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Avalon, Viking and Vantage booking policies

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Vantage has a policy that they over book their river cruises and in the end someone has to be cancelled if no one has previously cancelled on their own. The Christmas river cruise we are on with Vantage is over booked by two cabins. As of yet we do not have a cabin number.

 

Vantage told me this morning that this is perfectly legal to overbook. Does Viking and Avalon have the same booking policies? We chose Vantage because of their itinerary. It is obviously too late to choose another cruise company but I would like to know for any future river cruises we take. We took an Egypt trip with Vantage and were very happy.

 

Thanks for any information for future cruises. I have the feeling I am going to be returning my winter clothing I purchased!

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Every time we've booked a cruise on VRC they gave us a room number. Is the Vantage overbooking policy included in their terms and conditions?

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Yes, it is in the Vantage policy handbook but I never read the fine print until someone on Facebook talked about being cancelled 8 days before departure and they had a cabin number.

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While this has never happened to me personally, I did meet someone on our first Vantage cruise who had been cancelled due to over-selling and rebooked on our cruise. Unfortunately they could not get their original cabin category and had to settle for a cheaper cabin. I am surprised that Vantage hasn't offered you an alternative date. As for airfare, that's a good question...I would imagine that if Vantage booked air they will rebook at no charge but if you booked on your own you could be in trouble depending on the airline. Closest I ever came to being victim of over-booking was Vantage Costa Rica when they called and told me ship was over-booked and would I change dates. Since I was traveling with 4 other people from west coast, they left us alone and apparently changed someone else. I would imagine they all do it...so they can avoid last minute empty cabins., but it stinks.:mad:

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After having read through the T & C for Vantage, there are a few benefits for paying in full early. Your initial deposit does not lock in your price for the trip until full payment is rec'd and may subject you to additional fare increases.

It also says that by using smart pay you can take advantage of discounts starting at 10% of total trip price depending how far in advance you pay in full as well as a price lock.

These may be a benefit to some people.

 

As for overbooking - I read through VRC T&C and it states that a $500 p/p deposit secures a confirmed reservation and that final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to sailing. Special promotions may have different payment terms.

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Vantage told me this morning that this is perfectly legal to overbook. Does Viking and Avalon have the same booking policies?

 

Sounds a lot like the airlines... As long as they let you know it is a possibility, then they can get away with it. I don't know of any other company that does this.

 

We chose Vantage because of their itinerary. It is obviously too late to choose another cruise company but I would like to know for any future river cruises we take.

 

I don't know that it is too late to book with another company. Lots of companies now pushing great sales on Christmas Market cruises. Might be worth a look.

 

Of course, air fare might be a different issue....

 

Fran

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After having read through the T & C for Vantage, there are a few benefits for paying in full early. Your initial deposit does not lock in your price for the trip until full payment is rec'd and may subject you to additional fare increases.

It also says that by using smart pay you can take advantage of discounts starting at 10% of total trip price depending how far in advance you pay in full as well as a price lock.

These may be a benefit to some people.

 

As for overbooking - I read through VRC T&C and it states that a $500 p/p deposit secures a confirmed reservation and that final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to sailing. Special promotions may have different payment terms.

 

I have read that too but I must confess, I have never paid anything other than my $500 deposit (that's per person btw) and I've never had the price go up. In fact, on one trip the air fare actually went down (this was several years ago) and Vantage called to tell me they were crediting me with the difference! To be honest, I have done cruises with Vantage and Celebrity and land tours with Trafalgar and I have never been told I HAD to pay more than 90 days in advance although all of them give you the opportunity to pay in full a year ahead and save money. It wasn't until this thread that I came found out other companies require payment in full a year ahead of time. I prefer it to be my choice.

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While this has never happened to me personally, I did meet someone on our first Vantage cruise who had been cancelled due to over-selling and rebooked on our cruise. Unfortunately they could not get their original cabin category and had to settle for a cheaper cabin. I am surprised that Vantage hasn't offered you an alternative date. As for airfare, that's a good question...I would imagine that if Vantage booked air they will rebook at no charge but if you booked on your own you could be in trouble depending on the airline. Closest I ever came to being victim of over-booking was Vantage Costa Rica when they called and told me ship was over-booked and would I change dates. Since I was traveling with 4 other people from west coast, they left us alone and apparently changed someone else. I would imagine they all do it...so they can avoid last minute empty cabins., but it stinks.:mad:

Vantage cancellation policy stinks as well:

Cancellation Fee:



121 days + prior to departure: $300 per person

120-91 days prior to departure: $500 per person

90-61 days prior to departure: 40% of selling price per person

60-31 days prior to departure: 65% of selling price per person

30-0 days prior to departure: 100% of selling price per person*

(including no shows)

Minimum $600 are lost anyway.

Edited by id est

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Vantage cancellation policy stinks as well:

Cancellation Fee:



121 days + prior to departure: $300 per person

120-91 days prior to departure: $500 per person

90-61 days prior to departure: 40% of selling price per person

60-31 days prior to departure: 65% of selling price per person

30-0 days prior to departure: 100% of selling price per person*

(including no shows)

Minimum $600 are lost anyway.

