• 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 27 years!

    Join tens of thousands of other owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered!
  • TUG is asking for recent reviews of older resorts, earn a free year membership!

    Read more here
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $18,000,000 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 $18 Million dollars
  • Follow the TUG Member Banner as it travels the world on vacation with Timeshare owners! Also sign up to get the banner sent to you so you can submit a photo of your vacation with the banner to share with TUG! Banner Thread
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free! Join tens of thousands of other owners who get this every week! Latest resort reviews and the most important topics discussed by owners during the week!
  • 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!

    Read more Here
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

So excited - must share!

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
Even though I may get flamed for using my DVC points on a cruise, I was so excited I had to share!

I made a reservation last Thursday for one of two rooms on the 12 night Mediterranean (Venice itinerary) Disney cruise using my DVC points. This cruise was worth about 23% of the value we paid for the initial purchase of points, and we've only had the points for about a month! Pretty good return on my money so far, even if I am using them in the less savvy way! Woo hoo!

I'll convert my 2013 StarOptions to StarPoints to combine the cruise with a few nights each in Barcelona and Paris at a Starwood hotel. We have enough frequent flier miles to get at least 3 trans-Atlantic flights if I book right after the window opens to get the lowest rate.

So, for a family of four, I'm looking at cash for one room, one plane ticket, attraction fees, food on land, and train transportation from Barcelona to Paris one way. Not bad! It could be less, but 12 nights is way too long to have 4 people (if you consider 2 teens people, haha!) in a room together, IMO. Can't wait for the trip!!! :whoopie:
 

heathpack

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
4,355
Reaction score
2,877
Points
448
Location
Los Angeles
Resorts Owned
Hyatt High Sierra and Highland Inn
Disney’s Grand Californian and Hilton Head Island
Marriott Barony Beach and Mountainside
Sheraton Broadway Plantation
Sounds like an AWESOME trip. Enjoy!

H

Even though I may get flamed for using my DVC points on a cruise, I was so excited I had to share!

I made a reservation last Thursday for one of two rooms on the 12 night Mediterranean (Venice itinerary) Disney cruise using my DVC points. This cruise was worth about 23% of the value we paid for the initial purchase of points, and we've only had the points for about a month! Pretty good return on my money so far, even if I am using them in the less savvy way! Woo hoo!

I'll convert my 2013 StarOptions to StarPoints to combine the cruise with a few nights each in Barcelona and Paris at a Starwood hotel. We have enough frequent flier miles to get at least 3 trans-Atlantic flights if I book right after the window opens to get the lowest rate.

So, for a family of four, I'm looking at cash for one room, one plane ticket, attraction fees, food on land, and train transportation from Barcelona to Paris one way. Not bad! It could be less, but 12 nights is way too long to have 4 people (if you consider 2 teens people, haha!) in a room together, IMO. Can't wait for the trip!!! :whoopie:
 

tomandrobin

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,089
Reaction score
97
Points
283
Location
Bel Air, Maryland
So....I have to ask, how many points did it take for the cruise?

I won't flame....you already know the pros and cons - Renting vs Cash....blah, blah, blah.

I am in the camp of use DVC for DVC rooms, but also believe that an occasional use outside of DVC is ok too. If you have the points to burn...go for it. Timeshare owners sometimes over calculate the savings....always trying to maximizing the deal, instead of just having a great vacation!
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
The points needed for the 12 night cruise range from about 700 (inside) to 1300-1700 (different veranda levels) for 2 people. All the 12 night cruises are during the high peak season. The point chart is on DVC website. I reserved an inside for my kids with the points. They have 7 night and 4 night itineraries, for much fewer points. In fact, I think some of the 7 night itineraries are about half the points of the 12 night. I am most interested in Drubrovnik (Croatia) and Venice ports, which the 7 night cruises don't visit. I was ideally hoping the Disney ships would do Greece and Turkey this year, but I think they were worried about the economy and politics of Greece.

