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Full Payment Of A Viking Ocean Cruise 18 Months In Advance - Any Comments?


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I just booked my first Viking Ocean cruise for December, 2022.  The booking was made on May 31, 2021 and a deposit was made on that date.  I find it most unusual that Viking wants the final payment to be made by June 30, 2021…..18 months before sailing.  Any comments from frequent Viking customers?  Thank you in advance for giving me some feedback on this.

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This is our least favorite thing about Viking.  Once you have one cruise booked, they will sometimes change final payment date on other cruises to 6-8 months.

 

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Welcome to Viking! (In the "Hi, welcome to the community!" sense, but also in the "Welcome to how Viking works!" sense.) You can likely knock it down to 12 just by asking. Others will chime in with tips based on your region and using a travel agent etc. The key phrase is "what the market will bear" and folks are willing to pay, so... 

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Unfortunately this is the way they work.  
 

The only way to get around this is wait to book until a few months out.  But you are risking sold out or not getting the cabin or category you want.  With pent up demand over the next couple of years this may be worse. 

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The other way to get around it is to book another cruise. Once you have two or more cruises booked, Viking will let you push back the due date for the first cruise's final payment. But you have to ask!

 

We did this under a scenario very similar to Crystal's. We booked a North Pacific cruise for September-October 2022. Initially Viking said we had to make final payment by June 30, 2021. But once we booked a Welcome Back cruise for this September, and mentioned our situation to Viking, the rep was more than willing to extend the due date to February 1, 2022.

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After reading these post, I contacted by TA.  I have made final payment on our Oct 2021 river cruse.

She asked and got the final payment on my other 4 cruises pushed back.  I have Viking cruises booked through September 2023.

Thanks for the very useful info  on this board.

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We learned that there are many factors at play.  It all depends on the itinerary.

Yes it might depend on if you have other cruises booked.  But the trump card is the itinerary and if it is very popular you will NOT get it moved out.  We have a VERY popular Dec 2022 cruise booked and when we booked (several months ago) we had 6 other cruises on the books.  We argued and pressed hard to have even at least just 12 months advance payment - and were told NO, not on this itinerary.  We have other cruises we then also booked where we asked and got 6 months payment, because they were considered not as popular.

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FWIW, before I made the final payment I contacted Viking to extend the final payment due date for our first and only Viking booking.  They only pushed it back 1 month.  Anyhow.  I've already prepared a statement to Viking for post-cruise feedback.  They'll need to wait another 10 months to get it though.

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Agreed it depends on the itinerary. I tried all of the suggestions from these threads and had several cruises booked. Tried to get an 18 month prior to cruise final payment pushed back and was told no. It seems to work for some, and not for others which I find frustrating and not exactly fair, BUT...it is Viking's playing field, their ball and bat, so if we want to play the game, we play by their rules. They sell a product that is in very high demand so they call the shots. With that said, I will continue to sail with them because I, like many, really like the product.

 

 

 

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Try calling again or many better luck with tellus@vikingcruises.com.  Tellus seems to be the real problem solvers.  Quick response.  Good luck

Is that the correct email address?  Please post if not correct.

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Frustrating and not fair?  Then go purchase another product.  We booked an Egypt River Cruise for 2023 last month and it had a payment due date 18 months prior to the cruise.  We had a cruise already on the books which had been moved by one year so I asked out Viking person who we have dealt with previously to get better terms and she got approval for 12 months.  We also booked extensions on both ends and business class air thus the higher margin they get from us due to upgrades might have an impact on movement for full payment.

 

As others have said, we can go to another cruise line, but is it worth it?

 

On a certain level we have become too return on our money greedy.  If Viking holding my funds for a long time allowed them to stay afloat (pun intended) during the shutdown.....GOOD

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2 hours ago, PasadenaDave said:

Frustrating and not fair?  Then go purchase another product. 

At least this number one defense from Viking fans didn't appear until the 10th reply.

 

Please do not equate acceptance with understanding.  We wouldn't have booked a Viking cruise if we did not accept the terms.  What we don't understand is why Viking wants full payment over a year prior to embarkation.

 

So far I have yet to see a reasonable explanation on the why part.

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Being a private company that isn't a member of the mega ship club CLIA, Viking can set any policies & procedures that they believe the market will bear. If the market doesn't accept, then they may be forced to reconsider. On many issues, Viking don't follow the industry norms, so as consumers, if we don't like it, as others mentioned, we can book with one of the cruise conglomerates.

 

No different in booking an airline ticket, with every flight we have booked in the past 10 years being paid in full at time of purchase. Book it the day the flight is published and you will pay in full 11 months early. If airlines published flights 18 months out, they would no doubt expect payment at time of booking.

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4 hours ago, Selion said:

 

So far I have yet to see a reasonable explanation on the why part.

Because it works for their operations and cruisers are willing to pay in advance. That’s the why. I have 3 VO cruises booked for 2022. Two are completely sold out and the third is getting there.

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I like booking closer into the sail date with Viking to avoid paying so very far in advance. Sometimes the itinerary, special air or past passenger discount will influence in favor of Viking .... other times another cruise line will get my business. It is very hard to beat Regent $ for $ once Business Air and other amenities are taken into consideration. 

