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Final Payment date is Crazy

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e 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.

 

This is the Vikings Ocean's thread. Sorry your Viking River cruise had issues but you may want to post this review in that section of CC.

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W

 

This is the Vikings Ocean's thread. Sorry your Viking River cruise had issues but you may want to post this review in that section of CC.

 

Kathy,

 

Understand. However, its the same Viking corporate customer relations. If they treat ocean cruise passengers like they do river cruise passengers, caveat emptor.

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Globe hoppers, so sorry to hear your experience was less than expected. We have experience less than expected on other cruise lines as well. It really can impact your trip.

That said, our experience with Viking was superb. The fact that their new Oceans cruises are selling out up to 2 years in advance is testament to the overall satisfaction of Viking cruisers.

River cruising comes with variables consistent with water levels, just as Oceans come with sea conditions.

When you book with Travel Agents - regardless of cruise line (river or oceans) your communication (I.e. Travel docs) must go through them. As an experienced cruiser I have to believe that you experienced this previously.

I am in no way trying to suggest that your experience was not what you could have experienced - maybe your travel agent can assist in some way for a future cruise, or for some type of customer satisfaction in dealing with Viking.

However as Kathy suggests, this really does belong in the rivers forum.

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Globe hoppers, so sorry to hear your experience was less than expected. We have experience less than expected on other cruise lines as well. It really can impact your trip.

That said, our experience with Viking was superb. The fact that their new Oceans cruises are selling out up to 2 years in advance is testament to the overall satisfaction of Viking cruisers.

River cruising comes with variables consistent with water levels, just as Oceans come with sea conditions.

When you book with Travel Agents - regardless of cruise line (river or oceans) your communication (I.e. Travel docs) must go through them. As an experienced cruiser I have to believe that you experienced this previously.

I am in no way trying to suggest that your experience was not what you could have experienced - maybe your travel agent can assist in some way for a future cruise, or for some type of customer satisfaction in dealing with Viking.

However as Kathy suggests, this really does belong in the rivers forum.

 

Vineyard,

 

Appreciate your thoughts. Know that we have received cruise documents and luggage tags direct from the cruise company. Last was Azamara for our April cruise from Mumbai to Athens. We have also completed onboard reservations and excursions direct with the cruise company, even the larger ones such as Celebrity. I compare our Viking experience with our previous 3 European river cruises on Uniworld. Uniworld offers much better passenger-company communication and support, pre and post cruise. Ships, cuisine and shore excursions are comparable. Of course, one difference is that on Uniworld gratuities are included. We do reward individuals directly for great service.

 

Cruisecritic suggested I use this forum to comment regarding the Viking corporate experience.

 

Best

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Globe hoppers you are so correct - I am. Printing out HAL boarding info next week! So, yes, you are right in that it varies. It is sad what occurred with you on your special trip. I hope that Viking and you can come to a good middle ground.

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Kathy,

 

Understand. However, its the same Viking corporate customer relations. If they treat ocean cruise passengers like they do river cruise passengers, caveat emptor

 

I am going to wait till I sail on The Star before making a judgement about Viking Oceans. Think Vineyard View highlighted the issues with river cruising very well.

I still think your comments are better suited for the Viking River cruise section of CC.

Please read our reviews after the 11Apr2015 sailing of The Star!

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We are sooooo looking forward to our Star 29 day voyage Starting May 2nd 2015. We loved our 2 week river cruise with them. It was a fabulous experience.

It is sad that Globehoppers had such a difficult one. Rivers are unpredictable - I think Oceans offers more work around options than a river does -

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Dear Globehoppers,

 

Please accept our apologies for the frustrations you’ve listed here. We received your email at TellUs@vikingcruises.com on Monday and it is our understanding that one of our Customer Relations team members left you a voicemail later that day. While we understand that you may not choose to travel with us again, we would sincerely like to hear your feedback and attempt to make amends for your disappointment. We hope you don’t mind if we attempt to contact you again by phone.

 

Kindly,

Viking Cruises

 

 

Good Ship, Terrible Corporate Relations

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...

