I am a new DVC member, having purchase direct recently (GFV) with the latest incentives. That purchase was an adventure and ended up taking weeks of back and forth with mistakes and changes to contracts. Anyway, although I did get my points right away, as direct purchasers do, I was reluctant to try to book anything before we finalized the contracts (potentially my first mistake). And then once done with contracts, I thought calling member services to book my “Welcome Home” trip would make things easier, as I was instructed to do that by my guide. . . once I made that call, the member services person sort of shrugged and said all they do is walk me through how to book online. And there was no availability in my desired timing for my first trip, so they couldn’t help.
I am also feeling a little like I have no idea of best strategies, etc (other than booking at 11 months, which I doubt I will do very often). My desired dates: 3 nights in a studio in early December over the first or second weekend. I know that is a popular time (which time is not a popular time?). I am relatively open to different resorts, though I expect to have 3-4 adults and would like to avoid studios with the pull-out sofa.
I realized I need to just dive in and see what I can do. Please see if what I am doing makes sense, or what you may recommend. First, I put in 2 wait lists for my desired dates with resorts I would most like to get. These seem a long shot–I probably should just cancel them. I have also been stalking for openings. i see very few and definitely nothing that even approaches 3 days. But I see a night here and there. It seems like maybe what I should be doing is booking a single night in my range if I can, and then attempting to wait list adjacent nights? I was able to book two consecutive nights at AKV Jambo, and I could wait list the third night. Although I LOVE AKL, the sofabed makes this much less desirable for me. So in some ways I also just want to cancel that.
It seems a bit like booking ADRs. Is that how people do it? They just book something when they see it that they may or may not use, until they find something better? That explains why stalking works. And “walking” is sort of like leading reservations?
I am also nervous about transforming the nature of my points, which is something I still don’t understand. My UY is Dec., and these are all 2023 points, so as long as I am booking but cancel at least 31 days ahead, points would just go back to current UY, correct?
I have so much to learn. . . any insights appreciated!
Since you bought direct, I would contact your guide and share your experience in trying to book your Welcome Home visit. It’s rare that they won’t make it happen.
Keep your waitlists
Keep stalking (you’ll often find something faster than the wait list)
Book whatever is available, waitlist the rest. If it comes through, have it all linked up by calling member services. If it doesn’t make sure you have a backup booked somewhere on cash.
You’re having a struggle because you’re trying to book for December with less than 6 mos notice, and inside of the 7mos window. You’ll have an easier time booking at other times of year, using your 11mos advantage at your home resort. Always book at your home resort as soon as you know your plans; then try to modify at 7 mos. But if you’re not lucky you’ll still have your home resort booked.
But again I would contact your guide about your Welcome Home visit. Especially since it sounds like your direct purchase was less than smooth, they ought to work hard to make things right now.
When I bought direct there was a phone call to walk me through “all things DVC”. They told me how to bank and borrow, how to order groceries from DVC (but said it was a rip off), and how I could buy one time use points at 7 months. The Welcome Home booking was a separate call.
Once you try to book on your own they do try to withdraw any help, but I agree you should call your guide.
I agree with everything @OBNurseNH said. In addition, let’s talk about your December Use Year.
I have a Septemeber one, and I will say, it takes awhile to get used to, and sometimes my brain messes up and I have to correct it.
For you, two things are true: 1)you will mostly be using your 2023 points in 2024 (unless you book in December 2023). So just get used to thinking about your points that way 2) that means you pay your dues in January for points you will be using almost an entire year later.
So unless you book a November 2023 stay, you will not mess your points up. To book in Novemeber - you would be barrowing your 2023 points - so don’t do it! A stay for December 1, 2023 to Novemeber 30, 2024 will use your 2023 points.
Agreeing with everyone else.
The time you are trying to book is THE most popular time for DVC. I believe it goes something like:
- 1st week of December
- 2nd week of December
- Over New Year
Definitely call your Guide. You’ve had your introduction call, now your Guide can help with that booking. They might well be able to find something, but at this point you may not have much of a choice.
Thanks, all. That’s interesting that the first week of Dec. is the most popular DVC week. I would not have guessed that. For next year, I would be delighted to book a GF room at 11 months, but that was not an option this year. And I do have a cash room at Pop booked already, so I have a place to stay regardless.
My guide was terrible. He was the source of most of the problems and confusion that caused the contract to take 2 months to finalize. At one point we made a request for a new guide, and another person helped us for a bit. But the first one came back again. I assume it has something to do with the commission. It affected my trust in the guide. How does that work? Under what circumstances can I get a new one, and is there some kind of official record?
I never got an explanatory DVC call. I think they emailed me some video links instead. I spoke to member services because I called them asking to try to book.
I’m still a total DVC newb (I got my resale points at the end of June), but I’m also booking for early December (for 8 nights) and stalking/waitlisting has worked well for me. I kind of freaked out at first because the only room available on 12/3 was a Poly bungalow, until I kept checking and saw things come and go. I now have 3 nights in a CCV 1 bedroom/3 nights in a GFV lagoon view resort studio/2 nights in a Poly standard view studio and I think every one of those has been booked one night at a time. The GFV portion is Friday-Monday and initially, only the Friday and Sunday nights were available, then I got Saturday night through a waitlist. I’ve also seen some others pop up that we didn’t want/need, like our last two nights in a BLT lake view studio (which were both available at the same time). Hopefully you can find something you want!
If they offered to talk you through things that was them doing the introductory call. It’s Member Services who do that.
I think you can just call and ask for a new Guide now that the sale is complete. I would call the Sales Team this time and say you’re ready to book your Welcome Home trip and could someone please help you. They might say because you set up a waitlist they can’t help, but just tell them Member Services told you that’s all they could do.