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Sheraton Vistana Villas in Orlando: Scam? Too good to be true?

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Mar 8th, 2007, 08:32 PM
  #1
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Sheraton Vistana Villas in Orlando: Scam? Too good to be true?

Just got an offer in the mail from Sheraton, advertising a 5 day, 4 night stay at their Sheraton Vistana Villas in Orlando for only $169 (total). We can pick any dates to go before March 2008. We are Hilton members, not Sheraton. When I called for more info I had to verify my invitation numbers before they would give me details. Seems to be no strings attached. Said they were simply trying to boost tourism back to Florida after the hurricane. (??) No further costs involved for lodging as far as I can see.

What's the catch? Is this too good to be true? Anyone familiar with this?
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Mar 8th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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Sounds like a timeshare thing where you will have to go to a 90 minute presentation and then they hound you to buy. Type in timeshare in the search box at top of screen to read what's been written on them on here.

Also, with deals like this, you usually have to pay a deposit first; they will not tell you what dates are available. Often the ones you want [most favorable times of year] will be "unavailable".

Beware, you get what you pay for. Rooms may not be in actual villas, sometimes the presentation is there but they put you in rooms to stay elsewere.

If it seems to good to be true, it usually is, sorry.
Hope this helps...
Debi
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Mar 8th, 2007, 09:09 PM
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debi, I immediately thought it was the timeshare thing too, but I asked and NO! As for the dates and deposit, I do have to pay an $89 deposit to reserve the offer, adn the rest is due when i specify the date. Or I can pay the whole thing and book the date now. I asked what dates were available and she said pretty much anything (except the busiest weeks) between now and March 08.

Should I call back and ask about specific dates? Any other questions you recommend that I ask?
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Mar 8th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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Hi sanibella, my first thought was a time share come on also.

You have the written invitation I assume. Do they indicate what other charges there will be. Hotel tax would be additional I would assume but what about resort fees, so many places are now charging resorts fees. I would get everything in writing before I gave them a cent.

OK, I Googled this..they do have Time Shares. I suggest you do the same. I believe the represenative you spoke with was not giving you the correct information. If anyone else has taken "advantage" of this offer they can correct me.

Here is one website you might want to look at and again go to Google for more websites sanibella.

http://www.starwoodvacationownership...es/welcome.jsp
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Mar 9th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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Hi Sanibella
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Mar 9th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Sorry! Hi Sanibella, we JUST got back from doing this exact same offer at this EXACT same resort in Orlando and had an absolutely wonderful time and stay at this resort. There was no catch at all. I purchased this same promotion for this same price about 18 months ago and finally used it and boy was it a great deal for us. Our one bedroom condo was beautiful and my kids absolutely loved the pools. We would not have even had to venture to Disney they had a ton of fun at the resort. The extra bonus was, the last day, our fifth day, they asked us if we would come to a tour breakfast which was in no way mandatory, they just asked. We did it, it was one hour long and they handed us $175.00 cash at the end, CASH. No lies, this was the best travel deal I have ever received. Pretty much, they payed us to stay there. Ask to stay in the new Key West Village area next to the pool, very nice. If you have any more questions you can email me at [email protected], I would be happy to answer any other questions.
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Mar 9th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Wow, this is great info, thank you. I did call back again today and verified that we would not have to attend any time share meetings, and the answer was no. I also asked about extra fees (thank you so much for that tip, LoveItaly!) and they said it was a $15 nightly fee.

mcmckissic, what do you think would have happened or how would they have acted if you had declined going to the tour breakfast? Thank you so much for your info. I am so glad to hear someone else has tried this.


