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Marriott Aruba Surf Club sales pitch - beware!

vacationboy

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My wife and I spent over two hours listening to the timeshare for the Marriott Surf Club. Since it was late in the day, they asked that if we were interested, that we fill out a work order and return the next morning to sign the paperwork. My wife and I were both excited about this purchase / investment. We were extremely pleased with the sales representative as he appeared to be quite knowledgable and informative. While discussing the details that evening, my wife and I had two or three additional questions that required clarification.

We arrived in the morning to sign the papers. When we asked our additional questions, a sales manager joined us to provide us with answers to our questions. We were shocked as to the answers that we received, as they were completely contradictory to the answers that we received the day before. The day before, we explicitly asked questions with regard to Christmas Week (#51), and the ability to use either the week (including lock-off) at other resorts or points for cruises. The sales manager indicated that it was nearly impossible to use our Platinum week at another Marriott Vacation Club during Christmas week and that the points required to purchase that week elsewhere was significantly more than the points that we would receive from purchasing a Platinum week in Aruba, We then inquired as to the number of points required to purchase a cruise during the week of Christmas. The day before, two individuals both indicated that it would be approximatle 3,600 points for two people during Christmas week. The sales manager verified that it was 13,000 points for a cruise during Christmas week! for two people!

My wife and I were both horrified by what we heard. We politely thanked them and indictaed that we were extremely disappointed in the contradictory information that we received from the day before.

We were prepared to spend almost $40,000! Wow! Could you imaginge the shock that we would have received if we had actually completed the purchase?

Part of me wants to believe that it was an honest mistake. However, the other part of me feels that we were misled, as we could not have been more explicit about the time of year that we were looking for and needed to travel.

I believe strongly that Marriott is a great brand. I have been a platinum memebr for the last several years and will continue to stay with them when I travel for business and pleasure.

:bawl:
 

m61376

Tug Review Crew
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Sorry you had such a bad sales experience. But you have come to the right place if you want to learn about ownership; feel free to ask any questions you'd like answered and I am sure you will receive responses to your inquiries. At the end of the day, buying a unit (whether through Marriott or on the resale market) may still serve you well, but take the time to understand what you are buying and the logistics beforehand, since it is easier to buy than to sell.

Welcome to Tug:wave:
 

CashEddie

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You were given some mis-information. I won't say you were flat out lied to but just misguided by one sales manager.

Both responses you received about how many points a cruise could cost during a specific time period are both correct. It depends on the tier that you choose for the cruise. For example, the highest tier for cruises is the Premier Tier where the cruises cost 13K points. Premier Tier cruises are usually the suite prices on some of the higher end cruise lines. I just pulled up a 7 day Eastern caribbean cruise on Costa (higher end cruise line) that cost 13K points for a suite. For this same cruise, you can get a balcony for 3450 points at the tier 3 price. IMHO, it would be insane to spend 13K points for the same cruise you do for 3.4K points. There are better explorer packages in other collections, IMO, that you will get better value from if you have that many points to spend and are willing to spend them. Not on a 7 day cruise you can do one the cheap.

Now mind you, this cruise is not during a major holiday week(departs on 01/06/12) and it can cost up to 13K points. Some could argue that its worth it to them to spend 13K for a suite on Costa and thats fine but don't think a cruise is going to cost you 13K during a holiday week because it doesn't have to if you are not fixed on staying in a high end suite on a high end cruise line.
 

Ron98GT

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You were given some mis-information. I won't say you were flat out lied to but just misguided by one sales manager.

Both responses you received about how many points a cruise could cost during a specific time period are both correct. It depends on the tier that you choose for the cruise. For example, the highest tier for cruises is the Premier Tier where the cruises cost 13K points. Premier Tier cruises are usually the suite prices on some of the higher end cruise lines. I just pulled up a 7 day Eastern caribbean cruise on Costa (higher end cruise line) :eek: that cost 13K points for a suite. For this same cruise, you can get a balcony for 3450 points at the tier 3 price. IMHO, it would be insane to spend 13K points for the same cruise you do for 3.4K points. There are better explorer packages in other collections, IMO, that you will get better value from if you have that many points to spend and are willing to spend them. Not on a 7 day cruise you can do one the cheap.

Now mind you, this cruise is not during a major holiday week(departs on 01/06/12) and it can cost up to 13K points. Some could argue that its worth it to them to spend 13K for a suite on Costa and thats fine but don't think a cruise is going to cost you 13K during a holiday week because it doesn't have to if you are not fixed on staying in a high end suite on a high end cruise line.

