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More re: Maui and the 13 month rule

sdtugger

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I'm back with another question regarding Maui and the 13 month rule. I previously posted that I was considering 2 Maui units so that I could use one and rent the other and still use the 13 month reservation window. A few tuggers caused me to put my plan on hold by relating stories of how they called at the first possible moment 13 months in advance and couldn't get the week they wanted. My kids are and will be in school for many years to come. Therefore, we really need specific weeks.

So, my new question concerns using a Maui week and either a Palm Desert week or a Park City week. My primary target weeks for Maui are thanksgiving and July 4. I'd like to have spring break too, but that wouldn't work with my current plan. If I purchase a Maui week and a "cheap" Palm Desert or Park City week that includes both Thanksgiving and July4, can I reserve the Park City/Palm Desert week for the week prior to the week I want to be in Hawaii and then reserve the week in Hawaii? Wouldn't that give me 13 months and 1 week to make the reservation? Would that "guarantee" me the week I want in Maui?

If so, what could I do with the Palm Desert/Park City week? Would the week before thanksgiving or the week before July 4 at either resort give me any decent trades or be rentable?

Thanks for any information!
 

Dave M

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sdtugger said:
If I purchase a Maui week and a "cheap" Palm Desert or Park City week that includes both Thanksgiving and July4, can I reserve the Park City/Palm Desert week for the week prior to the week I want to be in Hawaii and then reserve the week in Hawaii?
Yes.

Wouldn't that give me 13 months and 1 week to make the reservation?
Yes.

Would that "guarantee" me the week I want in Maui?
No. It would give you a good chance at that week, but there are no reservation guarantees in a floating week system.

For example, suppose a lot of people owning three or more weeks call up 13 months and three (or four or five or six) weeks in advance. Not likely, but it's theoretically possible that you could be shut out by other people reserving 50% of the inventory before you get your chance for the 13-month window and others beating you to the remaining 50% on your next chance, at 12 months out.

If so, what could I do with the Palm Desert/Park City week? Would the week before thanksgiving or the week before July 4 at either resort give me any decent trades or be rentable?
Exchanging and renting is all about supply and demand. If you reserve a week when very few people want to visit your resort, you might not be able to rent it and the trading power will be low relative to other Marriott weeks. Still, some people with weak Marriott weeks have reported getting good trades. Just don't count on it. (Don't expect to trade for - as an example - a mid-summer Newport week.)
 

Dave M

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Incidentally, a DSV (I or II) White week would cover July 4 and Thanksgiving. However, a Park City (Mountainside or Summit Watch) Gold week would cover July 4, but not Thanksgiving.
 

sdtugger

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Thanks Dave. I really appreciate your thoughts. Can I ask a few more questions?

1. I just realized that I've been making a potentially huge assumption that may be incorrect. I assumed that if you buy a gold (in Park City for example), that you will be able to use it to make a reservation in the silver season in addition to the gold season. Is that wrong? If so, then I think Palm Desert makes the most sense for my plan. If not, then I think Park City would still work (although I don't know how cheap a gold park city unit would be as compared to a silver unit and that might bug me if all I ever did was use it to get thanksgiving in Hawaii).

2. I probably shouldn't use the word "guarantee" here. I know that nothing is guaranteed. But, how likely is it that I could get thanksgiving or July 4th using this plan? If I can get it 90% of the time, I'd be pretty happy. Does anyone have any experience with something like this where they've not gotten the week they wanted? I recall that some have had trouble trying to book concurrent weeks 13 months out. I'm just wondering about consecutive weeks using a less desirable resort/week as the first week in order to get 13 months + 1 week.

3. Recognizing that a Park City week the week before thanksgiving is not at the top of the food chain, how useful would it be for trading? Is it rentable at all? Same question for Park City/Palm Desert for July 4 and Thanksgiving? I'm just looking for people's experiences with these sorts of weeks. For example, would it be possible to use a Park City/Palm Desert week banked in year 1 for another Marriott the following summer (not Newport Beach, but somewhere)?

Thanks again for your answers.
 

Dave M

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1. You can reserve a week only in your own season. (There are a few exceptions for owners of Platinum Plus or Platinum Holiday weeks at certain resorts, but there are very few such exceptions.) If you wish to stay in a season other than your own, you must request an exchange through II.

To allow people to reserve in other than their own season would risk that there wouldn't be enough weeks in that other season for owners who want to reserve those weeks.

