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Anyone thinking of cancelling their Aug. or Sept. cruise?


mlbcruiser
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1 hour ago, mlbcruiser said:

lindalouT, thanks SO much for the info on that thread!  Someone that is on a Uniworld cruise in France right now has posted that they are allowed to get off their boat and wander about on their own at the ports on their Paris to Normandy cruise. Temperatures are taken when they get off the ship and when they get back on. Sometimes I fear that when does call Viking, the rep that they may end up speaking with doesn’t have all the facts at hand themselves. Sort of a situation like the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, as the saying goes. Of course that happens with so many companies in the travel industry. Other cruise lines, airlines and so forth. I could give you three examples over the past two weeks that involved some pretty major information. I was not even dealing with the same company each time! Guess the reps are doing their best but things are particularly weird right now.

Scantunes said they were able to get out by themselves. Read a crazy article about a passenger testing positive on large Viking ocean ship in iceland. ONE passenger, and the rest were prohibited to get off the boat! (this was a Icelandic government call not Viking, who apparently had all customers wear lanyards w gps devices for contact tracing) . ANother passenger had to quarantine w suspected case. One got off in Rykevick  (sp) and stayed in hotel until they could fly, and other stayed in a room. For folks who paid $$$$$$ for travel insurance, i wonder if they'd cover for hotels, testing , doctors, and reimburse for portion of trip missed? What we need is an official announcement of protocols with links w updates for various counties. Yes, things can change fast, that is why it's so crucial. If local schools can update their web pages for snow closings...Viking can figure it out. I think The "customer service reps" know very little from what I've read. If someone on phone says "i think viking refunds all your money if you test positive"...and folks planned around that info, and got sick...i bet Viking home office would say "we didnt tell you that" ...it's a lot of money and would increase peace of mind. everybody having to share snippets from other posts and conversations w phone reps to piece together any protocol is ridiculous. Maybe Viking is waiting until the first round of august trips have been completed before establishing policies. It's not rocket science, if situations change they update the "update" website. But i agree with others, dont trust the phone reps. I'd do all important communication in writing w a paper trail. even a web chat 

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We are on Avalon dec 5th.  Still indecisive.  We have to pay by September.  Christmas cruises are almost sold out and can’t decide whether to move to next year.  You rebook at the current price.  No “lift and shift”

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5 minutes ago, tunisbridal said:

We are on Avalon dec 5th.  Still indecisive.  We have to pay by September.  Christmas cruises are almost sold out and can’t decide whether to move to next year.  You rebook at the current price.  No “lift and shift”

 

Avalon may let you set back the final payment to closer to your sailing date.  I know they had been doing that in the spring before they cancelled a batch of cruises - saves both you and them $$ as they don't have to refund you, and you only have the deposit on hold with them.  I know we can transfer our cruise at no penalty as long as the Canadian Govt. has a "no travel" warning out, does the US still have one on?

 

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35 minutes ago, mlbcruiser said:

I’d prefer to turn my test in at midnight the night before, lol!

 

From what I read, it's a saliva test, it would take longer to walk to the reception to hand it in than to do it.  Don't forget, breakfast starts around 7:00, so you can drop it off on your way there, especially if they start the tours earlier to make up for the smaller groups.

 

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On 7/29/2021 at 11:37 AM, PhD-iva said:

I’m excited to start my journey to Budapest, flight departs on Monday 9 August and cruise departs (fingers crossed!) the next day.

Plan to get tested on 3 separate days, just trying to make sure I have the 72-hour window limit covered while assuming the Sunday before my departure can slow down processing.

Just this second got notification from higher up in my TA’s hierarchy that my Uniworld Highlights of Eastern Europe cruise is a GO! They are currently physically at the Uniworld booth at a trade show…..

Glad you finally got confirmation. Pretty anxiety provoking, having to wait until the last minute for confirmation, huh?  What do you hear about Americans being allowed in Budapest?  We are sailing Passau to Budapest 2 weeks after you on Uniworld.  We want to stay in Budapest afterward for a few days but it looks restricted to Americans.

