Cancellation of Cruise with Viking

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Feb 27, 2020
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We are two weeks away from a cruise with Viking that ends in Barcelona. I have to cancel my cruise and have two different medical conditions, however, I don't want to jump through hoops in filing a claim, so my question is, since we have coverage for pre-existing conditions and I have an auto immune disease which of course gives me concern with the Corona virus outbreak. I also have an appointment with my orthopedist since I started having problems walking with my second knee now which will limit me a lot with walking on the trip. I am due for knee replacement but have not scheduled my surgery because I was not having problems with my other knee and was hoping to do the trip. If anyone can guide me into what is the best way to cancel. We did book our cruise through American Express Travel and don't know whether it would be easier cancelling with them or with our Travel Insurance.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
We are two weeks away from a cruise with Viking that ends in Barcelona. I have to cancel my cruise and have two different medical conditions, however, I don't want to jump through hoops in filing a claim, so my question is, since we have coverage for pre-existing conditions and I have an auto immune disease which of course gives me concern with the Corona virus outbreak. I also have an appointment with my orthopedist since I started having problems walking with my second knee now which will limit me a lot with walking on the trip. I am due for knee replacement but have not scheduled my surgery because I was not having problems with my other knee and was hoping to do the trip. If anyone can guide me into what is the best way to cancel. We did book our cruise through American Express Travel and don't know whether it would be easier cancelling with them or with our Travel Insurance.
You will need to look at your policy to see if your reasons for canceling are covered by the policy. Fortunately, you have pre-existing condition coverage. You are to be commended for your foresight in purchasing this type of coverage.
Coronavirus will not be a covered reason unless the airlines stop flying to/from your destinations. If airlines stop providing service, that would lead to a refund of your airfare but might not lead to a refund on the cruise portion. The simplest would be to have your orthopedist certify that you cannot travel due to your knee issues. That reason should (emphasis on should, depending on your specific policy terms) permit cancellation coverage. Call AmEx and your travel insurer to find out the precise terms of your travel insurance coverage before you see your orthopedist so any certification from the doctor provides the necessary information to file a claim.
Re: Coronavirus and travel insurance:
 
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Neil Maley

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The insurance companies have the right to ask for medical records. If you don’t have doctor visits to the orthopedic doctor during all this time showing your condition has become worse since you bought insurance - the insurance company may not cover you even for pre-ex. I would speak to the doctor treating your auto immune disease as that’s a more legitimate reason to not travel because that doctor might legitimately be able to say not to travel.


The insurance companies are going to demand records to back up your claim. You may be jumping through hoops whether you like it or not.

You need to find out which policy is primary coverage.
 
Feb 27, 2020
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I definitely have medical records since I was at the same orthopedist in October for my right knee. Since I now started having problems with a knee that was previously OK, I went to my doctor yesterday and xrays were taken showing I now have arthritis in that other knee as well (bone on bone). Hard to travel with two bad knees. The cruise of course stops in different ports but we were adding a few days in Barcelona as well and it would be hard to walk much under these condition. There are all types of auto immune diseases, I have fibromyalgia which does enhance the body's sensitivity to pain.

Even having a medical reason to cancel concerns me that insurance companies really take their time in approving claims and should I be forced to take a trip feeling like this and having to limit activities, etc. ?
 
Feb 21, 2018
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PSpringer, any insurance company is going to perform due diligence to ensure that the claim is valid. Homeowner's will send inspectors and ask for lots of information if you file a claim, auto insurance requires photos and reports from mechanics and body shops - they must validate both the reason the claim is being made and then determine if the provisions of the policy permit payment of benefits.

The only way you can obtain coverage for a valid medical reason is to have a doctor complete whatever forms the insurance company requires, and attest to the reason why you cannot travel. Having arthritis isn't necessarily a deal-breaker to cruising - If your physician feels you can still travel (albeit with more limited range of motion), the insurance company may not consider it a valid claim. This is the type of information they need.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
PSpringer, any insurance company is going to perform due diligence to ensure that the claim is valid. Homeowner's will send inspectors and ask for lots of information if you file a claim, auto insurance requires photos and reports from mechanics and body shops - they must validate both the reason the claim is being made and then determine if the provisions of the policy permit payment of benefits.

The only way you can obtain coverage for a valid medical reason is to have a doctor complete whatever forms the insurance company requires, and attest to the reason why you cannot travel. Having arthritis isn't necessarily a deal-breaker to cruising - If your physician feels you can still travel (albeit with more limited range of motion), the insurance company may not consider it a valid claim. This is the type of information they need.
This is key. Your Doctor will have to state in the paperwork he advises you against traveling. It’s not just having medical records- the doctor has to fill out the paperwork properly and show that you can’t travel.

I’ve seen cases denied because a doctor would not state he told the consumer couldn’t travel.
 
Aug 17, 2017
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By now, you should have received an email (dated March 2nd) from Viking about COVID-19 and their temporarily loosened policy regarding cancellations.

Quoting from their email, they say:
In view of this we are for the time being making a temporary exception to our cancellation policy so that you can be free to postpone your cruise at any time up until 24 hours before the planned departure, without incurring any cancellation fees. You will be issued a voucher for future travel valid for 24 months, which can be used on any Viking product (river, ocean or expedition). This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all guests who currently have a reservation with Viking and for all new reservations made through April 30, 2020.

The temporary exception to our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • Notification of your intent to postpone your current cruise must be received as follows:
  • If you have flights arranged by Viking, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of your flight's departure.
    If you have arranged your own flights, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of embarkation of the cruise or your hotel check-in, whichever is first.
  • Cancelled reservations will be reimbursed in the form of a Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 100% of all funds paid to Viking.
  • Future Cruise Vouchers may be used toward any future river, ocean or expedition cruise with Viking and will be valid for 24 months from issuance.
If you have any questions, please contact your Travel Advisor or Viking at 1-833-900-0951, Monday through Friday, 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Saturday to Sunday, 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM, PT.

Hope this helps.
 
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