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Old July 17, 2013, 03:26 PM   #1
C30NY
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II Cruise Exchange w/ SDO

For those of you that may own an SDO, I was kicking around the idea of using one week for a cruise exchange and I was surprised to find that my small True Platinum week knocked almost $2000 off a suite on NCL. Thats almost a savings net of $1400. The 1-52 float saved me about $50 less than the True Platinum (roughyl $1350 off NCLs price)...

So those that may own SDO and interested in cruising, the II Cruise exchange may actually provide some true value.

~C30
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Old July 17, 2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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Is your maintenance fee + cost of cruise + exchange fee LESS than just purchasing the cruise from a discount website like www.vacationstogo.com?
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Old July 17, 2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C30NY View Post
For those of you that may own an SDO, I was kicking around the idea of using one week for a cruise exchange and I was surprised to find that my small True Platinum week knocked almost $2000 off a suite on NCL. Thats almost a savings net of $1400. The 1-52 float saved me about $50 less than the True Platinum (roughyl $1350 off NCLs price)...

So those that may own SDO and interested in cruising, the II Cruise exchange may actually provide some true value.

~C30
I find that savings extremely hard to believe considering II has to pay cash for your cruise. Anything that II has to buy externally is almost never a fair trade.
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Old July 17, 2013, 03:47 PM   #4
C30NY
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absolutely - Pricing for a 12-day cruise my family is considering (3 guests)

$5850.00 - Vacationstogo

$4051.90 - Interval
+$615 MF's
+$200 exchange fee (actually less but i'm simplifying math)
--------
$4866.90

$983.10 SAVINGS
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Old July 17, 2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintsfanfl View Post
I find that savings extremely hard to believe considering II has to pay cash for your cruise. Anything that II has to buy externally is almost never a fair trade.
believe what you want, but you run the #'s for a cruise and your SDO week. Maybe its not all cruise lines, maybe its my week, I dont know...but I'm getting a very good savings here and figured I would pass the info along.
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Old July 17, 2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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Also, NCL's direct price was $5979. For the extra $130 I'd book with NCL direct over the 3rd party. I have better luck with upgrades when booking through NCL.

Last edited by C30NY; July 17, 2013 at 03:54 PM.
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Old July 17, 2013, 03:58 PM   #7
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I saw the same thing with my SBP with a cheap-y cruise in a cheapy cabin last year. I saw one that gave me the value of my MF's. I would have to pay $200 out of pocket for a cruise (not including the fee I had already paid for my MF and the upgrade to II platinum) for a cruise that would have cost $900 out of pocket for 2. My MF's were $680 that year.

Certainly not the $2000 value but not something where I could find the same price without using the cruise exchange option. I did call to verify the out of costs including the exchange fee but didn't do it.
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Old July 17, 2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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I don't have an SDO, but I just did a test using two of my weeks and trading for a 7 Night Royal Caribbean cruise in a junior suite. I compared the total cost on Interval versus the total cost directly from the cruise line. The cruise line was cheaper in both cases. Using a value trader it was break-even before the exchange fee. Using a 2BR President's week at Marriott's Ocean Pointe it was $800 cheaper (incl. exch fee) directly with Royal Carribean.

I think something with your exchange is an anomaly. Perhaps they need your week and put a high value on it. I would think President's week at Ocean Pointe would also be very high value, but it is not even close to the maintenance fee. This is a week that rents at more than double the maintenance fees.

On a side note, Interval applies the discount only to the first two passengers. Any additional passengers are the same price as directly with the cruise company.

EDIT:

Here is the cruise exchange "discount" I received per unit tested. This is before the II exchange fee:

Generic trader $530 maintenance fee - $545.42
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - Studio - $517.52
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - 1BR - $735.92
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - 2BR - $803.42
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - 3BR - $870.92
Grande Vista Pres. Wk - 3BR - $859.40

Without spending too much time testing I don't think it matters what cruise I try and exchange for. I receive the same "discount" for the same unit exchanged.
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Last edited by Saintsfanfl; July 17, 2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old July 17, 2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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I think every timeshare exchange company that lets you exchange for a cruise outsources it to I.C.E. (SFX, Interval, RCI, possibly Marriott Vacation Club although I haven't seen any documents to support this one, DAE, TPI, VRIety, etc.) They have all cut slightly different deals so the valuation isn't always the same. In general you will get a better discount off the top end cruises and the higher categories mainly because the cruise line commission wiggle room is greater on these category/cruises.

Even with the $164 exchange fee, if you can't use your week and really want to cruise if you have a high season resort at least you can get most of your money you already paid toward the price of the cruise in some cases. In some cases you can get better deals without trading in your timeshares. You may also do better renting your unit and using the money towards the cruise but not everyone wants to do that. If you own a high maintenance fee unit or a lower season it doesn't usually work out at all. Bottom line is it is not always the super terrible deal it is made out to be but you have to shop and research like everything TS related.
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Old July 17, 2013, 05:57 PM   #10
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The specific cruise I was looking at was a 4/27 sailing, Tampa to Boston on the NCL Dawn (12 nights). The cabin I priced above was a Penthouse with Large Balcony for 3 people. I would be curious to see what others get for the price.

