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VIKING continues ambitious payment policy

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29 minutes ago, dolllover said:

In regards to Vikings payment policy I was told by my agent they do this because of their fantastic flight deals. I don't fly business and love the fact I can get great flights, pre and post land packages , the cruise in a veranda cabin for 10 grand including insurance. Even though I have a Viking cruise coming up in October I'm not loyal to any company. I book a cruise with where I want to go. Knock on wood every trip I've taken so far has been fantastic and consider myself blessed I'm able to travel.

 

I believe, but not sure, that other river cruise lines offer or have offered deals on flights.   I know I received recently an Emerald cruises email with selected air promos.

 

 

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1 hour ago, dolllover said:

In regards to Vikings payment policy I was told by my agent they do this because of their fantastic flight deals. I don't fly business and love the fact I can get great flights, pre and post land packages , the cruise in a veranda cabin for 10 grand including insurance. Even though I have a Viking cruise coming up in October I'm not loyal to any company. I book a cruise with where I want to go. Knock on wood every trip I've taken so far has been fantastic and consider myself blessed I'm able to travel.

Other companies offer flight deals and similar packages, yet Viking is pretty much the only one wanting payment a year out.

 

If you look at a comparison on Vikings policy wanting payment a year in advance and the more normal 90 days, it means that Viking will have almost 3/4's of a years revenue more in cash  on hand com than their competition.  That means that they can fund a lot of capital investment without having to borrow or with dramatically reduced borrowing.  I suspect that it is this policy that is helping to fund their fairly massive expansion.

 

I, for one, feel that there are enough Viking ships out there and do not care to help them fund building more. I will stick with companies with more conventional payment policies.

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2 hours ago, npcl said:

Other companies offer flight deals and similar packages, yet Viking is pretty much the only one wanting payment a year out.

 

If you look at a comparison on Vikings policy wanting payment a year in advance and the more normal 90 days, it means that Viking will have almost 3/4's of a years revenue more in cash  on hand com than their competition.  That means that they can fund a lot of capital investment without having to borrow or with dramatically reduced borrowing.  I suspect that it is this policy that is helping to fund their fairly massive expansion.

 

I, for one, feel that there are enough Viking ships out there and do not care to help them fund building more. I will stick with companies with more conventional payment policies.

I also expect that Viking uses this policy to finance the expansion of their fleet of ships. Our difference of opinion is that I do not object to the small loss of interest I would earn on that payment for 9 months. While Viking may have plenty of river ships, they still have only a small number of ocean ships and manage to keep them pretty full. No one can predict how many more years of travel are in their future, so the faster they can build them the better for me. I wish to visit ports not regularly visited by Viking, and I hope they will offer new itineraries with these additional ships.

 

I know there are plenty of other good cruise lines out there,  but Viking suits us perfectly and I don't wish to gamble my one annual vacation with another line I may not like as much. Fortunately, most of us here are lucky enough to select the line that works for us. I am not sure why this debate regarding the payment requirements of Viking continues to crop up. 

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On 7/27/2019 at 3:27 PM, Turtles06 said:

 

So there’s no confusion:  What I said was that, per Travel Guard, you must insure any amount you have paid that would not be refunded if you cancelled on the morning of the first day of your trip. This doesn’t mean you have to insure the full amount of the trip before you have paid it.  As you make other payments, you modify the policy to increase the insured amount.

 

For example (again, per Travel Guard), if you’ve paid a deposit of $250 pp on a trip that costs $2500 pp, you only need to insure the total $500 deposit when you purchase the policy.  You don’t insure the remaining $4500 until you’ve paid it. 

 

Status report:

 

Travel Guard's position is exactly what Turtles06 says he was told. They have, however, acknowledged that I have been adjusting limits and paying premiums consistent with my reading of the policy verbiage, and they have agreed to forward the issue (to home office legal?). (Again, we differ on what constitutes a "subsequent arrangement", the term used in the policy.)

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11 minutes ago, mort&fran said:

 

Status report:

 

Travel Guard's position is exactly what Turtles06 says he was told. They have, however, acknowledged that I have been adjusting limits and paying premiums consistent with my reading of the policy verbiage, and they have agreed to forward the issue (to home office legal?). (Again, we differ on what constitutes a "subsequent arrangement", the term used in the policy.)

 

Thanks for the update.  Glad to know I had correctly understood and reported what I had been told.  🙂

 

(BTW, I'm she.)

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17 hours ago, CJcruzer said:

 

I believe, but not sure, that other river cruise lines offer or have offered deals on flights.   I know I received recently an Emerald cruises email with selected air promos.

My recent Gate 1 brochure also offers the flight deals.

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Many river and ocean cruise lines offer deals on air that IMO often vary depending on how well they are meeting their sales quotas. It is a way of offering a discount on slower selling trips while still officially not lowering their prices. People who bought at full price (ie no special airfare deal) seem less perturbed at someone getting a special air deal than they would be at a reduction in the cruise list price below what they paid. In the end for a given set of products (comparable cruise and air) what really matters is what your total expenditure is no matter what accounting slights of hand have occurred. 

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1 hour ago, TravelerThom said:

Many river and ocean cruise lines offer deals on air that IMO often vary depending on how well they are meeting their sales quotas. It is a way of offering a discount on slower selling trips while still officially not lowering their prices. People who bought at full price (ie no special airfare deal) seem less perturbed at someone getting a special air deal than they would be at a reduction in the cruise list price below what they paid. In the end for a given set of products (comparable cruise and air) what really matters is what your total expenditure is no matter what accounting slights of hand have occurred. 

