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Final Payment date is Crazy

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Just called Viking with my TA also on the phone....I was inquiring about a June 2016 cruise. When giving me the price, I was told that FINAL payment was due Dec 2014...a year and a half in advance, with a $100 cancellation fee per person if cancelled. Neither my TA nor I could believe this!!

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Yes, it's true! Our final payment date for April 2015 was Dec. 2013. That's Viking's policy. And even so, 5 stateroom categories were already sold out when we booked in May 2013.

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Mine is June 2016, and final payment is due THIS MONTH. Neither my TA nor I could believe it. I am assured (in writing) that the cancellation policies hold, which means fully refundable (except for that $100PP) until a few minths before the actual cruise. Otherwise I'd owe the full brochure rate. Oh, come now, Viking....you're not going to get many newbies unless you realize you are way outside the standard. I guess they need the money for those new ships!

I also verified that my insurance covers me if they go under!

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They need your money to fund the building of the new ships :D

 

I for one will not be booking nor paying that far in advance even with the small cancellation fee

 

YMMV

 

Lyn

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Lyn -- can we help?

 

an interest free loan perhaps :D

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an interest free loan perhaps :D

 

LOL!!! :p

 

Missing you and Mike....hope we can sail together again soon.

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LOL!!! :p

 

Missing you and Mike....hope we can sail together again soon.

 

Yes that would be nice

Have a great crossing

 

Lyn

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No one is forced to book the cruise. By requiring full payment so early Viking is trying to eliminate those who aren't serious about the cruise and are likely to cancel anyway. We've seen instances where people cancel more than they really plan to take. Interest rates are so poor that I'm sure Viking can borrow all they want at very low rates and we're not losing much by prepaying. My preferred cruise line used to require full payment 90 days out but found they were scrambling to fill the cruise and are going to 150 days.

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No one is forced to book the cruise. By requiring full payment so early Viking is trying to eliminate those who aren't serious about the cruise and are likely to cancel anyway. We've seen instances where people cancel more than they really plan to take. Interest rates are so poor that I'm sure Viking can borrow all they want at very low rates and we're not losing much by prepaying. My preferred cruise line used to require full payment 90 days out but found they were scrambling to fill the cruise and are going to 150 days.

 

There's a big difference between 150 days and 550 days! We have never cancelled a cruise, with over 30 taken, but there are too many wonderful lines for me to consider, without having to lay out very considerable money that far in advance. Since we cruise every four months or so, it also disrupts my cash flow...so no Viking for me right now!

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We booked the April 11, 2015 sailing of the Star...the only reason I was willing to pay so far in advance (in full by 01/31/2013) is to be the first to sail on a new ship. After that cruise I will see if I am that taken with Viking Oceans that I am willing to pay that far ahead for a cruise. I also got good travel insurance.....

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We booked the April 11, 2015 sailing of the Star...the only reason I was willing to pay so far in advance (in full by 01/31/2013) is to be the first to sail on a new ship. After that cruise I will see if I am that taken with Viking Oceans that I am willing to pay that far ahead for a cruise. I also got good travel insurance.....

 

Hi Kathy9: We're on the inaugural as well, Istanbul to Barcelona -- 2 legs. We've done 4 Viking River cruises and were well pleased, so we're anticipating that their ocean voyages will be equally great. See you on board! Marsha

 

PS: I see we're almost neighbors -- NY/NJ (LOL)

Edited by loum140
info

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Hi kathy 9 and loum140, we're sailing with you too, but we decided to go whole hog and booked (and paid for) all 4 segments of the maiden voyage. Crazy, huh?

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We are sailing May 2015, we paid in full by the end of 2013, and if the Experience is close to their river operations, I will absolutely pay in advance again!

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Mine is June 2016, and final payment is due THIS MONTH. Neither my TA nor I could believe it. I am assured (in writing) that the cancellation policies hold, which means fully refundable (except for that $100PP) until a few minths before the actual cruise. Otherwise I'd owe the full brochure rate. Oh, come now, Viking....you're not going to get many newbies unless you realize you are way outside the standard. I guess they need the money for those new ships!

