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This offer may be just what we have been waiting for!!!  3 back to backs in Spring of 2022....Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Beunos Aires to Barcelona and ending with In the Footsteps of the Vikings to Bergen!!!  Many repeat stops in the final leg but there is always something new to explore!  Any thoughts?

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On 7/7/2020 at 10:34 AM, Clay Clayton said:

If booked directly with Viking, you have up to 30 days to move the booking.  

Clay, I just sent you an email.  Hope you would respond my email, so I can transfer my booking to TA within 30 days.  Must I transfer booking before deposit payment?

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Perhaps Clay responded to you directly.

For all others-You can transfer after final payment (But within 30 days).

I have done it once.  I try not to because I want my TA to do some work!

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I am still evaluating my TA that was recommended to me.  She is part of a large (not big box) agency group.

I booked a RCCL bottom end cruise with her as a start for next March which I fully expect to fall apart.

I could tell though she was not happy booking a low end line but they had the best bottom end itinerary.  Of course they are not offering that 18 day in 2022 and nobody has anything similar.

 

That being said I then used her to book my first Viking cruise to the Midnight Sun in 2022 in late April.  A week later Viking started coming out with the ship credit promos.  I asked her if we could get any.  She finally got back to me and said the only way to do it was to cancel and rebook but we used Viking's insurance and it would be a loss.  She also said the parent agency lost a lot of senior agents and those with the skill were not there to help anymore.

 

So then I saw a new promo posted here recently where somebody said they were able to apply to an existing booking.  She then called and they said if I changed dates I could get the shipboard credit but not the beverage package and keep the booking number and insurance. Weird why did she not try this the first time.   She changed the date got me the shipboard credit and then gave me a cabin without the sliding door that I had on the first booking.  Yea complicated and I suppose it's not her fault but

 

It makes me wonder if a more talented TA would know how to work Viking better.  Looking at her quote as well I also don't know if any of the discounts I got are the standard viking discounts and if she provided anything.

 

I know when I previously used the big box guys what they gave me above and beyond as it was in shipboard credits.

 

Anything people can add without breaking the forum rules.

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I've found the Viking sales reps and Viking Air reps much better than any other cruise line I've dealt with.  Once you switch booking to TA though they will no longer speak with you.  All interaction must go through TA.  So we book direct and nail down our flights etc. before switching to TA for extra percs.  On my last two Viking bookings (one ocean and one river) our very large online TA gave us cash loyalty payments rather than obc.  

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It is my understanding that Viking allows TA to grant maximum amounts of OBC-up to 600 per couple on cruises up to 14 nights and up to $1000 per couple on 15 or more night cruises.  Since we have never taken a cruise less than 12 days perhaps their rules are different for shorter ones. It is further my understanding that Viking does not allow TAs to discount their pricing and further it is my experience that Viking rarely does so. We have only once paid less for a cruise than the price show on the website.  This happened via an email promo.  Rather, Viking typically (in our experience) advertises or emails a promo that provides for an upgraded cabin and/or specially priced and/or “free” air. The latest promos are the first we have experienced that include OBC.  Our issue with this and the reason we haven’t booked anything is that with our TAs credit (which more than covers the daily service charge) we don’t know what we would use all the additional credit for.  We are hoping that closer to sailing Viking May have to again offer a discounted fare. 

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Clay - another consideration for us non-US citizens is the max OBC is the same numbers, but in the currency we paid for the cruise.

 

For our 119-night WC, our TA could only provide $500 pp in Canadian dollars. By the time we got onboard it was under US $ 400🙁

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Clay - first of all, I want to thank you for all of your informative posts in several topics on the CC Viking forum. I particularly appreciate your cost analysis and methodology used in comparing Viking to other cruise lines - you look at everything! My comment to your post above where you say “We have only once paid less for a cruise than the price show on the website“: I have booked a total of 11 Viking cruises, 8 with the same Viking agent. In most cases, we paid less and in some cases, we were able to get OBC. I honestly think your TA’s OBC would net a little extra, but we also consider the value of a Viking rep as a little extra insurance to get resolution should issues arise (happened 3 times). I need to add that unlike you, our cruises are never more than 15 days, which means any extra TA OBC would be very little for us.

