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Pguin

VO Final Payment Timing

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Hi All,

 

We're long time cruisers with Celebrity, but are eyeing Viking for the first time for Alaska in 2021.  As we're starting to look into it, we were taken aback by the final payment timing; for July 2021, final payment is showing due December 2019.  A call to customer service indicated that could be negotiated down to 12 months at minimum.  This would be a big change to the 90 to 120 days in advance to which we're accustomed.  Is this just something that needs to be accepted with Viking, or is there more wiggle room than they're saying?  I understand it's refundable, but it's still a lot of money to tie up for a year with the only benefit going to Viking's cashflow...  Insight on anyone's recent experiences would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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For all the complaining about Viking's payment policy, Viking ships sell out for the most part.  People want to sail with Viking and don't care what the PIF policy is.

 

If you want to be a particular cabin or category, then book now. Or you can wait until you are ready to pay in full and take what is available.

 

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While Viking has changed their policy several times in the past, I believe that currently a request to delay final payment until 12 months before sailing is generally the best one can hope to arrange. There are two cases where final payment can be delayed until 6 months before sailing. One is when you book a cruise while on a cruise, and the other is when you already have another future cruise booked.

 

We have used both of those options this year. The six month final date was offered when we booked a future cruise during our Russia and the Baltic Sea. Last week, we booked a cruise for 2021. I had to request the six month final payment since we already have another one under booking, but it was allowed.  

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We have scheduled a Viking cruise for October 2020 (Bangkok, Bali and Beyond) and a Oceania cruise for February 2020 ( Rio to BA).  The final payment for the Oceania cruise is due in mid November 2019 and the final payment for the Viking cruise is due in early October 2019.  Interesting comparison!

Joel Barry

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For what it's worth....I received an email this morning from Viking with a new promotion.....reserve now and pay later.  It didn't say how much later and honestly I didn't even click the link to get the particulars (since all my 2020 cruises are already lined up) but perhaps they are going to start allowing some leeway as the luxury cruise market gets a bit more competitive.

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I don't like the way they are marketing this month's. IMHO, the tagline they have chosen cheapens the brand --and I already said this in a marketing survey for Viking, so I have no qualms repeating it here.

 

In any case, here is what this month's deal is, from the website:

 

2019-2021 OCEAN CRUISE AND AIR SAVINGS: Offer applies to bookings made from October 01, 2019 - October 31, 2019. Special cruise fares plus FREE air valid on 2020 & 2021 Caribbean Island Treasures; Iconic Southern Caribbean; New York, Bermuda & the West Indies (2020); Panama Canal & Central America; Panama Canal & the Pacific Holiday (2020); Turquoise Caribbean Seas (2020). Airfares vary on other gateways & departures. Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise\tour offer. Book now, pay later valid on 2020-2021 ocean itineraries; call for details. All prices are in US dollars and for US residents only. Additional restrictions may apply. 2019: Book and pay in full by October 31, 2019. 2020 & 2021: Book by October 31, 2019; pay in full 6 months prior to departure. Offer expires October 31, 2019.

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Thanks for all the information!  We saw the new promotion pop up and decided to take the plunge.  Booked on Orion for July 2021.  Looking forward to trying something new.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Pguin said:

Thanks for all the information!  We saw the new promotion pop up and decided to take the plunge.  Booked on Orion for July 2021.  Looking forward to trying something new.

 

 

SWEEET!! 

 

Look for your roll call here -- or start one if you don't see one. Best way to find a roll call is to eyeball the list of roll calls until you find you yours. The search function isn't always accurate.https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/811-viking-orion-roll-calls/

Edited by Peregrina651

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, mhb1757 said:

 

I  received an email promotion and looked at it  as we are sailing next week and pondering a couple itineraries for 2021. The email I received was for three Rivers itineraries 2020/2021, not Oceans. We have sailed the Grand European but could definitely do that one again. I looked at it out of curiosity and It seemed a bit deceiving. The email said from $3999 but when I clicked onto the link it said from $4399. Then when I drilled down there was one sailing at $4399 in November 2020, the rest quite higher with none I could locate at $3999. To be fair, Maybe I missed it. It became a mute point when I looked at 2021 pricing (we are already booked for 2020) and the prices started at over $5000. I will wait to see what promotions Viking offers in the future for these itineraries. 