I also verified that my insurance covers me if they go under!

 

We just cancelled a Christmas Cruise - six months to go - and lost the entire deposit. Reason for cancellation is a series of less than positive experiences on the Viking Helvetia a few short weeks ago. Viking are not interested in the reason we wanted to cancel, even though we raised the issues. Would rather not lose the money, but it is better than having to put up with them again. Caveat emptor - not recommended.

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There's a big difference between 150 days and 550 days! We have never cancelled a cruise, with over 30 taken, but there are too many wonderful lines for me to consider, without having to lay out very considerable money that far in advance. Since we cruise every four months or so, it also disrupts my cash flow...so no Viking for me right now!

 

Having just has an overpriced and not terribly enjoyable trip on Viking Helvetia, I would recommend you spend your money elsewhere!

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Having just has an overpriced and not terribly enjoyable trip on Viking Helvetia, I would recommend you spend your money elsewhere!

 

 

Sorry to hear of your disappointed trip on Viking Rivers. This board is for Viking Oceans and the ship isn't even built yet. Hope we experience a better voyage on their ocean product then you had on the river cruise.

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We know a lot of Viking customers who loved their experience, including ourselves - I can't imagine their Oceans cruises selling out so quickly without the 5* reputation that they have as a company. It is really sad that you did not experience what you were hoping for -

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We just cancelled a Christmas Cruise - six months to go - and lost the entire deposit. Reason for cancellation is a series of less than positive experiences on the Viking Helvetia a few short weeks ago. Viking are not interested in the reason we wanted to cancel, even though we raised the issues. Would rather not lose the money, but it is better than having to put up with them again. Caveat emptor - not recommended.

 

Even though you are referring to a "river" cruise and this is the Viking ocean cruise board, and none of the ocean ships have been built yet, can you please answer some questions?

 

1. If you cancelled a Christmas (river) Cruise 6 months ago and Christmas is 6 months away, how did you lose the entire deposit? Isn't the only loss $100 per person when you cancel that far out?

 

2. Can you elaborate on your "less then positive experiences"? Just wondering what went wrong.

 

Thanks!

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We just cancelled a Christmas Cruise - six months to go - and lost the entire deposit. Reason for cancellation is a series of less than positive experiences on the Viking Helvetia a few short weeks ago. Viking are not interested in the reason we wanted to cancel, even though we raised the issues. Would rather not lose the money, but it is better than having to put up with them again. Caveat emptor - not recommended.

 

Dear Frieslander,

 

We’re very sorry to hear of your disappointment and the decision to cancel your upcoming river cruise. We hope you’ll consider contacting us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we may connect you with a member of our team to discuss your concerns in detail. We hope to hear from you soon.

 

Sincerely,

Viking Cruises

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I thinks it's interesting how posters will complain about their cruise, be it river, ocean, etc but fail to elaborate as to the issue. If they're not willing to let us know what was so wrong, throw out the bait and walk away it doesn't lend much credence to their negative experience. Why bother posting.....is it just to hear yourself complain?

 

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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Our next Viking cruise is in April 2016, and we already are paid in full. That ties up a large amount of our money, but it's nice to know that vacation is paid for and that the plans are finalized. We have two other cruises scheduled with other cruise lines between now and then, and we like knowing our plans are finalized and our vacations are paid for well in advance. We've sailed on a Viking river cruise! loved the experience, and know we want to experience a Viking ocean cruise.

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I also was about to book a June, 2016 cruise with Viking and read the small print and my travel agent confirmed - full payment due December, 2014. That's about $20,000 for the room and 18 months of lost investment earnings...not a big deal; but I don't think it's fair or good marketing for a new brand.

 

When we put a deposit on a cruise, we do so because we are excited and intend to go. At the least they could consider staged payments over this period.

 

Linda :eek:

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My wife and I booked the Sept. 16, 2016 "Empires of the Mediterranean" $1000 to hold, the remaining amount due Dec. 17, 2014....that's almost 2 years out!!! But we're going to do it! Never been on a Viking cruise and really looking forward to this.

