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roothy123

Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers

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I like Insure My Trip also, plus Trip Insurance Store.

 

I'm not sure it's true that the cost of insurance is based on prior medical issues as well as age, at least not with U.S. private (non cruise line) policies.  Age certainly plays a big part from what I've seen, but after purchasing a good number of plans online in purchasing a plan online,  I've never been asked for my medical history, so I don't know how a company would know that information readily before generating a quote. 

 

With insurance, keep in mind that if you have a pre-existing condition, you usually need to purchase private travel insurance within a certain amount of time after making a deposit on the travel.  That means that if you change your mind on the cruise before final payment, you may not be able to get your money back from the travel insurance company.  However, many companies will apparently let you transfer your coverage to another cruise, so all is not lost.  What we do is something I learned from another Cruise Critic poster.  With most companies, you can insure your trip in pieces - insure your cruise deposit to allow yourself to have coverage for pre-existing coverage, and then pay more when you make final payment on your cruise.

 

Also keep in mind when purchasing insurance that most policies don't include "cancel for any reason" unless you pay a lot for this coverage. 

 

Make sure you include the dates you'll spend getting to the cruise when you ask for a quote, plus all expenses that are non-refundable (hotels? private excursions?)  Every time I read travel insurance documents, I get a little nervous....

 

 

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Another caveat is the fine print of the "medical evacuation" terms and conditions.  While a policy may state $250,000-$500,000 coverage for evacuation, the fine print may state that they are only responsible to evacuate you to the "nearest licensed facility" which may only be a few miles away from your med emergency and a less than desirable place for recovery.  The repatriation clause may only apply to remains or cremains in the event of death.  Medjet and  Global Rescue provide evacuation service (not insurance) that guarantees to get you back to where you want to be and can be used to supplement your basic trip insurance.  They are available for an individual trip or unlimited travel for a year at a fairly reasonable price.  Main message here is to read and understand the fine print before you leave home, not at some foreign medical facility.

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17 minutes ago, ropomo said:

Main message here is to read and understand the fine print before you leave home, not at some foreign medical facility.

 

Good advice but sadly sometimes it is easier said than done because of all the insurance gobbledygook that you have try to wade through. I wish that they would right those documents more clearly.

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5 hours ago, millybess said:

 

You might want to look into AAA travel insurance. We found that they had a much better rate and more inclusions than the Viking travel insurance. 

 

We checked out travel insurance and have ended up always getting it through the company AAA refers us to.  As stated above, we've found their price and reliability to be the best. Using insurance that is not through the company you are cruising with is a good idea from what I have read.  We had a last minute emergency come up before our last cruise, New Zealand/Australia, and I called the insurance company.  They were very nice and talked me through what we would need to do.  In the end we were able to go so we did not need to use the insurance.  I would NEVER recommend going without insurance.  Read the policy carefully and what exactly they cover. We did not realize the number of things they help you with.  It's a comfort to know you're not going to be stranded anywhere without help.  

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FWIW, my credit card (Chase Sapphire) provides trip delay and cancellation  insurance which meant in order to get health insurance we were paying a good bit of money for double coverage when we bought a typical travel insurance policy. So, we purchased an annual plan that provides us health coverage, evacuation to our home hospital and repatriation of remains. The cost of this policy for the two of us was under $400. The only caveat on the insurance is that the trip can’t be longer than 75 days.  We risked it last year when we were gone for 82 days, thankfully we didn’t need it but good to know it was there.  

 

Depending on your situation, it might be worth considering. 

 

Have a great trip!

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Clay can you share from whom that insurance is offered?  Is is it 75 days per TRIP. not total...so we could take take 3 21 days trips?

thanks for your good insight...I am certainly going to check with my credit card for delay and cancellation insurance.

