RCI® subscribing membership benefits that you might not know about


Catherine S. - Cruise Stories and RCI NewsWe love helping to send you, our RCI subscribing members, on vacation!  In order to provide you with even better vacation options and enhancements to your overall membership, we have an established alliance with International Cruise and Excursions (ICE) – which is sometimes referred to as Our Vacation Center.

 

Through this alliance, we’re able to provide you with many benefits that you may already be familiar with:

 

  • The RCI Cruise program gives you the option to purchase a cruise at a reduced price with exchange, or purchase a cruise without exchange (sometimes referred to as “Cruise Extra VacationsSM getaways”) both with the Best Rate Guarantee.

 

  • RCI Cruise & Resort Vacations* offers you the opportunity to receive up to two weeks of vacations in one convenient and flexible package.  You can spend one week cruising to great destinations like Mexico, Alaska or Hawaii, and the second week in an awesome resort destination like Las Vegas or Florida.

 

  • With RCI Vacations*, you can save up to 70% off at select preferred hotels in popular destinations worldwide. Our members can purchase up to five hotel savings certificates which can be used to book hotels and save hundreds of dollars on each stay compared to popular online travel sites.  In addition to the hotel savings certificates, every RCI Vacations package includes a choice of a prepaid cruise, resort or hotel vacation. 

 

  • RCI Platinum® Lifestyle Benefits, including golf discounts, spa getaways and gift certificates, ski packages, an online wine store, tickets to movies, concerts and sporting events, and online shopping. 

 

  • RCI Travel, which allows you to get the best pricing on air, rental car, and hotels, making your vacation planning more convenient!

 

Our alliance with ICE helps us provide you with even greater enhancements to your RCI membership.

 

Have you taken advantage of any of these benefits yet? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

 

 

*Not available to all members

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Planning a trip to Florida? Check out the gulf coast!


Jennifer H. - RCI Technology UpdatesLooking for a fun vacation spot in Florida? While Orlando and the normal coastal cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale are great, don’t rule out the panhandle on Florida’s gulf coast. There are so many options that I never even knew about before visiting last year for the first time. I was lucky enough to have to travel there for work, but I’ve gone back since (as have many of my co-workers!) for rest and relaxation.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit Destin, Fort Walton Beach and various beaches along the beautiful Route 30A in northwest Florida.  There is something for everyone there!

 

If you want something fun and family friendly, Fort Walton Beach and Destin have many restaurants, shopping (the shops in Destin Commons), marinas that offer boat rentals, mini-golf and other fun activities for everyone in the family. Tommy Bahamas (great for fish tacos!) and Cuvee Bistro (Grouper Vince was my favorite!) are two of my favorite restaurants that I never miss when I visit.

 

Another gorgeous area you don’t want to miss is the beaches of South Walton along Route 30a. There are some beautiful options off the beaten path. I couldn’t believe how different the areas are from one another and how much there is to do. Grayton Beach, Seaside and Rosemary Beach are my personal favorites.  Grayton Beach has a beautiful state park (Grayton Beach State Park) – this part of the panhandle is just breathtaking! And it is perfect for kayaking, riding your bike or just relaxing on the beach and enjoying some well-deserved R&R. In Rosemary Beach, one of my favorite places is a little apothecary shop named Pish Posh Patchouli’s. They have amazing homemade lotions and bath products along with cool gifts and beauty products.  Shopping at Seaside is fun, too – I can never walk out of Sundog Books without a handful of new reading material.

 

Want to hear more? Come back to the RCI Blog this week, where we will be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have visited the many towns along Florida’s gulf coast.

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Florida Vacations - Bay Lake Tower @ Disney's Contemporary Resort




Bay Lake Tower at Disney is ideally located next to Disney's Contemporary Resort, just outside Magic Kingdom Park. Bay Lake Tower offers a distinctive modern design balanced by a warm and inviting decor with the feel of an urban boutique hotel. An enclosed sky bridge connects this property to Disney's Contemporary Resort-with a wide array of shopping and dining options. Relax at Bay Lake's sandy white beach or enjoy some parasailing, fishing or cruising on your own rental boat. The Monorail is next door. Visit the Top of the World Restauant/Lounge to view the Disney Property.

