• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Just booked a cruise through II

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,471
Reaction score
11,086
Points
1,048
Location
Somewhere Out There
With our new found freedom, aka retirement, we could now book a cruise without worrying about having a reliable internet connection back to the office for many hours a day. We decided on going to Alaska with Oceania or Celebrity and with my husband's first cruise and my 3rd, we decided to go with Celebrity, and maybe "move up" in future.

Initially I was pricing a cabin with balcony between II and Vacations-To-Go and they were quite comparable if I normalized the II one (without the freebies + MF + exchange fees) and VTG with the offers. At that point of analysis, I felt that if I picked the II one with the freebies with VTG, then the 2 pricing were pretty close and I would be worse off going with II as II cost would be higher when I include MF and exchange fee - I learned later not to be really true... read on....

With the above info, we decide to book through VTG. The agent said that with the offer, Celebrity will make the cabin assignment. If we wanted to pick cabin, it would cost $400 more per person. I really do not like surprises so we went with II (without the freebies). II then became a better deal as we were able to pick more desirable location / cabin on the ship. There were less desirable location (partially blocked veranda) in II which were much cheaper and my guess is that booking through VTG would have gotten us those locations.

I also tried with different types of resort/small 1BR vs large 1BR in II and it made a difference in the cost. Surprisingly, a SVR 1BR was more valuable and reduced cost by about $40 per person compared with SDO (1BR platinum). A small SDO bedroom increased the cost by $8 per person over a large SDO bedroom.
 
Last edited:

dsmrp

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
2,531
Reaction score
1,850
Points
398
Location
MI Washington
Resorts Owned
Sheraton Vistana, Waikoloa Bay Club, Hyatt Pinon Pt
With our new found freedom, aka retirement, we could now book a cruise without worrying about having a reliable internet connection back to the office for many hours a day. We decided on going to Alaska with Oceania or Celebrity and with my husband's first cruise and my 3rd, we decided to go with Celebrity, and maybe "move up" in future.

Initially I was pricing a cabin with balcony between II and Vacations-To-Go and they were quite comparable if I normalized the II one (without the freebies + MF + exchange fees) and VTG with the offers. At that point of analysis, I felt that if I picked the II one with the freebies with VTG, then the 2 pricing were pretty close and I would be worse off going with II as II cost would be higher when I include MF and exchange fee - I learned later not to be really true... read on....

With the above info, we decide to book through VTG. The agent said that with the offer, Celebrity will make the cabin assignment. If we wanted to pick cabin, it would cost $400 more per person. I really do not like surprises so we went with II (without the freebies). II then became a better deal as we were able to pick more desirable location / cabin on the ship. There were less desirable location (partially blocked veranda) in II which were much cheaper and my guess is that booking through VTG would have gotten us those locations.

I also tried with different types of resort/small 1BR vs large 1BR in II and it made a difference in the cost. Surprisingly, a SVR 1BR was more valuable and reduced cost by about $40 per person compared with SDO (1BR platinum). A small SDO bedroom increased the cost by $8 per person over a large SDO bedroom.

Thanks for info, interesting about the SVR unit vs SDO. I might look into getting cruise with my SVR unit for next year. I looked at II last year for a cruise and could see the exact cabins #s . But it was a subset of all that was available when I compared to what cruise line told me.
 
Last edited:

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,471
Reaction score
11,086
Points
1,048
Location
Somewhere Out There
Thanks for info, interesting about the SVR unit vs SDO. I might look into getting cruise with my SVR unit for next year. I looked at II last year for a cruise and could see the exact cabins #s . But it was a subset of all that was available when I compared to what cruise line told me.

Each booking agency has their own subset. What I can see in II, I could not see on the Celebrity website and vice versa. II's available cabin selection for each category are fairly limited but at least I know what I am getting as opposed to trying to book through VTG.
 

Ken555

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
14,665
Reaction score
5,778
Points
898
Location
Los Angeles
Resorts Owned
Westin Kierland
Sheraton Desert Oasis
Is the value you receive with the SVR exchange more than the MF?

I posted my experience with II cruise exchange a year or so ago where at first it did prove more valuable, and ultimately canceled since it was more beneficial to pay cash from another vendor (Costcotravel.com) instead.


Sent from my iPad
 

pedro47

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
22,260
Reaction score
8,683
Points
948
Location
East Coast
I think you have what Celebrity Cruise Lines called a guarantee cabin booking. Please go over to the Celebrity Cruise website to learn more or go to Cruise Critics website and look under the community forum for Celebrity Cruise Line. Please find out which ship you will be sailing on.