I told my husband the strategy of renting out the points/rooms and using the cash for the cruise booking, but he feels like it is cheating for some reason. We still come out slightly ahead on this cruise when I figure out my cost basis per point, versus booking with straight cash.
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
Timeshare owners sometimes over calculate the savings....always trying to maximizing the deal, instead of just having a great vacation!
And I do have to say, a large part of the value of owning a timeshare for me is that it actually forces my husband to block out some time away from work for a vacation! Priceless, as they say in those credit card commercials. (Which I hate to quote because I don't like credit cards, LOL, but it is very valuable to me!)
 

tomandrobin

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,089
Reaction score
97
Points
283
Location
Bel Air, Maryland
The points needed for the 12 night cruise range from about 700 (inside) to 1300-1700 (different veranda levels) for 2 people. All the 12 night cruises are during the high peak season. The point chart is on DVC website. I reserved an inside for my kids with the points. They have 7 night and 4 night itineraries, for much fewer points. In fact, I think some of the 7 night itineraries are about half the points of the 12 night. I am most interested in Drubrovnik (Croatia) and Venice ports, which the 7 night cruises don't visit. I was ideally hoping the Disney ships would do Greece and Turkey this year, but I think they were worried about the economy and politics of Greece.
We did a Med cruise out of Venice, seeing the Greek Isles, last May. It was one of the best trips ever. I really wanted to see Dubrovnik, but it was not part of our itinerary. Venice is a great city too, one of my favorite in Italy. I would seriously have considered the DCL with the Venice stops if the offer it in 2014 or 2015.
 

chriskre

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
4,580
Reaction score
227
Points
298
Location
South Florida
Resorts Owned
DVC- SSR, Poly,
Wyndham Las Cascadas
HGVC Tuscany Village
Bluegreen CMV UDI
RCI pts at VVParkway
Enchanted Isle resort.
Awesome. Congrats. :cheer:

You're going to love Barcelona. I just got back from a botched cruise. Was supposed to be on the Concordia that sank. :eek: Anyway, we enjoyed Barcelona and Madrid so all was not lost.

Since you're using starpoints, I stayed right across the street from the Le Meridien which is a starwood resort. I was in the Citadines but both share an awesome location on the Rambla. Of course the Le Meridien is a much better hotel. Enjoy. :hi:
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
We did a Med cruise out of Venice, seeing the Greek Isles, last May. It was one of the best trips ever. I really wanted to see Dubrovnik, but it was not part of our itinerary. Venice is a great city too, one of my favorite in Italy. I would seriously have considered the DCL with the Venice stops if the offer it in 2014 or 2015.
What cruise line did you take? Holland America has some itineraries that I really like. We did HAL a couple summers ago in Alaska. We did the land stuff on our own, then got on the ship at Seward and off at Vancouver. I liked HAL, but DH and I were probably about half the average age of the cruisers on board. Everyone was very friendly and polite though. I would definitely go on HAL again, but it's not the best cruise line with teens.

Maybe with 4 ships, DCL will go back in 14 or 15. I also wonder if they will eventually do a South America cruise with stops at the Galapagos and Peru since that is an "Adventures by Disney" option.
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
Awesome. Congrats. :cheer:

You're going to love Barcelona. I just got back from a botched cruise. Was supposed to be on the Concordia that sank. :eek: Anyway, we enjoyed Barcelona and Madrid so all was not lost.

Since you're using starpoints, I stayed right across the street from the Le Meridien which is a starwood resort. I was in the Citadines but both share an awesome location on the Rambla. Of course the Le Meridien is a much better hotel. Enjoy. :hi:
Wow! :eek: Thank God you didn't make your reservations for a week earlier!!!! I am curious what to learn what Costa said when they contacted you and did to make it up.

Thanks for the info. I was originally disappointed about Barcelona, but I am starting to get excited. I haven't done much research on Barcelona yet, but the reviews I have read have been very positive. I'll look up the hotel. It seems like Barcelona is a (financial) bargain compared to most other European cities. Flights to and from and hotels seem much cheaper than other places I've been checking on in the last year or two. If you have any suggestions on stuff to do or anything else, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!
 

tomandrobin

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,089
Reaction score
97
Points
283
Location
Bel Air, Maryland
What cruise line did you take? Holland America has some itineraries that I really like. We did HAL a couple summers ago in Alaska. We did the land stuff on our own, then got on the ship at Seward and off at Vancouver. I liked HAL, but DH and I were probably about half the average age of the cruisers on board. Everyone was very friendly and polite though. I would definitely go on HAL again, but it's not the best cruise line with teens.

