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DrKoob

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About DrKoob

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Redmond, Washington, USA
  • Interests
    Travel, Photography, Cooking, fitness, theater, film
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Azamara, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anyplace a ship can go...except the Caribbean

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  1. This guy who is in the video is one of the most negative people reporting on cruising. I used to watch him and he drove me nuts. I think he is totally wrong on so many things and I wrote an entire blog post looking at everyone of his points. You can find it here: https://jktravelredmond.com/ Jim
  2. The difference is that having a local TA, you have someone you know and can trust who you can find when you want them. They can often explain things in a better way face to face than a Viking agent (or anyone else) can over the phone. And why wouldn’t you deal with them? It doesn’t cost you an extra cent.
  3. Can I ask why you wouldn't use a TA that specializes in Viking to do this? They would be able to help you make your decisions based on dealing with Viking on a regular basis. We have an awesome local agent that cuts through all the red tape and answers all our questions every time.
  4. First, if you want to go, let them cancel you. You will get a much better deal. You should not lose your third-party insurance. Talk to the company and in this instance, most travel insurance companies are allowing you to move it to a later cruise as long as you have not reached your original travel date yet and not made a claim. Haven't found one yet that won't let you do that. Jim
  5. I hate to keep repeating myself on the boards but I just don't get this. Every time I read one of these threads I wonder why everyone does this. Why are you not using a TA? They work for free so why not use them. Then you make one call to that person and they get to sit on hold, not you. They deal with the cruise lines, the airlines, the hotels. BTW: I am talking about a TA that you know and trust, not an online or discount store agent that you may never be able to reach again. If anything this crisis in travel has taught me, using a TA is the smart way to go.
  6. Every time I read one of these threads I wonder why everyone does this. Why are you not using a TA? They work for free so why not use them. Then you make one call to that person and they get to sit on hold, not you. They deal with the cruise lines, the airlines, the hotels. BTW: I am talking about a TA that you know and trust, not an online or discount store agent that you may never be able to reach again. If anything this crisis in travel has taught me, using a TA is the smart way to go.
  7. One of the huge reasons that no cruise line has been able to keep up with accurate communications is because the situation has been changing daily. At HAL it has been worse due the change of management (for good or bad). This situation is unprecedented and they have to keep making one decision after the next only to find that the game is changed the next day with entire countries saying the won't except cruise ships until... Lastly, they had to wait to see what was going to happen at the CCL Corp with their new financing. In all honesty, if they hadn't gotten the financing from Saudi Arabia in late March, there might have been no refunds and no FCCs at all. Yes, they should have done it better but sometimes they just couldn't.
  8. Sorry but this has nothing to do with info/technology. Living here in Seattle, I can tell you that both HAL and Seabourn, who are CCL companies and based here just laid off hundreds of employees so the OP's assumption is correct that no where near 125 people are working on refunds/FCCs/cancellations. In fact once you get through and ask about a refund, I truly would believe that they are putting future sales (that are bringing in money they desperately need) before refunds. When reading threads like this I often wonder when people that say that they have not heard from HAL have thought about booking with a TA. And getting your TA to find for you? Jim
  9. Ship-wise we have been on both of them and would sail on Eclipse before Mille because we have grown to love the S-class. I am really happy that you are sailing out of Vancouver either way. Even though we live in Seattle leaving from Vancouver is absolutely the way to go. Such a better voyage. The real choice here though is do you want to do a post or pre-cruise tour in Alaska. If you have the time and money, that's what I would do and Millie will be just fine for you. JIm
  10. Best reply I have ever had sir. Thank you. Well thought out and well said. Just a note about the continuing training. I know my contact at Viking has been working about 12 hours straight, for reduced pay since this all started and there has not been a single minute of training because it is all they can do to answer the phones. I also think (with about 90% assurance) that things the reps are hearing are changing minute by minute as we go forward as they are throughout the entire industry. Not apologizing for management just saying they have to deal with how to handle the customers as well as how to manage the business and keep it going. Jim
  11. I am not going to comment on the main focus of this article because as a travel professional, I have not found dealing with Viking to be a problem. What bothers me about your post here is saying that anyone could have been trained for this situation before it started. I doubt there is a single person in the entire cruising industry who ever thought this could happen. That a global pandemic would drive cruise lines close to bankruptcy. As far as the agents not calling you back I am going to ask why you don't use a travel agent you know and trust? Any TA that books with Viking will get a call back but then you don't have to deal with all this—they will. And it doesn't cost you an extra cent. JIm
  12. How fast can I get on the ship? Sign me up! That said, our next two cruises are the Galapagos and a river cruise so it would be very different from a regular cruise. We don't have one of those scheduled until October 2021.
  13. If you were really cured by antibiotics, you didn't have the flu. The flu is a virus. Antibiotics don't treat viruses, they treat infections.
  14. Not sure if you are aware but Viking has started a video channel called Viking TV. You can find it at www.viking.tv (NOT DOT COM). During the coming week, Tor (Viking CEO) will be doing a show this week (you can find the schedule on the website) about...first, their financial situation and second, what they envision cruising on Viking will look like once they reopen for business. I should also point out that while many of the cruise lines have taken a hit, Viking is very different from the rest of them. Viking is privately owned. They have no shareholders to answer to and they are in better financial state than most of the other cruise lines. The other reason that they are in a better place is that people are still buying Viking cruises. For instance, they recently announced that they would be sailing the Mississippi and they sold out most of the cruises within 2 weeks. Those cruises won't take place until 2022. And all of the longer ones were sold out in less than three days. The shorter ones have just a few staterooms left. Likewise, they just announced their 2022 itineraries across their entire spectrum and they are booking fast. Viking cruisers are incredibly loyal. Hope this helps calm your fears. If not, see if you can watch the video. They tape them and you can watch them at your leisure after it has been shown.
  15. As they say, patience is a virtue. Please realize how backed up the groups department is. TAs put people into groups to get them extra benefits and lower pricing but when it comes to dealing with things like this crisis, groups are tough. Just hang on, it will show up...eventually. I am waiting for some money on a group that sailed in February before all this started happening. They are that far behind. It's going to he difficult to figure out if you want an FCC when you are priced in a group as well. Also realize that the cruise line offices in many states are closed due to restrictions. That means that while you may get a person on the phone, working from home, they may not be able to have accounting get a check out.
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