 

And even if you are perturbed, at that point you can't cancel your air tickets to take advantage. :classic_wink:

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1 hour ago, TravelerThom said:

Many river and ocean cruise lines offer deals on air that IMO often vary depending on how well they are meeting their sales quotas. It is a way of offering a discount on slower selling trips while still officially not lowering their prices. People who bought at full price (ie no special airfare deal) seem less perturbed at someone getting a special air deal than they would be at a reduction in the cruise list price below what they paid. In the end for a given set of products (comparable cruise and air) what really matters is what your total expenditure is no matter what accounting slights of hand have occurred. 

This is a double edged sword. We booked an ocean cruise last November for this November (payment policies are the same for river and ocean).  By early spring, the price of our lower cost cabin increased $200 per, airfare increased $300 per, and the extension were taking increased $100 per person - a total increase of $1,200 for both of us. And the cabin class we booked is sold out!

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I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but another thing Viking does that I don't like is to encourage people to pay by e-check rather than credit card.  I NEVER make major purchases, especially travel pkgs. that have to be paid in advance, with a debit card or check.  You just don't have the same protection that you do with a credit card.

 

I started cruising in 2001 and found CC while I was planning my cruise.  Around that same time a cruise line by the name of Renaissance went bankrupt, leaving passengers and crew stranded all over the world.  Those passengers who had paid for their cruise with a credit card had a lot more ability and recourse to dispute the charge than those who were cash buyers.  Lesson learned.

 

Roz

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To be fair, @Roz, I have seen the "discount for paying by e-check" offer in brochures of many other river cruise companies--it ain't just Viking. 

 

I felt no pressure from Viking whatsoever to pay by e-check.  By using credit card, I get 3% back to use on my  next trip!

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4 minutes ago, sharkster77 said:

To be fair, @Roz, I have seen the "discount for paying by e-check" offer in brochures of many other river cruise companies--it ain't just Viking. 

 

I felt no pressure from Viking whatsoever to pay by e-check.  By using credit card, I get 3% back to use on my  next trip!

 

You're correct that other lines do this, but I think Viking was the leader in promoting this.  My point being it seems to be part of their overall business plan to have their passengers be their bank to lend them money.  

 

Roz

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While I love Viking....this makes me look elsewhere....DO NOT like this policy, as we tend to book things way ahead. Doing Rhine on Crystal this fall.

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33 minutes ago, caripoo said:

While I love Viking....this makes me look elsewhere....DO NOT like this policy, as we tend to book things way ahead. Doing Rhine on Crystal this fall.

 

We book way ahead too and as long as you have at least one Viking cruise booked, additional Viking cruises (river and/or ocean) can wait to be paid 6 months prior to embarkation. This past week I booked a cruise for March, 2021 but will not pay the balance until September, 2020. Hope you enjoy the Rhine cruise - we're booked for the Rhine with Viking next year.

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21 hours ago, Roz said:

I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but another thing Viking does that I don't like is to encourage people to pay by e-check rather than credit card.  I NEVER make major purchases, especially travel pkgs. that have to be paid in advance, with a debit card or check.  You just don't have the same protection that you do with a credit card.

 

I don't see the problem.  It's very clear that you DON'T have to pay by e-check, and that you CAN use a credit card to pay.  

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3 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

I don't see the problem.  It's very clear that you DON'T have to pay by e-check, and that you CAN use a credit card to pay.  

 

Agree--I never felt pressured to pay by e-check--TA mentioned it, we said no, and that was the end of it.

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3 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

I don't see the problem.  It's very clear that you DON'T have to pay by e-check, and that you CAN use a credit card to pay.  

 

You're correct, you don't have to pay by e-check, but you don't get the discount that the e-check payers do.  The passengers assumes additional risk, and Viking gets their cash immediately without credit card charges.  

 

Roz

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Another factor is that some credit cards offer good trip insurance. This is something to check carefully and could negate any e-check savings.

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

 

You're correct, you don't have to pay by e-check, but you don't get the discount that the e-check payers do.  The passengers assumes additional risk, and Viking gets their cash immediately without credit card charges.  

 

Roz

 

Yes, no credit card charges but they are covered by the guest payment anyhow. Whether we use e-check or credit card, Viking nets the same (or there about). The ones who see a savings are the guests who pay by e-check.

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

 

You're correct, you don't have to pay by e-check, but you don't get the discount that the e-check payers do.  The passengers assumes additional risk, and Viking gets their cash immediately without credit card charges.  

 

Roz

 

There seems to be a moving target regarding your concerns about Viking's e-check option.  First you said (comment 60) that you didn't like it because Viking, in your view, was encouraging guests to pay by e-check, and you thought it wiser for people to pay by credit card.   Sharkstar and I both replied that there was no pressure from Viking to pay by e-check, and that the option to pay by credit card was clear.

 

Then you replied to sharkster (comment 62) that your "point" was that Viking's e-check option "seems to be part of their overall business plan to have their passengers be their bank to lend them money."  Your reply to me above seems to be in the same vein.

 

However, regardless of whether a guest makes final payment by e-check or by credit card, Viking is getting that money at that point.  Viking's e-check option is a way for them to avoid or mitigate the transactional costs of payment by credit card.   Many merchants give consumers a discount for paying by cash rather than credit card.  The choice of how to pay is then up to the consumer, but either way, the merchant is getting the money. 

 

I am not a fan of Viking's policy that requires final payment many months, if not a year or more, in advance of a cruise (the subject of this thread), and I believe it is quite fair to criticize that policy.   But offering guests the option to make final payment by e-check rather than by credit card is not the same thing; Viking gets the money either way, and I don't think this can fairly be said to be part of a plan to "have their passengers be their bank to lend them money."

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