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Warning: Double-check the times for your shorex bookings

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When I created this saga, I should have titled it "Check, double-check, and triple-check your Shore Excursions. Then check again!".

 

If you've been following this topic, you'll know that I booked shore excursions some months ago, the day bookings opened for our cabin category. I selected the first time slot for each, and obtained written confirmations.

 

I subsequently discovered that Viking had unilaterally changed half of them, moving us to later times (as much as 3h45m later). As soon as I noticed these changes (on MVJ), I contacted Viking, and a helpful Customer Engagement Specialist reinstated us at the times we had originally reserved.

 

I thought that was the end of it, but sadly it was not. We fly out to Barcelona tomorrow, so this evening I thought it prudent to check on MVJ one last time. Surprise! Viking's done it again. They made a change to one reservation, moving our booking to another time slot an hour and a half later. This is a new change, not one of the reservations they modified before.

 

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, Viking knows how to take a reservation. They just don't know how to hold the reservation. They stated that these changes "resulted from an internal error". It's become apparent this error is persistent and pervasive - as reported here and elsewhere, it's impacting multiple passengers at multiple ports on various voyages. One hopes that it doesn't migrate into their cabin reservation software, or the bridge navigation system.

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Screen-gem - And don't forget to.check the paper tickets you get once onboard. These could be different from whatever MVJ tells you. It's the paper tickets that count!

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Hi screen gem, I am glad you had some success before the issue remerged. We have had just two changes (so far). The first was a major problem which we fixed ourselves by implementing a work around when Viking did not bother to respond to our complaint, the second occurred a week later, and it has been more than a week without Viking sorting anything. We have it logged with my local Viking office and now TellUs@viking cruises. The whole circumstances of the changes are very confusing. Whilst for us it is perhaps not life or death, it is an irritant considering we are dealing with a premium supplier and have paid for something better than is being delivered. I understand the ship is terrific, but I agree, let us hope the same people are not managing the navigation systems as are managing myvikingjourney.

When I created this saga, I should have titled it "Check, double-check, and triple-check your Shore Excursions. Then check again!".

 

If you've been following this topic, you'll know that I booked shore excursions some months ago, the day bookings opened for our cabin category. I selected the first time slot for each, and obtained written confirmations.

 

I subsequently discovered that Viking had unilaterally changed half of them, moving us to later times (as much as 3h45m later). As soon as I noticed these changes (on MVJ), I contacted Viking, and a helpful Customer Engagement Specialist reinstated us at the times we had originally reserved.

 

I thought that was the end of it, but sadly it was not. We fly out to Barcelona tomorrow, so this evening I thought it prudent to check on MVJ one last time. Surprise! Viking's done it again. They made a change to one reservation, moving our booking to another time slot an hour and a half later. This is a new change, not one of the reservations they modified before.

 

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, Viking knows how to take a reservation. They just don't know how to hold the reservation. They stated that these changes "resulted from an internal error". It's become apparent this error is persistent and pervasive - as reported here and elsewhere, it's impacting multiple passengers at multiple ports on various voyages. One hopes that it doesn't migrate into their cabin reservation software, or the bridge navigation system.

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Screen-gem - And don't forget to.check the paper tickets you get once onboard. These could be different from whatever MVJ tells you. It's the paper tickets that count!

 

We're on board! (The ship is beautiful!)

 

Another surprise awaited us in our room. We found a stack of shorex tickets in an envelope, but the none have any times on them. There are tickets for each of the tours we reserved, but the Meeting Time field is blank. The instructions indicate to "refer to the Viking Daily for meeting time". So we don't actually learn the time of each booking until the night before when the Daily is delivered.

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Hi,

 

 

All of your paper tickers should have a code on them, if you have concerns go and see the helpful crew at the Explorers Desk who should be able to let you know if these codes correspond roughly with your bookings.

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

We're on board! (The ship is beautiful!)

 

Another surprise awaited us in our room. We found a stack of shorex tickets in an envelope, but the none have any times on them. There are tickets for each of the tours we reserved, but the Meeting Time field is blank. The instructions indicate to "refer to the Viking Daily for meeting time". So we don't actually learn the time of each booking until the night before when the Daily is delivered.

