Viking River Cruises plundered us.

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Nov 18, 2018
1
0
1
67
#1
My wife sustained a crippling injury one week prior to our departure on the Paris to Alps trip plus extra days in Paris. We did not have trip insurance. We contacted a couple who travel extensively and they were ready willing and able to go in our place. Viking refused to allow them to go in our place. We could not give them the trip that we have already paid for. Viking refunded us nothing on this expensive cruise. All was forfeit because of Vikings' heartless policies. We received humanitarian refunds from all our other reservations, Hilton, Avis, etc. that were not made through Viking.
 
Jun 30, 2017
844
783
93
Maui Hawaii
#2
My wife sustained a crippling injury one week prior to our departure on the Paris to Alps trip plus extra days in Paris. We did not have trip insurance. We contacted a couple who travel extensively and they were ready willing and able to go in our place. Viking refused to allow them to go in our place. We could not give them the trip that we have already paid for. Viking refunded us nothing on this expensive cruise. All was forfeit because of Vikings' heartless policies. We received humanitarian refunds from all our other reservations, Hilton, Avis, etc. that were not made through Viking.
You are looking for the benefits of travel insurance without having purchased same. Cruises are non-refundable within one week of departure. The contractual terms are clear and you agreed to them. Why should Viking give you the benefits of insurance that you chose not to purchase? You can not give a cruise to someone any more than you can give your seat on an airplane to someone else. Rental cars and hotels are generally not prepaid, and hotels usually allow cancellation within 24-72 hours of the reservation date. Cruises do not. The refunds you received for cancellation a week out are available to everyone.
You can email Viking cust service to see if they will make an exception, but they probably will not do so.
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/viking-cruises/
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,684
13,751
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
Unfortunately, look at your contract- you can’t substitute someone else in your place if you can’t go. There isn’t a cruise line who will allow this just as an airline wouldn’t allow you to give your nonrefundable ticket to another passenger.

Can I ask why you didn’t purchase travel insurance? This is exactly what it’s for. And Viking is very strict about sticking to policy.

It’s not heartless- it’s why they sell insurance. Unfortunately it’s an expense lesson to learn. Viking hears these stories hundreds of times a day and cannot make exceptions - they would go broke if they did.

We have company contacts on top of our page. You can try appealing to the Executives one by one and see if they would possibly allow you a credit for a future cruise. That’s the best you might be able to ask for.

Follow the instructions here:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,158
4,339
113
48
#4
Cruises do not allow passengers to resell their reservations to another passenger or substitute a different person. Were you going to be paid by the other couple for the reservation?

Weihlac is correct you are asking for the benefit of insurance without paying for it. Is that fair to people that do pay for it?

Have you checked if there is any travel insurance benefit on the credit card used to pay?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,311
7,131
113
San Francisco
#5
John, I am so sorry to read your story. It's every traveller's night mare, a crippling injury just before a much-looked-forward-to trip. Just plain awful. Basically, you're right, Viking could and should have substituted your friends who could have paid you what you paid Viking. But life is far more complicated now, especially in travel. If you had booked on George & Martha's cruise ship, on their only ship, George or Martha would have probably granted you this request with a couple of phone calls. But a huge enterprise like Viking Cruises just can't give that level of individual service.

It's so sad to read of people booking their own cruises when there are thousands of travel agents with cruise expertise ready and willing to help you. Travel insurance is an absolute necessity whenever you have any money at risk. Paying one night's charge on a week's hotel res that you have to cancel is one thing, but a big-ticket item like a cruise absolutely must be insured. I hope your wife is recovering well and wish I had better news for you.
 
Sep 27, 2017
50
51
18
49
#6
Just wondering what is the logic of a travel company not allowing a substitution for a fare that has already been paid? Is it a security issue? Paperwork issue? Enrichment?

It seems that the cruise line can make it good for a customer AND keep things profitable by offering such a service for one of their ::ahem:: "nominal fees".
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,328
3,200
113
#7
If you paid for your Viking Cruise with a credit card you may have Travel Insurance Benefits thru the card used to make the purchase. Call your CC provider!
 
Last edited:
Sep 19, 2015
3,158
4,339
113
48
#8
Just wondering what is the logic of a travel company not allowing a substitution for a fare that has already been paid? Is it a security issue? Paperwork issue? Enrichment?

It seems that the cruise line can make it good for a customer AND keep things profitable by offering such a service for one of their ::ahem:: "nominal fees".
One answer: random resellers.

Given that bots can buy thousands of desirable concert or performance tickets in less than 5 minutes, then think of what the bots/ resellers could do with travel.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,328
3,200
113
#10
I just paid over $900 for Travel Insurance ($450 ea) for a very expensive Regent Cruise next May. We are in good health but you never know what they future holds. Why would I pay such an expensive premium ? Stuff happens that’s why and I can’t afford to loose the kind of money invested in this trip.

