Jump to content

Viking Adriatic (Extra Day in Dubrovnik in lieu of Kotor) late Sep - Oct 2021


ramdocky
 Share

Recommended Posts

Questions for anyone in the last week (mid to late Sep 2021) or so staying the extra day in Dubrovnik in place of Kotor:
1) At what point and how were you notified by Viking of the itinerary change?
2) When were excursions made available to book for the extra day?
3) Were you able to venture out on your own during the extra day in port?
4) If allowed to make your own plans, anyone have up to date (e.g. within the last few months during COVID) info on local tour operators in Dubrovnik?
Appreciate the on the ground intel. Just a little over 3 weeks left before the 6 of us hopefully reap the benefits of having done our homework, read about our destinations, made individual risk assessments, and jumped through the COVID hoops.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was on the August 30th Sea sailing out of Malta.

1-I received an e-mail from Viking, like 3 days before of the change.  When asked why, Viking was coy.

2-Because of the late change, they added two optional tours at the last minute.  Nothing like making money when you are giving your passengers less. I believe all the other tours were available on both days.

3- Yes. all of Croatia was open to explore on your own.

A couple of thoughts-

Dubrovnik city wall walk can be done on your own.  Suggest early morning.  It's about $30 US dollars

Gozo- See the Citadel on your own or optional tour.  Very interesting for a small island.  Unfortunately, you don't spend a lot of time there.

In Sibenik after the included tour we went up to see St. Michael's Fortress.  It was a nice walk but there is not a lot to see inside. I believe that it was about $10.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was advised by email on 31 August for my sailing on 19th September and it stated quite clearly the amendment was due to the changing restrictions in Montenegro. (Where its status changed from Amber to Red meaning it could nullify insurance and potentially mean quarantine when arriving in Croatia and Malta.) Good call and swift change IMHO as the change for Montenegro status was only a few days before and I think Viking were quick to ensure the change to the overnight in Dubrovnik was achievable. I would have preferred to visit Montenegro, but then Id also prefer Covid didn't exist.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am frustrated.  We sail on 2 October three weeks today and we have heard.nothing.   My Viking journey show Montenegro as does the advertisement for the cruise.   I really want the situation confirming that it is Dubrovnik as the end of the week is our last chance to cancel.  I have phoned Viking and have got nowhere

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect the reason nothing has been changed for your sailing is purely because it is so fluid, the country could be swiftly moved back to amber at the next update. If they pre-empted that it will still be red and cancel the stop, I suspect it would be lots of hassle to reverse. I think the next update is 20 September - so if its still red then, you can count on it being dropped. If it goes amber, you will get your cruise as intended. 

 

That's just my guess on why nothing has been changed and makes sense - but since when has logic and sense applied during covid and does explain why nothing has been done just yet.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  No  Viking has not yet taken off Kotor.  It has on current cruises.  For UK passengers as Montenegro is now on our red list much as I like Kotor we will be in a mess if the do not delete it as. I understand it our insurance will not cover us and we will need to isolate when we return.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/12/2021 at 8:08 PM, laurel1234 said:

Am I reading correctly, Viking has made a change and taken Kotor off?

we are on Oct 2 sailing….. trying to figure excursions 

any info would be greatly appreciated !!

 

Post number 5 explains why it's still listed, but also why it's still likely to be removed unless infection rates in Montenegro improve. Things are fluid, so a cast iron decision won't be likely until around the 20 September and the next round of traffic light updates.

 

Fingers crossed. Hopefully it's available and infection rates reduced to enable it's removal from red.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m on the October 2 sailing. While I’ll be disappointed if Montenegro is taken off our itinerary, it won’t be my first itinerary change and likely not my last. On a Viking cruise five years ago, we had one-third of our ports cancelled or changed Between some particularly bad weather and an edict from the State department, we watched in dismay as our trip added sea days (we’re not huge fans), and visited repeat cities (for us). 
 

Near the end of the cruise, they announced Majorca as an alternative port. Viking constructed a fabulous included “overview” tour that included really cool stops to see and do much more than the usual overview bus rides. We learned so much and fell in love with this beautiful jewel of an island! True serendipity!

