Post # 1
My fiance’s parents are part of the RCI timeshare network, and are being kind enough to let us use it to pick our honeymoon. Has anyone stayed at any of the RCI hotels in the Caribbean? We are looking for all-inclusive places – perhaps in St. Lucia, Aruba or Punta Cana, although we are open for suggestions. We will be going in February 2012.
Post # 3
We were offered our honeymoon through a family member who is an RCI member as well. Unfortunately, after days and days of back and forth phone calls to customer service (be forewarned that they are not helpful at all, we must’ve talked to 10 people who gave us 10 different answers) — we finally gave up once they told us everywhere we wanted to go was booked a year out. And, don’t rely on the website: half the resorts listed on there are ‘no longer part of the RCI network’
If you’re looking for a popular destination, make sure it’s even available. We looked at Key West and St. Lucia, even other Keys in FL and were told they are all booked more than a year out.
The family member who is the RCI member needs to register you on their account (or they won’t speak to you at all), and also pay a fee in order to exchange their week to you ($279 plus another small fee). Also make sure their membership covers out until Feb 2012… we were going to have to pay a $99 fee to extend their membership that ended in February to June when we planned to honeymoon.
So, we gave up and booked our honeymoon on our own. It just wasn’t worth the hassle we went through with RCI.
I really honestly do hope you have a better experience than we did, and that you find the perfect honeymoon!
Post # 4
My parents have timeshares through RCI and we’ve done plenty of vacations through them. I place that I fell in love with was Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in Cabo San Lucas.
Regarding what MissMaine said… Yes, it can be a bit of a pain, sometimes. I had my mom call the company and set up a search for any resorts that met the criteria, and they would call her back when they found something. Once you find something, your fiance’s parents will need to get you a guest pass. Finally, the exchange rate varies from place to place, but it is usually about $270 for the week (excluding all inclusive fees, if you decide to go with all inclusive). But, in my opinion, that’s not bad at all bad for a whole week at a wonderful resort.
They also have “last call” resorts that pop up about 2 months ahead of the current month. They are usually a little cheaper, if you can find them. The best thing I can tell you is to have an idea of what you want, but also have a few backups, since some of them could be booked pretty far in advance.
Picture of the resort we stayed at:
Post # 5
HI there – We were given a week through RCI from my hubby’s parents for our Honeymoon. The hardest part, like the PP’s said, was finding a resort that had availability where you desire. We were hoping to go to the Virgin Islands, but everything was booked in mid-July. So, we started looking into Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. We decided on the Cayman’s b/c I had only heard wonderful things about the island! The resort (called Morritt’s Tortuga Club) was nice, but was on the opposite end of the island from all of the action. It wasn’t fancy, but was quiet and relaxing. Keep in mind that there are daily fees at most resorts for electric, etc. So, be sure to plan for that! Let me know if you have other questions.
Here are a few pics of our resort:
(one of the new buildings with ocean views, which we didn’t get)
(the Infinity Pool with a swim-up bar…we spent a lot of time there!)
Post # 6
Reef Resort in Grand Cayman…it was great! (not all-inclusive though)
Post # 7
You may have to expand your search to include non- all inclusive resorts because that will really limit you. As others have said, RCI is a major pain to book with and find availability.
Post # 8
We were given my aunt and uncle’s RCI timeshare as a gift for our honeymoon and it has been an awful experience. We booked a year ahead of time (my aunt let us know to do that) and the person quoted us an all inclusive rate that was $1000 less than what we actually ended up being charged. It was extremely frustrating and they were not apologetic or helpful at all and when all was said and done, if you include the fee that my aunt and uncle had to pay to transfer the timeshare to us, it would have been less money just to book with the actual resort.
I don’t mean to be a “Debbie downer” but just do research and check the rates that you will be charged vs. the actual resorts rates so hopefully you can find a good deal!
Post # 9
My parents also gave us this as a gift. Mind you, it was absolutey HORRIBLE trying to find a place to go. Many of the resorts have a certain amount of space set aside for timeshare users. If those rooms are used up, you are out of luck.
LUCKILY FOR YOU I have already done all the work for you! My Fiance and my Mom researched HUNDREDS of resorts in the Caribbean that met our criteria.
This is what we wanted:
-The resort had to be on the beach
-Have a spa
-Have stuff/activities to do around the area, or be a big enough resort that we wouldn’t get bored.
We also looked into some resorts in Hawaii, but a lot of them are kind of lame and not in great condition.
We ended up deciding to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel and Spa in Punta Cana. My mom called her travel agent and she said it was to die for, and was one of the only RCI resorts in the Caribbean that she would feel comfortable sending her clients to.
Here is the link to the resort:
Although your accomodations are free through RCI points, there is still an additional 100 a night all-inclusive fee which includes all your food and drinks.
GOOD LUCK! PLEASE MESSAGE ME WITH QUESTIONS!
Post # 10
@MrsMaine: we had a horrible experience too. it took weeks and weeks of making phone calls for hours each day to find a place. 🙁 I wouln’t do it again!
Post # 11
I am a bit late on this but I am in the middle of timeshare hell right now and was searching for others experience with it. My MoH gave us one week of timeshare as our wedding present and what i thought was a nice gift has turned out to be a nightmare and i wish we could get out of it but we can’t. so many fees are involved, so many restrictions, no availability. the vacation has become a burden and something we dont even want anymore. we are now just trying to get whatever local place we can get so my MoH wont have to lose the money she already put into it. and we might just waste it, since we cant pick where we want to go and we dont want to spend possible extravagant money on a trip with a destination we dont want to go. all this to save our friendship. It seems to me that timeshare is a major hassle and not worth it. we would have better flexibility if we were to book a trip ourselves on the internet! with all the stress that this gift has caused, i have to honestly say this was the worst gift we received. i know it sounds like i am complaining about a gift, but i do appreciate her intention and goo will. it has just brought on too many problems and i have to say timeshare vacation is not for us.
Post # 12
My FH’s sister gave us a week through RCI, and we actually haven’t had any issues! We’re traveling in october, which is probably why. We even got a $300 credit to use at the resort (it isn’t all-inclusive) when we booked. So far so good!!
Post # 12
franks.katie: This place is indeed just absolutley beautiful. I would stay here again and again.
Post # 13
Timeshares need to be looked up as a purchase and not an investment. Regardless of how timeshares are presented, they don´t perform as well as a house or stock investment. If you look around the resale market for timeshares on websites like EBay, Redweek, or TUGBBS will find that you can buy a timeshare for far less money than what the first owner purchased it for. There are good timeshares about this: http://www.timesharescam.com/
Post # 14
My Fiance’s parents are donating a week of RCI hotels to us as well – Getting a little nervous about this process, as I’m a complete control freak, and don’t like how restricting this is!
Any tips on researching their properties? Easier to search by date or by location? We are flexible on both…
Also – Has anyone paid the additional fee for all inclusive? Do you think it’s a better value to go all inclusive or not?