2. 90%? I don't know. But your chances should be very high, at least initially. There have been numerous reports of people having trouble getting reservations at 13 months out, especially in some of the Hawaii resorts (most notably Maui) and for summer Newport weeks. As more and more of those people figure out the strategy you are considering, it's impossible to predict what will happen to your 90% (or whatever) success rate in the future.

3. The reports here would suggest that for a summer Park City week at the end of June you would do okay. School is out in many places and you'll benefit from that. The week before Thanksgiving is a very iffy week in Park City. Good chance there will be no skiing or poor skiing and school is not out. Would you (with kids) want to rent that week? Probably not. That’s the clue. But will it trade okay? Sometimes. But count your blessings if you are able to trade it for a summer week within the Marriott system.

Even anecdotal evidence won’t help you much. After you purchase, you’ll have to rely on your own planning and luck. However, getting high-season, school-vacation trades with an off-season week as a trader is definitely a “sometimes” thing.
 
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Dave M

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One more factor to consider....

Marriott's posted rule for making reservations 13 months in advance is that the reservations must be "to occupy". That rule is in at least three places on the MVCI site, it was in a recent edition of Shared Times and it was in a December 2004 letter to all owners.

So far, as long as an owner specifically requests separate reservation numbers for 13-month reservations of two or more weeks, there is no evidence that Marriott is enforcing this rule.

Does that mean that they will forever allow exchanges and rentals? I would guess "yes", but that's only a guess.
 

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OK, so that means that a Gold/White in Palm Desert is probably the way to go. I'm thinking that either the week before July 4 or the week before Thanksgiving would be decent weeks in Palm Springs. November is a great time of year in Palm Springs weatherwise and the last week of June might be a little cooler than late summer, but the kids would still be out of school. If we don't use those two exact weeks, we still have approximately 1 month of summer (no school) and virtually the entire fall and early winter to use the week(s).

The listings right now show Gold/white units in Palm Desert for around $8K. I certainly don't want to throw away $8K and the yearly MF. But, even adding that to the price of a Maui week would be cheaper than trying to buy a fixed week at one of the resorts on Kaanapali beach (Maui or Westin). And, I want my cake and to eat it to. I want to get the good weeks and still have some flexibility as my family needs change.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on my new plan and whether Palm Desert units for early summer and the week before thanksgiving would be worth much as traders. The ads that I've reviewed claim that these weeks trade as platinum weeks with II. If they won't trade with Marriott, would they be worth much in trade for non-marriott weeks?
 

CaliDave

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I have a little experience with this.

I owned a Marriott Summit Watch gold.. they go for about $5K
I booked 4th of July week fairly easy, so the week before, should be a piece of cake.
II gives an AC for most SW gold 1bd week. So you'll get 3 weeks for the price of one. Althought the MF's are getting rather high.
I have gotten fantastic trades from it and now I'm wishing I wouldn't have sold it.

I have been travelling to Palm Desert once a week for the past year. Last year, in late June, temps were close to 110 deg.
All summer long you can book II getaways at Marriott. Less than $200 for a studio and $400 for a 1bd.
Possibly the trading power is good? It seems doubtful to me.
The weather in Palm Desert is gorgeous from Mid Oct to Mid April, I would guess those weeks would trade much better.
 

californiagirl

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We own a white week DSV II. It has traded VERY well for us. We have traded to both Marriott resorts in Kauai, (Once during the summer and traded for two units!) Royal Sands, Newport Coast in August. In fact, we use this exclusively for trades. (Even the blue week we used to own got us trades at Kauai Beach Club and Waiohai.) Usually we lock it off and trade each side separately. I have stated on this board before that we have received a two bedroom for the one bedroom trade more than once. The best was a two bedroom at the Royal Sands (Cancun) for a one bedroom. Every year we trade back into the resort (usually Villas I) and so far have always received a two bedroom in exchange for either our one bedroom OR efficiency unit.

Let me give you one caveat: to get the above trades, you must book early and watch for last minute deposits. When I am working on a trade I am tenacious and persistant. I check II daily.

This was our first TS purchase and if I had it to do over again, I would buy in Villas I. The villas are a tad bit older and more dated in the decor, but you get a larger villa AND free admission to the spa! This may not seem important now while you have younger kids, but let me tell you, this is a wonderful place to spend some adult only quality time!