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So even the paper tickets don't count, plans are unclear until the night before. Thanks for the information screen-gem. We look forward to a nice ship, nice people, and will try to remain relaxed about the (in)ability to plan. And just when Viking "locked in" our shorex as we wanted after three system hiccups.

We're on board! (The ship is beautiful!)

 

Another surprise awaited us in our room. We found a stack of shorex tickets in an envelope, but the none have any times on them. There are tickets for each of the tours we reserved, but the Meeting Time field is blank. The instructions indicate to "refer to the Viking Daily for meeting time". So we don't actually learn the time of each booking until the night before when the Daily is delivered.

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Of course we have now discovered another change, an included tour in Copenhagen has been moved from morning to afternoon. The six non-included day time Copenhagen tours are all in the afternoon, all these now conflict with the included tour. There is nothing on in the morning, ship arrives 8:30. Whilst we don't have an afternoon conflict, we now have a rush between the changed afternoon time and an evening event, and an empty morning. I am sure many others now have a conflict between the included tour and afternoon bookings.

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I just checked again to find that three of our complimentary excursions have been changed from early to late. The one in Copenhagen has been changed to the afternoon when we had scheduled a paid excursion. Both at the same time! That was the only day we were able to book two excursions with Viking and now we no longer have. It seems somebody must be slippinig somebody some bills to give them the time slot they want....and those of us who aren't there for the slipping get thrown under the bus.

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I was able to get the Copenhagen excursion changed back to morning but no explanation of why it was switched. Another morning one had been cancelled because not enough people wanted to go at 8:30am. Personally, I don't mind. It's my companions who want to be roosters.

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The saga continues, now more than half my excursions have had some change. So far 3 cancellations and 5 time changes. All of the time changes have a negative impact for us in some way or other. As an example we chose a four hour tour starting at 8:45, we have been changed to a start at 10:45 and a finish at 2:45, obviously we will need a packed lunch. What a waste of time between breakfast and the tour. This is what Viking calls enrichment.

 

I did respond to "TellUs" to email Viking (multiple times); I have had no replies from TellUs at all.

 

It appears from the earlier post from screen-gem, that the tour times are being managed on board day by day. Are the choices made in My Viking Journey and the priority reservations offered just a swindle? The really funny part is that many passengers would be in the dark about the situation until they board. I understand Henry Kissinger has been asked to man the Explorer Desk.

 

I'll take a tranquilliser and deal with whatever as it comes up in a joyful spirit once on board.

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Viking passengers should be advised that Viking may change the times on excursion reservations you made on MVJ (My Viking Journey) website without notice. They won't notify you about the changes, and you might not find out about them until you're on board.

 

We're booked on the Star for an upcoming voyage. Last month, I logged on to MVJ at 6am the day the booking window opened for our cabin category, and made reservations for the excursions we wanted to go on. I selected the earliest available time slot for each, in order to leave the afternoons free for other private tours or activities. Being the 'early bird', I was fortunate to get the first time slots listed.

 

My booking requests were all accepted, and I obtained a printed confirmation of the tours and times for our trip planning folder. I verified that the various tours & times were all loaded into the My Calendar pages on MVJ. In the weeks since, I made arrangements with guides or drivers for some private tours in a number of the ports, at later times in the day. I thought I had our various port days all planned and under control.

 

A few days ago, I happened to be checking My Calendar to verify arrival time in one of the ports. To my surprise, I found that fully half of our reservations had been unilaterally changed by Viking. Two of them had been moved from the first time slot in the morning to tours in the afternoon. Viking did not notify us of the changes - had I not happened to check our MVJ My Calendar, I would never have known.

 

This was not an isolated event on our file. Travel companions on this trip (who had made similar shorex reservations) also found unexpected changes to their bookings when they looked on MVJ. Viking must be having some IT issues with their on-line reservations system, as depicted here:

 

So a word to the wise (I include all CC members in that cohort): double-check the times of any shorex reservations you've made on MVJ, especially if you've arranged your own port activities that could be impacted should Viking make changes to your schedule.