Maybe with 4 ships, DCL will go back in 14 or 15. I also wonder if they will eventually do a South America cruise with stops at the Galapagos and Peru since that is an "Adventures by Disney" option.
We cruised on Norwegian Cruise Line. The #1 place we wanted to visit was Santorini Island and the NCL out of Venice, was our only option.

We just booked our Alaska Cruise a few weeks back. Seems we are traveling opposite of each other. We looked at HAL and DCL, but in the end choose NCL again. We are in our 40's and read too often about the average age on HAL in Alaska was mid 60's. We didn't choose DCL cause we wanted to see Glacier Bay. We are taking our adult kids, and wanted a cabin to hold all five. So based on all that, NCL had everything we were looking for our alaska cruise.

I am hoping that DCL will offer some southern Caribbean itineraries...Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts
 

chriskre

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
4,580
Reaction score
227
Points
298
Location
South Florida
Resorts Owned
DVC- SSR, Poly,
Wyndham Las Cascadas
HGVC Tuscany Village
Bluegreen CMV UDI
RCI pts at VVParkway
Enchanted Isle resort.
Wow! :eek: Thank God you didn't make your reservations for a week earlier!!!! I am curious what to learn what Costa said when they contacted you and did to make it up.

Thanks for the info. I was originally disappointed about Barcelona, but I am starting to get excited. I haven't done much research on Barcelona yet, but the reviews I have read have been very positive. I'll look up the hotel. It seems like Barcelona is a (financial) bargain compared to most other European cities. Flights to and from and hotels seem much cheaper than other places I've been checking on in the last year or two. If you have any suggestions on stuff to do or anything else, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!
Here's a trip report I did for my Disney forum. There are some pictures of the city and Barcelona along with my commentary of the trip.
http://www.mouseowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61484

As for Costa, well the accident happened on Saturday and we didn't hear anything until Sunday when I called vacationstogo which was the travel agency I used to book. Of course since it was Sunday my agent was off so spoke to a Supervisor. He had no news as of yet as to what they were going to day. Later on Sunday I received an email from them saying that Costa was cancelling all cruises thru Feb. booked on Concordia and that we could either receive a refund and 30% off a future cruise or be rebooked on a June sailing for Costa. I live in FL so was hoping for a Carnival discount but no dice. :annoyed:

Anyway, we were leaving Tuesday so it really didn't give me much time to come up with a plan B since the other cruise ships weren't an itinerary that we wanted and the price was triple. :eek:

So we just did a city stay in Spain. It worked out for us but I think that Costa could have done better. Obviously the whole time we were in Spain it dominated the news channels. I guess they were more worried about the ship and rightfully so. I'm just happy that I wasn't on that sailing cause I easily could have been. :ponder:

You might want to consider a stop over in Madrid if you have time. It's another great city and very reasonably priced as well. Actually I found Madrid a much better value than Barcelona. We stayed at the Hotel Atlantico on Gran Via which is a Best Western but was very nice. They even gave us fuzzy slippers, a robe and turndown service with little chocolates at night. :D
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
@chriskre - loved the pictures on your trip report! I use the vacationstogo website to look up info, but wasn't impressed the time I booked through them. I love All Season's Travel in Jacksonville. They specialize in Disney, but also book other cruises. I've booked Disney through them, but not other cruise lines. They are very knowledgeable about Disney cruises and how to maximize the system. Since they have such a close relationship with Disney, they usually get a heads up of what's coming down the pike. They rebooked my reservation when a special became available for my sail dates, saving me $500. :clap: They are the first travel agency that I actually trust more than doing it myself.

@tomandrobin - I've never done NCL, but no matter what cruise line you take, Alaska is absolutely awe inspiring! There is something about standing next to giant, moving, changing glaciers that makes you feel fleeting and insignificant and yet connected to the planet at the same time. Hard to explain, but completely amazing. We went on a day glacier and wildlife watching cruise. I personally enjoyed seeing the glaciers on that ship a little better than the cruise ship. The captain of the smaller boat turned its engine off so it was easier to hear the creaking and movement sounds of the glacier. It was still great on the cruise ship, but I could hear the hum of the engine as well as the creaking of the glaciers.

If you go to Ketchikan, Totem Bight State Park is a great place to go and see lots of totem poles from different native clans. Very interesting! If you are planning on doing any land touring, I can PM you and let you know some of the things we did and places we stayed. Even though Alaska has a reputation for being expensive, I found it was no more expensive than hotels and restaurants at home because we intentionally avoided the tourist traps.

