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When should I book?

Quiding

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Hi!

I am totally new to this and to be honest, I might regret it a bit but hopefully I will have changed my mind :)
I'm from Sweden and I normally travel to Asia so don't ask me why I bought a TS in US :) but hey, it is done so lets not think about that.

One thing I don't get though, after searching here for a few hours, is it really important to book exactly 8month in advance? Lets say I want to book some of the ski resorts in Avon for December and I come to think about this in July for example. Is there no way that I can get a room there then? All is already taken? I mean, the seller just said that it was so great, I could book so early if I wanted to and everyone else could only book 3months in advance. Fine, that might be true, if I were the only TS owner..........
So, if I want to go somewhere, how fast does it take until it is fully booked?
Of course I understand that it is difference from place to place, but in general I mean :)

And also, just to clarify, it says I got 2, 2 Bedroom Villas, Annual Float, at Sheraton Vistana Villages. I am an Elite member, 3* since I get 162.000 options.

Please help me out here, I got like 1000 questions, received answers here on most of them but not all...

Thanks!

Br
Johan
 

DeniseM

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Hi and welcome to TUG! :hi:

Owners (only) can book their owned unit at their home resort from 8-12 mos. out.

At 8 mos. out, any owner with Staroptions can book another Starwood resort (make a Staroptions exchange.) The prime weeks all disappear immediately. So yes, for a ski week, you need to call at 8:59 am Eastern Time at 8 mos. out from check-in, and you still may not get it.

I highly recommend that you read the info. posted at the top of the forum - it will answer many of your questions.
 
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Quiding

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Wow, fast answer, nice :)

Yes, I have read but I just didn't think it would go that fast as it said... but apparently it does, that sucks that you have to schedule your vacation that far ahead of time..
 

DeniseM

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Wow, fast answer, nice :)

Yes, I have read but I just didn't think it would go that fast as it said... but apparently it does, that sucks that you have to schedule your vacation that far ahead of time..

That is the nature of timesharing - not just Starwood. To be successful, you have to plan in advance. BUT - it's not a big deal really. If you make a Resv. and can't go, you just pay $29, cancel the Resv. and make a new one. You may not be able to get the exact same resort, but you have lots of good options with Starwood.
 

PamMo

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Quiding, I used to be a spur of the moment traveler, and the thought of scheduling vacations a year or more out was anathema to me at first, but I love it now. We own several fixed week timeshares, and those work perfectly for us. Our floating weeks are almost always planned out a year in advance. Reserving our vacations early means that I can use frequent flyer miles for airline tickets, and I like counting down the days until my next trip. I HATE looking at a 24-month calendar that doesn't have vacation weeks marked off!

Some of the unhappiest timeshare owners I know are those that haven't learned how their system works. They love their resort, but want to able to book a prime unit at prime time at the last minute. I don't know any system that can guarantee that will happen. With limited supply and high demand, those primo weeks are going to be solidly booked as soon as they become available. Keep reading and asking questions here on TUG, and you'll learn to get the most out of your timeshares at Vistana Villages!

(Of course, I'm not completely cured of wanting to take off at the last minute. I still like to keep a few deposits on hand with RCI and II for those spur of the moment trips, and some of those last minute rentals on TUG are hard to pass up! ;) )
 

tschwa2

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The first 2 weeks in December are probably not prime skiing time and something may be available in July and may not. The last two weeks in December are prime and may even be event weeks that may not be available even at the 8 month mark. I agree with the other posters. If you can make your reservations at the earliest possible date you will be happier with you timeshare.
 

DavidnRobin

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I have cancelled/changed a few reservations - and never been charged $29.
 

DavidnRobin

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I understand there was a fee at 60 (or 90?) days, but I don't think they charge - although I think they can.
 

jarta

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No charge for canceling a home resort (usually 12-8 month) reservation - unless it is cancelled within 60 days of arrival.

The $29 charge applies if a non-home resort StarOption (8 month or less) reservation is cancelled more than 1 day after it is made. ... eom
 

J&JFamily

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I understand there was a fee at 60 (or 90?) days, but I don't think they charge - although I think they can.

If you cancel a reservation by closing time the next day (day after you make your reservation), then you are not charged the $29 fee. However, if you cancel a reservation after that time period then they are supposed to charge $29. My Star Central (MSC) does not indicate that Starwood Elites (3*, 4* or 5*) are supposed to have the fee waived, however, I assume they could indeed waive that fee if they chose to do so.

The bigger problem with canceling a reservation is when you do so within 60 days of check-in for that particular reservation. Doing so will cause your staroptions to be restricted, which means that you can only use those particular staroptions within 60 days (check-in must occur within 60 days of you calling to make that reservation). This is problematic for those of us who use most of our staroptions for the family summer vacation. I recently had to cancel a spring break getaway (a couple of days) to Palm Springs because I wasn't sure if I could go at that time and did not want to have those staroptions restricted as I'm currently calling on a daily basis trying to book an additional room for our summer vacation.
 
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J&JFamily

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No charge for canceling a home resort (usually 12-8 month) reservation - unless it is cancelled within 60 days of arrival.

The $29 charge applies if a non-home resort StarOption (8 month or less) reservation is cancelled more than 1 day after it is made. ... eom

Thank you, I did not know that the fee did not apply to home resort reservations.
 

jarta

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J&J, ... There is nothing in the documents on mystarcentral about no charge for canceling a home resort (12-8 month in season) reservation. Even before I became 5 Star Elite, I had never been charged a fee for doing so. However, I have always been charged the $29 fee for canceling an 8 month or less reservation more than 1 day after I made it.

