Viking Cruises

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Jun 22, 2019
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#1
Company you have a question or comment about: Viking Cruises
My husband & I have booked Imperial Jewels of China with Viking for March 26, 2020. Our final payment is due June 30, 2019 (9 months in advance of travel). I spent 5 hours yesterday researching the coverage we would get under their (Trip Mate) insurance. My main concern is the help we would get if I should get sick or injured and have to be hospitalized in China. My husband is disabled from a bout with encephalitis 22 years ago. He has some memory loss and some cognitive problems. He is physically able to travel and does quite well as long as I am by his side. We have already paid $719 each for the insurance which Viking says in non-refundable if we cancel. I spoke with Trip Mate yesterday with the question: What kind of support would we have should I have to be hospitalized. They had never heard of this (a team on the ground) and directed me to One Call Worldwide Travel Assistance which administers services to their travelers who are having a problem. The man at One Call told me that Viking would arrange transportation to the hospital; and then, we would be ON OUR OWN. The only thing they could do to help would be to make phone calls, if needed, and arrange travel home. He said Viking does not have any representatives on the ground anywhere in the world to personally assist you in the event of a crisis. I asked him what would happen if I died; he said they would repatriate my body, and my husband would be ON HIS OWN. His company (Arch Ins. of New Jersey) administers One Call services for Tauck & other tour companies and most cruise lines. So, he is well aware of what I was asking about and acknowledged that Tauck and (most if not) all of the other cruise/tour companies they administer for have a team of representatives on the ground to personally assist travelers in the hospital, etc. If they don't have a representative on the ground in the location where you are incapacitated, they will fly one in. I told him that I would have to cancel our trip and Viking had said they would not reimburse the cost of our insurance. He said I should speak with them strongly about this because they are not providing the assistance we would need like other companies do. So, One Call then connected me with Viking. I got the same answer from the man at Viking, "that they would arrange transportation to the hospital, but then we would be ON OUR OWN". I demanded to speak with his supervisor. She came to the phone and told me the same thing! I told her that I needed to cancel our trip, then; and that I wanted reimbursement for the $1,438 we had spent on their insurance since it would not take care of us in the event of a crisis. She again said that it was non-refundable. She asked me to give her until Monday (June 24) to get clarify on my questions. I do plan to cancel this trip on Monday, regardless of what she promises. Since I have verified that their insurance does not offer the assistance we would need in the event of a crisis(and that was provided with all other cruise/tour company insurance policies we have had), I cannot take this risk to myself and my disabled husband.
What's your desired resolution? I will cancel this trip on Monday (June 24, 2019) and I want a full refund in cash for the total amount I have paid - including the insurance.
What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 2357
Date of transaction/travel date: 04/12/2019
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
Do you have a link to the policy you purchased so we could read it? I don’t know what state you are in but looking at Vikings policies, there is coverage for medical and hospitalization and emergency evacuation:

Interruption .......................................................150% of Trip Cost* Missed Connection ................................................................... $3,000
Travel Delay (Up to $300 Per Day)........................................... $1,500 Medical Expense/Emergency Evacuation
Accident and Sickness Medical Expense ........................... $100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation ........................... $100,000
Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation ....................................... $25,000 Air Flight Only Accidental Death and Dismemberment............. $25,000 Baggage and Personal Effects ................................................... $3,000 Baggage Delay ........................................................................... $1,000 * Up to a maximum of $187,500.

Anything you book with Viking that you have paid for that is non refundable probably won’t be refunded. Viking is not customer friendly and to them, non refundable is non refundable.

Yes, Viking will make arrangements for transportation to the hospital but their obligations end at that point- then to responsibility is turned over to the insurance company who will guide you on what you need to do. This is how all insurance companies work.

Here is a link to the policy and the number to call for questions is

Customer Service 1-844-777-6855
To Report A Claim
Present all claims to the Program Administrator:
Plan Number: UF425V
https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/my-trip/travel-information/index.html
 
Likes: bignevermo

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
Char, medical expenses are always the responsibility of the traveler, as is emergency evacuation. The policy limits that Neil posted seem to be adequate but nobody ever knows what medical care might cost. I hope you do some more checking around before cancelling the cruise. The insurance you paid for has been in effect all this time, there are no refunds for the premium. I don't think any tour company or cruise line will be able to give you one-on-one assistance.

I have carried annual emergency evac insurance for years, long before MedJet became a sponsor of this advocacy. It's good anywhere more than 150 miles from our home. When my husband was injured in Paris, had surgery and spent a week in the hospital, MedJet was on the phone and email constantly, so I could handle the situation. They flew him home first class with an emergency room nurse as his companion. They also obtained a good discounted fare for me to return with them. If you were the injured person, they would probably fly a family member over to join your husband and help him cope. That is something you could discuss directly with them. While I cannot recommend any specific insurance company on this forum, I am a huge fan of MedJet ... we can travel without care, knowing first-hand the calibre of their service.

Unless 6/24 is some kind of deadline, I urge you to do more research. We are taking your same trip in November. I've been reading many reviews, and it's a physically-challenging trip, so I am doubly glad I have the MedJet coverage. Best of luck and please keep us posted.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

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#7
I am not so sure Tauck has someone at the hospital if something happens. I was on a Tauck tour and someone fell down the stairs at a restaurant. The guide stayed with the man and his wife until the ambulance came that took him to the hospital. Then she left him but left her phone number with the hospital. Client ended up being x-rayed and brought back to the hotel to be flown home. He needed surgery when he got home and they had to take a cab from the hospital to the hotel and their travel agent rebooked their flights home for them. Tauck didn't do it all for them.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
May I ask what other travel insurance policies offer the service of a representative on the ground to do things in event of a crises. I am certainly curious as I travel alone a lot.

