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Just back from Viking Ocean...we miss Oceania!

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8 hours ago, pinotlover said:

I remember a few years back on a Uniworld River Cruise on the Douro and one of the Uniworld brass was on the cruise. Uniworld has two payment options: you can pay in full well in advance, or you can make a modest down payment and pay nearer to the cruise date. At the time CD rates were maybe 1% , but the early payment discounts were ~10%. So some one asked about the spread since Uniworld could borrow money at less than 10%. 

 

The rep said it isn’t about the money, it’s about the clientele. He said the historical cancellation rate among cruisers willing to put their money down a year in advance was around 5% ( I forget the exact number). The cancellation rate among those only putting down a deposit is 6-7 times that. The 10% early discount is to entice those really interested in the trip to get signed up, because once they did, they’re probably going to be on the cruise.

 

I believe Viking sees the same numbers and plays the same game without the options. We know walks and we know what talks. 

 

On a related note, as someone that often puts together land tours for those fellow Roll Call members , I see this dilemma often. Get your tour lined up we’ll in advance and then around pif date you start getting these messages that people have decided to cancel and do the cruise some other time or go to Timbuktu instead. You never know who’s on your tour until you get on the ship! One often wonders how many they turned away because their tour was “ full”, only to be scrambling later looking for real cruisers instead of mere talkers. 

Uniworld still gives the 10% discount for bookings with full payment.

Silversea does this too.  10% discount on paying in full within a couple of months of booking (time varies)

Crystal gives 2.5% discount for payment in full within 9 months of sail date

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34 minutes ago, sammiedawg said:

When we book a cruise or land trip we have every intention of taking the trip.  But life happens and we have had to cancel on occasion for valid reasons, including some happy and some not so happy reasons.  We have canceled for a family wedding.  Last year we rescheduled a trip because travel dates were too close to a new grand baby’s due date.  Medical issues arise.  It is impossible to predict life events.  

Viking’s sliding scale refund policy is unfavorable to the customer, especially if they have had all my money for a year or more.  It turns me off and their product is nothing special to make me disregard common sense and wise spending practices.  

 

Viking is definitely financing new builds with free money from its loyal customers.   They are thriving now due to economic prosperity but history tells us the economy is unpredictable. 

 

My thoughts exactly, especially the sentence I underlined  - you must have been reading my mind 😀

As I stated before, for a very unique and well priced itinerary we would sail with them again.

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Then just factor in the additional cost of comprehensive travel insurance in making your decision on whether to go with Viking.

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22 minutes ago, JPR said:

Then just factor in the additional cost of comprehensive travel insurance in making your decision on whether to go with Viking.

 

Totally agree.  These cancel for any reason insurance policies are pricey.  

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1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

My thoughts exactly, especially the sentence I underlined  - you must have been reading my mind 😀

As I stated before, for a very unique and well priced itinerary we would sail with them again.

 

Great minds think alike!  

 

 

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We lost our deposit of $1000 when we had to cancel.  Apparently in Australia, there are different rules for Viking deposits than else where in the world. No way would we book another Viking cruise. Oceania is now our cruise line of choice.

Jennie

 

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12 hours ago, Aussie Gal said:

We lost our deposit of $1000 when we had to cancel.  Apparently in Australia, there are different rules for Viking deposits than else where in the world. No way would we book another Viking cruise. Oceania is now our cruise line of choice.

Jennie

 

I feel for folks in Australia.... they have a totally raw deal that they stick to their residents... and visitors alike  if they book Australian stuff.. price fixing..   Charging  for Travel agent services,  Extra charge for Credit cards,  and cancel policy's that are totally against  the customer.......    

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I read through all the posts comparing V to O and found the comments/opinions interesting and informative. We’ve been on 12 cruises on many of the mega ship lines and did a B2B with V last year. We are going on another V Cruise this June. We enjoyed the smaller size ship and found the service, amenities and food to be good. The one thing we really liked was there were NO children on board. V prohibits persons under 18. How does O compare to V in this area?

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Oceania doesn't ban children under 18, however we have rarely seen children on board (probably due to the times when we tend to travel as well as usually longer itineraries).  When we have seen them, we haven't had any complaints that I can remember.

 

That being said, there HAVE been complaints here at times about obstreperous children with uninvolved parents ... I think usually around holiday times.

 

Mura

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I’ve seen very, very few kids on Oceania.  But they designate some holiday cruises and a few Alaskan cruises as “family friendly.”  

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We usually take the longer cruises of 34-35 days on Oceania and we have only seen a couple of small children on board and a few teenagers who were very well behaved.  They seemed to only appear when we were in port so am not sure where they spent their days when at sea. At there aren't any kids clubs, Oceania really doesn't cater to children.