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2 minutes ago, itsawonderfullife said:

Glad you finally got confirmation. Pretty anxiety provoking, having to wait until the last minute for confirmation, huh?  What do you hear about Americans being allowed in Budapest?  We are sailing Passau to Budapest 2 weeks after you on Uniworld.  We want to stay in Budapest afterward for a few days but it looks restricted to Americans.

Anxiety, yup. (I’ve posted elsewhere but don’t know how to link across threads) that yesterday Uniworld changed my flights (its not a good story), but relevant here is that they are still flying me into Budapest. Not Vienna with a bus ride across the border. Also, my TA has heard from her higher ups that the cruise is a go. 
Not impressed w Uniworld air dept. Also, hold times are very long for my TA to contact them. 4 to 6 hours at a time. Should be unacceptable!

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4 minutes ago, PhD-iva said:

Anxiety, yup. (I’ve posted elsewhere but don’t know how to link across threads) that yesterday Uniworld changed my flights (its not a good story), but relevant here is that they are still flying me into Budapest. Not Vienna with a bus ride across the border. Also, my TA has heard from her higher ups that the cruise is a go. 
Not impressed w Uniworld air dept. Also, hold times are very long for my TA to contact them. 4 to 6 hours at a time. Should be unacceptable!

My TA is struggling with most cruise lines and hold times right now.

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14 minutes ago, PhD-iva said:

Anxiety, yup. (I’ve posted elsewhere but don’t know how to link across threads) that yesterday Uniworld changed my flights (its not a good story), but relevant here is that they are still flying me into Budapest. Not Vienna with a bus ride across the border. Also, my TA has heard from her higher ups that the cruise is a go. 
Not impressed w Uniworld air dept. Also, hold times are very long for my TA to contact them. 4 to 6 hours at a time. Should be unacceptable!

I saw your other post about the flights.  I am curious to know - did you get a better deal through Uniworld Air, or did you use them just so that the flights and cruise were linked?  I am interested in the usefulness others find in using the cruise and travel companies.

 

So far, I have explored using cruise line / travel company air arrangements with four companies (Celebrity, Uniworld, Collette Travel and Oceania).  In all cases I was hoping to find international business class tickets at a reasonable price.  Of the four, only Celebrity (in my limited experience) has had anything special to offer, and even then only about half of the time I have called for pricing.  The Uniworld pricing (as I recall) was nothing special.  The Oceania pricing was too convoluted and too filled with extra charges.  And Collette was going to take a week to respond to my request at a time when I could see there were only 3 business class seats left at an attractive price, so I could not afford to wait for them to respond.  

 

Anyway, I look forward to your response.

 

Tom & Judy

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29 minutes ago, TFree said:

I saw your other post about the flights.  I am curious to know - did you get a better deal through Uniworld Air, or did you use them just so that the flights and cruise were linked?  I am interested in the usefulness others find in using the cruise and travel companies.

 

Anyway, I look forward to your response.

 

Tom & Judy

My preference was to link the flight arrangements with the cruise, then if the cruise line canceled the cruise I would not be stuck with somehow needing to use a significant amount of money on canceled flights. 
My TA says the Uniworld Air dept has massive turnover in staff, with many new trainees. She’s not impressed so far…….

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52 minutes ago, itsawonderfullife said:

Glad you finally got confirmation. Pretty anxiety provoking, having to wait until the last minute for confirmation, huh?  What do you hear about Americans being allowed in Budapest?  We are sailing Passau to Budapest 2 weeks after you on Uniworld.  We want to stay in Budapest afterward for a few days but it looks restricted to Americans.

Today I received an email from Crystal about our Sept 5 cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen. According to Crystal, Budapest is restricted to non-EU travelers arriving by air only. There are no quarantine requirements for those arriving by land or water, so if you are disembarking the ship,  you’ll be okay. They also said that Budapest currently has no mask requirement or other restrictions except in hospitals or government offices, so we’ll be able to explore ashore freely.  Crystal said that they expect Hungary to update their travel restrictions soon to allow cruise passengers to fly into BUD and join the ship without quarantine, but if not, they will have a contingency plan to get us there. 

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1 hour ago, TFree said:

So far, I have explored using cruise line / travel company air arrangements with four companies (Celebrity, Uniworld, Collette Travel and Oceania).  In all cases I was hoping to find international business class tickets at a reasonable price. 

