Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
KathyA

New restrictions on Cuba

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Marykatesmom said:

 

My gut feeling is that the email we were sent was written within a day or so of the ban and they waited too long to send it.  It was before "the specific details" were known, which we've all seen the PDF that is pretty detailed and therefore sounded ridiculous.  And before it was clear there were going to be no exceptions.  There is no way that Viking is going to get an exception for a half full cruise.  Viking cruisers are much more well traveled than most other cruise lines.  We are simply not that gullible to believe that Cuba is a possibility  It also did not promise that we would be given other high quality ports and left open the possibility for an 8 day cruise to Nassau.  At that price point a terrible value.

 

That email made sense immediately after the ban but they waited too long for such a vague email asking us for patience.

 

I think that there is an assumption somewhere that we are that gullible and we don’t do our research on the internet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm on a mailing list that does customer surveys for Viking, usually testing new ideas for itineraries (and yes I am brutally honest about what appeals to me and what doesn't).

 

Within the last couple of days, Viking is testing the Caribbean waters. Obviously, they are trying to hone in on a substitute itinerary that will meet the expectations of their guests and they are polling the audience as part of the process. Personally, I applaud them for the diligence and for not rushing to kludge together some itinerary that may or may not work for their clientele.  Since the Cuba cruises weren't due to start again until the end of the year, it looks like Viking is taking the time to do the job right--rather than rushing headlong into disaster because a few people are complaining that they aren't moving fast enough.

 

Don't ask me for details because I did not pay attention to what they were looking at; I have no interest in the Caribbean other than possibly Cuba or the Panama and gave a resounding not interesting to all of the chocies.  I can tell you that the cruises are RT out of Miami, that one of the choices went as far south as ABCs and the cruise was longer than a week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I'm on a mailing list that does customer surveys for Viking, usually testing new ideas for itineraries (and yes I am brutally honest about what appeals to me and what doesn't).

 

Within the last couple of days, Viking is testing the Caribbean waters. Obviously, they are trying to hone in on a substitute itinerary that will meet the expectations of their guests and they are polling the audience as part of the process. Personally, I applaud them for the diligence and for not rushing to kludge together some itinerary that may or may not work for their clientele.  Since the Cuba cruises weren't due to start again until the end of the year, it looks like Viking is taking the time to do the job right--rather than rushing headlong into disaster because a few people are complaining that they aren't moving fast enough.

 

Don't ask me for details because I did not pay attention to what they were looking at; I have no interest in the Caribbean other than possibly Cuba or the Panama and gave a resounding not interesting to all of the chocies.  I can tell you that the cruises are RT out of Miami, that one of the choices went as far south as ABCs and the cruise was longer than a week.

 

The vague "please have patience" email should have come out within days of the ban.  They were the last out of the gate with any response by a week.  To imply that Cuba is still on the table was ludicrous and that "specific details" were unknown was blatantly false.  

 

No one is complaining that a new itinerary isn't moving fast enough.  My worry is the one you mentioned above, nothing is going to attract Viking's clientele enough to create new bookings.  I can't imagine that it would be financially viable to run a half empty ship for several weeks.  A last minute cancellation is still a possibility.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would have been easier to be patient if  in April Viking proactively reached out to those of us who signed on to the "Cultural Cuba" cruise.  We we were going to travel with another couple who had not stayed on top of the news.   Until we spoke to them this past Monday to tell them we were cancelling, they knew nothing of the changes! 

 

We did call to cancel on Tuesday. We were told that we would be dunned $100 per person and that it was up to us to see if we could get our insurance cost refunded because Viking didn't issue it. I did point out that Viking's name was all over the insurance materials and that we had paid the money directly to Viking so they should return the money.  The response was canned and unsympathetic so we just figured that we were screwed.  We consoled ourselves by thinking  that at least we weren't going to be paying the rest if the trip cost only to be stuck with vouchers we had to use within the year on another Viking cruise.  

 

On Wednesday, my husband checked our booking information and found that no cancellation was listed so we called again. This time we spoke with someone who told us that we would NOT be dunned the $100 per person and would be refunded the insurance costs we had paid to Viking.  (We are watching the credit card account to see if and when the credit shows up. As of a few minutes ago, it had not.)

