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Are extra vacation weeks or discounts available?

Nahanni

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Considering resale purchase but want to minimize MF commitment by getting EOY contract. With EOY we would use it and not need II for exchanges so does SVO have any other programs for owners to rent or get discounts on additional weeks (we will be restricted to school holidays for many years)?

Aside from annual MF's are there any other fees we should be aware of (e.g. Annual programming, resort use fees, housekeeping, etc)?

Thanks
 

LisaRex

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If you join II (which is included with a mandatory unit purchase), you'll have access to "II Getaways" which are very nicely priced ($200-500/week is the norm) weekly vacations in studio to 3 bdrm units.

If you want to go to Orlando just about anytime or the desert off-season, then Getaways can be a great bargain. I've seen Starwoods, Marriotts and Hiltons on Getaways.
 

jarta

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Considering resale purchase but want to minimize MF commitment by getting EOY contract. With EOY we would use it and not need II for exchanges so does SVO have any other programs for owners to rent or get discounts on additional weeks (we will be restricted to school holidays for many years)?

Aside from annual MF's are there any other fees we should be aware of (e.g. Annual programming, resort use fees, housekeeping, etc)?

Thanks

Nahanni, ... Buy at the resort you wish to visit most often in the (float) season or (fixed) week you want to be there. If you are restricted to school holidays, SVO (like other timeshare programs) has higher demand for non-school weeks.

For a resort where you own a fixed week, no trouble getting the fixed week. But, you usually have to call between 12-10 months of arrival to make the reservation. No call by 10 months and the fixed week turns into a float week. You will generally have 2 more months to reserve in season, but if the resort is all or heavily fixed weeks, you could have very limited availability because most of the reservation pool weeks will already be reserved as fixed weeks.

For a float week, you can call at a resort where you own at 12-8 months from arrival. Usually, if you call at exactly 9 am ET 12 months from arrival, you can find availability for any weeks but 51-52 and 7 (Presidents Week) at most SVO resorts. Maui, Harborside and WSJ are the notable exceptions. Even those owners have trouble reserving weeks 51-52 and 7 at exactly 12 months from arrival.

If you don't reserve a "voluntary" resale unit in your season, you cannot trade into another SVO resort after 8 months from arrival using Starwood's internal trading system, SVN.

If you buy a "mandatory" resale week, you can use Staroptions to trade anywhere (always based upon availability) in the SVO system beginning at 8 months from arrival. The MFs at "mandatory" resorts include a fee for both internal (SVN) and external (II) trading systems. "Mandatory" resorts command higher resale prices - partially because of this ability to make internal trades.

However, if you own a resale "voluntary" week and you pay for an II account and are willing to pay an additional fee to II for the reservation, you can have Starwood deposit a week (not really your exact week) in II and use II's external trading system. If you split a 2-br into 2 1-br deposits, you might even end up with 2 weeks at another Starwood resort. There is a Starwood preference period in II where only Starwood owners can see deposited Starwood weeks. However, you will be competing for leftover weeks (there are many Starwood depositors and relatively few prime Starwood II weeks; early bird catches the worm) and will have no preferences when arriving at the SVO resort. At check-in, you can say you are an owner and ask for a certain floor or building, but you most likely will be treated like any other II trader and be assigned at the bottom of the room totem pole.

As for rental programs for owners, the SVO resorts do not have a program for owners to rent a week (SPG's hotel program does rentals) and Starwood has no rental program where it will rent out your week for you.

As for discounts for additional weeks, no.

As for additional fees during a stay, usually no. But, additional fees are charged for for rollaway or crib rentals, kids clubs and additional room cleanings (you are entitled to a mid-week "tidy" which includes straightening up and replacing what housekeeping thinks you are running out of; no fresh sheets). Internet access is extra at Harborside. Valet parking is extra if you use it. Also, Hawaii has a daily State occupancy tax that is charged to everyone. Prices for cabanas, equipment rental and food and drink at restaurants and onsite convenience stores are not cheap at SVO resorts.

Occasionally, there have been special assessments for renovations. But the high Starwood MFs already include a yearly amount for a reserve fund for renovations. Salty
 

DeniseM

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Please tell us what your goals are for this timeshare, and we can provide more specific advice.

-where do you want to travel most of the time?
-how many in your party?
-what size unit do you need to be comfortable?
-how much can you afford to spend upfront without financing?
-how much can you afford to spend on a yearly maintenance fee that comes due right after Christmas?