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Lisa
 

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It sounds like SDTUGGER wants to split the DS week, and use half of it in the summer, and the other half of it to get Thanksgiving using the 13 month-and 1 week time period. BUT, I am not sure if they will let you split your DS week, and only use half of it at a time using the 13 months rule. Maybe somebody else can clarify.
Mark
 

sdtugger

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mjs said:
It sounds like SDTUGGER wants to split the DS week, and use half of it in the summer, and the other half of it to get Thanksgiving using the 13 month-and 1 week time period. BUT, I am not sure if they will let you split your DS week, and only use half of it at a time using the 13 months rule. Maybe somebody else can clarify.
Mark
---------------------------
Let me clarify my goals:

1. Goal #1 is to create a reliable way to reserve a Maui Marriott 2 bedroom during a peak week such as July 4 or Thanksgiving. My original plan was to purchase 2 Maui weeks and use them to get 2 prime weeks at the 13 month reservation date. I would then use one and rent the other (presumably with a decent rent because it would be a prime week). But, one or two horror stories concerning people trying to do exactly that and failing spooked me.

2. So my new plan to achieve goal #1 is to purchase a Maui Marriott 2 bedroom and purchase a palm desert 2 bedroom. I would then reserve the palm desert 2 bedroom for the week prior to the key week that I wanted in Maui and create the highest likelihood of reserving exactly the Maui week that I want. The responses above seem to indicate that this strategy should work (most of the time?). And, it certainly is much less expensive.

3. Goal #2 is to find the best possible use for the Palm Desert week if I were to follow this plan. If I were following this plan, it would be extremely unlikely that we could or would want to use the actual Palm Desert week (for example the week before Thanksgiving) because our kids are in school and we'd be going to Maui the next week. So, that leaves me with the question of how best to use such a week.

It sounds like some actual palm desert owners have had very good luck trading. That is encouraging. Can I ask whether you are trading for off-peak weeks at the other resorts? For the foreseeable future we will be traveling on school holidays . . .

Also, can I ask a few trading questions:

1. Everyone seems to say that they split their 2 bedroom into a 1 bedroom and a lockoff. I understand that the advantage of that is that you get to trade for 2 weeks and that often you get an AC. But, my question is would you do that if your family is big enough that you really need a 2 bedroom? In that situation would you just trade the 2 bedroom? And, if you need a 2 bedroom for trade, does that make trading much less likely? Does an AC get you a 1 bedroom or a 2 bedroom?

2. Finally, I'm intrigued by the flexchange options. When we toured Maui the salesman showed us a list of awesome flexchanges that he printed one day. I recognize that these flexchanges are very, very unpredictable. But, in the twisted world of frequent flyer miles and hotel points, I love playing this kind of game. For example, how possible is the following scenario:

a. I reserve palm desert week for the week before thanksgiving and I reserve Maui week for thanksgiving in Oct. (13 months and 1 week in advance).

b. I immediately place the palm desert week in II. Should I split if I really need a 2 bedroom?

c. I then start looking for trades for the time periods that we are available. For example, we sometimes travel between Christmas and New Years. In October, I would be coming up on the flexchange time for the holidays. If nothing interesting were available, I could then start looking for spring break and the following summer. Again, I could wait until the flexchange period and see what was available. If none of these panned out, how likely would it be that I could trade back into a palm desert week at spring break (probably unlikely). How about a Park City week during the summer as a fall back?

I'd love any input on this plan! Thanks for your experiences and thoughts.

SDTUGGER
 

californiagirl

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Let me see if I can answer some of your questions. Remember this is just my experience.

I have found that in the prime resorts during prime season it is difficult to get a two bedroom IF the resort has lock-off capabilities. Even if you are trading a two bedroom in exchange. (There is no issue in the resorts with all two bedroom units.) It seems that few owners at the prime i.e. Hawaii resorts deposit the entire unit. Most seem to lock-off and trade one side and use the other.

When we travel with our kids we have to go during school breaks. They are in college now and we have a larger window, but it is still limiting. One of our Hawaii trades was for the Kauai Beach Club in the summer. That was the one where we got two concurrent weeks. Most of the other trades (except flexchange) where we got a larger unit in exchange for depositing a smaller unit was in May or September.

One option that I have used is to lock-off my unit, deposit both into II and request a one bedroom and the efficiency. Prior to arrival I call the resort and ask that the units be adjoining. I have done this a couple of times with no trouble. I realize that this costs more as I have two exchange fees, but it is a way to accomplish my goal without stressing over whether or not I will get what I want.

I also think you could easily trade into Palm Desert during spring break or Park City during the summer. Summer at Park City comes up frequently for flexchange. You may even be able to get other weeks as well. Last year we traded a one bedroom DSV II blue week (before we sold it) for a two bedroom Summit Watch during spring break. Spring break came early for us --the first week of April-- and we were able to ski. See my review of Summit Watch.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is very busy at many resorts. I think you may have difficulty reserving during that week.

