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bwc318

Final payment a year in advance of the trip

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I am annoyed that Viking is requiring final payment one year before your cruise.  How can they get away with that?  I guess if people pay it, they will continue to do it. 

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There was a post on this topic with many responses a while ago. The situation is deplorable, especially for repeat customers. Many of us on the post, including me, have booked with competitors. I sent a note of concern to tellusviking along with others on the post. No response from Viking. 

 

The only way to let them know of customer concerns about this policy is to speak with your pocketbook. There are many worthy alternative cruise lines out there.

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8 hours ago, bwc318 said:

I am annoyed that Viking is requiring final payment one year before your cruise.  How can they get away with that?  I guess if people pay it, they will continue to do it. 

Personally, it's up to you - if getting a specific stateroom number or location is vital, then booking early is up to you.

Then, it's down to how you book - did you book direct or through a ta?  If you booked direct, was it onboard ship, online or by phone?  

 

When I make a booking, I always ascertain the date of the final payment date before things get too involved - and that way I know the location of the stateroom, and I know my final payment date.  It seems a very obvious, orderly and simple thing to do at the very beginning, but then I always only ever plan to win.

 

So, don't get annoyed - learn from your experience and plan to win.  There's no point moaning about something if you have contributed to the situation from the outset.

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19 hours ago, bwc318 said:

I am annoyed that Viking is requiring final payment one year before your cruise.  How can they get away with that?  I guess if people pay it, they will continue to do it. 

Can't see the point in getting annoyed. Viking are providing a service and this is their current business decision.

 

As customers, we can try to negotiate a more reasonable final payment date, delay booking to an acceptable date or take your business elsewhere.

 

If booking later you may have to accept whatever cabins remain, if any.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Can't see the point in getting annoyed. Viking are providing a service and this is their current business decision.

 

As customers, we can try to negotiate a more reasonable final payment date, delay booking to an acceptable date or take your business elsewhere.

 

If booking later you may have to accept whatever cabins remain, if any.

 

 

Right on Andy.   Reading this thread and others referring to the same stuff I was reminded of car shopping.  Why you ask?  Well, the first time I was asked to produce a driver's license before being allowed to test drive a car was a bit annoying.  Didn't they know who I was?  But then, the amazing thing is all the years I test drove cars without showing any ID.  As to cruising, when we first started sailing SeaDream, final pay was at 90 days but they included a policy that one could cancel at any time up to 24 hours out for any reason and, if within the 90 days, get full credit toward another cruise.  If outside the 90 days, a full refund.  Needless to say, it is not the same now.  My point?  Times change, businesses change, our situations change.  As a small businessman I envy Viking.  I wish I could get my clients to pay a year in advance!  But then I would have to do something for them next year without pay......😳

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There has been another thread on this subject and most agree 12 months is way too far out. Several posters suggested that the advanced full  payments were being used by VO to finance construction of their new ships for 0% interest.

 

We booked our Sept 2020 cruise prior to this decision and we only have to pay in full by April 2020. The one question I have not seen answered is what in the refund policy after the final payment is made 12 months out? When we booked it was all but $100 of our $600 deposit is refundable up to the final payment date in April 2020

 

With the popularity of VO and seeing how far out cruises are being sold out, I doubt this 12 month prepayment policy will change.

Edited by terrydtx

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3 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

There has been another thread on this subject and most agree 12 months is way to far out. Several posters thought that the advanced payments were being used by VO to finance construction of their new ships for 0% interest.

 

We booked our Sept 2020 cruise prior to this decision and we only have to pay in full by April 2020. The one question I have not seen answered is what in the refund policy after the final payment is made 12 months out? When we booked it was all but $100 of our $600 deposit is refundable up to the final payment date.

 

The popularity of VO and seeing how far out cruises are being sold out, I doubt this 12 month prepayment policy will change.

 

This is from the Viking OceansTerms and Conditions (link to the whole document is found on the Viking website footer on every page):

 

a. Cancellation Fee Schedule Effective for Cruise Tours (other than World & Grand Cruises) booked on and after August 1, 2018:

  1. In the event of cancellations actually received by us 120 days or more prior to the scheduled departure, a refund of all amounts already paid to us will be made, less a cancellation fee of $100 per person;
  2. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 119-90 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 20% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  3. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 89 and 70 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 35% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  4. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 69 and 50 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 50% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  5. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 49 and 30 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 75% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  6. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 29 and 0 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 100% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  7. In the event that you do not board the vessel and have not provided at least 30 days’ notice of cancellation prior to the scheduled departure or sailing date, a cancellation fee of 100% of Full Fare will be paid to us.