Now back to possible Oceans 2021 to book while on our upcoming trip.  It’s a hard call now days. Yes, itineraries can book up early and we missed one we were ready to confirm a year plus out. But there seems to be more now not selling out with these new 12 month prepayment rules. Roll the dice. 

Edited by Vineyard View

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I will be interested to see how the 'book now, pay later' works out.

Used to only get the 6 months if you booked while onboard. And I did book onboard partially for those terms.

I can 'afford' to pay up front but I don't like paying 12-18 months in advance for VO when other lines don't have the same terms. It's one reason I am considering other lines.

So now---VO will get a bunch of 2020-2021 bookings with $500/pp down. But how many of those are bookings that will stick? Because honestly, I am thinking of booking a 2021 and for risk of $100/pp cancellation fee---I have very little exposure.

I think they will see an increase in cancellations and this could cause pricing fluctuations.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

 

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I just received the book now pay later brochure for Oceans cruises in 2020 & 2021.

Apparently the promo is for the month of October only with final payment 6 months prior to departure.

 

I think Viking is experiencing a certain amount of push back from the buying public on their policy of requiring final payment 12 months or more in advance. Not surprised, I expect that in the end they will extend the promo.

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On 10/2/2019 at 11:02 PM, Vineyard View said:

Now back to possible Oceans 2021 to book while on our upcoming trip.  It’s a hard call now days. Yes, itineraries can book up early and we missed one we were ready to confirm a year plus out. But there seems to be more now not selling out with these new 12 month prepayment rules. Roll the dice. 


The 12 month prepayment was the standard back when we were researching our first Viking River cruise in 2013 - before Viking Ocean existed. There was much complaining and gnashing of teeth but they didn’t budge. 


When Viking Ocean came on the scene, they relaxed it a bit  - quietly (you had to ask) - while they got the division off the launching pad. Last September or October, they reverted to the original 12 months out - with, it seems, some over zealous booking agents pushing it out further. Not our experience, but I have read others being asked for 18 months or more. 
 

I think they are realizing that they are trying to close the barn door after all the horses have run free. While they try for 12 months out, it seems they are relenting here and there, so perhaps the pressure has them rethinking their options. 

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We just returned from a fabulous journey (NYC- SJU) and I have to say, it was great to be back on board with Viking. 

The promotion to book while onboard was essentially the same offer that everyone received valid through 10/31, plus a lower amount per person that I have seen in the past. They also had an offer where we did not have to book a specific itinerary, but would carry the currently offered benefits. We seriously pondered booking that option - we were caught up in the moment of loving Viking - but at the end, we decided we would hold. Kinda regretting that but too late now. 

I commented on our survey that the 12+ payment in advance was a negative to our mind. I suggested it presents the opportunity to check other options. I  guess time will tell how this rolls out. We paid 18 months in advance for the first ever Viking cruise, but that was an exception for us. Subsequent bookings were 6 months in advance and then 8.  12+ months, no thank you. 

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On 9/28/2019 at 7:26 PM, Peregrina651 said:

For all the complaining about Viking's payment policy, Viking ships sell out for the most part.  People want to sail with Viking and don't care what the PIF policy is.

 

If you want to be a particular cabin or category, then book now. Or you can wait until you are ready to pay in full and take what is available.

 

Great advice, we booked our cruise for next September in September 2018 in a  PV1 cabin. At that time the PV2 and PV3 were already sold out. We got one of the last 2 PV1 cabins. By December 2018 the cruise was 100% sold out. We also booked just before Viking changed their policy about paying in full for the cruise 12 months prior, our final payment date in in March next year, 6 months out.

