Honeymoon Gift 2000


For our wedding present a member of our family gave us their exchange week. The RCI Vacation Guide was so helpful when we chose a location to exchange. It was the tone that set the whole vacation. The resort entertainment staff made our vacation unforgettable. We played the newlywed game and beach volleyball and sang Karaoke. We had a wonderful time at an RCI designated Gold Crown Resort and are now RCI subscribing members ourselves. Thank you for a wonderful honeymoon.

 

- Felisa M. from Patchogue, NY

Comments (0) »

Vacation Village at Bonaventure


For my exchange week I chose Mizner Place (a Vacation Village resort) in Weston, FL, right near Ft. Lauderdale. I traveled there from PA by bus. When I arrived at the registration desk and they realized I had no vehicle, they changed my accommodations to Vacation Village at Bonaventure, also in Weston, but within walking distance to many things. I was very happy about this as I could walk to the pool and gym. My place was perfect and I enjoyed being where all the action was. Every consideration was extended to me which made my stay perfect. I did go over to see the Mizner which had its own little town right there. A quiet area for people wishing that, but I was glad to be in the busy section. Thank you RCI for making my exchange easy. Your people have always been very friendly and extremely helpful.

 

- Martha D. from Bloomsburg, PA

Comments (0) »

Twenty-three Years with RCI


Our subscribing membership with RCI began when we purchased our first timeshare at Breezy Point, MN in 1985. We made our first exchange the following year for Spring Break with our three daughters to Oceanside, CA. In 1989 we traded for a week in Cancun and purchased another timeshare. We made other exchanges to locations in Florida, California, Hawaii, New Orleans, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Greece and Canada over the years. We even made an exchange for a houseboat in Florida! We have always been able to get an exchange for the location of our choice. All trips were enjoyable, but Greece was the most outstanding. It was on the island of Crete, which has beautiful scenery and rich history. It was our first experience with Greek culture and we loved it. We have visited Greece many times since. RCI has been a winner for us!

- Norma V. from Burnsville, MN
Comments (0) »

Many Trips


I have been an RCI subscribing member for over twenty years. I have used my week to exchange and to stay at my home resort. I love my RCI membership. I have used my exchanges to travel all over the world plus many fine resorts in the U.S. I have so many wonderful memories of the places I have been with my husband, my family and my friends I could not possibly pick one. If there is ever anyone at the pool talking timeshare and RCI I am the one promoting the virtues. I would never have been able to stay at these fine resorts if I had not been an RCI member.

- Marlene M. from Nisswa, MN
Comments (0) »

RCI Subscribing Members for over 20 years…WOW!


Helen F. - UK and Travel Destination NewsFor Joan K. from Northamptonshire, England, an RCI subscribing membership unleashed her inner adventurer and she has enjoyed two decades of travelling the world with RCI. Joan has always been passionate about travel and this independent divorcee made sure her son, Mark, grew up with the same appreciation for the wonders the world holds for the curious mind. For Joan, a week’s timeshare in Antigua was the perfect gift for Mark. “I wanted to enable him to see the world and to share the experience with friends,” she explained. “Through travel I’ve discovered that I have a real sense of adventure – not for me lying around on a beach all day! I want to get out into the local communities to experience different cultures and the different ways of life the world over.”

After joining RCI in 1991 when she bought a week at Club Tarahal in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Joan immediately exchanged for a week in Acapulco in Mexico and loved it so much she bought a second week of timeshare, there and then at the resort. Joan shared some of the most exciting and memorable moments of two of her RCI exchange holidays in the European edition of Holiday, The RCI Magazine. Her story (read it here!) sees her on safari in South Africa where she witnessed a ‘kill’ first-hand, and sharing a quiet bathing spot in a hilltop lagoon with monkeys in India. Of course, she got some much needed R&R in fabulous RCI affiliated resorts along the way to recharge her batteries!