BTW, the average age of the HAL cruisers on that Alaska cruise was probably 65-70, but I would still go again at some point. The rooms were a good size, I got a great rate, the excursions were reasonably prices, and the food was good. They do a lot of traditional Continental dishes, but what they do is scrumptious. They also had some guest chefs that did cooking demonstrations in a special cooking studio, which was interesting. The shows were high quality -two singers were from broadway productions. They didn't do broadway style shows, but showcased each individual's talent. HAL just had nothing for kids or teens.
 

chriskre

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
4,580
Reaction score
227
Points
298
Location
South Florida
Resorts Owned
DVC- SSR, Poly,
Wyndham Las Cascadas
HGVC Tuscany Village
Bluegreen CMV UDI
RCI pts at VVParkway
Enchanted Isle resort.
Maybe I got lucky but the agent I'm working with at vacationstogo is pretty good. I like her but it's good to know that there is a Disney cruise expert out there. I'll definitely keep it in mind and I'm glad you liked my pics. I'm not the best photographer but you get the drift. Barcelona is worth visiting. :)
 

Purseval

Guest
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
319
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Almuñécar, Spain
Venice is a great city too, one of my favorite in Italy. I would seriously have considered the DCL with the Venice stops if the offer it in 2014 or 2015.
I hated Venice. It was a filthy, ripoff tourist trap IMHO. It didn't help things when we went there directly from Lugano, Switzerland, which was so beautiful then went to Florence right afterwards. Both of those places made Venice look cheap and dirty. Perhaps if we had made it a single destination visit we may have had a better opinion of the place.
 

tomandrobin

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,089
Reaction score
97
Points
283
Location
Bel Air, Maryland
I hated Venice. It was a filthy, ripoff tourist trap IMHO. It didn't help things when we went there directly from Lugano, Switzerland, which was so beautiful then went to Florence right afterwards. Both of those places made Venice look cheap and dirty. Perhaps if we had made it a single destination visit we may have had a better opinion of the place.
Sorry to read that you has such a bad experience. What you describe is nothing what we saw or experienced.

Comparing Venice to Lugano is like comparing night to day. Two totally different cities/areas/cultures.
 

alwysonvac

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
14,143
Reaction score
2,329
Points
798
I hated Venice. It was a filthy, ripoff tourist trap IMHO. It didn't help things when we went there directly from Lugano, Switzerland, which was so beautiful then went to Florence right afterwards. Both of those places made Venice look cheap and dirty. Perhaps if we had made it a single destination visit we may have had a better opinion of the place.
Wow, I did a Globus Tour in the 90s that included a similar route Lugano, then Venice followed by Florence. I loved Venice just as much as the other two stops. I didn't think Venice looked cheap or dirty :shrug:

Actually, I can't wait until I return to Venice next year with my husband. It will be his 1st visit to Venice. :cheer:
 

Purseval

Guest
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
319
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Almuñécar, Spain
Wow, I did a Globus Tour in the 90s that included a similar route Lugano, then Venice followed by Florence. I loved Venice just as much as the other two stops. I didn't think Venice looked cheap or dirty :shrug:
Overpriced Chinese-made souvenirs, trash floating in the water, water taxis that make New York cabs seem like a deal, bad food. Of course we weren't on a tour and just wandered around the city after hitting the major tourist spots so it may seem nicer if you have a guide who takes you from place to place. Coming straight from Lugano, where you could eat off the streets, may have made it appear to be dirtier than it actually was but it just reminded me of Gatlinburg with no mountains. YMMV.

Given the choice of a return to any one of the 3 mentioned spots I would choose Florence, just a fantastic place to visit.