 

With the highly reconstructed itinerary, this port made us forget all the upheaval. So, I look at possibly losing Montenegro might lead to another serendipitous surprise. Stupid covid has stolen enough of what’s left of my life (I’m ill). I’m grateful to be traveling, and I wish all safe and happy travels!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were on the Oct 3 Venice to Istanbul Viking Sky with a stop at Kotor. We have just been told that this remains on the cruise and that UK Passengers would have to quarantine on arrival back in the UK in a Gov hotel at our own cost, even if we stay on the ship at that port. They have offered us a refund or the other usual options. I believe that passengers from across the water are not affected by this.

I cannot believe Viking have not taken the pragmatic decision to avoid Kotor and either stop somewhere else for an extra day, or just throw in a sea day, which we would have actually welcomed. I did ask why they didn't do this, particularly as they have already done this on some recent cruises, but I didn't get a real explanation.

I am afraid this smacks of not caring about the UK passengers who are in a minority, and I hope they know what they are doing, as it will trash their excellent reputation here.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Timbloom.    We are in the same position as you but unlike you we were not informed about this, but as we were approaching our two weeks before sailing I thought I ought to check.   I too have been unable to get any answer as to why when they had originally changed Kotor to Dubrovnik they had not kept to this.

 

We are annoyed because we were two weeks off sailing with travel arrangements and hotel booked and also cat sitter, and no advice from Viking about the change and when would they have told me.   I definitely agree they are really not bothered about UK passengers.   

 

We have taken the refund option as we are not inclined to travel with them and booked a cruise with Oceania instead on 7 November.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have just read on the Malta thread there are 497 onboard, 122 from Uk.  If the figures are about the same for 2 October that is a lot of guests tearing their hair at present and swearing at Viking.   It is also a lot of revenue lost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an extremely enlightening thread. 

 

I'm sure Viking is trying to balance its cruise partners (excursion providers, port authorities, etc) with the obvious harm to its customers.

 

Kotor was a wonderful place to wander, but I don't see that as a fair trade for a quarantine.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are particularly upset as we booked this in 2019 with two other couples who were at our wedding to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary on Oct 10 onboard. We started jumping around Thursday when Turkey came off red, so it was devastating to us to get this phone call today. I just cannot understand why Viking are doing this when on previous cruises from Malta they just avoided Kotor and spent another day in Dubrovnik.

Spread the word as Viking need to know the damage this will do to their reputation in UK. Like you Mancunian we have taken the refund, and although we have another cruise booked with them next June, we will not trust Viking ever again after that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You  can be sure we will. A cruiseline who can do that to people two weeks before their  cruise for no good reason for which they are not able to offer a reason when they have been using a perfectly good solution in the previous weeks is not one I would feel happy about in the future.  At least you got the phone call.   Although I have written expressing my feelings on this as well as to the two booking reps, we booked direct with Viking I suspect we will hear no more as they obviously do not care.  It is very difficult to speak to anyone higher up with them..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do wonder if the change of mind is because Viking were inside the 14 day airline cancellation deadline for the confirmed air bookings, so would be extra money lost if they kept Kotor. These 2 and 6 March bookings, there was time to pull out without penalty.

 

I do think this decision will adversely affect future UK bookings for anyone knowing what’s happened. Book with confidence appears not to mean what I’d thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going to put a series of questions to Viking about this fiasco as far as we and I think all other UK customers want to know. If not fully answered by someone in authority who took the decision to stop at Kotor I may take this situation to some of the UK travel writers to publicise. Amongst my questions will be

1. Why stop at Kotor etc etc. 

2. Montenegro went red on Aug 30. Why only tell us on 20 Sept.

3. I am confident we couldn't get travel insurance cover for Montenegro. Viking's policies are we must have full travel insurance inc Covid cover and repatriation. They said one option was to still cruise but quarantine on return to UK. Surely that means they were telling us we could break their conditions.

