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Count Down to Spain Cruise with HGVC

pianodinosaur

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We will be leaving for Spain towards the end of February for a Spain, Canary Island, Casablanca cruise on Brilliance of the Seas. My wife wanted me to bring her mother and sister while her mother is still healthy enough to travel. So I moved around my HGVC points and took out two inside cabins. We will spend the day prior to the cruise at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Hotel and the day after the cruise at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Hotel. These were reserved by HHonors redemptions. The last time my wife and cruised together was in January 2006 booking a Princess cruise with HGVC points.

It is not clear to me if I have saved money by timesharing or not. However, I never would have taken the time off to simply enjoy life without timesharing.
 

dougp26364

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Having use HGVC points twice for cruises, I can tell you the financially it's not the best deal but, considering the exchange option through I.I. or even the cruise exchange DRI resorts offer using their points, it's a decent offer. The discount has usually been close to what my MF's for those years has been less the expense of admin. fee's.

We'll be doing something similar in October of this year, sailing on Voyager of the Sea's on a 7 night cruise. We have previously sailed on Brilliance doing a 12 night W. Med cruise the visited Venice, Italy. It was probably the best cruise we've been on save for the ending, which was interupted by a Spanish fisherman's strike (very long story).

Like you we didn't vacation until we started buying timeshares. Now we take a weeks vacation every other month. It's not the least expensive way to travel but it has been the most comfortable way to travel and, we've gone to places we'd never have thought of visiting, just because there are timeshares there and we have a big catalog we can use for shopping. Next month we're off to Newport Coast, CA. After that we'll be in Boston, MA and then it's on to Breckenridge, CO. In years past, we'd have just stayed home, if we even took a week off at all.

If you're interested, here are some photo's of Brilliance of the Sea's from our previous Med. Cruise. At the time we were in an E1 balcony cabin by the elevators. She is truely a beautiful ship. Just click on the picture and it should take you directly to that Webshots album.

 
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natarajanv

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Hi Pianodianosaur,
Could you please share the # HGVC points used, length of the cruise, etc, etc to book 2 inside cabins. I am planning to do the same by the end of this year, the HGVC guide only talks about points for oceanview staterooms like 12000 ponts for 7 day cruise in oceanview stateroom. Atleast we can see what is the difference in # points between them.

Thanks
 

pianodinosaur

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The number of points required depends upon the individual cruise and what kind of room you are booking. If you visit the HGVC website you can readily access the numerous cruises that are available for you pleasure and how many points they cost per person. You click on My Club and then Club Partner Perks. This will take you to the crusies.
 

natarajanv

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Thanks pianodinasaur. I will wait until my purchase go through and get the online membeship account to check it out.
 

alwysonvac

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I will wait until my purchase go through and get the online membeship account to check it out.
You don't have to wait. Here's the link - http://hgvcp.cruisesonly.com/

For example using the link, here's what I found for Royal Caribbean's Brillance of the Seas.

10 Night Canary Islands & Morocco starting from 11,990
Ship Name: Brilliance of the Seas
Sailing Date(s): Feb 2009, Mar 2009, Apr 2009, May 2009
Ports of Call: Departs From Barcelona, Spain visiting Malaga, Spain; Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Casablanca, Morocco; Cadiz (Seville), Spain
Staterooms & ClubPoints (starting from): Interior 11,990 / Oceanview 13,490 / Balcony 16,490 / Suite 29,990
Prices listed are per person, in ClubPoints, cruise only, based on double occupancy.
Additional Passengers (third or fourth passenger in the same stateroom) from $599 for select dates and staterooms

Your Package Includes:
Your package includes shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation, fabulous entertainment and daily activities, on-board meals and some beverages, port charges and more. It does not include shore excursions, personal expenses, gratuities, or alcoholic beverages. Government fees and taxes are not included and can be as much as $300 per person, depending on the length of your cruise. Price does not include a non-refundable $19.99 processing fee.


NOTE: The CruisesOnly link above also provides an option to search based on cash - see in the upper right hand corner "PREFER NOT TO SPEND CLUBPOINTS ON YOUR CRUISE?" and select "See retail cruises"

Here's the cash prices for the same cruise:
10 Night Canary Islands & Morocco from $1,199
Staterooms & Prices (starting from): Interior $1,199 / Oceanview $1,349 / Balcony $1,649 / Suite $2,999
 
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natarajanv

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Thanks a lot alwysonvac. That is exactly what I was looking for....
 

Blues

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So they're valuing the HGVC points at 10 cents? My MFs are higher than that. Not to mention the cost of buying the unit(s) in the first place.

I guess it's true what they say -- not a good use of points, unless you have leftover points that would go unused anyway. Thanks much for the information.

-Bob
 

PigsDad

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So they're valuing the HGVC points at 10 cents? My MFs are higher than that. Not to mention the cost of buying the unit(s) in the first place.
And that was retail price of the cruise. I'm sure you could get a much better price other places.