 

Maybe they noticed that this would have been our fifth cruise with them, maybe their policies changed, maybe they read this website--who knows? I am reminded of what Ben Franklin said about reputation being like china plates---once cracked, never properly mended.  


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I paid for my travel insurance from a third party so I knew when I cancelled that it would not be refunded under any circumstances past the 14 day look back period.

 

I'd already paid in full by the time the ban was announced.  If I had waited until my 6 months out (booked on board) I would have been fine but there you go.  Live and learn.   Makes the year PIF a little harder to swallow.  It has been a few days and nothing is back on my CC.

 

 

 

Edited by Marykatesmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

36 minutes ago, Marykatesmom said:

I paid for my travel insurance from a third party so I knew when I cancelled that it would not be refunded under any circumstances past the 14 day look back period.

 

I'd already paid in full by the time the ban was announced.  If I had waited until my 6 months out (booked on board) I would have been fine but there you go.  Live and learn.   Makes the year PIF a little harder to swallow.  It has been a few days and nothing is back on my CC.

 

 

 

 

Under normal circumstance, you have until 121 prior to sailing to cancel and get your money less $100pp back from the Viking. If you don't claim the $100pp from the insurance company, you can talk to the insurance company to find out if the insurance that  you did not claim against can be moved to another booking. I have heard that some insurance companies will do this but I don't know what the details are. 

 

However, this is not normal circumstances and looks like Viking is waiving its normal cancellation fees. If you aren't working with a TA, contact the folks at tellus@vikingcruises.com, ask them to look into this for you and to tell you if the standard $100 penalty is being waived in your case (and if not why).

 

In any case, it will take more than a few days for Viking to process the refund.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Peekskill said:

It would have been easier to be patient if  in April Viking proactively reached out to those of us who signed on to the "Cultural Cuba" cruise.  We we were going to travel with another couple who had not stayed on top of the news.   Until we spoke to them this past Monday to tell them we were cancelling, they knew nothing of the changes! 

 

We did call to cancel on Tuesday. We were told that we would be dunned $100 per person and that it was up to us to see if we could get our insurance cost refunded because Viking didn't issue it. I did point out that Viking's name was all over the insurance materials and that we had paid the money directly to Viking so they should return the money.  The response was canned and unsympathetic so we just figured that we were screwed.  We consoled ourselves by thinking  that at least we weren't going to be paying the rest if the trip cost only to be stuck with vouchers we had to use within the year on another Viking cruise.  

 

On Wednesday, my husband checked our booking information and found that no cancellation was listed so we called again. This time we spoke with someone who told us that we would NOT be dunned the $100 per person and would be refunded the insurance costs we had paid to Viking.  (We are watching the credit card account to see if and when the credit shows up. As of a few minutes ago, it had not.)

 

Maybe they noticed that this would have been our fifth cruise with them, maybe their policies changed, maybe they read this website--who knows? I am reminded of what Ben Franklin said about reputation being like china plates---once cracked, never properly mended.  


 

I just got off the phone with Viking. The rep told me she just received an e-mail that said we would get 100% of funds paid, including insurance. I sent the necessary email to Viking -- we shall see !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I book my travel insurance through insuremytrip and always make sure that it can be canceled to a different date (even different cruise line) if I change my mind. I've never had a problem doing it, so it's worth a phone call. Sometimes the premium changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

Under normal circumstance, you have until 121 prior to sailing to cancel and get your money less $100pp back from the Viking. If you don't claim the $100pp from the insurance company, you can talk to the insurance company to find out if the insurance that  you did not claim against can be moved to another booking. I have heard that some insurance companies will do this but I don't know what the details are. 

 

However, this is not normal circumstances and looks like Viking is waiving its normal cancellation fees. If you aren't working with a TA, contact the folks at tellus@vikingcruises.com, ask them to look into this for you and to tell you if the standard $100 penalty is being waived in your case (and if not why).

 

In any case, it will take more than a few days for Viking to process the refund.

 

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, stretchcruz said:

I book my travel insurance through insuremytrip and always make sure that it can be canceled to a different date (even different cruise line) if I change my mind. I've never had a problem doing it, so it's worth a phone call. Sometimes the premium changes.

 

I was in too much of a hurry and rushed booking the insurance.  We came back from a lovely VO cruise right before Christmas.  It was my fault.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent the cancellation request to Viking and within the hour I received a email from them confirming that I would receive a 100% refund.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to feel sympathetic for any of these companies who are claiming losses, especially the likes of Carnival who despite openly polluting the oceans were given a slap on the wrist again...

