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Westin St John Master Thread - Part 3 [Dec. 2017 and forward]

DavidnRobin

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[This new WSJ Master Thread (#3) covers December 2017 and forward]

Here is link to original WSJ Master Thread #1 (pre-June 2014):
http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111510

Here is link to original WSJ Master Thread #2 (June 2014 to November 2017):
https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/westin-st-john-master-thread-part-2-june-2014-and-forward.213071/

OK - as mentioned in the previous WSJ thread (#2) - time for Part 3!
Amazing that WSJ Threads Part 1 and 2 are not the only the most viewed threads in the Vistana Forum, but also for TUG overall when combined (>400K views with >4000 replies).

This thread will cover WSJ-VGV (Hillside), WSJ-BV, WSJ-CV, and the new WSJ-SB - as well as info related to St John and surrounding area.

If you own WSJ, plan on buying WSJ, visiting WSJ, or a StJ lover - please participate with info you may want to share, or stuff you may want to discover. Be sure to tell others that may be interested in this great resort and spectacular island.

Enjoy!
David (DavidnRobin)
 
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DavidnRobin

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Here are links to trip reports in the past - some of these are quite old, and may not be relevant anymore given the changes to WSJ and/or STJ following the devasating H. Irma, and H. Maria that followed.

https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/westin-st-john-master-thread-part-2-june-2014-and-forward.213071/#post-1641118
https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/westin-st-john-master-thread-part-2-june-2014-and-forward.213071/#post-1641455

not sure if there are others - feel free to add.
 

Helios

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Thanks David. Pretty cool the WSJ has been so successful...
 

DeniseM

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Thank you, Dave - for keeping this organized!
 

DavidnRobin

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WSJ/STJ as of Dec 2017 - recap...

As most know H.Irma (and H.Maria following) was devastating to WSJ - not as horrific as with the surrounding area, but bad enough to close the resort until at least July 2018 with no reservations being taken in 2018. Not sure if this is the absolute current info (it is my understanding...) - regardless, it will take a while to recover. There is a lot of infrastructure work going on - WSJ has generators, but Cruz Bay just got electricity (87 days or so since H.Irma if social media reports are correct). However, only 1/2 the island has WAPA power.

Coral Bay is still a disaster area. There are now 4 NPS beaches open. Beached and sunken boats are slowly being removed - there was some crazy number in the USVI (~450 if memory serves...). Our favorite charter captain (Jason on Island Roots) is fairing as well as can be. He had just joined St John Fire/Rescue a few months prior to H.Irma - so he is busy getting his life (and others) back together. He and his new bride had a house out by Salt Pond - so he has a plot of land now. His boats survived.

The island will survive as they are truly a strong and tight nit community, both Chesney and Bloomberg have contributed amazing amounts of resources. The individual and community stories are incredible (happy and sad). We plan to return in 2019 and expect things will be quite different - yet the same. As it always is with Carribean Islands.

Anyway...
The 2018 MFs have been drastically reduced and are running about 40% of projected levels (pre-Irma).
Owners of BV, CV, SB (non-resale), and VGV (including resale) can use their 2018 SOs within VSN for a 3 year period (we used ours immediately for WPORV in June). I would recommend being active on this at the 8-month point. (IMO).
VSN/SPG just started a program for owners to use SOs for selected hotel stays. This may (IMO) be related to the WSJ effect - WSJ Owners using VSN with WSJ inventory no longer available (warning... speculation), and VSE trying to buffer the capacity situation.
WSJ Owners (including resale) were also offered SP packages at 1.65c/SP (retail = 3.5c/SP) - the offer ended Nov 30th - nor sure how many took them up on offer, but we did - 1.65c/SP is a great price - especially if you follow ThePointsGuy.

It will probably be a while to get more info than has been presented in the WSJ #2 thread. Check back and I am sure updates will be posted as they arise.

Amazing that the overall WSJ thread covers WSJ and STJ back to 2008 - an interesting story - unique in SVO/VSE lore.

Feel free to add what I may have missed, or gotten incorrect.
 
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GrayFal

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Thanks for the update and new thread.

The banked SO for WSJ owners that are eligible to use SO is three years.
So my February 2018 VGV SO are good until 12/31/21.
 

NNerland

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If you are an owner in St John - and you are interested in purchasing those discounted points, check with Vistana. My deadline is December 31st - not November 1st. I can't say if this is for everyone, but please check. It is pretty good value and there are various entry points, all at 1.65cents per point as noted.
I agree with Dave - the banking is a huge future, but please know what that means and be prepared to TRY and book at the 8 month mark. With the banking option now on year 3 I believe, and with the St John non mandatory/resale owners getting to bank their options, the good resorts will fill fast..especially with the BEST ONE ST JOHN not available. Best of luck everyone - be proactive and your own advocate here. We have options, I hope you can all make the best of them.

Finally -I haven't seen anything on the new program offering some options to use Staroptions in hotels. Curious to learn more.
 

tomandrobin

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4 beaches are open now. Cinnamon is now opened as well.
Open is a lose term for Cinnamon Bay. Everything else about Cinnamon Bay is a a disaster still.

I was reading over the weekend the Maho was next on the list. But the damages to the buildings and road is severe. There is talk of moving the road further back from the beach. And it was noted that the turtles are gone from the bay for now.
 

letsgomets

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WSJ/STJ as of Dec 2017 - recap...

