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nativeaz

Viking's Customer Service is Lacking

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This note are our comments about the Viking Cruise Line Customer Service - and the appalling lack of it.

 

We have been loyal Viking cruisers for many years. In fact, we’re about to embark on one of their new ocean-going trips. But in total we’ve been on about 6 River cruises - have only used Viking - and have recommended the line to anyone who asks.

 

But we won’t do again - and this will be our last Viking Cruise Line itinerary.

 

The issue has to do with their lack of concern or interest in assisting us get from London to Harwich Cruise terminal. While we booked all of trip with Vkiking including the air and paying extra for a deviation so we could arrive early in London- and paid in full well in advance as is their requirement - the many folks I spoke with as I went “up the line” gave me the same party line - no one indicating any need or interest to help solve our issue. They do offer transfers for approx $50 per but only in a narrow circumstance. Private transfer from London will cost us in excess of $200 and it really is the only reasonable option open to us.

 

We’ve always been troubled by Viking requirement that a passenger pay in full well in advance of what any other line requires - they’re using our $$ - but we’ve tolerated that requirement. We’ve also been disappointed that they do minimally for their loyalty customers, such as ourselves - allowing a $250 credit no matter how many cruises with them - but we’ve accepted that also .

 

But this cavalier, almost unkind conversations with no help in problem solving is it for us. We will be looking for another River cruise line with which to attach our loyalty. I’m sure there are many.

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This may be common practice with other cruise lines as well. We are booked on Azamara in May. We also paid a deviation fee to travel home to London 4 days after we arrive in Nice. I have asked if we could use the Azamara transfer to the airport in Nice from the port (which would have been included if we had not taken the deviation). This would make it easier for us to pick up a hire car. But we were told 'no' not possible.

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I don't know why you're so upset when it's all laid out beforehand and the rules are clear. If you choose to use Viking Air and arrive the day of the cruise, they give you complimentary transfer. I look at it as a sort of compensation for having to arrive jet lagged as the day your cruise starts. BUT, if you deviate from that, the transfer is on you. What's the big deal? There are a myriad of transfer services available. Viking is under no obligation to take care of you if you go outside of their normal services. If you really want your transfer to be complimentary, don't deviate.

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I don't know why you're so upset when it's all laid out beforehand and the rules are clear. If you choose to use Viking Air and arrive the day of the cruise, they give you complimentary transfer. I look at it as a sort of compensation for having to arrive jet lagged as the day your cruise starts. BUT, if you deviate from that, the transfer is on you. What's the big deal? There are a myriad of transfer services available. Viking is under no obligation to take care of you if you go outside of their normal services. If you really want your transfer to be complimentary, don't deviate.

 

I agree with this post. After 6 Viking cruises don't you have any favorable posts about Viking customer service. 6 previous cruises and this is the first post.....a negative one.

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I don't know why you're so upset when it's all laid out beforehand and the rules are clear. If you choose to use Viking Air and arrive the day of the cruise, they give you complimentary transfer. I look at it as a sort of compensation for having to arrive jet lagged as the day your cruise starts. BUT, if you deviate from that, the transfer is on you. What's the big deal? There are a myriad of transfer services available. Viking is under no obligation to take care of you if you go outside of their normal services. If you really want your transfer to be complimentary, don't deviate.

We were not looking for a complimentary transfer, in fact they are not complimentary to anyone. And the main issue is that they were not interested in any kind of problem solving whatsoever. We made it very clear that we expected to pay a fee. In fact what we were requesting we have accomplished many times with other cruise lines.

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We too have done quite a few river cruises with Viking and usually pay the deviation fee to go in early along with using their air on occasion. We've never been offered a transfer for a cost or otherwise if we chose to go in early, it's my understanding transfers are only included when using Viking air and arriving/departing on the regular schedule or doing their pre or post extensions. Sorry you're disappointed but I don't think this has changed, I don't recall it ever being offered for a fee or free.

 

I hope you enjoy your cruise.

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On one Viking cruise where we had "deviated" we asked if we could meet up with the Viking transport at the airport on the embarkation day. We thought we could join up with the other Viking passengers and we were willing to pay the transfer fee. But because we had come in several days earlier, even though we'd be at the airport right there with other Viking passengers, the answer was "no."

