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DC cruise prices/ Am I crazy

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by catbro, Aug 12, 2017 at 8:05 PM.

  1. catbro

    catbro Guest

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    Hello Marriott Owners,

    Just joined DC through Encore program as I missed the $295 join deadline many years ago. Not sure that I missed much and would appreciate your input.

    I must say I am really appalled at the cruise prices I've seen which I am most familiar with and also appalled by the tour prices. Do these people think we are idiots? Are the prices for Marriott time shares more reasonable? Other wise I think I just wasted my time and money to join.

    OVS, 'special' Marriott owner cruise price for Feb 25 Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary is 6550 DC points PLUS $775 for double occupancy in a veranda cabin. At $.50/DC point value that equals ~$4000 for a cruise that sells on Expedia for $2809/DO and you can get for 10% less on cruise compete sites so ~$2500 booking in advance.

    I have yet to see ANY OVS cruises where the DC points cost is ANY WHERE close to the actual dollar cost. AND the escorted tours seem to be an EVEN WORSE value.

    Am I missing something in this evaluation? I thought it was pretty straightforward and Marriott DC was supposed to be such a great value. Not so much right now from what I can see.

    Please straighten me out if I am wrong. Thank You all.
     
  2. Fasttr

    Fasttr TUG Member

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    The value per point on most Explorer Collection usages seem to be only approx $0.30... or less. Certainly not a great value proposition for using your points. Best value is staying inside the MVC resort collection.
     
  3. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You aren't wrong. Don't use timeshare points for cruises. Use them for timeshare stays. PERIOD. Use cash at a discounter for cruises.
     
  4. MOXJO7282

    MOXJO7282 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    And where do you get good value within the Marriott system? I'm not seeing much there either.

    To me the DC is for people that don't vacation for a full 7 days, want flexibility to reserve those shorter stays at different locations or they take the points and travel off-season and turn their points into multiple weeks. The latter is where I do see some value but otherwise at all the resorts I own or can rent through Redweek it's not even close in terms of value with the DC coming up real short, IMHO.
     
  5. Fairwinds

    Fairwinds TUG Member

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    I also prefer the weeks system; however, In addition to flexibility I get value from the D.C. because I like to travel in the shoulder seasons. I own a platinum season Sabal Palms and because it's not a lock off the points system essentially allows me to use it as a lock off. I might not get the whole second week but I usually get 2-3 days extra.
     
  6. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    The shorter stays are a part of it - a big part of it - but it's more than just that. The DC reservation process is more like making an online hotel reservation, without the sometimes frustrating reserve/deposit/request/match process inherent in II trading. So there is also a process advantage to DC points. For those of us who equate some value to a superior process, it makes DC Points more attractive than they might otherwise seem based on a pure value-per-night metric or something like that.

    Having said that, I agree the value in the Cruises and Explorer Collection offerings is generally not there. For someone with a lot of enrolled points who may not have a use otherwise for all of their weeks/points, then using them for Cruises/Explorer is better than losing them, but in my opinion, these offerings are not an inherent reason to own points.
     
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  7. ljmiii

    ljmiii TUG Member

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    To flip it around, DPs have proven to be valuable to us because they are NOT weeks or cash or MRPs. And so we've been able to use DPs (at 50 cents/DP) as another vacation 'currency' to stay at cheaper and/or nicer accommodations than we could with cash. Looking into the year ahead we'll be staying less expensively for a few nights each in Williamsburg, Boston, and DC. The flexibility has been a boon as well. Next summer we'll be staying in Hana for two nights after our week in MOC before we move on to Ko'Olina using DPs - something we couldn't do if we had to stay on Oahu Sat-Sat. Not to mention avoiding the additional stress of having to book flights before I knew our II trade or rental for that week in Ko'Olina would hit.

    I do worry that once our kids have fled the nest the value of using DPs vs cash will drop as we no longer 'need' to stay in 1 or 2BRs. On the other hand I no longer have to worry about what we will do with our 2BR Waiohai weeks once we're just a couple.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 8:40 AM
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  8. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    No timeshare points system is a great value for taking a cruise. It is always better to book your own cruise directly with your favor cruise line . Then you can select your own cabin and the various perks thru the cruise line.
     
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  9. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    Our youngest is heading off to college next week and our son will be graduating from college in December, so we are about to enter the phase you speak of. We think that is when DPs will become the most valuable for short stays and flexibility. We'll no longer need 2BR accommodations for every trip, but we've become so accustomed to condo/timeshare type of accommodations that we'll still prefer 1BR timeshares (or sometimes a studio if we want to stretch our points) over hotel rooms, if we're traveling to a resort-type area (in urban locations, hotels are fine). Traveling in timeshares for almost 20 years has spoiled us. It's nice to have the separate living and sleeping rooms, even for just two of us. While there are suite type hotels that can booked for cash (Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, etc.), they tend to be more focused in business-trip type areas, so you generally can't find them in great numbers or great locations in resort areas. We're using a Residence Inn early next week to get our daughter all settled in at University of Florida, so can always book stuff like that for trips that don't lend themselves to timeshare use, but we still love the space and accommodations you can get with DPs.
     
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  10. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    My guess is that Marriott also adds a premium to these "Owner Cruises" for the privilege of attending a presentation and perhaps also some other workshops, owner networking and shows related to your ownership. You can usually book these same cruises and same dates on other sites for far less. You can talk with the same owners, you just miss out on these presentations and perhaps networking sessions to meet other owners. Marriott only blocks a certain number of cabins for these cruises, they don't book the entire ship.
     
