I have found that the reservationists and the supervisors at Viking are at most marginally trained to provide accurate information. Example. We called to request 2 beds non smoking at each hotel property in CHINA. The reservationist told us that they do not do that, that we had to do it ourselves. We unsuccessfully emailed each hotel, only to be told that the reservations are not by name, but simply by VIKING name, and that they had no idea who we were.
IN addition, the documents come to only one person, but if the two passengers are flying seperately, or arriving on different dates, one will not have the information. When asked to have this federal expressed to the second passenger, they sent i by snail mail, and it was not received in time.
I am totally unimpressed with VIKING RIVER CRUISES reservation support, and hope that things improve when we go on the trip.
At this point, I would not recommend them for customer service reason.
What you describe is a prime reason to have a travel agent rather than to book your reservations directly. Although I agree that customer service is important, whether for a client or for a travel agent working on behalf of the client, the TA knows which rez agents are most reliable and also knows whom to turn to for assistance in unusual circumstances. Often TA's can offer better fares than if you book directly with any cruise line. If we have group space blocked, for example, there are discounts and amenities that you will not learn about from a rez agent at Viking. Other times there are promotions about to be released to the public, and we can tell you about them before the cabins are sold out.
There's a motto in the industry which is soooo true: Without a travel agent, you are on your own!"
What Shirley says is so true. Keep in mind that it is not the trips where nothing goes wrong that proves the point. All you need is one experience like j.j.'s to wish that you had someone with "contacts" to get things straightened out! Clarence
We have one of the finest travel agents...A virtuoso agent. Virtuoso does not use VIKING....
The problems are all last minute issues caused by errors at VIKING's offices.
these issues could not be solved by an agent any more successfully then by an individual.
THese issues will be taken care.
I have found in my vast travel experiences, that the individual must double check many things, must follow up, must come to hotel properties with copies of emails sent and received by the agent.
The more prepared and the more pro active you are as a traveler, the more success you can have with upgrades, proper reservations, follow thru etc.
I trust that VIKING will correct the errors of their staff...
Viking River Cruises is just a couple of years old, and it is growing at an amazing pace. While I'm confident that it is Vikings intention to train the rez agents so that there are few--if any--errors, when a company grows this quickly, it is hard for Human Resources to keep up with the need for additional fully trained agents.
I'm not certain where you got the information regarding Virtuoso. It happens that Virtuoso is one of Viking's biggest producers, with millions and millions of dollars in bookings every year.
I hope you are pleasantly surprised when you sail on Viking. All's well that ends well!