 

We ended up deciding against Viking Air because of this and arranged our own.

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On one Viking cruise where we had "deviated" we asked if we could meet up with the Viking transport at the airport on the embarkation day. We thought we could join up with the other Viking passengers and we were willing to pay the transfer fee. But because we had come in several days earlier, even though we'd be at the airport right there with other Viking passengers, the answer was "no."

 

We ended up deciding against Viking Air because of this and arranged our own.

 

I am laughing as the way this is written it sounds like you came in several days early and just stayed at the airport to wait for embarkation day. Just a joke, sorry for my sense of humor.

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Dear nativeaz,

 

Our apologies for the delay in response.

 

We appreciate your loyalty to Viking Cruises and are sincerely sorry to learn of your disappointment in our customer service. While we endeavor to be flexible with our guests, operationally, not all requests can be accommodated.

 

Before you attach your loyalty to another cruise line, however, we would appreciate one more opportunity to regain your trust. Please contact us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we can connect you with a Viking representative to discuss further.

 

nativeaz, thank for allowing us the opportunity to respond. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Best regards,

Viking Cruises

 

This note are our comments about the Viking Cruise Line Customer Service - and the appalling lack of it.

 

We have been loyal Viking cruisers for many years. In fact, we’re about to embark on one of their new ocean-going trips. But in total we’ve been on about 6 River cruises - have only used Viking - and have recommended the line to anyone who asks.

 

But we won’t do again - and this will be our last Viking Cruise Line itinerary.

 

The issue has to do with their lack of concern or interest in assisting us get from London to Harwich Cruise terminal. While we booked all of trip with Vkiking including the air and paying extra for a deviation so we could arrive early in London- and paid in full well in advance as is their requirement - the many folks I spoke with as I went “up the line” gave me the same party line - no one indicating any need or interest to help solve our issue. They do offer transfers for approx $50 per but only in a narrow circumstance. Private transfer from London will cost us in excess of $200 and it really is the only reasonable option open to us.

 

We’ve always been troubled by Viking requirement that a passenger pay in full well in advance of what any other line requires - they’re using our $$ - but we’ve tolerated that requirement. We’ve also been disappointed that they do minimally for their loyalty customers, such as ourselves - allowing a $250 credit no matter how many cruises with them - but we’ve accepted that also .

 

But this cavalier, almost unkind conversations with no help in problem solving is it for us. We will be looking for another River cruise line with which to attach our loyalty. I’m sure there are many.

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When we flew into Bergen to start our Homelands Cruise last June we flew in privately from London. I had done my research with regards to transferring to the ship. Upon our arrival at Bergan Airport we arrived at the same time as those on Viking arranged air from Iceland. We spoke to a Viking Rep and they were more than happy for us to join them for the transfer to the ship. No hassles and could not have been more accommodating.

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When we flew into Prague to join a Viking River cruise, we arrived a few days early. Viking was able to arrange transfer (at a cost) for us to the hotel. It probably has to do with what ground crews and reps they have scheduled for the time you are arriving. In other cases, they were not available to handle arrangements and we made them directly ourselves.

 

On a Moscow to St. Petersburg river cruise in 2012, we arranged with the Hilton Hotel to provide transport from the airport. Most hotels have an arrangement or a hired car available to transport guests. The front desk, reservations, or the concierge can make these arrangements.

 

We have travelled a lot on our own and prefer to make our own transfers usually. In Paris, London, Munich, Budapest, Oslo, Bergen, Moscow, St. Petersburg, etc., we have never had a problem doing so. It may not be as cheap as a Viking bus transfer: sometimes it is a mini-van, other times a Mercedes taxi or a type S. It is not Viking's or anyone else's responsibility to get us around when we are on our own.

Edited by Traveler103

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Squigmond - you're right. I was trying to keep it simple. We were going to Paris a few days early and we were willing to take a train back out to CDG airport on the day the regular non-deviation Viking passengers would be coming in, in order to get the transfer, but since we had come in early, we were told "no". When I reread my first message I can see how you thought that. I can't image spending several days in CDG. :eek:

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Dear nativeaz,

 

Our apologies for the delay in response.