Another city mentioned in this thread, Barcelona, is also one of those places you should put on your must-see list. But Venice? :shrug:
 

chriskre

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
4,580
Reaction score
227
Points
298
Location
South Florida
Resorts Owned
DVC- SSR, Poly,
Wyndham Las Cascadas
HGVC Tuscany Village
Bluegreen CMV UDI
RCI pts at VVParkway
Enchanted Isle resort.
Overpriced Chinese-made souvenirs,
Those Chinese made overpriced sourvenirs are all over World not just in Venice, there were plenty in Spain too. ;)
 

amycurl

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
2,418
Reaction score
2,144
Points
424
Location
Greensboro, NC
Having lived in Italy, I was underwhelmed with Florence, but fell in love with Venice. Venice, Siena, and Pisa are my favorite Italian cities. Venice is great because there are *no cars.* I just love the entirely different pace of the city, but to each their own. And I've never been on a guided tour of any of those cities.
 

amycurl

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
2,418
Reaction score
2,144
Points
424
Location
Greensboro, NC
Oh, and I love Barcelona....we took the Salvador Dali Tren-Hotel between Milan and Barcelona...absolutely the best way to enter the city, IMHO.
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
The differences between Lugano and Venice is probably due in a large part to cultural differences of the Swiss versus the Italians. Seeing and learning about those differences is one of the things I enjoy most about traveling.

I've visited a lot of places on the west side of Italy as an 18 year old Eurailer, but haven't been to the eastern side. My best friend from high school and I spent the summer after we graduated HS touring Europe. We never made it to the eastern side of Italy because we got so tired of having our bottoms pinched and chests grabbed by the Italian men on the trains, so we headed north rather than east. I don't think that will be an issue 25 years and 50 pounds later! :rolleyes:

I personally didn't enjoy Paris the first two times I went because I was young and had little money. When my husband and I returned as a couple before kids, I enjoyed it much more. I could actually experience some of the things Paris is known for - bistros, wine, attractions, museums, etc, without having to worry about every penny. Traveling at different times of your life give you a different perspective of each place.
 

bizaro86

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
2,837
Reaction score
1,672
Points
398
Location
Calgary, AB, Canada
I'll convert my 2013 StarOptions to StarPoints to combine the cruise with a few nights each in Barcelona and Paris at a Starwood hotel. We have enough frequent flier miles to get at least 3 trans-Atlantic flights if I book right after the window opens to get the lowest rate.

So, for a family of four, I'm looking at cash for one room, one plane ticket, attraction fees, food on land, and train transportation from Barcelona to Paris one way. Not bad! It could be less, but 12 nights is way too long to have 4 people (if you consider 2 teens people, haha!) in a room together, IMO. Can't wait for the trip!!! :whoopie:
Instead of booking one room with your spg points and one cash, you'd likely be better off booking both rooms on cash and points.

For example (and not knowing your dates, I picked one with C&P availability at random):

March 9-10, 2012: Le Meridien Barcelona, category 5
1 night free is 12,000 points, and one night cash is 229 euro, total: 12000spg +~$300 USD

1 night cash and points is 4800 spg+90 usd, so for two the total would be: 9600 spg +$180, so it'd be less cash and less points.

I would also considering mixing the stays if necessary, eg, if you wish to stay 3 nights, but there is only 1 night of C&P availability, book 2 rooms the first night cash and points, and the next two nights at the best cash rate or straight points. If you tell them on check in they almost certainly won't make you check out.

Cash and points can be a great way to stretch your SPG points into even more savings.

Michael

PS. Sorry to derail this thread in the DVC forum...
 

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
Instead of booking one room with your spg points and one cash, you'd likely be better off booking both rooms on cash and points.

For example (and not knowing your dates, I picked one with C&P availability at random):

March 9-10, 2012: Le Meridien Barcelona, category 5
1 night free is 12,000 points, and one night cash is 229 euro, total: 12000spg +~$300 USD

1 night cash and points is 4800 spg+90 usd, so for two the total would be: 9600 spg +$180, so it'd be less cash and less points.

I would also considering mixing the stays if necessary, eg, if you wish to stay 3 nights, but there is only 1 night of C&P availability, book 2 rooms the first night cash and points, and the next two nights at the best cash rate or straight points. If you tell them on check in they almost certainly won't make you check out.

Cash and points can be a great way to stretch your SPG points into even more savings.

Michael

PS. Sorry to derail this thread in the DVC forum...
Michael - Thanks for the post. I actually meant that I had to pay for one room on the cruise ship. I didn't want to have 4 people in the cabin for 12 nights, so I got one on points and one with cash. But I will be getting two hotel rooms for before and after the cruise. I haven't looked at the hotels, rooms, or dates yet since that will be depend on when/where we get our plane tickets. I'm hoping to fly in or out of Paris one way and Barcelona the other.

