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Cruise price Drop with Viking Anniversary Sale

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9 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

Stay tuned. When I emailed back to ask about the past guest discount was told that it was included which meant I couldn’t make sense of how she got to the price. I was informed the anniversary promo is $750 for this sailing. So waiting now to hear if the same $750 applies to a V2, if so we may reconsider as their air won’t do us much good as we want to stay in Europe until June and you can only deviate a maximum of 30 days. 

Please keep us posted. We had been watching British Isles for a short while and booked it this month as a combination of discounts made it doable. Primarily, there's now a late March date in 2021 (our preferred time to travel) which has lower fares and cheaper air than we've seen. Add to that anniversary and past guest discounts - we booked it. 

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So, after more emails back and forth than I want to think about, it appears that the $750 anniversary promo is for DV cabins, for a V, they offered us a $500 discount. I think we are going to wait and see what deal the onboard sales person can offer. Or we may just wait as originally planned for a last minute promo. 

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On 8/20/2019 at 9:39 AM, CCWineLover said:

  Seems Viking is getting more like airlines as technology allows for more demand style pricing and offers.

I've been following this thread with utmost of interest.  And have been thinking of the airline model, too.

 

If I buy any refundable ticket (in any class/fare bucket) and the price drops - the airline - i have to initiate the request  - will reissue at the lower price and refund difference or refund me the fare .

 

If I buy a non refundable or highly restricted  fare  - my options are more limited if I see a cheaper fare.  Most likely, I would have a sizable penalty to pay if I wanted to reprice and get lower fare.  But I could do the math and decide if it is a worthwhile proposition - based on published rules and fees.

 

So whether I buy my airline ticket 330 days out or 1 week before -  essentially making my "final payment" - if there is a price drop - I know what the rules and penalties are to reprice.

 

While there are differences in inventories, pricing models etc... between  airlines and cruise lines - I think what probably would work to keep most customers happy is downside price protection. A policy  that says - if the price drops  after final payment a customer my request a reprice but it will cost xyz money.  

 

I suspect that most of us on CC would work with such policies.  Behavioral economists probably could make some sort of prediction on a percentage of customers that would jump through hoops to get a reprice.

 

But given the Viking business model (final payments, etc...) and their popularity, there is little incentive to change the way they do business.  The squeaky wheel indeed may get some Viking grease - but after a month of Sundays of emails with them and TA -  even for the most intrepid and frugal traveler - that simply may be too much.

 

 

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I have noticed that more and more Viking cruises are showing with available rooms. For the longest time any cruise that I was interested in almost no matter how far out every room category showed as unavailable 

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5 hours ago, Brad1185 said:

I have noticed that more and more Viking cruises are showing with available rooms. For the longest time any cruise that I was interested in almost no matter how far out every room category showed as unavailable 

As Viking continues to expand its ocean fleet, it may be that supply will begin to catch up with demand at some point. The seventh Viking ship, the Venus, is expected to set sail early in 2021. 

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I’ve generally found trends of prices, availability and special offers (except booking on board or immediately after debarkation) to be all over the place with no distinct pattern. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, cruise fare, air fare and extension cost all went up for my upcoming November cruise booked last November. One factor not mentioned here are cruises that are discontinued. The Southern Mediterranean cruise we took last year has no longer available - and no currently offered cruise visits Algiers, Trapani, Cagliari and Valencia (correct me if I’m wrong). Similarly, the Scandinavia - Kiel Canal cruise we’re taking this March is the last one offered (at least so far). 

 

Clay’s experience with different discounts for cabin class is the first I’ve seen. Generally, length and/or type of cruise (river or ocean) were factors for the discount amount.  And I have never gotten involved with “a month of Sundays of emails” as Clay and Homerody have - just being put on hold for a bit, but resolving in one maybe longer than average phone call. 

 

 

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This may be a bit off topic, but do onboard bookings generally garner bigger discounts than the advertised pricing? Is that perhaps a good strategy to lock in a competitive rate?

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10 hours ago, sellicott said:

This may be a bit off topic, but do onboard bookings generally garner bigger discounts than the advertised pricing? Is that perhaps a good strategy to lock in a competitive rate?

Generally, yes - but there’s also a discount if you book within 2 weeks of debarkation. 

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I think part of the month of Sundays with me is getting caught in between a lazy TA who will not really do anything to help (its after final payment after all) and Viking who - quite understandably - says hey you have an agent that must be your point of contact with Viking.  Agent says rules are rules, Viking is strict and so on...

 

I don't need a lot of hand holding, and generally book travel direct and with my own planning.  But for cruises, I've found better deals using TA's.  Admittedly, Viking cruises using a TA yielded a very tiny price benefit - but I thought a good TA would leverage or help out in cases such as requesting moving final payment date or when prices drop (the latter based on my experience with other cruises and TA's).

 

Alas, no such help.  And mind you - I'm not looking for freebie upgrades or a $1000 refund due Anniversary sale promotional price drop.  I would be happy to upgrade to next category DV to PV for a reasonable fee and  current price difference between what I paid and current cost for PV.    (This has been my experience with my last two Transatlantic and Mediterranean cruises - using a different TA than my current Viking booking.)

