Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
screen-gem

Warning: Double-check the times for your shorex bookings

Recommended Posts

If an excursion is cancelled I would expect a refund.

 

If a tour gets canceled because it is under-booked you might not be informed of the fact immediately but you will get a refund. It will be refunded to the credit card you used to purchase the shorex.

 

With restrictions as stated on the Viking website, you may also cancel any shorex that you booked and it will again be refunded to the credit card you used for the purchase. Read the cancellation policy on the Viking website carefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are a group of 10 (5 couples) and all of us had shore excursions changed (always the included ones never and paid ones) from our original ones, sometimes by an hour, sometimes by several hours. Our group had spent a considerable amount of time coordinating the excursions so that we could be together on the ones where more than one couple agreed. We all also got online at 3:00 am EDT on April 13 to ensure that we got what we had all agreed on (only one couple missed a paid excursion). That was blown to bits by some of the changes, where we either separated or put on a later excursion which interferes with some of our other plans to do things on our own or with meals. The only notice we got from Viking was an email stating that due to "schedule changes" some shore excursions times "might" be changed. No list of changes or explanation as to why the changes were made. Based on a prior post by Viking in this thread, the explanation of overbooking is obviously unsatisfactory. Also, what was the criteria for selecting who was to be changed? Viking was also well aware of the 10 of us being a group.

 

I emailed TellUs@Vikingcruises.com about the problems on Sunday (the 8th)and received a phone call from a very personable customer service rep named Stacy yesterday (the 9th). I was on the phone for an hour going over all the changes and emailed her an even more detailed schematic of all the changes and an explanation of why most were unacceptable (dietary issues are involved among others like a conflict with the reservation at Manfredi's). The problem is that Stacy could do nothing but send the info to the Shore Excursion Department and THE PERSON" was out this week. While I very much appreciated the very prompt response, I have very little confidence that much will be done to rectify the problem if indeed overbooking caused the problem in the first place since someone will have to be "bumped" like we were.

 

It is a shame to have to deal with &*!*@* like this when everything else I hear about the ship is so positive.

 

I will let everyone know how this ends up, but like has been said in prior posts, be vigilant on the shore excursions before you go and once you are on the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Billybob,

I concur with your comment re Stacy @ Viking ("very personable"). I recently dealt with her on another matter, and found her to be extremely helpful and attuned to Customer Satisfaction. However, on the matter of shorex reservations, I fear she and her colleagues are in a difficult spot. Viking's IT systems appear to be plagued by a persistent and pervasive "internal error" which is prone to changing reservation times, then changing them again (even after Stacy and co have made corrections for you).

 

Once you're on-board, be aware that you may face yet another challenge. When we arrived in our cabin on the Star last month, we found a stack of tour tickets, but they had no departure times on them. Typically, the included tours are broken up in many groups (4 or more) with staggered start times. The groups were designated on our tickets with letter codes (i.e. LDN001A, LDN001B, LDN001C, etc). The mapping from the codes to the actual departure times was published in the Daily bulletin the night before each port day, so we didn't know when our designated group would depart until we returned to our cabin after dinner.

 

You might think that group A would be the first to depart, followed by group B, etc. That would be logical, but it's not always the way it was scheduled. For example, on the Bordeaux walking tour, the timetable was as follows:

A - 8:30am

E - 9:00am

D - 9:30am

B - 10:45am

C - 1:30pm

Hopefully Viking will get the bugs in the reservations system sorted prior to your voyage, as it is clearly a source of frustration for many. If not, don't hesitate to visit the Excursion Desk for assistance. We found the staff there to be very responsive and eager to help.

Edited by screen-gem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't sound like a bug; sounds like there was much greater demand than expected and Viking worked to add some tours. Rather than go back and re-number the older tours to be in chronological order (and possibly have to do that multiple times!!), they just added the next letter. That's just a guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope I'm not jinxing myself here but I haven't had any of my booked excursion times changed. I've been reading of the problems on this thread and I check MVJ every day just to be sure and it's all the same as when I booked. The cruise documents we just received also have all of our excursions scheduled the same as when we booked. We're scheduled to sail on the Viking Homelands cruise on May 29th.

