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kpgclark

URGENT question

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That’s appalling. What a great example of mindlessly applying rules that don’t fit the situation. Horrible. 

 

Sometimes it seems like there are two Vikings — the widely loved customer-service-oriented cruise ships, and the widely disliked home office with its ineptitude and high turnover. 

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I would love to get a clarification here on how a customer should handle this from Viking.  I would not dare show up as a single because based upon what I read here I would expect to be charged another $4,000 to board.

Took our 1st cruise or 2 w/o trip insurance, but thanks to forums I wised up and travel with insurance.  It's like a tax or surcharge on the fee. But as I understand it, with insurance then you'd both have to not go.

 

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I’ve been thinking this through some more and I think that the scenario is that  Viking cancelled the booking. Had there been insurance in place then that would be covered under Medical Cover Then Viking ‘reinstated’ the booking for just one person and then required an additional $4000 to do so. Had this been a situation where Travel Insurance paid out then the cruise became a nice deal for everyone involved except of course the Insurance company but that’s what they do. 

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It sounds like the OP's sister bought insurance through Viking, if they did buy insurance. When we booked our VO cruise for 2020 my TA said she had heard horror stories from her customers using Viking's own insurance. The biggest issue is they do not like to pay out claims.  We have always used a third party travel insurance carrier that is highly rated from our TA. With this insurance we would have been covered 100% for  the similar medical situation as the OP's family. If my wife could not go for any medical reasons the insurance would have paid for both of us canceling both the cruise and any airfare up to the day of departure. This was extremely important since our total investment for the upcoming  cruise is close to $20K.

 

If Viking is self insured they should have been more flexible and understanding about the OP's BIL's medical reason for cancelling. After reading this thread I am totally disappointed in what I have heard about VO having the best customer service in the industry. It also has us rethinking our 2020 cruise with VO.

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They did not have insurance.  That’s why my sister was going to go on her own when her husband had the issue with his eye and  was not allowed to travel.  So Viking was going to keep all of the money from the original booking for two people including airfare and an additional two nights at a hotel and they were extorting an extra $4000 for my sister to travel by herself

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1 hour ago, kpgclark said:

They did not have insurance.  That’s why my sister was going to go on her own when her husband had the issue with his eye and  was not allowed to travel.  So Viking was going to keep all of the money from the original booking for two people including airfare and an additional two nights at a hotel and they were extorting an extra $4000 for my sister to travel by herself

 

 

Ok, they are much braver than me. Can't imagine flying internationally without it.  So I'm thinking that Viking Cancelled original booking, then rebooked as a single but at a reduced rate. 

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2 hours ago, terrydtx said:

It sounds like the OP's sister bought insurance through Viking, if they did buy insurance. When we booked our VO cruise for 2020 my TA said she had heard horror stories from her customers using Viking's own insurance. The biggest issue is they do not like to pay out claims.  We have always used a third party travel insurance carrier that is highly rated from our TA. With this insurance we would have been covered 100% for  the similar medical situation as the OP's family. If my wife could not go for any medical reasons the insurance would have paid for both of us canceling both the cruise and any airfare up to the day of departure. This was extremely important since our total investment for the upcoming  cruise is close to $20K.

 

If Viking is self insured they should have been more flexible and understanding about the OP's BIL's medical reason for cancelling. After reading this thread I am totally disappointed in what I have heard about VO having the best customer service in the industry. It also has us rethinking our 2020 cruise with VO.

 

When people have asked about the OP's scenario on FB they are simply referring them to the T&C's, which of course makes no reference at all to this kind of scenario.  The OP's sister did not want to cancel the cruise, they just wanted to delete one of the passengers. Its like Viking are making it up on the run. 

