In regards to the new policies (no blackout, new point structures, etc), I have a few questions:
1) Will the "no blackout" policy pertain to Vacation Club resorts? Right now, it is pretty difficult booking a Vacation Club resort for summer of 2009 using points, although there are plenty available to rent at $400-$500/night. Can I expect more units to be available using point as of January 15th?
2) Is there a new point structure for Vacation Club locations?
3) Does the "Buy 4 nights, get the 5th free" apply to the Vacation Clubs?
Based upon the automated viewing log, I'm the ~ninth~ person to view your note in five months and have some answers for your excellent questions. Hopefully, this response will trigger an automated update message that prompts you to return to read the answers. That said, anyone else who happens to read this message is invited to comment.
Q1. Will the "no blackout" policy pertain to Vacation Club resorts?
A1. Marriott Vacation Clubs are not among the brands listed as participating in the 'No Blackout Dates' policy. Participating brands are listed here.
Q2. Is there a new point structure for Vacation Club locations?
A2. Great question. The 2009 point redemption schedule is based upon a 'standard room' in 8 hotel categories. Vacation Clubs have 'villas,' not standard rooms. The point redemption schedule for villas vary by size and resort and may be found on Marriott.com
Q3. Does the "Buy 4 nights, get the 5th free" apply to the Vacation Clubs?
A3. The 4 nights, get the 5th free deal is a Pointsaver reward. Since villas are outside of the standard room designation, the 4/5 pointsaver does not apply. However, there are Pointsavers available for villas at off-peak periods that depend upon the resort. I've found several.