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We booked last year and paid in full by end of 2013 for May 2015 - love Viking - think they will set the bar - and although it is a lot of money way early, it is paid and done and we can focus on another cruise yet this year.

I think if it is not comfortable for people to pay so darn early(and I am not saying we liked that part at all), it is great that there are so many other options out there.

All of us on the maiden voyage will report back, and we must all believe that it will be incredible or we wouldn't have floated the cash! We are very excited!!

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We just returned from a 10-day river cruise through eastern Europe on Viking. Very nice ship, but the experience leading up to the cruise, especially dealing with corporate Viking, was enough to convoke us top never deal with Viking again. If we had not been very experienced cruisers and hadn't lived in eastern Europe, this cruise would have been very difficult and trying to make work.

 

My review:

 

We selected Viking's Passage to Eastern Europe based solely on itinerary, that being Bucharest to Budapest via Belgrade. We also wanted to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary on the Danube as we had been assigned at the US embassies in both countries in the late-1980s, adopted our daughter from a Romanian children's home in 1990, and were looking forward to seeing the differences in both countries following a generation of change. The itinerary and ship itself didn't disappoint. Dealing with corporate Viking was a true nightmare.

 

Following booking, I contacted Viking's air arrangement service since we have had good experiences with other cruise company air programs. I was quoted a price of $2,000 R/T per person. Quick check with airlines suggested pricing on any airline would be less than $1,500 pp before any serious searching. I commented about the excessive charge on a CC board and received a Viking Customer Service response on the board suggesting I call them...which I already had to ask about air arrangements.

 

The cruise schedule included a one-day pre-cruise stay in Bucharest and 2 days post-cruise in Budapest. Having visited Budapest many times, we were interested in additional pre-cruise days in Bucharest and contacted Viking to ask if they could add one day to Bucharest in lieu of the extra day in Budapest. The response was not only "no," but "don't even ask." We then contacted the hotel in Bucharest and added days.

 

After “checking-in” on Viking’s website 2 months prior to departure, we became a bit concerned 3 weeks prior to departure that we had not received any cruise documentation. Calling Viking, I was told that the travel agency had to request the documentation and Viking would send it directly them to the agency, not to me. After a few phone calls and another week, we received the documents. I was interested in the arrival and departure times for the ports of call, especially Belgrade, and that was not included. Only generic day in port information which was already available.

 

Approximately 2 weeks prior to scheduled embarkation in Bucharest, CC became alive with low water problems on the Danube which was generating changes in river cruise itineraries, to include our scheduled boat Embla. We contacted Viking to inquire about possible changes and the first response was "how did you hear about that?" I was then requested to call back, the same number, and speak to a "specialist," really just another operator. The second representative reluctantly offered that, yes, they were having problems and they would keep me informed via email. I explained that we were departing early for the cruise to accommodate the extra days in Bucharest pre-cruise, and was assured that we would be updated on Embla’s status prior to our departure from the US. On return home I discovered an email informing of the ship change sent after departing for the trip. Not helpful.

 

Due to the low water, Embla was "stuck" on the north side of Budapest and Viking sent Aegir to cover the cruise, an identical boat. However Aegir, according to reports on CC, was suffering mechanical problems and had stopped dead-in-the-water several times on its current schedule requiring passengers to be bused between Danube ports. I again asked Viking about this and was told "not to worry, we'll have a ship there...” Nothing more.

 

This came on top of Viking’s demand for full payment immediately following booking over a year prior to the cruise. While not unusual for river cruises, other river cruise companies offer discounts for immediate full payment. Not Viking.

 

The ship itself was very nice. Good cabins (305) and great staff. Especially enjoyed evening dining in the Aquavit terrace away from the extremely noisy main dining room. Food was very good with a great variety. The included shore excursions, the 50-bus variety, were better than anticipated. We did use privately arranged tours in Belgrade and Bucharest.

 

Would we travel with Viking again? Probably not, despite the nice river boat. Dealing with Viking headquarters was the worst cruise experience we have ever had (and we have cruised a lot).

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