A full refund will be given for most Optional Shore Excursions if you give notice of cancellation at least 48 hours prior to the Optional Shore Excursions

b. Cancellation Fee Schedule Effective for Cruise Tours more than 35 days (World & Grand Cruises) booked on or after August 1, 2018:

  1. In the event of cancellations actually received by us 180 days or more prior to the scheduled departure, a refund of all amounts already paid to us will be made, less a cancellation fee of $1000 per person;
  2. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 179 and 150 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 20% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  3. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 149 and 120 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 40% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  4. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 119 and 90 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 60% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  5. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 89 and 60 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 80% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  6. In the event of cancellations actually received by us between 59 and 0 days prior to the scheduled departure date, a cancellation fee of 100% of Full Fare will be paid to us;
  7. In the event that you do not board the vessel and have not provided at least 60 days’ notice of cancellation prior to the scheduled departure or sailing date, a cancellation fee of 100% of Full Fare will be paid to us.

 

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We just rebooked onboard and one of the selling points was full payment was due 6 months in advance.

 

I have read many times that if you ask for 6 months at booking, you will get 6 months.  Once booked you get what you agreed to when booking even if you did not realize it was one year.

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3 hours ago, Marykatesmom said:

We just rebooked onboard and one of the selling points was full payment was due 6 months in advance.

 

I have read many times that if you ask for 6 months at booking, you will get 6 months.  Once booked you get what you agreed to when booking even if you did not realize it was one year.

 

As of November 1. 2018, that option is no longer available. It is firmly and with no exceptions 12 months out unless you book on board--and the TAs and agents no longer have any discretion to change it even if requested.

 

BTW, what was the on board booking deal besides the 6 month pay in full.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

As of November 1. 2018, that option is no longer available. It is firmly and with no exceptions 12 months out unless you book on board--and the TAs and agents no longer have any discretion to change it even if requested.

 

BTW, what was the on board booking deal besides the 6 month pay in full.

 

 

That explains why he made such a big deal about the 6 months!  I also got $200/person/cruise but I think every repeat guest gets that within a certain amount of post cruise time.  Other than that, nothing.  He did say that quite of few cruises have only a few cabins left in 2019.

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1 hour ago, Marykatesmom said:

That explains why he made such a big deal about the 6 months!  I also got $200/person/cruise but I think every repeat guest gets that within a certain amount of post cruise time.  Other than that, nothing.  He did say that quite of few cruises have only a few cabins left in 2019.

 

WOW. Doesn't seem they are offering much any more. Last January, we got the normal Explorer's discount of$200pp plus an additional $400pp based on the length of the cruise plus an OBC for the cruise we were on based on the the number of cruises we booked. Plus the 6 month prior to departure final payment and no penalty changes on itinerary or date up to 4 months prior to departure.

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

WOW. Doesn't seem they are offering much any more. Last January, we got the normal Explorer's discount of$200pp plus an additional $400pp based on the length of the cruise plus an OBC for the cruise we were on based on the the number of cruises we booked. Plus the 6 month prior to departure final payment and no penalty changes on itinerary or date up to 4 months prior to departure.

 

Just booked onboard last month.  The onboard deal you describe is what we got. Explorer $200 + Discount $400 + $100 OBC current cruise with payment 6 months from sailing date and no penalty for change in itinerary.  All #s are per person.

Edited by philw1776

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1 hour ago, philw1776 said:

 

Just booked onboard last month.  The onboard deal you describe is what we got. Explorer $200 + Discount $400 + $100 OBC current cruise with payment 6 months from sailing date and no penalty for change in itinerary.  All #s are per person.

 

Sweet. Hope it is still on offer when we board. Now just have to get DH on board with the plan.

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16 hours ago, stretchcruz said:

Phil, did you transfer to a TA and get additional OBC? Need to plan our strategy for Feb!

 

Yes, we did xfer to a TA for additional OBC.  Viking onboard salesperson recommended some TAs.
He was very helpful as, once again, our desired cruise was not yet posted (Bergen to Montreal ship xfer, "In the Wake of the Vikings") so he had us "book" a random cruise of similar length (so we could get the $400pp) and we "switched" cruises to the one we really wanted when we got home.