 

Thanks again for your participation in this forum!

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Clay,

Have you checked whether OBC from your TA is refundable if unused by end of sailing?  On Royal and X OBC's from cruise line are non-refundable (use them or lose them) but unused OBC from TA is refunded to my credit card at end of sailing.  On VO our very large online agency gives us loyalty credit rather than OBC.  Loyalty credit comes in form of check that arrives a few weeks after end of cruise.  We received $400pp on  a 14 night Ocean sailing in '18 and would have gotten $300pp on a cancelled 15 night River cruise this  year

.

 

Tom T

Edited by Baron Barracuda
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So as a data point - on a direct booking with Viking - they would not apply  July 4 promotion or current other OBC promotion to an existing booking.

 

I understand that and it is rather disappointing.  I'm not going to cancel and rebook or go down the TellUS@Viking route. 

 

In the future,  I'll consider other cruising options or wait till closer to desired date of cruising for a deal (yeah - missing out on a cruise is a risk - but missing out on a 1000$ OBC is not chump change.)

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Baron Barracuda said:

Clay,

Have you checked whether OBC from your TA is refundable if unused by end of sailing?  On Royal and X OBC's from cruise line are non-refundable (use them or lose them) but unused OBC from TA is refunded to my credit card at end of sailing.  On VO our very large online agency gives us loyalty credit rather than OBC.  Loyalty credit comes in form of check that arrives a few weeks after end of cruise.  We received $400pp on  a 14 night Ocean sailing in '18 and would have gotten $300pp on a cancelled 15 night River cruise this  year

.

 

Tom T

Hello  Baron Barracuda,

Got an unpleasant surprise from TA. Is it possible to email you? Thank you.

 

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On 7/12/2020 at 6:57 PM, zalusky said:

I am still evaluating my TA that was recommended to me.  She is part of a large (not big box) agency group.

I booked a RCCL bottom end cruise with her as a start for next March which I fully expect to fall apart.

I could tell though she was not happy booking a low end line but they had the best bottom end itinerary.  Of course they are not offering that 18 day in 2022 and nobody has anything similar.

 

That being said I then used her to book my first Viking cruise to the Midnight Sun in 2022 in late April.  A week later Viking started coming out with the ship credit promos.  I asked her if we could get any.  She finally got back to me and said the only way to do it was to cancel and rebook but we used Viking's insurance and it would be a loss.  She also said the parent agency lost a lot of senior agents and those with the skill were not there to help anymore.

 

So then I saw a new promo posted here recently where somebody said they were able to apply to an existing booking.  She then called and they said if I changed dates I could get the shipboard credit but not the beverage package and keep the booking number and insurance. Weird why did she not try this the first time.   She changed the date got me the shipboard credit and then gave me a cabin without the sliding door that I had on the first booking.  Yea complicated and I suppose it's not her fault but

 

It makes me wonder if a more talented TA would know how to work Viking better.  Looking at her quote as well I also don't know if any of the discounts I got are the standard viking discounts and if she provided anything.

 

I know when I previously used the big box guys what they gave me above and beyond as it was in shipboard credits.

 

Anything people can add without breaking the forum rules.

I've booked with Viking and other cruise lines directly and with 2 TA's.

 

Many of my experiences with TA's are mixed.  Most of the time - I had little contact or problems with TA.  Most were efficient in dealing with routine questions and routine requests such as a paid cabin upgrades.

 

The last TA I used for several bookings was OK when I had no questions.  But I found them less than trustworthy when it came with dealing with me as it relates to price drops, FCV and other promotions (both TA and cruise line's).    Most recently, I found that TA would give not necessarily budge or go the extra mile in my behalf.  Always reverting to "the cruise line does not allow that."

 

I am not looking for someone to move heaven and earth, but simply make a reasonable case for a reasonable request I make.    If I have to plead my case to cruise line, why not bypass TA?

 

Isn't that what a TA is for - service?  So why would I use a middle man if I was not getting an added value and the benefit of their advocacy in my behalf?.  So needless to say my last booking I dumped TA and did a direct booking. 

