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What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-27-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
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What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

On the after school ride home each day, my oldest son and I listen together to the Clark Howard show. We pride ourselves in guessing what Clark's opinion will be about the various schemes and scams that people call in about.

Now, I find myself a recipient of a piece of mail that might be a scam, and then again it might be a not so bad deal. Just for background info, Clark regularly fields calls from people who get solicited for a free or discounted vacation somewhere if they are willing to listen to a lengthy sales pitch for time share vacation property. Clark says that those are okay but you have to go in with the mindset that your arms are broken and it's not possible to sign anything - because the pressure tactics the sales folks use are pretty awesome.

Anyway, this is my question. Is anybody familiar with this type of trip offerred by Marriott? I have zero desire or intent to buy a timeshare anywhere (except maybe the Playboy Mansion) and I normally wouldn't consider any "vacation" package like this worth having to put up with obnoxious sales people. But, it's the Marriott Maui Ocean Club on Ka'anapali Beach. If my life ends and I haven't been to Hawaii that would be no great tragedy, but the Princess would be in heaven if I took her. So, if it's not a ripoff or scam then I might look into it further. Or at least call Clark next week and see if I can get on the show to ask about this. However, if any of you'all know about this particular offer from Marriott I would appreciate some feedback.

The package is 5 nights for $648 with a complimentary Hertz rental and $50 bucks in Marriott money certs.

Rack rate for the same time period would be a little less than $2,000 before taxes. Not counting the rental car this looks to be about a 50+% discount.
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-27-2006, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

http://clarkhoward.com/

I check his site several times a week waiting for some central america airfare deals to appear. You might get some info from a site search or user forums. I imagine you are already familar with his site but others might find it helpful. Has saved me some dollars.
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-27-2006, 06:35 PM   #3
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poboy
http://clarkhoward.com/

I check his site several times a week waiting for some central america airfare deals to appear. You might get some info from a site search or user forums. I imagine you are already familar with his site but others might find it helpful. Has saved me some dollars.
I knew about the site but I assumed that what I would find would be about timeshare sales vacations in general. But, I went after reading your reply and this is what I found:

"The industry has changed because there are a number of venerable, respected players in the business. If you go to a Hilton, Marriott or Four Seasons timeshare property, you won’t be pressured and you’ll probably have a very relaxing, enjoyable experience."

Thanks poboy
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-27-2006, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
The package is 5 nights for $648 with a complimentary Hertz rental and $50 bucks in Marriott money certs.*
Rack rate for the same time period would be a little less than $2,000 before taxes.* Not counting the rental car this looks to be about a 50+% discount.*
This is like debating whether you want to live in upper or lower Manhattan, when the real problem is that you're living in Manhattan. A 50% discount isn't such a great deal when prices start out at 200% over wholesale.

Ka'anapali Beach is a really nice beach, but that's one of the most overcrowded & pricey areas of the islands. There are many nice hotels, rental condos, and rental homes where you can do most of the same activities for a much lower price... and drive to Ka'anapali if necessary. Take a look at Kahului or Ma'alaea for starters. Think about upcountry Maui, which is about as far away as you can get from Ka'anapali and still be on the island. This is also a good (cheaper) time of the year to visit.

If you must listen to a timeshare pitch then Marriott does one of the more even-handed deliveries. But you already know that the economics aren't what you want for your family vacations. I'd think that an hour into it, already knowing your decision, you'd realize that you're stuck in a chilly conference room sipping bad coffee while your spouse & kids are having the time of their lives. Everything from there on is downhill.

Besides, morning surf is better. And most of the tour buses leave for Haleakala in the very early morning. You're likely to miss a lot of the fun.
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-29-2006, 02:51 AM   #5
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

That's an incredible deal. Kaanapali is gorgeous, but as Nords said, it's far from everything and very commercial. I live upcountry which is a world away. Unless you find a house-sit you'll have a difficult time finding anything on Maui for that price. I think I've been inside that hotel and it's really nice.

If you really want to relax go to Hana for a few days. It's very isolated and lush with incredible beaches and rainforest hikes. I'd rather stay in Hana for a week than in Kaanapali for a week.

Honolua Bay is just north of Kaanapali and offers incredible snorkeling in the summer.