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from those of you who have been RCI subscribing members for 20 years or more. Be sure to check back to hear about all the great places our members have traveled over the years.

Comments (0) »

Riviera Maya, Mexico 2008


In May 2008, my husband, daughter and son went to the Grand Mayan at Riviera Maya. We had coordinated our trip with my brother-in-law and his wife and daughter who also exchanged a room for their timeshare week. The Grand Mayan had large rooms for ourselves and our adult children to share. There was plenty to do at the resort. We explored the Riviera Maya activities, and even enjoyed some spa treatments. The highlight was celebrating our son's 21st birthday...The most difficult part of the trip was navigating the Mexican highways. I'm just glad that my brother-in-law did all the driving instead of my husband. I also came to understand what a terrible backseat driver I am. Both couples came away from that trip appreciating our own spouses. We had a great time and enjoyed the pampering of a luxury resort. Now to plan another trip...

- Jane K. from Denver, CO
Comments (0) »

St. John Trip 1999


Our trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands turned out to be one of our favorite vacations ever. The opportunity to travel there can be credited mainly to RCI. We had an exchange week to use, and we were not sure where to travel with our week. I called RCI to check availability, and the travel guide informed me of the availability in St. John. Later, they even helped us obtain airline tickets through the travel department. We had a wonderful time in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We still talk about that vacation today. Thank you, RCI!

- Stephen B. from Edwardsville, IL
Comments (0) »

My Niece's 21st B-Day Gift to Aruba


I was wondering what I could give my niece and godchild for her 21st birthday. I really wanted to make her birthday memorable as it's such a milestone in life. I decided the only gift that she would remember for the rest of her life was an RCI vacation. I was able to deposit my week and she requested a week in Aruba. Typical soon-to-be 21 year old, she was very specific on the week and chose only 2 resorts in Aruba. It came down to the wire but just 2-3 weeks before her chosen date, I got a call from the RCI guide to let me know RCI was able to accommodate LeeAnne and her mom (my sister) the actual week they wanted in August at the resort in Aruba that was her number one choice. I was a hero to my niece!

My niece, LeeAnne, invited a friend and her mom to join them on this adventure and according to all 4 they had a blast. It was a great mother/daughter bonding trip and no one wanted the week to end. They said they were treated great by all the staff and the RCI exchange was the best vacation they have had! Needless to say, my sister now wants to buy my timeshare and wants to be a member of RCI so that she can travel every year with minimal hassles. Thanks so much for helping me make my niece's 21st birthday a memorable one.

- Abigail V. from Cave Creek, AZ
Comments (0) »

Queensland, Australia – Open for Business


Laura Y. - ATHOC NewsA few months ago, many of you probably watched the news and saw the devastation firstly caused by the horrendous floods and then followed by Cyclone Yasi. This would be enough to make you think that it may take years of recovery. WRONG. Queensland is definitely open for business with the major tourism destinations of the Gold Coast, Whitsundays and North Queensland ready to welcome you. It takes more than a few natural disasters to close Queensland down.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said "It's no secret the Tourism industry, like many industries in Queensland, has taken a hit by the floods and is still haemorrhaging because of the negative publicity that spread world-wide.

"That's why we're taking action now to get the message out to our interstate and international guests - Queensland is still a world class destination and we have our arms out ready to welcome you.

"While the floods tried to do their worst, the Queensland spirit is well and truly alive and a Queensland holiday is a holiday of a lifetime.

"We said it before the floods and we say it now, Queensland is where Australia shines and never has it shined as brightly as it does now."

Now is a great time to take advantage of your exchange options and try some of the great Australian destinations. Whether it is the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast, The Great Barrier Reef, or you may even fancy a bit of trout fishing in Tasmania. The options are endless, and the opportunities to explore are abundant.

With any holiday, the most important part is in the planning. Do your research first so that you know what resorts are of interest to you.

