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Viking Coronavirus Update


Squawkman
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I like that! “Travel with hopes not expectations.” I’ve been learning that... and I’m finding I’m happier letting the adventure develop rather than planning out all the minutes. But to each their own. Whatever floats your boat... or ship... or possibly in this case gondola!

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On 2/25/2020 at 6:50 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

First, before you rush in and cancel your trip, you should check with your insurer that if you cancel, you will be covered. You are less than a hundred days away from sailing and Viking will be keeping at least some of your money.  The closer you get, the more they will keep.

 

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Taken from the Passenger Ticket Contract: http://wpc.475d.edgecastcdn.net/00475D/PDF/3-191004_PassengerTicketContract.pdf

 

Second, no matter what you are told today, it cannot be guaranteed. Anything could change in the blink of an eye. If they tell you today that they are still heading to Venice, tomorrow the city could be closed. Ship happens. It is the nature of the beast.

 

Since you are dead set on going to Venice, perhaps you should start seriously looking into canceling the trip. Check with your insurance company, start talking to Viking.

 

If you can't cancel or move your booking without losing more money than you are willing to kiss good-bye, then it is time to get used to the idea that you are not going to see Venice this trip and that you are going to have to make the best of a bad situation. Prepare for the worst and maybe you will be happily surprised. To paraphrase a fellow member, travel with hopes, not expectations.

I really appreciate the fast reply. I've never used this site before and having someone respond is comforting. So I'm spilling my thoughts now. Viking says on their web site that they are doing all they can to ensure the people boarding are safe from the virus. Well, the people in California that recently came down with the virus were in China on a cruise ship and were quarantined. They were considered virus free and sent to the USA only to be infected after they arrived. Viking can not guarantee the passengers are free of the virus just because they check their passport and see if they have any temperature before they board. So once people board, the could show signs of the virus. Second, once we get to any of the ports, the people who are not on the ship could have the virus and contaminate the others. Third, once we try to get to the scheduled ports, they could be closed (ie. Venice) and that would be horrible. Forth, traveling in the air and walking the airports, could give us the virus. Bottom line, we are spending a ton of money to be subjected to this virus, change of ports, and possibly abandoned at any of the countries because we are infected. I plan on waiting until the first part of May to decide to use my "cancel at any time for any reason" Viking travel insurance. I'd love to hear from anyone else about this. We leave May 27 and the trip last until Jun 17. We have friends that are on the same ship, same general agenda for April that are going to cancel. We are canceling if there is not a significant change in the virus in the western Mediterranean cruise we booked. Comments????

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1 hour ago, cruise-tanker said:

I really appreciate the fast reply. I've never used this site before and having someone respond is comforting. So I'm spilling my thoughts now. Viking says on their web site that they are doing all they can to ensure the people boarding are safe from the virus. Well, the people in California that recently came down with the virus were in China on a cruise ship and were quarantined. They were considered virus free and sent to the USA only to be infected after they arrived. Viking can not guarantee the passengers are free of the virus just because they check their passport and see if they have any temperature before they board. So once people board, the could show signs of the virus. Second, once we get to any of the ports, the people who are not on the ship could have the virus and contaminate the others. Third, once we try to get to the scheduled ports, they could be closed (ie. Venice) and that would be horrible. Forth, traveling in the air and walking the airports, could give us the virus. Bottom line, we are spending a ton of money to be subjected to this virus, change of ports, and possibly abandoned at any of the countries because we are infected. I plan on waiting until the first part of May to decide to use my "cancel at any time for any reason" Viking travel insurance. I'd love to hear from anyone else about this. We leave May 27 and the trip last until Jun 17. We have friends that are on the same ship, same general agenda for April that are going to cancel. We are canceling if there is not a significant change in the virus in the western Mediterranean cruise we booked. Comments????

You need to do what feels right to you.  You could also catch the virus at home, but I understand you'd feel more secure that if you get sick you'd be in your own home, with your own local MD and hospital if needed.  I'm going on the Transatlantic on the Sky a week from today and am planning to go on the cruise.  Most people who catch the virus don't get very sick.  I'm not terribly worried about it to be honest.

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On 2/25/2020 at 5:08 PM, cruise-tanker said:

We are booked for a Mediterranean cruise the end of May 2020. we are concerned about the virus, but equally concerned that the ports we are scheduled for will be closed (Venice). I do not want to pay for the trip over if we can not see the agenda items on this trip. We are 50/50 on canceling. The virus is one concern, but not seeing the areas we want is just as important to us. I need confirmation that what Viking is going will be what we will be able to see on our shore excursions. If not, then we are canceling. Also another couple is considering canceling their same trip a month before we go. I know Viking can not guarantee but I can not guarantee going if the virus is canceling the areas I want to see (and paid for). Are any of you thinking the same way???? let me know - please. 


if this is still a problem in May, your cruise will probably be cancelled for you.  Our ship, The Viking Sea, doesn’t even arrive in the Mediterranean for another month.

