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Anyone Cancelling a WSJ 3-Bed Pool Premium at the End of June? (Or Later?)

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We're multiple-week, multiple-unit, high-season owners at Harborside Atlantis and normally would be there right now, but had to cancel at the last minute due to doctor's orders not to travel (flying or being away from the hospital here). We tried booking a week at the end of June (23-30), in hopes to be able to go by then, but it was completely booked up already. So, we're looking into exchanging some points into a week at Westin St. John (the only other Starwood/Interval place in the Caribbean we'd be interested in staying at). Since I'm inviting an extended family member who works at a public school, we can't go until June 22/23.

Is anyone here thinking of cancelling their Westin St. John 3-Bedroom Pool (Hillside) Premum (Phase II, with two bathrooms upstairs) unit for this week (June 22/23/24)? We would be eternally grateful to work out with someone their cancelling so we can book it, as we REALLY need a vacation this year after the past five or so months of doctor's visits, hospital stays (the last one being released on Christmas Eve after ten days there), and multiple surgeries and procedures - it has been a complicated case with multiple conditions on a person who has been healthy up until now! It isn't finished yet, but we're hoping we're very close to figuring out the right treatment.

We want the pool villa because we need three bedrooms and so that we (especially the one with medical complications, which have limited the body's energy) can rest in privacy when needed, as well as swim/wade in private (also due to the effects of the medical conditions/medications on the body).

If you have a week later in the summer that you're cancelling (3-Bed Pool Villa only), I'd be up for hearing about it, but can't guarantee it will work for us due to having to care for an elderly family member without the help of other family members since they will be away for three week in July. Life is complicated sometimes! :p

The lady at Starwood said there is a six-day availability that week, but it can't be booked until three months before, but since I'd prefer seven days for all I want to do there on the islands (never been to St. John, only been to St. Thomas twice on cruises), I figured I'd see if any of you are cancelling. I've spent the last two days researching Westin St. John and the islands of St. Thomas and St. John and would be ecstatic to get to go, especially for the National Park and its beaches. (I'm a photographer, so it would definitely help me out, too!)

Thank you!

P.S. The lady on the phone at Starwood said there are only "3-Bedroom" units and you can't pick if they are the ones with the private pools vs. the ones with the balconies - that doesn't sound right to me! Can anyone confirm how to make sure you get a pool villa?

P.P.S. Thanks for this site of really great information/resources! We've never exchanged our timeshares before (we love Harborside Atlantis and Nassau/Cable Beach -might buy a condo [non-timeshare] there sometime soon), so the info. in the stickies in this forum were very helpful!
 

DeniseM

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Hi and welcome to TUG! :hi:

I'm sorry, but there is really no way to do what you are suggesting. Starwood allows Elite Owners to waitlist, and if there are any requests in for this week - they will go to the waitlist first. Even if there is no waitlist, there is not way to transfer the Resv. from one owner to another.

***It sounds like you are an Elite Owner - why don't you waitlist yourself?

My suggestion is that you broaden your dates and resorts if you hope to have any chance of success. Good luck!
 
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(Grr, I had a whole response typed out and lost it! Here goes round two!)

Thanks for the welcome! :)

I didn't mean to transfer an existing reservation, but that if there is a cancellation, then there would be an opening for us to book. (We'll still try calling often and, if not, try booking the six-day once three months before comes. I just figured it would save time to see if anyone was planning on/thinking of cancelling and then they could tell me when they cancel so I can call and grab the newly-available villa.)

I wasn't the one who spoke on the phone with Starwood, but I don't think they offered to put us on a waitlist. Perhaps because we are already waitlisted for Harborside that same week? (We did that before we decided to look into exchanging for another resort.) I'll look into the waitlist the next time we call.

Yes, we're Elite, I think five-star (looking at the privileges chart, I believe we get all those things - we've done late check-out before and we are Starwood Platinum from the purchases of the timeshares, which also came with a bunch of hotel points - those came in handy on many trips to other places, including my trips to Vegas and Puerto Rico).

I would be fine with expanding to dates later in the summer (before school begins again for my cousin who works as a one-on-one aide for special needs students, as I really would love for her to come). Currently, the one with the health issues doesn't want to go later in the summer, I'm not sure why (beyond the three weeks in July someone needs to be here for the ninety-five-year-old since other family members will be away then). Hopefully I can "win" that issue. ;) Normally, I would be fine going without that person, but not this year - a trip is much-needed!