For anyone who wants to do Maui on the cheap camping is an great option. You can camp at Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului, Haleakala Park in Kipahulu (near Hana) and at Hosmers Grove near the park (summit) entrance, and at Polipoli State Park (also up on the mountain).
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-29-2006, 02:31 PM   #6
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

My dad used to do those trips, usually from MA to FL. Besides the high pressure sales stuff, a few times when he told them after the first day or so that he decided he wasnt interested, they said that they decided he never had any interest at all (although he did), just wanted a cheap vacation and this violated the spirit of their agreement, so they wanted to shorten his trip and send him home. He disagreed. After much hoo-hah, he stayed. He finally decided they werent worth it and moved to CA instead.
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-30-2006, 01:48 AM   #7
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
This is like debating whether you want to live in upper or lower Manhattan, when the real problem is that you're living in Manhattan. A 50% discount isn't such a great deal when prices start out at 200% over wholesale.
That's my issue with vacationing there in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I'd think that an hour into it, already knowing your decision, you'd realize that you're stuck in a chilly conference room sipping bad coffee while your spouse & kids are having the time of their lives. Everything from there on is downhill.
There lies the fun twist - the invite was addressed to the Princess. The kids and I would be on the beach while she suffered. I would have to saw off her hands before I left her alone with the land sharks though.

I'm sure we'll do the Hawaii thing in the next year or so (just so HRH can die content on that issue at least), but I hate going to places where they look at tourists like Piranha look at a swimming cows. I remember my first trip to the USVI and haggling over a camera that was significantly reduced from mainland prices. A clerk came around and put out new prices on everything - the camera was now more than it cost back home. There was a serious "Dude, WTF!?!" moment with the salesperson. He calmly explained that my price would not change, but a cruise ship had just dropped anchor and the new prices were just for that captive audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
My dad used to do those trips, usually from MA to FL. Besides the high pressure sales stuff, a few times when he told them after the first day or so that he decided he wasnt interested, they said that they decided he never had any interest at all (although he did), just wanted a cheap vacation and this violated the spirit of their agreement, so they wanted to shorten his trip and send him home. He disagreed. After much hoo-hah, he stayed. He finally decided they werent worth it and moved to CA instead.
That is one of the reasons I never had any interest in going on one of these trips (other than the fact that I'd rather burn twenties in the fireplace than put money into a timeshare). I can imagine that kind of scene going down and me inviting the sales guy outside for a man to man talk. The kids would have stories to tell their kids though: "Yeah, I remember the time your grandpa kicked some timeshare salesman's ass and we had to bail him out of jail. Those were good times."
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-30-2006, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
There lies the fun twist - the invite was addressed to the Princess.* The kids and I would be on the beach while she suffered.* I would have to saw off her hands before I left her alone with the land sharks though.
Well, no problem then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I'm sure we'll do the Hawaii thing in the next year or so (just so HRH can die content on that issue at least), but I hate going to places where they look at tourists like Piranha look at a swimming cows. I remember my first trip to the USVI and haggling over a camera that was significantly reduced from mainland prices. A clerk came around and put out new prices on everything - the camera was now more than it cost back home. There was a serious "Dude, WTF!?!" moment with the salesperson. He calmly explained that my price would not change, but a cruise ship had just dropped anchor and the new prices were just for that captive audience.
Hawaii just picked up its fourth NCL inter-island cruise ship and is actually opening a second cruise terminal for the first time in decades. Honolulu is handling the extra population just fine but I think I'd stay away from the smaller places on Kauai & Maui on boat days. I never thought that I'd have to plan an interisland vacation around someone else's cruise itinerary.
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?
Old 05-30-2006, 02:28 PM   #9
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Re: What would Clark Howard say about this Hawaii deal?

No matter who the timeshare "invitation" is adressed to, wife or husband, BOTH are required to attend the presentation. If they are going to sell you anything, which is their hope, they need both of you to sign the dotted line. That said, the offer is not a bad deal if this is an area you would like to stay in. Marriott is generally not high pressure. Just be armed with a few reasons why you are not interested. I am familiar with their program and it is fairly versatile, including trading the timeshare for airline tickets and hotel stays etc. Actually, while I find Marriott typically too expensive for my cheapskate tastes, all timeshares are NOT a waste of money. We own three, one on Maui, one on Hawaii, and one near Orlando. I paid a total of $11,300 on the resale market for all three. We often rent the one in Maui, take the money and stay somewhere else in the off-season. The others we trade to stay elsewhere, usually. The maintenance fees are the equivalent cost of staying at an Econolodge, and we get to stay in one or two bedroom condos that are quite luxurious. So, while timeshares are certainly not for everyone, and they're usually only a good deal if you buy them resale for pennies on the dollar, they can be a good deal under the right circumstances.
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