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Thanks for the update

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Also, when you board, you will get printed "tickets" for each person for each shore excursion. CHECK THESE TOO and verify the times. In some cases last year, the time slots on the tickets were wrong and did not match MVJ (much less the times we had reserved). We too had signed up for the earliest excursions (we were in Junior Penthouse Suites so got to book early) only to find out from the ticket that Viking had unilaterally changed the time slot on us. It's not that there were not tours going at the times we had been scheduled - the early tours were still going - we were just not on them. If we hadn't looked at the tickets we would not have known, as no word from Viking about the change. Make sure you take all your print-outs of confirmations with you in case this happens to you too. We spent HOURS at the Exploder's Desk straightening this out on our trip.

Thanks for the info

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Dear screen-gem & espresso68,

 

Thank you for the invitation to reply.

 

The shore excursion adjustments you describe resulted from an internal error that inadvertently overbooked the early morning time slots for several included tours. To even distribution, a handful of guests were moved to a later time slot – the majority of which will only experience a 30-minute difference in start times.

 

screen-gem & espresso68, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these adjustments may have caused you. Should your newly-assigned start times conflict with other arrangements, please contact us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we may review other options.

 

We look forward to welcoming you both aboard!

 

Warm regards,

Viking Cruises

Would you recommend booking excursions with our Viking representative

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I would try not to sweat the small stuff. I imagine there are plenty of people who signed up on MVJ and didn't experience a single excursion time change, other than perhaps having a "meet time" printed on the tickets which is a bit earlier than the excursion time. I think I saw that a couple times, but other that, I didn't experience any changes. I've learned to be flexible, as I don't think I've ever stepped into my room after boarding without finding a whole page or two of excursion changes - time, length, content, occasionally a few excursions cancelled; occasionally a few excursions added. It's a big juggling act between the vendors and Viking excursion personnel, and they both do the best they can to make things work. Of course, if the sea conditions turn bad and the ship docks/tenders late, it makes things worse! Ocean cruising requires a bit of flexibility - but in the end is SO worth it!

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Dear Captain Hornblower,

 

We regret to hear that your shore excursion schedule continues to be impacted by the technical error we addressed earlier in this thread.

 

Fortunately, we are in receipt of your email messages to TellUs and are working towards a resolution. Please be advised, you will not receive an email response from TellUs directly. Emails that come through TellUs are tasked to individual agents for personal attention.

 

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience these scheduling adjustments have caused you. We appreciate your flexibility and look forward to welcoming you aboard Viking Sea in May!

 

Best regards,

Viking Cruises

 

The saga continues, now more than half my excursions have had some change. So far 3 cancellations and 5 time changes. All of the time changes have a negative impact for us in some way or other. As an example we chose a four hour tour starting at 8:45, we have been changed to a start at 10:45 and a finish at 2:45, obviously we will need a packed lunch. What a waste of time between breakfast and the tour. This is what Viking calls enrichment.

 

I did respond to "TellUs" to email Viking (multiple times); I have had no replies from TellUs at all.

 

It appears from the earlier post from screen-gem, that the tour times are being managed on board day by day. Are the choices made in My Viking Journey and the priority reservations offered just a swindle? The really funny part is that many passengers would be in the dark about the situation until they board. I understand Henry Kissinger has been asked to man the Explorer Desk.

 

I'll take a tranquilliser and deal with whatever as it comes up in a joyful spirit once on board.

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Dear Fpacifico,

 

Thank you for your inquiry.

 

Fortunately, we do not anticipate the current technical challenge to impact shore excursions that have not yet been booked. While, when the time comes, we would encourage you to elect your shore excursions through My Viking Journey, you are always welcome to contact us directly and book with a Viking representative over the phone.

 

Fpacifico, we appreciate the opportunity to respond and look forward to welcoming you aboard!

 

Kind regards,

Viking Cruises

 

Would you recommend booking excursions with our Viking representative

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Our Viking Homelands cruise leaves soon on July 10 and it appears we can make our shore excursion reservations on May 4 and our dining res. on May 11 as we are in a DV cabin. My questions are:

1. We made our booking thru a TA and are precluded from booking these dining and tours thru Viking and must do so thru our TA--or can we do it on line thru the "My Viking Journey" link?

2.Can we start booking one minute after midnight on May 4 & 11, and if so, is this our local California time, East Coast time or Norwegian time?

