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Probelms with Viking Cruises?


2globetrotters
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I was wondering if anyone else had this same problem. Our friends booked in January but five days before leaving for Basel, Viking notified them that they were overbooked so our friends were asked to take their cruise on another date. Viking would not refund even when it was their fault.

 

We wanted to take this cruise next year, but after hearing about this problem, we are not so eager to do it. Is there another cruise line recommended?

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I was wondering if anyone else had this same problem. Our friends booked in January but five days before leaving for Basel, Viking notified them that they were overbooked so our friends were asked to take their cruise on another date. Viking would not refund even when it was their fault.

 

We wanted to take this cruise next year, but after hearing about this problem, we are not so eager to do it. Is there another cruise line recommended?

 

What exactly are you saying...that they were both bumped from the cruise AND denied a refund? That doesn't sound possible. You said they were "asked" to change their dates - was a full credit for a future sailing given? Were they perhaps looking for an financial incentive to agree to the change and were disappointed? Bottom line - did they cruise or not?

Edited by ronandannette
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Many cruise lines make "move over" offers at the last minute. At the very least they should include reimbursing any air change fees and pre/post cruise hotel costs plus a substantial OBC or FCC--no less than 25 to 50% of the cruise fare paid. But a small river cruise ship should not be overbooking in the first place; it will be much harder for them to find a "volunteer" to take the offer, thus your friends getting bumped.

Edited by fishywood
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We once were notified they were over booked and had the option of another date or a refund. As we had booked SOOOOO in advance, I thought it strange that we were the one's who were bumped and discussed this at length with the rep. We ended up getting a $100 off and upgraded to a top category cabin on two sailings later. I'm still wondering why though, as we had booked nearly a year in advance we were the ones getting bumped.

Edited by marco
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I have never heard of anyone being involuntarily bumped.

The cruise lines will keep making offers for someone to give up their cabin until they get the categories they need. They keep making the offers better and better until everyone who gives up their cabin does so with reward and voluntarily.

 

We once did. We refused the first several offers, finally gave a counter offer which they accepted and we all went away happy. :)

 

The fact they contacted us had nothing to do with how far in advance we had booked. It was about which category cabins they needed. We had booked that cruise about a year in advance.

 

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Something is very fishy about this post. Viking is a very reputable line and we find it hard to believe they would involuntarily "bump" passengers that close to a cruise. One can't help but wonder if there is more to this story. And not to offer your money back (plus a lot more) with that kind of notice is really harder to believe. We also note that this was the first post by the poster.

 

Hank

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Something is very fishy about this post. Viking is a very reputable line and we find it hard to believe they would involuntarily "bump" passengers that close to a cruise. One can't help but wonder if there is more to this story. And not to offer your money back (plus a lot more) with that kind of notice is really harder to believe. We also note that this was the first post by the poster.

 

Hank

 

 

AGREE

 

especially since this is post #1

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I was wondering if anyone else had this same problem. Our friends booked in January but five days before leaving for Basel, Viking notified them that they were overbooked so our friends were asked to take their cruise on another date. Viking would not refund even when it was their fault.

 

We wanted to take this cruise next year, but after hearing about this problem, we are not so eager to do it. Is there another cruise line recommended?

 

You should put this on the River Boats board ..

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The reason our friends booked so far in advance was that it was a special birthday and they were supposed to meet family in Switzerland. When they were bumped, they asked for a refund and Viking said that "was not an option", so they were forced to choose another date in the fall and miss their special day.

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The reason our friends booked so far in advance was that it was a special birthday and they were supposed to meet family in Switzerland. When they were bumped, they asked for a refund and Viking said that "was not an option", so they were forced to choose another date in the fall and miss their special day.

 

 

 

Doesn't matter how far ahead they booked or why as has been mentioned.

There is something very odd about this most unusual circumstance. None of us have ever heard of this happening. Perhaps your friends were confused in the 'telling' to you. Something simply is not right here.

 

A cruise line cannot sell you a cruise, tell you they are overbooked and refuse to refund your money. Does that make sense to you? This is not a fly by night company that is new to the business.

 

Did your friends use a TA?

 

Edited by sail7seas
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It's not legal to sell you something then not give it to you and then keep the money. DOES NOT happen unless they are a fly by night company which Viking isn't.

 

There is definitely something more to this story. I would find out the real story from your friends,

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I think most of the posters replying are used to Ocean cruising vs. River cruising. River cruise ships have much fewer cabins. This has happened in the past, especially with Viking. There are probably more complaints against Viking than all of the other River cruise companies put together. Granted, Viking has more ships on the river, but it seems that their customer service is not very good. Whenever there have been problems on the rivers (water too high and ships can't fit under the bridges or water too low - ships can't sagely navigate the river) it seems that Viking has the most problems. Other companies will offer guests the option of cancelling the cruise, or the remainder of if they are in the middle and receive a refund, either full or prorated, depending on when cancellation occurs. Viking very rarely gives refunds, but insists on just a future cruise credit. They also try to get impacted passengers to sign confidentiality forms so they can't discuss any negotiations or settlements that may be reached. Some companies offer a discount off a future cruise, some don't. I think Viking has done both.

 

The original poster really needs to read a lot of the issues with Viking that are posted on the River Cruising section. They can also ask this question there, where there are many more people who have done river cruising and may be able to give more suggestions on how to deal with the situation.

 

Sorry for your friends issues. I would never recommend Viking but would tell anyone interested to check out the other river cruise companies (Scenic, Avalon, AMA, Tauck, Vantage, ARosa just to name a few). I'm sure I'm missing some of the other river cruises.

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The reason our friends booked so far in advance was that it was a special birthday and they were supposed to meet family in Switzerland. When they were bumped, they asked for a refund and Viking said that "was not an option", so they were forced to choose another date in the fall and miss their special day.

 

I have no idea what the cruise contract says. Maybe it says in a case of overbooking, you will not receive a refund. But it does seem odd that if you are "bumped" you can't get a refund. I'd probably file a dispute with my credit card company.

Edited by 6rugrats
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When we first cruised Viking (about 8 years ago) on a 14 day European river cruise, they were a relatively small company competing in the tough river cruise market. Since that time they have grown into the largest River Cruise company and are now expanding in the Cruise ship market (with 2 new ships) which seem to have some excellent advance sales. This would seem to indicate that most folks are quite happy with this company.

 

That being said, we noticed that OP has still not cross-posted this complaint on the River Cruise Board where it would probably get some interesting comments. We also would note that Viking seems to actively monitor the River Cruise Board and will often post their own comments when it is appropriate.

 

Hank

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