Kurt
 

pianodinosaur

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My favorite place to look for discount cruises without spending points is at Vacations To Go. We have used them for train tours as well.

http://www.vacationstogo.com/?source=wpostLR30

I do not view my timeshares as a good financial investment. I view my timeshares as a way to force me to enjoy life every now and then. Hilton has delivered everything they said it would. On the otherhand, had I known about the resale market prior to my purchases, then it might have been a fantastic financial investment. Then again, without people like me who purchased direct from the developer, the resale market would not exist.
 

capjak

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I looked at some of the other options at actually didn't look too bad.

7000 points for a 7 night RCL or Carnival cruise eastern/western Carribean. Cruisesonly is a discount cruise site and have good prices. I paid 650 per person for a similar cruise with a discount ($1300 versus Maint. Fee)
 

alwysonvac

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JMHO

I looked at some of the other options at actually didn't look too bad.

7000 points for a 7 night RCL or Carnival cruise eastern/western Carribean. Cruisesonly is a discount cruise site and have good prices. I paid 650 per person for a similar cruise with a discount ($1300 versus Maint. Fee)

For all of the ones I've compared on the CruisesOnly site using Clubpoints vs cash, it cost 10 HGVC points for every dollar (10 cent per HGVC point). So if you saw something today that cost $650pp on the CruisesOnly cash site, it would cost 6,500 Clubpoints per person on the CruisesOnly Clubpoints site.

How much you lose on the cruise exchange depends on how close your MF is to 10 cents per HGVC points?
Here's a link to the 2009 maintenance fees - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showpost.php?p=612397&postcount=2

For example: If you own a two bedroom platinum (7,000 points) at HGVC on the Las Vegas Strip, your 2009 MF was $708 + $95 club fee (the lowest two bedroom MF). This doesn't seem too awful (paying an extra $103 plus admin fees for the HGVC cruise exchange option). However a two bedroom gold (5,000 points) or silver (3,500 points) owner would not fare so well since they have the same MF. These owners would be better off paying cash.

It seems that the two bedroom Platinum Orlando and Vegas owners may get the best HGVC cruise exchange deal since their MFs are the closest to 10 cents per point. Two bedroom platinum Hawaii & South Beach owners pay the highest MF for the same 7,000 points so a cruise exchange would be less of a deal for them. Cash only would be the best option for these owners as well.
 
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pianodinosaur

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I have two 2 bedroom Platinums at HGVC Seaworld. Cruises are not best use of points but I would not have taken this cruise were it not for the timesharing, nor would we have taken time off for so many other wonderful vacations.

We will be spending tomorrow night at the DoubleTree by Intercontinental Airport and fly to Spain on Wednesday. I am so glad to have joined TUG and have learned so much from all you. We will return in March 2009.
 

pedro47

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Enjoy your cruise and forget about points.
 

pianodinosaur

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Had a Wonderful Cruise

We returned last night from Barcelona after completing a 10 day Canary Island Cruise. My wife wanted me to take her mother and sister as well. We had the points and figured that we might as well use them. My wife and I spent the the night prior to our departure from Houston at the DoubleTree. They gave us a Diamond Upgrade into the Presidential Suite that was larger than most single bedroom TSs. We arrived in Barcelona and stayed at the Hilton Barcelona Diagonal Del Mar for one day prior to the cruise. I payed for both our rooms using HHonors redemptions. The view was fantastic and so was the executive lounge. The beds were also very nice. We boarded the Brilliance of the Seas the next day to start our cruise. The embarkation process in Barcelona is the most efficient we have ever seen. The meals were excellent. The service was outstanding. The cruise ship beds were wonderful.

We went to Malaga, Lanzarote, Tennerefie, Casablanca, and Seville. The Canary Islands are just beautiful. Seville and Barcelona are two of the most amazing cities you could want to visit. The Mosque in Casablanca is truly amazing. I hope to post pictures in the near future.
 

pianodinosaur

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We had a roundtrip cruise from Barcelona. The Hilton Barcelona Del Mar is ideally located close to the harbor and next to a shopping mall. There is a tourist bus route that runs right by the hotel except in the winter (darn) but there is also a subway station nearby as well. The embarkation and disembarkation in Barcelona is the best we have ever seen. The Hilton Barcelona del Mar is currently a HHonors category 6 hotel. The rooms were outstanding and the service at the executive lounge was also first class.

 

pianodinosaur

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The Gaudi cathedral in Barcelona has been under construction since the mid 1880s and is still a work in progress. I thought it was absolutely magnificent and they are currently holding religious services in some areas of the cathedral. If you go to Barcelona, this is a must see.
 

pianodinosaur

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This is a view of the Gaudi cathedral in Barcelona from the outside.

 

pianodinosaur

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This is another side of the Gaudi cathedral that is a little bit older.

 

pianodinosaur

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Cathedral in Cadiz

Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world from the port of Cadiz. We took a trip Cadiz to Seville. This is a view of the cathedral in Cadiz as taken from The Brilliance of the Seas.
 

pianodinosaur

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Abu Hasan Mosque, Casablanca

This is the Abu Hasan Mosque in Casablanca. It is supposedly the third largest mosque in the world. It is built right next to the Atlantic Ocean and is covered in mist from the breaking waves.
 
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