 

Add to the fact that the big brands will just absorb the losses and raise prices elsewhere i'm sure it will all be forgotten soon enough especially given the Cuba visits were short lived to begin with

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Captain_Morgan said:

Hard to feel sympathetic for any of these companies who are claiming losses, especially the likes of Carnival who despite openly polluting the oceans were given a slap on the wrist again...

 

Add to the fact that the big brands will just absorb the losses and raise prices elsewhere i'm sure it will all be forgotten soon enough especially given the Cuba visits were short lived to begin with

Agreed.

 

there wasn't a lot of infrastructure investment by the cruise lines.  But companies like HavanaTur are at risk. The Chinese repo'd locomotives when Cuba didn't pay. My guess is the buses go home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly, it will be a loss for the local agents and operators who saw an increase in revenues from the cruise passengers but then again it was short lived so its not like they had many years of business dry up in an instant...

 

The million dollar question remains however, WWVD (What Will Viking Do)???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peregrina, I am on the same travel panel that you are. I am not interested in any of the stops they asked about. 

 

I canceled my cruise and am getting all all my money back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't as lucky as some of you.  I called Viking today.  The snippy Viking representative said "we informed you that we would let you know what your alternatives are at a later date."  I mentioned that cruisecritic members had received a full refund.  She said "Well, your cruise is over a year away, so like we told you in our email, we will let you know what your options are once we have decided.  We TOLD you to be patient."

 

I sent a followup email to tellus@viking.com.  I'm hoping for a better outcome.  I've been on both ocean and river cruises with Viking, so it's not like this is my first cruise with them.

 

Definitely not happy with their customer service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tellus@vikingcruises.com

 

Kathy, if you used the actual email in your post, it might not get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, KathyA said:

I wasn't as lucky as some of you.  I called Viking today.  The snippy Viking representative said "we informed you that we would let you know what your alternatives are at a later date."  I mentioned that cruisecritic members had received a full refund.  She said "Well, your cruise is over a year away, so like we told you in our email, we will let you know what your options are once we have decided.  We TOLD you to be patient."

 

I sent a followup email to tellus@viking.com.  I'm hoping for a better outcome.  I've been on both ocean and river cruises with Viking, so it's not like this is my first cruise with them.

 

Definitely not happy with their customer service.

 

They're no doubt being inundated with calls of concern, which is to be expected and understandable as even a year out people want to know what's going on so they can make the appropriate choices.  To have someone supposedly in customer service be snippy in response is never acceptable, but even less so in this case where its the company who've been forced to make changes and as such have the burden to inform the paying customer....seems another failing grade for the way their corporate offices handle difficult issues so far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

Tellus@vikingcruises.com

 

Kathy, if you used the actual email in your post, it might not get there.

Thank you.  I did actually send it to vikingcruises.com.  Guess I just wrote the email too fast!  It did make me go back and check, though, so thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good day all,

Earlier this winter there was a travel event planned in our city. This is our Jubilee year of marriage and we were looking for a special trip. We sat in on the Viking presentation and was impressed with the presentation for both the river and ocean products. All was well until the open question period. One person in the audience asked if the presenter has heard of Cruise Critic. The presenter responded that Cruise Critic was not real popular with the travel industry. It is instances like this that I really understand why that might be.

 

It’s now almost 3 weeks since I’ve heard from Viking so I’m giving them and my TA the benefit and waiting until the end of the week. Then I’m going to cancel the cruise, and probably fire my TA.

 

rnrcruzin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, rnrcruzin said:

The presenter responded that Cruise Critic was not real popular with the travel industry.

 

Any business/industry that can't take criticism and learn from it, gets what they deserve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a very nice call from a staff member in response to my email to tellus@vikingcruises.com

 Definitely the A team at tellus. They did agree to give me a full refund  although they encouraged me to wait and see what Viking's ultimate alternative might be

 Like others, I sent the requisite email formally requesting a refund, and received a confirming email that I would be given a full refund, although it would take 30 days to process.

I'm happy with the result and looking forward to sailing with them again in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KathyA said:

Definitely the A team at tellus.

 

 I agree; TellUs is the A-Team and I'm glad you talked with them and got everything straightened out.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...