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HELP needed re: “Upgrading” into Sheraton Flex (from Vistana Cascades Orlando)

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HELP needed!
Ok, I got roped into going to my “owner update“ last week while using my timeshare at Vistana Cascades in Orlando, and despite insisting that I would NOT buy anything, I got convinced to sign a new contract to “upgrade” into the Sheraton Flex program.

I am still within my 10-day period to rescind this contract, but I need to act fast if I’m going to cancel it.

I had a 2-BR Lockoff unit in Vistana Cascades for week 33, which I bought in 2000 under the Starwood Vistana name.
I have never used that unit week, but for many years I either used it at another tI’m e of year or deposited it as two 1-week units into RCI which I made good use of.
At that time, I was fairly happy with it.

But over the years I got divorced and my children became adults, and I foolishly and simply didn’t use it at all...
I paid the annual fees (now approx $1333), but most years I just let any and all benefits expire.

The last couple of years, I have at least used a week at Vistana Cascades.

I believe that my only options each year now are:
- reserve my Week 33
- reserve any unit week (or less nights) at Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando or Sheraton PGA Resort in Port St Lucie
- deposit as one 2-BR unit in an external exchange like RCI (for a fee when I use it)
- deposit as two 1-BR units in an external exchange like RCI (for a fee when I use it)

Is this correct? The sales agents told me that my unit does not convert to StarPoints, Marriott Bonvoy Points, etc.

The new contract is for 95,700 Sheraton Flex Options.
The bottom line due was $18015, plus of course the annual fees, which currently would total $1811/year (but of course will increase).

I believe that my only options each year now are:
- reserve any combination of nights up to 95,700 Options within the Sheraton Flex resort system (which would also equal a week in a 2-BR Lockoff like I own(ed) at Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando)
- bank my Options for future use, up to 2 years in the future (for approx $109)
- convert my Options to Marriott Bonvoy Points (for approx $159)
- deposit as one 2-BR unit in an internal exchange via Interval International (for a fee to I.I. when I use it)
- deposit as one 2-BR or two 1-BR units in an external exchange like RCI (for a fee to RCI when I use it)

I am having buyer’s remorse...
1) because of the increase annual fees, but
2) because of the $18000 required to get into the program.

I need to cut this short for now, but I can provide more info if someone needs that to help me further analyze my decision.

Time is of the essence! Thanks in advance!!!
 
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Patri

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Just cancel it according to instructions in your paperwork. You can always get this deal later if you find it has any value. But I don’t know why you would.
 

DeniseM

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It's not a good deal - follow the directions in you paperwork and rescind ASAP.
 

needvaca

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First, rescind ASAP. You paid $18,000 too much.

Next, how did you originally buy your Vistana cascades unit in 2000? If you bought it at retail price through Starwood, you should have access to the Vistana network already with Staroptions. Maybe you never registered online for it. You need to check into this. Look at your maintenance fee bill and see if there is a VSN network fee of $155
 
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I am not a VSN member under the original unit.
i did buy it direct at retail price from Vistana.


First, rescind ASAP. You paid $18,000 too much.

Next, how did you originally buy your Vistana cascades unit in 2000? If you bought it at retail price through Starwood, you should have access to the Vistana network already with Staroptions. Maybe you never registered online for it. You need to check into this. Look at your maintenance fee bill and see if there is a VSN network fee of $155
 

Patri

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Can you explain further your thoughts?
Since time matters rescinding. If you miss the deadline, you are stuck. Then enjoy researching if you want to expand your time sharing opportunities, or make better use of what you already have. You have apparently not gotten maximum benefit of what you own the last several years. Don’t sink more money in until you really understand what you are doing.
 
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If I rescind this new contract, I am still stuck with my original Vistana Cascades unit at over $1300/year, where I am left with the following options...

1) use the Unit Week 33
2) use a combination of 7 days in Orlando or Port St Lucie, neither of which are overly enticing to a divorced father of grown children
3) deposit as one or two weeks in RCI or II and the pay the exchange fees which appear to be approx $259/week these days (plus the annual RCI/II fee).

Are there any good options to get out altogether?
Are the lawyers who advertise a legit option to get out?

Is there some other way to convert into the Sheraton Options program without the $18000 price? Is some other way worth it?

thanks!
 

TheTimeTraveler

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No need for anyone to explain further other than to say what you paid thousands of dollars for can be purchased on the resale market for just pennies on the dollar......

With that said, keep your hands in your pocket to protect your assets and rescind while you legally still can do so.

Follow the instructions and send your rescission paperwork via USPS Certified Mail. Be sure that all purchasers who signed the original contract have signed the rescission paperwork.



.
 

dioxide45

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Not sure how your week isn't in VSN. I guess early sales of Sheraton Vistana Resort didn't come with StarOptions even when bought directly from Vistana?

In any case. More often than not Sheraton Vistana Resort can be unloaded for free. You may need to pay closing costs or even pay one year of maintenance fees. However, that said. You can easily pick up a 95,700 mandatory week at Sheraton Vistana Villages that comes with StarOptions for about $2000. There are better options than a 95,700 week, but that is the best comparison. I don't know the exact MFs on Sheraton Flex, but I suspect they are close to the same as a 95.7K mandatory week at SVV.

So there is no reason to not rescind the purchase. If you want 95,700 StarOptions, you can easily get them for a lot less money.

Also, are they taking your Vistana Resort week back, or just allowing you to "unlock" the StarOption usage out of it?
 

alwysonvac

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You’ll only have one chance to rescind. Don’t make a mistake and miss your opportunity.
The deal that the sales team is offering will always be there.