Sorry, but Costa is LOW-END. Check out their prices on-line, they have the lowest fares, but come with a number of problems. Since they cater to the European cruisers (which makes it sound intersting), most cruisers from the USA are not happy with Costa, especially the food on-board. The smoking on-board is very bad, if you're a non-smoker (I am). And although their Med cruises are the lowest priced of all the cruise lines, they spend very little time in port. The smoking and short port times are the two main things that have kept me from using Costa.

Check-out http://www.cruisecritic.com/ for more info and reviews.
 
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TheTimeTraveler

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Sorry, but Costa is LOW-END. Check out their prices on-line, they have the lowest fares, but come with a number of problems. Since they cater to the European cruisers (which makes it sound intersting), most cruisers from the USA are not happy with Costa, especially the food on-board. The smoking on-board is very bad, if you're a non-smoker (I am). And although their Med cruises are the lowest priced of all the cruise lines, they spend very little time in port. The smoking and short port times are the two main things that have kept me from using Costa.

Check-out http://www.cruisecritic.com/ for more info and reviews.






Interesting post. I hate the smell of stale cigarette/cigar smoke, and would not consider any cruise where it is even permitted to smoke.

Is there any such thing as a completely smoke free cruise line, or is that not possible due to their foreign affiliations?

Smoking is one of the reasons I won't go to Vegas (even though I hear some areas of certain casinos are supposed to be smoke free).

Happy New Year to all.....





.
 

CashEddie

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Sorry, but Costa is LOW-END. Check out their prices on-line, they have the lowest fares, but come with a number of problems. Since they cater to the European cruisers (which makes it sound intersting), most cruisers from the USA are not happy with Costa, especially the food on-board. The smoking on-board is very bad, if you're a non-smoker (I am). And although their Med cruises are the lowest priced of all the cruise lines, they spend very little time in port. The smoking and short port times are the two main things that have kept me from using Costa.

Check-out http://www.cruisecritic.com/ for more info and reviews.

Thanks for providing feedback on Costa. I made the wrong assumption of the line being higher end.

The point I was trying to make is that you can spend more points on a cruise than need be and if a sales person was stating the only way you could cruise during Christmas was to spend 13k DC points is just mis-information.
 

Werner Weiss

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Interesting post. I hate the smell of stale cigarette/cigar smoke, and would not consider any cruise where it is even permitted to smoke.

Is there any such thing as a completely smoke free cruise line, or is that not possible due to their foreign affiliations?

No. There was a completely smoke-free Carnival ship (Paradise) several years ago, but it was moved to the West Coast and changed its smoking policy to match that of the rest of the Carnival fleet.

The cruise lines are free to set whatever smoking policies they wish. They recognize that some people smoke. Banning smoking entirely would not only eliminate many potential customers who smoke; it would also eliminate entire extended families wishing to vacation together if even one family member smokes.

Oceania Cruises has the most restricted smoking policy, with smoking limited to two small designated spots. I understand that it's very easy to avoid smoke entirely on the ships of Oceania Cruises, although I haven't had the pleasure of cruising on Oceania.

The major, mainstream "American" (actually foreign-registered) cruise ships now have far more restrictive smoking policies than even a few ago. A few years ago, the cruise lines (except Disney) allowed smoking in all staterooms; now it's forbidden in all staterooms. The dining rooms had smoking and non-smoking sections; now dining rooms are non-smoking.

In fact, indoor smoking has been mostly or entirely eliminated. Outdoor smoking is usually limited to one side of the ship.

Here's the smoking policy for Royal Caribbean Cruises: What is the Smoking Policy onboard?

Here's the smoking policy for Disney Cruise Line: Where can I smoke on board?
 
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Ron98GT

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Interesting post. I hate the smell of stale cigarette/cigar smoke, and would not consider any cruise where it is even permitted to smoke.

Is there any such thing as a completely smoke free cruise line, or is that not possible due to their foreign affiliations?

Smoking is one of the reasons I won't go to Vegas (even though I hear some areas of certain casinos are supposed to be smoke free).

Happy New Year to all.....





.

Two of the worst seem to be Costa & Crystal, along with Holland who is changing their smoking policy.

Two of the best seem to be Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. You would think that Disney would have a tighter smoking policy.

Sometimes a cruiseline will designate a particular ship nonsmoking for awhile, but it's always subject to change based on revenues.

I live in Las Vegas, but don't go to the Casino's because of the smoke.

http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=225
 

sparty

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Two of the worst seem to be Costa & Crystal, along with Holland who is changing their smoking policy.

Two of the best seem to be Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. You would think that Disney would have a tighter smoking policy.

Sometimes a cruiseline will designate a particular ship nonsmoking for awhile, but it's always subject to change based on revenues.

I live in Las Vegas, but don't go to the Casino's because of the smoke.

http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=225

Not sure anyone would disagree now.
 
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