held with my deposit until 3 months before sailing. True trip insurance will cover your cancelled trip, but you will lose your deposit and the cost of the insurance and if the company goes belly-up depending on who you insured with, your trip insurance could be useless.
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Sailed:
Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Cruises, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, 2010
Alaska, Holland America, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, 2011
Russia and Ukraine, Vantage, 2012
Panama Canal, Celebrity Infinity, 2013
Columbia and Snake Rivers, American Cruise, 2013
Gateway to the Black Sea, Vantage, 2014

Other:
England
Italy
France
Monaco
Greece
Turkey
Iceland

Not yet Sailed:
Trans Canada Rail Odyssey ,Vantage, June 2015
Switzerland Rhine & Mozelle, Vantage, August 2015
Elbe: Berlin to Prague

Bucket List:
China and Yangtze River Cruise
Australia and New Zealand
South Africa, Odyssey
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  #10  
Old October 18th, 2013, 01:25 PM
milling73 milling73 is offline
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I agree that Viking's pre-pay policy is a major drawback, and one that I've complained about on this site, as well as to them. Yes, their refund policy and trip insurance covers customers, but getting that is a hassle as well. It would be much simpler and fairer to pay a deposit, and the balance 90 days out as nearly every other company requires. The age group of river cruise customers do not book / cancel on a whim.

However that being said, on the trips we have sailed with them, we have found the trip and service to be outstanding and well worth the cost. Their airfare in particular has been a good deal. I've monitored prices closely using every site I can think of, and never found as low of fares as they given us, and with the connections and times I wanted. The included transfers are an extra bonus as well.

I've also compared Viking prices to Avalon, AMA, Uniworld, and unless I'm pricing the other companies wrong, or they have better rates than posted; Viking has been significantly lower in price, which honestly was why we booked our first trip with them.

I do think that to keep customers in a growing market, if Viking isn't going to change their payment policy, then they need to increase the benefit tiers of their loyalty program.
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  #11  
Old October 18th, 2013, 01:26 PM
ingo_e ingo_e is offline
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Quote:
If you want to cruise the Elbe, go with Vantage. They require final payment 3 months prior to sailing.
Vantage does not cruise the Elbe river. The only companies cruising the Elbe would be Viking and Grand Circle. GCT only allows bookings from the US (btw I think so does Vantage?), so this really narrows it down.
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  #12  
Old October 18th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksonnh View Post
As with many items, demand drives the price.
Interesting though demand drives the price for Americans/Aussies only. For Europeans pretty much the same cruise is times cheaper and demand is very low.
http://www.kreuzfahrten.de/Termin/2013-12-20-354563.html?&la=en
Only 449 euro for a 1 week pp.
So I am really expecting the prices go down as soon as more european companies switch no North American market
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2012 -- Viking Primadonna 'Passage to Eastern Europe'
2013 -- Viking Odin 'Tulips & Windmills'
2013 -- Viking Lomonosov 'Footsteps of the Cossacks'
2013 -- Viking Spirit 'Paris & the Heart of Normandy'
2014 -- Viking Schumann 'Elegant Elbe'
2014 -- AMA Waterways
------- Next Up -----
2014 -- Viking Hemming 'Portugal's River of Gold'
------- Email me here: id.est@zoho.com

Last edited by id est; October 18th, 2013 at 02:23 PM.
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  #13  
Old October 18th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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squarevanman squarevanman is offline
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I must agree about demand over this side of the pond. I get an e mail once a month from Croisieurope. Often offering 2 for 1 deals on cruises departing within a month. These are genuine discounts from their advertised and sold prices.
Also I usually book river cruises via a tour operator who requires a £250 deposit and the balance 8-12 weeks before departure.
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  #14  
Old October 18th, 2013, 02:59 PM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ingo_e View Post
Vantage does not cruise the Elbe river. The only companies cruising the Elbe would be Viking and Grand Circle. GCT only allows bookings from the US (btw I think so does Vantage?), so this really narrows it down.
This does narrow it down.

Although we are not far from the US border, I will not book any trip that only caters to US clientele. I doubt that any customer service issues would be addressed the same as they would be if they had a Canadian office or representative.

In Ontario, we have TICO coverage through our TA. TICO is the Travel Industry Council of Ontario - and it provides coverage for things such as bankruptcy etc. It is not available on GCT or Vantage, and the office our TA works out of will not let their agents book anything TICO will not cover.

If we were stranded outside of Canada due to a company bankruptcy, and we had booked with a TA on a trip with TICO coverage - we would have someone working to help get us home. If we booked on our own, we would be out of luck. As far as travel insurance goes, we purchase an annual policy - with a very large company that is very financially stable - so am not concerned about losing my deposit.

Unless I can find a bank that pays interest similar to what Hydrokitty mentions, I will pay up front to get what I want.

When I pointed out the pay-within-30-days booking policy to a friend, she said she really didn't mind - as she would know that the trip was paid for, and didn't have to worry about things such as job changes, product increases etc. And, her bank pays the same low interest rates mine does, so the loss of interest isn't huge. Just another way to view the same situation.