Edited by Pushka

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1 hour ago, kpgclark said:

They did not have insurance.  That’s why my sister was going to go on her own when her husband had the issue with his eye and  was not allowed to travel.  So Viking was going to keep all of the money from the original booking for two people including airfare and an additional two nights at a hotel and they were extorting an extra $4000 for my sister to travel by herself

 

OK ... she needs to take some responsibility and not annihilate Viking.  She was WRONG to NOT get insurance ... preferably an outside, independent insurance company AND when she  called and canceled her husband.  Period.  It has been stated, discussed, explained in many posts here on CC.  Perhaps Viking works differently ... but consensus is:  You show up and say ... either he is a no show or he is meeting me later and the ship sails without him.  Period.  You have paid for two people.  You are paid in full.  You are covered.

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Um, she did take responsibility.  She understands that she didn't have insurance but she was paid in full for two people!  So when only she goes she is expected to pay for two people PLUS $4,000?  You have to be kidding.  Again, the entire cruise for two people for 10 days, two nights in a hotel in Rome, two airfares were paid in full.  They understood they would get no money back because he couldn't go due to a medical issue.  Now Viking wants $4000 MORE so she can go ALONE!  They said she couldn't step foot on the ship if she didn't fork up an extra $4000.  

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3 minutes ago, kpgclark said:

Um, she did take responsibility.  She understands that she didn't have insurance but she was paid in full for two people!  So when only she goes she is expected to pay for two people PLUS $4,000?  You have to be kidding.  Again, the entire cruise for two people for 10 days, two nights in a hotel in Rome, two airfares were paid in full.  They understood they would get no money back because he couldn't go due to a medical issue.  Now Viking wants $4000 MORE so she can go ALONE!  They said she couldn't step foot on the ship if she didn't fork up an extra $4000.  

 

The cruise line is called and told that husband is cancelling.  Viking  cancels him.  Viking does NOT owe her any $$$ ... because it is in the policy that if ANYONE cancels AFTER final payment ... there is NO refund. CL keeps the $$$  ... yay for CL.  Then Viking re-fared the trip to the current days rate .... which means ... another $4000 to cover increased fare AND solo supplement. 

 

That is why you do NOT notify cruise line of 1 person cancelling so close to departure.  

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1 minute ago, CruiseGal999 said:

 

The cruise line is called and told that husband is cancelling.  Viking  cancels him.  Viking does NOT owe her any $$$ ... because it is in the policy that if ANYONE cancels AFTER final payment ... there is NO refund. CL keeps the $$$  ... yay for CL.  Then Viking re-fared the trip to the current days rate .... which means ... another $4000 to cover increased fare AND solo supplement. 

 

That is why you do NOT notify cruise line of 1 person cancelling so close to departure.  

 

But others have rightly stated this might mean you are refused carriage and then you are stuck without transport or accommodation. 

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Just now, Pushka said:

 

But others have rightly stated this might mean you are refused carriage and then you are stuck without transport or accommodation. 

 

Perhaps on Viking ... but it is done every day on MANY other cruise lines, successfully.  So ... the norm is as I described.  

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22 minutes ago, CruiseGal999 said:

 

Perhaps on Viking ... but it is done every day on MANY other cruise lines, successfully.  So ... the norm is as I described.  

Yes. I posted the same earlier in this thread. But this is Viking. 

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2 minutes ago, Pushka said:

Yes. I posted the same earlier in this thread. But this is Viking. 

 

So it being Viking ... if she had shown up ... said "my husband should be here shortly" and proceeded to board the ship ... then husband does NOT show up. Ship departs ... 

 

Is everyone saying that the ship would THEN demand additional $$$ from the wife ... onboard the ship and alone in her cabin ... paid in full?  This is all based on the wife having NOT called prior and cancelled the husband.  

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1 hour ago, CruiseGal999 said:

 

The cruise line is called and told that husband is cancelling.  Viking  cancels him.  Viking does NOT owe her any $$$ ... because it is in the policy that if ANYONE cancels AFTER final payment ... there is NO refund. CL keeps the $$$  ... yay for CL.  Then Viking re-fared the trip to the current days rate .... which means ... another $4000 to cover increased fare AND solo supplement. 

