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We are booked on a Mediterranean cruise next May.  We did a Viking River cruise in 2017, and as a result of some issues on the cruise, Viking gave each of us a generous future cruise voucher, which we intended to use on our Mediterranean cruise.  (The voucher said we had to book the cruise within 12 months, which we did).

 

Our final payment was originally due last May; our TA got that extended to September 30.  When he called Viking to see if we could extend it again, the Viking person he had always dealt with is no longer there.  The new person says they will not extend the final payment date, and that if we cancelled now we would lose our future cruise vouchers.

 

Is this consistent with everyone else's experience, or are we just dealing with the wrong person at Viking?  FWIW, our TA is a cruise specialist but doesn't do a lot with Viking--he typically uses other cruise lines for ocean cruises.  But we really loved the Viking product and wanted to try a Viking ocean cruise.

 

Thanks!

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I also had a situation with a river cruise in November, 2017 that resulted in FCVs. The rules are not the same for all FCVs, and I’m surprised you were able to get the first extension. Only in very rare situations does Viking take the final payment after 6 months before embarkation. If your cruise is in May, that means you at best will get 8 more weeks to pay. I would just pay and look forward to the cruise. BTW, I met an old friend from high school on that 2017 cruise who suggested I use her Viking agent. Best advice I ever received.

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2 hours ago, Philip11 said:

Our final payment was originally due last May; our TA got that extended to September 30.

 

That extension to Sept 30, was it made before or after you made your initial deposit? That is an important detail.

 

The collective wisdom has shown that Viking is not inclined to negotiate the final payment date once you have made your made your initial deposit, which is a sign that you have accepted the contract as it is written (and booking a cruise is a form of making a contract).  If you got Viking to move your final payment date from May to September after the initial deposit, then consider yourself lucky, but don't expect it to happen again.

 

Yes, you will lose the voucher that Viking gave you if you cancel this cruise; it was a gift with strings attached. The rules of the voucher were clear and once again, the collective wisdom has shown that Viking sticks to the rules it makes. If you want to keep the voucher, you will have to make your final payment by Wednesday or lose the voucher. The only possibility for keeping it will be if Viking cancels your cruise; even then I can't tell you for sure if they will let you carry it over or not.

 

Without a doubt, Viking marches to its own drummer. It does not follow many of the business practices that are common with other cruise lines -- pay in full closer to sailing, a promise to refund the difference if the cruise price drops, just to name a few. But it is their company and they get to make the rules. As guests, our choice is simple: accept the Viking way of doing business or take our business elsewhere. Still, Viking fills its ship and has a lot of repeat business, so they must be doing something right.

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17 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

. The only possibility for keeping it will be if Viking cancels your cruise; even then I can't tell you for sure if they will let you carry it over or not.

 

FWIW & YMMV, but I have an email from Viking confirming that if I cancel, then We would loose the vouchers we were given to make up for the three days we lost when our Transatlantic turned around due to Lady Corona 😢.  
 

But the same email confirms that if Viking cancels that the voucher would go back into our account.  So while we hope to use it for a cruise this March, we haven’t booked it yet in case we end up not feeling like we are ready to be out in a Petri dish by then. 
 

If I was you I would get something in writing regarding the voucher. 

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18 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

Without a doubt, Viking marches to its own drummer. It does not follow many of the business practices that are common with other cruise lines -- pay in full closer to sailing, a promise to refund the difference if the cruise price drops, just to name a few. But it is their company and they get to make the rules. As guests, our choice is simple: accept the Viking way of doing business or take our business elsewhere. Still, Viking fills its ship and has a lot of repeat business, so they must be doing something right.

 

This is SO VERY TRUE! We have an ocean cruise scheduled for October 2022 but our final payment is due December 2020. That's more than 18 months in advance. I have tried like crazy to get an extension (I am in the travel industry) and no luck beyond 60 days. That's still 16 months in advance. 

 

Viking has incredibly loyal customers. The cruise in 2022 is already mostly sold out. So our choice is cancel or pay. We will pay but...we will buy travel insurance that will keep us safe should Viking have problems financially. It should be noted that it was recently reported that the  founder and majority owner Tor Hagen has lost 66% of his fortune since Covid hit. Read about it here in Forbes. If Viking should cease operations we want to know we would get our SIZABLE investment back. 

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, Clay Clayton said:

Yikes! Only 2 billon left.  

The cash burn the cruise lines are suffering is simply staggering.  Airlines can park jets and walk away for a while then put them back in service relatively inexpensively.  Ships tend to sink, burn, and/or rapidly degrade when not crewed and used somewhat.  Nothing quite consumes cash like a ship. 