Are you saying that you only plan to travel every other year? Or are you saying that you want to figure out how to use an EOY timeshare every year?

Clarification: TRUE fixed weeks do not have to be reserved, and do not convert to floating weeks. Verifying exactly what type of week you are buying is critical.

Roll-away beds, cribs, etc. are complimentary at most Starwood resorts.

Some locations charge a local accommodations tax at check-out - for instance in Hawaii, it ranges from $6 - $13 per day, depending on the size of the unit.

Most timeshares do not include daily housekeeping - most Starwood resorts only provide a mid-week tidy. You can arrange daily maid service for a fee, directly with the resort.

I recommend that you read the FAQ at the top of the forum, if you haven't already done so.
 

jarta

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"Clarification: TRUE fixed weeks do not have to be reserved, and do not convert to floating weeks"

Really????

From mystarcentral, Fixed Week, How to Reserve at Your Home Resort:

"If you wish to use your Fixed Week at your Home Resort, you must confirm your reservation between 12 and 10* months prior to your Fixed Week check-in date. At 10* months prior to your Fixed Week check-in date, if you have not confirmed the reservation with Owner Services, it will be automatically cancelled. If the reservation is cancelled, you can still request reservations for an available Floating Week within your season and villa type at your Home Resort ten (10) to eight (8) months in advance of your requested arrival date, on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability." Salty
 

srjth

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For a float week, you can call at a resort where you own at 12-8 months from arrival. Usually, if you call at exactly 9 am ET 12 months from arrival, you can find availability for any weeks but 51-52 and 7 (Presidents Week) at most SVO resorts. Maui, Harborside and WSJ are the notable exceptions. Even those owners have trouble reserving weeks 51-52 and 7 at exactly 12 months from arrival.

Any idea why the bolded is true? (I am new and trying to learn all I can)
 

pharmgirl

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we are interested in st john but most resales we see are for fixed weeks, are any available as floating weeks in winter - jane, feb,march?
 

pharmgirl

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we are interested in st john but most resales we see are for fixed weeks, are any available as floating weeks in winter - jane, feb,march?
 

clsmit

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Some parts of WSJ have floating weeks (the newer section?) but many are fixed unit and fixed week. It is hard, but not impossible, to move a fixed week.
 

DeniseM

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"Clarification: TRUE fixed weeks do not have to be reserved, and do not convert to floating weeks"

Really????

From mystarcentral, Fixed Week, How to Reserve at Your Home Resort:

"If you wish to use your Fixed Week at your Home Resort, you must confirm your reservation between 12 and 10* months prior to your Fixed Week check-in date. At 10* months prior to your Fixed Week check-in date, if you have not confirmed the reservation with Owner Services, it will be automatically cancelled. If the reservation is cancelled, you can still request reservations for an available Floating Week within your season and villa type at your Home Resort ten (10) to eight (8) months in advance of your requested arrival date, on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability." Salty

Yes - really. I own a true fixed week at SVR - they automatically send me a confirmation every year - 2 years out. I have never reserved it. This week cannot be converted to a floating week - it can only be used during the one week I own. It is not a fixed/float week - it is a true fixed week.
 

jarta

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DeniseM, ... "I have never reserved it."

I suppose that's so. If you call and deposit the week in II it doesn't matter that you don't call to confirm at 12-10 months, does it? Depositing in II is done by calling and canceling the reservation for the fixed week - but getting the fixed week trading power.

Try not calling or depositing in II and watch what happens. ... eom
 

YYJMSP

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From mystarcentral, Fixed Week, How to Reserve at Your Home Resort:

"If you wish to use your Fixed Week at your Home Resort, you must confirm your reservation between 12 and 10* months prior to your Fixed Week check-in date. At 10* months prior to your Fixed Week check-in date, if you have not confirmed the reservation with Owner Services, it will be automatically cancelled. If the reservation is cancelled, you can still request reservations for an available Floating Week within your season and villa type at your Home Resort ten (10) to eight (8) months in advance of your requested arrival date, on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability." Salty

That description would be the behaviour for a fixed/float week, correct? I have 3 of these at SVR, and they all act this way.

Denise, your week is really fixed, as in you can't use it at any other time at all? I assume it's not in SVN...
 

bankr63

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DeniseM, ... "I have never reserved it."

I suppose that's so. If you call and deposit the week in II it doesn't matter that you don't call to confirm at 12-10 months, does it? Depositing in II is done by calling and canceling the reservation for the fixed week - but getting the fixed week trading power.