Also, my week is again a True Platinum 1-26 51-52 float, but is deeded xmas week. I know that the deeded week for the float doesnt matter, but who knows what Starwood actually gave, and I'm not even sure II would go that in depth when assigning the value.
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Old July 17, 2013, 06:05 PM   #11
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The difference between the absolute lowest demand week and President's week using the 3BR Grande Vista?

$108.48
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Old July 17, 2013, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C30NY View Post
The specific cruise I was looking at was a 4/27 sailing, Tampa to Boston on the NCL Dawn (12 nights). The cabin I priced above was a Penthouse with Large Balcony for 3 people. I would be curious to see what others get for the price.
I looked that up using SFX/OVS. Without using an exchange, but using SFX rewards for a previous deposit, it came out to this:

Per Passenger Fare Summary
Passenger Fare Govt Fees Total
#1 $2,149.00 $110.85 $2,259.85
#2 $2,149.00 $110.85 $2,259.85
#3 $349.00 $110.85 $459.85
Note: If more than 1 cabin is needed, you must complete this process a second time for the second cabin.
Processing Fee:
$24.95
CSA Insurance:
$0.00
Approximate Total Price:
$5,004.50
Pay this amount today:
$1,949.40
This amount due 01 Feb, 2014:
$3,055.10

Just thought I'd post it. I'm always trying to figure out if it is worth booking with SFX. It seems like it always is for the most expensive rooms, but not for the cheaper rooms.
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Old July 17, 2013, 07:42 PM   #13
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I agree the true value is in the suites, and thats pretty much what we sail in when sailing. We could have had a few rooms (I think up to an ocean view or lower class balcony) for essentially taxes, but for 12 days we want the room, butler/concierge and nicer balcony.
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Old July 17, 2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C30NY View Post
The specific cruise I was looking at was a 4/27 sailing, Tampa to Boston on the NCL Dawn (12 nights). The cabin I priced above was a Penthouse with Large Balcony for 3 people. I would be curious to see what others get for the price.

Also, my week is again a True Platinum 1-26 51-52 float, but is deeded xmas week. I know that the deeded week for the float doesnt matter, but who knows what Starwood actually gave, and I'm not even sure II would go that in depth when assigning the value.
Edit:

I am seeing the same large discount you are seeing no matter what I use. I am seeing about $1,770 to $2,100 off depending on the week I use. It is the cruise or line and not the week you are using. I will post the specific discounts as soon as I run them.

These are the discounts over NCL. Deduct $300 for the ship board credit. I am assuming you do not get that with II but I could be wrong.

Generic trader $530 maintenance fee - $1,783.46
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - Studio - $1,715.56
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - 1BR - $1,933.96
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - 2BR - $2,001.46
Ocean Pointe Pres. Wk - 3BR - $2,068.96
Ocean Pointe lowest TDI possible 90 days out - 3BR - $2,017.06

It is a very good discount, but the much better value is in a non-prime week, if available. There is very little difference between the best and the worst weeks given up. Only $50 difference between dead season and the best week at Ocean Pointe? It doesn't make any logical sense, but that is II for you.

It is a very valid consideration. I had no idea that you could get that big of a discount on any cruise.

You are right, the discount increases with a more expensive room type. The Generic trader $530 maintenance fee turns into a measly $648.42 off NCL with the cheapest room type.
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Last edited by Saintsfanfl; July 17, 2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old July 17, 2013, 09:07 PM   #15
C30NY
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the 300 OBC still applies. II can offer all of the same "broad" discounts that are being offered, but they obviously cant match what expedia or others may be offering.

Also, being that my 1-52 float and true plat trade about equal for weeks, Id probably just take the $50 extra on the cruise using the plat, as opposed to not using it.

Thanks for checking!

Last edited by C30NY; July 17, 2013 at 09:10 PM.
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Old July 17, 2013, 09:29 PM   #16
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Just weighing in here. I have found that booking a cruise directly with II (not via exchange) also can give pretty good discounts (under travel tab). Plugging in same cruise and category, II shows the total price to be $4,865.

So, essentially same net price as if you exchange. You'll cover your MFs and trade cost, but that's about all compared to other pricing available.

Disclosure: I have exchanged a SDO week for cruise a couple years back on Azamara, and have also purchased a cruise directly from II.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C30NY View Post
absolutely - Pricing for a 12-day cruise my family is considering (3 guests)

$5850.00 - Vacationstogo

$4051.90 - Interval
+$615 MF's
+$200 exchange fee (actually less but i'm simplifying math)
--------
$4866.90

$983.10 SAVINGS
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Old July 17, 2013, 09:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by krj9999 View Post
Just weighing in here. I have found that booking a cruise directly with II (not via exchange) also can give pretty good discounts (under travel tab). Plugging in same cruise and category, II shows the total price to be $4,865.

So, essentially same net price as if you exchange. You'll cover your MFs and trade cost, but that's about all compared to other pricing available.