 

Were the changes that have been made to your excursions done prior to 2 weeks out or after? I'll still probably check each day just to be sure but I'm hoping maybe the bugs have been worked out???!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Were the changes that have been made to your excursions done prior to 2 weeks out or after? I'll still probably check each day just to be sure but I'm hoping maybe the bugs have been worked out???!!!

 

@va2pa,

I booked our tours (all included, none extra-cost) the day the booking window opened for DV1. That was 60 days before sailing, so I'll call that T-60. Sometime between T-60 and T-27, Viking changed the times for half of our reservations. I contacted TellUs, and a helpful rep reinstated the original times. It was explained the changes were due to an "internal error".

 

Sometime between T-27 and T-4, they changed another. I discovered that when I looked on MVJ just before we flew out to BCN. I checked the tour tickets upon arrival on board (T-0), and found yet another change. Midway through the cruise, new tickets with a time change for yet another tour appeared in our room. The efficient staff at the Excursions desk were able to adjust all of these back to the original times. This was important since we (and our traveling companions) had made various other shorex plans (private guides, tickets to museums and other sites) based on our original reservation times.

 

The shorex Director on the Star was well aware of the ongoing problem with their reservation system, and assured me it had been escalated to senior management at Viking HQ. With luck, the bugs/defects/process issues will get sorted before you board on May29.

Edited by screen-gem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I expressed concern to Viking on the phone about possible changed excursions, I was told about the internal error and also that they didn't think excursions not yet booked at that time would be impacted. I would be interested in knowing the dates of cruises for which people have had (or NOT had) problems.

 

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I expressed concern to Viking on the phone about possible changed excursions, I was told about the internal error and also that they didn't think excursions not yet booked at that time would be impacted. I would be interested in knowing the dates of cruises for which people have had (or NOT had) problems.

 

Jan

 

We booked our tours on April 13 for our June 19, cruise. We are traveling with another party and almost all the included tours that we want to do together have had their times changed. Fortunately, they managed to move both couples to the same tour and we have opted not to ask to have them changed back to the time we requested since we have not booked any other tours on those days. Others on our cruises have had tours changed as well--especially those travelling with large groups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

screen-gem - thanks for the detailed information!! Looks like I'll still be checking every day until we get there, AND checking our tickets closely once there. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if what you're asking is "how long has this problem been going on?" If you are I can tell you since the first sailing of the Star on April 11, 2015. So for over a year. So, my advice is to expect this to happen to you and decide how you want to handle it. Is it really important that you keep to your original time slot? If so, be prepared to go down to the Excursions Desk and straighten it out. If you are firm and explain your reasons, they will accommodate you (at least they did us - many, many times). On the other hand you might not mind the new time slot and are prepared to just go with the flow. We were in this situation a couple of times - had signed up for early morning and got changed to early afternoon. The advantage with the early afternoons is that they are usually not as crowded.

 

And then for some minority of folks , they'll be no changes and everything will work out as planned.

 

My advice is to plan on some mix up and plan how you're going to deal with it and don't let it get to you - it will all work out in the end. I know it's just frustrating to have to deal with it and you haven't even sailed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With regard to our changed shore excursions, I am happy to inform everyone that after contacting Viking through the TellUs email, I received a phone call from Viking Customer Service within 24 hours and after an extensive and very friendly conversation, I emailed a comprehensive chart of the changes that had been made to our group of 10. As it turned out, Stacy from Viking had to talk to each couple individually before she could send the change requests to Shorex, but in the end all of our changed excursions were reinstated to the original time (except for 2 that were 1/2 hour changes due to tour schedule changes). While it took a considerable amount time, Viking was terrific in the end. I truly believe that Viking is making every effort to remedy problems if it can, especially if the problem is presented in a conciliatory manner. I just hope that we do not have any surprises either before we leave or once we get on the ship.

