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Destination Points Cruise Bookings

hcarman

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I know it is well established that using points for a cruise is not a good use of points, as the value for the number of points used is much lower than booking with one of the vacation club resorts. However, I was wondering if anyone has been able to book a cruise with Destination Club points - reserving the lowest category room with the points - and then pay in cash to upgrade to a higher category room. If so, is this done through the cruise line or the cruise booking site with MVCI? And is it a better way of getting a higher category room? I ask because we have several bucket list cruises we were going to pay cash for because of how many Destination Club Points it was going to cost. It just didn't make sense to use the points. However, if we could defray the cost by using points for the basic room and then just pay for the upgrade, it might make more sense. The huge difference seems to be between the oceanview rooms and the balcony rooms - if you pay cash it is only a few hundred dollars more per person - but if you use Destination Club points it is almost double. I have tried to chat with the cruise booking site representatives in the past but haven't gotten very good answers - they of course are not real interested in what is most cost effective for their clients.
 

aka Julie

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I'd be more concerned in the foreseeable future what happens to your points if the cruise is cancelled. None of the cruise lines are currently sailing and some haven't even given firm dates for when they will resume. The cruising world will take awhile to come back. There are lots of folks who are currently dealing with trying to get refunds from cruises that were cancelled. Some have been waiting more than 60 days.
 

hcarman

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I'd be more concerned in the foreseeable future what happens to your points if the cruise is cancelled. None of the cruise lines are currently sailing and some haven't even given firm dates for when they will resume. The cruising world will take awhile to come back. There are lots of folks who are currently dealing with trying to get refunds from cruises that were cancelled. Some have been waiting more than 60 days.
I am well aware of the cruise cancellations that are ongoing. This is actually a trip that wouldn't take place for a few years - fall of 2021 at the earliest. Right now there are some very good promotions for future dates and no penalties for cancellations. You do have a point about using Vacation Club Points - I have no idea how that cancellation period works. I hadn't paid too much attention to utilizing the points as it has never been a good deal - but in the next two years we will have quite a few Destination points needing to be used.
 

pedro47

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Before you use your points . Suggestion only . Compare points for a cruise with a travel agency cost, What can of cabin will you be booking (inside, oceanview, a balcony cabin, etc.,), compare with points costs, to the cruise lines costs you will be using, will the points includes port fees & other fees. Normally using points for a cruise is not a good deal IMHO.

I also feel the cost of cruising will be increasing in the next several years because of the coronavirus.

I also suggest you look at the Cruise Critic website for more information on this subject.
 

hcarman

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Before you use your points . Suggestion only . Compare points for a cruise with a travel agency cost, What can of cabin will you be booking (inside, oceanview, a balcony cabin, etc.,), compare with points costs, to the cruise lines costs you will be using, will the points includes port fees & other fees. Normally using points for a cruise is not a good deal IMHO.

I also feel the cost of cruising will be increasing in the next several years because of the coronavirus.

I also suggest you look at the Cruise Critic website for more information on this subject.
That is the point I was making - I normally don’t use points for cruises because it isn’t a good deal. But I have noticed the big difference is when you want a balcony or suite - the cash cost to upgrade is much less than the points MVCI charges (it often doubles). So my question was whether anyone had been successful at booking a basic category room with points but upgraded with cash. And whether you upgrade through the cruise line or with the cruise company Marriott uses.

We want to do some travel to places where there aren’t vacation clubs so that is the reason we decided to look again at using points for a cruise or tour - both of which aren’t great deals - but we have a fair amount of available points that we pay dearly for in fees each year. Honest sales staff suggest you rent the points and take cash to pay for other trips, since it is a better deal, but properties don’t rent as well anymore - especially now. Even MVCI seems to take very few rentals over the past years.
 

n777lt

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We did upgrade with cash an Alaskan land/sea tour that we booked with Destination Points in 2012 and the $$ cost was pretty modest. But I'm not sure MVCI even offered the upgrade with points at all back then. I do know that my husband, who did the booking, dealt directly with the cruise company. However, this information may be too old to be of use today. I'd simply try to get through to the cruise company to ask.
 

Dean

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I know it is well established that using points for a cruise is not a good use of points, as the value for the number of points used is much lower than booking with one of the vacation club resorts. However, I was wondering if anyone has been able to book a cruise with Destination Club points - reserving the lowest category room with the points - and then pay in cash to upgrade to a higher category room. If so, is this done through the cruise line or the cruise booking site with MVCI? And is it a better way of getting a higher category room? I ask because we have several bucket list cruises we were going to pay cash for because of how many Destination Club Points it was going to cost. It just didn't make sense to use the points. However, if we could defray the cost by using points for the basic room and then just pay for the upgrade, it might make more sense. The huge difference seems to be between the oceanview rooms and the balcony rooms - if you pay cash it is only a few hundred dollars more per person - but if you use Destination Club points it is almost double. I have tried to chat with the cruise booking site representatives in the past but haven't gotten very good answers - they of course are not real interested in what is most cost effective for their clients.
It's going to be up to the cruise line and it varies dramatically from one company to another. The one I'm most familiar with is RCL and they've started offering upgrades for basically a silent auction. But they only give you a few levels that you can bid on. For example, if you have an inside cabin you'll likely only be able to bid up as far as an a Balcony level cabin but not a suite. They call it Royal Up. I'd call OVC and discuss with them as they'll have the most information and can tell you if you can upgrade through them or only with the cruise line like at check in. Personally I'd just either do points or not do points and be done with it. Or maybe rent out the points.
 
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