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aqruzer

Cancelled Pre-trip???

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My husband and I have had the Mediterranean cruise for Sept. 2016 booked for 2 years! Our agent called today to say our Pre-trip to Downton Abbey has been cancelled. Has anyone else been cancelled??

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We were told they couldn't find us a hotel room. Since this issue is not resolved, I won't tell you my response. You can ask yourselves what you would respond. Let me also say that we are experienced cruisers/travelers having been on more than 30 cruises, traveled to all 7 continents, and taken many land tours. We realized this was an expensive pre-cruise trip, but since we are in our 25th year of marriage, we decided to treat ourselves to a grand trip, only we are not feeling so 'grand' at this time. We are waiting to see what Viking is going to offer us. So far it's only been switching over to 3 nights in London. Period. No tours. No tickets to plays. No compensation for any inconvenience to us. No 'sorry' or 'nice-nice' for compensation. This trip was completely paid for a year and a half ago and we get treated like this? How would you feel under these circumstances???

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My husband surprised me in 2013 by booking the "France's Finest" river cruise, departing in September of 2014, to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. He used funds we had been saving for a special trip for years. When we booked our trip they tried to sell us travel insurance, which we declined because the cost was ridiculous - $5,000.00. We did not foresee anything that would prohibit us from travelling. In July, 2014 our 39 year old son suffered a stroke. He was in the neuro intensive care unit for three months. As it became apparent my son was too ill for us to leave town, we contacted them on several occasions asking what we could do to cancel our trip. They continued to send us to a customer service rep and refused to escalate to anyone higher. My son's neuro team wrote a summary of his illness and advised that because he was on a respirator there was no way we could leave town. In following up with them, they said they were sorry about my circumstances but there was nothing they could do. I never requested a refund, but merely wanted to be able to rebook the trip we had paid for ($22,000+) at a discount. They told us that would not be possible. My son died of complications from a brain tumor in October of 2014 and we were, and are, devastated. Viking collected $22,000+, never spent a dime on us and refused to let us rebook at any discount. We recently sold our business and plan to do extensive cruising. Needless to say, it will not be with Viking. Several of our friends have cancelled their cruises as well in light of this company's total lack of compassion or empathy. Who tells a mother who is about to lose their son - sorry, nothing we can do? I think it's deplorable.

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We were told they couldn't find us a hotel room. Since this issue is not resolved, I won't tell you my response. You can ask yourselves what you would respond. Let me also say that we are experienced cruisers/travelers having been on more than 30 cruises, traveled to all 7 continents, and taken many land tours. We realized this was an expensive pre-cruise trip, but since we are in our 25th year of marriage, we decided to treat ourselves to a grand trip, only we are not feeling so 'grand' at this time. We are waiting to see what Viking is going to offer us. So far it's only been switching over to 3 nights in London. Period. No tours. No tickets to plays. No compensation for any inconvenience to us. No 'sorry' or 'nice-nice' for compensation. This trip was completely paid for a year and a half ago and we get treated like this? How would you feel under these circumstances???

 

Dear aqruzer,

 

We are so sorry to hear about the inconvenience this recent change has caused you. Please contact us at tellus@vikingcruises.com so that we may discuss your situation and try to find a solution.

 

Best,

Viking Cruises

Edited by Viking Cruises

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My husband surprised me in 2013 by booking the "France's Finest" river cruise, departing in September of 2014, to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. He used funds we had been saving for a special trip for years. When we booked our trip they tried to sell us travel insurance, which we declined because the cost was ridiculous - $5,000.00. We did not foresee anything that would prohibit us from travelling. In July, 2014 our 39 year old son suffered a stroke. He was in the neuro intensive care unit for three months. As it became apparent my son was too ill for us to leave town, we contacted them on several occasions asking what we could do to cancel our trip. They continued to send us to a customer service rep and refused to escalate to anyone higher. My son's neuro team wrote a summary of his illness and advised that because he was on a respirator there was no way we could leave town. In following up with them, they said they were sorry about my circumstances but there was nothing they could do. I never requested a refund, but merely wanted to be able to rebook the trip we had paid for ($22,000+) at a discount. They told us that would not be possible. My son died of complications from a brain tumor in October of 2014 and we were, and are, devastated. Viking collected $22,000+, never spent a dime on us and refused to let us rebook at any discount. We recently sold our business and plan to do extensive cruising. Needless to say, it will not be with Viking. Several of our friends have cancelled their cruises as well in light of this company's total lack of compassion or empathy. Who tells a mother who is about to lose their son - sorry, nothing we can do? I think it's deplorable.

 

While I'm sorry for your loss, and Viking doesn't need my help, you didn't choose to buy insurance and want the benefit of it. Your numbers are WAY off, insurance for a $22,000 cruise would not approach $5000.

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Dear aqruzer,

 

We are so sorry to hear about the inconvenience this recent change has caused you. Please contact us at tellus@vikingcruises.com so that we may discuss your situation and try to find a solution.

 

Best,

Viking Cruises

To Viking Ocean cruises:

My TA HAS BEEN in touch with you. You offered us to change over to the 3 nights in London--as I've already stated above. My TA is waiting to hear from as well as her Area Manager.

I have a hard time believing you can't get us a hotel near 'Downtown Abbey' (Highclere Castle) which is 67 miles outside of London.

Aqruzer

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While I'm sorry for your loss, and Viking doesn't need my help, you didn't choose to buy insurance and want the benefit of it. Your numbers are WAY off, insurance for a $22,000 cruise would not approach $5000.

 

That is correct! Buy insurance from another source. There are many great companies and all different types of policies. Insurance is cheap when one considers the cost of the entire trip! ;)

 

I wonder if he even shopped for insurance? :confused:

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To Viking Ocean cruises:

My TA HAS BEEN in touch with you. You offered us to change over to the 3 nights in London--as I've already stated above. My TA is waiting to hear from as well as her Area Manager.