 

Jennie

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19 minutes ago, Aussie Gal said:

We usually take the longer cruises of 34-35 days on Oceania and we have only seen a couple of small children on board and a few teenagers who were very well behaved.  They seemed to only appear when we were in port so am not sure where they spent their days when at sea. At there aren't any kids clubs, Oceania really doesn't cater to children.

 

Jennie

 

When we were on the Riviera about 3 holiday seasons ago, there was a small "children's club" of some sort.  It was set up in the covered area directly across from The Sanctuary (is this area called the Patio or something like this? not sure).  However, we really didn't see it used much; mostly, there were adults sitting there reading.  And the few children we saw were so well behaved that if we weren't looking right at them, we'd never have known they were there.

 

Compare that with a similar holiday cruise on NCL's Pearl.  At least we were in the Haven, which was a true respite.  But whenever we dared venture out, there were marauding bands of very boisterous and impolite youngsters, who seemed to take great delight in charging into people.  We hadn't planned to have ALL of our meals served ensuite, but that was how it almost turned out.  It was almost unbearable in the main public areas.  That, plus the cigarette smoke that seemed to carry from the casino to.... everywhere (or so it seemed), and... it was Oceania time for us! 🙂

 

GC

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Concerning remarks about Australia. Some Americans here, such as Hawaii Dan, May obviously feel the efforts , on the behalf, by the Travel Agencies and Travel Agents have no value and that those entities only purpose is for rebates to lower the costs of a cruise. If one cancels a cruise those entities remuneration for service provided should be $00.00.

 

I am told that even here in the US, some Agencies now require service fees that are non refundable if a customer cancels. Unlike Dan, they feel the work of their Agents do have value and should be compensated for such. 

 

Fortunately, we don’t face those fees because historically we Book and travel. Others, particularly groups, that have the Agent spending hours coordinating and arranging travel only to continuously cancel those plans face different scenarios.

 

I see nothing outrageous in compensating Agencies/Agents for services performed.

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some  brick & mortar agencies here charge a fee for service but if you book with them the fee is part of the payment of your trip 

If you do not book it is  non refundable service  charge

I can see  why they do it & agree with the principal

many people waste  the TA's time  getting info  then book with a discount agent

hard to stay in business  that way

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When we did the Copenhagen to Stockholm cruise in summer a few years ago, we were very surprised on disembarkation day to see that several children of all ages had been on the ship.  I have read reports of bad behavior on some Alaskan summer cruises here but in general any kids on board have not been very noticeable.  As said above avoid kid holidays to avoid kids altogether.

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11 hours ago, pinotlover said:

...

 

I see nothing outrageous in compensating Agencies/Agents for services performed.

 

OK, but the system itself is somewhat broken.

Travel agents get to book a cruise for less and pocket (most of) the difference.

This seems fundamentally unfair.

 

Suppose I had a shop selling widgets and you came in and said "Wow Shawn, I like that $100 widget. I wish it didn't quite cost $100 though."

Suppose I then told you that I didn't like the colour of your hair (etc.) and that yes, for you it was $100--but if someone with different colour hair (etc.) came in, I'd sell it to them for $90... and maybe they would pass it on to you for $95. 

Who would stand for that?

 

If I could book at the travel-agent rate myself, I would never darken the doors of a travel agency. Instead, I need to use them because they can book my vacation more cheaply, and then I get out my begging bowl to ask them to share the discount they got with me.

Bah.

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Just now, Shawnino said:

 

OK, but the system itself is somewhat broken.

Travel agents get to book a cruise for less and pocket (most of) the difference.

This seems fundamentally unfair.

 

Suppose I had a shop selling widgets and you came in and said "Wow Shawn, I like that $100 widget. I wish it didn't quite cost $100 though."

Suppose I then told you that I didn't like the colour of your hair (etc.) and that yes, for you it was $100--but if someone with different colour hair (etc.) came in, I'd sell it to them for $90... and maybe they would pass it on to you for $95. 

Who would stand for that?

 

 

The big question is how much did you pay for the widget  & how much profit did you make  even selling it for $90?

How much $ do you have left after paying  the rent, hydro, heat  employees,  operating expenses  etc

 

 

TA net rates  are less the commission  of the cruise which can run 10 to 18% usually  that is less all non commissionable  items  such as port fees. taxes etc

 they get a commission  on the base fare

 

Why not become a TA  then you could be rich  while pocketing (most of )  the cruise fare  😁🙄 

LOL

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LHT28: I'm sorry you didn't understand my post. I hope the rest of your 40,000 posts are better informed.

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Posted (edited)

Shawnino;

 

Travel Agencies get different commission levels based on volume of sales. It’s not all equal. Travel Agents, in the US, are paid in numerous manners including hourly, on transactions, and on commission. It’s not all equal. Customers typically receive various perks from their Agency or Agent based upon volume of business. It’s not all equal.

