Viking Wants All Payment a Year in Advance

  • 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.
Feb 20, 2019
2
0
1
64
#1
We are 2 of a group of 8 friends who like to travel together and took a wonderful trip on Viking from Amsterdam to Basel. Can’t say enough about how great it was. Now we want to take one of their ocean cruises to Scotland and Norway. However, they now require that we pay in full one year in advance of the trip! That means each couple would tie up about $16,000 for a year while praying that the company doesn’t go out of business or some other catastrophe prevents our going. No one wants to do that, so we told the agent this and why. She returned with an “offer” of $50 per person for spending on the ship. Of course we declined and will now go on another line. Is this standard or a new trend or a one-off? Very disappointed but can’t take that risk and don’t want to tie up so much money for so long! Thanks for any reply/suggestions.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,236
2,082
113
#3
Smart to ask the questions BEFORE you make the payment! I have no experience with cruises; others will be here shortly to offer guidance, but I just wanted to commend you for considering your options. Please make sure that whatever you choose, that you get trip insurance from a third party, not the cruise line. Look at insuremytrip.com for comparisons of policies.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,768
15,376
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
If they are offering a special deal, like reduced or free air, they require full payment in advance. Viking is well know for doing this

Look at other river cruise lines. There are others they are far superior and don’t do this.

Look at AMA, Uniworld, Scenic, Emerald, Avalon, Tauck for river cruises, Princess, Celebrity, Azamara, Oceania for Northern Europe. None of these require full payment to book, and most have refundable deposits.

It amazes me that so many people agree to pay in full a year or a year and a half early. You are giving the cruise line free use of your money for all that time when you could be earning interest (albeit very little) in the bank.


https://forum.elliott.org/threads/what-you-need-to-know-before-booking-a-river-cruise.9607/
 
Jul 13, 2016
232
394
63
56
#6
That is just how Viking works. Same for their river cruises. The terms and conditions vaguely say that final payment is due dependent on the current offer and those current offers obviously specify full payment within one month of making the booking. If you want protection, then certainly consider travel insurance.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,667
2,520
113
#8
In the event that you obtain trip insurance, the main question will be: If I have to cancel without a "named peril" to claim, can I accept a $4,000 or greater loss (cancel-for-any-reason clauses max out at a 75% refund)?

That's a rather large loss in my opinion . . .
 
Sep 20, 2015
53
59
18
59
#9
And personally, I would shop around for travel insurance, and not buy it from Viking. They may sell legitimate insurance, but I always feel that the insurance company doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds it and would side with the company in a dispute. Third parties don't have this interest.
 
Nov 20, 2015
140
260
63
#10
I always feel that the insurance company doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds it and would side with the company in a dispute
I agree that it's prudent to shop around for travel insurance., but I fail to see how an insurance company has any role in a dispute between a travel company and the traveler. Could you give an example of such a case?
It seems to me that an insurer's only decision is whether it's going to cover a claim or not based on the terms and conditions of the policy. I'm not sure how this matters to the travel company.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,317
1,279
113
Maui Hawaii
#11
We are 2 of a group of 8 friends who like to travel together and took a wonderful trip on Viking from Amsterdam to Basel. Can’t say enough about how great it was. Now we want to take one of their ocean cruises to Scotland and Norway. However, they now require that we pay in full one year in advance of the trip! That means each couple would tie up about $16,000 for a year while praying that the company doesn’t go out of business or some other catastrophe prevents our going. No one wants to do that, so we told the agent this and why. She returned with an “offer” of $50 per person for spending on the ship. Of course we declined and will now go on another line. Is this standard or a new trend or a one-off? Very disappointed but can’t take that risk and don’t want to tie up so much money for so long! Thanks for any reply/suggestions.
For this size group, you also should talk to an expert ocean cruise travel agent who may be able to provide better offers and better suggestions. The cruises we have taken (both river and ocean) require a relatively small initial deposit, and full payment 90 days prior to departure.
You should definitely obtain travel insurance within 2 weeks or less of your initial deposit.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,841
7,686
113
San Francisco
#13
For this size group, you also should talk to an expert ocean cruise travel agent who may be able to provide better offers and better suggestions. The cruises we have taken (both river and ocean) require a relatively small initial deposit, and full payment 90 days prior to departure.
You should definitely obtain travel insurance within 2 weeks or less of your initial deposit.
Weihlac is absolutely right! Cruise lines still pay nice commissions, and there are TAs who specialize in cruises. My TA has a great deal of experience, much education, and knows many cruise lines up one side and down the other. She put together such an amazing deal for our first cruise with her several years ago, I'll never book on my own again.

What a cruise line will tell you about when the final is due, what kind of price you can get for a multi-cabin booking, how much shipboard credit they will extend ... a cruise expert TA can do MUCH better for you. S/he can often set up exactly what YOU want, plus more goodies. As you can tell, I'm really sold on a TA who's a cruise expert, I'm sad that I was so ignorant in the past.

When it comes to travel insurance, if my credit card doesn't cover all the trip costs, I buy insurance from Dan Drennan in Omaha. Just like a TA, I like to know I can pick up the phone and get an answer if I need it.

I know that Viking is considered a terrific cruise line (We're taking our first trip with them in November, and the final isn't due for another couple of months) and they probably have the best prices, but there is a TON of competition out there. We've cruised with Grand Circle and Avalon and been extremely pleased.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,768
15,376
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
Weihlac is absolutely right! Cruise lines still pay nice commissions, and there are TAs who specialize in cruises. My TA has a great deal of experience, much education, and knows many cruise lines up one side and down the other. She put together such an amazing deal for our first cruise with her several years ago, I'll never book on my own again.

What a cruise line will tell you about when the final is due, what kind of price you can get for a multi-cabin booking, how much shipboard credit they will extend ... a cruise expert TA can do MUCH better for you. S/he can often set up exactly what YOU want, plus more goodies. As you can tell, I'm really sold on a TA who's a cruise expert, I'm sad that I was so ignorant in the past.

When it comes to travel insurance, if my credit card doesn't cover all the trip costs, I buy insurance from Dan Drennan in Omaha. Just like a TA, I like to know I can pick up the phone and get an answer if I need it.

I know that Viking is considered a terrific cruise line (We're taking our first trip with them in November, and the final isn't due for another couple of months) and they probably have the best prices, but there is a TON of competition out there. We've cruised with Grand Circle and Avalon and been extremely pleased.
To get group amenities, usually eight cabins and 16 people are needed.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,841
7,686
113
San Francisco
#15
To get group amenities, usually eight cabins and 16 people are needed.
Could be, but I got a basket full of amenities for just two people. So much was included that I had to buy a new watch just to use up our onboard credit. I do tend to book the higher-priced cabins, that may have relevance.
 
Likes: VoR61