Edited by terrydtx

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Waiting is an absolute gamble for sure. We missed out on a brand new itinerary in the Mediterranean this coming May when it sold out 12+ months prior. 

 

That said, i have noticed more discounted fares/incentives being offered recently than were advertised in the first few years of VO. May or may not become a trend. 

 

Viking is our favorite line.  Based on our experience, I agree -  If you absolutely have to go on a specific itinerary at a specific date, and you want to stay with Viking vs alternatives, better to be safe than sorry. If you have flexibility then maybe the gamble is worth it. 

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Your posts all helped answer my questions. I was about to book and am having trouble wrapping my hands around how to insure a full payment made a year in advance. Having a 90 year old parent makes this a bit tricky. Cancel for any reason policies cover 75% at best. I am waiting to learn more about the Viking trip cancellation policy. Any advice?

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7 minutes ago, rbslos18 said:

Your posts all helped answer my questions. I was about to book and am having trouble wrapping my hands around how to insure a full payment made a year in advance. Having a 90 year old parent makes this a bit tricky. Cancel for any reason policies cover 75% at best. I am waiting to learn more about the Viking trip cancellation policy. Any advice?

We purchased the Viking insurance, as with the cruise cost and deposit paid almost 2 yrs before departure no local or online broker would accept the risk.

 

This is my interpretation of the Viking insurance policy:

  • Only the medical, evacuation & baggage is covered by the insurance company
  • Trip cancellation in Part A is covered by Viking directly
  • To receive a refund, the cancellation must meet the stated requirements - parents death & sickness are included, provided sickness was not acute before signing up
  • Cancel for any reason - provided you meet the payment criteria (14 days), if you cancel for a reason not covered, Viking will provide coupons for the full value of the cancellation penalty.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

We purchased the Viking insurance, as with the cruise cost and deposit paid almost 2 yrs before departure no local or online broker would accept the risk.

 

This is my interpretation of the Viking insurance policy:

  • Only the medical, evacuation & baggage is covered by the insurance company
  • Trip cancellation in Part A is covered by Viking directly
  • To receive a refund, the cancellation must meet the stated requirements - parents death & sickness are included, provided sickness was not acute before signing up
  • Cancel for any reason - provided you meet the payment criteria (14 days), if you cancel for a reason not covered, Viking will provide coupons for the full value of the cancellation penalty.

 

A couple of observations.

 

First, Heidi13 is talking about having booked a World Cruise and he is talking about booking in Canada. Those two factors can make a big difference in the conversation. The insurance regulations in Canada are different than in the US. It is these differences that made it necessary for him to go with the Viking insurance. At least, it gave him a chance to be able to explain the policy to us. Most of the rest of us will not be in this situation when we go to buy insurance.

 

Second, if you or any family members have existing medical conditions, buy your insurance within 14 days of booking to make sure that those conditions will be covered in the event that you must cancel. Claims adjusters look for any reason not to pay a claim and "pre-existing conditions" is one of their favorite reasons.

 

Third, keep in mind that actual cancellation penalties do not kick in until 120 days prior to sailing (180 days on voyages over 35 days).  Until the penalty phase kicks in, you get everything back less $100pp/$1000pp depending.  See the info below copied from Viking's Terms&Conditions:

image.png.ac5486d775cfe8e9eb60acd41d6cbaeb.png

 

 

 

3 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

Your posts all helped answer my questions. I was about to book and am having trouble wrapping my hands around how to insure a full payment made a year in advance. Having a 90 year old parent makes this a bit tricky. Cancel for any reason policies cover 75% at best. I am waiting to learn more about the Viking trip cancellation policy. Any advice?

 

It is not that complicated really. Most important is to buy your insurance within 14 days of booking in order to cover "pre-existing conditions"  -- and in my book, old age itself is a "pre-existing condition" let alone the other documented medical issues that my parents both have.

 

Beyond that one stricture, you have choices.