Princess does great air. Someone mentioned Holland America has similar air. Business Class is about half off of regular pricing.

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daisi, before I even saw your latest post I called Viking myself. As you stated, the rep said the tests are saliva tests. As for when they have to be turned in, he said he didn’t think there was any one time that has been chosen. I asked if it was up to the ships’ captains and he said he didn’t know. He said he just knew that there was no uniform time that has been set.
 

On another note, surely they have a window of time in which pax can have breakfast. If one must show up at 7, guess I won’t get to eat! 
 

I understand it’s a difficult time for the cruise lines as well as pax and that things change rapidly. I also understand the reps get lots of types of questions and that some may be new at their jobs.  However,  there was some other very, very important information that should have been to me by now from Viking that I can get no information about at this point. If I don’t get the information from them before our cancellation window ends in a few days, we will be forced to cancel. That’s putting it mildly. Something needed to be approved on their end but apparently there is no one, no dept, no supervisor or anyone who can tell me when the information will come and what the policy is if the info they required is not met with an approval. There shouldn’t even have been an issue in the first place! Meanwhile, Like so many are having, I have lots of anxiety!  


 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, mlbcruiser said:

On another note, surely they have a window of time in which pax can have breakfast. If one must show up at 7, guess I won’t get to eat! 

Have you done a river cruise before? In most cases it is early to bed and early to rise for the morning excursion. At the end of the day, there isn't a lot to do, and most people might spend a little time in the lounge after dinner and then head to bed.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Have you done a river cruise before? In most cases it is early to bed and early to rise for the morning excursion. At the end of the day, there isn't a lot to do, and most people might spend a little time in the lounge after dinner and then head to bed.

Morning excursions typically start around 8:30 or 9 AM.

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Yes we have done a river cruise before but it was on Emerald. There was a window of time in which to have breakfast. I don’t think any crew excursion left before 9 AM. Perhaps 8:30 once but I don’t even think it was that early. It was a Rhine cruise. (Thanks

for the time tip, Sharkster77. ) 

 

The average age of a person doing a river cruise is quite a bit older in general than those who do main stream ocean cruises. I am also in the senior citizen group but I prefer late mornings and late evenings in general. I do realize Inwill have to generally be up and at ‘em earlier than I prefer.
 

For the record, on  Emerald there is possibly a bit more to do on some evenings. Their ships have a pool for use during the daytime. It’s very relaxing with a small serving bar for drinks.  At night a solid floor covers the pool and the area is used as a small movie theater. There was special entertainment on a couple of nights in the largest lounge area, including a great little show by the crew one of the evenings. Very talented people! Dancing followed and it was a lot of fun and fairly lively. 
 

Even  if I went to bed around 11 pm, I would not be out of my cabin as a rule  by 7 a.am. 

I often preferred to sit out on the deck  a while before going to bed on that river cruise. Usually I sit in bed and read or watch tv for an hour or two before going to sleep. Of course I know there are excursions and that I will have to get up earlier than I prefer but hopefully not be out of my room by 7 AM every day!

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10 hours ago, mlbcruiser said:

Yes we have done a river cruise before but it was on Emerald. There was a window of time in which to have breakfast. I don’t think any crew excursion left before 9 AM. Perhaps 8:30 once but I don’t even think it was that early. It was a Rhine cruise. (Thanks

for the time tip, Sharkster77. ) 

 

The average age of a person doing a river cruise is quite a bit older in general than those who do main stream ocean cruises. I am also in the senior citizen group but I prefer late mornings and late evenings in general. I do realize Inwill have to generally be up and at ‘em earlier than I prefer.
 

For the record, on  Emerald there is possibly a bit more to do on some evenings. Their ships have a pool for use during the daytime. It’s very relaxing with a small serving bar for drinks.  At night a solid floor covers the pool and the area is used as a small movie theater. There was special entertainment on a couple of nights in the largest lounge area, including a great little show by the crew one of the evenings. Very talented people! Dancing followed and it was a lot of fun and fairly lively. 
 

Even  if I went to bed around 11 pm, I would not be out of my cabin as a rule  by 7 a.am. 