If something were to happen to you are you expecting someone to travel with your husband back to the US? What sort of attention are you looking for?
 
Feb 28, 2018
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#9
My wife became ill after a cruise ended in Buenos Aires, was hospitalized, eventually recuperated in a hotel, and we eventually flew home . We p[aid all of our own bills, provided copies of them and the hospital doctor's discharge summary. I contacted our medical insurance carrier (CEA) for the trip and was told to retain all of the bills and get a report from the treating doctor. They had no local representative. Our medical insurance carrier paid back every penny we spent, no questions.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#10
It sounds like you agreed to Viking's insurance policy without fully reading/understanding the benefits offered, and whether they met your needs.

Travel insurance provisions vary from carrier to carrier and it is vital that you purchase a policy that meets your specific needs. The only way to know for sure is to investigate before you buy - most every carrier I have researched in the years I have travelled will permit you to review the policy either before purchase, or give you a two-week 'free' period where you pay up front but have two weeks to cancel without penalty.

As others have said, it appears you are looking for something that is very specific and very unique in the world of travel insurance...that is a companion willing to escort your husband in the event you become ill and incapacitated. It seems clear from what you've posted that the Viking insurance will not cover this. While it is possible an appeal for a refund may land on the desk of a sympathetic ear, everything I've ever read on this and other sites is that Viking does not budge.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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#12
I'm concerned that the OP is overreacting to an unlikely scenario and might be about to cancel a cruise and incur substantial financial losses because some insurance agent is fanning the flames (i.e., "If Viking were only to use my company, this wouldn't be an issue at all"). First of all, the U.S. would likely have a consulate nearby that might offer personal assistance in the event the OP died during this trip (that's one thing they do for U.S. citizens abroad), but I think the real question to ask is if this is a reasonably likely event. Does the OP have some pre-existing condition that might lead her to believe she might die during the course of this cruise? If not, then insurance is there to cover costs, not to hold your companion's hand, and you are adequately covered. Medjetassist seems to me the best option for what the OP wants, and it might be a better option than cancelling. I'd pay the additional cost for a two-person short-term membership rather than cancel and incur much greater losses.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
18,181
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www.promalvacations.com
#13
I'm concerned that the OP is overreacting to an unlikely scenario and might be about to cancel a cruise and incur substantial financial losses because some insurance agent is fanning the flames (i.e., "If Viking were only to use my company, this wouldn't be an issue at all"). First of all, the U.S. would likely have a consulate nearby that might offer personal assistance in the event the OP died during this trip (that's one thing they do for U.S. citizens abroad), but I think the real question to ask is if this is a reasonably likely event. Does the OP have some pre-existing condition that might lead her to believe she might die during the course of this cruise? If not, then insurance is there to cover costs, not to hold your companion's hand, and you are adequately covered. Medjetassist seems to me the best option for what the OP wants, and it might be a better option than cancelling. I'd pay the additional cost for a two-person short-term membership rather than cancel and incur much greater losses.
You are absolutely right. No insurance company or cruise line hand holds as the OP is expecting. Perhaps she would be better off booking a trip with
Tauck if she believes they will have someone on the ground I’m every port- I don’t believe they do ftom the experience we have had. But a hospital will help as will the emergency number of the travel insurance company.

I agree with you that I hope she isn’t going to cancel the cruise because she is worried about a scenario that might not happen. If she is that worried she is better off taking a third person with her to assist them. She might need help on the ship itself especially getting on and off and more so if ships are tied up together and they have to go from ship to ship to get off.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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#14
Ask about their provisions for transport of a disabled family member in the event you become ill and need to be flown home.
Reading the original, I think the OP has a different issue,and some separate concerns.

My main concern is the help we would get if I should get sick or injured and have to be hospitalized in China. My husband is disabled from a bout with encephalitis 22 years ago. He has some memory loss and some cognitive problems. He is physically able to travel and does quite well as long as I am by his side.
I read that as a concern about who would take care of her disabled husband should something happen to her.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
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www.promalvacations.com
#15
Reading the original, I think the OP has a different issue,and some separate concerns.



I read that as a concern about who would take care of her disabled husband should something happen to her.
That’s correct but I think she is misinformed about Tauck as well. Which is why she should take a companion in case something happens.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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#16
Unfortunately, you cannot take a third person on a river cruise unless you book a separate cabin. River cruises don't accommodate a third person in the same cabin. This is NOT a Viking Ocean Cruise. But it's a reasonable question. If the concern is so great that she'd cancel the whole cruise because of it, then it's reasonable for them to bring another caregiver along.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
Unfortunately, you cannot take a third person on a river cruise unless you book a separate cabin. River cruises don't accommodate a third person in the same cabin. This is NOT a Viking Ocean Cruise. But it's a reasonable question. If the concern is so great that she'd cancel the whole cruise because of it, then it's reasonable for them to bring another caregiver along.
I know you cannot fit a third person in a cabin and I never said they should add a third person to their cabin - I am a travel agent and fully aware of what can and can't be done on a river cruise. They can book a caregiver in another cabin if they are that concerned.
 
Oct 10, 2016
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Huntley, IL
#18
I am not personally familiar with Viking's coverage. However, as was said, they are not customer friendly. We have always used Travelex Travel Insurance. Their policies are a primary which means that they pay up front with no out of pocket costs. Check it out and look for their coverage.
 
Likes: Neil Maley