“My riverboat vacation turned into a nightmare”

Gennaro Ottomanelli and his wife were left left high and dry when his riverboat cruise was canceled at the last minute. His AAA travel agent offered two choices: Either cancel his vacation or go on the substitute bus tour. He decided to stay home, hoping to get a refund.

He didn’t.
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The Vikings are real on this riverboat

Question: My husband and I are taking a Viking River Cruise down the Seine this summer. We are redeeming frequent flier miles for the flight for a surprise 70th birthday present for my husband, and since he loves World War II history.

We planned to fly into Paris early. But now Viking is saying that we must arrive on the day the tour begins, as they are meeting us in the baggage area. We are terribly upset that they are refusing not only to take us the two plus hours to the starting point for the cruise, but they have ignored over and over again attempts to communicate through our travel agent. We would appreciate any help you can give us. — Michelle Rothstein, Furlong, Pa.

Answer: Viking River Cruises seems like it’s being needlessly rigid. So I asked Joost Ouendag, the company’s vice president of marketing, why they weren’t accommodating your requests. “We do not, as a rule, allow diversions from our scheduled itineraries,” he told me. “This is not the result of an inflexible approach on our side, but rather an inescapable reality of organized group travel.”
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