Fran

Last edited by franski; October 18th, 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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  #15  
Old October 18th, 2013, 03:03 PM
franski franski is offline
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duplicate post - although I really just tried to edit...

not sure why

Last edited by franski; October 18th, 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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  #16  
Old October 18th, 2013, 03:30 PM
beverlyjack beverlyjack is offline
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Don't fall for Viking's pricing/payment scams. Grand Circle is and has been Conde Naste Traveler magazine's top rated river cruise line in their readers surveys for several years. It's prices are comparable to Viking's 2 for 1 prices and it offers a 10% discount on full cash or check payments made a year before final payment date, which is 90 days prior to departure. This discount is prorated for payments less than a year in advance. They also offer last minute discounts, which we have seen as much as 50% for unsold cabins, usually 60 days or less prior to departure. We have taken 6 river cruises with them, usually taking advantage of one discount or the other. Some cruises have few last minute cabins available, so the only way to get a discount on the desired departures is through the advance payment option.

Grand Circle does not advertise in Conde Naste Traveler, while Viking and many others do, but they still get their top rating. See http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-ch...t-cruise-lines. It does not market outside the US and does no mass marketing and does not sell through travel agents, only directly to travelers. You also have the option of with or without air. Their web site is www.gct.com. A first time traveler can also get smaller additional discount with a referral from a current customer.
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  #17  
Old October 18th, 2013, 05:01 PM
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Hydrokitty Hydrokitty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ingo_e View Post
Vantage does not cruise the Elbe river. The only companies cruising the Elbe would be Viking and Grand Circle. GCT only allows bookings from the US (btw I think so does Vantage?), so this really narrows it down.
Ingo: Vantage does cruise the Elbe River. It is a new tour for 2014 and begins in Berlin and ends in Prague. The ship is the Frederic Chopin, which is chartered by Vantage for the 7 night cruise on the Elbe. It stops in Magdeburg, Wittenberg, Meissen, Dresden and Melnik, ending in Prague. It's on my list!!
__________________
Sailed:
Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Cruises, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, 2010
Alaska, Holland America, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, 2011
Russia and Ukraine, Vantage, 2012
Panama Canal, Celebrity Infinity, 2013
Columbia and Snake Rivers, American Cruise, 2013
Gateway to the Black Sea, Vantage, 2014

Other:
England
Italy
France
Monaco
Greece
Turkey
Iceland

Not yet Sailed:
Trans Canada Rail Odyssey ,Vantage, June 2015
Switzerland Rhine & Mozelle, Vantage, August 2015
Elbe: Berlin to Prague

Bucket List:
China and Yangtze River Cruise
Australia and New Zealand
South Africa, Odyssey
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  #18  
Old October 18th, 2013, 05:07 PM
pbnjrockette pbnjrockette is offline
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Been extremely happy with our Vantage cruises. Looking forward to being on their newer ships next summer. Haven't rivercruised with Grand Circle but have been very pleased with their customer service due to a recent cancelled tour.

And yes, you can get a discount as a new customer with a referral from a Vantage or Grand Circle traveler.
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  #19  
Old October 18th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Hydrokitty Hydrokitty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbnjrockette View Post
Been extremely happy with our Vantage cruises. Looking forward to being on their newer ships next summer. Haven't rivercruised with Grand Circle but have been very pleased with their customer service due to a recent cancelled tour.

And yes, you can get a discount as a new customer with a referral from a Vantage or Grand Circle traveler.
Us too....we've done 5 cruises with Vantage and have 2 more booked. Never used GCT because we've always had such wonderful trips with Vantage I feel no need to use anyone else.
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Sailed:
Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Cruises, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, 2010
Alaska, Holland America, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, 2011
Russia and Ukraine, Vantage, 2012
Panama Canal, Celebrity Infinity, 2013
Columbia and Snake Rivers, American Cruise, 2013
Gateway to the Black Sea, Vantage, 2014

Other:
England
Italy
France
Monaco
Greece
Turkey
Iceland

Not yet Sailed:
Trans Canada Rail Odyssey ,Vantage, June 2015
Switzerland Rhine & Mozelle, Vantage, August 2015
Elbe: Berlin to Prague

Bucket List:
China and Yangtze River Cruise
Australia and New Zealand
South Africa, Odyssey
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  #20  
Old October 18th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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veryseasonedtraveler veryseasonedtraveler is offline
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If the food is the same quality as on the the river cruises, that would be a reason enough not to go. Food is mediocre at best. Have been on the Elbe river cruise with Viking. The river is shallow, so only small ships are able to sail. The itinerary, however, is a good one.

We went to China and Tibet with Viking and we were upset with their one drink policy, having to drive forever on busses to get to bad restaurants, hotels, etc. Viking promised a 4 star hotel, but it was in the middle of nowhere.

You get what you pay for. Tauck is more expensive, but everything is included. If they take your picture, it is free. All excursions are included.

We will never sail Viking again.

Their brochure for the ocean cruise is very nice
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