If you are coming in from overseas use the opportunity to save your Weeks or Points so that you can stay longer by using them together, and while you are here why not look at cruise options as well. What a great way to see the Australian coast line and visit some great ports on the way. There is nothing better than unpacking once, visiting a range of new holiday destinations, and relaxing, eating and drinking on the way.

Whatever choice you make, I hope you have a ball.

To learn about the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council go to www.athoc.com.au.

Comments (2) »

My Dream Vacation


My boyfriend and I exchanged my week in Orlando for a beautiful one-bedroom in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this August. We had planned this trip for over a year and were so excited to go. We had been dating for the past 5 years and had talked about marriage, but never made it official. Our last night there, my boyfriend took me to do this beautiful restaurant on the water. Halfway through the meal, he excused himself, something he never does, and while he was gone, the waiter moved our table to a spectacular view by the water, brought over a heart-shaped candle, and before I knew it, my boyfriend was on his knee with an engagement ring in hand, and asked me to marry him. I will never forget this vacation. We have since purchased another timeshare in Cabos, and look forward to our future vacations together as a married couple. Thank you RCI for helping to make all my dreams come true. We never would have been able to afford such a lavish vacation without this exchange program.

- Janine D. from New York, NY
Comments (0) »

Our first "timeshare" vacation


When we first bought our timeshare, like most people, I was a little skeptical. After trading in our week with RCI we started looking for options for our first timeshare exchange vacation. My wife and I settled on a trip to Virginia to see colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Washington D.C. Our exchange went through and a few months later we were headed up on our first "timeshare" vacation. We were still a little hesitant and doubtful about the whole thing. Would this place be a total dump? Had we been taken for a ride? Was the whole timeshare thing a big sham?

All of our questions and doubts were answered when we checked in to our condo at Powhatan Plantation. When we walked into our unit we were pleasantly surprised. This was a million times better than staying in a hotel. We had 2 bedrooms, a hot tub, a living room, kitchen, etc. We had an amazing week of fun and relaxation, and most importantly, time together. We have been huge fans of our timeshare ever since and have enjoyed 13 years of amazing vacations since!

- Aaron Y. from Lawrenceville, GA
Comments (0) »

Hawaii 2007


While planning my wedding, my husband and I were trying to figure out how we could afford to go on a nice honeymoon. My father then gave us their RCI week as a gift to use for our honeymoon. We were so excited that we would actually be able to go somewhere beautiful. We decided on Maui, Hawaii. Our timeshare unit was perfect! We even had a waterfall in the pool. We were close to Lahaina, our favorite spot and Whalers Village.

We had the most romantic trip ever and we will forever remember how special that week was to us. We owe special thanks to not only my father but also to RCI for providing the opportunity to exchange our timeshare week in CT for an amazing and romantic place in Hawaii!

- Dana A. from Middletown, CT
Comments (1) »

RCI celebrates 37 years!


Phil B. - Timeshare Exchange and Resort Vacation NewsThis week marks the 37th anniversary of RCI. 37 years! We have definitely come a long way since 1974, when our exchange requests were kept on index cards! Since then we have reached so many milestones, some of them including the launch of the resort directory (1975), our website (1996), the RCI Points® program (2000), and Enhanced Search Online (2008). And during the last year alone, we introduced the RCI Points Platinum® membership tier, enhancements to the RCI Weeks program with more transparency, and a bunch of ways to stay connected with RCI in social media including a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter handle, an iPhone® app, and this blog. And trust me, there will be more to add to this list this year!

First of all, we’ve already launched a cool new version of our “Share Your Vacation” Facebook app. This version allows you to compete against your friends and other users and to earn fun online trophies – all based on the information you enter about vacations (you can check out the app on our Facebook page by clicking on the “App” tab). Also, the RCI app is now available on your iPad® (with the RCI Affiliated Resort Directory, RCI TV and RCI SnapBook features) and you will see the Endless Vacation® magazine app for the iPad in a few weeks! This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to come as we continue to completely transform your timeshare experience.