Try not calling or depositing in II and watch what happens. ... eom

She's right. I also have a true fixed week. We don't have to do anything to use, I already see my confirmations two years out on mystarcentral. Just show up at the resort on the correct day and you're in (we generally use our week). I always call a few weeks in advance to confirm, but have been told I don't even need to do that.
 

VacationForever

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I have SVR Fixed/Float and the week is reserved automatically 2 years before and if I don't call to confirm, it gets released by SVR exactly 2 weeks before the fixed week date. It then becomes float. If I call in advance to cancel then it gets released immediately as a float week. I cannot deposit my week into II, change to any week or use it as SO for booking elsewhere until I call to release the reserved fixed week.
 

YYJMSP

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I have SVR Fixed/Float and the week is reserved automatically 2 years before and if I don't call to confirm, it gets released by SVR exactly 2 weeks before the fixed week date. It then becomes float. If I call in advance to cancel then it gets released immediately as a float week. I cannot deposit my week into II, change to any week or use it as SO for booking elsewhere until I call to release the reserved fixed week.

On MSC, if I put the mouse over top of the "Status: Unconfirmed - Action Required" warning on one of my unconfirmed fixed/float automatic reservations (arriving Fri Dec 20th 2013), it says:

"This reservation is automatically booked each year. You must confirm it before Saturday, April 20th, 2013 to avoid cancellation".

So that appears to be 8 months out, not 2 weeks...
 

VacationForever

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On MSC, if I put the mouse over top of the "Status: Unconfirmed - Action Required" warning on one of my unconfirmed fixed/float automatic reservations (arriving Fri Dec 20th 2013), it says:

"This reservation is automatically booked each year. You must confirm it before Saturday, April 20th, 2013 to avoid cancellation".

So that appears to be 8 months out, not 2 weeks...

It makes alot of sense in terms of treatment of non-SVN vs. SVN weeks. I have never seen that status, I think it's a newly added feature.

Before my SVR Fixed/Float joined SVN, it was released 2 weeks before the deeded fixed week. After that week joined SVN, I have simply called to release the week to free up the SOs and had not occurred to me that the system would automatically release 8 months before.
 

jarta

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She's right. I also have a true fixed week. We don't have to do anything to use, I already see my confirmations two years out on mystarcentral. Just show up at the resort on the correct day and you're in (we generally use our week). I always call a few weeks in advance to confirm, but have been told I don't even need to do that.

I think that procedure worked at Courts (where you own) prior to it joining SVN. I don't think that procedure is valid anymore.

From mystarcentral, asterisked at the bottom of reserving a fixed week:

"*Sheraton Vistana Resort Courts, Falls, Springs, Palms and Spas Owners' Fixed Week and Fixed Unit are automatically booked and must be confirmed by calling Owner Services 12 to 8 months in advance or the vacation period is automatically released to the floating pool. Sheraton Vistana Resort Falls and Springs Owners may float their week 8 months or less before their desired arrival date."

For those who own in those sections at SVR (only) it's not 12-10 months. It's call to confirm at 12-8 months or the fixed week is released to the float pool. Salty
 

VacationForever

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I think that procedure worked at Courts (where you own) prior to it joining SVN. I don't think that procedure is valid anymore.

From mystarcentral, asterisked at the bottom of reserving a fixed week:

"*Sheraton Vistana Resort Courts, Falls, Springs, Palms and Spas Owners' Fixed Week and Fixed Unit are automatically booked and must be confirmed by calling Owner Services 12 to 8 months in advance or the vacation period is automatically released to the floating pool. Sheraton Vistana Resort Falls and Springs Owners may float their week 8 months or less before their desired arrival date."

For those who own in those sections at SVR (only) it's not 12-10 months. It's call to confirm at 12-8 months or the fixed week is released to the float pool. Salty

Jim, since you are reading up on this, can you please check out SVR Lakes for me? Thanks, :) SP
 

jarta

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Jim, since you are reading up on this, can you please check out SVR Lakes for me? Thanks, :) SP

So much BS is posted on TUG about how to use Starwood weeks for home resort reservations. TUG members are generally very expert at II trading. But, II trading is quite different than making home resort reservations to stay at the resort using the resort manager, Starwood.

All I am posting is what Starwood says on mystarcentral about home resort fixed week usage and procedure - and it differs drastically from what has been posted in this thread.

