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If you ever doubted why timesharing is great...

Polly Metallic

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. . . why we like Last Call & Instant Exchange.

(Last Calls are something like Extra Vacations, except much cheaper.)

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​




I'm all for mazimizing timeshare value and grabbing those bargains. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and snagging a super week for dirt cheap. The great thing about TUG is that this site helps people learn the ins and outs of their ownerships. Nevertheless, part of me is troubled by the inequities within the system and the way those inequities distort a timeshare week's actual value.
 

alanraycole

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Don't blame the deal snaggers...

There are plenty of trades that aren't stellar deals. Actually, there are probably more exchanges that fall into that non-stellar category than there are ones that are the sweet deals described here. And it's rather sad to think that the people who own the best weeks often didn't get a very good value for their money considering that others are able to trade into their intervals for a fraction of their own cost.

There are no denials that these great deals are a result of someone else's loss. Last Calls, for example, obviously, are a result of inventory that no one used for whatever reason... so they are liquidated. AC's work much the same way... they are offered on inventory that is not popular, generally. An AC can also snag a room at a very popular location, if it is not taken by other means over 60 or so days out.

But, the fault that they are available cheap is not with those that snag them up. Rather, it is due to the rightful owners depositing them with the exchange companies, and then no one taking them in a timely manner... therefore they must be liquidated. Keep in mind that the rightful owners paid their full maintenance fees... otherwise they wouldn't have been able to exchange them.

Bottom line... the deal snagger is not costing you money, except, perhaps, by damaging the resale value of the more expensive resort by making potential owners of the more expensive resort wonder why in the world should they buy the more costly resort if they can just exchange into it using a much cheaper resort... I wonder the same thing. I traded a week that I paid full maintenance fees on for a another week way before it was close to being liquidated. It is not my fault that my home resort charges a fraction of the maintence fees that the destination resort charges. Both resorts agreed to trade their weeks and I took them up on it. Why begrudge me for taking the deal that everyone directly involved in the transaction accepted.

On the other hand, two reasons for paying for the more expensive resorts are to insure that you can stay there, rather than risking not being able to trade into it. Secondly, owners usually get first dibs on the prime units... ocean view, for example.

One other thought... keep in mind that over development is not likely to go away... developers will continue developing as long as the consumer keeps on consuming... so take it for granted... expect it.... cause it is virtually guaranteed sooner or later.

About the only way to fix the inequities that I can think of would be to charge the incoming exchangers the difference between what they paid to exchange into it and what owners of the destination resort pay in maintenance fees. Those funds could go towards the general fund. Then the owners of the more expensive resort could pay less in maintenance fees... the costs would be shared equally by those who actually stay rather than by those who own. The problem with that is that the more expensive resort would almost certainly end up with a lot of empty rooms because people like me would say, thanks, but no thanks. That, too, would seriously hurt resale value. In timesharing and outside of timesharing goods and services must be liquidated if the market won't bare the full value.
 
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applegirl

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Yes, timesharing is awesome! We recently had a family reunion with 15 of us staying in 4 1/2 villas in Palm Desert, all bought as getaways. Total cost for lodging was a little over 2K dollars for the week for all of us! Now that's a deal! We had a wonderful family time and hope to do it again in 2 years.

Janna
 

timeos2

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Overall Timesharing can't be beat. Just watch out for the pot holes

John,

Must you hijack every thread with your stale old rants against II? Enough already. Obviously you REALLY dislike II, but it doesn't reflect very well on you that you can't just give it a rest.

As can be seen from the same questions asked over and over again the older, largely inactive posts aren't reviewed by most new comers to TUG. The inability of II to produce reasonable results for the average owner, not referring to the top echelon that could get whatever they want regardless of who they decide to trade with, needs to be repeated when it comes up. 80% of II inventory is the same quality and often even resorts as RCI, but that's not the impression II toutls. They want everyone to think their small unit in nowhere ville is going to snag one of those few Atlantis or DVC deposits they used to get. Just ain't so and before a newbie commits their time to II rather than the much greater selection and inventory of RCI they should know that. Also they need to know that Request First is the only way to use II or they will likely be hosed, that they run a rinky dink website that is down as often as up and they do not service the resorts as they say they will. In fact overall all II seems to be all talk and no results. Don't read the replies if you don't like to hear the truth about how II operates. While I may be more vocal than most I'm far from a lone wolf on this view.

As for Hilton not wanting to "lower themselves" by becoming dual affiliated with II, that's just plain silly. II has so many high end resorts...including Four Seasons, Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, Sheraton, the Royals, etc. It is obvious that many Hilton owners would enjoy the opportunity to exchange into these and other II resorts. Hilton would hardly be lowering themselves to be in this company. If anything, Hilton might struggle to measure up.

I guess you haven't stayed at many Hiltons. Maybe because II doesn't have them? They are a class operation second to few others. (And I don't own one - never have - but I sure do like them & Marriott's too!)

As for your constant complaints about II's Pineapple/Laurel (formerly 5 star) award, this is silly too. RCI has had PLENTY of resorts with the Gold Crown award that didn't deserve it. I've stayed at several of them, and there are lots more. Both major exchange companies have resorts that truly deserve their respective quality awards and those that don't (but somehow got the reward anyway). Acting as if this is somehow unique to II is misleading at best and downright dishonest at worst.