 

I'm sure there are great and trustworthy TA's out there.  But so far, for me - it has been a mixed bag.  The TA search continues....

 

 

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8 hours ago, Squawkman said:

Clay - first of all, I want to thank you for all of your informative posts in several topics on the CC Viking forum. I particularly appreciate your cost analysis and methodology used in comparing Viking to other cruise lines - you look at everything! My comment to your post above where you say “We have only once paid less for a cruise than the price show on the website“: I have booked a total of 11 Viking cruises, 8 with the same Viking agent. In most cases, we paid less and in some cases, we were able to get OBC. I honestly think your TA’s OBC would net a little extra, but we also consider the value of a Viking rep as a little extra insurance to get resolution should issues arise (happened 3 times). I need to add that unlike you, our cruises are never more than 15 days, which means any extra TA OBC would be very little for us.

 

Thanks again for your participation in this forum!

Just paying it forward...so how did you book for less than what the Viking website was showing?  Even aboard ship, the future cruise salesperson literally pulls up the website and said those were the best he could do, albeit with some obc for both the current and future cruise. Other than last springs TA which was discounted via an email (not on the website) $1000 per person a few months before sailing we have always had to pay whatever the website (not the brochure) was saying. 
 

We haven’t done a Viking cruise more than 15 nights so haven’t recieved the Max OBC yet. 🤞that we may next March if we can cruise Buenos Aires to Barcelona for 22 days. 

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6 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

Clay,

Have you checked whether OBC from your TA is refundable if unused by end of sailing?  On Royal and X OBC's from cruise line are non-refundable (use them or lose them) but unused OBC from TA is refunded to my credit card at end of sailing.  On VO our very large online agency gives us loyalty credit rather than OBC.  Loyalty credit comes in form of check that arrives a few weeks after end of cruise.  We received $400pp on  a 14 night Ocean sailing in '18 and would have gotten $300pp on a cancelled 15 night River cruise this  year

.

 

Tom T

On our first Viking cruise the Travel Agent provides OBC was not refundable, but on the last three it has been. However, obc provided by Viking such as with the Jul4 promo is not...or that is what I was told when I inquired...if it had of been then we may have booked the cruise we have our eye on. 

Edited by Clay Clayton
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4 hours ago, Homerody said:

I've booked with Viking and other cruise lines directly and with 2 TA's.

 

Many of my experiences with TA's are mixed.  Most of the time - I had little contact or problems with TA.  Most were efficient in dealing with routine questions and routine requests such as a paid cabin upgrades.

 

The last TA I used for several bookings was OK when I had no questions.  But I found them less than trustworthy when it came with dealing with me as it relates to price drops, FCV and other promotions (both TA and cruise line's).    Most recently, I found that TA would give not necessarily budge or go the extra mile in my behalf.  Always reverting to "the cruise line does not allow that."

 

I am not looking for someone to move heaven and earth, but simply make a reasonable case for a reasonable request I make.    If I have to plead my case to cruise line, why not bypass TA?

 

Isn't that what a TA is for - service?  So why would I use a middle man if I was not getting an added value and the benefit of their advocacy in my behalf?.  So needless to say my last booking I dumped TA and did a direct booking. 

 

I'm sure there are great and trustworthy TA's out there.  But so far, for me - it has been a mixed bag.  The TA search continues....

 

 

If you find that TA who gives great service AND Viking’s Max OBC please feel free to drop me an email with their info!

 

Thankfully, between CruiseCritic, TellUs and Twitter, I have been able to satisfactorily address issues that our Travel Agent hasn't been able to resolve. So I consider my time dealing with these resolutions repaid by the OBC 😊

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25 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

so how did you book for less than what the Viking website was showing?  Even aboard ship, the future cruise salesperson literally pulls up the website and said those were the best he could do, albeit with some obc for both the current and future cruise. 