St. John is the only island that holds my interest right now, though I did look at info. on the Marriot on St. Thomas that is part of Interval. Since we've never exchanged timeshares before, we don't know if it is worth it to go through Interval.

Thanks for your help and suggestions! I'll see about getting us on the waitlist. But, do you know if there is a distinct selection for the 3-Bed Pool vs. 3-Bed with just balconies? The lady said there isn't, but that doesn't sound right to me.
 

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I think the guide was incorrect as it relates to summer weeks. If you book weeks 21-33 (actually 21- 42) in a 3-BR and it's 104100 SOs, you've booked a pool villa. if you need 125000 SOs, then it's a Bay Vista unit.

The guide would be correct if you were booking in platinum plus season - both are 196900 SOs, so you wouldn't be guaranteed one phase over the other. But, where summer is concerned, Starwood recognized the higher demand with the Bay Vista phase.
 

DeniseM

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To waitlist, you must have the Staroptions available - if all of your Staroptions are tied up with reservations, or waitlisted, then you can't waitlist.

In my opinion, it would be a poor value for you to deposit your timeshare with II, because there are zero guarantees that you can get a trade, and that's a very expensive resort to use for a trader. It's like depositing a Mercedes in a pool of Chevys. There are very few deposits that would be equal in value to your deposit, and it's late to request a prime trade through II.

It is especially difficult to trade for Marriott, because Marriott owners have priority for all Marriott deposits in II. (For the first 30 days, only Marriott owners can exchange for Marriott.)

My suggestion is that your simply rent from another owner at WSJ, and rent out a week at Harborside Atlantis yourself, to cover the cost.

That way you can 1) reserve exactly the unit you want at WSJ, 2) cover the costs with another unit that you own.
 
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Jerseygirl - Interesting on the point difference issue. I thought they were the same, but just re-looked at the chart thanks to your post and realized the week numbers differ between the two! That detail completely slipped by me, as I just assumed the weeks would be the same. Thanks for pointing that out!!

I guess the view still rules, even over a private pool. I do love views, but have always wanted to stay in a room with a private pool (have seen them in travel magazines) and now have a good excuse to do so. (The views that the units at the Marriot on St. Thomas have were very attractive! I love hilly islands - St. Kitts is my favorite of the ones I've been to.)

Thanks again! I'll definitely check on the point amount to tell which 3-bedroom it is if/when we can book this place!
 
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To waitlist, you must have the Staroptions available - if all of your Staroptions are tied up with reservations, or waitlisted, then you can't waitlist.

I didn't know that, so thanks for the info.! We have plenty of points, though, so that shouldn't be an issue.

In my opinion, it would be a poor value for you to deposit your timeshare with II, because there are zero guarantees that you can get a trade, and that's a very expensive resort to use for a trader. It's like depositing a Mercedes in a pool of Chevys. There are very few deposits that would be equal in value to your deposit, and it's late to request a prime trade through II.

It is especially difficult to trade for Marriott, because Marriott owners have priority for all Marriott deposits in II. (For the first 30 days, only Marriott owners can exchange for Marriott.)

GREAT info.!! Thanks! I knew it would be dumb to trade for a cruise, but wasn't sure about land resorts. I'm glad to now know it wouldn't be worth it.

My suggestion is that your simply rent from another owner at WSJ, and rent out a week at Harborside Atlantis yourself, to cover the cost.

That way you can 1) reserve exactly the unit you want at WSJ, 2) cover the costs with another unit that you own.

I have looked at a site that lists such things and didn't find one for that week. We've never rented out a timeshare before (only gave away two weeks at a non-Starwood resort the family has had for a long time - we haven't been there in many, years so have given it to family and friends who otherwise can't afford a vacation, as it is in the next state over so they can drive to it). Not sure if it is something we want to do. We shall see!
 

DeniseM

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Maybe renting isn't for you - I was just suggesting some other options, and a way to cover the cost. You can simply use the Staroptions for another Resv., or roll them over to 2013, if that is a better option for you.

There are 4 Pool Villas listed on Redweek that are very close to your dates:

6/30 (2) - 7/1 - 7/6

What you are trying to do is difficult - without waitlisting, I don't think you have much of a chance to get a 3 bdm. for your exact dates. Even if someone else releases it - someone on the waitlist will get it first.