I often preferred to sit out on the deck  a while before going to bed on that river cruise. Usually I sit in bed and read or watch tv for an hour or two before going to sleep. Of course I know there are excursions and that I will have to get up earlier than I prefer but hopefully not be out of my room by 7 AM every day!

I'm with you! add in a substantial time difference...I always say "there are trips and there are vacations" A european river cruise falls mostly into the "trip" category but the mister works hard and wont want to get up at 6:30 to turn in a vile of spit...good chance i might still be awake so i can do it! 

 

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Booked on an October Uniworld Cruise starting in Milan/Venice.  Just received word yesterday

that Uniworld now requires all passengers to have proof of being vaccinated.  Happy about 

that.  Have cruised Uniworld twice before and have no plans to cancel....yet.  

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My experience has been you get a better deal if you wait and let they cruise line cancel rather cancel on your own.  A 7 am saliva test, although not desirable, wouldn't be a deal breaker for me if I really wanted to do the cruise.

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sometimes you don’t have an opportunity to wait even if you think a cancellation could be eminent because your own cancellation date falls first.

 I believe Viking dollars and has been requiring people to be vaccinated and that is 100% great as far as I am concerned. The French Pass Sanitaire People will need as of August 1, even though it is somewhat enforced at certain places now, requires a vaccination. This, in turn, has caused a few demonstrations in France as I understand it. There will be certain things even the French citizens are not allowed to do in France if they don’t have such documentation.

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1 hour ago, trickylibrarian said:

........  Just received word yesterday that Uniworld now requires all passengers to have proof of being vaccinated.  Happy about 

that.  

We got word yesterday from our TA that Ama is requiring all passengers to be vaccinated too. 

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what do americans in france do for restuarants n such? I can do without the museums, seen em...but we were planning 4 days in paris pre-cruise, and i cant seem to get a straight answer online about international tourists in france being able to sit down in a restaurant for a meal without the "passe sanitaire" or whatever that's required. ALSO i think in the past when like viking pulled their sailings due to covid, they offered full cash back or a 125% credit. I think post-covid booked trips w "guarantee" took all cash refunds off the table. It seems the MO now for them is to respond to all the late summer/fall cancellations by "combining" voyages to maximize occupancy. Viking doesnt see this as them "cancelling your cruise" they just "changed it" ...and cash refunds arent offered. I think they will continue for a while to combine sailings and this also means since contractually they dont see it as them "cancelling" ...i doubt there will be a "better deal" , but who knows? 

 

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I am wondering if the stuff we had to fill out on that special app is enabling Viking to actually take care of the pass sanitare requirement for us? I have asked my travel agent or a Viking rep, all I get is “they are taking care of everything”. Yet neither seemed to actually even know exactly what the pass was! I had the feeling neither were being quite straight with what they knew and didn’t know.  Or maybe they just weren’t sure that Viking was providing exactly that. I was hoping maybe we would get one emailed to us with a code to scan when we arrive in France,  but possibly not. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen for those without the pass but I guess we will start finding out since it becomes a requirement for real on August 1.  
 

As for how refunds and a future cruise credits work, it’s anybody’s guess. Viking and no doubt other lines are keeping their cards close to their chest until they actually have to make particular decisions I believe. Along the line of $ issues,  our next-door neighbor has sailed with Viking before. On the first occasion, 3 or 4 yrs ago,  the husband’s cousin and wife went with them. Since then, the cousin has refused to go on Viking due to the no refund and full payment early on that was in effect prior to covid.  However, it’s a tough game for river cruise companies due to river levels and now covid, etc.  They and others will do what the market will bear.

 

Not having been on Viking myself, I have yet to judge their product. I do however know that when things started being canceled and people were screaming over the difficulty of getting refunds and so on, it seemed like I kept hearing Viking was one of the best companies to have dealt with if you had a booked and your cruise was canceled. That is why we decided to try it.  I guess we’ll find out!

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6 hours ago, lindalouT said:

I'm with you! add in a substantial time difference...I always say "there are trips and there are vacations" A european river cruise falls mostly into the "trip" category but the mister works hard and wont want to get up at 6:30 to turn in a vile of spit...good chance i might still be awake so i can do it! 

 

6:30 is sleeping in to me!!!!  My problem may be that I don't have enough spit at that time!

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