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Mar 9th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Sanibella, we were not going to go to the tour at all, then the weather turned yucky our last day so we decided just to go at the last minute, I called the sales desk, they said come on over. We told him (Doug) right away we were not going to buy, he was great and had us look at a unit, look at some figures, we were done in an hour, the kids played while we did it, then they gave us $175 cold hard cash, it was great!!!! We did NOT have to attend at all. But the $175 cash was fine, paid for a dinner out!! I would do the special if I were you, we had like 18 months or something to use ours.
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Mar 10th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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I checked out reviews on TripAdvisor and this is definitely a time share whose staff will definitely approach us about attending a tour. While I know we can always say no, I am not sure I really want to deal with being pressured while on vacation, nor having to avoid the staff to make sure we are not asked everytime they see us. Also the staff gets poor reviews in general (long check in and out times, etc). mcmckissic, your experience sounds like it was great, but i am worried ours would not be as pleasant. So, I guess when it looks too good to be true, it is!
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Mar 11th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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This seems to be a very funny thread. I'm totally opposed to time shares myself, but here you've been offered an incredible deal pricewise and you are going to turn it down even though it is clear you don't have to go to any presentation because they "might" ask you to sit through a presentation even though you can easily refuse, apparently without issue? What kind of "pressure" are you talking about?

And the service is not like a four star resort? Well? For $40 a night would you expect it to be?

Don't get me wrong. I'd probably turn it down too, but I'm trying to figure out what changed your mind from the posts here, which if anything probably would have changed my mind the OTHER direction? I mean did you originally think the service would be fantastic for a $40 a night place?
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Mar 11th, 2007, 06:29 AM
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All I can give you is our most recent, and one time before that a couple years back with Hilton experiences. We had an awesome time, I am so glad we did it. We got a VERY good vacation at next to nothing, the kids had a blast at the facility, we had beautiful accomodations and we relaxed. I was firm at the presentation, which, we did not even have to attend. This is a huge resort, they (the staff) are not going to scope you out by the pools or anything, that is for sure!! Call again and make sure you do not have to attend the presentation, and then don't. Suit yourself though, you want to be sure you enjoy your trip I know. We have gotten to go on lots more trips by getting bargains like this in the mail or over the phone. We got a similar one for Hilton Head last year, did the short tour, refused ad had a wonderful vacation at a brand new beautiful Marriott property Surf Watch for four nights, it was wonderful to say the least.
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Mar 11th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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Stayed at Sheraton Vistana Villas in Orlando in January of 2002. We received ONE phone message to our condo inviting us to a presentation, which we did not reply. That is all. No annoying agents chasing you around, no daily phone calls, etc. I would definitely stay there again. You should give it a try.
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Mar 12th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Although I would never buy a timeshare again I have enjoyed Vistana so much. We have owned there for 25 year when it was much smaller. It has changed so much, but it is sooooo nice.
The beauty of a timeshare is the space. My children did not stay in a hotel until they were in their late teens and couldn't believe you just had a room and not over 1000 square feet. The room was at the Fontainbleau in Miami and they still hated it. Spoiled? Certainly. However, we have such wonderful memeories.
Just make sure you do not get lured into buying a week. They now want $38,000 when you can find a week on redweek.com or other brokers for sometimes as little as $1500!!! Granted you can not transfer it to points but weeks are just fine.
By all means go and have a wonderful time.
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Mar 15th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Patrick: Re-read my last post. I think I made it clear there that after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor I decided not to take the offer. So why are you asking me about what I read here that changed my mind? If anything I think I made it clear that mcmckissic's experience actually influenced me to consider it, but after reading the other reports I changed my mind. I also mentioned that the Tripadvisor reports mentioned other service issues as well. Of course I would not expect four star service, but check in and out times of over an hour are unreasonable with two children.

Of course I understand that I asked at Fodors and took advice from Tripadvisor. Shame on me for comparing views from two sites. Gasp!

Thanks for your (very haughty) advice, but next time how about something HELPFUL from you? (And I could really care less if you find the post funny. You're just rude all the time anyway.)

Mcmckissic, I think your experience sounds great but I just can't take the gamble on ours being the same after reading so many poor reviews on the other site. After hearing your story it is SOOOOO tempting but my husband and kids aren't patient enough if we happen to have a poor experience.



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Mar 16th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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But you didn't report finding anything from TripAdvisor that you didn't already know,--that you WOULD be approached to buy. Yet, the other advice given here was that that was totally non pressure. Sorry, to get involved. I guess you really didn't believe the personal advice you sought and got here that being asked once was NOT high pressure and wasn't an issue.
But whatever.
It's interesting that you think the thousands of posts I do here are "rude all the time". Where are your thousands of helpful posts answering questions?
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Mar 16th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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But you didn't report finding anything from TripAdvisor that you didn't already know,--that you WOULD be approached to buy. Yet, the other advice given here was that that was totally non pressure. Sorry, to get involved. I guess you really didn't believe the personal advice you sought and got here that being asked once was NOT high pressure and wasn't an issue. Meanwhile you've gotten several more responses here saying it wasn't an issue at all.