There’s no one answer. Often we’re put on hold while he checks with a supervisor. Some are policies we didn’t previously know, such as you can get an equivalent deal to booking on board with him within 2 weeks of disembarking (cash off booking + OBC). We had a bad experience with a $49 pp optional excursion - got an additional $150 pp off next booking. Was able to get free upgrade from V2 to DV5 for a friend we referred (above usual referral bonuses) since there was no discount for a single. Cold called him when a new date was added with good fares to a cruise we were monitoring. Asked if he can do anything, he came back with an additional $200 pp off the fare. When air was reduced, we asked and got 75% back in OBC. And there are 2 more I can think of, but you get the idea. And sometimes, there are no additional perks beyond what is on the website and the Explorer’s Society discount.

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2 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

If you find that TA who gives great service AND Viking’s Max OBC please feel free to drop me an email with their info!

 

Thankfully, between CruiseCritic, TellUs and Twitter, I have been able to satisfactorily address issues that our Travel Agent hasn't been able to resolve. So I consider my time dealing with these resolutions repaid by the OBC 😊

I certainly will!

 

My understanding is such a TA is frequently seen hiking with Big Foot or swimming with Nessie in Loch Ness.  😁

 

I agree with you -  Cruise Critic is an excellent resource, because of individuals such as yourself. Personally,  I have not tweeted but have reached out via TellUs in the past.  Not sure if it is something I'll do for the current cruise and promotion.  It just seems it takes soooo much effort to deal with Viking (TA or not) as compared to other lines I've sailed with.

 

Other lines will be included in my top tier listing when I plan my two 2022 expedition cruises. 

Edited by Homerody
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2 hours ago, Squawkman said:


There’s no one answer. Often we’re put on hold while he checks with a supervisor. Some are policies we didn’t previously know, such as you can get an equivalent deal to booking on board with him within 2 weeks of disembarking (cash off booking + OBC). We had a bad experience with a $49 pp optional excursion - got an additional $150 pp off next booking. Was able to get free upgrade from V2 to DV5 for a friend we referred (above usual referral bonuses) since there was no discount for a single. Cold called him when a new date was added with good fares to a cruise we were monitoring. Asked if he can do anything, he came back with an additional $200 pp off the fare. When air was reduced, we asked and got 75% back in OBC. And there are 2 more I can think of, but you get the idea. And sometimes, there are no additional perks beyond what is on the website and the Explorer’s Society discount.

 

To me, it has all the fun of trying to buy a car - wheeling and dealing, with no real rules or guidelines - everyone out for themselves to see what can be bargained for.  Makes having an agent who is banging on Viking on your behalf well worth it I would think.  I really hate this way of doing business.

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7 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

To me, it has all the fun of trying to buy a car - wheeling and dealing, with no real rules or guidelines - everyone out for themselves to see what can be bargained for.  Makes having an agent who is banging on Viking on your behalf well worth it I would think.  I really hate this way of doing business.

@CCWineLover - an excellent way to sum up the situation.  

 

Your post helped me identify the used car salesperson fatigue I am experiencing with my recent bout with TA and Viking.

 

I am in the market for a car every few years, but looking for a cruise a couple times a year.  So exhaustion has set in and I am resigned to widening my cruise line choices to  lines that make the pre-cruise experience less than a car purchase and more of a vacation planning (fun) endeavor.

 

Why can't cruise lines adopt a fee structure to making changes for better offers?  Sure one can cancel and rebook, change dates - etc... to take advantage of a better offer.  But these are all hoops designed to dissuade a customer from trying.  

 

I'm sure the folks at Viking (and TellUs in particular) are keenly aware of the type of discussions on this thread and related forum topics.  But in their eyes, I guess if it ain't broke why fix it.  

 

I know it is a tough time for everyone in the travel industry.  And it is  an equally difficult time for customers - although some of us are able to expend some energy to plan future (hopeful???) travel as we plod along through the COVID pandemic.  

 

But negotiating for a good (used car) cruise deal is getting tiresome and old.

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I guess I don’t have the car buying fatigue you discuss.  Just as with hotels and air fare, we tend to buy when the price is reasonable and recognize that while we may be stuck paying more than others who are willing to gamble a little longer we also may end up paying less.  We don’t expect to get a bill from the cruise,hotel, or air line when they raise the price so not sure why we would expect them to lower the price for us when they decide to throw on a promo to finish filling the ship. 
 

I will say this part that Viking will sometimes negotiate a better deal if you Call is interesting but certainly has not been my experience.

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