Viking Cruise (my first post had many grammar errors)

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Jan 3, 2019
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#21
5654BE7F-A0F1-47ED-B6C0-B17F9DF27EEE.jpeg
I have started here. I am really trying to do this better. I have no idea how to handle this. That is very apparent. You have made that clear to me . I would like to learn.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#22
That email certainly would not persuade me to do anything for you that I was not legally required to do.

Since when can an "elderly" person not "stand up for themselves"? Unless they are mentally diminished.

Being elderly does not mean being unable to advocate for themselves unless there are medical conditions prohibiting such and I would be surprised if someone with such serious medical issues would be taking a river cruise - but, you never know.

Demanding they contact you "immediately" - well, there is a reason there is the old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" - putting aside the flies, of course, your approach is very hostile rather strongly indicating you would never book with them again which makes it even more unlikely they might want to make some sort of gesture - which they are not legally (per the contract you entered into) required to do.
Yes you are right. I should not have put that. There just wasn’t any time to waste because the first ship swap was looming. I should have had more tact.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#23
When travel agents sell river cruises, they do warn their clients of possible water levels issues, both too low and too high. When travelers book themselves, they don't have someone to advise them and it is up to the traveler to understand all the risks. The water levels in Europe for half of the year were very low. Many river cruise lines face the same low water problem. I venture that those many passengers "that had no idea" of the low water levels were those that booked directly with Viking.

Should Viking have warned them? Sure, but how much difference would it have made? Full, non refundable payment had been made, expensive airline tickets purchased, transfers, hotels, etc. So the traveler gets a call three days before the cruise, "hey, water levels are low, but it could rain and then we might make it through. Do you want to still come, or would you like to forfeit all your non-refundable costs?" Most people would still come, especially since a couple of days of rain could "top up" the levels enough to continue the scheduled itinerary.

Should Viking have to refund hundreds of people when the water level, that they do not control, necessitates changes? What about ski lodges when it hasn't snowed?

You say that Viking hasn't responded to you. Well, if you sent an email as angry and aggressive as your second post, then I am not surprised. A more concerned tone, expressing surprise that so many guests did not understand the impact of the low water, and gently pointing out that so many of them found the new bus tour to be inconvenient, tiring, and demanding--this would be a better approach.
Yes you are right I should have done approached it that way. I was definitely surprised and then I got mad because I found out how long this had been going on . I was not very good with my words here. This is helpful. Because my approach definitely did not work. And I would like to learn to do this better.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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#24
Should Viking have to refund hundreds of people when the water level, that they do not control, necessitates changes? What about ski lodges when it hasn't snowed?
Should they?

YES.

As a consumer, I am told hundreds of times, I must buy travel insurance if I have to cancel. These businesses advertise a certain product, and if they can't provide that product -- let them have it insured so that a consumer who bought the product can cancel with a full refund.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#25
got it. I will give that a try.
I am realizing I am pretty bad at being polite with tegards to this situation. But I can definitely have several people read my drafts before I send them to help me be less rude in my approach. Man, this has been kinda tough to hear. But I can definitely see that I gotta change how I am approaching this.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#26
I suggest you speak just about your own personal experience, not some other elder person(s) who may have had problems; many people who are not elderly have issues due to a myriad of health problems - so, as it is irrelevant, I'd leave it out.

I'd also, with all due respect, leave out all the stuff about how he purportedly mastered the "art" of creating certain types of holidays or that you have been told he would never read it, etc - again, irrelevant to highlight such issues which may or may not be accurate in any case and take up precious time for the recipient to read.

Stick to the facts and as suggested above, use bullet points. It works. I've used Elliott's contacts a few times, each time with success. There are no guarantees, of course, but they routinely emphasize here to use their suggested method of communication because it has yielded successful outcomes.