 

Isn't that if you don't have trip insurance? I've never had to cancel a Vantage trip but my cousin had to cancel her trip with us on Vantage to Russia at the last minute (like 1 week before departure) but she had trip insurance through them and got all of her money back less the trip insurance premium. Only time I ever personally had to cancel was a different company and was two months pre-departure but since I was rebooking they didn't charge me anything. Are Vantage cancellation fees higher than everyone else or are they competitive?

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Vantage is not alone in "overbooking". You need to check the "Terms & Conditions" of any booking company to find their definition.

 

Here is what Grand Circle states:

 

 

Grand Circle’s website, http://www.gct.com, now carries the following disclaimer under the heading “General Terms and Conditions: “GCC, like most tour operators overbooks its vacations. we do this because historically, few people cancel their trips when they book with us. Overbooking is done in the best interest of our customers and Grand Circle Corporation. With the revenue produced by filling spots on our trips that would otherwise go empty, we maintain exceptional value on our trips. This allows us to accept more reservations than decline them when customers call to make a booking. This does not necessarily mean that if you have a reservation you will not be accommodated on your trip.

 

“If between 60 and 14 days or more prior to your departure, more customers are confirmed than can be accommodated, a Grand Circle representative will contact volunteers who are willing to give up their seats in exchange for compensation and a confirmed spot on a future departure date. On rare occasions, customers may be involuntarily moved to another departure date if a sufficient number of volunteers are not obtained. We may take into consideration at that time factors such as Inner Circle status, fare paid and severe hardships. With few exceptions, passengers denied their trips involuntarily are entitled to compensation.”

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We have had to cancel 2 trips with Vantage due to family emergencies or illness. Both times we had purchased their insurance thru "Tripmate". The first time we chose to rebook our trip--no problems or loss of funds. The second time we completely cancelled and received our full refund (less the insurance cost).

 

Just this month we had to end our vacation with Grand Circle to the National Parks due to the government closing them. Grand Circle chose to cancel our trip and refund us for the 10 days we were unable to complete. Within 2 weeks we received a refund of 10 days plus 50% for 2 days that we were not able to 'travel as expected'. Very fair and prompt.

 

We plan to continue traveling with both these companies!

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After this summer's flooding situation, it's very clear that you have to protect yourself against various things that can go wrong. What isn't so clear is the best way to do this.

 

On the one hand, if you book your airfare and insurance through the cruise line they have every reason to take care of you, because no matter what they are on the hook to make it right. There were threads this summer that showed that passengers with included air and transfers got better treatment than those who had booked on their own.

 

On the other hand, if you don't agree with their interpretation of "make it right," your cruise contract waives your rights to sue - and you have nowhere else to turn.

 

So IMHO the best bet is to choose your cruise line carefully based on the Cruise Critic reports of how they handled this year's various difficulties (floods, broken locks, lock strikes, and low water), and then book everything through them.

 

All that being said, I would drop Viking from your list -- and add AMA, Uniworld and Tauck.

Edited by jazzbeau

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Are Vantage cancellation fees higher than everyone else or are they competitive?

Much higher than Viking:

---------------------------------------

Cancellation received | Following charges will apply: (Broken out by days before departure)

121 days or more is $100 per person | 120-90 days is 15% of full fare | 89-60 days is 35% of full fare | 59-30 days is 50% of full fare | 29-0 days is 100% of full fare

Full Fare is defined as the full cost of any cruise, land or air component purchased from Viking.

----------------------------------------

So it is only $200 nonrefundable vs $600 Vantage charges.

Edited by id est

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Much higher than Viking:

---------------------------------------

Cancellation received | Following charges will apply: (Broken out by days before departure)

121 days or more is $100 per person | 120-90 days is 15% of full fare | 89-60 days is 35% of full fare | 59-30 days is 50% of full fare | 29-0 days is 100% of full fare

Full Fare is defined as the full cost of any cruise, land or air component purchased from Viking.

----------------------------------------

So it is only $200 nonrefundable vs $600 Vantage charges.

 

Interesting. Thanks for the info although I'm going to stick with Vantage due to previous good experiences with them, including the Lufthansa airline strike and

number of negative responses on cc for Viking.

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Vantage has a policy that they over book their river cruises and in the end someone has to be cancelled if no one has previously cancelled on their own. The Christmas river cruise we are on with Vantage is over booked by two cabins. As of yet we do not have a cabin number.

 

 

S&B ... did you get your cabin assignment yet?

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Hi CP556 from South Carolina,

 

No, we do not have a cabin number yet and no calls from Vantage. I have called them twice and will not call again, just waiting for them to make up their minds what they are doing. Or not doing.