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1 hour ago, philw1776 said:

 

Yes, we did xfer to a TA for additional OBC.  Viking onboard salesperson recommended some TAs.
He was very helpful as, once again, our desired cruise was not yet posted (Bergen to Montreal ship xfer, "In the Wake of the Vikings") so he had us "book" a random cruise of similar length (so we could get the $400pp) and we "switched" cruises to the one we really wanted when we got home.

Was the on board sales person able to tell you the amount of OBC you would get from the TAs he was recommending?  It’s nice to hear he was so helpful! 

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Maybe the difference between USA and AUS bookings is that none of our deposit is refundable. Maybe too many people book up multiple cruises then cancel with no risk. We pay in full 120 days out and there has been no change to our policy. 

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31 minutes ago, Pushka said:

Maybe the difference between USA and AUS bookings is that none of our deposit is refundable. Maybe too many people book up multiple cruises then cancel with no risk. We pay in full 120 days out and there has been no change to our policy. 

 

The US cancellation policy is shown above. We pay $500pp deposit. We lose a minimum of $100pp for any booking we cancel regardless if we have made our final payment or not and even switching a booking counts as a cancellation (unless it was booked on board), so we aren't completely risk free --and that may deter some multiple bookings. If you have already paid in full, you will get money back, according to the cancellation schedule. 

 

My gut says that the reason they have made the change in the US market and not the other markets is that 1) it is easier to do legally and 2) it effects a larger percentage of guests. Viking has always been different. Although people weren't booking two years in advance, their river cruises were always paid in full within weeks of booking --within days if you were booking at the end of the current deal. It started out that way when Viking Oceans started out; we paid in full for first cruise 18 months before we sailed. In fact, I was pleased that we had a 7 month grace period between booking and paying because I was fully expecting to have to pay in full by the end of the month (as I had done for all the river cruises that I had booked). It is only recently that we started seeing the 6 months prior to sailing become more and more prevalent. However, for whatever reason, that experiment is over and we are returning to the old plan.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

The US cancellation policy is shown above. We pay $500pp deposit. We lose a minimum of $100pp for any booking we cancel regardless if we have made our final payment or not and even switching a booking counts as a cancellation (unless it was booked on board), so we aren't completely risk free --and that may deter some multiple bookings. If you have already paid in full, you will get money back, according to the cancellation schedule. 

 

My gut says that the reason they have made the change in the US market and not the other markets is that 1) it is easier to do legally and 2) it effects a larger percentage of guests. Viking has always been different. Although people weren't booking two years in advance, their river cruises were always paid in full within weeks of booking --within days if you were booking at the end of the current deal. It started out that way when Viking Oceans started out; we paid in full for first cruise 18 months before we sailed. In fact, I was pleased that we had a 7 month grace period between booking and paying because I was fully expecting to have to pay in full by the end of the month (as I had done for all the river cruises that I had booked). It is only recently that we started seeing the 6 months prior to sailing become more and more prevalent. However, for whatever reason, that experiment is over and we are returning to the old plan.

 

 

 

Yes, I agree with the “greatest impact” point. Our policy is that we lose all our deposit -  $1000 if cancelling or changing, and $1500 if doing another kind of booking - I can’t recall exactly what that was now. 

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6 hours ago, philw1776 said:

 

Yes, we did xfer to a TA for additional OBC.  Viking onboard salesperson recommended some TAs.
He was very helpful as, once again, our desired cruise was not yet posted (Bergen to Montreal ship xfer, "In the Wake of the Vikings") so he had us "book" a random cruise of similar length (so we could get the $400pp) and we "switched" cruises to the one we really wanted when we got home.

 

Thanks Phil! We have a TA that we've used for many many years and she always gives us the most that she can. Nice to know we can still have the 6 month out payment that she's always done.

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Just part of the package of doing business with Viking for now.

I do think that rising interest rates may present an issue for such advance payments in the future. Viking will probably have to offer some type of additional incentive for early payment or stretch out the schedule a bit.

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I only cruised on VO one time and loved it. However, I won’t be cruising with them again unless they change their final payment policy. I guess that probably won’t happen as long as so many others are happy to make the deposit into Viking bank for a year with no incentive.

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