Renting from another owner is your best bet.

Waitlisting is your 2nd best option.
 
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LisaRex

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You might try doing an exact exchange via Tug. When I listed HRA as an exchange possibility I got tons of interest. Everyone loves HRA. You can be creative, for example offering up your January 2013 week at HRA in exchange for a June 2013 week at WSJ.

Another possibility is to book an available week at your home resort and then rent it out on Redweek. Then use that cash as seed money to turn around and rent a 3 bdrm at WSJ.

The final creative solution would be to offer to WSJ 3 bdrm owners the option of giving up their June week to you, and in exchange you'll use your SOs to book a week in SVN on their behalf. The downside to this is that SVO doesn't give WSJ owners adequate SOs for their units (IMO), so you'd might have to sweeten the pot, for instance offering up 196,000 SOs so that they can get a 3 bdrm HRA unit in platinum season. Or something like that. That way, you bypass them depositing their unit into SVN, which would preclude you from snagging it.
 

DeniseM

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LisaRex as some excellent ideas, but just so you know, any type of trades or swaps must be done in the TUG Marketplace, which requires a modest $15 membership. We don't permit any type of buying/selling/renting/trading in the discussion forums. Thanks! :hi:
 
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Maybe renting isn't for you - I was just suggesting some other options, and a way to cover the cost. You can simply use the Staroptions for another Resv., or roll them over to 2013, if that is a better option for you.

There are 4 Pool Villas listed on Redweek that are very close to your dates:

6/30 (2) - 7/1 - 7/6

What you are trying to do is difficult - without waitlisting, I don't think you have much of a chance to get a 3 bdm. for your exact dates. Even if someone else releases it - someone on the waitlist will get it first.

Renting from another owner is your best bet.

Waitlisting is your 2nd best option.

I learned that the Starwood phone person told us that they don't have a waitlist! Crazy. Hopefully we'll get a better person on the phone next time. The one from a few days before that (before we decided to look into exchanging) was very helpful, explained how the exchanges work, and offered to waitlist us (for Harborside).

I had looked at Redweek, but didn't join the site, so couldn't see the weeks listed. Thanks for the info. on the weeks there!
 
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You might try doing an exact exchange via Tug. When I listed HRA as an exchange possibility I got tons of interest. Everyone loves HRA. You can be creative, for example offering up your January 2013 week at HRA in exchange for a June 2013 week at WSJ.

Another possibility is to book an available week at your home resort and then rent it out on Redweek. Then use that cash as seed money to turn around and rent a 3 bdrm at WSJ.

The final creative solution would be to offer to WSJ 3 bdrm owners the option of giving up their June week to you, and in exchange you'll use your SOs to book a week in SVN on their behalf. The downside to this is that SVO doesn't give WSJ owners adequate SOs for their units (IMO), so you'd might have to sweeten the pot, for instance offering up 196,000 SOs so that they can get a 3 bdrm HRA unit in platinum season. Or something like that. That way, you bypass them depositing their unit into SVN, which would preclude you from snagging it.

Thanks, I'll look into those options. I got a bit confused in the last paragraph, but I'll try reading it again later after I've had some more sleep. ;)
 
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LisaRex as some excellent ideas, but just so you know, any type of trades or swaps must be done in the TUG Marketplace, which requires a modest $15 membership. We don't permit any type of buying/selling/renting/trading in the discussion forums. Thanks! :hi:

I understand and it makes sense. Thanks for the reminder! :)
 

DeniseM

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I learned that the Starwood phone person told us that they don't have a waitlist! Crazy. Hopefully we'll get a better person on the phone next time. The one from a few days before that (before we decided to look into exchanging) was very helpful, explained how the exchanges work, and offered to waitlist us (for Harborside).

I had looked at Redweek, but didn't join the site, so couldn't see the weeks listed. Thanks for the info. on the weeks there!

One thing that happens is that when they get to a certain number on the waitlist they cut it off, so the waitlist may already be full.
 
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One thing that happens is that when they get to a certain number on the waitlist they cut it off, so the waitlist may already be full.

Could be, but he said that they don't really do waitlists and the lady who offered to put us on the Harborside waitlist was doing us some huge favor. :shrug: Whatever. Hopefully we'll get someone different on the phone next time! Didn't get the chance to call today.
 