 

We appreciate your loyalty to Viking Cruises and are sincerely sorry to learn of your disappointment in our customer service. While we endeavor to be flexible with our guests, operationally, not all requests can be accommodated.

 

Before you attach your loyalty to another cruise line, however, we would appreciate one more opportunity to regain your trust. Please contact us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we can connect you with a Viking representative to discuss further.

 

nativeaz, thank for allowing us the opportunity to respond. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Best regards,

Viking Cruises

This note is a followup to our comments about Viking Cruise Line Customer Service that we posted on March 20.

 

Please know, that since our posting Viking has provided exemplary service and concern to us. As I stated in the original posting, not only were we frustrated about the situation itself, but mostly about about the attitude that seemed to be so disinterested.

 

We now have been kindly approached with a Customer Service Rep who immediately understood the cause of our displeasure. She handled the situation professionally and pleasantly. We feel most appreciative and look forward to many more Viking Cruises.

Edited by nativeaz

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have you contacted your travel agent?? They probably would be able to help you solve this problem. This is a perfect example to justify their commission.

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I agree with other comments about taking your own responsibility about transfers, but I can also state that as another long time Viking river cruiser, my experience of the Viking customer service has gone down hill. The My Viking Journey website has the same quality as the Costa Concordia, it is on the rocks much of the time

This note are our comments about the Viking Cruise Line Customer Service - and the appalling lack of it.

 

We have been loyal Viking cruisers for many years. In fact, we’re about to embark on one of their new ocean-going trips. But in total we’ve been on about 6 River cruises - have only used Viking - and have recommended the line to anyone who asks.

 

But we won’t do again - and this will be our last Viking Cruise Line itinerary.

 

The issue has to do with their lack of concern or interest in assisting us get from London to Harwich Cruise terminal. While we booked all of trip with Vkiking including the air and paying extra for a deviation so we could arrive early in London- and paid in full well in advance as is their requirement - the many folks I spoke with as I went “up the line” gave me the same party line - no one indicating any need or interest to help solve our issue. They do offer transfers for approx $50 per but only in a narrow circumstance. Private transfer from London will cost us in excess of $200 and it really is the only reasonable option open to us.

 

We’ve always been troubled by Viking requirement that a passenger pay in full well in advance of what any other line requires - they’re using our $$ - but we’ve tolerated that requirement. We’ve also been disappointed that they do minimally for their loyalty customers, such as ourselves - allowing a $250 credit no matter how many cruises with them - but we’ve accepted that also .

 

But this cavalier, almost unkind conversations with no help in problem solving is it for us. We will be looking for another River cruise line with which to attach our loyalty. I’m sure there are many.

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After one Viking River cruise we decided on a Viking Ocean cruise with "air " included but have now cancelled. Despite promises of easy flight changes and upgrades as long as we were willing to pay(and we were) Viking proved intransigent. Couldn't even get a direct flight to San Juan from Toronto thru Viking. Back to Celebrity and Princess and booking our own airfare so we can fly when and how we want to.

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This note is a followup to our comments about Viking Cruise Line Customer Service that we posted on March 20.

 

Please know, that since our posting Viking has provided exemplary service and concern to us. As I stated in the original posting, not only were we frustrated about the situation itself, but mostly about about the attitude that seemed to be so disinterested.

 

We now have been kindly approached with a Customer Service Rep who immediately understood the cause of our displeasure. She handled the situation professionally and pleasantly. We feel most appreciative and look forward to many more Viking Cruises.

 

 

I too must applaud our recent experiences with VikingOceanCruises customer service. Many of you may know they are dropping Instanbul and the remainder of turkey from future sailings. For those of us that had to book our own flights, of course, I was assuming the responsibility would be mine to either change my flights or get myself two is to move to connect to our original flights. I must applaud the customer service folks at Viking for not only being willing to help us with our change fees or facilitating us buying flights to Istanbul, but their attitude throughout, their responsiveness, and how empowered people were that I talk to during the process. Being inexperienced cruiser with several lines, the service was exemplary.

 

I should specifically call out Valerie Kepler and her team.