 

For anybody who has a problem, contact TellUs and be nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. The issue appears to be more with included excursions vice paid optional excursions? In the case of the former, it sounds like the system treats a reservation, even after its confirmed by email, as a reservation request? Subject to adjustment? Odd. In any case, we aren't doing any DIY tours in any of the ports on our July 24th VH out of Bergen. And doing mostly paid optionals rather than includeds (only 2). Booked them all on the first day PV class reservations opened. May I reasonably hope that whatever evil machinations occur in their beknighted reservation "system" will leave us relatively unscathed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw. @screengem - I've been meaning to watch the video clip you posted at the beginning of this thread. Just did. It's really funny especially given that I've actually HAD an experience like that with a major rental car agency. Arrived very late one evening at LAX and was told no cars left in the car class I'd reserved. Fortunately I did get a car - at a higher class level thank god and, if memory serves, without the higher rate for that car class. But it did boggle my mind that the system would allow more car reservations for each class than they had in their lot. Funny math in estimating when cars would be returned in time for the next customer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CharTrav - Most of our "systems error" adjustments to our tours were indeed included ones. Often there is only one time for any given optional tour. I say most because some of our optional tours were indeed switched on us. We had carefully planned Naples to first take the Herculaneum tour in the am (only time it was offered) and then Pompeii in the afternoon (Pompeii was offered in am and pm). When we boarded we got tickets for the am for Pompeii and they had cancelled our Herculaneum tour as they said we were overbooked. Finally did straighten it out and managed to see both. Moral of the story - check your tickets once onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will do. In the first week of the cruise we have a somewhat complex plan with each of us doing things separately. Copenhagen is the most complex in which we finally share a ShoreEx that evening (jazz cruise). After that, we're together on all the excursions. Will keep an a eagle eye on things tho to make sure no surprises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just returned from Viking Homelands on the Sea. Great trip! We did have problems with included tours being changed. The Excursion Desk on the ship tried very hard to accomodate our requests to change them back but sometimes could not. It was obvious there is no communication between the folks who answer the phones and email for Viking and those actually on the ships. Plenty of eye rolls when we described all the changes we encountered during the weeks before our trip. I would not encourage anyone who has called or emailed for a time change to be confident it will actually happen as expected. Our main complaint was with being assigned to tours in the middle of the day, which left insufficient time either before or after the tour for us to do anything additional. In Stockholm, however, this turned out to be a good thing, as we docked close to town and walked around alone shopping in the morning and early afternoon and then got to ride a while and rest during the bus portion of our 3:30 pm city tour. Then we were ready for the walking portion of the tour. By the way, we found all the guides to be extremely competent, included or paid. And many of the tours included a little added treat that was not described or expected.....such as the Viking Fair in Allborg, which was locals hired to man four or five booths where Viking activities were described and acted out. Even included a Viking snack and a taste of mead. One the one tour we were unhappy with (helicopter in Stavanger), we were given a partial refund. Our Waterways excursion in Stockholm was cancelled because the provider backed out and we got a complete refund promptly. You can check your shipboard account on the tv in your stateroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news indeed. Only a few of our excursions are of the "reserve a time type" aka included, so I don't expect many surprises or opportunity to inflict same. At this time, 60 days out, all is steady as she goes. May that state continue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had 2 of my shore excursion times changed just last week, and i am leaving next Sunday on the Vikings Homeland out of Bergen. I am upset about both of the changes as one of them now means I either do that or cancel the paid one i also had planned...I was never notified.. just happen to do what we all are being told to do on this website...double/check shore bookings. I did ALL that all of you have mentioned to try and rectify this. No yelling has been done..........I did the TELLUS email right away.. no response at all. I have placed 3 phone calls and made contact with 3 different Viking representatives all saying they are putting this "unacceptable issue" into a fast expedited process and will get back to me.... HMMM i am now typing this as .. guess what ..........NOTHING ........nada.. no emails.. no phone calls....I am kinda not happy !!!!:mad::mad::(:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i am now typing this as .. guess what ..........NOTHING ........nada.. no emails.. no phone calls....I am kinda not happy !!!!:mad::mad::(:confused:

 

The 'good news' in all this is at least you were forewarned that these changes might happen. Imagine if you were not a CC member. You would not have learned of Viking's unilateral changes until you got on board, or possibly not until the day(s) of the tours with the unexpected conflicts. That would have made for some major unhappiness...