 

Cancel for any reason insurance is expensive and perhaps not necessary if parental health is already covered without the rider.  For example, most of the reasons we would cancel for are already covered without the "any reason" rider. Moreover, without the "any reason" rider,  we are covered 100% of our cruise fare, etc. We figure that we have up until 4 months prior to departure to simply change our minds and get all but $100pp back --and that is a lot less than the 50% additional we would pay for the "any reason" rider. However, the penalties are different for a longer voyage and we might might a different decision were we to book one.  Bottom-line, we each have to decide for ourselves what is the right choice for coverage.

 

In the US, insurance is regulated on a state level. Coverages and premiums will differ from state to state.

 

There are websites out there that will help you compare policies. Don't just buy the cheapest. Buy the policy that covers your needs. Some people consult the insurance website for each trip they take. I have found a company that I like and have stuck with them over the years; the only thing I do with each trip is review the coverages for the policy I like to make sure that they still meet our needs.

 

It isn't just about cancellation. It is also about medical coverage while you are traveling -- and about covering the catastrophic expenses that are not covered by your medical insurance or you homeowners -- medical evacuation or repatriation of remains.

 

Don't assume. Read the fine print of the policy you are about to buy and understand, as best you can considering that it is written in legalese, what you are buying and what is covered.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Peregrina651

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Check out insuremytrip.com (for example) for comparison insurance plans. There are several options like this online, as well as individual companies. Some will allow you tO save up front costs and just Insure the deposit only,  then add as you pay more (flights, etc). My recommendation is to call them, or any insurance group, and talk to a licensed agent. Ask what policies you might just Insure only the deposit, or which require the total trip costs to be insured at time of deposit,  yet have pre-existing covered. As mentioned, that is KEY to have. Be sure you read the whole policy for fine print. 

We had elderly parents so understand the dilemma but you can get yourself covered, because pre-existing most of the time will cover family members including them - long as you get the insurance after deposit/booking (mostly 14 days but a few are 21 days). 

Pre-existing can be anything so make this a priority. 

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We took the plunge yesterday and booked our first VO cruise. We are excited. We purchased a trip cancellation policy. Is there any benefit to paying by credit card verses by eCheck? The insurance benefits of our Chase Sapphire Reserve, which we would use,  offers 3% back for travel.

Thanks.

RB

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Wishing you a Bon Voyage!

 

 

E-check gives you 3.3%--and those 10ths of a penny can add up. The question is what other benefits does your card offer that you would use, that aren't already covered by the trip insurance that you just purchased? Is it just cancellation insurance or does it have other benefits? (on $10,000 you save $330 with Viking vs $300 with your card).

 

Personally, I have been using e-check on my last few trips. I don't have a fancy credit card, so I'm not making anywhere near 3% cash back on the sale. My trip insurance covers everything. It is an easy decision for me.

 

Some people are concerned about giving their banking numbers out. I have a separate checking account that I use for travel (ATMs, etc.) and that is also what I use for e-check. It is a way of protecting my other accounts (and the money in them).

Edited by Peregrina651

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My initial thought was the e-check provided a reasonable saving (3.3%). When we booked our World Cruise, I compared the savings of using the e-check (3.3%) v's the points (British Airways miles) on our credit card. Using the credit card we could get almost 2 return flights in business to UK, while the cash saving was equivalent of about 1/2 of a single flight.

 

I used the CC.

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We have used the e-check process twice.  We avoided the concerns about disclosure of private banking information because our travel agent processed the payment from their account.  We simply wrote the agency a check.  I do not know if all TAs would do this - we have worked with them for 30 years.

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

My initial thought was the e-check provided a reasonable saving (3.3%). When we booked our World Cruise, I compared the savings of using the e-check (3.3%) v's the points (British Airways miles) on our credit card. Using the credit card we could get almost 2 return flights in business to UK, while the cash saving was equivalent of about 1/2 of a single flight.

 

I used the CC.

 

Just goes to show that each situation is different and that there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to the question.  And no way of getting around the dreadful "do the math."

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