I have a hard time believing you can't get us a hotel near 'Downtown Abbey' (Highclere Castle) which is 67 miles outside of London.

Aqruzer

Viking's reason to us was that the tour operator cancelled. ??????? You figure it. They were not offering us 3 days in London, only air travel there. Other than that, we were on our own. They have returned our deposit (no interest or compensation) until we went bullisitic.

Our travel agent has worked relentlessly for us with them regarding our dissatisfaction and they are affording us a coach upgrade to "premium economy" part of the trip. Can't say I'm still not disappointed. Asked for the penthouse or first class (business class) as comp but was really only joking. I'm sure they laughed too. What I did find out on my own when we researched doing Downton Abbey ourselves, that it was going to be closed for the month of June per their report. Of course, that was only the Abbey so, I doubt that was the reason nor should it have been for the entire post extension being cancelled. Hope this "misery likes company" correspondence and the fact that the Abbey is closed, through no fault of Viking (I should hope), reduces somewhat your disappointment. Waiting now to see how Viking will do and treat us on the high seas.

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From my experience Viking offen doesnt do what they should when they should and the only way to get any real help post to social media, everything you can think of. I used their facebook page for this reason and while they did not fix the problem they caused before we left they did compensate for it later. Compensation after the fact is not the way to go, it doesnt make up for what you missed in any way.

 

Travel ins is a must and can be bought from many different companies, you dont have to buy it through Viking. I would think that since you contacted the company before the cruise started you should have been able to get back at least part of your money. Maybe the "right" Viking person hasnt heard the story, and finding that "right" person is often impossible.

 

Like I said...use your social media ;)

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My husband and I have had the Mediterranean cruise for Sept. 2016 booked for 2 years! Our agent called today to say our Pre-trip to Downton Abbey has been cancelled. Has anyone else been cancelled??

 

We, too, paid in 2013 to travel in Sept 2015 with Downton Abbey as part of a post-cruise tour, with air from Barcelona to LHR included. Our agent received a call first saying that they couldn't get into Downton Abbey, then saying that the hotel had cancelled. This is NO REASON to cancel an entire post- or pre-cruise tour! There are two other cities to see! It took two weeks for Viking to finally get someone "higher up" to answer our questions and respond to our request for assistance getting to LHR. Prior to this and with no warning they simply refunded the cost of the tour. No apology, no empathy, nothing but stonewalling and a lack of basic customer relations. This was supposed to be a Grand Trip for us. Now all we have is a bitter taste for the way we have been treated. Others have reported referral problems, transfer problems, and general information problems. Regent Cruises takes care of these items for their clients with warmth and a pleasant attitude. Did we book with the wrong cruise line??? :confused:

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I am not certain, but I think you may still be outside the cancel window where if you want to switch to Regent, you can cancelViking for a $100/per person penalty.

Not sure if you are aware of that option....you may already have paid for other pieces of your trip and this isn't viable, but thought I would let you know.

Edited by Vineyard View

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Thanks, Vineyard View, for your reply. Yes, we are well within our timeframe to cancel and are weighing our options at this time. The point is that Viking is totally lacking in Customer Relations (yes, capital C and R). I have lived overseas, traveled the world, worked for two tour operators and two airlines. I have never experienced such a shoddy attitude towards customers. Viking corporate must change the way in which they treat their clients if they wish to avoid further harm to their reputation.

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This doesn't explain why they cancelled the September post-excursion to England.

 

You're right. Is something "fishy in Denmark?" And I'm not stating this literally.

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I am having the same feeling about my 3 night Italian Cities tour ahead of boarding the Star in Venice in September 2015. I guess only time will tell.

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We are booked on Homeland Viking July 24th 2015 and after that will be river cruising with Viking from Amsterdam to Basel. We were booked for a 3 day post extension in Lake Geneva after our river cruise but Viking cancelled it because it no longer could get reservations at the original hotel. They did offer London England post trip but nothing else. Since we had been to London, we decided just to fly home. This was disappointing overall as we had wanted the Iceland pre extension tour when we booked our Ocean cruise and even booking almost 2 years in advance were told it was sold out.

The first of this year we looked into booking Vietnam and Thailand cruise for 2016 but were told the price would be more than the brochure price. The Viking rep explained that they were trying something new with their brochures (ie, the price printed is the 'lowest' price of the month) so the weeks we wanted started in that month but continued into the next month. Anyway, they would not come down by any amount and with the Canadian dollar being so bad, we said forget it!! They did not get our booking worth over $23,000 US. Just venting I guess but will definitely look at other companies in the future.

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For those who had either pre or post cruise excursions cancelled perhaps you should feel lucky. We are sailing on June 13 th with a post cruise 2 day extension to London. We received our documents yesterday and I feel like a bait and switch game was pulled. On my original paperwork from Viking it has us at the Barclay. The documents we just received has us at the Radisson Blu Berkshire in a " standard double ". The trip advisor info on the Berkshire is fine except for size of single and double accommodations. The pictures show a room which is probably smaller than our deluxe verandah on board. The pictures show a room where the small glass top table almost touches the end of bed and the tv is hung on wall because there is no place to put it.While the rooms at the Barclay are king size beds the beds at the Berkshire are doubles. When I book hotel rooms double beds rule out any hotel that does not have at least a queen size bed. It sounds silly in one sense but I really don't feel we are receiving what I paid for. We did a similar excursion in London through Celebrity and we were at the JW Marriott in a lovely room, I foolishly expected the same from Viking! Oh well, live and learn.... No more Viking.

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