 

So Viking and TA may win the battle.  But it will be a Pyrrhic victory as I will certainly not return to TA and Viking will be a much steeper climb for me. 

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2 minutes ago, Homerody said:

I think part of the month of Sundays with me is getting caught in between a lazy TA who will not really do anything to help (its after final payment after all) and Viking who - quite understandably - says hey you have an agent that must be your point of contact with Viking.  Agent says rules are rules, Viking is strict and so on...

 

I don't need a lot of hand holding, and generally book travel direct and with my own planning.  But for cruises, I've found better deals using TA's.  Admittedly, Viking cruises using a TA yielded a very tiny price benefit - but I thought a good TA would leverage or help out in cases such as requesting moving final payment date or when prices drop (the latter based on my experience with other cruises and TA's).

 

Alas, no such help.  And mind you - I'm not looking for freebie upgrades or a $1000 refund due Anniversary sale promotional price drop.  I would be happy to upgrade to next category DV to PV for a reasonable fee and  current price difference between what I paid and current cost for PV.    (This has been my experience with my last two Transatlantic and Mediterranean cruises - using a different TA than my current Viking booking.)

 

So Viking and TA may win the battle.  But it will be a Pyrrhic victory as I will certainly not return to TA and Viking will be a much steeper climb for me. 

When about to embark on a Viking river cruise a few years ago, we called the agent that booked us for a last minute question only to find out he was no longer with Viking. On the cruise, I reconnected with a high school friend who, when hearing this, recommended her Viking agent. We are lucky as we only cruise with Viking now.

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I think the law of supply and demand has already caught up with Viking. We received offers from our travel agent within two months of our June 2019 Midnight Sun cruise (we had booked these cruise a year in advance). The offer include free airfare and reduced cabin prices. Even with those offers, our sailing was not completely sold out.

Today, we received another email offering free airfare for numerous upcoming cruises through the remainder of 2019. Included were The Holy Lands, Pacific Coast journey,  Around Cape Horn, etc. The cabin rate is also reduced. 

Seeing these offers discouraged us from booking a future cruise while onboard as we had in June 2018. We are retired and are pretty flexible. This year’s offers now lead us to believe that it is no longer necessary to rush into booking a cruise unless you are absolutely set on that particular cruise. If that is the case, by all means book early.

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6 minutes ago, Steve Q said:

I think the law of supply and demand has already caught up with Viking. We received offers from our travel agent within two months of our June 2019 Midnight Sun cruise (we had booked these cruise a year in advance). The offer include free airfare and reduced cabin prices. Even with those offers, our sailing was not completely sold out.

Today, we received another email offering free airfare for numerous upcoming cruises through the remainder of 2019. Included were The Holy Lands, Pacific Coast journey,  Around Cape Horn, etc. The cabin rate is also reduced. 

Seeing these offers discouraged us from booking a future cruise while onboard as we had in June 2018. We are retired and are pretty flexible. This year’s offers now lead us to believe that it is no longer necessary to rush into booking a cruise unless you are absolutely set on that particular cruise. If that is the case, by all means book early.

 Good post - especially your last sentence because some cruises do see increases cabin and/or air fare. Case in point is the 11/21/19 iconic western mediterranean which has had increases since I booked it last November - the most recent a few weeks ago when air was increased $100. 

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6 minutes ago, Steve Q said:

I think the law of supply and demand has already caught up with Viking. We received offers from our travel agent within two months of our June 2019 Midnight Sun cruise (we had booked these cruise a year in advance). The offer include free airfare and reduced cabin prices. Even with those offers, our sailing was not completely sold out.

Today, we received another email offering free airfare for numerous upcoming cruises through the remainder of 2019. Included were The Holy Lands, Pacific Coast journey,  Around Cape Horn, etc. The cabin rate is also reduced. 

Seeing these offers discouraged us from booking a future cruise while onboard as we had in June 2018. We are retired and are pretty flexible. This year’s offers now lead us to believe that it is no longer necessary to rush into booking a cruise unless you are absolutely set on that particular cruise. If that is the case, by all means book early.

We book Veranda cabins, and I still see that those sell out first, so we will continue to book early. Maybe once we are both retired, we will have more flexibility. However,  we will still be looking for the bargain cabins on new to us itineraries, so who knows.

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I totally agree.  We had booked our 2020 Viking cruise in 2018.   Availability is currently excellent for that cruise which is why we opted to cancel and get our deposit refunded.  We were upset that Viking was forcing us to pay one year in advance.  Booking that far out did just confirm our space on the cruise it did not get us the lowest pricing.  We are currently looking at other cruise line options as well as watching to see what happens to the Viking fares.  Viking lost our booking due to their stringent fare policies.   

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You really have to look at all options when special offers (such as the current Anniversary Sale)  are offered. This is especially true for Mediterranean cruises as they are I believe the most popular. Like Lackcreativity, we also go for V rooms - although we usually draw a line at DV6 as the difference is small plus there are some extras you don't get with a V2 or V1.