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6 hours ago, cruise-tanker said:

I really appreciate the fast reply. I've never used this site before and having someone respond is comforting. So I'm spilling my thoughts now. Viking says on their web site that they are doing all they can to ensure the people boarding are safe from the virus. Well, the people in California that recently came down with the virus were in China on a cruise ship and were quarantined. They were considered virus free and sent to the USA only to be infected after they arrived. Viking can not guarantee the passengers are free of the virus just because they check their passport and see if they have any temperature before they board. So once people board, the could show signs of the virus. Second, once we get to any of the ports, the people who are not on the ship could have the virus and contaminate the others. Third, once we try to get to the scheduled ports, they could be closed (ie. Venice) and that would be horrible. Forth, traveling in the air and walking the airports, could give us the virus. Bottom line, we are spending a ton of money to be subjected to this virus, change of ports, and possibly abandoned at any of the countries because we are infected. I plan on waiting until the first part of May to decide to use my "cancel at any time for any reason" Viking travel insurance. I'd love to hear from anyone else about this. We leave May 27 and the trip last until Jun 17. We have friends that are on the same ship, same general agenda for April that are going to cancel. We are canceling if there is not a significant change in the virus in the western Mediterranean cruise we booked. Comments????

We all make decisions based on what is important to us. Yes, you can catch the virus at all the places you mentioned, but I can also list hundreds of potential places I could get the virus, if we were at home.

 

Aboard the Viking Sun, the crew are taking this virus seriously and have instituted additional cleaning and hand washing practices. I highly doubt many people could state their homes are cleaned at well as this ship. We could catch the virus aboard ship, but I'll suggest we have a lesser probability of catching the virus here than we would at home.

 

Another factor to remember, this virus has a long way to go before it affect the same number as the 'flu does every year.

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12 hours ago, cruise-tanker said:

I really appreciate the fast reply. I've never used this site before and having someone respond is comforting. So I'm spilling my thoughts now. Viking says on their web site that they are doing all they can to ensure the people boarding are safe from the virus. Well, the people in California that recently came down with the virus were in China on a cruise ship and were quarantined. They were considered virus free and sent to the USA only to be infected after they arrived. Viking can not guarantee the passengers are free of the virus just because they check their passport and see if they have any temperature before they board. So once people board, the could show signs of the virus. Second, once we get to any of the ports, the people who are not on the ship could have the virus and contaminate the others. Third, once we try to get to the scheduled ports, they could be closed (ie. Venice) and that would be horrible. Forth, traveling in the air and walking the airports, could give us the virus. Bottom line, we are spending a ton of money to be subjected to this virus, change of ports, and possibly abandoned at any of the countries because we are infected. I plan on waiting until the first part of May to decide to use my "cancel at any time for any reason" Viking travel insurance. I'd love to hear from anyone else about this. We leave May 27 and the trip last until Jun 17. We have friends that are on the same ship, same general agenda for April that are going to cancel. We are canceling if there is not a significant change in the virus in the western Mediterranean cruise we booked. Comments????

 

Not to put too fine a point on it,  but this is the exact reason you've got the type of insurance you have...

You raise a lot of valid points as well, and don't be surprised if you get a lot of mixed replies on here as the  majority of people who post are staunch supporters of the cruise lines, and/or 'fearless' travelers (intended to be tongue in cheek) but at the end of the day you know what's best for your personal situation so if it doesn't feel right for you and you can get out of the trip with minimal 'damage' than it can't be worse than getting sick and being quarantined on a ship, or denied entry into ports...

 

Unfortunately we live in an age where hysteria is magnified by the idiots on TV and in certain political offices who speak out of their backsides to either try and minimize the severity of the unknown or to exacerbate it...either way, traveling internationally is a personal decision based on what's best for you and yours given the facts you have and the risk versus reward...

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4 hours ago, cruise-tanker said:

Thanks to all for the fast and heartfelt replies. Since we have insurance from Viking that we can cancel at any time for any reason, we are going to wait until closer to the date to decide. Thanks to all.