On the Cruise Critics website forum for Celebrity Cruise Lines there are two spead sheets on cabins for Celebrity one spreadsheet is for the M Class Ships cabins and the second one is for the new Soltics Class Ships cabins.
Please also join Celebrity Cruise Line the Captain Club.

Enjoy your cruise.
 
Last edited:

Rene McDaniel

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
606
Reaction score
23
Points
378
Location
San Diego, CA
Very interesting, and thanks for posting. I have also been looking at those amazing cruise prices from Vacations to Go, although we would never cruise with Carnival again after a very bad West Coast cruise with them 20 years ago.

Now that we are retirees and can travel last minute, there are lots of tempting cruises out there. Eventually, I would love to try a repositioning cruise that starts in the Caribbean, goes through the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, etc. My biggest worry is that when reading Cruise Critic reviews people mentioned "gaining 8 pounds" on their cruise. Yikes! I don't know if I have the will and resolve to resist all the decadent desserts, especially Baked Alaska. That's the cruise I really want, the one with Baked Alaska night. Yes please, more of that!

Please keep us posted on how it all works out.
------ Rene
 
Last edited:

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,647
Reaction score
17,475
Points
1,299
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Now that we are retirees and can travel last minute, there are lots of tempting cruises out there. Eventually, I would love to try a repositioning cruise that starts in the Caribbean, goes through the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, etc. My biggest worry is that when reading Cruise Critic reviews people mentioned "gaining 8 pounds" on their cruise. Yikes! I don't know if I have the will and resolve to resist all the decadent desserts, especially Baked Alaska. That's the cruise I really want, the one with Baked Alaska night. Yes please, more of that!

Please keep us posted on how it all works out.
------ Rene

We really like the repositioning cruises. We did the Southbound from Ft. Lauderdale, trans-canal and down the west coast of S. America to Chile last fall. It was close to half the price of the same cruise in the spring, northbound. Of the score or more of cruises I've taken, it's been my favorite, so far.

No one forces you to stay in your seat and shovel in the desserts, but it can be a temptation. Usually, there is enough activity, swimming, at the gym/spa and walking on city tours and laps of the promenade deck to hold down the weight gain. Baked Alaska is a staple on the Alaska cruises.

Jim
 

cgeidl

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
124
Points
273
Location
Fairfield,CA
Tried the time share trade for cruise several times

Never even saw close to a deal. The Ii exchange extra fee was in mot cases more than a discount cruise site booking giving up nothing but less cash than Ii charged.
 

pedro47

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
22,260
Reaction score
8,683
Points
948
Location
East Coast
We really like the repositioning cruises. We did the Southbound from Ft. Lauderdale, trans-canal and down the west coast of S. America to Chile last fall. It was close to half the price of the same cruise in the spring, northbound. Of the score or more of cruises I've taken, it's been my favorite, so far.

No one forces you to stay in your seat and shovel in the desserts, but it can be a temptation. Usually, there is enough activity, swimming, at the gym/spa and walking on city tours and laps of the promenade deck to hold down the weight gain. Baked Alaska is a staple on the Alaska cruises.

Jim

We have done two repositioing cruises one from Ft. Lauderdale To Armistadam and one from FT Lauderdale to Rome, Italy. Both were on Celebrity Cruise Lines. We loved the sea days crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Totally R&R time for us.
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,647
Reaction score
17,475
Points
1,299
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
We have done two repositioing cruises one from Ft. Lauderdale To Armistadam and one from FT Lauderdale to Rome, Italy. Both were on Celebrity Cruise Lines. We loved the sea days crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Totally R&R time for us.

Try it the other direction. Instead of a string of 6- 23 hour days (set your clocks ahead another hour tonight), you get multiple 25-hour days. Much more relaxing and you have to fly one direction anyway.
 

PStreet1

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,077
Reaction score
43
Points
48
Location
Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mex., & Phx
Vacations To Go, in my experience, is rarely the best of the discount cruise deals, though we've booked with them two, or maybe three, times. As you say, they often offer only guaranteed class of cabin placements, and the perks for booking are generally not as good. We've used CruCon.com a lot; Luxury Cruises a lot (frequently, they don't come close to as good a deal, but now and again, they do beat the others), Smart Cruiser.com and we just booked a really good deal at Onlinevacationcenter.com that no other source I tried even approached.

Never assume that the place you last booked because it was the best price will be the best price for what you're looking for this time.
 

pedro47

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
22,260
Reaction score
8,683
Points
948
Location
East Coast
Try it the other direction. Instead of a string of 6- 23 hour days (set your clocks ahead another hour tonight), you get multiple 25-hour days. Much more relaxing and you have to fly one direction anyway.