Are you only going to Maui during the July 4th week? We have never gone during July 4th, but have had no trouble at all reserving our Maui week in the months of July and early August. Even before we bought the 2nd week.

We have been very happy with our decision to buy MVCI. We have had some amazing trips and have wonderful memories with family and friends. We NEVER would have taken these trips if we didn't own. In the short-term, I don't think you save much money over paying for a hotel. BUT, you are staying in a villa not a hotel room and you are taking the vacation. (Not putting it off.) It is like pre-paying your vacation.

Again, good luck with whatever you decide to do. :)

Lisa
 

sdtugger

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Thanks for the info. Lisa. It is encouraging!

I'm actually wondering how hard it would be to reserve a Thanksgiving week in Maui if we owned there (using the 12 month window). But, I have to believe that having the 13 month + 1 week window would give us a very high likelihood of getting a Thanksgiving week (right now that is the perfect week for us because our kids get the entire week off school). We are on our third Thanksgiving in a row in Kaanapali and we absolutely love it. For us, I believe that a timeshare would actually lower the cost, particularly if we use it for many years.

Do you use your weeks to get the 13 month advantage? How? (concurrent, consecutive, etc.). When you did Kauii did you trade for 2 weeks in a row? Did you trade Maui and Palm Desert? Is there any chance a palm desert week would trade into Maui? At thanksgiving? Holy cow that would be amazing--I'm not counting on anything like that.

I can live with trading the two sides separately and then matching them up. Do you have to worry about only getting 1/2 and being stuck with an unusable 1/2 or something like that?

Thanks again for all the info.
 

californiagirl

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sdtugger,

We have never traded into Maui. However, I know it is possible because last time we were there we spoke with guests at the pool who had traded in. When we were in Waiohai a couple of weeks ago a good 50% of the guests were there on trade. I agree that the longer you own the timeshare your costs decrease.

We have used our weeks at Maui concurrently. When we owned two at DSV we booked them consecutively. I usually tried to get the week prior to July 4th and the week of. (Or the week of and the week after. It just depended on the white and blue season calendar.) We always traded those weeks. Every time we have traded into Hawaii -- Kauai Beach Club and Waiohai we have ONLY used our DSV week. We have never traded Maui, we always use that one! (Maybe that is why Maui is harder to get, the owners use them and don't deposit into II.) I seriously doubt that DSV would pull Thanksgiving week in Maui, but I have never tried it.

When we bought the first Maui unit, we received a bonus week. It was listed as a Maui 1 bedroom. (We own a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom week.) Anyway, we traded the 1 bedroom Maui bonus week for Newport Coast Villas, 2 bedroom. Maui is a very strong trader.

As far as trading each side separately to get a complete two bedroom unit, I have a "drop dead date". In other words, if both trades don't come through prior to the flexchange time, I pull the request and get my exchange fee back. This only happened once and we ended up getting a great deal on an Alaska cruise for the family, so it worked out well in the end. ($465.00 pp 7 day Sun Princess and used FF miles for our airfare! Sorry, I know that is off topic, but I still get warm fuzzies about the great deal and have to share it whenever I get the chance! :p )

As you can probably tell, I love to plan, research, talk about and take vacations. It is a hobby and I spend a fair amount of time working on it. I love the feeling of several trips lined up like planes stacked up in the sky waiting their turn to land.

:)
Lisa
 

sandesurf

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[As you can probably tell, I love to plan, research, talk about and take vacations. It is a hobby and I spend a fair amount of time working on it. I love the feeling of several trips lined up like planes stacked up in the sky waiting their turn to land.


Lisa]


Lisa, I've found my twin! :)

Aloha, Elena
 

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Last year while in Maui, we were going to purchase a Kauai week so that we could take advantage of the 13 month rule. They informed us that you can only do that if you are booking your weeks back to back. So, I'm not sure it would work if you had different seasons in different locations.
On the bright side, it is frustrating at times making reservations. Although we have been locked out before for Friday and again the next day for Saturday, we were able to get in on Sunday. We have been able to get Christmas week, Easter week, and our choice of summer weeks. Last year was the first year that they changed the reservation system so that you can call on the first day of availablitiy for either a Fri, Sat of Sun checkin. Although I don't have enough data yet (it's too new) I have a feeling that it is going to be harder to book. If you don't get "connected" on the first day your in trouble bacause then all three days are taken. We actually had that problem last year. When we finally got through to reservations, we were told that all the checkin days were taken. Then 3 days later when we were on the laptop we noticed that one of those weekend checkin dates actually was available. Not sure how (or what happened) there, but the bottom line is that we have always managed to get our desired week.
I'ld be curious if others are able to take advantage of the 13month rule without booking back to back weeks.
 

