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Old 05-26-2008, 02:30 PM   #1
Tracyvp
I just got some GREAT NEWS! I'm going on a Disney Cruise!!
 
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New Owners and questioning our decision

Hi, there!

We just got back from the Westbound Panama Canal cruise and in all the excitement (and with encouragement from the MANY DVC owners on this cruise) we took the plunge and bought 200 points at SSR. We really had no way to research anything because of no Internet access, so I'm now going back and questioning our decision.

Here's our situation. We have never vacationed at WDW at all. We did 2 days at Epcot before this cruise. We would like to go back again, but I don't ever see us going every year. Our kids are older, 14 and 16, and although they love Disney, we live 30 minutes from DLR in CA so we get our Disney fix that way. We have absolutely no preference for any particular property, and the sales rep (of course) made it sound as though there was really no difference except for the ability to book early at our "home" resort, which mattered little to us because we don't know the difference anyway!

We LOVE the DCL and I do see us cruising every few years. We were led to believe that using our points on DCL and at resorts around the world would be a good deal, and our plan is to go to Euro Disney next year for sure, perhaps WDW the year after that (hopefully in early December), DCL again the following year. After that our ds will probably be off on his own and it will just be the 3 of us. We'd like to do Hawaii one year, and possibly Mexico one year, then maybe another cruise. After that it would just likely be DH and myself. We would likely go to WDW a couple of times. I imagine once we have grandkids, we could do WDW a few times as a group with the kids/grandkids, but again, very unlikely every year.

From this, does it sound like maybe we are NOT good DVC candidates? We were persuaded by the incentives ($94 per point and one extra years' points, along with a $500 onboard credit for the cruise) and the flexibility to use our points outside the DVC, but if it's not a good financial decision for us, we could certainly still cancel and it would only "cost" us the $500 OBC.

Why does everyone say it doesn't make financial sense to use points to cruise and/or to travel outside DVC property? I think that would be our primary goal, so I'm very interested to hear the reasoning behind why it's not a good idea.

Please help me educate myself!!

Thanks!

~Tracy
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:42 PM   #2
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Just from reading your "feelings" I'd say get out of the contract while you can. I believe you have 30 days. You can always buy again later if you find that AFTER doing some homework, it a good deal for you.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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IMHO, based on what you've posted, DVC is not a good value for your family. If you are still within the period that you can back out of the purchase, my advice is to do so.

DVC is a good value if you plan to use the points mostly to vacation at a DVC resort. That's because the points required to book a DVC resort really don't change. DVC cannot increase the total number of points it takes to reserve every room in the resort for every night of the year. If they increase something, they have to decrease something else so that the net change is zero.

That is not true for any other option that DVC gives you. The points needed to cruise are renegotiated by DVC with DCL every year. Most years the points increase. In addition to that, there is a $95 fee to book most non-DVC options (including the cruise), and the cancellation policy is not as good as the one you have booking for cash. Many DVC members rent their DVC points to others and use the cash to pay for their cruises - they come out ahead that way. However, renting can be a bit of a hassle.

DVC is one of the more expensive timeshares and it annual dues are quite high. If you want to "trade", there are other less expensive timeshare options that trade as well as DVC (some are even better traders).

DVC works best for those who go to WDW (or VB or HHI) at least every other year, prefer to stay in deluxe accommodations when they do and can plan more than 7 months in advance.

You may want to keep an eye on these boards for awhile to see when the DVC villas at the Grand Californian go on sale. Perhaps the DVC resort at Disneyland will make sense for you.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:56 PM   #4
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i did back out of my contract in 2006 and my $500.00 was refunded. i did my research on dvc for about 2 yrs and rejoined in nov 2007 at Disneyland ca. once i saw the model of ssr i said to myself this is for me. i took my first trip home in April it was fabulous. i would cancel the contract and do the research on dvc to make sure that dvc is right for you. you should have the dvc trip planner book with all the points in it. i would start there to see how many points it will take for a cruise, 2 br, and Disneyland Paris. i hope this will help.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:43 PM   #5
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It sounds like DVC is not for you as buying to use DVC to cruise is an extremely poor choice. I'd cancel if you're still within your 10 day window.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_001 View Post
you should have the dvc trip planner book with all the points in it. i would start there to see how many points it will take for a cruise, 2 br, and Disneyland Paris. i hope this will help.
If you do have your planner, DLP is on pg. 70. If not...here are the point ranges. (per nt.)