The cruise lines encourage TI and while I bought mine from a Insurance Broker rather than the cruise line I would never leave the country without it. I do not expect Regent to give me my money back, that is the Insurance Companies job.

Cruise lines like Viking (Regent, Seabourne, Silver Seas, etc) do not swap passengers, nor do the refund non refundable bookings one week prior to sailing. I’m sorry you have missed a great trip but the lose of your investment is what happens when you do not have Travel Insurance. Please check with your CC provider as you may have TI benefits you are unaware of.
In this case Viking has done nothing wrong. I hope your wife recovers and you get to take your River Cruise.
 
Last edited:
Aug 29, 2015
467
709
93
49
#11
It would be nice if you could have substituted your friends, but the cruise lines made policies some time ago not to allow this. Meanwhile, your situation is exactly why travel insurance exists.

Agree with the rest, please check and see if your credit card includes any travel insurance. For your next major trip, please spend the additional amount to insur your trip. It will include not only refunding you if you must cancel, but will also usually include emergency medical care outside the US. We avoided a $40K medical bill a few years ago because of travel insurance. Between our regular insurance, and our travel insurance, we paid nothing out of pocket.
 
Oct 10, 2016
121
85
28
Huntley, IL
#12
Cruises do not allow passengers to resell their reservations to another passenger or substitute a different person. Were you going to be paid by the other couple for the reservation?

Weihlac is correct you are asking for the benefit of insurance without paying for it. Is that fair to people that do pay for it?

Have you checked if there is any travel insurance benefit on the credit card used to pay?
The AA Platinum Select Master Card provide up to $5,000 in travel insurance.
 
Oct 10, 2016
121
85
28
Huntley, IL
#13
I just paid over $900 for Travel Insurance ($450 ea) for a very expensive Regent Cruise next May. We are in good health but you never know what they future holds. Why would I pay such an expensive premium ? Stuff happens that’s why and I can’t afford to loose the kind of money invested in this trip.

The cruise lines encourage TI and while I bought mine from a Insurance Broker rather than the cruise line I would never leave the country without it. I do not expect Regent to give me my money back, that is the Insurance Companies job.

Cruise lines like Viking (Regent, Seabourne, Silver Seas, etc) do not swap passengers, nor do the refund non refundable bookings one week prior to sailing. I’m sorry you have missed a great trip but the lose of your investment is what happens when you do not have Travel Insurance. Please check with your CC provider as you may have TI benefits you are unaware of.
In this case Viking has done nothing wrong. I hope your wife recovers and you get to take your River Cruise.
I so agree. I never leave the US without TI. When I go to Canada or Mexico, I buy a lower premium TI as it is closer to the states and an emergency evacuation costs less. But, over either ocean, I buy an plan that covers an emergency evacuation.
 
Likes: jsmithw
Aug 9, 2017
42
27
18
75
#14
Had your wife sustained the crippling injury one week later, while on the cruise, you would have been very thankful for trip insurance. We travel extensively and if going overseas, I always recommended it to my friends.
 
Jun 27, 2017
83
129
33
#16
John might try to politely ask Viking for a future cruise credit? They may not apply the entire cost of their cruise, but even if they do a partial credit, all money would not be lost. And perhaps, he would also buy travel insurance.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 11, 2018
29
23
3
78
#17
You are looking for the benefits of travel insurance without having purchased same. Cruises are non-refundable within one week of departure. The contractual terms are clear and you agreed to them. Why should Viking give you the benefits of insurance that you chose not to purchase? You can not give a cruise to someone any more than you can give your seat on an airplane to someone else. Rental cars and hotels are generally not prepaid, and hotels usually allow cancellation within 24-72 hours of the reservation date. Cruises do not. The refunds you received for cancellation a week out are available to everyone.
You can email Viking cust service to see if they will make an exception, but they probably will not do so.
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/viking-cruises/
Well-said!
 
Apr 23, 2018
71
60
18
78
#18
John, I am so sorry to read your story. It's every traveller's night mare, a crippling injury just before a much-looked-forward-to trip. Just plain awful. Basically, you're right, Viking could and should have substituted your friends who could have paid you what you paid Viking. But life is far more complicated now, especially in travel. If you had booked on George & Martha's cruise ship, on their only ship, George or Martha would have probably granted you this request with a couple of phone calls. But a huge enterprise like Viking Cruises just can't give that level of individual service.

It's so sad to read of people booking their own cruises when there are thousands of travel agents with cruise expertise ready and willing to help you. Travel insurance is an absolute necessity whenever you have any money at risk. Paying one night's charge on a week's hotel res that you have to cancel is one thing, but a big-ticket item like a cruise absolutely must be insured. I hope your wife is recovering well and wish I had better news for you.
But who would want to go on a cruise with George and Martha? Sorry, just an attempt at some obscure humor around "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". I obviously have too much time on my hands.
 
Likes: jsn55 and AMA