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AllisonJames

Does Viking offer incentives for booking onboard?

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  • We used to get 15% off of Viking cruises, then they changed that TAs couldn't do that, could just do shipboard credit. I found an email that I sent my TA in Jan asking her what I could expect because I wanted to book onboard and get the onboard discount plus the Viking credit plus what she could offer. Here is what she said:

Dobie,

 

I wanted to double check with Viking and they said yes they would book it as one cruise and then give you a past guest discount on both segments.

Per our onboard department we could break it up as well and give our onboard credit on each sailing separately as well.

Double the pleasure, double the fun (as they).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks. I was looking to book onboard and transfer to you since I get more $$ off too.

 

Since this is actually 2 separate cruises...Western Mediterranean Explorer (13 days) and Transatlantic Crossing (15 days), shouldn't I be able to use the $200 past passenger off of each cruise? And wouldn't I qualify for $500 shipboard credit for the 15 days and $300 shipboard credit for the 13 days? On our upcoming trip it is 2 cruises as well and they did $200 off each one.

 

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1 hour ago, azdrydock said:

I think Viking may have just changed  what they allow the TA's to give. I've been tracking a 17 day cruise for next March and the OBC's were running between $300 to $500. About a week or so ago they all jumped up to $1000. 

Multiple TA's so it is probably Viking sanctioned.

 

Could you post the link stating max of $1000 OBC?

 

I only managed to get $400 ($200 past guest discount and $200 onboard discount) off my next Viking cruise. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, sleepybobo said:

Could you post the link stating max of $1000 OBC?

 

I only managed to get $400 ($200 past guest discount and $200 onboard discount) off my next Viking cruise. 

The up to $1000 is from the Travel Agent. What you have are discounts from Viking for booking onboard. You are given a limited time to transfer your booking to a travel agency of your choice. The new travel agent is prohibited by Viking from giving you a discount or cash back and some other things. The TA is allowed to give you an OBC. This is usually based on the price of the cruise but is limited by Viking. Online TA's give the best discounts but sometimes the worst service. Your local TA may give lower discounts, if any, but should be able to better help and advise.

 

 

Edited by azdrydock

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17 hours ago, azdrydock said:

The up to $1000 is from the Travel Agent. What you have are discounts from Viking for booking onboard. You are given a limited time to transfer your booking to a travel agency of your choice. The new travel agent is prohibited by Viking from giving you a discount or cash back and some other things. The TA is allowed to give you an OBC. This is usually based on the price of the cruise but is limited by Viking. Online TA's give the best discounts but sometimes the worst service. Your local TA may give lower discounts, if any, but should be able to better help and advise.

 

 

 

Thanks for the clarification. 

 

My TA offered me $100 OBC per person for my next 11-day VO cruise. We booked V1 category. So I’m wondering if I can do better than that when I saw your post saying OBC has jumped. 

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On 5/28/2019 at 6:32 PM, stretchcruz said:
  • We used to get 15% off of Viking cruises, then they changed that TAs couldn't do that, could just do shipboard credit. I found an email that I sent my TA in Jan asking her what I could expect because I wanted to book onboard and get the onboard discount plus the Viking credit plus what she could offer. Here is what she said:

Dobie,

 

I wanted to double check with Viking and they said yes they would book it as one cruise and then give you a past guest discount on both segments.

Per our onboard department we could break it up as well and give our onboard credit on each sailing separately as well.

Double the pleasure, double the fun (as they).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks. I was looking to book onboard and transfer to you since I get more $$ off too.

 

Since this is actually 2 separate cruises...Western Mediterranean Explorer (13 days) and Transatlantic Crossing (15 days), shouldn't I be able to use the $200 past passenger off of each cruise? And wouldn't I qualify for $500 shipboard credit for the 15 days and $300 shipboard credit for the 13 days? On our upcoming trip it is 2 cruises as well and they did $200 off each one.

 

 

Hi Stretchcruz - We booked the same itinerary (Rome to Miami via Lisbon in Oct 2020) when we were on the Viking SEA recently.  The cruise consultant showed us a sheet that basically listed how much Viking credit would be given if a future cruise was purchased onboard.  This cruise was listed as 27 days, which fell into the $400 per person Viking Credit.  As I remember, there was a $200 pp credit for cruises up to I believe 15 days and then a $300 pp credit for cruises to 22 days or so, and then of course the $400 for ours.   So perhaps this "multi-cruise" situation was taken care of via the credit brackets.