Oh you are so correct you lose sleep time traveling from the USA to Europe. I will ask the Commander-in-Chief..about your suggestion. Wish my Luck!
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,647
Reaction score
17,475
Points
1,299
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Oh you are so correct you lose sleep time traveling from the USA to Europe. I will ask the Commander-in-Chief..about your suggestion. Wish my Luck!

The disadvantage is that these westbound transatlantic repositioning cruises are in late Nov. & early Dec. Not like the April/May eastbound ones headed for the Mediterranean.
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
57,957
Reaction score
9,480
Points
1,849
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, 2-SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim)
Is the value you receive with the SVR exchange more than the MF?

Great question:

-How much credit did you get for the exchange?
 

dioxide45

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
48,363
Reaction score
19,826
Points
1,399
Location
NE Florida
Resorts Owned
Marriott Grande Vista
Marriott Harbour Lake
Sheraton Vistana Villages
Club Wyndham CWA
Great question:

-How much credit did you get for the exchange?

I am interested too.

It seems that everything I have read on TUG indicates it is a Cardinal Sin to exchange your week for a cruise. Almost worthy of revoking one's TUG membership. Exchanging for a cruise was always the option of last resort.

I would think it would be hard pressed to get your MF value out of an SVV or SDO week through a cruise exchange, though I could be wrong.

We have used II for cruises a lot. Though never for a cruise exchange. We have booked our last three or four cruises through II. For everything I have found, their price can't be beat on Carnival cruises. I have checked every other website and have yet to find a price that is cheaper. Carnival is one of the few cruise lines that make the travel agents tow the line and don't allow them to offer better pricing than what they do; however, II offers discounts to members that are not available to the general public. On our upcoming Carnival Vista cruise this September, IIs price beat Carnival by at least $500 for the two of us.
 

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,471
Reaction score
11,086
Points
1,048
Location
Somewhere Out There
So to address various questions... I picked Celebrity Solstice since it has the best reviews.

Prior to getting replies I did not check out Costco and II cruise non-exchange booking.

With VTG where I did the earlier price comparison, I could not get apples to apples comparison as their website does not provide pricing by cabin/deck/room type - just the cheapest base price of inside / oceanview / balcony / suite. II provides all cabin options and also with 3 choices - 1st with the same fuzzy freebie offers as VTG's, 2nd with 2 specialty dining vouchers and 3rd with no special offers. Pricing for 2nd and 3rd options were the same. I had difficulty in trying to come up with an actual dollar value as to how much those freebies came up to... from my estimate it was about $630 ($350 in on-board credit, $181 in gratuities, another $100 if booked by 2/22).

My estimate was that it was almost a wash or I was ahead by about $100-$200 by exchanging, after taking account MF and exchange fee.

Ken got me curious and I went to Costco's website and it was very specific as to the free perks that came with the purchase. ($907.36 - $610 for on-board credit plus soda/water package worth $297.36) Using the value of $907.36 credit, II exchange only gave me a credit of $389 for a 1BR SVR, after taking into account $179 exchange fee. $686.50 if I don't buy the drinks package. I do have 2 specialty dining vouchers worth about $100 when buying through II, which would put me at $489 and $786.50 respectively.

But I do have too many weeks that I have been struggling to use, so exchanging is still the right option this time for me. Not counting the MF that I have already paid for my timeshare, my current out of pocket is about $2900 booking through II, where as it is $4267 when booking through Costco.

My conclusion is also that Costco is probably the better (best?) place to book a cruise.
 
Last edited:

pedro47

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
22,260
Reaction score
8,683
Points
948
Location
East Coast
So to address various questions... I picked Celebrity Solstice since it has the best reviews.

Prior to getting replies I did not check out Costco and II cruise non-exchange booking.

With VTG where I did the earlier price comparison, I could not get apples to apples comparison as their website does not provide pricing by cabin/deck/room type - just the cheapest base price of inside / oceanview / balcony / suite. II provides all cabin options and also with 3 choices - 1st with the same fuzzy freebie offers as VTG's, 2nd with 2 specialty dining vouchers and 3rd with no special offers. Pricing for 2nd and 3rd options were the same. I had difficulty in trying to come up with an actual dollar value as to how much those freebies came up to... from my estimate it was about $630 ($350 in on-board credit, $181 in gratuities, another $100 if booked by 2/22).

My estimate was that it was almost a wash or I was ahead by about $100-$200 by exchanging, after taking account MF and exchange fee.