Disclosure: I have exchanged a SDO week for cruise a couple years back on Azamara, and have also purchased a cruise directly from II.
Nice observation. That is a $1,114.68 discount without exchanging anything. You are right in that is still puts many exchanges at around break-even with the additional discount and the exchange fee. That is the most you can ask for if you are wanting a cruise anyway. The key is the larger suites because if you want a discount cruise with a smaller room then you end up much worse than break even.
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Old July 17, 2013, 09:52 PM   #18
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That is a good observation. I have so many weeks that friends and family use but I still wouldn't mind just recouping what I've already laid out for MFs as opposed to trying to find someone else to take the week.

Regardless it's nice to see that there is some value in II...hard to believe lol
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Old July 18, 2013, 03:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C30NY View Post
That is a good observation. I have so many weeks that friends and family use but I still wouldn't mind just recouping what I've already laid out for MFs as opposed to trying to find someone else to take the week.

Regardless it's nice to see that there is some value in II...hard to believe lol
I exchanged using ICE with my Marriott Points and with the 2 years of MF ($2240) and taxes & port fees ($880), my total for the 1a balcony came to a total of $1560 pp. After I made my reservation in April of 2012, that category went of to a higher level of points and it definitely would not have been worth the exchange. There was no exchange fee and I always do a combo insurance package with hotel and flight, so this was my only expense through ICE. That category is now going for a total of $1628 on the Celebrity site, so I have saved a little money but, more to the point, I am getting a fantastic itinerary, circling Italy on the Celebrity Silhouette. Since I booked so early, I got a larger than normal cabin on the front facing side of the Silhouette's bump-out.

Ever since then, I have been constantly looking at offerings but haven't found anything that interests me as much as - partly because their website is so hard to use. But I will keep looking and will grab another trip if I get lucky again.

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Old July 18, 2013, 05:43 PM   #20
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9 mos. out, no one has big discounts

If you are looking to book now for next April, then it is no surprise that vacationstogo.com has no significant discounts. Their specialty is highly discounted cruises still available 90 days or less before sailing, although they often have a significant discount off the cruise line price at 4 or 5 months out.
When it gets near to departure, then that website has much better deals than the cruise line itself will offer -- but you run the risk of being closed out of exactly what you want. If you can be even minimally flexible, then vacationstogo is likely to be a much better deal. I have bought cruises from them of 65% off published price 75 days out, which is enough time for my family to plan. I personally pay for 4 or 5 people when we cruise, so that works for me.
As in all travel situations, there is a diversity of needs/wants.
Cheers.
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Old July 18, 2013, 06:44 PM   #21
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I tried using my week toward a cruise but I could buy the cruise for almost the same price. The exchange was only good for the upper end prices but really no discount and possibly higher when you take in consideration all the fees paid for maintenance, RCI, etc. (and I have fairly reasonable maintenance fees). I will just pay for cruises and use my week for exchanges.
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Old July 18, 2013, 07:51 PM   #22
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Cool Diamond Resorts

Diamond resorts has a set up with NCL where they use points which are roughly equal to a 2 bedroom unit in exchange for a week on NCL to currently 4 locations with no other costs. It is a 7 or 9 day cruise for 2 with all the meals instead of a 2 bedroom unit. Points have to be reviewed depending on the resort you are compariing. My New Years week in a 2bd Polo Towers is valued at 15,000 points, so a 1 week cruise at 16,000 points is a good comparison.

The only question is they are Balconoy rooms and not the best ship locations so we are upgarding from now on. We did the NCL cruise offer of $250 for $150 saving $100 and used that for the upgrade.

From what I have seen, II, RCI and all the others are only offering a discounted cruise for your week and when you factor in the cost of maintenannce fees and exchange fees its never been a good deal as far as I can tell.
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Old July 19, 2013, 01:43 AM   #23
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What about the price of food. On a cruise you can eat 7 meals a day if you are so inclined. Even if you just eat 2-3 times each day, the food is at least as good as most restaurants.
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Old July 19, 2013, 05:53 AM   #24
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What about the price of food. On a cruise you can eat 7 meals a day if you are so inclined. Even if you just eat 2-3 times each day, the food is at least as good as most restaurants.
The food is in included no matter where you buy the cruise.

The bottom line is that in the OP's case, the cruise exchange makes alot of sense. The discount offered for the suite he is wanting exceeds the week given up even after adding in the fees. The point is that in some cases it may be a financially viable option.
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Old July 19, 2013, 07:54 AM   #25
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The food is in included no matter where you buy the cruise.

The bottom line is that in the OP's case, the cruise exchange makes alot of sense. The discount offered for the suite he is wanting exceeds the week given up even after adding in the fees. The point is that in some cases it may be a financially viable option.
exactly...I have dismissed cruise exchanges for years thinking there was no value, but this proved to have some, albeit if you use you week or not, II still ended up cheaper than I could find anywhere else.

Thanks for everyones input. We booked yesterday in a 2BR family suite for right around $1100/pp...less than $100/ni
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