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Squawkman,

 

I just checked the offers i received this morning. Even The Iconic Western Mediterranean cruise departing 11/20 is on the list offering free airfare. While the V2 shows as sold out, the DV 6 is being offered for slightly less than $3000. This is the eight day cruise from Barcelona to Rome. The offer expires August 31st. Most of the other categories are still available.

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We have a special anniversary coming up next May. We wanted to spend it in the Mediterranean and the itinerary we wanted to sail on Viking took us by surprise at how fast it sold out (over a year in advance). It was a first sailing of that itinerary and we were pretty disappointed. So we lost out and ended up booking on another line that is 9 days longer, includes a full drink package, an aft balcony, specialty dinner, 50% reduced deposit, and less money than Viking. Balance is not due until February. It does not include excursions but that is not a hook for us with Viking. The downside is that the ship is 2x the size of Viking. There is a casino that we won’t spend time in. There are photographers we won’t engage with. There may be some kids on board. Overall, we are happy with the choice. Would have preferred Viking but their payment policy that they have reverted back to is not attractive at all. Our upcoming October sailing that we paid well in advance for has cabins available, and lower airfare than we paid. So to the earlier points made, we plan to continue sailing on Viking but we may not be willing to put the money out there so far in advance again. We may not get the itinerary we want, but there are alternatives out there. We may book a future cruise while on board so as to get the 6 months, knowing that doesn’t mean it will necessarily end up being the best pricing at the end of the day.

Viking makes their own rules and we as consumers will need to determine how those rules work for each of us.  

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Steve Q - 

 

This is plausible as I know I can get at least $700 off pp directly from Viking if booked by 8/31 - possibly more, but I pretty much break even given lower prices plus discounts I received when I booked last November. I know some travel agents add port or other charges to Viking cruises. Full payment would be required with both a TA or Viking given the November sail date - but if you can get this cruise for $5,998 for a couple, that’s very good. Keep in mind that availability really doesn’t get confirmed until you’re ready to book despite what you may see on the Viking website.

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7 hours ago, Steve Q said:

I think the law of supply and demand has already caught up with Viking. We received offers from our travel agent within two months of our June 2019 Midnight Sun cruise (we had booked these cruise a year in advance). The offer include free airfare and reduced cabin prices. Even with those offers, our sailing was not completely sold out.

Today, we received another email offering free airfare for numerous upcoming cruises through the remainder of 2019. Included were The Holy Lands, Pacific Coast journey,  Around Cape Horn, etc. The cabin rate is also reduced. 

Seeing these offers discouraged us from booking a future cruise while onboard as we had in June 2018. We are retired and are pretty flexible. This year’s offers now lead us to believe that it is no longer necessary to rush into booking a cruise unless you are absolutely set on that particular cruise. If that is the case, by all means book early.

Steve Q -

We also got an email offering today of a massive sale on 12 specific Viking Cruises up thru the end of the year, including the one we already booked back in January.  I'd seen these before, but to have 12 of them suddenly out there with just a few months to go tells me that Viking is definitely feeling the affect of reduced bookings on specific cruises.

As always, there are different strategies.  If you are set on a specific itinerary at a specific date, you book it ahead (while hopefully on another cruise so you don't have to deal with final payment until 6  months out).  If you are flexible and can "Go with the Wind and Sea", than it now seems to pay to wait until the last minute.  We met people on our previous cruises who only used that strategy.

 

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As an example of the fare differences - for our December 2019 cruise, which we bought "on sale" last January, they are now offering a PV3 room for $6999 with free air and we paid $7499 for a DV2 room.

I would say that prices are definitely coming down.   We were willing however, to take that chance, as we wanted that specific cruise and specific room.   Does make us think about changing though...

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CCWineLover,

 

i am quite certain that you received the same offers. When you click on the links, some of them even alert you that the cruise is less than $200 per day including airfare! This would rarely have been the case in the past. We received a similar email in the spring for offers on many of the most popular summer itineraries. While Viking is our favorite line, the initial rush to book appears to be subsiding.

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I didn't receive that one, but I did get an offer for Viking river cruises. A river cruise I recently booked for next year appeared to be cheaper - but when I did the math (and analyzed the fine print), I saved $50 - plus I don't have to pay until next May - this TA wanted full payment by the end of this month. Was the email you're referring to from CC?

17 minutes ago, Steve Q said:

CCWineLover,

 

i am quite certain that you received the same offers. When you click on the links, some of them even alert you that the cruise is less than $200 per day including airfare! This would rarely have been the case in the past. We received a similar email in the spring for offers on many of the most popular summer itineraries. While Viking is our favorite line, the initial rush to book appears to be subsiding.

 

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Squawkman,

 

No, it was included in our travel agent’s weekly newsletter. They are substantial sellers of Viking ocean cruises. They often have offers that I have not seen elsewhere. It is funny as they do not often recommend Viking River cruises, as they seem to prefer other lines. In 2018, however, we asked about a different cruise line and they recommended Viking instead. We are sold. Their comment to me was that they almost never had someone come back from a Viking cruise that was dissatisfied.

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