WSJ Owners (including resale) were also offered SP packages at 1.65c/SP (retail = 3.5c/SP) - the offer ended Nov 1st - nor sure how many took them up on offer, but we did - 1.65c/SP is a great price - especially if you follow ThePointsGuy.
with the St John non mandatory/resale owners getting to bank their options, the good resorts will fill fast..especially with the BEST ONE ST JOHN not available.
Where did you hear about resale owners being able to bank SO and buy SPG points? Are you referring to just Virgin Grand or the other sections?

Thanks.
 

GrayFal

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Where did you hear about resale owners being able to bank SO and buy SPG points? Are you referring to just Virgin Grand or the other sections?

Thanks.
Non mandatory BV CV SB resale owners can not bank StarOptions as they don't have any.
They can deposit their ownership into II.

Mandatory VGV resale owners can bank their SO for three years or deposit in II.

All WSJ owners were permitted to buy up to 110K SP at the reduced rate of $1.65.
 

DavidnRobin

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I meant Nov 30th (not 1st)- but great to hear it has been extended.
It is a good deal at 1.65c/SP if you need them and/or can use them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

okwiater

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Keep in mind also that the combination of SPG and Marriott Rewards is officially delayed until at least 2019, which means you will be able to redeem your points for reservations into 2020 (if you can plan ahead!)

Now I just need to figure out what to spend 500K SPG points on... :)
 

Helios

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Now I just need to figure out what to spend 500K SPG points on... :)
Keep me posted, I was looking forward to converting to SPG points and that plan fell through.
 

letsgomets

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I'm pretty sure I got nearly the same letter, but without any mention of purchasing SPG points.
 

Tia

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? Am I reading correctly the maint fees while resort is closed have been reduced 40%, compared to if no hurricane and resort was opened?

WSJ/STJ as of Dec 2017 - recap...

......clip........
Anyway...
The 2018 MFs have been drastically reduced and are running about 40% of projected levels (pre-Irma).
 

DavidnRobin

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? Am I reading correctly the maint fees while resort is closed have been reduced 40%, compared to if no hurricane and resort was opened?
Reduced ~60%. Therefore, ~40% of proposed rate (pre-Irma).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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NNerland

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One slight hiccup I learned about today - and perhaps I just missed this in the various communications from the Owners Association and TUGG board.
Our family had used up all of our StarOption's - minus one block of our 3 bd Winter 2018 Bay Vista -- Star options 257,700
Typically this can be converted into 153,000 (as a 5star) StarPOINTS. Our plan, after using all the other options we own for Cancun over 4 different vacations for friends and family, was to convert to POINTS.
Typically you can convert your USE YEAR (in this case 2018) beginning Oct 1st of the prior year up until either March 1, June 1 or Oct 1 (depending on your ownership level), and of course it must be in the VSN to be converted, can't convert resale, unless you retro.

I called to pay my 2018 due on this block, so I could covert to points as I am trying to book somethings in 2018 and we could use the points. I was told that St John Owners in 2018, regardless of conversion ability CAN NOT convert their OPTIONS to POINTS. We can book other resorts with StarOptions, transfer to II, or Bank the options. Their rationale is somewhat reasonable, but still kind of frustrating if it turns out we could use the points. Their rational is that if we convert, Starwood has no way to monetize the Options we give them for St John. They have nothing they can rent out.

The work around is this --- bank for 2019. Then in 2018, when and if we can book for 2019, we would book at our 12 month window for our usual 2 weeks. I could then call after the 8 month mark and have them rebook using my options. The risk could be we lose our time stamp (priority to our 1st week) and slight chance we would have to change rooms. Small risk, given when we go and the fact that logic comes into play I am sure with the back to back reservation.

Just thought I would share as I totally missed this. So the planning for all you other owners is more essential than ever, as you can't use this as a fall back plan for your unused or spent OPTIONS. Again, there is a work around but not until the resort is open. Thus, why they offered us the chance to give them more money for points. Price was good, but now I understand why they did that....it wasn't just for goodwill and revenue to Starwood. I had kind of always assumed if you converted, they paid SPG for the points you were getting and they could also rent out and paid a "maintenance/cost" for the resort week they took. Thus it kind of washed out; but since they have nothing to rent it does take this option away.

All in all I am very satisfied with how things have been handled. This is a small hiccup and I just hope that the 153,000 which is 459,000 Marriott Points (if you "wash them") aren't needed for what I am working on.
 

schafercpa

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Non mandatory BV CV SB resale owners can not bank StarOptions as they don't have any.
They can deposit their ownership into II.

Mandatory VGV resale owners can bank their SO for three years or deposit in II.

All WSJ owners were permitted to buy up to 110K SP at the reduced rate of $1.65.
Hi all... can someone clarify the sp discount program. I have a BV resale and have been told I do not qualify as I am not a VSN member. Have spent way too much time on hold. Who is right?? Who should I speak with?
 

bobpark56

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For what its worth, Starwood's Explorer office in Orlando has just informed us that they expect WSJ to re-open on 1 July (Sunset Villas, to be precise). They promised to"reach out" and inform us as soon as they hear anything different. I was poking them, as we have a back-to-back booking for the Explorer package with our 1-week Pool Villa stay, and I wanted to know if we should be doing anything about that.
 
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