 

On the otherhand, regarding how much the Travel Agent is allowed by Viking to give their clients, it would be interesting to see what that actually is.    Our agent has always told us they can't do much for us since Viking doesn't allow it, so we've had anywhere from $150 to $200 pp OBC's from the agent, including this cruise.  Would be nice to be able to show them what "could" be offered now.  Perhaps they don't want to cut into their agent commissions though.

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I just checked with our TA recently. Like you stretchcruz we used to receive 15% from her.. Here was her response:

 

1-7 nights $150/pp

8-15 nights $300/pp

15+ nights $500/pp

 

our upcoming trip is called 15 days, but it is 14 nights and that is how they reward by. 

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13 hours ago, Vineyard View said:

I just checked with our TA recently. Like you stretchcruz we used to receive 15% from her.. Here was her response:

 

1-7 nights $150/pp

8-15 nights $300/pp

15+ nights $500/pp

 

our upcoming trip is called 15 days, but it is 14 nights and that is how they reward by. 

When the cruise is over 15 nights, the OBC doesn't change. For our WC (119 nights) our TA could only provide $500 pp and in the currency we paid for the cruise, which was CAN $. Therefore, with exchange rates, we only get about US$ 400 pp OBC.

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

When the cruise is over 15 nights, the OBC doesn't change. For our WC (119 nights) our TA could only provide $500 pp and in the currency we paid for the cruise, which was CAN $. Therefore, with exchange rates, we only get about US$ 400 pp OBC.

I thought that rather odd - that a 15 night and a WC was maxed out at the same $500. I spoke with our agent about it, but Viking completely controls this and the TA cannot deviate. Then add the exchange rate, and it certainly doesn’t work in your favor. 

I know we all much preferred it when the TA could control what their commissions were and therefore what they offered to their clients, but that is in the rear view mirror. 

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I am in New Zealand and have never been offered a discount from a travel agent.  Maybe the volume of  sales is to low for discounts.  It would be nice to have some onboard credit.

 

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On 5/30/2019 at 6:02 PM, Vineyard View said:

I just checked with our TA recently. Like you stretchcruz we used to receive 15% from her.. Here was her response:

 

1-7 nights $150/pp

8-15 nights $300/pp

15+ nights $500/pp

 

our upcoming trip is called 15 days, but it is 14 nights and that is how they reward by. 

 

This is good information.  However, I do wonder about a couple of points.

-What incentive does a travel agent have to give their clients the maximum that VIking allows?

-Are they hurting themselves if they do?  (less money in their pockets?)

-What reasons would there be to give their clients the maximum?  I don't see the motivation.

 

Reason:  our TA is woefully undergiving and claims they give all that Viking allows.  Perhaps they don't know that with social media, people do find out about what others are getting.  My only conclusion is that they would try to limit the OBC's to clients in order to make more money for themselves.

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CCWinelover, I have a feeling that your conclusion is most likely accurate. I have no idea if the volume of Viking sales that a TA generates has an impact on the incentives that they can give, but these guidelines have been since Viking restructured their policy a couple years back. I would suspect that these do in fact affect the TA earned commission, but I honestly am not sure how that all works. I also have no idea if these guidelines are for US/Canada only as  other countries do have differing guidelines around deposits and gratuities. 

Maybe if you provide these guidelines to your TA they can do something more for you. If not, it may make sense to make some calls to different agencies and specifically ask what they offer their customers for Viking and then make a choice moving forward. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2019 at 9:14 AM, Vineyard View said:

I thought that rather odd - that a 15 night and a WC was maxed out at the same $500. I spoke with our agent about it, but Viking completely controls this and the TA cannot deviate. Then add the exchange rate, and it certainly doesn’t work in your favor. 

I know we all much preferred it when the TA could control what their commissions were and therefore what they offered to their clients, but that is in the rear view mirror. 

For many years we used another cruise line's friends/family program, so booked direct with cruise line. This is the first time we have used a TA in many years, so even although we only got US $800, we look upon it as nice bonus.

 

Yes, we could get more using other cruise lines, but we are happy to stick with our decision to try Viking. No cruise line, or other business meets every expectation, but for us, minimising TA perks is a minor inconvenience. Too many other positives to worry about it.😀

Edited by Heidi13

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We got the $1,600 shipboard credit because it is 2 back to backs. $500 for one, $300 for the next. So we're lucky.

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20 hours ago, stretchcruz said:

We got the $1,600 shipboard credit because it is 2 back to backs. $500 for one, $300 for the next. So we're lucky.

