No recourse for a change of itinerary

Old Nov 12th, 2015, 08:41 AM
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No recourse for a change of itinerary

My husband and I have received (with very, very short notice) a change of itinerary from Viking River Cruises for our cruise up the Danube due to low water levels. This issue has been a problem since before we booked but weren't informed about it until 2 days prior to leaving. It was not our intention to stay in a hotel not do we want to travel by bus for tours. That is not what we signed up for. While I understand low water levels are unavoidable Viking should offer some sort of perk/compensation for the inconvenience but they offer absolutely nothing. That's poor customer service and an indication of the lack of concern Viking shows to its travelers.
Ayres1 is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:37 PM
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I'm very sorry to say that there is typically no recourse for a change of itinerary like this. It's a common problem and one reason why you might buy travel insurance (though you would need a cancel for any reason policy for this to apply to your particular circumstance).

I don't know why Viking didn't offer some kind of small compensation. When we had inconveniences on a Christmas market cruise we got a small comp of the cost of one of our optional activities.

It's difficult and disappointing when this happens, but Viking can't control the weather, and they rarely know whether a situation will change until shortly before a cruise departs (usually just a few days before). This has been a particular problem this year when there has been an extensive drought in Europe. A lot of people have been disappointed this year, but a lot have been happy with the changes and took a different point of view. But I understand your disappointment.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2015, 03:43 AM
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As noted, this is a very common problem which affects all cruise lines, some of which handle it better than others. Based on the complaints I have read here it seems Viking is one of the worst for compensation, perhaps not surprisingly as they also are one of the cheapest.

Did you book through a travel agent? if so, they should have told you about this possibility and I would complain to them as well. Or did you book yourself online? If so, you are no doubt one of many who were enticed by the itinerary and cost, and failed to do your due diligence.

I suggest you contact Viking and request compensation, politely and persistently. You might get nothing more a voucher for future travel, which would perhaps be of little value to you if you have no wish to take your chances with them a second time, but worth a try.
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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I'm surprised more people are not in a rage. I booked for the first week in November; the Romantic Danube cruise. I spent most of my savings (I'm retired) for my last family vacation (three cabins for 6 persons). I feel cheated and lied to. We DID NOT have that cruise. I paid around $20,000.00 but did not get what I purchased or what was promised in those lovely videos and beautiful pictures with those wonderful descriptions. My family and I instead had a harrowing week of long bus rides, shortened tours and hours of packing, unpacking and being continually jerked around and lied to. Ever our balconies were useless as we had other Viking victims' ships docked on either side of our vessel. I paid for and ONLY for "The Viking Experience that only a river cruise can offer" . Some people say that Viking can't control the water levels but, I say that Viking has no ethical right to offer what it can't deliver and then blame it on nature. This is 'bait and switch'. They knew this was almost surely going to happen BEFORE the cruise began but, acted as if everything was A-OK and acted surprised when the cruise failed. What ensued was a totally unsatisfactory substitute, (like a ham sandwich instead of the Porterhouse I ordered and paid for.). The only fair thing would be for Viking to refund the cost IN FULL. I would settle for Viking giving my family the river cruise that I spent my retirement money on. I'd rather have a refund as lost faith in the character and dependability they claim. Why aren't we victims forming some sort of group action? Anybody know how to do this?
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Old Nov 19th, 2015, 12:22 PM
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Dr. Joe: I agree 100% with your outrage. It's one thing to miss a port due to weather or have an itinerary change due to a hurricane. But to have the cruise turn into a bus tour is beyond reasonable. They should have cancelled the cruise and given you a refund.
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