Sequoia Lodge - 21-33
Newport Bay - 25-37
Hotel New York - 28-44
Disneyland Hotel - 46-74


DL-California p. 68 (pt. ranges per night.)

Paradise Pier - 17-70
Disneyland Hotel - 18-74
Grand Californian 23-93


DCL is listed on pgs. 72-79. Here are the pt. ranges PER PERSON

3 day - Wonder 67-248
4 Day - WOnder 82-265
7 Day - Magic 133-428
15 Day - Transcanal - 333-676

(Children's cruises are approximately 1/2 to 2/3 amount of adult.)


You may can justify California or Paris, but like others have said...purchasing cruises is not an ideal way to use DVC. I might do it once or twice in 50 years, but not all the time.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:58 PM   #7
Tracyvp
I just got some GREAT NEWS! I'm going on a Disney Cruise!!
 
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I really appreciate all the input and the advice, but I'm afraid I still kind of don't "get it." I don't mean to be dense, but I want to make a truly informed decision so I'm going to ask the "stupid" questions so that I can fully comprehend the situation.

To my way of thinking, once I have paid for the points, in a sense it doesn't matter where I spend them, as long as I'm spending them on something I want to be doing, right? Because even within the DVC system I can get more "bang" for my points at some resorts than others, at some times rather than others and certainly more at DVC resorts than anywhere else. I get that much.

So the thing I really need to evaluate is how many nights I will get for my 200 points in a given year, correct? And the answer is that I can always get at least one week at a DVC resort and I can always get at least one week anywhere in the world using World Passport (assuming availability). I'll just usually get more nights at the DVC resorts. How many more depends on when and where. Am I right so far?

But when it comes to the cruises, I would probably only be able to pay for one person in my family to do a 7-night cruise using 200 points in a year and would have to bank and/or borrow in order to get the remainder of the family on, which would mean that I could only vacation once every 3 years (assuming I was cruising every time and that the whole family was going). I think I get all of that.

But what I don't really know how to do is compare that to paying cash for all of those options. That's how to really decide if it's a "good value" for my family, right? Because once I've spent the $18000 (plus the annual dues), I'll still get something at least every couple of years for the next 47 years.

Can someone help me figure out how to do that sort of analysis?

Please forgive the ignorance. As I said, I'm just trying to educate myself. Despite the somewhat negative vibe I knew I threw out in my original post, I would like to remain a DVC member if I can make it make sense for me. I just tend to play devil's advocate all the time because I want to see all sides of the issue.

Thanks so much for your help!

~Tracy
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Disneyland (AP holders)-Visit OFTEN Disneyland Paris October, 2009 WDW First DVC trip home to SSR-December 2008 DCL Wonder Panama Canal Cruise Jan 2011, WDW AKV Jan 2011, DCL Ship of Thieves-May, 2008 WDW (Epcot)- May 2008 DCL Western Caribbean- May, 2007 WDW (Epcot)-Jan, 1982!!
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracyvp View Post
...I can get more "bang" for my points at some resorts than others...
Since nobody else seems to be getting through I'll try and make this as blunt as possible: If you use points for anything other than the DVC resorts you won't get enough "bang" to blow your nose.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracyvp View Post

But what I don't really know how to do is compare that to paying cash for all of those options. That's how to really decide if it's a "good value" for my family, right? Because once I've spent the $18000 (plus the annual dues), I'll still get something at least every couple of years for the next 47 years.