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos with you from RCI subscribing members who traveled to celebrate an anniversary. Be sure to check back. And if you have an anniversary story of your own, please feel free to share it by commenting below.

The RCI Blog is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.

Comments (0) »

Stone Ridge Resort in N. Idaho


In 2005 we purchased a Last CallSM week for Stone Ridge in N. Idaho. Our first trip to N. Idaho. We were worried about what we would do for a week in such a remote (we thought) area. Well a week is not enough! The resort offered day trips to explore the area plus activities everyday and a wonderful indoor recreation center plus a 19 hole golf course which was only $25 that first year which included a cart and a bag of range balls. Lake Coeur d'Alene is a quick drive to the south and to the north Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake and so much more all around.

We continued to return each fall, bringing family and friends, either through exchanges, Last Call vacations or Extra VacationsSM getaways. Being just a seven hour drive from Portland, we planned a family reunion with 19 of us in six units. That year two of us picked up weeks through RCI and then rented two through the rental pool. We will continue to visit this beautiful area. Last Call weeks provide the opportunity to explore out-of-the-way places without the financial investment. We are again using Last Call vacations this month to pick up a week to add to our own timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. Thank you RCI.

- Kari S. from Beaverton, OR
Comments (0) »

Timeshares and Family Reunions Go Hand in Hand


Karen P. - RCI Social Media and Marketing NewsI attended my first family reunion 3 years ago and I have to say, it was an experience I will never forget. It was located in the heart of the Poconos in Pennsylvania, and members of my extended family (including a famous magician, who shall remain anonymous!) traveled from across the country to spend a weekend together. Looking back on all of the preparation that went into that weekend, I can definitely see how owning a timeshare can make the planning of a family reunion both easy and fun.

Keep reading our blog this week to see stories from RCI subscribing members who have planned family reunions themselves using their exchanges through RCI. There was even a family that coordinated a reunion for 23 people!

Do you have a story about a family reunion at an RCI affiliated resort? If so, please share your story here!

Comments (2) »

RCI is “closed” this weekend. Not really.


Julia G. - RCI Weeks News and InformationI’ve got some exciting news for you. Probably the most exciting news I’ve ever shared about the revolutionary transformation taking place as we speak, for all of you loyal RCI Weeks members out there. RCI may look like it’s closed for business this weekend, but I can assure you the office is anything but closed. The office is buzzing with activity like I’ve never seen before. RCI teams are working around the clock, across all departments to revolutionize the RCI Weeks membership. This takes a lot of work and coordination. RCI’s technology systems are going through a big redesign. This is an upgrade that has been practiced, tested and planned for over the course of years, as the changes we are making to our systems are nothing short of monumental.

Why, you might ask, is RCI going through all of this effort? To bring you, members, vacation enthusiasts, the best, most flexible weeks exchange program in the history of timeshare! You asked for it and you deserve it!

My colleagues at RCI are so excited about these membership enhancements and are so dedicated to making this upgrade a huge success that it feels as if there is nothing the team here wouldn’t do to accomplish this mission. During the wee hours of Monday morning, while I hope all of you are enjoying the last few hours of weekend rest, RCI will be turning the systems back on.  One-by-one, they will launch into action, as the team at RCI carefully monitors each step of the way, checking that everything is working seamlessly.

As many of you know, working with technology is challenging. All of the best planning in the world sometimes cannot predict system issues that may arise with a system upgrade of this scale.

My colleagues and I are optimistic and I know that each and every RCI Associate will not rest until our systems are back up, performing at a high standard of quality. So, stay tuned, and once the changes are complete, I think you’ll be in for a very pleasant surprise.