 

That is why you do NOT notify cruise line of 1 person cancelling so close to departure.  

 

HOWEVER, Viking does not operate like the cruise lines. If I have learned nothing else following these boards for the last three years, it is that Viking has its own rule book and it does not care what other cruise lines do. Their rule is that if you make any changes/substitutions to who is sailing on the booking its considered a cancellation of the entire booking. Period.

 

If you don't inform Viking of the change and show up alone, you run the risk of being denied boarding. Therefore, it is bad advice to suggest to anyone that it is okay for them to just show up and pretend that the other person is coming and everything will be okay. You can't guarantee that it will be okay. Such advice may backfire and the person will now have to pay to return home.

 

If you inform Viking in advance that one of you will not be traveling, it will be considered a cancellation of the entire booking.

 

Please, I am not defending Viking; I think some of their policies suck and really need to be revisited--this one in particular. BUT we do need to be clear on what the policies actually are--and one thing is very clear: Viking is not other cruise lines.

Edited by Peregrina651

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7 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

...….HOWEVER, 

If you don't inform Viking of the change and show up alone, you run the risk of being denied boarding. Therefore, it is bad advice to suggest to anyone that it is okay for them to just show up and pretend that the other person is coming and everything will be okay. You can't guarantee that it will be okay. Such advice may backfire and the person will now have to pay to return home..... 

 

Totally agree.

The contract is between Viking and all of the named passengers. If one fails to show the contract can be voided

All ships end embarkation one hour prior to sailing so they can create a true and accurate passenger manifest. They will check to make sure the checkin list matches the reservation list and if not they must resolve it. More than once the "line checkers" at embarkation were making sure all passengers on a given reservation were together and were directed to the same agent.  

I have had my fights with Viking back office but this time, other then the lateness of the singles charge,  things ere done correctly. They could have simply cancelled the reservation, instead it appears they booked the passenger the same singles fare a new passenger would have payed. I am assuming this included the air and the extensions.

Besides insurance a TA would have helped. For example depending how VikingAir booked the flights you may be able to get a credit for a future flight or cancel with a fee. A good TA probably wouldn't waste their time with VA and gone directly to the airline.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

7 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

 

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I am very glad I read this thread.  I have never looked into Viking.  And now I am certain I will never look into Viking.   NOT my kind of cruise line.  

 

I am NOT condoning their policies/practices either. But I was reiterating the information that has been said here over and over and over about this same exact thing ... only different cruise lines. 

 

A very eye opening and educational thread. 

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I’m still hopeful there was some kind of error re the extra payment, not that this does the OP’s family any good. 

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13 hours ago, kpgclark said:

They did not have insurance.  That’s why my sister was going to go on her own when her husband had the issue with his eye and  was not allowed to travel.  So Viking was going to keep all of the money from the original booking for two people including airfare and an additional two nights at a hotel and they were extorting an extra $4000 for my sister to travel by herself

Well that is the issue, no insurance. I am no longer sympathetic to their cause. The insurance would have paid the air and cruise cost back to your BIL and your sister could have easily paid the single supplement from the reimbursement and done the trip solo.

 

This is why when you spend thousands of dollars on travel and airfare you must have insurance to protect yourselves and investment. In my younger days we traveled without insurance until my parents had a medical incident the day before departure of a  river cruise in Europe that required my dad to stay in a Brussels hospital for 30 days. The final cost of medical and trip reimbursement was close to $100K and covered 100% by the insurance. The insurance even covered the cost of flying my dad home first class with a nurse which alone was over $10K. Good trip insurance goes beyond just the cost of travel, it should cover any medical emergency that could happen when traveling. If you have to be emergency evacuated from a ship at sea, that alone can cost up to $50K.