 

Whether or not you hear back from TellUs before you depart, you now know to visit the Excursions desk immediately upon arrival, check yet again, and ask that they work with you to resolve things. In our voyage on the Star last month, we were able to get all the changes reversed, and thus maintain the other plans we had made (private guides in a couple of ports, museum tickets in another, etc). It was annoying and it wasted a ton of time, but it did all work out.

 

Hopefully you have a hard-copy of the original reservations that you made. I found that was helpful to have on hand. Better yet - take two copies. One for your record of what you booked, and one to give to Shore Excursions for them to work with.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had 2 of my shore excursion times changed just last week, and i am leaving next Sunday on the Vikings Homeland out of Bergen. I am upset about both of the changes as one of them now means I either do that or cancel the paid one i also had planned...I was never notified.. just happen to do what we all are being told to do on this website...double/check shore bookings. I did ALL that all of you have mentioned to try and rectify this. No yelling has been done..........I did the TELLUS email right away.. no response at all. I have placed 3 phone calls and made contact with 3 different Viking representatives all saying they are putting this "unacceptable issue" into a fast expedited process and will get back to me.... HMMM i am now typing this as .. guess what ..........NOTHING ........nada.. no emails.. no phone calls....I am kinda not happy !!!!:mad::mad::(:confused:

 

Dear Zonian1972:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your comments. We apologize for your disappointment and regret to learn that you have not received a response to your inquiries, including your email to TellUs@vikingcruises.com.

Unfortunately, we do not have record of receiving the aforementioned email message. We do, however, remain interested in addressing your concerns about the shore excursion start-times and kindly request that you resend your email to us.

Zonian1972, your satisfaction is important to us and we hope that you’ll give us one more opportunity to regain your confidence.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Kind regards,

Viking Cruises

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zonian1972...we also had a complimentary tour changed to the same time as a paid tour and it was promptly changed back when we got on board. If your paid tour is with Viking, I sure you will have the same success. The paid tours are in large buses but only partially full as the groups are not large. They can easily add a few more to the group than they planned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very hard to figure out what is going on with excursion time changes, but they happened to a group of eight of us traveling together for Into the Midnight Sun on Sea June 5-19. We all booked identical excursions and times on the web on the first day we were given access. One time change made an included tour overlap a optional one; that got fixed on board when we discovered the issue.

 

Our group didn't discover the roving excursions until one of us checked the schedule on the TV in the stateroom. Turns out, several changes had been made, including some during the cruise itself. On one day, we all just went at the originally scheduled time, even though two couples had been changed to a different time. The person checking tickets made a comment that some of us were early, but didn't stop any of us from going.

 

We also talked to a couple in a more premium cabin than ours who had access to booking 30 days before we did. When they booked, they said that no times were shown on the web, and when they got on board, they had no excursions scheduled at all.

 

The line at Guest Services on the first full day of cruising was very long!

 

We liked our cruise, but we will want to know that the excursion mess is cleared up before we would book another one.

Edited by Hawkmoth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly what should I copy from the computer to take with me regarding my scheduled excursions? They show up in the daily calendar but I haven't found a listing with all of them together. I've written that down myself but if there is something from MVJ that I could take to show my reservations, I'd like to have that. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Exactly what should I copy from the computer to take with me regarding my scheduled excursions? They show up in the daily calendar but I haven't found a listing with all of them together. I've written that down myself but if there is something from MVJ that I could take to show my reservations, I'd like to have that. Thanks.

 

There should be a button in the upper-right corner of the main excursions booking page. It will display a summary page of the tours you've reserved. I forget how it's labelled: "List" perhaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...