Just in case you wanted a first-hand look at what is going on here at RCI, check out this photo…

What's going on at RCI - 11/12/2010

Comments (0) »

California Vacation: More than Just a Summer Timeshare Destination


Susie M. - RCI Subscribing Member Vacation ExperiencesIn my position here at RCI, I get to hear directly from subscribing members about their timeshare vacation experiences. A lot of our RCI® subscribing members choose a California vacation for one reason or another, especially in the winter. They talk about the beaches, the wineries, and the good weather — a great combination to warm up any winter. Some of them are planning a stay at a timeshare for a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary. Some of them are just planning for some time away. Here’s what other RCI members had to say* about their California vacation:

Robert, Palmdale, CA: Our trip to Arnold, California in March was awesome. The Big Trees State Park was just down the road and the kids went snowboarding 20 minutes away. Lots of hiking and fishing. The nearest lake was gorgeous and we saw lots of wildlife. People in the town were really friendly and helpful. The resort was comfy and had a warm feel to it. We want to return there.

Joyce, Salem, NH: My husband and I were excited to plan our exchange trip to Capistrano California.  We exchanged our Cape Cod timeshare for a beautiful two bedroom, two bath timeshare in the Capistrano Surfside Inn. The timeshare was huge and immaculate and the ocean was just across the street.  Also within walking distance was Dante Point which not only had an active harbor and walking areas with fantastic restaurants and shops, but bikepaths as well for those who wanted to bike around the area.  We visited The Mission at Capistrano and walked the small streets with many unique shops.  We chose this place to have a restful holiday and it was, yet there was plenty to do if we chose to do so.  I would highly recommend this paradise area to anyone who wants to vacation in California.  We would definitely visit again, but there are so many beautiful resorts with RCI, we want to try them all.  We love RCI and the wonderful opportunities it offers us in trying new places and seeking new adventures.

Christine, San Bernardino, CA: In the summer of 2007, my husband and I experienced the most wonderful, relaxing vacation week that we have ever had. We decided to stay at WorldMark Angels Camp, California. During the day, we spent time visiting a couple of local wineries and sightseeing. In the evening, we barbecued dinner, relaxed, and escaped the reality of everyday stresses. It was a wonderfully simple and non-hurried vacation and we are looking forward to getting away again in the future!!

* Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, these vacation stories from RCI members are otherwise unchanged. They are not meant to inform you about resorts, destinations or about RCI products and services. RCI always recommends that you do your own research when making travel plans.

Comments (3) »

Why Timeshare Owners Should Also Become Members of RCI


Barbara E. - RCI Subscribing Member BenefitsAs the head of North America retention and loyalty at RCI, I sometimes hear from RCI subscribing members who are interested in knowing what types of non-exchange benefits are available to them. There are many members who use their own timeshare week the same time each year, and some of them don’t know all the valuable advantages they have just by being members.

There are many more reasons than ever before to be a timeshare exchange member. Our focus has always been on you as a consumer as well as you as a timeshare owner. The benefits we’ve added recently are what I call "everyday benefits" for the simple reason they can provide value every day in your regular non-timeshare consumer life. For example, do you travel on business or for long weekends? Take advantage of the up to 20% discount RCI members get on select hotels. Buying something for your home or a gift for family? Go right to an online "shopping mall," the RCI Shopping PerksSM program, and get Cash Back rewards on thousands of qualified items — it’s like getting paid to shop!

At the same time, your RCI timeshare exchange membership provides you with great travel perks including low-cost Extra VacationsSM getaways and cruise benefits such as cabin upgrades or savings of up to $500 USD!

Benefits for travel and benefits for every day tell the whole story of why an RCI Subscribing Membership can be a good value all the time. If you have any ideas for new benefits to enhance your membership, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment, and let us know what you think.

Comments (22) »

Italy: A Lot of History and A Lot to Do!