But whatever.

It's interesting that you think the thousands of posts I do here are "rude all the time". Where are your thousands of helpful posts answering questions?
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Mar 16th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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I went to a timeshare presentation once. The salesman had a big metal contraption on his head. He spent twenty minutes talking about how a motorcycle accident almost killed him a year earlier and how he had to learn to walk and talk again. He said he took this job to show his friends and family that he could make it on his own.

That really sucked.
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Mar 16th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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OMG DanB, now THAT was a funny post! I mean I do feel really sorry for the salesman, but that created a really funny image in my head.

Patrick: Sorry I don't have thousands of posts, but I have far better things to do with my time. And it's not like it's the first time someone has called you on the attitude. Just last night someone stood up to you about "shouting them down." I agree it was a little harsh on that post, but it does get old seeing your arrogance come through so often. Why do you care where I get my information for my final decision or what my tolerance level is for "pressure"? I have two very yong children and a husband who prefers to do his own vacation rental shopping rather than going to time share presentations. The reviews here don't make it sound so bad, but if I had an experience like some of the reviews at TA it would kill our trip. I don't see what is so wrong with checking on reviews at two places at once and making a decision based on that. And I certainly don't see why I have to justify that to you of all people, whose one post here was NOT one of your thousands to give helpful advice.

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Mar 16th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for bringing up the fact that when someone asked a simple question about New York restaurants offering diabetic alternatives and having someone claim that the post was stupid, and my defending the poster, that I was the one being blamed for "arrogance" or shouting. Just for the record, the person accusing me of "shouting him down" was the poster who posted to suggest that the original question was silly and shouldn't have been asked. So Since you seem to agree with that, I guess your opinion is that I had no right to defend another poster? Since I see how you interpreted that chain of events, it's clear why you are also so offended at questioning what changed your mind on this issue. If you thought defending a poster for asking a question is rude, then certainly my post here would be interpreted rude as well.

I apologize for offending you.




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Mar 16th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Thank you, sincerely, for the apology.

As I said in a previous post, I thought the poster who said you were shouting him down was a little harsh. My point was that it's also not the first time you have ever heard that. Good grief you're using a relatively new screen name for the same issue. It's not like I am the only one who has ever complained about your attitude. Whether or not you agree with it, some people think you are quite NOT helpful when you post things that are so judgemental.

Frankly, I don't have an opinion about the OP's original post on the other thread, and if I didn't like it, I just wouldn't have answered. I just don't see why there even has to be someone to defend an OP. Can't he/she stick up for him/herself? This is a travel board. Give your travel advice all you want (all 1000s of posts of it, if you wish), but don't act like the Fodor's police. That's all I am saying.

I get tired of all the arrogance and rude remarks from some of the most frequent posters. Before you go flying off the handle -- I am NOT SAYING that all frequent posters are rude. I just think a couple of them dominate every single post like the Fodor's police, offering (sometimes) helpful advice and (other times) ugly remarks. I just didn't like the mean spirit of people who post things that aren't helpful. I tend to stay out of the fray, but this time it's directed at me, and I will NOT let you or anyone else bully me on my own thread.

I just don't see how any of the following phrases are EVER intended in a helpful tone:

"This seems to be a very funny thread" (-- on a quite legitimate one, thanks.)

or

Well? What did you expect?

or

I mean did you originally think the service would be fantastic for a $40 a night place? (why would I be asking?)

Those comments are not helpful. They have no relevance to my original question, except to pass judgement on my response. That judgement is your prerogative, but I just don't see why you can't ignore the thread and go on, instead of slamming me about my decision.

Anyway. Thanks for the apology, because you definitely did offend me. In the future if I have anything helpful to offer you, I will. Otherwise, I will stay away. Wish you'd do the same.




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