Just a reminder, if you (or we, since we are also insured by Viking for our river cruise scheduled for April 11) cancel for something other that one of the "Specified Reasons", then your refund is in the form of a Viking Travel voucher to be redeemed within the next 12 months. That will be fine for us, but we really hope to be able to travel on our scheduled date. Whether that will happen remains to be seen.

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21 hours ago, bottomfeeder said:

You need to do what feels right to you.  You could also catch the virus at home, but I understand you'd feel more secure that if you get sick you'd be in your own home, with your own local MD and hospital if needed.  I'm going on the Transatlantic on the Sky a week from today and am planning to go on the cruise.  Most people who catch the virus don't get very sick.  I'm not terribly worried about it to be honest.

 

we are with you on the TA from MIA to BCN.

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20 hours ago, JerryInIL said:


if this is still a problem in May, your cruise will probably be cancelled for you.  Our ship, The Viking Sea, doesn’t even arrive in the Mediterranean for another month.

 

JerryinIL,

I see you are on the 5/20 Empires of the Med. cruise. We are on the 4/6. Today the Dept. of State issued a Level 3 warning (reconsider travel) for Italy and a Level 4 (Do not travel) for the region that Venice is in. Not sure what all this means??? 

 

Jack

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12 minutes ago, Jack E Dawson said:

 

JerryinIL,

I see you are on the 5/20 Empires of the Med. cruise. We are on the 4/6. Today the Dept. of State issued a Level 3 warning (reconsider travel) for Italy and a Level 4 (Do not travel) for the region that Venice is in. Not sure what all this means??? 

 

Jack

 

I think it means that, from a practical standpoint, Viking would be hard-pressed to send passengers into the region - regardless of whether we still have a “right” to travel there.

Given the lead time needed to change an ocean ship’s itinerary, and the fact that many go early to experience the departure (or other) region, Viking needs to make a decision ASAP on our 4/6 departure, and probably the trips after ours since it’s impossible to know when Venice will re-open for cruise travel. Add to that the possibility that the government could shut down reentry to visitors to Italy at any time in the near future.

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3 hours ago, Jack E Dawson said:

 

JerryinIL,

I see you are on the 5/20 Empires of the Med. cruise. We are on the 4/6. Today the Dept. of State issued a Level 3 warning (reconsider travel) for Italy and a Level 4 (Do not travel) for the region that Venice is in. Not sure what all this means??? 

 

Jack


Jack:  Probably means we will be eating pizza at Barnaby’s...LOL

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Thanks Jerry,

We are normally Lou's people but I see there is a Barnaby's near us in Northbrook. Will have to give it a try. We are still hoping to be on the Sea somewhere come 4/6 and are anxious to see what Viking comes up with. I can't imagine that they will just let the ship sit idle. However, this will be our very first cruise (we have two crossings on the QM2), so we don't have any experience with cancellations. Keeping our fingers crossed.

 

Jack

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We are scheduled on the Mediterranean Odyssey on 3/20. The final port is Venice with us flying out of Milan. After yesterday's announcement on raising the threat level on this part of the world, I would be surprised if Viking doesn't come out with something soon about this cruise. American Airlines already has initiated no change fees if flying to or from practically all of the Italian international airports. This includes other cities on our itinerary; Rome, Naples, Florence (in addition to Venice and Milan). I am anxious about this trip, particularly since we were to fly to Barcelona a few days of ahead of the departure date. I do hope they make a decision soon as this is no longer something I am looking forward to.  If they significantly change the trip, I would prefer taking a Viking credit and booking a cruise in the future. 

 

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50 minutes ago, Jack E Dawson said:

Thanks Jerry,

We are normally Lou's people but I see there is a Barnaby's near us in Northbrook. Will have to give it a try. We are still hoping to be on the Sea somewhere come 4/6 and are anxious to see what Viking comes up with. I can't imagine that they will just let the ship sit idle. However, this will be our very first cruise (we have two crossings on the QM2), so we don't have any experience with cancellations. Keeping our fingers crossed.

 

Jack

 

Jack:  Our first Viking cruise as well.  If we have to re-book, or have an itinerary change, so be it.  We plan to do more.  BTW, Barnaby's is very casual and good for taking the grandkids.

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On 2/11/2020 at 5:25 AM, chirk said:

”And, since you declined the Viking trip insurance, aw, tough luck.”
 


I believe you are still within the window to purchase trip insurance - 120 days - IF YOU HURRY!

Edited by Candlesmith
Moderator: Please delete: Bad math!!
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20 hours ago, CILCIANRQTS said:

 

I think it means that, from a practical standpoint, Viking would be hard-pressed to send passengers into the region - regardless of whether we still have a “right” to travel there.

