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kpgclark

URGENT question

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My sister and her husband are going on a Viking cruise that they paid for a year ago in full including airfare tomorrow.  Unfortunately her husband got a retinal detachment two weeks ago and is not allowed to fly.  Viking said they wouldn't give any money back or allow a substitution in the room of another person. They came to terms with this and my sister was going to go alone tomorrow.  Then a HALF HOUR AGO 7:00 PM Eastern a Viking person called and said they had to pay another $4,000 as a single supplement immediately because he isn't going.  SO in addition to paying for two people IN FULL one year ago they want another $4,000 right now.  Have you ever heard of something like this happening? 

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Nope, they talked to a supervisor for an hour tonight.  They won't let her board without an additional $4,000

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I’d post to their Facebook page. This is so wrong. How did they explain the extra charge? 

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In fact my brother in law emailed them today to say he wasn't going tomorrow due to the detached retina but that my sister was still going.  That's when Viking called to say my sister had to pay the $4,000 for a single supplement or she would be denied boarding.  After they spoke with a supervisor on the phone and complained wildly,  there is no longer any record of their booking online ie the booking was cancelled!  They are both incredibly upset to say the least and even at this point if they reversed their position my sister would be in no mood to go.  BTW we have gone on Viking River Cruises, my parents have, and my sister has before several times but never again.

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Not unusual in the cruising industry to have to pay a single supplement even if the cancelled passenger was fully pre-paid.  I take it the passengers in question did not take out trip insurance which would have covered this situation.

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34 minutes ago, Shoalwater said:

Not unusual in the cruising industry to have to pay a single supplement even if the cancelled passenger was fully pre-paid.  I take it the passengers in question did not take out trip insurance which would have covered this situation.

 

Well I know of other cruises where one party has had to cancel but second passenger goes. Cabin for two paid. There were no other fees payable. On what basis do they think it’s ok to charge for ‘three’ passengers. There are no additional costs to them - obviously less in terms of food, laundry services etc. The manifest is not finalised until a couple of hours before embarkation. 

 

I’d like to see this ‘penalty’ clause in the contract. If it’s there then I guess it’s been agreed to on payment. 

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I didn’t see anything in the contract that indicates a penalty like that.  It is outrageous.

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All I can see is that the pricing is based per person assuming double occupancy. If your relative has paid that equivalent amount then there should be no further charge. It seems like they are charging a cancellation fee for one pax then making the second passenger pay upfront again. 

 

The only other charge that I can see is a $30 charge for any change to the booking. 

 

I presume this cruise is to occur shortly so that no refund is due?

Edited by Pushka

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I promise you they paid in full for the two passengers and are not refunding any of that and want an additional $4,000 .  That’s why they are outraged.  

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7 minutes ago, kpgclark said:

I promise you they paid in full for the two passengers and are not refunding any of that and want an additional $4,000 .  That’s why they are outraged.  

As would I be. When is the cruise? Do they have some time to get it sorted? There is a special email - askviking or something - try searching on  Viking website. And definitely post it to Viking Facebook page so it becomes more widely known. 

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It is outrageous. Sadly it is also fairly common practice in the industry. Which is why there are numerous posts in various threads suggesting that the cruise line not be notified in situations such as this. 

 

Given the timing all one can really do is let as many others as possible know of this despicable practice. It's not going to help your sister but might keep someone else from getting caught by the practice.

 

I take it cancellation insurance was not purchased.

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The flight is tomorrow and they sail out of Barcelona Tuesday !  It’s unreal.  They aren’t on Facebook but I posted something on their behalf which I can’t find now.  My sister has been especially distressed because she is packed and ready to go but now she’s not going to due to the ridiculous extra supplement fee

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when he called a few weeks ago when he had the eye surgery Viking said to call is he wasn’t going to be able to go.  At no time did they mention the fee.  It is despicable to charge $4000 more than the fee already paid for two passengers when only one is going.  They had another cruise booked to Asia which they cancelled because of this.   They’re going to contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General, TV stations and anyone else that will listen and broadcast this incredibly unfair and what should be an unlawful practice .

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I don’t know if Viking cancelled and rebooked or how they accounted for things when my brother in law Emailed to say that he wasn’t able to go because of his eye condition. All I know is almost immediately after he sent the email they received a phone call from Viking saying they had to pay 4000 more dollars. Then after they got off the phone and hour later the booking was not in the system anymore

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It sounds like they cancelled it then. Did the email make it clear that only he wasn’t travelling but the partner was still going?

Edited by Pushka

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

It sounds like they cancelled it then. Did the email make it clear that only he wasn’t travelling but the partner was still going?

 

If it didn't why would Viking have called and asked for another $4K?

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10 minutes ago, broberts said:

 

If it didn't why would Viking have called and asked for another $4K?

True. Just trying to make sense of a ridiculous situation. 

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Whilst this is all very upsetting I cannot understand why anyone would book a holiday costing what Viking holidays cost without arranging travel insurance.  With insurance a claim could be made, monies reclaimed and another trip booked.  Never leave home without it.

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Sounds like no insurance was purchased to cover this  unanticipated medical condition. While this is not great from a PR standpoint, but the extra 4K is ridiculous. This is just another example of why you must travel with some form of insurance unless you can afford the loss.

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Do not hold your breath. Viking is not going to budge one inch from its stated policies. Their track record, as reported on CC, is fairly clear.

 

My advice to OP is to not pay them another penny. If you are forced to pay additional to take the trip, you are just going to be even more miserably unhappy for the entire trip; why put yourself it.

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11 hours ago, Pushka said:

It sounds like they cancelled it then. Did the email make it clear that only he wasn’t travelling but the partner was still going?

 

Please, don't shoot the messenger but unfortunately, cancelling one is considered cancelling both. Based on other reports of similar situations I've read about here, I'm actually surprised that they are letting OP re-book as a single (which is how they view the situation) but maybe it is just the fact that it is so close to the sail date.

 

Cancellation Policy

For any cruise/land booking, whether under deposit, partially paid, or paid in full and air-inclusive packages paid in full, the following travel agent or passenger-requested situations are considered cancellations and fees will apply as noted below: changes to departure date; substitutions of itinerary; substitution of another person for original booked passenger(s); or changing to a promotional fare. No refunds will be made in the event of interruption or cancellation by any passenger after commencement of the cruise. All cancellations must be in writing to the address below.

The following cancellation charges will be assessed for all notices of cancellations received in writing from you addressed to us at our principal offices below:

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They did make it clear only one was cancelling.  Neither are going now because they aren't going to pay the ADDITIONAL $4000.  They've lost my whole extended family as customers and believe me I will let everyone I know about it. 

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