Can someone help me figure out how to do that sort of analysis?
Here's how I worked it out.....others will no doubt have different calculations.

I took the purchase price for DVC, and divided it by the number of years on the contract. Then, I added in the yearly maintenance fee. Those two amounts together equal the total cost per year.

Let's say this year, you want to spend all of your points on a cruise. You figure out what that cruise would cost you if you paid cash for it, and compare to what your DVC membership cost per year is.

That's the simplified version, it of course gets more complicated if you're taking multiple trips per year. But you get the general idea.

Now, there's one point that was made by another poster that can't be emphasized enough. The point cost for DVC resorts is fixed for the life of the contract. This is NOT the case for ANY of the non-DVC options: cruises, Hawaii, Mexico, DLP, etc. The point costs for those options are re-negotiated every year, and they go up virtually every year. At some point, you're going to find that you no longer have enough points to go on a cruise, or to Hawaii, etc.

For me, that would be a deal-breaker. If you primarily use your membership outside of the DVC resorts, the value of your membership is going to decrease every year.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinkwide View Post
Since nobody else seems to be getting through I'll try and make this as blunt as possible: If you use points for anything other than the DVC resorts you won't get enough "bang" to blow your nose.
Okay, thanks, that was helpful.
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Disneyland (AP holders)-Visit OFTEN Disneyland Paris October, 2009 WDW First DVC trip home to SSR-December 2008 DCL Wonder Panama Canal Cruise Jan 2011, WDW AKV Jan 2011, DCL Ship of Thieves-May, 2008 WDW (Epcot)- May 2008 DCL Western Caribbean- May, 2007 WDW (Epcot)-Jan, 1982!!
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:25 PM   #11
Tracyvp
I just got some GREAT NEWS! I'm going on a Disney Cruise!!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne M View Post
Here's how I worked it out.....others will no doubt have different calculations.

I took the purchase price for DVC, and divided it by the number of years on the contract. Then, I added in the yearly maintenance fee. Those two amounts together equal the total cost per year.

Let's say this year, you want to spend all of your points on a cruise. You figure out what that cruise would cost you if you paid cash for it, and compare to what your DVC membership cost per year is.

That's the simplified version, it of course gets more complicated if you're taking multiple trips per year. But you get the general idea.

Now, there's one point that was made by another poster that can't be emphasized enough. The point cost for DVC resorts is fixed for the life of the contract. This is NOT the case for ANY of the non-DVC options: cruises, Hawaii, Mexico, DLP, etc. The point costs for those options are re-negotiated every year, and they go up virtually every year. At some point, you're going to find that you no longer have enough points to go on a cruise, or to Hawaii, etc.

For me, that would be a deal-breaker. If you primarily use your membership outside of the DVC resorts, the value of your membership is going to decrease every year.
Thanks, Lynne. Now it makes sense and I can see that it's not a good deal. Makes me really sad because my family was SO excited to be part of the club! But we really need to make a wise financial choice, not just an emotional one.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me sort it all through.

Blessings,

Tracy
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Disneyland (AP holders)-Visit OFTEN Disneyland Paris October, 2009 WDW First DVC trip home to SSR-December 2008 DCL Wonder Panama Canal Cruise Jan 2011, WDW AKV Jan 2011, DCL Ship of Thieves-May, 2008 WDW (Epcot)- May 2008 DCL Western Caribbean- May, 2007 WDW (Epcot)-Jan, 1982!!
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:25 AM   #12
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You have been given good advice here, but there is one thing that was overlooked. You might be the perfect candidate for a Disneyland/DVC membership!
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:34 AM   #13
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If you live 30 min away from DL - using the DVC at DL doesn't make sense either. It sounds like you are really interested in cruising - as it has been pointed out, using DVC pts for DCL is not a good deal, also given the ages of your children, are you really going to want to take a DISNEY cruise all the time?
DVC is an amazing program, but it does not make good sense for everyone.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracyvp View Post
I really appreciate all the input and the advice, but I'm afraid I still kind of don't "get it." I don't mean to be dense, but I want to make a truly informed decision so I'm going to ask the "stupid" questions so that I can fully comprehend the situation.