 

Thanks

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Our Viking Homelands cruise leaves soon on July 10 and it appears we can make our shore excursion reservations on May 4 and our dining res. on May 11 as we are in a DV cabin. My questions are:

1. We made our booking thru a TA and are precluded from booking these dining and tours thru Viking and must do so thru our TA--or can we do it on line thru the "My Viking Journey" link?

2.Can we start booking one minute after midnight on May 4 & 11, and if so, is this our local California time, East Coast time or Norwegian time?

 

Thanks

 

You make the reservation yourselves on you My Viking Journey link. If I remember correctly, the timing was California not NY.

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It sounds like a lot of Viking passengers aren't used to going off on their own in a port, but if you're a little adventuresome and find you have a half day without tours booked, I would encourage you to see if there might be anything to do right at the port, or a free or low-cost shuttle to the tourist area, or some point of interest within walking distance of where the ship is scheduled to dock. (Dock location isn't always known until the night before, but since Viking offers free wifi, it's easy to do some last minute planning on Google after asking the Explorer's Desk for the ship's assigned dock location.) For example, many cruise ships dock in Copenhagen within walking distance of the Little Mermaid, plus an inexpensive water taxi to many interesting places IF you have Danish money. Also, there frequently are taxis at the various ports that will take you for an inexpensive one or two hour tour.

 

It's great that cruise lines offer excursions, and even better that Viking includes many in the cost of their cruises, but taking cruise line excursions is not the only option out there, especially if you are trying to do two tours in one day. We have a great time going off by ourselves, and I would encourage everyone who is the least bit adventuresome to give it a try.

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We are going on the Viking Homelands cruise from Stockholm on the 21st May. We are in a junior suite so booked very early. All our excursions were fully confirmed. Now three of our excursions have been changed not by an odd hour but by three, four and five hours respectively. I will be speaking to Viking in the morning but having worked in Customer Services all my life and was taking this cruise to celebrate my retirement it is very sad that before I even get on board I have to battle over a poor service issue. The worst thing is just changing the bookings without telling us.

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Ok. We're a PV2 and did our bookings (paid $$) and reservations (included free and chose a time) for MVH July 25 yesterday afternoon (live in EDT). Tedious and sometimes a tad clunky. Discovered best way to handle items removed from your shopping basket was to close your browser and reopen it. Otherwise the booking system thought the item you'd deleted from your basket was still there when you tried to select that item again but for a different time (e.g.). "Calendar conflict" alerts were a bit distracting especially for those cases where our excursion plans weren't identical. Disappointed too that payment options only included credit card; no eCheck (with associated discount). .

 

So. What's next? Keep checking MVJ to see what happens to things? I would hope that those things I paid for don't magically disappear or get canceled. I was assuming that if I was able to book a paid item, it was not full.

 

Also - updated my timeline spreadsheet with a new feature (sunrise and sunset) plus revised end times for two of the excursions we booked (was focused on our priority 1 list). Have posted the excel and PDF version of it to the same Dropbox and GoogleDrive site I told you about before. Just in case you can't find it, I'll update this posting with the links this evening (can't do that too well from my iPhone.). I may go thru the rest of the excursions to see if there any other changes. And upload a 2nd revision. But not tonight.

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Ok. We're a PV2 and did our bookings (paid $$) and reservations (included free and chose a time) for MVH July 25 yesterday afternoon (live in EDT). Tedious and sometimes a tad clunky. Discovered best way to handle items removed from your shopping basket was to close your browser and reopen it. Otherwise the booking system thought the item you'd deleted from your basket was still there when you tried to select that item again but for a different time (e.g.). "Calendar conflict" alerts were a bit distracting especially for those cases where our excursion plans weren't identical. Disappointed too that payment options only included credit card; no eCheck (with associated discount). .

 

So. What's next? Keep checking MVJ to see what happens to things? I would hope that those things I paid for don't magically disappear or get canceled. I was assuming that if I was able to book a paid item, it was not full.

 

 

Check MVJ regularly to see if Viking makes any unilateral changes.

For the included tours, it's quite possible they may change your tour times, perhaps moving you from the first time slot to the last. That happened to us several times.

For paid excursions, a particular tour might be canceled if insufficient people sign up for it.

 

Be sure to print out a copy of all the tours you think you've reserved, and take it with you.

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