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  11. ljmiii

    ljmiii TUG Member

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    Wow...and good to know. I'm used to the DVC member cruise where the most and least expensive rooms disappear in minutes and the entire ship gets booked in a day or three.
     
  12. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I don't know the dates of the current cruises, but I recall looking at some of the prior cruise dates and noticed I was able to book those same cruises on Cruise.com and other such sites. I suspect that MVC members aren't as rabid as DVC owners, so they simply can't sell out an entire ship, or two like the number of cruises they currently are selling.
     
  13. ilene13

    ilene13 TUG Member

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    We moved to Sarasota, Florida 2 years ago. We live in a gated country club and golf community. We no longer feel the need to go to HH annually. So I turned our 3 bedroom platinum surfwatch weeks into DP for a couple of years. We are about to go on a 14 night Baltic cruise which I booked using DP. We upgraded the cabin to an Aqua Class. The cruise should have cost me about $12,000 out of pocket, instead it cost $3000. Was it a good deal I don't know but it's something we wanted to do.
     
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  14. ljmiii

    ljmiii TUG Member

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    Congratulations! I don't know how the conversion rate for DPs to cruises is calculated but I do know that converting DVC points to cruises is usually a poor value...but not always. Basically, the DVC point costs are set for each cabin when the cruises are announced but the cash price is free to fluctuate in response to demand. So you can find 'deals' depending on cruise and cabin. The same may well be true for DPs.
     
  15. Dean

    Dean TUG Member

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    I am not aware of a timeshare system where such cash type options are a reasonable value when looked at in terms of maint fees and up front costs. The process of getting from timeshare to cash with those along the way who take a cut makes it almost impossible to do so. DVC is likely one of the worst but mostly because there is such a liquid market for the points, not because the % is worse looking at fees compared to what the item would cost on the open market. I sometimes use the exchange option for cruises with Bluegreen even though it does siphon off about 20% of the value. What I'm sometimes doing is reserving villas, canceling later then replacing the canceled item on cash. That leaves me with points that have a lower value that I have to dispose of. So while the actual return looking only at those points is less the total OOP ends up being less than if I paid for the cruise just with cash and used points for the villas because I get such a good deal on the rooms on cash. IMO to expect it to be a reasonable value is well, unreasonable.
     
  16. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    What can of cabin did you book for that low price and what cruise line?
     
  17. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    What cruise line and what type of cabin did you book (inside, balcony or a mini suite) ? Sounds like you got an excellent deal ., Sound liked you book your cruise with Celebrity Cruise Line. Celebrity Cruise has Aqua Cruise cabin which means you will dine in BLU.
     
  18. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Is the cost of your DP included in that $3000? Or is that just the cost of the upgrade and other fees?
     
  19. Dean

    Dean TUG Member

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    I can't speak for ilene13 but here's how DVC works. They set the points charts yearly and the cash portions are set at about a 10% discount to rack rates. You must pay one adult on points, after that you can pay any others in the cabin with either points or the set cash rate. So almost always when one is getting a "good deal" it's because they've missed any applicable discounts. Some cabins are discounted more than others on cash outside DVC so that always comes into play. Almost always when one calculates the $$$ return on points for DVC cruises it's between $6.50 & $7.50 per point. The first year for AK on the Wonder was $10 pp and I've seen one report (though I'm skeptical) of a transatlantic for $18 pp. For any owner who has the option and enough points, I'd compare just in case one hit's that situation. 1000% of the time it's a bad idea to buy planning to use for this purpose and always has been though many have/do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 7:37 AM
  20. ljmiii

    ljmiii TUG Member

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    With DVC you get to book DCL (Disney Cruise Lines)...and it wasn't me. It was a response in another forum to the standard advice of 'never use DVC points on cruises'. Summer 2016 saw insane demand and price increases for some Northern European DCL cruises. Fully booked off and on for almost a year before it sailed, someone snagged a recently cancelled room using points at a very nice discount off the cash price (calculated at the then going rate of $14/pt). I can't verify if it is 'true'...though I can verify the 'fully booked' and 'cash price feeding frenzy' part. And I've changed my using DVC points on a DCL cruise advice from 'never' to 'almost never'.

    All that said...don't expect a good deal on a 'normal' Bahamanian/Caribbean DCL cruise.
     
  21. ilene13

    ilene13 TUG Member

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    We are on Celebrity and we booked an Aqua Class Cabin which is right below a suite. Private dining room, concierge, balcony, larger cabin, penthouse deck. Booked it in May of 2016. We leave for Amsterdam on Saturday. We are there for 4 days pre cruise.
    I used 13,000 DP. We are Chairmans level.
     
  22. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Enjoy! We did that one Aqua Class on Silhouette 2 years ago. My best takeaway= be up and on deck VERY early going through the archipelago into Stockholm. It's tempting to just have room service and watch it from your balcony, but you miss half the passage if you do that. It's better than the Inside Passage.

    Jim
     
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  23. ilene13

    ilene13 TUG Member

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  24. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Also, departing Amsterdam, there will probably be a Cruise Critic 'sail away' meet & greet at the Ocean Bar outside the rear of the buffet. If not, no matter. It's a great spot to be anyway. Have a Heinekin for me.

    Amsterdam is one of our favorites. We stay in one of the several 'boutique' hotels in the Museumplatz neighborhood. Near the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum. Warhol & Banksy are nearby & lots of food/drink, supermarket (to buy wine to carry aboard). A Tiffany store and Tesla dealer if you have money burning a hole in your pocket.

    Just watch out for the bicycles in Amsterdam. They WILL run you over if you're not careful.

    Jim
     
  25. Fun4Life

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