 

 

One would hope they are concerned about health of crew as well.

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We are booked to cruise from Barcelona 3/25 to Venice - and have not heard anything from Viking.  Unfortunately, we booked our own flights with Luftunsia, and hotel rooms at each end.  Our travel insurance is with Alliance and according to their policy, "epidemics" are not covered.  I'm going to call Viking tomorrow - I'm sure they are fielding a lot of calls, but it would be helpful if they would at least email us to let us know what is going on.  This will be our first ocean cruise with Viking, but we have done two wonderful river cruises with them. 

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For anyone flying out of Italy after the Barcelona to Venice cruise on 3/19, you won't be flying on Delta as they have now cancelled all transatlantic flights to and from Italy through April 30.  We booked the post cruise extension that travels smack through the middle of Veneto and Lombardy and are/were booked from Milan to JFK by Viking on 4/4.

 

Serve is now held by Viking and so far they are on the verge of a double fault by not keeping their clients better informed.

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1 hour ago, jeffbook said:

For anyone flying out of Italy after the Barcelona to Venice cruise on 3/19, you won't be flying on Delta as they have now cancelled all transatlantic flights to and from Italy through April 30.  We booked the post cruise extension that travels smack through the middle of Veneto and Lombardy and are/were booked from Milan to JFK by Viking on 4/4.

 

Serve is now held by Viking and so far they are on the verge of a double fault by not keeping their clients better informed.

Jeffbook

Where did you ge this information? According to Delta's website only their Milan/JFK flights have been suspended.  They have waived change fees and such for those who wish to change and one can cancel and receive a voucher good for a year.    Below is a cut and paste from their Corona virus page:

 

On March 1, we announced a temporary suspension of our daily flight between New York – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) effective following Monday, March 2 on our east-bound flight from the U.S. to Milan, and Tuesday, March 3 on west-bound service departing Milan for the U.S. Service to and from Milan will resume starting on May 1 and May 2, respectively.

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Hi Clay,

 

I saw the language you italicized on the Delta New Hub.  However, I also viewed the "Alerts and Advisories" link on the top left of Delta's homepage.  When that link is activated and you scroll down to the "Transatlantic Information" it states that all flights to.from Italy are affected.  At the very least, the information does not state that there are any differences between Milan and other Italian airports.  Perhaps I have incorrectly interpreted this as a full shutdown in Italy as the effective dates have changed from Delta's previous information posted here as they did not include dates to the end of April before today to the best of my knowledge. 

 

However, in my specific case, until or unless Viking re-books our return flights, I have currently have no way home from Milan after our Viking sponsored post cruise extension.  In addition, I have to admit that I am not really keen on traveling into or through an area listed by the State Department and the CDC as one where they now recommend not to travel.  I am hoping that Viking heeds these current warnings as they stated they would in their notification of February 10.

 

Thanks for your comments.  They are appreciated.  But Viking still needs to let their clients know what is going on.

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9 hours ago, jeffbook said:

For anyone flying out of Italy after the Barcelona to Venice cruise on 3/19, you won't be flying on Delta as they have now cancelled all transatlantic flights to and from Italy through April 30.  We booked the post cruise extension that travels smack through the middle of Veneto and Lombardy and are/were booked from Milan to JFK by Viking on 4/4.

 

Serve is now held by Viking and so far they are on the verge of a double fault by not keeping their clients better informed.

We dealt with similar issues from segments on the World Cruise, with a number of complaints about how Viking weren't providing information.

 

Aboard the ship, we have been well informed and once Viking make a decision they promulgate the information and if cruises are cancelled or changed, they provide exceptional compensation. Based on the contract we signed, we are entitled to nothing, but have been provided 30% future cruise credits. We have also been exceptionally well informed regarding the changes.

 

I have no doubt they are monitoring the situation, which is changing daily and will make a decision which is based on the safety of the crew and passengers.

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We are scheduled aboard Jupiter TA from Buenos Aires to Barcelona, leaving 3/15. Not knowing what BCN will be like in early April when we arrive, nor what flight conditions back to the US will be like then, we have been waiting to see what Viking will do/say about this transit. We have Alliance insurance, which, as one poster noted above, explicitly does not cover epidemics.

 

We know the ship has to be moved; it's a repositioning cruise after all. But at this point, a 21 day cruise with an uncertain BCN and flight home at the end is wearing.

 

Our travel agent reached out to Viking several times last week to see if given the circumstances there was any possibility of crediting for a future cruise. As of Saturday, the answer remained "no, you will forfeit 100%." We will see what this week brings.

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