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7 hours ago, DrKoob said:

 

This is SO VERY TRUE! We have an ocean cruise scheduled for October 2022 but our final payment is due December 2020. That's more than 18 months in advance. I have tried like crazy to get an extension (I am in the travel industry) and no luck beyond 60 days. That's still 16 months in advance. 

 

Viking has incredibly loyal customers. The cruise in 2022 is already mostly sold out. So our choice is cancel or pay. We will pay but...we will buy travel insurance that will keep us safe should Viking have problems financially. It should be noted that it was recently reported that the  founder and majority owner Tor Hagen has lost 66% of his fortune since Covid hit. Read about it here in Forbes. If Viking should cease operations we want to know we would get our SIZABLE investment back. 

 

Jim

I hear you Jim! I have been in the business for 25 years and really good at getting cruise lines , airlines and tour companies into make exceptions. Viking however doesn’t move very much . From a busines perspective I can can understand that . From a client  perspective, not so much. I did get my clients final for an October 2022 trip moved to the end of February 2021, but from the beginning they have had a much earlier payment schedule that anyone else in the business. Loyal Viking clients may not like it, but they accept what it is. Viking makes no apologies for this and the product is something worth putting up with their polices .

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15 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

The cash burn the cruise lines are suffering is simply staggering.  Airlines can park jets and walk away for a while then put them back in service relatively inexpensively.  Ships tend to sink, burn, and/or rapidly degrade when not crewed and used somewhat.  Nothing quite consumes cash like a ship. 

 

Jim - I'm seeing a new business opportunity, getting steel ships out of the salt water environment - first person that figures how to get them to the desert alongside the parked planes will make a ton of money😁😁

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2 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Jim - I'm seeing a new business opportunity, getting steel ships out of the salt water environment - first person that figures how to get them to the desert alongside the parked planes will make a ton of money😁😁

Maybe helicopters.....Lots of helicopters.   Or maybe like they tell us the Pyramids were built.  Lots of passengers pushing them over logs.....🍸

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Most ships which can get under the Verrazano Bridge in NYC can also get under the George Washington Bridge. Perhaps the ships could be lined up south of the Mario Cuomo Tappan Zee bridge.  Brackish, much less salty water in that section of the river.

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We recently reserved and paid in full a June Alaska sailing, assuming we will get vaccinated before then.  We have until Feb 8th to cancel for a full refund (minus some nominal fee).  If any of the major Phase 3 vaccine trials fail before Feb 8th, we will cancel the day the news comes out.

 

If there is a major vaccine failure, we all will have far more to worry about than a cruise fare....

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4 hours ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

We recently reserved and paid in full a June Alaska sailing, assuming we will get vaccinated before then.  We have until Feb 8th to cancel for a full refund (minus some nominal fee).  If any of the major Phase 3 vaccine trials fail before Feb 8th, we will cancel the day the news comes out.

 

If there is a major vaccine failure, we all will have far more to worry about than a cruise fare....

There is always that California property tax to worry about too....😱

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Oh, that little thing?  It only costs us one of our social security checks each month....

 

Fortunately, it only goes up 2% per year, generally equalling the soc sec COLA of said check.  And wonders of wonders, Cali doesn’t tax soc sec income!  For now....

 

Uncle Sam pays Comrade Gavin, at least for property tax.

Edited by Ragnar Danneskjold
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California property tax isn't bad if you have owned for a while.  Our condo in Pasadena is approximately the same worth as brother's house on a lake outside of Portland Maine and sister's house in Nyack New York.  Our taxes are 2/3 of brother's and 1/3 of sister's.  Of course I have owned since 1995 and we downsized at 55 and took our valuation with us which means our property taxes are half of what a neighboring unit is.

 

The ballot initiative in November is to get commercial property go through revaluation on a periodic basis.  For instance there are large properties such as hotels which if they have not had a taxable remodel, are currently taxed based on forty year old valuations with a 2% maximum inflator.  Large property owners transfer property into a separate corporation prior to selling property such that when the property is sold, it does not get revalued from a tax perspective because from a tax perspective, it hasn't changed hands, the parent corporation was sold but to the state, the same corporate entity owns it.

 

An example is what I heard in a program and I might get this wrong but the Riviera Country Club pays less property tax on the huge Country Club property than it does for a building on it which was constructed just a few years ago.

 

My property taxes are about $4,000 on my $800,000 condo, I'm not complaining

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On 9/26/2020 at 12:57 PM, Philip11 said:

We are booked on a Mediterranean cruise next May.  We did a Viking River cruise in 2017, and as a result of some issues on the cruise, Viking gave each of us a generous future cruise voucher, which we intended to use on our Mediterranean cruise.  (The voucher said we had to book the cruise within 12 months, which we did).

 

Our final payment was originally due last May; our TA got that extended to September 30.  When he called Viking to see if we could extend it again, the Viking person he had always dealt with is no longer there.  The new person says they will not extend the final payment date, and that if we cancelled now we would lose our future cruise vouchers.