Susie M. - RCI Subscribing Member Vacation ExperiencesWho hasn’t dreamed of visiting Italy, even if it's just for a short while? Picture it: lounging in the espresso shops, reading by one of the fountains, dining al fresco with friends, taking a break for gelato…

Some RCI subscribing members have already enjoyed a vacation rental or timeshare exchange vacation in Italy and everything the country has to offer. Since my position at RCI allows me to hear from members about their European vacations, I thought I’d share a few stories* with you:

Larry, Olympia, WA: Last May, when we arrived at Il Poggio, our first week’s stay, it was 9:50 p.m. The resort office closed at 10 p.m., and we were worried we wouldn’t make it. We had a stressful drive from the Rome airport, and were hungry and tired. Il Poggio is located in a small town in Tuscany, and by that time of night, the few stores and eateries were closed. The owner graciously sent a tray of salami, cheese, and bread to our room, and it was even enough for breakfast the next morning. We thoroughly enjoyed our week there, followed by a lovely week on Sardinia, and another week in northern Tuscany.

George, El Cajon, CA: Our trip to Italy was fantastic. We went from Assisi to Sicily. All four weeks were with our RCI weeks. Assisi and Tropea were our favorite. This was a chance for my wife to explore her roots in Sicily and we had a great time with long lost family. Thanks RCI.

Richard, Monroe Township, NJ: Just got back from a wonderful week in Montegrotto Terme. We were a 10-minute train ride from Padua and a 60-minute train ride from Venice. The property was wonderful and located near the train station. The hotel staff was great and the room was immaculate. The town’s shops were very good for browsing and shopping. The food on the half-board was very good and we would return to this property again.

Now it's your turn! Do you have any experiences from your trip to Italy you’d like to share? If so, comment below.

* Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, these vacation stories from RCI members are otherwise unchanged. They are not meant to inform you about resorts, destinations or about RCI® products and services. Some stories mention unusual exceptions made or circumstances that may not be typical for most vacationers. RCI always recommends that you do your own research when making travel plans.

Comments (6) »

Improved Vacation Search Tools Make Finding Availability a Breeze


Jen V. - Improved Vacation Search ToolsAs a member of the e-commerce team, I think one of our most exciting projects in 2009 was an enhancement to the search function on www.rci.com. Historically, members would say "just tell me what you have" when it came to searching for timeshare exchange. Now we do exactly that, but it's easier!
 

Searching used to require many inputs before you could see what RCI had "on the shelf." Now, once you’ve deposited your week, you can see every timeshare exchange available for you without inputting any criteria.
 

In order to navigate through the thousands of properties available, we’ve added many filters to narrow down the results to help you get just the vacations that are right for you. You don’t even have to choose a geographical destination – you can choose dates instead and see everything that’s available for you throughout the world during a particular time…or choose ski vacations from the Vacation Type filter and see your ski options available everywhere from Argentina to Zurich.
 

After we released this fantastic new search tool in 2009, we got lots of great comments from members who loved it and started booking their family vacations on RCI.com. We also got some great recommendations from you on how we could make it better. So, in June 2010, we launched two new search tools based 100% on member feedback.
 

My Favorite Searches lets members save search queries they are always doing. Next time you come back you can simply click the "self-named" saved search and you will immediately see the results that match your criteria. But don’t confuse this with Ongoing Searches. Ongoing Searches are still the best way to get in line for timeshare exchange vacations that haven’t been deposited in the system yet.
 

Advanced Search provides those of you who know what you want the ability to add multiple criteria before getting to the timeshare exchange search results. (You can also save these searches, too.) This can be a quick way to get deeper into search results within one page. Keep in mind that adding multiple criteria at one time could limit available options and may result in zero search results. I suggest adding one criteria at a time in order to see which options are available as you narrow them down.
 

These search improvements have significantly improved how you can find family vacations. There’s been a tremendous increase in the number of online activity and bookings, and we’re happy to see you are asking for new features. As you can see, we’re listening to you and want to make finding the right vacation fun and easy.
 

How are we doing? If you like what we're doing, let us know. If you want to see any changes or improvements, please comment below and we'll see if we can include them in future upgrades.

Comments (6) »