 

You may find all of that inherently unfair, but it is typical of most business models. The guy walking in off the street that does one trip every 3-4 years typically won’t get offered the same perks as someone that sails 2-3 per year.

 

Second, as Lyn pointed out, a lot of people walk-in off the streets to brick and mortar Travel Agencies and have an Agent do extensive work and provide extensive knowledge to them, only for that person to either book it all direct or via a discount on line Agency. As Lyn also correctly points out, and as I referred to, many of those brick and mortar Agencies are now charging up front fees for such services that come back IF you book with them. 

Edited by pinotlover

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15 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Concerning remarks about Australia. Some Americans here, such as Hawaii Dan, May obviously feel the efforts , on the behalf, by the Travel Agencies and Travel Agents have no value and that those entities only purpose is for rebates to lower the costs of a cruise. If one cancels a cruise those entities remuneration for service provided should be $00.00.

 

I am told that even here in the US, some Agencies now require service fees that are non refundable if a customer cancels. Unlike Dan, they feel the work of their Agents do have value and should be compensated for such. 

 

Fortunately, we don’t face those fees because historically we Book and travel. Others, particularly groups, that have the Agent spending hours coordinating and arranging travel only to continuously cancel those plans face different scenarios.

 

I see nothing outrageous in compensating Agencies/Agents for services performed.

 NO  I see nothing wrong with compensation for agents... It is a  team of mutual respect and involvement, each person being helpful to the other..     When I come to my agent  I have everything packaged for him to go to the cruise line with.    He dos not have to sell me  just book me garner what perks he can get.     I appreciate him and his relation with the Line.... He appreciates me for making his job easier and thus more profitable.    

We work together.  We profit together   

My complaint with Australian agents is that  they have a captive market, offer little in return and  offer very little yet charge extra and fees at every turn...  Hotels too  in Australia do this as a result I use Points not currency for my stays where they can not stick it  to me..   

 Its a  basic cartel in the travel business in Australia.. a stacked deck against  the consumer..  Such is not the case in the USA

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On 6/1/2019 at 4:52 PM, VJMAZZ said:

 The one thing we really liked was there were NO children on board. V prohibits persons under 18. How does O compare to V in this area?

 they do not ban children

Last summer  apparently  there were 40 under the age of 18 onboard

I counted 10  so not sure where they hid the rest  & the ones I did see were well behaved

we have had cruises with no children & ones with some  but only one time was there a problem  & he was part of an entertainment family onboard

 

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On 6/2/2019 at 12:32 PM, pinotlover said:

Shawnino;

 

Travel Agencies get different commission levels based on volume of sales. It’s not all equal. Travel Agents, in the US, are paid in numerous manners including hourly, on transactions, and on commission. It’s not all equal. Customers typically receive various perks from their Agency or Agent based upon volume of business. It’s not all equal.

 

You may find all of that inherently unfair, but it is typical of most business models. The guy walking in off the street that does one trip every 3-4 years typically won’t get offered the same perks as someone that sails 2-3 per year.

 

Second, as Lyn pointed out, a lot of people walk-in off the streets to brick and mortar Travel Agencies and have an Agent do extensive work and provide extensive knowledge to them, only for that person to either book it all direct or via a discount on line Agency. As Lyn also correctly points out, and as I referred to, many of those brick and mortar Agencies are now charging up front fees for such services that come back IF you book with them. 

 

I don't disagree with any of your statement of fact. What I'm saying is that it sucks because it forces me into using a travel agent if I want to get the best price I can get. I don't abuse the travel agent system (I do my own research and give the business to whoever offers the best rebate), but if others do I'm not fussed.

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10 hours ago, Shawnino said:

 

I don't disagree with any of your statement of fact. What I'm saying is that it sucks because it forces me into using a travel agent if I want to get the best price I can get. I don't abuse the travel agent system (I do my own research and give the business to whoever offers the best rebate), but if others do I'm not fussed.

You might consider  that an agent is a friend not an adversary..  developing a relation with that friend over time is mutually beneficial    Why would  you not want to do business with someone  who values you and  works hard to keep you happy..   In the big world  you hire people to do things you can not do well... ?   How is an Agent different?

   When you are just a price shopper, willing to cut the throat of anyone for a dollar you get a cheaper deal  is  it going to  abuse the last guy who may have worked his tail off.?..   In the short run you might save. 

 

 In the long run your lack of loyalty beyond  a dollar value will  loose you progressively  better and better deals.. real money over time.      After a while  you will run out of  "friends" in the business. you might consider looking at it from an agents point of view..... some might call that abusive.

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