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11 hours ago, LABARNETT said:

My sister & I have done one Viking River cruise & liked it, so we're going Viking Ocean next - all the way to Australia/New Zealand (12/27/19 on the Orion). A few questions: Is tipping the norm on Australia-based cruises? If so, given the favorable US$ to AUD exchange rate, would it be better to tip on-board in local currency, or to pre-pay tips? Also, any thoughts on Travel Insurance? My sister & I are early 70's, in good health & with no pre-existing conditions. On the other hand, this is a big, expensive trip for us? Thanks to all who respond.

Please, please don't omit travel insurance. Its not just about medical cover.

If you are happy to lose $10,000 + each, plus airfares etc in cancellation costs, then OK! Overseas hospitalisation is not cheap, and neither is on board care. 

There was one horror story recently from a lady who's husband couldn't make the cruise due to illness.  They were uninsured. She chose to travel without him. When she let Viking know she was planning on travelling alone, they cancelled the original booking, & rebooked her as a single traveller ( and proposed to charge her $4000 extra for the single supplement). So not only did the couple lose his fare money, they also got charged extra - apparently all within the Viking rules!). Thats a very expansive cabin!! 

If they had been insured, there would not have been an issue. Not sure of the resolution of that case - the person posting said the issue was in process of being settled.

Get decent insurance appropriate to your age and circumstances - policies vary.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Vivi13 said:

There was one horror story recently from a lady who's husband couldn't make the cruise due to illness.  They were uninsured. She chose to travel without him. When she let Viking know she was planning on travelling alone, they cancelled the original booking, & rebooked her as a single traveller ( and proposed to charge her $4000 extra for the single supplement). So not only did the couple lose his fare money, they also got charged extra - apparently all within the Viking rules!). Thats a very expansive cabin!! 

If they had been insured, there would not have been an issue. Not sure of the resolution of that case - the person posting said the issue was in process of being settled.

Get decent insurance appropriate to your age and circumstances - policies vary.

I thought Viking charged by the person, not the cabin.  But maybe the story above relates to a river cruise, for which Viking may have a different policy.

 

But I agree that insurance is important, especially for many situations and people.  If you've never purchased insurance and have questions, you may want to use the Trip Insurance Store (google them for phone number - live bodies answer!)  They're great at answering questions.  For both Insure My Trip and the TI Store, we find we can get insurance cheaper than what cruise lines offer.  But the coverage may not be as good; not sure.  I've found buying travel insurance to be pretty tricky.  Also, there's a separate section addressing travel insurance on Cruise Critic - people may find that helpful for browsing. 

Edited by roothy123

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I appreciate all the replies. Thanks again!

And, yes, we will take your advice & buy trip insurance.

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23 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Good advice but sadly sometimes it is easier said than done because of all the insurance gobbledygook that you have try to wade through. I wish that they would right those documents more clearly.

 

Make that "write".

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18 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Make that "write".

I'm sorry you've had a lot to wade through. Ours was very straight forward and our TA was happy to go over anything we did not understand.  Also the company we used through AAA was always happy to answer questions.  When we left we had  nice little pieces of paper to slip in with our passports etc. that had all them important info on it as to who to contact in case of emergency.  I went with a great sense of relief that someone besides the ship had our backs! 

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1 hour ago, Sunflower & The Scientist said:

I'm sorry you've had a lot to wade through. Ours was very straight forward and our TA was happy to go over anything we did not understand.  Also the company we used through AAA was always happy to answer questions.  When we left we had  nice little pieces of paper to slip in with our passports etc. that had all them important info on it as to who to contact in case of emergency.  I went with a great sense of relief that someone besides the ship had our backs! 

 

Actually, when it comes to wading through legal and insurance documents, that is DH's job since he speaks the lingo. For myself, I find an insurance company that I like and trust and I stick with them.

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23 hours ago, deec said:

Clay can you share from whom that insurance is offered?  Is is it 75 days per TRIP. not total...so we could take take 3 21 days trips?

thanks for your good insight...I am certainly going to check with my credit card for delay and cancellation insurance.

Sorry for the delay in answering. I know I typed it but it must not have posted. 😱

 

Our policy is with GeoBlue though there are other similar ones out there. I forget what caused us to select them over the others. 