The consistency of quality found at an RCI rated resort, while never 100% guaranteed as everyone has their own likes and dislikes, is much more predictable vs the II so called awards. II has always denigrated their own awards by handing them out like candy to any developer they like regardless of the resort. Put the name on it - the award follows. You cannot depend on anything based on the Putrid Pineapple whereas a majority of other travelers have ranked the RCI resorts a Gold or Silver Crown and there are minimums the resort must meet or they don't get the title. Name doesn't matter (RCI took away Gold Crowns from many Wyndham resorts and they OWN them!). The PP may be attached to a beautiful Marriott that would be an easy Gold Crown in RCI or you may get a Wastegate that hasn't been updated in 10 years but still "earns" that rank. Its a joke.

Finally, I have no affection for Westgate and consider them to be pretty darn near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to corporate practices and ethics. However, constantly referring to the company as "Wastegate" rather than using their correct name is pretty juvenile. I'm not sure what you hope to accomplish through your countless negative posts on the same couple of topics year in and year out, but your methods and your obsessive repetition certainly don't impress me much.

Again - far too many come here and don't look at what has been written many times before. In the case of Wastegate I know how easy it is to fall into their trap of "value" and high pressure sales, so warnings are almost a public service. No one should ever deal with Wastegate if they want a happy timeshare experience. Sorry again if the truth somehow bothers you but there are neophytes that need to know.

As for the topic of this thread, timesharing truly is a great...and fun...way to vacation. Here's to many happy timeshare trips in 2009 for all of us. :)

Steve

100% agreed! As long as you understand the risks, buy at a price you feel is fair and reasonable it is the only way to travel. Avoiding hyped resorts, developers and exchange companies are ways to ensure a happy timesharing experience. Happy travels!
 

DeniseM

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Alan, we are also staying at Westin Princeville, but we will be there in April. Mom is going with us again, and I would love to know what building is best, so we can possibly get a good view of something better than a parking lot while there.

Hi Cindy - there is a resort map in Owner Resources at the top of the Starwood board so you can see which buildings are closest to the cliff. However, as I'm sure you know, this resort isn't on the beach and most units do not have an ocean view. Fortunately, most of them don't have a parking lot view, either.

I would request the ocean end of Bldg. 3, 6, or 7, and even if you don't get the ocean end, no where in those buildings, would you get a parking lot view. Bldg. 2 also doesn't have a parking lot view, but is farther back from the cliff.

Bldgs. 1, 4, & 5 are the ones that may have a parking lot view.
 
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DeniseM

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To top it off, they said because I made my reservation so long ago, I'll almost certainly get my requested building.

Did Starwood tell you that? I hate to burst your bubble, but the resort doesn't assign rooms until about 48 hours before check-in and Starwood has a specific pecking order for views as follows:

1) Starwood Elite Owners at the resort
2) Starwood multiple week owners at the resort
3) Starwood single week owners at the resort
4) Starwood exchangers
5) Other exchangers

No matter how early you put in your request, this is how Starwood determines who gets the best views. If occupancy is low, then you have a better chance. Good luck!
 
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alanraycole

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I was told that by a reservationist.

Did Starwood tell you that? !

I was told that room request are taken in order of the reservation date. Maybe, she was referring to the priority within the same class. Maybe, she already accounted for who else might be ahead of me. Nonetheless, she told me that I was likely to get my request. I hope she wasn't just blowing smoke.
 

rickandcindy23

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Hi Cindy - there is a resort map in Owner Resources at the top of the Starwood board so you can see which buildings are closest to the cliff. However, as I'm sure you know, this resort isn't on the beach and most units do not have an ocean view. Fortunately, most of them don't have a parking lot view, either.

I would request the ocean end of Bldg. 3, 6, or 7, and even if you don't get the ocean end, no where in those buildings, would you get a parking lot view. Bldg. 2 also doesn't have a parking lot view, but is farther back from the cliff.

Bldgs. 1, 4, & 5 are the ones that may have a parking lot view.

Wow! Thanks again, Denise. That map is very clear as to which buildings have decent views. I will not be at the very bottom of the ladder, using an SBP, so maybe I can get a better unit that others who aren't using a Starwood.
 

DeniseM

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I was told that room request are taken in order of the reservation date. Maybe, she was referring to the priority within the same class. Maybe, she already accounted for who else might be ahead of me. Nonetheless, she told me that I was likely to get my request. I hope she wasn't just blowing smoke.

She could definitely be referring to priority within the same class, because Starwood also uses date of reservation to determine the view priority for owners, within a class.

I hope you get a good view, but remember owners at this resort paid $50K+ a week, so it's understandable that they expect to get the best views. ;)
 

DeniseM

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Wow! Thanks again, Denise. That map is very clear as to which buildings have decent views. I will not be at the very bottom of the ladder, using an SBP, so maybe I can get a better unit that others who aren't using a Starwood.

I would call Owner Services ASAP and tell them you are a Starwood owner exchanging in with II and put in your request.

Then about 2 weeks out, call the resort directly, and make sure they have a record of your request.
 
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