I always write succinct factual emails only, make no demands, only ask they consider my request (which I make as fair as possible) - (and minus emotional declarations) but as a consumer advocate, I know when that works and when it doesn't. (Works well when meeting face to face with your personal legislative representative, for example; not so much in the situation you are writing about).
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#27
Here is what you can do and we can help once you do that-

Make a chronological bullet list of each issue you had. For instance:
- On xx/xx we were supposed to port in xxxxx. We could not port and had to be bussed from xxxxx to xxxx.
- This required us to pack all our bags and remove them from the ship (if this is what actually happened)
- On xx/xx we were supposed to port in xxxxx. Again, we had to be bussed from xx/xx

If you give us a list of each separate thing that happened that wasn't supposed to, we can help you draft a letter.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#28
Should they?

YES.

As a consumer, I am told hundreds of times, I must buy travel insurance if I have to cancel. These businesses advertise a certain product, and if they can't provide that product -- let them have it insured so that a consumer who bought the product can cancel with a full refund.
Here's the difference... Viking specifically deals with this very situation in their contract ... Its not buried or hard to find ... (https://www.vikingcruises.com/terms-conditions/index.html )

"Advanced, Cancelled or Delayed: Viking reserves the right to withdraw and/or cancel a tour or to make changes in the itinerary and hotel accommodations whenever, in its sole judgment, or in the judgment of the Carrier conditions warrant it. In the event of charters of the vessels, adverse weather or water conditions, mechanical or other issues with the vessel, docking issues, government or other authority actions, truces, lockouts, riots or stoppage of labor from whatever cause or for any other reason whatsoever, the Carrier may, at any time, cancel, advance, alter, substitute or postpone any scheduled tour and may, but is not obliged to, substitute another vessel or itinerary and shall not be liable for any loss whatsoever to passengers by reason of any such cancellation, advancement or postponement except as specifically set forth in the Carrier’s Passenger Ticket Contract Terms and Conditions.

Acts Of God, Strike, Or Other: Neither Viking nor the Carrier shall be liable for delay or inability to perform any condition herein or any part thereof caused by or arising out of strikes, lockout or labor difficulties or shortages whether or not the Carrier is a party thereto, or explosion, fire, collision, standing or foundering of the vessel, adverse weather or water conditions, mechanical or other issues with the vessel, docking issues, or breakdown or failure of or damage to the vessel or its hull or machinery or fittings howsoever and wheresoever any or the same may arise or be caused, or civil commotion, riot, insurrection, war, government restraint, requisitioning of the vessel, political disturbance, acts or threats of terrorism, inability to secure or failure of supplies including fuel, acts of God, or other circumstances beyond their control."

So by signing up for a bus/river tour, you agree in advance that they don't have to sail. That is the key difference. If you sign without reading, like most of us do, its not their fault.
 
Likes: ADM
Jan 3, 2019
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#29
I suggest you speak just about your own personal experience, not some other elder person(s) who may have had problems; many people who are not elderly have issues due to a myriad of health problems - so, as it is irrelevant, I'd leave it out.

I'd also, with all due respect, leave out all the stuff about how he purportedly mastered the "art" of creating certain types of holidays or that you have been told he would never read it, etc - again, irrelevant to highlight such issues which may or may not be accurate in any case and take up precious time for the recipient to read.

Stick to the facts and as suggested above, use bullet points. It works. I've used Elliott's contacts a few times, each time with success. There are no guarantees, of course, but they routinely emphasize here to use their suggested method of communication because it has yielded successful outcomes.