DeniseM

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Could be, but he said that they don't really do waitlists and the lady who offered to put us on the Harborside waitlist was doing us some huge favor. :shrug: Whatever. Hopefully we'll get someone different on the phone next time! Didn't get the chance to call today.

Are you calling the Elite Owner's Line?
 

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The wait list is only for 4 and 5 Star Elites. IIRR, only 8 people per resort can be on the wait list. I find it ineffective.

It's easier to just call persistently while keeping the StarOptions available.

However, even if you already have spent the StarOptions and have a reservation, canceling and rebooking takes no more than 2 minutes (sometimes less, depending on the Elite agent) - but the agent cannot hold the new unit before the cancellation of the old unit is made. The agent must leave the search page, go to the reservation page, nuke the existing reservation so that the StarOptions become available and reenter the search page to search again and make the reservation.

One time this did not work for me. I found a WSJ and killed a HBR reservation. The WSJ was not there by the time the agent returned so I rebooked the then available HBR week. I guess it is possible to miss out on both weeks - but I assume it would be very rare to have that happen. ... eom
 
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Are you calling the Elite Owner's Line?

I think so, but plan on double-checking that. I think we call the number on the back of the membership card - maybe that isn't the right number? I'll check out the Starwood site for the numbers, or print-outs of past confirmations from our file.
 

DeniseM

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Elite Services - 888 786 3548
 
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The wait list is only for 4 and 5 Star Elites. IIRR, only 8 people per resort can be on the wait list. I find it ineffective.

I believe we're 5-star. Eight people per resort is not a lot, though! We're currently on a waitlist for Harborside (our home resort) for that week.

It's easier to just call persistently while keeping the StarOptions available.

We plan on doing that, too. It is hard to do it every single day, though.

However, even if you already have spent the StarOptions and have a reservation, canceling and rebooking takes no more than 2 minutes (sometimes less, depending on the Elite agent) - but the agent cannot hold the new unit before the cancellation of the old unit is made. The agent must leave the search page, go to the reservation page, nuke the existing reservation so that the StarOptions become available and reenter the search page to search again and make the reservation.

We don't have any reservations (except for one in current use this week by an immediate family member who decided to go on the trip without us...), so have nothing to cancel and lots of points to use for this year still. That's too bad they can't do a fifteen-minute hold, though - they should make that an Elite perk!

One time this did not work for me. I found a WSJ and killed a HBR reservation. The WSJ was not there by the time the agent returned so I rebooked the then available HBR week. I guess it is possible to miss out on both weeks - but I assume it would be very rare to have that happen. ... eom

That stinks! Glad you got your Harborside reservation back, though! We had called to reserve Harborside for this June week and they didn't have a three-bedroom available, but had a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom (not necessarily near each other, hence not a three-bedroom lock-off), so we were going to book that. But, Starwood's computers went down during the call. Then they came back up, but then went back down again, so we were told to call back. When we called back, the units were gone. That's when we were put on the waitlist. Ce la vie!
 
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Elite Services - 888 786 3548

Awesome, thanks! You saved me some time. :) I must say, the people on this forum are a lot nicer than other travel forums I've been on. :cheer:

ETA: I just checked and that is indeed the number we called.
 
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DeniseM

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Starwood's reservation system is archaic and one of the major frustrations of being a Starwood owner.
 
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Yeah, and a lot of other companies still use archaic computer systems, too. And not every employee knows how to do everything on them. I get that at the vet, my airline, and other places.
 

DeniseM

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Yeah, and a lot of other companies still use archaic computer systems, too. And not every employee knows how to do everything on them. I get that at the vet, my airline, and other places.

True, but in the TS industry, Starwood is far behind the other major players.
 
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Ah, interesting! The only other timeshare we have (besides all the weeks at Harborside) is a little place that manages them itself and you can't exchange unless you purchased the option to join RCI (which we didn't do).

Well, we finally got a competent person at Starwood today! Even though we want a three-bedroom at WSJ, they waitlisted us for that as well as for a two-bedroom and one-bedroom - more chances to get to go there (though I'm not sure we'd go that way). So, I guess we're on four waitlists now, LOL! Something should open between all of those (and I hope it is a WSJ three-bedroom pool unit)!

We were also given interesting info. about last-minute cancellations at Harborside, which I will post in a new thread.
 
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