As other have said, rescind while you can then look at other options. If you change your mind next month and want to sell your Sheraton Flex, you’ll get close to nothing ( see eBay ads).

C33DEB90-9888-4193-9D54-763557044ABF.png
 

alwysonvac

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Once you‘ve rescinded, take a look at Vistana’s deedback/surrender program that dioxide45 described in post #12

 

DeniseM

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All they did with Sheraton Flex is create a new program for less desirable resorts, and present it as something new and shiny, so they can sell the same ole thing over again, and make more money on it.

If you actually bought from Starwood in 2000, you should definitely already have Staroptions. It's possible that the sales people didn't tell you the truth - a common problem. It's easy to tell - log-in to your Vistana Acct. here: and see if you have any Staroptions listed at the top of the page:

It will look something like this:
Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 5.50.32 PM.png
 
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jabberwocky

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Not sure how your week isn't in VSN. I guess early sales of Sheraton Vistana Resort didn't come with StarOptions even when bought directly from Vistana?
It would depend on when they purchased from the developer. Pre-Starwood owners (my parents were in this group) were given the opportunity to enroll their weeks in SVN (precursor to VSN) when Starwood launched the program for a nominal fee (not sure on the exact amount). Developer purchases after SVN was started would get SO.

I know my parents put their program in SVN a few years after it started rather than doing it immediately. I'm not sure if they would still allow pre-SVN owners to enroll, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Regardless, the OP has gotten good advice to rescind and should do so. The purchase doesn't make sense for their use.
 

DannyTS

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Rescind, rescind, rescind. You can get in infinite number of resale combinations for a lot less than 18,000 and most likely with less MF than Sheraton flex for the same number of points.

After you rescind you can research why you are not enrolled in VSN if you bought from the developer or if you can still have the option to enroll it now. Regardless, even if you do not buy resale and prefer to deal just with Vistana, you can bring your contract into VSN for about 8-9k by buying the smallest number of points from them and you are still 9k ahead.
 

Ken555

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Rescind and then research.

You can buy a resale 148k week for much less than you spent to ”upgrade” and have less annual dues. Don’t ask any questions now. Just rescind, then take your time to figure out the best plan.


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dioxide45

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All they did with Sheraton Flex is create a new program for less desirable resorts, and present it as something new and shiny, so they can sell the same ole thing over again, and make more money on it.

If you bought from Starwood in 2000, you should definitely already have Staroptions. It's possible that the sales people didn't tell you the truth - a common problem. It's easy to tell - log-in to your Vistana Acct. here: and see if you have any Staroptions listed at the top of the page:

It will look something like this:
View attachment 30426
Where are you off to in June?
 

DeniseM

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Right now I am just planning on renting that week.
 
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Thanks for all of the great info!
Another question...
I thought that I’ve read that resales can’t transfer the “network” benefits, which I assume mean the use of points to reserve at locations other than the “home” resort (and that is certainly what seemed to be said during the sales presentation).

So how are these resales available on the used market?

There is just so much that doesn’t make sense to me, both on the retail and resale market.

Thanks again.


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Ken555

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Thanks for all of the great info!
Another question...
I thought that I’ve read that resales can’t transfer the “network” benefits, which I assume mean the use of points to reserve at locations other than the “home” resort (and that is certainly what seemed to be said during the sales presentation).

So how are these resales available on the used market?

There is just so much that doesn’t make sense to me, both on the retail and resale market.

Thanks again.


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Realize that almost nothing you were told is likely accurate. They lie.

There are certain resorts that include StarOptions upon transfer. Those tend to be the resorts that retain some value, unlike the Orlando resorts.


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dioxide45

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Make sure you are reading up in the the Vistana forum.

Here is a list of the Vistana properties where StarOptions transfer on resale;
Mandatory Properties
  • Harborside Resort at Atlantis
  • Sheraton Vistana Villages, Bella and Key West phases only
  • The Westin St. John, Virgin Grand/Hillside phase only
  • The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas
  • The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, North
  • The Westin Kierland Villas
TUG article about Vista (updated by yours truly)
 
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All they did with Sheraton Flex is create a new program for less desirable resorts, and present it as something new and shiny, so they can sell the same ole thing over again, and make more money on it.

If you actually bought from Starwood in 2000, you should definitely already have Staroptions. It's possible that the sales people didn't tell you the truth - a common problem. It's easy to tell - log-in to your Vistana Acct. here: and see if you have any Staroptions listed at the top of the page:

It will look something like this:
View attachment 30426

I don’t have StarOptions with my original contract...

MY VOI: ANNUAL FIXED, WEEK-33
VILLA TYPE: CASCADES, 2 BEDROOM LOCKOFF VILLA
WEEK: 33
VILLA: FLOATING
VILLA TYPE: CASCADES, 2 BEDROOM LOCKOFF VILLA
USE RIGHTS: ANNUAL FIXED
VSN MEMBER: NO
HOME SEASON: PRIME


My new contract...

MY VOI: ANNUAL FLOAT, PACKAGE ID-01
VILLA TYPE: FLOATING
STAROPTIONS VALUE: 95,700
VILLA TYPE: FLOATING
USE RIGHTS: ANNUAL FLOAT
VSN MEMBER: YES
VACATION OWNERSHIP INTEREST
HOME OPTIONS: 95,700
STAROPTIONS: 95,700
POINTS: 149,292


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DeniseM

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So if you don't have Staroptions, that means that you bought from the developer before Starwood bought it. Still - I definitely would not go for Sheraton Flex. Rescind, then come back here and research your options - we can help with that.
 
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