That is a very smart way to book it. We are looking at one that I believe may be able to book in that manner. I will need to look at the pricing given for for that option as well as booking as a single cruise. Thanks for pointing this out!

 

And I agree Heidi13 -  engaging with a TA for that OBC is a win in your favor. Why not!?

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Does anyone know if a precruise extension counts as additional nights?  If so then should I be requesting the 15 night OBC ($500) from my TA rather than the $300 we are getting for the 14 night cruise?  The additional money would mean we could get the Silver Spirits package!

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Posted (edited)

 No, Viking counts nights as nights on board, no credit for pre-cruise stays or post cruise stays. Bummer. 

Even worse, my latest booked cruise quotes 10 nights but since only seven are spent on the ship in this 10 night cruise I can only get OBC for the seven nights. Viking 

 

Edited by philw1776

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2 hours ago, philw1776 said:

 No, Viking counts nights as nights on board, no credit for pre-cruise stays or post cruise stays. Bummer. 

Even worse, my latest booked cruise quotes 10 nights but since only seven are spent on the ship in this 10 night cruise I can only get OBC for the seven nights. Viking 

 

 

Hmm. But no ‘nickel and dimming’?  Viking proudly plays that card. 

Still love sailing with them and looking forward to our October trip, but there sure seems to have been a lot of changes in the wind that are most certainly not customer centric. This example of Phil’s May have always been in place, but for me, being open to other lines in addition to Viking started occurring earlier this year. 

 

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2 hours ago, philw1776 said:

 No, Viking counts nights as nights on board, no credit for pre-cruise stays or post cruise stays. Bummer. 

Even worse, my latest booked cruise quotes 10 nights but since only seven are spent on the ship in this 10 night cruise I can only get OBC for the seven nights. Viking 

 

 

Hmm. But no ‘nickel and dimming’?  Viking proudly plays that card. 

Still love sailing with them and looking forward to our October trip, but there sure seems to have been a lot of changes in the wind that are most certainly not customer centric. This example of Phil’s May have always been in place, but for me, being open to other lines in addition to Viking started occurring earlier this year. 

 

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816052213_WhatsAppImage2019-06-25at8_18_37AM.thumb.jpeg.0a54bf08c0cd380022e3ad521140c251.jpeg

 

Hi, to all the experts on Viking Cruises,

 

I got the above from the onboard agent while onboard Viking Ocean past December.  We couldn't decide which sailing to go for at the time, the onboard agent suggested that we pick one farthest just to secure all the onboard booking benefits, so he picked a 21 days 2021 sailing for us, which will give us $375 discount.  We were told if we move to any other sailings in future the discount apply per # of days shown on the above.   Now ......we decided to booking a Dec 2019 8 days sailing and our local TA told us that if you book a same 21 days sailing the discount stay but if you book anything shorter than 21 days, the discount is forfeited, which means we get "0" from this "onboard booking benefits".

 

Anyone had any experience on this?  Please share.  Thanks.

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@hofrances I had a similar experience. I booked a future cruise onboard and transferred the booking to my TA after coming back from the cruise. I asked my TA to change the date of sailing. At first my TA told me the onboard discount would be forfeited if I changed the date. I stressed to her that we were told by the cruise consultant to book any sailing onboard to secure the discount. In fact, I knew people booked a river cruise with the intention to change to a future ocean cruise.   My TA talked to her Viking liaison again and was able to change the date of my booking and keep the onboard discount. 

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Changed my cruise & kept discount.  I suspect that reducing # of days into a lower range category would result in loss of some discount.

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9 hours ago, hofrances said:

816052213_WhatsAppImage2019-06-25at8_18_37AM.thumb.jpeg.0a54bf08c0cd380022e3ad521140c251.jpeg

 

Hi, to all the experts on Viking Cruises,

 

I got the above from the onboard agent while onboard Viking Ocean past December.  We couldn't decide which sailing to go for at the time, the onboard agent suggested that we pick one farthest just to secure all the onboard booking benefits, so he picked a 21 days 2021 sailing for us, which will give us $375 discount.  We were told if we move to any other sailings in future the discount apply per # of days shown on the above.   Now ......we decided to booking a Dec 2019 8 days sailing and our local TA told us that if you book a same 21 days sailing the discount stay but if you book anything shorter than 21 days, the discount is forfeited, which means we get "0" from this "onboard booking benefits".

 

Anyone had any experience on this?  Please share.  Thanks.

You have it in writing and screen shot. Your TA is wrong, I believe. It even says in your screen capture that your discount will vary if you change the length of the cruise.

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