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Colorado Vacations - Wyndham Pagosa


Bordered by 2.3 million acres of the San Juan National Forest, Wyndham Pagosa is a complete recreational community located in the mountains of southwestern Colorado. Tennis courts; a golf course; and a recreational center, featuring an indoor pool, a weight room, games room, and racquetball courts, are all nearby. In winter, a daily shuttle to the Wolf Creek ski area is offered. Cross-country skiing with rental equipment is also available. Please note: The resort is at high altitude. Learn about high-altitude sickness to prevent the problems associated with this illness.

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Mexico Trip 2008


My daughter's school decided in 2008 that they would not be able to take any international trips. Her older brothers and sisters were able to visit Europe and also Mexico. Needless to say, she was very disappointed. I then decided to try to take her to Mexico myself. I got on the internet and searched for an RCI vacation exchange. The great news was that there was an opening at the Mayan Palace on Riviera Maya available during our spring break. I quickly booked the week and then the airfare. I even rented a car for the week that we were down there. It has been one of the best and most rewarding vacations I have been on. We visited the Mayan Ruins, took the ferry over to Cozumel. Each day we traveled to a new destination and saw even more than she would have on her school trip. We went out for supper each night and did a lot of shopping. Yes, we danced at Senor Frogs! Having the rental car was easy and without it we wouldn't have been able to do all the things we did! We kept our cost down and really enjoyed ourselves on our schedule. This will most definitely be one of my top vacations.

- LuAnn R. from Sellersburg, IN
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Australia’s Gold Coast from the Eyes of an RCI Employee


Cassie J. - Destination and Travel Information from AustraliaI might be slightly biased, but I think Australia’s Gold Coast is the best place on Earth.

Don’t get me wrong, we live in an amazing world filled with exotic destinations, enriching experiences, and unique cultures. But every time I return from an international jaunt or interstate getaway, I’m happy to be back home in Australia (which is where I work as a Communications Officer for RCI).

Bordered by a 70-kilometer ribbon of soft sandy coastline snaking its way along the east and a lush green veil of world heritage-listed rainforest to the west, topped off with 300+ days of sunshine, it’s not hard to see why 10.5 million people make their way to the Gold Coast every year for a wonderful vacation.

And I’m lucky enough to live here.

My weekends usually consist of scanning the beach for the perfect spot to drop my towel before splashing in the turquoise water. As the sand squelches between my toes, I always feel warm and fuzzy inside as I look around at all the smiling faces of tourists on vacation and locals alike enjoying another perfect day in paradise.

Then it’s usually off to a restaurant or café where my friends and I spend the afternoon with a gourmet treat and a glass of chilled wine. Even though we do have our favourite places to dine, we like to mix it up, be it the view, the menu, the atmosphere, or the price. So it’s lucky the Gold Coast has more restaurants per square kilometer than anywhere else in Australia!

It’s not all about the beach and dining out, there’s always a walking trail, broadwater cruise, winery tour, mountain drive, theme park, or shopping expedition to keep everyone entertained. If you ever thought about a vacation in the Gold Coast, we have a lot of vacation rentals and timeshares available through RCI.

Have you ever been to Australia’s Gold Coast? If so, let us know what your favourite part was by commenting below.

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Who wouldn’t want more value?


Julia G. - RCI Weeks News and Information

My role at RCI on the US RCI Weeks Member Marketing team means that I spend my days working to create materials and tools for you to better understand and utilize your RCI membership. I’m happy to be able to share with you the latest news for RCI Weeks members and teach you how to get the most value out of your membership.

Prior to our recent upgrade, when you looked to confirm a vacation, our systems only provided for one-for-one exchanges. You gave your vacation week in the form of a Deposit to RCI, and in return, you exchanged for a different vacation week in RCI’s system. You could book any available vacation that had an equal or lower trading power than you Deposit’s trading power. Now, when you search for a vacation, you can choose to search for any available vacation, regardless of trading power, or only those that have equal or less Exchange Trading Power than your Deposit Trading Power (remember that you are still exchanging a week for a week, and although Nightly Stay rental vacations are available, shorter or longer night stay exchange vacations can only be obtained through an RCI Points membership).