4. Are they warning UK residents this problem for all future cruises, whether already booked or making a new booking

Les37b you may well be right and it had occurred to me this may have something to do with flights. If so they have been uneconomical with the truth. But if 10% of the passengers were from UK and 50% went for a refund [suspect most will in fact] that is nearly £250,000 lost revenue, unless, of course, they are confident they can fill with more non UK passengers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tim.   Please report back.  I am thinking I should write to.  Have you looked on the Malta thread on here and seen a third person affected.   Also someone on the cruise says she has mentioned it to the crew who know nothing about this change from Dubrovnik to Kotor,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I have seen the other posts Mancunian and I will post whatever responses I get .I will be going to a national travel writer such as Simon Calder if I don't get a response or a satisfactory one. I really don't think the Kotor decision was because of a desire not to upset the majority of their clients i.e. Americans. I really don't believe there would have been much of a fuss over missing Kotor, which is hardly one of the big draws of this cruise. It seems to me far more likely it was to cover up some problem they don't want to admit to such as an inability to get flights or whatever. Still fuming. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/21/2021 at 10:24 PM, mancunian said:

Hi Tim.   Please report back.  I am thinking I should write to.  Have you looked on the Malta thread on here and seen a third person affected.   Also someone on the cruise says she has mentioned it to the crew who know nothing about this change from Dubrovnik to Kotor,

 

That was me who asked a senior crew member. To be fair though, he is on the Sea and he told me directly after our cruise, they leave Malta and head to the US. (Ie the Sea is unaffected by this.)

 

I will speak further with him late  today to see if he has learned anything.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in the same position as others from the UK. We are equally disgusted and have asked for a refund. We are assuming that Viking were concerned that the Americans would cancel because of the loss of Kotor.

i doubt very much whether that would have happened. I reckon they would be just as glad as us to be on a Viking ship for ten days. An extra day in

Dubrovnik would, I am sure, have been perfectly acceptable to the vast

majority of our American friends. So why ditch us ?  Anyway that is their 

choice and we will not darken their doors again. The fact that the

September cruise have been able to avoid Montenegro shows that their are

no operational issues which have dictated the decision to omit Kotor.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have just disembarked the Venus and are very surprised that the trips have been cancelled for British visitors. The extra day in Dubrovnik was fine and we didn't hear any complaints. An extra sea day would have been fine if Dubrovnik hadn't been able to accommodate us.

 

We cannot understand why Viking are so keen to go back into Kotor as Montenegro is also on the US Travel Advisory as Red Level 4 "Do not travel due to Covid 19"!

Also may possibly be an issue for Americans returning to US via London as a visit to a red country will have to be declared on the passenger locator form.

 

We did enjoy our trip as we were able to go ashore independently in Malta and Croatia.

 

This next trip to Greece will not allow independent shore visits and although we felt safe on the ship we are not sure that we would want to take ships tours on a bus. The shuttle buses in Dubrovnik did not practice social distancing until we pointed this out to the Hotel Manager and even though notes were put on some seats after that there was no checking or enforcement with some passengers not wearing their masks correctly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did email a list of questions to Viking chap who seemed to be contacting all the UK customers on the Oct 3 cruise, requesting that someone senior who was involved in the decision to return to Kotor, reply to me. I very quickly received a lengthy reply from him which seemingly had been discussed at a higher level, and I do applaud Viking for doing that. I have agreed to differ with Viking as their explanation still seemed to be for "operational " reasons, and I still don't really understand the reason and why they can't be more explicit.

Although I said initially we wouldn't use Viking again, we have a cruise already booked with them next June, and having tried a non viking cruise 2 years ago I am not sure anything can match the Viking experience. So like a relationship break up, I hope we can emerge from the non acceptance, then anger stage, to a point where we can agree to meet up again and even rekindle our feeloings and let bygones be bygones.

My email to and reply from Viking are too long to re-produce here [or more truthfully I don't have the necessary IT skills to do so] but I would be happy to email them to anyone interested. I don't know the etiquette of disclosing email addresses on here. If it is within the rules I will gladly list mine for those who want to to email me with theirs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...