Edited by terrydtx

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Just a quick update.  My sister and her husband have been talking with another Viking supervisor who has been very helpful and much more customer service oriented than the person who called them the night before the cruise.  Our whole extended family has done river cruises with Viking many times and have always thought they had great service, food etc onboard which is why we've all sailed with them a number of times.  This particular ocean cruise was the first Viking ocean cruise any member of our family would have taken.  I'm not sure what the end result will be for my sister in this case but I will say she and her husband feel better about Viking now.

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14 hours ago, terrydtx said:

It sounds like the OP's sister bought insurance through Viking, if they did buy insurance. When we booked our VO cruise for 2020 my TA said she had heard horror stories from her customers using Viking's own insurance. The biggest issue is they do not like to pay out claims.  We have always used a third party travel insurance carrier that is highly rated from our TA. With this insurance we would have been covered 100% for  the similar medical situation as the OP's family. If my wife could not go for any medical reasons the insurance would have paid for both of us canceling both the cruise and any airfare up to the day of departure. This was extremely important since our total investment for the upcoming  cruise is close to $20K.

 

If Viking is self insured they should have been more flexible and understanding about the OP's BIL's medical reason for cancelling. After reading this thread I am totally disappointed in what I have heard about VO having the best customer service in the industry. It also has us rethinking our 2020 cruise with VO.

 

We have always purchased the insurance through Viking at the time we book each cruise (fourteen to date).  The policy is through Trip Mate and there is to indicate that Viking has anything more than a mutually beneficial working relationship with the company.  We take this option as both my daughter and I have pre-existing conditions and don’t want to chance problems with coverage.  They cover these if you purchase the plan within two weeks of booking.

We too have heard a few “horror stories” about the insurance offered through Viking, however most of these have been vague and lacking in details.  For what it’s worth and in defense of Trip Mate, in 2015 we had to cancel our Viking Homelands cruise less than 2 months before our departure date.  We had just booked our excursions and make our dining selections and my husband had a stroke.  Once the dust settled a bit and we had time to assess our, options it was obvious that his recovery was going to take longer than the six or so weeks we had till departure.  We contacted Viking and the agent gave us instructions as to how to proceed.  Within a week Viking had refunded the portion of the fare they were responsible for and I then contacted Trip Mate.  They were pleasant, efficient and within a month we had the rest of the money in our hands … full refund (minus the cost of the insurance, of course).  It was about as easy as we could have asked for and we have no complaints about their plan.

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27 minutes ago, molymoo said:

 

We have always purchased the insurance through Viking at the time we book each cruise (fourteen to date).  

 

However, Viking's insurance only covers the cruise and any airfare and extensions arranged through Viking. If you are traveling on your own before or after or if you have bought your own flights, those portions are not covered. Therefore, we get our trip insurance from a third-party. There are lots of plans out there and it pays to shop.

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2 hours ago, terrydtx said:

Well that is the issue, no insurance. I am no longer sympathetic to their cause.

 

No, the issue has been that Viking wants to charge an additional $4000 in order for the sister to travel on her own, a single supplement they are calling it. IMHO, that is outrageous. They already have the full fare for the cabin and will keep it whether or not the sister travels. Demanding another $4000 is adding insult to injury.

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Have had some discussions with Viking in Australia when I had to call about another cruise and they are confused as to what the extra charge would be for unless say a second person was substituted and new airfares were booked for them. On the face of it, they didn’t understand why either. 

 

While insurance would have solved their total cancellation issue, and the OP knows that, it’s the extra payment of $4000 that’s the issue. 

 

As the OPs situation could occur to any one of us, I’m feeling much better about how this appears to be resolving. And yes, Insurance is a must. But they’d self-insured and were prepared to take the risk. But not the extra 4K. 

Edited by Pushka

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Very much believe if sister had not notified VO she could have flown and enjoyed cruise with no issues.   All staff aboard ship care about is that cabin is paid for and her name is on the manifest.  Re-pricing cabins for no-shows is not their concern.  

 

 

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