The cash and points option is a good one, and a better value for the money in the case you gave. In the above example booking on points alone, each point is worth about 2.5 cents if I am thinking about it correctly. ($300 room/12000 Points = .025 $/pt) If using points and cash, you save $210 on the room rate by using 4800 pts, ($210/4800 pts= .04375 $/pt.) so each point is worth about 4.4 cents.

I am also going to look into the night and flight option, if we are in either city long enough, to see how that compares. It seems like a good value since you effectively get a 18-20 thousand point bonus for that transaction. I'll need to run the numbers once I know the dates to see what the best value or deal is for where we decide to stay.

Regarding derailing - I am relatively new here, but it seems as if quite a few posters/members own both Starwood and Disney. The main reason I posted here was that I was excited about the cruise. I just purchased my Disney points in December. This is my first use of DVC points. A lot of people say to rent out your Disney resort and use the cash to buy the cruise. Even using my DVC points in a "not so smart" way by making the reservation directly through Disney, I feel like I got a good value. This one reservation alone for next summer is worth 23% of my initial investment. I guess I felt the same way when we went to Atlantis during our first use year with Starwood. We used our points for a stay at a place (Harborside) that would have cost us $16,000 had we reserved the same room from the Atlantis reservation website. I guess it's kind of my justification, but it makes me feel good to look at the numbers. :cool:
 

bizaro86

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
2,837
Reaction score
1,672
Points
398
Location
Calgary, AB, Canada
Michael - Thanks for the post. I actually meant that I had to pay for one room on the cruise ship. I didn't want to have 4 people in the cabin for 12 nights, so I got one on points and one with cash. But I will be getting two hotel rooms for before and after the cruise. I haven't looked at the hotels, rooms, or dates yet since that will be depend on when/where we get our plane tickets. I'm hoping to fly in or out of Paris one way and Barcelona the other.

The cash and points option is a good one, and a better value for the money in the case you gave. In the above example booking on points alone, each point is worth about 2.5 cents if I am thinking about it correctly. ($300 room/12000 Points = .025 $/pt) If using points and cash, you save $210 on the room rate by using 4800 pts, ($210/4800 pts= .04375 $/pt.) so each point is worth about 4.4 cents.

I am also going to look into the night and flight option, if we are in either city long enough, to see how that compares. It seems like a good value since you effectively get a 18-20 thousand point bonus for that transaction. I'll need to run the numbers once I know the dates to see what the best value or deal is for where we decide to stay.

Regarding derailing - I am relatively new here, but it seems as if quite a few posters/members own both Starwood and Disney. The main reason I posted here was that I was excited about the cruise. I just purchased my Disney points in December. This is my first use of DVC points. A lot of people say to rent out your Disney resort and use the cash to buy the cruise. Even using my DVC points in a "not so smart" way by making the reservation directly through Disney, I feel like I got a good value. This one reservation alone for next summer is worth 23% of my initial investment. I guess I felt the same way when we went to Atlantis during our first use year with Starwood. We used our points for a stay at a place (Harborside) that would have cost us $16,000 had we reserved the same room from the Atlantis reservation website. I guess it's kind of my justification, but it makes me feel good to look at the numbers. :cool:

Gotcha. Sounds to me like you've got a great vacation planned. In regards to value, if you feel you're getting a reasonable vacation return on something you want to do and/or would do anyway, I wouldn't get too worried about making sure you've exactly optimized your ownership by renting or whatever.

Regards,

Michael

PS You're right that C&P was excellent value in this instance, but it may not always be. I always like to mention some of the other options that might work for people (Cash and points, nights and flights) since they can often provide better value than straight points redemptions. Always worth checking. One thing timeshare types are good at is planning early, which also helps when looking for C&P availability. I have 3 nights on C&P at the Westin in Venice which I booked 6 months early, and they're now only available for full points or 500 euros...
 
Last edited:

spencersmama

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
547
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Florida
One thing timeshare types are good at is planning early, which also helps when looking for C&P availability. I have 3 nights on C&P at the Westin in Venice which I booked 6 months early, and they're now only available for full points or 500 euros...
:whoopie: Sounds fun! check in afterward to let me know how it was!

And, yes, I'm a little too good at planning. When my husband sees me headed his way with that glint in my eye, he knows he needs to watch his wallet! He's even gotten my kids into referring to "Mama's latest travel scheme," when talking about future vacations.
 
Top