Who knows more about home resort reservations at Starwood resorts: Starwood who manages the reservation process at the resorts or those who buy - not to reserve rooms there through Starwood - but to reserve rooms through II? Salty
 

VacationForever

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So much BS is posted on TUG about how to use Starwood weeks for home resort reservations. TUG members are generally very expert at II trading. But, II trading is quite different than making home resort reservations to stay at the resort using the resort manager, Starwood.

All I am posting is what Starwood says on mystarcentral about home resort fixed week usage and procedure - and it differs drastically from what has been posted in this thread.

Who knows more about home resort reservations at Starwood resorts: Starwood who manages the reservation process at the resorts or those who buy - not to reserve rooms there through Starwood - but to reserve rooms through II? Salty

Do you really have a point? :)

I think the issue is that Starwood is not consistent in how fixed and fixed/float weeks work. It varies by resorts and in the case of SVR, even worse, by phases.
 

Nahanni

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Please tell us what your goals are for this timeshare, and we can provide more specific advice.
We own DVC and considering adding a timeshare week to make a 2 week vacation. Expect to vacation in Orlando every year or EOY for the next 10 years. Looking to be able to book other cash vacations at discount (through a timeshare system-SVN, Marriott, Wyndham or exchange networks-II/RCI)

-where do you want to travel most of the time? Orlando is primary with other US locations
-how many in your party? 6 (4 in our family with parents/inlaws tagging along)
-what size unit do you need to be comfortable? 2BR
-how much can you afford to spend upfront without financing? Although we can afford to buy, realistically we probably won't do this unless its minimal cost.
-how much can you afford to spend on a yearly maintenance fee that comes due right after Christmas? $1000-$1200 is the amount we would spend on discretionary week. Although we have spent $2000+ or a week it was without an annual commitment.

Are you saying that you only plan to travel every other year? Or are you saying that you want to figure out how to use an EOY timeshare every year?
We will travel every year but only want to have an EOY timeshare that we will use (will not try to trade to turn EOY into annual). Would like to pay cash in alternate years but want to get into a system that will likely have summer availability at discounted rates (e.g. $1000-$1200 per week).

Clarification: TRUE fixed weeks do not have to be reserved, and do not convert to floating weeks. Verifying exactly what type of week you are buying is critical.

Roll-away beds, cribs, etc. are complimentary at most Starwood resorts.

Some locations charge a local accommodations tax at check-out - for instance in Hawaii, it ranges from $6 - $13 per day, depending on the size of the unit.

Most timeshares do not include daily housekeeping - most Starwood resorts only provide a mid-week tidy. You can arrange daily maid service for a fee, directly with the resort.

I recommend that you read the FAQ at the top of the forum, if you haven't already done so.

Thanks to everyone for their comments. Denise's questions really help make us think about what we are looking for. For SVO, it sounds like we will need a mandatory resort (SVV Blla/Key West) or buy annual II membership. Will the II fees make it worth buying their II Getaways or are we better off renting (No offence to renters but we're more comfotrable dealing with management companies, etc).
 

jerseygirl

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I definitely do not have to confirm my non-SVN fixed weeks by any prescribed date.

I suspect it's more SVN vs non-SVN with the older, truly fixed weeks.
 

LisaRex

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Thanks to everyone for their comments. Denise's questions really help make us think about what we are looking for. For SVO, it sounds like we will need a mandatory resort (SVV Blla/Key West) or buy annual II membership. Will the II fees make it worth buying their II Getaways or are we better off renting (No offence to renters but we're more comfotrable dealing with management companies, etc).

I like the idea of buying at SVV Bella or Key West, especially if you can find a 2 bdrm lockoff. EOY is even better. It's a reasonable amount of money to spend ($3k or less, I believe), it comes with 95,700 SOs, and you'll be allowed to play in II. Yes, MFs are pretty high compared to other Orlando properties, but it'll give you the Starwood priority in II.

Getaways can be a great bargain if you're persistent and most especially if you can travel off-season.
 

jarta

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I definitely do not have to confirm my non-SVN fixed weeks by any prescribed date.

I suspect it's more SVN vs non-SVN with the older, truly fixed weeks.

Correct. SVN weeks and non-SVN weeks are subject to different reservation procedures. The SVN procedures I quoted are posted on mystarcentral. The non-SVN procedures are found in the various documents recorded against the resort property.

Perhaps that's why the posts here are like two ships passing in the night. Salty
 

jarta

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And, I'll accept the blame for the confusion present here. Salty
 
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