I always write succinct factual emails only, make no demands, only ask they consider my request (which I make as fair as possible) - (and minus emotional declarations) but as a consumer advocate, I know when that works and when it doesn't. (Works well when meeting face to face with your personal legislative representative, for example; not so much in the situation you are writing about).
This is very very helpful. Thankyou
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#31
Here is what you can do and we can help once you do that-

Make a chronological bullet list of each issue you had. For instance:
- On xx/xx we were supposed to port in xxxxx. We could not port and had to be bussed from xxxxx to xxxx.
- This required us to pack all our bags and remove them from the ship (if this is what actually happened)
- On xx/xx we were supposed to port in xxxxx. Again, we had to be bussed from xx/xx

If you give us a list of each separate thing that happened that wasn't supposed to, we can help you draft a letter.
Ok! I think I may have burned a bridge with Viking(for myself) at this point because I was tough as nails on them. but I will pass this on to the other passengers in my cruise. They have looked to me for help and the majority of them are senior citizens.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,211
14,798
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#32
Unfortunately, I don't see a successful outcome because, as John posted - the terms are there that this can happen. In the future, I would really suggest that they use a travel agent who is experienced in river cruises - they can advise what lines are better options to use thanks to the river levels that Europe is experiencing. Sometimes you just pick the wrong line and are stuck with your choice. Other lines aren't having such severe problems.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,204
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113
Maui Hawaii
#33
Ok! I think I may have burned a bridge with Viking(for myself) at this point because I was tough as nails on them. but I will pass this on to the other passengers in my cruise. They have looked to me for help and the majority of them are senior citizens.
Make sure you pass on the fact that the terms of the cruise that they agreed to do not obligate Viking to make any restitution or other actions at all. Do not give them a false sense of any positive outcome. The water level issues are not in any way new, and if the persons signing up for the cruise did not read the terms or look at the river cruising conditions, it is not Viking's fault.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#34
Unfortunately, I don't see a successful outcome because, as John posted - the terms are there that this can happen. In the future, I would really suggest that they use a travel agent who is experienced in river cruises - they can advise what lines are better options to use thanks to the river levels that Europe is experiencing. Sometimes you just pick the wrong line and are stuck with your choice. Other lines aren't having such severe problems.
Yes you are probably right. It is hard to believe that this happened and there is nothing to be done about it. But you have far more experience in these matters and although I wish there was more that I could do to help the paying passengers on my cruise. This has definitely been a learning process for me.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#35
Make sure you pass on the fact that the terms of the cruise that they agreed to do not obligate Viking to make any restitution or other actions at all. Do not give them a false sense of any positive outcome. The water level issues are not in any way new, and if the persons signing up for the cruise did not read the terms or look at the river cruising conditions, it is not Viking's fault.
Good advice. I won’t. I think they are all aware of this. But I will certainly make sure I make that clear.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#36
Make sure you pass on the fact that the terms of the cruise that they agreed to do not obligate Viking to make any restitution or other actions at all. Do not give them a false sense of any positive outcome. The water level issues are not in any way new, and if the persons signing up for the cruise did not read the terms or look at the river cruising conditions, it is not Viking's fault.
You are right the water levels have never been Vikings fault. I took issue with them not letting the passengers know what they knew about how the water levels were currently being handled. And that was the hardest part for all of the passengers who have confided in me. I believe that Viking can do better in the future with this regard. But ultimately that will be up to them.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,211
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www.promalvacations.com
#37
RiverCruiseCritic, it isn't necessary to keep reporting your posts. Your posts are under moderation and any that are not within our guidelines will be deleted by a moderator.

I think we have gone as far as we can with this thread. If you opt to write to Viking using our contacts, post the letter here you want us to help with. If you aren't going any further, let us know so we can close this thread.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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#39
I am going to consider trying again. And I would like this post to remain open for input
Even if consumers can learn from my mistake of being very harsh with the company. It will all benefit consumers to learn from the mistakes I made and how they can go about dealing with a similar situation in a more effective manner that brings about a better income. My efforts brought about 25% cash refund offer toward the cost of the cruise. They may be more successful. If they learn from my mistakes.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,211
14,798
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#40
You have many posts here that are going nowhere. If you would like to re-write your letter and post it here, please do so. Otherwise, we can only give you our company contacts and will have to close the thread to further posts.
 
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