Even better, when you “trade down” to confirm a vacation that has a lower Exchange Trading Power than the trading power of your Deposit, you now get a Deposit Credit on your account which has a Deposit Trading Power equal to the difference between the Exchange Trading Power and the Deposit Trading Power used. More value for you!

How will you use your Deposit Trading Power this year? What adventures do you have planned? Join the conversation by commenting below.

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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
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An Unforgettable Experience in Cabo, Mexico


One of the best parts of a vacation is the positive outlook you derive from pleasant anticipation. Thinking briefly “Yeah that was great!” or “I am really going to enjoy this trip!” can add to the lightness of your day.

We had 16 family members who decided to vacation together. We searched RCI’s web site and viewed photos and we choose Los Cabos, Mexico. Sol Mar Hotels & Resorts have turned hospitality into a fine art. RCI made the vacation possible with 5 rooms available as Extra Vacations rentals.

Check in with our RCI confirmation was quick and easy and we began to enjoy our week at Sol Mar. The view from the room was amazing and very relaxing. The welcome drink was also helpful to get us started.

Now tequila isn’t for the timid. Some say it’s for those of us who are passionate, strong and who live life with gusto. Some Americans think of tequila as something to be tossed back with a dash of salt and a lime, or added into a margarita, but serious tequila drinkers are slow, thoughtful sippers. We now call Joe, “Tequila Joe”, after an all-you-can-eat-and-drink fiesta on the beach in front of Sol Mar. Joe found out that tequila, “like no other liquor”, has a delayed reaction. It catches the uninitiated off-guard.

We all slapped on some sunscreen before leaving the resort and then wandered around in search of a decent cup of coffee and breakfast. At Mama's Royal Cafe, the Stuffed French Toast is absolutely amazing!

Next, we wanted to kick off our shoes and head down to the beach. We also thought lunch at “The Office” would be nice. You can dine barefoot at the tables placed on the beach and enjoy a fantastic view of the arch. Watch vendors stroll between the tables and you can watch the activity going on nearby. It's a good place to "people watch”.

Remember – before any walk around town, in a country where water costs more than beer, make sure you bring water bottles with you. Yes, it is true – a golf pro said if they can figure out how to irrigate the golf course with beer, they would save a ton of money.

For a taste of "Old Mexico" a day in San Jose del Cabo fits the bill. Cabo Wabo and Squid Row still rule the nightlife. If lines outside the club are a measure, Squid Row wins hands down!

- Russell K. from Hillsboro, OR
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How EndlessVacation.com Can Fit Into Your Vacation Planning


Emily S. - EndlessVacation.com and Destination InfoA couple months ago, I traveled to Mexico for the first time and visited a timeshare rental in Cabo San Lucas. The views of the sea were amazing, the days were filled with sun, and I had a chance to travel around the town to check out the beaches, restaurants (try The Office!), and shops. Now that I’m back and the summer is over, I’m already thinking of where in Mexico I’ll want to visit next.

Since a lot of my job at RCI consists of working on www.EndlessVacation.com, it only made sense for me to turn to the website for information on some of the most popular Mexico timeshare rental destinations. I found so many useful tips, I thought I’d share some of them with you:

While researching things to do if I stayed in Cancun or Riviera Maya, I found this article, Away for the day in Mexico, extremely helpful. It shows you three day trips you can take: Chichén Itzá, Valladolid or Isla Mujeres. Even better, these trips are so different from each other, you are sure to find one that you’d like! Just set up your timeshare rental as your home base, and then visit any of the other three areas during your stay.

I also came across an article on the relaxing island of Cozumel. Not only does it tell you about the cultural and shopping hotspots, but it gives you a great inside scoop on where to go to snag a hammock, where the beaches are the least crowded, and how to best experience viewing the sea life.

Finally, this article outlines the popular beach destinations in Mexico (like Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Playa del Carmen), so you can pick the one that’s right for you. Whether you are heading to Mexico for sailing, beaches, shopping, the nightlife, or the food (or any combination of those), this article will set you in the right direction.

If you have visited a Mexican timeshare rental, what suggestions can you provide help to others who are also planning a vacation to a Mexico destination? Also, how do you use EndlessVacation.com? What do you like best about the website?

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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.

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