I'll be staying at my first Marriott Vacation Club (Maui Ocean Club) later this year and was curious what to expect.
I know resorts don't offer lounge access or free breakfast. It does appear that 500 points are offered as the Platinum arrival gift.
Anything else I should know (good or bad)?
You should receive the 500 points as long as your MR account is included on your reservation. Unfortunately, there are no other platinum benefits when staying at a MVC resort. I think it might help you a little with your villa location priority, but owners and those redeeming DC points have higher priority over anyone else. If you are using a week that you obtained from an owner, you should receive priority. Most MVC resorts do not charge for parking, resort fees, or taxes, but I'm not sure about Maui Ocean Club.
That resort is highly recommended by many MVC owners. I suggest you visit the Timeshare User Group forum to read reviews and recommendations.
Additional Information: You will also receive points for all of your charges at the resort restaurants, bars, etc. , similar to staying at a Marriott hotel.
Just returned from MVCV stay at Hilton Head, SC, again, one of our favorites locations.
I've never been to Hawaii, but I would assume you'll experience much the same quality of accommodations and services regardless of the location, although there are some exceptions.
Here's one thing to keep in mind: Should your plans change, you 'll need to call the MVC at least 61 days in advance to cancel your reservation to retain your points. Also, most people have until June to "bank" points for the following year if you don't plan to use them in your VC calendar year.
Prior to your stay, you should receive an email from the concierge desk asking if you have any preferences for your stay (room cleaning, floor level, check in time, restaurants in area, etc.), for which they're quite helpful. Also, most VC offer up to two free parking coupons for their location.
Are you paying cash, using MR points, or is this an exchange? What type of room did you book at Maui Ocean Club and how did you book it? If you booked a simple guest room, you may be lucky enough to be upgraded for free to a one bedroom villa. This happened to us at MVC Ko Olina Beach Club last September. Totally unexpected, but welcome none the less. A lot will depend on when your are traveling to Maui and availability. It never hurts to ask when checking in.
If you booked your stay through Marriott's Hotel website, you should be able to cancel 14 days prior (not 61 days ) to your arrival date. (I think this is a change as it used to be 7 days prior, IIRC). Also, if you request any special preferences regarding your room when you receive the email from the concierge desk, I would follow up with a phone call or email if your requests are not acknowledged within 48 hours. Don't assume they are working on your requests or preferences only to be disappointed when you check in. I have also found it helps to establish a personal relationship with someone at the MVC prior to your arrival, as that person maybe looking out for you and want to make sure you are happy. (This helped us two summers ago as we were moved from a garden view villa to an ocean side at Surfwatch MVC in SC) Doing this may result in your buying in to the timeshare and your contact getting the referral bonus.
Enjoy Hawaii. Looking forward to your trip report.
Back to lurk mode...
Great info, takingthehighroad.
Answers to your questions: Booked using MR points on the Marriott website; Don't plan on any changes as my flights are also booked using Alaska FF miles; I did get a simple guest room (supposedly oceanfront). Upgrade would be nice, but as I plan to spend lot of time on the beach, I won't be upset if it doesn't happen.
I like your advice about reaching out in advance of the trip. Thanks for the tip.
In response to others references to how far in advance you can cancel a reservation at MVCI properties (as a hotel guest type stay, not an owner week), when I book nights (through Marriott reservation website) at MVCI Newport Coast, I can cancel up until 3 days prior.
Also check-in time is 4pm and check-out time is 10am, and I think that is pretty universal among MVCI. There is no early check-in (you might get lucky and get your keys by 3pm) and no late check-out. If you "check-in" early, they are happy to give you access to the property facilities, ie. pool, poolside bar, etc. while you wait for your room. I was granted a late check-out only one time, but they were adamant that I had only one hour, and it was critical that I was out within that hour (it takes time to clean a 2 bdrm villa, which one can appreciate).
Thanks, pluto77. I thought the check-in/check-out times might be somewhat rigid. I may ask for a late check-out (since I have an overnight flight from OGG-PDX). I'm sure I can find ways to enjoy that last day without needing to go back to the room, but even an extra hour could be worth it.
I just checked my reservation and it appears I can cancel 14 days in advance. Not quite a good as 3, but much better than 61 (but I have no intention of canceling especially since, currently, there don't seem to be any other rooms available on points for the dates I chose).
Now I just need to plan how to spend the first day (arrive at 10a, but can't check in until 4p). Hmmm. Road to Hana then all the way around? (I might try it despite your warning, IAHFLYR). Or perhaps a drive up to Haleakala? Either one will fill the day.
The drive from the airport to the hotel will be about 45-50 minutes and HWY 30 is mostly a two lane road with gorgeous views. ****WARNING**** When leaving to return to OGG make sure you don't try and cut it close for if there is an accident on HWY 30 it might close the road or at least cause extensive delays.
On your day of departure you can check out a nice spot to eat a late lunch or early dinner, it is pricey, but the food we've always enjoyed and the setting can't be beat.
After your meal you can drive past Mama's about a mile and watch the windsurfing before heading to the airport.
The road to Hana might be a good choice for your first day since you will already be at the airport and have a good head start.
Another "Dead on b@lls accurate post by IAHFLYR. The HWY30 info is absolutely correct. Luckily it was inbound heading OGG to the hotel, but it took about 90 minutes for the drive when it should have taken 40. Also, Mama's Fish House is excellent, I second that recommendation.
Only MVC I have ever stayed at is Marriott Ocean Pointe on Singer Island in Palm Beach. Have stayed there many times. The one big difference is that my Platinum Lifetime status doesn't mean as much there for sure. They definitely cater to the owners. Have stayed there for pleasure but also while working in the area. My wife has accompanied me many times for work so she likes to be in the center of things for convenience purposes since she is at the property most of the time. We never know what we will get, but sometimes they try to stick us in the Kingfish building which is all the way at the end and separated from the rest of the property by a non-Marriott building and requires quite a walk to get to the center of the property. Last time they suggested we call a day ahead (instead of upon checking in) to plead our case that we'd like to request one of a couple of buildings. They are hospitable, but not like at other Floriida resorts I stay at (like Harbour Beach in Ft. Lauderdale where they always give an upgrade and comment on how I've been in the program 30+ years.) They do the sales pitch every time trying to get me to do the MVC "tour" for points. They won't allow my wife to take it without me, and I am there to work so always decline. Why would I pay all that money to own when I can stay at any Marriott in the world with no time restrictions and not pay?