 

Is this consistent with everyone else's experience, or are we just dealing with the wrong person at Viking?  FWIW, our TA is a cruise specialist but doesn't do a lot with Viking--he typically uses other cruise lines for ocean cruises.  But we really loved the Viking product and wanted to try a Viking ocean cruise.

 

Thanks!


As good as Viking is..........I found them pretty hard core to deal with on issues like this.
As one here stated........their ship, their rules.
I went round and round with them this week on a mail offer we received.......I was shown the fine print.
 

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We have a Viking cruise in Greece scheduled for May 2021.  Final payment is due next month.  Even if the cruise sails, it will probably have all sorts of pandemic restrictions, which would take much of the fun out of it.  If Viking cancels the cruise, we run a risk of getting our money back if the cruise lines start declaring bankruptcy.  Our TA told us we could push our reservation to a similar cruise for April 2022, but we would have to pay in full by the end of this year.  We will probably just cancel the May 2021 cruise and see how things go, knowing that we may not be able to get a reservation if we wait.  I really do not want to pay the full amount 14 months in advance.

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I don’t know how it works with your TA. I work directly with a Viking agent. If I have at least one upcoming cruise booked, then book another, I get a final payment date of 6 months before embarkation on the new cruise. Maybe you could book the April 2022 cruise, pay the deposit, then cancel the May 2021.

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1 hour ago, Squawkman said:

I don’t know how it works with your TA. I work directly with a Viking agent. If I have at least one upcoming cruise booked, then book another, I get a final payment date of 6 months before embarkation on the new cruise. Maybe you could book the April 2022 cruise, pay the deposit, then cancel the May 2021.

 

If you have one future cruise on the books already, the PIF for the next booking is 6 months out whether you work with a Viking agent or a TA.   Sometimes you have to ask for it.

 

Always make sure that is what is being offered before you make the deposit and have it confirmed with an update of the offer/invoice BEFORE you pay the deposit. The offer/invoice is your contract. Make sure you are happy with every detail. Once you have made your deposit, it is too late to make changes.

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26 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

If you have one future cruise on the books already, the PIF for the next booking is 6 months out whether you work with a Viking agent or a TA.   Sometimes you have to ask for it.

 

Always make sure that is what is being offered before you make the deposit and have it confirmed with an update of the offer/invoice BEFORE you pay the deposit. The offer/invoice is your contract. Make sure you are happy with every detail. Once you have made your deposit, it is too late to make changes.

It is even better to try and push for that extended date even before you put it on hold if you can.

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I always pay the deposit over the phone with my Viking agent. Then he stays on the phone until I receive booking document. Once I did find an error - he was able to change it on the spot and email a new document.

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20 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

If you have one future cruise on the books already, the PIF for the next booking is 6 months out whether you work with a Viking agent or a TA.   Sometimes you have to ask for it.

 

Always make sure that is what is being offered before you make the deposit and have it confirmed with an update of the offer/invoice BEFORE you pay the deposit. The offer/invoice is your contract. Make sure you are happy with every detail. Once you have made your deposit, it is too late to make changes.

Peregrina -

We had always discovered this to be this case (having 1 cruise on the books and the next booking is 6 months out).

However, a new exception (at least to us) seems to be in place.   If you are booking one of those special fare, promo, and discount cruises (like have been occasionally cropping up), then Viking is now telling us and our TA, that the 6 months thing is not valid.  We did get them to agree to one year in advance though.

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1 minute ago, CCWineLover said:

Peregrina -

We had always discovered this to be this case (having 1 cruise on the books and the next booking is 6 months out).

However, a new exception (at least to us) seems to be in place.   If you are booking one of those special fare, promo, and discount cruises (like have been occasionally cropping up), then Viking is now telling us and our TA, that the 6 months thing is not valid.  We did get them to agree to one year in advance though.

 

Very interesting. Thanks for the heads up. I will be watching this carefully.

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Squawkman said:

I always pay the deposit over the phone with my Viking agent. Then he stays on the phone until I receive booking document. Once I did find an error - he was able to change it on the spot and email a new document.

I always have them send a copy of the reservation to review before making a deposit.  They usually will hold the booking for 3 days ; the time for payment is based on date and time of day it was booked. The deposit for the one that I booked today is due on Oct. 7th at 11:37 PDT.   

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Vslparis - I have done the 3 day hold in the past, but since using the same Viking agent, I don’t find it necessary. I can also get an extra day or 2 (maybe 3) if needed to make a credit card cycle. But I agree if you’re using your own TA, it’s best to request the 3 day hold. BTW, the error I referred to above was the final payment due date. That’s how I found out that just having another cruise booked doesn’t automatically set the date at 6 months - It has to be changed by the booking agent.

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