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We were recently on the same itinerary that Globehoppers was on, and we were fortunate to have avoided the weather-related issues they experienced, resulting in a less than ideal cruise experience. Our cruise experience was just the opposite; wonderful in every regard. The ship was sparkling clean, the staff was welcoming, fun and yet professional, and we enjoyed all our ports.

I am eagerly anticipating the Viking Star maiden voyage and considering booking another segment for later that year.

 

Becki

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Dear Globehoppers,

 

Please accept our apologies for the frustrations you’ve listed here. We received your email at TellUs@vikingcruises.com on Monday and it is our understanding that one of our Customer Relations team members left you a voicemail later that day. While we understand that you may not choose to travel with us again, we would sincerely like to hear your feedback and attempt to make amends for your disappointment. We hope you don’t mind if we attempt to contact you again by phone.

 

Kindly,

Viking Cruises

 

Viking Cruises,

 

So far no contact from your Customer Relations team. We have a voice mail system which is always on - NO messages.

 

And, no response to the email to "TellUs."

 

Again, we had no issue with the ship itself or the cruise on the lower Danube. That was great, Aegir and crew both. Excellent staff. However, over the months leading up to the actual cruise I got the feeling that Viking Cruises couldn't care less about us following the immediate payment.

 

Best Regards

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I do agree that paying 16 months out is a bit much. However, cruise lines are in the business of making money, and if we are all willing to pay this far out in order to get the specific cabin we want - well it is good business. Plus the $200 cancellation fee isn't all that stiff a penalty should something come up forcing us to cancel. I am going to be more interested in their "rebooking" policies as I have been known more than once to "slide a reservation" off into the future prior to final payment.

 

I have the money put aside, I really like Maiden Voyages. Paying ahead is not going to stop me from taking my planned cruises on other lines in 2015. As I mentioned in one of the other forums, staying a few extra days in Istanbul is really no hardship at all.

 

I have no experience with Viking River Cruises as we use Phoenix on the European Rivers. Certainly saw enough Viking Ships on the Danube this past winter holidays.

 

-Holly

who just wishes she had cheaper tastes in cabins....

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Holly, if Viking comes close to their service on their river cruises - food, atmosphere, employees, excursions, drinks, etc. you will absolutely love Oceans. I guess we all must feel something akin to this if we paid so far out to sail her!!

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Not only is the final cruise payment date crazy, but I had to prepay the airfare 2 years ahead of time to take advantage of the airfare special. Bear in mind they can't book flights for ages. Can be cancelled with no penalty until they actual ticket the air.

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It is crazy but it is not like you are losing a lot of interest by taking the money out of the bank! Sadly.....

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Lovely new brochure (book) just arrived and while we are intrigued by the Grand Mediterranean Tour in winter of 2016 we will not be booking just yet because of the payment policy. We loved our "Roof of the World" last year-definitely a "bucket list" trip so we appreciate Viking's eye for detail. Just can't rationalize paying in full for a European cruise so far in advance - JMHO

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It is crazy but it is not like you are losing a lot of interest by taking the money out of the bank! Sadly.....

 

Too true. We also prepaid a (land) vacation in late 2015 to get a 'pay-in-full' discount. We charged to a credit card that offers insurance as a benefit. Coupled with our 2016 pre-paid Viking Oceans cruise, we've fronted a lot of money for travel this year! Oh well - we'll be able to put it back in the bank when we can save paying for vacations next year!

Edited by azevedan

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I wouldnt complain to much about the person who had problems with Viking Corp too much....we too had a problem with a christmas cruise last year....many many phone calls before we left and the issue was not taken care of...many after and no action. It wasnt until we made it an issue on Facebook before they took it seriously and actually contacted us and made amends for their error. Unfortunately sometimes thats what it takes, social media, for a company to deal with an issue. I do see that Viking is watching these threads so hopefully they will take action.

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And then on a different twist, when booking with Viking you don't have to worry about paying thousands of dollars more than others are paying because the cruise line keeps dropping their prices after final payment due - that is what we are dealing with on a cruise next month - and from first hand experience it leaves a bad taste - and de-values their brand and your opinion of the company! While we paid for our Viking so far in advance, we are not feeling 'cheated' like we are with 'the other' cruise line -

Juliesaddiction I am happy to hear your issues with Viking were resolved. We found them to be a quality company in our past experience with them

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