 

Went into the guest bedroom last night and saw the winter clothes I have laid out. Bought some new cuddle duds at Kohl's last week. They are the fleece ones. A friend told me about them. I am holding off on buying boots. If we do not go i am returning these winter clothes I bought because I would never wear them in Florida.

 

Sure hope we get to meet you in Munich!! I have really been studying on the internet about Munich and the markets. If we don't go I will at least be educated.

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Hi CP556 from South Carolina,

 

No, we do not have a cabin number yet and no calls from Vantage. I have called them twice and will not call again, just waiting for them to make up their minds what they are doing. Or not doing.

 

Went into the guest bedroom last night and saw the winter clothes I have laid out. Bought some new cuddle duds at Kohl's last week. They are the fleece ones. A friend told me about them. I am holding off on buying boots. If we do not go i am returning these winter clothes I bought because I would never wear them in Florida.

 

Sure hope we get to meet you in Munich!! I have really been studying on the internet about Munich and the markets. If we don't go I will at least be educated.

 

You may know that we've done a couple of Christmas Markets cruises with Vantage in the past. And we've had clear weather, a little snow, as well as some rain. So in addition to your winter duds, I think you'll want to bring something water-resistant as well.

 

Question (which is none of my business:): did you buy a specific cabin category? I guess since you booked so early, I'm wondering why you didn't get a cabin number assigned.

 

I suspect/hope you will hear from Vantage soon. In your shoes, I'd be calling them a couple of times a week asking the status. Have you checked the "My Account" section on the Vantage website? I know that I have found new information there relating to our cruises (that Vantage did not phone me about).

 

Please let me know what happens .....

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Hi ccp556 (fellow cruise mate)

Yes, I have checked our account every day to see if anything has changed and nothing so far. What changes are you seeing? Let me see if I can explain this to you:

 

In April we were gone for a week and did not get our cruise booked. After we came home they called me and I had told them the category that we wanted. That category was filled but she said she would call back in the afternoon to see what they could do. In the P.M. they called back and this is the story they told.

 

There was a group that had signed up for this cruise and one of the group members had wanted to change categories. So, we were taking that persons cabin category. I am not going to tell you what I think happened. If I see you in Munich I will tell you.

 

We are taking the Munich extension and also the optional tour on Friday That will be one of my favorites, I think. We are also trying to connect with friends on Sunday afternoon in Nuremberg. They live six months in Germany.

 

I will call them tomorrow and post on CC but I know nothing will have changed. We will have to talk about this rain gear. I was going to take rain ponchos. Do any of your friends leave from Newark at 8:30 p.m.?

 

BY for now.

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We saved $1000 by moving our Vantage China trip back by three weeks. Vantage called us and asked if we would move due to overbooking. We did and had a great trip.

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Papa, How close to your departure date did they ask you to move? We are now 39 days out. This is a Christmas Market Cruise and there are no other dates other than waiting until next year. Did they give you a choice or just tell you what you were doing?

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Papa, How close to your departure date did they ask you to move? We are now 39 days out. This is a Christmas Market Cruise and there are no other dates other than waiting until next year. Did they give you a choice or just tell you what you were doing?

They gave me a choice. Also, they called about three or four months ahead of the trip.

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Papa, How close to your departure date did they ask you to move? We are now 39 days out. This is a Christmas Market Cruise and there are no other dates other than waiting until next year. Did they give you a choice or just tell you what you were doing?

 

Oh my I am stressed out for you...just reading your posts, that this company has taken your money and you are being stressed out because you believe they are going to bump you!!

 

Your experience tells me to NEVER NEVER book with Vantage, I for one could not handle the stress. Or was this trip booked on a "Wait List" basis, though reading this entire thread I don't believe this is the case.

 

I am hoping that your trip works out for you and that it is fabulous!

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... booked on a "Wait List" basis...

Even on a “wait list” it is absolutely unacceptable. With Viking if “waitlisted” only need to pay a deposit (in that case fully refundable!) and they are required to assign you a cabin and air I believe 60 days before the cruise.

After this story Vantage is nonexistent for me either.

Edited by id est

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S&B

 

I cannot find a reference to how much you have paid so far for this trip.

 

Have you paid for air also?

 

This whole procedure of Vantage is totally unacceptable as far as I can see.

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My reading of S&B's posts is that they are fully booked and paid and have only recently discovered their "uncertain" situation.

Vantage is certainly off my list after reading this terrible story!

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We are not stressed out. However, I do have to admit that every time the phone rings I wonder if it is Vantage. I would have never known that they overbook cruises had I not read a post on Vantage Facebook where a customer got cancelled 8 days before departure. That is when I started to read the fine print. Never was good at reading all that stuff!!

 

So, we just kind of wait it out. In the mean time I have obviously stopped buying winter clothes. Weather today in Florida is beautiful. High 70's!!

 

Happy travels to everyone and we did have a wonderful cruise to Egypt with Vantage of which I am glad that we went when we did.

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We are booked with Avalon mid June and have cancellation insurance

It looks like my husband must have surgery

What us Avalon policy re rebooking

Will it cost us?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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