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Viking is a marketing marvel.  Viking gets lots of people to pay them in full even during a pandemic.  I had a fully paid Viking cruise canceled.  While the 125% fcc was tempting, I chose the refund.  Glad that I did.  Still have fcc from other lines that didn’t offer refunds.  I keep using the fcc to book and rebook future cruises.  I refuse to post more money on any cruise until ships sail successfully again.  When ships are deemed safe after sailing, I will consider booking Viking again.  We really want to rebook “into the midnight sun” again.  Eventually we hope to take that cruise.  For now we wait.  In the meantime, we used our cruise refunds to buy a new car. We call the car, “Norway.”

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21 hours ago, PasadenaDave said:

Frustrating and not fair?  Then go purchase another product.  We booked an Egypt River Cruise for 2023 last month and it had a payment due date 18 months prior to the cruise.  We had a cruise already on the books which had been moved by one year so I asked out Viking person who we have dealt with previously to get better terms and she got approval for 12 months.  We also booked extensions on both ends and business class air thus the higher margin they get from us due to upgrades might have an impact on movement for full payment.

 

As others have said, we can go to another cruise line, but is it worth it?

 

On a certain level we have become too return on our money greedy.  If Viking holding my funds for a long time allowed them to stay afloat (pun intended) during the shutdown.....GOOD

Exactly my point. You asked for a final payment change and got it. I asked and did not.

And thank you for your snarky remark telling me to purchase another product.

 

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On 6/4/2021 at 4:09 PM, Selion said:

At least this number one defense from Viking fans didn't appear until the 10th reply.

 

Please do not equate acceptance with understanding.  We wouldn't have booked a Viking cruise if we did not accept the terms.  What we don't understand is why Viking wants full payment over a year prior to embarkation.

 

So far I have yet to see a reasonable explanation on the why part.

This is just a guess at an explanation on my part. Viking is relatively new to ocean cruising, and has been extremely popular. They have pushed a rapid expansion to tap in to the demand for their product. I suspect that they are using our money to build new ships. Works for me, but then ever since our first cruise, we have always had another one booked. That allows us to secure 6 month final payment on new bookings.

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Because we have two cruises book, I was fortunately successful in getting the final payment date moved to six months prior for the inaugural Viking Expeditions cruise to Antarctica in January 2022.

 

Because of the extremely high Covid-19 and low vaccination rates in Argentina, it is anybody's guess whether this cruise will be a go. In fact, My Viking Journey is still "Coming Soon", as it has for the past six months, for this cruise.  "My Viking Journey is currently unavailable as we put the finishing touches on your voyage." 

 

This expedition cruise is sold out and we consider ourselves very lucky we were able to book it. But, I wonder how many people would we willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars six months in advance for a cruise that may not happen. It is unclear how Viking handles refunds if they cancel the cruise, if we are not allowed into Argentina, or if we would not be allowed back into the U.S. after visiting Argentina.

 

I will keep you informed if I can get a further extension; and, if not, what we ultimately decided to do.  Thanks for listening.

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We have been big Viking fans. We have enjoyed several cruises with Viking Oceans and also Rivers. We truly love the experience, the people, the ship. Our last sailing was October ‘19. 
We are now looking at several options for Spring ‘22 and Spring ‘23. One of the big pieces that will decide when we sail will be whether we can DIY or private tour in ports. We realize Viking does not control this, but we will reschedule any trip until that is available to us. 
So for us, the prepayment policy of Viking is causing me to look at another company where final payment is not until 150 days prior (for a longer itinerary). It’s a hard decision, but the more I research, the more I believe that other company will be our next sailing. 
As others have stated, Vikings prepayment is the biggest complaint and always has been. We prepaid 12 months for Rivers, and 18 months for the Star’s inaugural. After that we were able to secure 6 months for several sailings, but then they moved back to the extended model in play again. 

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We booked a January 2022 cruise a couple months ago and didn’t have to pay in full until now, about 7 months in advance. No idea why. We booked through a TA; maybe she managed it. The cruise was nearly sold out when we booked and is completely sold out now. 

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28 minutes ago, Twitchly said:

We booked a January 2022 cruise a couple months ago and didn’t have to pay in full until now, about 7 months in advance. No idea why. We booked through a TA; maybe she managed it. The cruise was nearly sold out when we booked and is completely sold out now. 

Same thing here!  Jan 2022 and have to pay by June 30.  I give up - there seems to be no real logic and we can try to figure the rules but I think they change all the time!

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I am amazed that anyone would post money on a product that is not fully operational.  Until Viking is fully sailing, I am not booking.  When Viking really sails safely for at least 2 months, I may think about rebooking a previously canceled Viking cruise. Until then, I will keep my money.  I have a future booking on another cruise line that didn’t require payment until 3 months prior to sailing.  That is really no risk. However, if things improve, I would take that cruise. 

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26 minutes ago, Redtravel said:

I am amazed that anyone would post money on a product that is not fully operational.  Until Viking is fully sailing, I am not booking.  When Viking really sails safely for at least 2 months, I may think about rebooking a previously canceled Viking cruise. Until then, I will keep my money.  I have a future booking on another cruise line that didn’t require payment until 3 months prior to sailing.  That is really no risk. However, if things improve, I would take that cruise. 

Many of us have full confidence that cruising in general (and Viking in particular) will become fully operational at some point. Meanwhile, we have a risk free guarantee and  generous terms should a booked cruise not run. I did the opposite of you - paid for cruises over the past year with the knowledge I would get 125% if there were cancellations. That happened several times, so I have 5 fully paid cruises that not only were upgraded, but priced cheaper than they are now. 3 of these in 2022 are fully booked today. Given low interest rates and volatility of the stock market, I feel it’s a better investment given we want to cruise as much as we can while we are still able to do so.

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