Ken got me curious and I went to Costco's website and it was very specific as to the free perks that came with the purchase. ($907.36 - $610 for on-board credit plus soda/water package worth $297.36) Using the value of $907.36 credit, II exchange only gave me a credit of $389 for a 1BR SVR, after taking into account $179 exchange fee. $686.50 if I don't buy the drinks package. I do have 2 specialty dining vouchers worth about $100 when buying through II, which would put me at $489 and $786.50 respectively.

But I do have too many weeks that I have been struggling to use, so exchanging is still the right option this time for me. Not counting the MF that I have already paid for my timeshare, my current out of pocket is about $2900 booking through II, where as it is $4267 when booking through Costco.

My conclusion is also that Costco is probably the better (best?) place to book a cruise.

To the OP, Solstice is a great ship with an outstanding crew.
 

GrayFal

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
10,382
Reaction score
2,280
Points
699
Location
The Hamptons, NY
Resorts Owned
Marriott Bluegreen SVV Morritt's Seaside Former WSJx5
We really like the repositioning cruises. We did the Southbound from Ft. Lauderdale, trans-canal and down the west coast of S. America to Chile last fall. It was close to half the price of the same cruise in the spring, northbound. Of the score or more of cruises I've taken, it's been my favorite, so far.

No one forces you to stay in your seat and shovel in the desserts, but it can be a temptation. Usually, there is enough activity, swimming, at the gym/spa and walking on city tours and laps of the promenade deck to hold down the weight gain. Baked Alaska is a staple on the Alaska cruises.

Jim

That sounds like an interesting one. What cruise line???? And how far out did you book???
TIA
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,647
Reaction score
17,475
Points
1,299
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
That sounds like an interesting one. What cruise line???? And how far out did you book???
TIA

It was on Celebrity Infiniti. That ship is on the Alaska in Summer and in the Winter it runs back and forth between Valparaiso Chile and Buenos Aires. The return is in March and looks to still be available. It will do a bunch of trans-canal crossings between Miami and San Diego between March and May.

That ship is a great one to do a trans-canal, because it's a 'PanaMax', the biggest ships that can fit through the original locks in the canal. There is just 5 feet of extra length and 1 1/2 feet on each side as it sits in each lock.

Jim
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,647
Reaction score
17,475
Points
1,299
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Thank you. I did join Celebrity club but have not spent enoughtime on cruiseccrtic. I also just signed up with cruisecritic last night.

We've sailed on Solstice 3 times. Great ship. DO check into the cruise critic roll calls for your exact cruise. You will find shore excursions, sail away parties, private CC functions. You needn't tie up a bunch of time in the main CC site (It's YOOOGE!) to glean the stuff that will make your already booked cruise more fun/interesting/ cheap/rewarding.

Jim
 

PStreet1

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,077
Reaction score
43
Points
48
Location
Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mex., & Phx
We're doing a repositioning transAtlantic in April. Prices are generally low because they take so much time to get where they are going, and people who are still working generally don't have enough vacation time to make that a good use of the time they do have. I search for the best price I can get and make the reservation and then continue to watch the cruise line site for price drops prior to final payment. As long as you haven't made the final payment, any price drop that occurs will be applied to your fare IF YOU ASK FOR IT; they won't do it automatically.
 

pedro47

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
22,260
Reaction score
8,683
Points
948
Location
East Coast
To the OP, look and ask for the speciality dinner deals or check Celebrity web site.
To the OP, Celebrity has change their dress code no more formal nights.
 

VacationForever

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
16,471
Reaction score
11,086
Points
1,048
Location
Somewhere Out There
To the OP, look and ask for the speciality dinner deals or check Celebrity web site.
To the OP, Celebrity has change their dress code no more formal nights.

Thanks. My "freebie" is supposed to include 2 specialty dinner vouchers. Is it worth buying the 3 dinner package?

PS. I would be in trouble if they had kept the formal nights. I am more of a business casual kind of girl.
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,647
Reaction score
17,475
Points
1,299
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Thanks. My "freebie" is supposed to include 2 specialty dinner vouchers. Is it worth buying the 3 dinner package?

PS. I would be in trouble if they had kept the formal nights. I am more of a business casual kind of girl.

2 will probably be enough, though I don't remember how many nights your cruise is. DO pay your gratuities upfront so you can have 'Select Dining' at any time instead of fixed dining schedule in the main dining room. On Solstice there is Tuscan Grille (Steakhouse), an upscale Asian restaurant and Q-Sine, which is a little quirky, but fun with a group, and a French restaurant.

I breathed a sigh of relief to not have to pack a tux. I'm more of a sport jacket & mock kind of guy. You'll see more women in cocktail dresses than dressed-up guys.

Jim
 
Top