I just want to throw a warning out there for those booking in Europe. The Marriott Vacation Club booked what we thought was a room for 3 at the Marriott Courtyard Airport in Venice. We had actually purchased a 7 night travel package that included the room and airmile points for all 3 of us. Our comfirmation email appeared to be fine.
When we checked in we were told that our daughter could not stay in the room with us because she was over their age limit (I can't remember if the age limit was 14, 16, or 18 at this point) and she would have to have a separate room. The desk clerk was extremely helpful and tried to contact Marriott Vacation Club to figure this out, since I was sure we booked 1 room for 3 people. It took us many phone calls and almost an hour to finally get someone on the phone who basically told us it was our fault for not checking into this to begin with. Since Marriott Vacation Club booked this for us, we were not of the same opinion. The people we talked to were rude and condescending (to the point of saying we lied about the 3 people, even though the airline miles were also for 3 and we had no problems in other hotels in Italy for 3). It was not a pleasant experience at all.
We finally gave in and tried to use our points to book a separate room for our daughter. As it turned out, we then found that somehow we had been charged double points for the hotel we had just come from in Rome so we did not have enough available points to use. Again, the Marriott Vacation Club rep told us they couldn't help us with that 'over the phone, such a long distance', so we gave up. We are still working on getting this fixed.
The hotel was kind enough to find us an adjoining room and gave us a discount on the price. Luckily, as this was the end of our trip to Italy, we had enough room on a credit card to pay for our daughter's room, which came out to be almost $1,300.
Needless to say, we were EXTREMELY upset with how we were treated over the phone by customer service. We do not feel that it was up to us to verify that it was OK for the 3 of us to stay in 1 room. That should have happened when the room was booked. The thing that upset us the most however, was how we were treated by customer service. If there was an oversight in our booking, and it turned out there were a few of those, that would not have been so bad if someone would have just said 'We're sorry, we screwed up'. Instead we were talked down to, told it was our fault, and yelled at over the phone. I work in a customer service position and would NEVER treat my customers the way we were treated.
So bottom line is to verify that the number of people in your party can stay in the rooms that are booked, so you're not 'surprised' as we were. This was our first experience with exchanging points and I have to say that we will be very leary of doing this again in the future. Our trip was booked with multiple errors, that turned out to be very costly and customer service was not what we had expected them to be.
It's very unfortunate that you encountered this situation.
I guess as a seasoned traveler to Europe I know to look for this particular situation. Just last month I needed to book a stay in Paris and had trouble finding a room that would accommodate my party of 4 and I posted some messages here on tips for obtaining a room using points that would allow all 4 of us to stay. I followed one suggestion given and was successful in my booking.
The long and short of it is, when visiting Europe you must do your homework on hotels you are planning to stay at, transportation you are planning to use as well as tour operators.