Edited by flhartley

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Having sailed several river cruises with Viking and booking them always with a TA I decide to book my Viking Star "NY to the West Indies" in Oct directly with Viking. And let me tell you, it was the without a doubt the best, quick and easy booking I ever made. The Viking agent was absolutely wonderful. Can't praise them enough.

WAPAVO

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Having sailed several river cruises with Viking and booking them always with a TA I decide to book my Viking Star "NY to the West Indies" in Oct directly with Viking. And let me tell you, it was the without a doubt the best, quick and easy booking I ever made. The Viking agent was absolutely wonderful. Can't praise them enough.

WAPAVO

 

I forgot to mention that Lynne Garboski was my Viking Agent that did my booking. Hats off to Lynne.

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Having sailed several river cruises with Viking and booking them always with a TA I decide to book my Viking Star "NY to the West Indies" in Oct directly with Viking. And let me tell you, it was the without a doubt the best, quick and easy booking I ever made. The Viking agent was absolutely wonderful. Can't praise them enough.

WAPAVO

 

Forgot to mention that Lynne Garboski was the Viking Agent who did my booking. She was absolutely wonderful.

WAPAVO

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Viking proved intransigent. Couldn't even get a direct flight to San Juan from Toronto thru Viking.

 

Does such a Direct flight even exist on any airline?

All flights I see require a stop in MIA.

 

Do you mean "Non-Stop" versus "Direct" allows a stop but no plane change.

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My wife and I also have complaints about Viking's customer service and we have yet to take our cruise,scheduled this coming June. We have booked with five other couples all of whom booked through travel agents. All received credits for cross referrals as well as shipboard credits. We subsequently referred another couple who received a $200 credit but we received nothing. We had assumed that booking directly with Viking would be the best deal but after finding out what the others got we contacted Viking several times to see if we would be treated similarly. The shipboard credit was summarily refused while the referral credit was being investigated. Followup calls to various operators all promised action but no credit has been forthcoming. Subsequent calls to those same operators have never been returned. We were told that by booking directly through Viking we had the advantage of dealing with them directly as opposed to those who had to deal through their travel agent. As you can see that's worked out real well for us so far. In addition we booked our airfare through Viking only to find out that our fellow travelers paid less than us while we had to pay an additional plus fee so that we could ensure we were all on the same flight. It seems that once they have your money they're not so anxious to deal with you. The trip is worth several thousand dollars and the amount we're haggling over is small change in comparison but all we ask is to be treated fairly

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My wife and I also have complaints about Viking's customer service and we have yet to take our cruise,scheduled this coming June. We have booked with five other couples all of whom booked through travel agents. All received credits for cross referrals as well as shipboard credits. We subsequently referred another couple who received a $200 credit but we received nothing. We had assumed that booking directly with Viking would be the best deal but after finding out what the others got we contacted Viking several times to see if we would be treated similarly. The shipboard credit was summarily refused while the referral credit was being investigated. Followup calls to various operators all promised action but no credit has been forthcoming. Subsequent calls to those same operators have never been returned. We were told that by booking directly through Viking we had the advantage of dealing with them directly as opposed to those who had to deal through their travel agent. As you can see that's worked out real well for us so far. In addition we booked our airfare through Viking only to find out that our fellow travelers paid less than us while we had to pay an additional plus fee so that we could ensure we were all on the same flight. It seems that once they have your money they're not so anxious to deal with you. The trip is worth several thousand dollars and the amount we're haggling over is small change in comparison but all we ask is to be treated fairly

 

Next time you cruise you will know better. The cruise travel pricing game has a very steep learning curve and the penalties can be heavy but it is not up to the cruise lines to teach its customers how to play the game or to compensate them when they make the wrong move.

 

The shipboard credits that your friends received are enticements paid by the travel agent in order to get their business. The cruise lines are not obligated to match these offers.

 

When you refer someone, you get a dollar amount discount per referral on a future cruise booked within a certain time frame--not a refund on a current cruise. Read the program details on the Viking website.

 

Your problem has not been that you aren't being treated 'fairly'--because you are being treated with the same policies as everyone else-- but that you have had no one to explain the rules and policies to you before you made any decisions. If someone had explained the role of travel agents, about customization fees on the air fares, about travel agent enticements, etc, before you started down the booking path, you would not be half as upset as you are now.

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