To my way of thinking, once I have paid for the points, in a sense it doesn't matter where I spend them, as long as I'm spending them on something I want to be doing, right? Because even within the DVC system I can get more "bang" for my points at some resorts than others, at some times rather than others and certainly more at DVC resorts than anywhere else. I get that much.

So the thing I really need to evaluate is how many nights I will get for my 200 points in a given year, correct? And the answer is that I can always get at least one week at a DVC resort and I can always get at least one week anywhere in the world using World Passport (assuming availability). I'll just usually get more nights at the DVC resorts. How many more depends on when and where. Am I right so far?

But when it comes to the cruises, I would probably only be able to pay for one person in my family to do a 7-night cruise using 200 points in a year and would have to bank and/or borrow in order to get the remainder of the family on, which would mean that I could only vacation once every 3 years (assuming I was cruising every time and that the whole family was going). I think I get all of that.

But what I don't really know how to do is compare that to paying cash for all of those options. That's how to really decide if it's a "good value" for my family, right? Because once I've spent the $18000 (plus the annual dues), I'll still get something at least every couple of years for the next 47 years.

Can someone help me figure out how to do that sort of analysis?

Please forgive the ignorance. As I said, I'm just trying to educate myself. Despite the somewhat negative vibe I knew I threw out in my original post, I would like to remain a DVC member if I can make it make sense for me. I just tend to play devil's advocate all the time because I want to see all sides of the issue.

Thanks so much for your help!

~Tracy
Certainly if you don't care about the long term cost and want to count on programs that are not guaranteed and can change (usually for the worse) or be abolished altogether, go for it. 200 points will get you a 2 BR for a week every year unless you chose Xmas or Easter most times. 200 or so points will get you 9-10 days or more assuming one weekend. Buying to go for a week for 2 weekends would be a poor choice regardless. Doing 2 weeks but one weekend would likely be one of the better uses if you did buy.

Buying for any of the exchange options is a poor choice. None will give you back the value that simply using cash would. Actually doing one on points for DCL and paying the others on cash would likely be one of the worse values. Remember that the cash portion in this situation is essentially always a fair amount more than the cash portion of an early booking would be. And if you reserve with points or cash plus points there are other negatives like you have to pay the full amount of the cash portion up front, if you make ANY changes such as the cabin or group size, you have to repay the $95 fee, and if you do cancel, you don't actually get your points back in a fully useable way. These are generalizations but it's very difficult to find a true exception unless you ignore other possible discounts.

As for the World Passport options, too many variables and no guarantees other than the best options during peak times are likely NOT to be available or if they are, come open late in the game making planning and air difficult. For trading, buying less DVC points and possibly another timeshare options or just renting would be a much better choice while using cash for the things DVC has to generate the cash for such as DCL, Concierge Collection, Disney Collection, etc.

I agree that if you buy, DL is likely a great choice and will likely hold it's value better than anything else you buy retail and possibly resale as well.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:36 PM   #15
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Well here is my side of the picture

WE do use our points for DCL every 3 years for 11 of us. And we have used the points to go to Reno. We got the points to go on vacation, WDW and DCL with the grandkids. We would not go to the parks every year or every other year unless we had the points.

True for the money it does cost more to use them for DCL or off the property. But if its the only way you are going to go on vacation thens its what you want them for. We can not be bothered selling or renting the points.

Its up to how you want to use the points. You can in fact use 3 years at a time to have a great vacation where you want to go..
Bank year 2008
take the trip in 2009
and borrow the points from 2010

You have used 3 years and you have a great trip .

next vacation would be in 2012.

bank 2011
trip in 2012
borrow from 2013

So if you want to vacation every 3 years...you have a plan

WE love our points and Plan to do DCL every 3 years and WDW every two.
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