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Avoid Viking River Cruises

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Jul 26th, 2016, 06:05 PM
  #1
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Avoid Viking River Cruises

In August 2015 my wife and I along with three other couples from Savannah booked a 7 night Viking River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel for $15,491.00 per couple. At the same time our local travel agent found $4200.00 per business class flights from Savannah to Amsterdam with one stop in NYC for a 14 hour total flight time. Viking Cruise Agent Igor S. told my wife that Viking could get us from Savannah to Amsterdam in business class for $3800 per ticket with flight details to be arranged later. In order to save $600 my wife agreed to let Viking Cruise arrange our airfare. We have a September 2015 email from Viking/Igor confirming that fact. In March Viking Cruise flight team called my wife and told her that leaving from Savannah we had several choices of flights. We could go through Chicago, Detroit Washington DC or NYC. She told them to go through NYC. In May our tickets came but did not include any flights from Savannah to New York. We had business class tickets with Iberia from NYC to Amsterdam via Madrid for 12 ½ hours of flying. When I called Viking Cruise to ask about the error in ticketing they steadfastly refused to help arrange for our travel from Savannah to NYC. They claim that my wife instructed Viking to leave from NYC and not through NYC. Viking claims that the telephone call recorded my wife saying that she wanted to leave from NYC and not Savannah. Despite multiple attempts to hear the recording we were left hanging. We had already paid Viking Cruise a non refundable $23,091.00, so my wife and I bought tickets from Savannah to NYC and had to add $850 on top of the cash we had already paid. It took 24 hours of flying in order to get from Savannah to Amsterdam. The Jet Lag was awful. Viking wrecked our cruise even before it started.
From our experience Viking Cruise does not have a customer service department. They have a customer harassment department. They made a dumb mistake and failed to correct it. By not allowing us to hear the recording that Viking Alleges has my wife asking to begin our trip in New York, they are quilty of a simple coverup. In response to an email I sent Viking, their customer service offered us a $100 on board credit at their gift shop. Stated another way, Viking caused us to pay an extra $850 for the discomfort of 10 hours of additional time spent in transit so they could sell us overpriced merchandise from their on board Viking apparel. NO THANK YOU!!!!
NEVER AGAIN VIKING.
doctordutt is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2016, 06:59 PM
  #2
 
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This illustrates the value of email. Or at least an email confirmation of a conversation.
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Jul 26th, 2016, 08:01 PM
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Is Viking disputing their own email in which you say "Viking Cruise Agent Igor S. told my wife that Viking could get us from Savannah to Amsterdam in business class for $3800 per ticket with flight details to be arranged later." The email didn't say NYC to Amsterdam for $3800 per ticket; it said Savannah?

If anything, I think this situation illustrates that one shouldn't agree to (and pay for) anything without getting all the details in advance in writing. Flight times, routing, etc.

FWIW, during the March phone call, I would have asked why you couldn't route through Atlanta.

And I don't want to minimize your complaint, but you "saved" $800 on the Viking-arranged flights (compared to what your travel agent quoted) and then spent $850 to add the Savannah-JFK flight.

I hope the cruise was enjoyable!
Jean is online now  
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Jul 27th, 2016, 02:49 AM
  #4
 
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$14,500 for a week's holiday for two

WOW

Sorry this has happened to you, get contracts in writing, as we used to say, "a verbal contract is worth the paper it is writen on"
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Jul 27th, 2016, 07:15 AM
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bil: When the OP vacations, the OP doesn't mess around.

An email or some verification would at least give you something to present to your CC company to dispute the charge.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 08:12 AM
  #6
 
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vince, so my £100 for a week in Malta was just playing at vacation ;-)
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Jul 27th, 2016, 08:19 AM
  #7
 
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The cruise was likely just fine.. so why say "Avoid Viking Cruises".. just to damage their business right?

You should say "Be careful arranging air through Viking Cruises".. that would have been a fair statement .

Personally I would have been more careful than your wife.. the amount of money you are talking about is huge to me.. so even when I arrange trips to Europe for half what you pay ( and more than twice as long).. I ALWAYS check and double check all arrangements before I pay , give my cc number. .or hit the "pay now" button.

Sounds like this was a communication breakdown. Typical and usually not done maliciously .

Double check everything always.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 08:45 AM
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You might want to post this on Fodor's Cruise Forum. This is relevant for travelers considering using a cruise companies' flight department.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 09:31 AM
  #9
 
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Viking and their "pay it all within the next 30 days" has caused me to think twice and we've traveled with them in the past and had a very successful experience.

You do have to be very careful and get documentation no matter what IMO.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 09:37 AM
  #10
 
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Welcome to Fodor's ! Always nice to have new posters register here.
suze is online now  
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Jul 27th, 2016, 09:40 AM
  #11
 
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who knows, mistakes happen. It could be Viking's fault or it could have been a mistake by the OP's wife. I know I've said things sometimes that were wrong just by mistake, and it wasn't what I really wanted. This is also why I don't ever care to make arrangements by phone anymore, I do everything by email. Even a couple times when I've had to clarify something by phone, I had them to email me a confirmation of what we've agreed to.

I doubt if any company will let you listen to their recordings, actually.

I really can't believe these figures can be right -- $15,000 per couple for a 7 night cruise? Is this even possible? That's over $2000 per day! I know you could spend that much on a room at some top 5* hotel in expensive cities, but still, I am shocked.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 09:56 AM
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WILL YOU GAWDANG GOATS GET OFF MY BRIDGE?!?!?!?!?

-- the OP
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Jul 27th, 2016, 10:11 AM
  #13
 
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the 7 day Rhone cruise that did with my friend in May which was booked through Rivieria was £1500 odd each [so not cheap] which included train travel from St Pancras to Lyon and back from Avignon.

so roughly $4000 for the 2 of us as opposed to $15,500 plus airfares.

I wouldn't go with Viking either!
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Jul 27th, 2016, 10:38 AM
  #14
 
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If one looks at the Viking Cruise website, the 7 night cruise from Amsterdam to Basel does not cost anywhere near $15,000 a couple. OP must be confused.
historytraveler is online now  
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Jul 27th, 2016, 10:39 AM
  #15
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Anyone who frequents the forums on cruise critic.com knows that Viking comes in for considerable criticism on its customer relations there. The river cruise forum is monitored by Viking and it often intervenes to suggest the complainant contact them by email. Some do come back to report the matter has been settled, but there also appear to be many unresolved issues.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 10:43 AM
  #16
 
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bil: >>vince, so my £100 for a week in Malta was just playing at vacation<<

We consider that the minor leagues of vacationing. Stop by my place in Trump Tower some time and we'll tutor you on the real thing.

BTW, I have a good friend living in Malta. Great place, even at the paltry 100-euro rate.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 11:52 AM
  #17
 
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historytraveller if you really look at the Viking website it is easy to reach the quoted figure if you choose more expensive suites/staterooms. The most expensive however seem to include business class airfare in the price, though that could be an offer on at the moment.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 12:11 PM
  #18
 
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I was going to say that the 15 thou figure is not way off base for some of the Viking offerings much less for many many other cruise lines; depends on the level of accommodation obviously.
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Jul 27th, 2016, 12:26 PM
  #19
 
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Many fail to note that the quoted prices in brochures and on the website are per person.
Jean is online now  
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Jul 27th, 2016, 02:09 PM
  #20
 
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I did look at the Viking website admittedly a quick glance, but found the prices in that range ( 15,000 per couple ) were the top level of accommodation and included business class airfare. I'll double check on that.
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