Just to be sure I was accurate (the troll truth squad follows me around pointing out minor inaccuracies in my posts), this morning I called Starwood and asked about fees for canceling home resort (12-8 month in season) reservations? I was told there are none and this is not an Elite benefit. ... eom
 

Quiding

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I just got to ask, been searching for 45min now and I am just getting irritated :)
Since I have to book so long in advance it is nice to know what weeks are the most popular (Since I am not an American I don't have to go on the 4th of July etc) and I think I have seen a chart where there are like "A lot available" on the left and on the right "Very popular" and there are weeks on the left side.
Maybe this was in some papers I got when I bought but I don't think so :( Does anyone know what charts I mean? Would be nice to find them since I can't...

Thanks!

(Sorry for my English, explaining is kind a hard when it is not your native language)
 

tschwa2

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You can look at Interval International and use the index's from their directory. Not 100% accurate but shows the general popularity trends for each area.

tdi-9.gif
 

Quiding

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Isn't it strange that in week 47, 19-26november or something, the cost is like 50.000 SO but week 48 it is 150.000 SO. Of course it has to change some week but week 47 isn't even popular...
Well, maybe the skiing just sucks in week 47 :)
 

PamMo

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I would think Thanksgiving week has more demand, but it's all about the snow... Depending on check-in day, Thanksgiving falls in week 46, 47, or 48.
 
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jerseygirl

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Week 47 is usually thanksgiving here in the US. Most kids are out of school at least 3 days, so lots of families pull them out for the other 2 days and travel that week. It's the "going to Grandma's" week here .... Or to Disney, skiing, the beach, etc!
 

Twinkstarr

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Usually not enough snow to make it worthwhile week 47.

I believe week 47 falls in silver season.
 

Quiding

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Thanks for the info!
But it gets me thinking.. I am totally new to TS so I might be missing something. If so, please help me out.
I get 162.000 SO per year. That is enough for 1week at Westin in high season (cost is 148.000) for a 2-bedroom lockoff. I mean, I go to their website to book "normally" and the price for the same week is like 2100usd for a room with 2-3 beds and all. My MF is approx 2200usd per year. And then plus that I bought it for a lot of money. Is it really worth it or what am I missing? :)
Thanks for helping a lost Swede!!
 

J&JFamily

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Thanks for the info!
But it gets me thinking.. I am totally new to TS so I might be missing something. If so, please help me out.
I get 162.000 SO per year. That is enough for 1week at Westin in high season (cost is 148.000) for a 2-bedroom lockoff. I mean, I go to their website to book "normally" and the price for the same week is like 2100usd for a room with 2-3 beds and all. My MF is approx 2200usd per year. And then plus that I bought it for a lot of money. Is it really worth it or what am I missing? :)
Thanks for helping a lost Swede!!

If you're buying Sheraton Vistana Villages to use there, you might be better off not buying and renting, exchanging, etc. The best (some would argue the only) reason for buying at a SVV would be to buy in one of the mandatory sections (Bella or Key West) so that you could use the staroptions at some of the more expensive/difficult resorts.
 
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jerseygirl

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Some resorts rent for significantly more than the maintenance fee, so you are able to amoritize the upfront cost and eventually break even and then start coming out ahead.

Others, not so much .....

It sounds like you own two 81000 SO weeks, so you're paying two maintenance fees to get a 148,100 week. It's hard to come out ahead under those circumstances. Although many of the 148,100 weeks have maint fees in excess of $2200 .... so I guess it's a wash.

If you were to reserve 2 81000 SO weeks at Harborside (for example), your $2200 in maintenance fees would get you rooms that rent (from the resort) for well over $10K.

Depending on when and where you'd like to travel, you could possibly get more value by depositing your weeks with II (travel to the Marriotts in Spain, France, Thailand, for example).




Thanks for the info!
But it gets me thinking.. I am totally new to TS so I might be missing something. If so, please help me out.
I get 162.000 SO per year. That is enough for 1week at Westin in high season (cost is 148.000) for a 2-bedroom lockoff. I mean, I go to their website to book "normally" and the price for the same week is like 2100usd for a room with 2-3 beds and all. My MF is approx 2200usd per year. And then plus that I bought it for a lot of money. Is it really worth it or what am I missing? :)
Thanks for helping a lost Swede!!
 

Twinkstarr

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ski season for the Vail/Avon resorts weeks 1-15, 48-50(7,51,52 sold as event weeks and float owners can't book). Those weeks will cost you 148,100. Week 47 is the last week of silver season.

Looking at 2012 calendar, Fri/Sat before Thanksgiving fall in week 46. Sunday check in(which Lakeside Terrrace is only Sunday check in) falls in week 47.

2013 Thanksgiving falls in week 47.
 

Ken555

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I agree with JG. If you need a 2-bed unit, I think you'll get much more value for your MF by trading via II, even to other SVN properties. Of course, ski weeks are hard to get in this manner, etc.
 

Twinkstarr

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I agree with JG. If you need a 2-bed unit, I think you'll get much more value for your MF by trading via II, even to other SVN properties. Of course, ski weeks are hard to get in this manner, etc.

Unless things change this year, LT and SMV have large bulk banks of ski weeks. I bet there are some weeks 47-50 sitting in II right now at both of those resorts.

Now if you want the Westin Riverfront or Steamboat Springs SO's are the way to go, as I've yet to see even one mud week in II from either of those resorts.
 
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