September 2014 - Viking Spirit to Europe
My husband surprised me in 2013 by booking the "France's Finest" river cruise, departing in September of 2014, to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. He used funds we had been saving for a special trip for years. When we booked our trip they tried to sell us travel insurance, which we declined because the cost was ridiculous - $5,000.00. We did not foresee anything that would prohibit us from travelling.
In July, 2014 our 39 year old son suffered a stroke. He was in the neuro intensive care unit for three months. As it became apparent my son was too ill for us to leave town, we contacted them on several occasions asking what we could do to cancel our trip. They continued to send us to a customer service rep and refused to escalate to anyone higher. My son's neuro team wrote a summary of his illness and advised that because he was on a respirator there was no way we could leave town. In following up with them, they said they were sorry about my circumstances but there was nothing they could do. I never requested a refund, but merely wanted to be able to rebook the trip we had paid for ($22,000+) at a discount. They told us that would not be possible. My son died of complications from a brain tumor in October of 2014 and we were, and are, devastated.
Viking collected $22,000+, never spent a dime on us and refused to let us rebook at any discount. We recently sold our business and plan to do extensive cruising. Needless to say, it will not be with Viking. Several of our friends have cancelled their cruises as well in light of this company's total lack of compassion or empathy. Who tells a mother who is about to lose their son - sorry, nothing we can do? I think it's deplorable.