 

Your understanding is correct, as many trips as you want in the year but no one can be longer than 75 days (as I recall). We pushed it on the first year if our post retirement year (actually 7 months) of travel. We were out of the US for 80+ days but thankfully didn’t have need of the insurance. Of course we presumed that our 23 hour layover in Miami on the leg between Copenhagen and Ecuador counted as the end of one trip and the start of another.  Again thankfully we didn’t have to find out their definition of a trip. 

 

Lastly, You must have a US healthcare policy and I don’t think it can be Medicare. 

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Just now, Clay Clayton said:

Lastly, You must have a US healthcare policy and I don’t think it can be Medicare. 

It can indeed be Medicare.

I have GeoBlue with Medicare.

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You are correct!  My bad, Medicaid doesn’t qualify.  And I was also wrong about the max length trip, it is 70 days. 

 

Sorry!

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Just now, Clay Clayton said:

You are correct!  My bad, Medicaid doesn’t qualify.  And I was also wrong about the max length trip, it is 70 days. 

 

Sorry!

No problem.

The important thing is that the info given here is as correct as we can make it.

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3 hours ago, Paulchili said:

No problem.

The important thing is that the info given here is as correct as we can make it.

And realise it only applies to US people. 

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Boarding Passes on departure - Will they print them on the ship or do you just use your phone app to check in and wait until you get to the airport?

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3 minutes ago, CatGirl922 said:

Boarding Passes on departure - Will they print them on the ship or do you just use your phone app to check in and wait until you get to the airport?

You can print whatever you want.  PCs and printers are near the Explorers Desk.

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The Star had 3 computers and 1 printer--all available at any time near the Explorers Desk.

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11 minutes ago, moatenote said:

The Star had 3 computers and 1 printer--all available at any time near the Explorers Desk.

 

Deck 1, hiding under the Grand Staircase.

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On 5/14/2019 at 11:55 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

Tipping is the norm on Viking. The on-board currency for Viking Oceans is USD. However, tourguides and bus drivers should be tipped in AUD. Tipping for crew is a usually non-cash transaction; it is automatically added to your on board account unless you have asked them not to or have prepaid.IMHO, pre-pay the tips; it is just one less thing worry about.

 

Australians are paid a living wage and there is no tipping, so no need to tip bus drivers, taxi drivers or tour guides at all.  People will always accept free, untaxed money if offered, but it is not done in Australia by Australians.

 

On board the ship, as mentioned, gratuities can be prepaid and no further cash tipping is necessary whether ships are in Australis, Europe or America.

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Posted (edited)

Please, excuse my ignorance, however,

I can't find the "Roll-Call" for our Viking Jupiter November 13, 2019 on Cruise Critic.

It seems Cruise Critic does not yet know of the Jupiter(?)

We are new to Viking Ocean,  but have done Viking River cruises in the past.

Edited by $hip$hape

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Deck 1, hiding under the Grand Staircase.

The Jupiter had 5 maybe 6 computers and a printer.  Be aware that on morning of departure there was quite a lineup of people printing boarding passes.  There was a Viking person helping the many passengers who were newbies at how to print a boarding pass, which was nice.

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12 minutes ago, $hip$hape said:

Please, excuse my ignorance, however,

I can't find the "Roll-Call" for our Viking Jupiter November 13, 2019 on Cruise Critic.

It seems Cruise Critic does not yet know of the Jupiter(?)

We are new to Viking Ocean,  but have done Viking River cruises in the past.

 

Even though Jupiter has not been added to the list for the "Find Your Roll Call" tool (it is in queue to be done), a forum does exist for Viking Jupiter Roll Calls.  Just click on this link and then scroll down the list until you find your roll call.

 

This method can be used to find any roll call on any cruise line and is more accurate than the roll call tool. Start your search here ROLL CALLS and work your way through until you reach your ship.

 

If you don't see a roll call for your sailing, then you may start one. Just be sure to read the instructions about how to start one because the formatting of the subject line is key to the Roll Call tool finding it and adding it to the list for others to find.

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