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californiagirl said:
sdtugger,
As you can probably tell, I love to plan, research, talk about and take vacations. It is a hobby and I spend a fair amount of time working on it. I love the feeling of several trips lined up like planes stacked up in the sky waiting their turn to land.

:)
Lisa
I love it too. My spouse thinks I'm crazy, but she loves the vacations. That's part of the reason that this timeshare thing is appealing to me.

Have you ever had a difficult time getting your Maui weeks? I can't justify the expense if I can't be relatively sure to get the weeks that we need. Right now that week is Thanksgiving (the kids have the whole week off). But, as my oldest heads off to college that may have to change to the summer and July 4 has huge appeal because it requires one less day of vacation. My impression from being in Kaanapali at Thanksgiving is that it may be a bit less popular than Presidents Day or July 4. Just a guess.

I was getting pretty close to pulling the trigger on a Maui week and a Palm Desert week when I read the recent posts about not getting Presidents day. Do you have any view on whether that would still be a problem at 13 months plus 1 week?

It would be fun to play with the Palm Desert week, but my primary goal is to get Thanksgiving in Maui with a Maui week.
 

Dean

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Roxi said:
Last year while in Maui, we were going to purchase a Kauai week so that we could take advantage of the 13 month rule. They informed us that you can only do that if you are booking your weeks back to back. So, I'm not sure it would work if you had different seasons in different locations.
It depends on WHEN the seasons are, not what they are. As long as you can and do book concurrent or consecutive floating weeks, you can use this rule. It does not matter if one week is platinum and one is Bronze. And one can be on the east coast and in HI for the same week.
 

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I have young kids so I follow the school calendar, and always go for President's week. Even when I only had one week, I always got what I wanted, but I was on that phone, first thing when the lines opened up, at that time the 12 month window. Now that I have 2 weeks, and have the 13 month advantage, I've gotten President's week with no problem as well.

Thanksgiving may be higher demand week, but its definately low season, so I wouldn't think it would be as difficult as July 4th, Pres. week, or any summer week. I can't see you having a problem if you have the 13 month advantage.

Best Regards.
Joe
 

sdtugger

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MOXJO7282 said:
I have young kids so I follow the school calendar, and always go for President's week. Even when I only had one week, I always got what I wanted, but I was on that phone, first thing when the lines opened up, at that time the 12 month window. Now that I have 2 weeks, and have the 13 month advantage, I've gotten President's week with no problem as well.

Thanksgiving may be higher demand week, but its definately low season, so I wouldn't think it would be as difficult as July 4th, Pres. week, or any summer week. I can't see you having a problem if you have the 13 month advantage.

Best Regards.
Joe
--------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for your insight Joe. Your posts have kept me from giving up completely on all of this.

I've now gathered from further reading that the "new" system seems to be a change to one day reservations per week (all on the first available check-in day). Is that right? Has that caused you any problems? My kids only get 2 days off for Presidents Day so I won't have that problem for several years . . . .
 

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13 month rule only when reserving both weeks.

We just purchased (last year) 2 weeks ever other year at the Waiohai Beach Club.
They told us that by doing so we could reserve the weeks 13 months out, but when I tried I was told I could only if I reserved both weeks together or concurrently. :mad: We were also told week could use 1 week each year if we desided to. Come to find out that's not true either. We can only if we put a week up for trade and pay an additional fee.
Anyone else have a problem similar to this?
 

MOXJO7282

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WMan,
Unfortunately that is the way it always has been on both matters. I think it spells it out in the contract pretty clearly, so a closer look at the fine print would have given you the correct info. On such a big purchase, you have to read everything with a microscope. I know I've learned the hard way, as well. Now I read contracts 3 times, word by word, if necessary, before I finalize anything.

Regards.
Joe
 

jancurious

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I own the same at Waiohai but that was my understanding how it would work.

Don't you want to book your two weeks back to back & go once to save on airfare and have a long enjoyable vacation? That's the reason we bought two weeks every other year instead of one week every year.

Depositing the week with II & requesting a trade for the following year, isn't a big deal. It costs you $89.

Jan
 
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