Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh
Options

RCI and Honeymoon Fund

My FIL's have generously donated their RCI timeshare for our honeymoon. I have spent way too much time today looking at possible places in Hawaii and Mexico. I am having a hard time finding any resorts that seem worth it. Have any of you used RCI timeshare?

I posted the RCI question on the Honeymoon board then was lurking there reading some posts. One post was about "honeyfund" a honeymoon fund site that allows your guests to put money towards your honeymoon. I think there are sites that instead of a general pot for your honeymoon your guests can buy you "dinner the first night" or can buy a snorkeling excursion, etc. I think this is kind of fun. The girls n the honeymoon board were pretty adament that this was tacky.

What do you think? Tacky or fun and practical?
RT + JB
Wedding Countdown Ticker
image
The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.

Re: RCI and Honeymoon Fund

  • Options
    edited December 2011
    I think honeymoon funds are somewhat tacky.  They are basically gift cards.

    The reason I answered though was that we own a Hilton Timeshare which is part of the RCI group.  They are really great for the most part, but you have to be very careful of which properties to use.  Some are tiny and have no amenities (not the HIlton Properties, those are huge and amazing).  There are reviews on the RCI site.  They are usually pretty accurate (and I wouldn't necessarily trust a property that has no reviews available).  

    Additionally, they book extraordinarily quickly, so if I were you, I'd would book no less than 8 or 9 months out, especially if you are looking to Hawaii.  The larger resorts - the ones with more amenities - will start being booked as soon as they open for booking.  I'm also thinking that you may not be able to book until 1 year out (I'm not sure if that is all RCI properties or just Hilton's rules though).  

    What you have to remember though is that the vast majority of the properties are not hotels, so you won't have much (if any) maid service, but if that doesn't bother you, it ends up being great and a wonderful money saver.  We ended up spending only about 2500 on our HM to Hawaii, and 1900 of that was airfare and rental car (dealing with my DHs schedule, we booked our HM 2 weeks before we traveled :P, thus meaning higher prices for airfare).  Having a kitchen in the room saved us a ton of money because we basically only ate dinner out everyday.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    SLM- Thank you for your comments on the RCI. Which one did you stay at in Hawaii, would you recommend the resort? Was it on the beach? Thank you!
    RT + JB
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
    The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    We were on the Big Island (Hawai'i), and most of the resorts on the island are in two locations, Kailua and Waikoloa.  We were in Waikoloa, which is on a bay.  The beach at the bay is nice, but 2 miles up the road was Hapuna, which is consistently ranked as one of Hawaii's best beaches (gorgeous!).

    The resort we stayed at was the Bay Club at the Waikoloa Beach Resort.  It was nice, but it is also undergoing renovations to pick it up to Hilton "snuff" which means that it should be incredible soon.  Nearby Hilton Resorts include King's Land at Waikoloa Beach and Hilton GVC at Waikoloa Beach.  We chose the Hawai'i because DH has been to Oahu (Honolulu) many times for work and didn't really want to go back.  Hawai'i is great, but it's much more laid back and less developed than places like Oahu or Maui.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Honeymoon funds seem practical, but I know that my guests wouldn't have purchased anything on them. It depends on your guests, really. I felt that mine were older and more traditional, i.e. more likely to give gifts and money. Also, I've heard that you have to watch for fees when using honeymoon funds, but I don't know any details.
  • Options
    CLW102409CLW102409 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I had a honeymoon registry.  It was practical for DH and I being that we lived on our own for so many years, have a house - etc.  But after working hard to putting things on our HM registry - we never even put the website/info in our shower invites like you do with Macy's, etc.  We figured that most of our guests were older and was more traditional and probably didn't understand how it works.  So we nixed the idea!  It works for some people, it was a good idea at the time.

    I know nothing about timeshares but if you do go to Hawaii - Kauai, in my opinion, is the most perfect honeymoon spot - relaxing, tranquil...perfect!!  Maui is absolutely stunning - perfect beaches, etc. 

    GL
    image Ivory
  • Options
    gmc22gmc22 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I don't know anything about RCI, but I wanted to say that I agree with CLW - When we went to Hawaii, we did the big island of Hawaii, Mau, and Oahu. IMO, the big island of Hawaii was the least impressive... I'm glad I went to see the volcano nt'l park and everything but I would never go back if I had the chance to get back to the Hawaiian Islands. I loved Oahu, but Maui was absolutely perfect! For me, it was the perfect mix of tropical and city - we stayed on Kaanapali beach and it was amazing! We spent most nights browsing the adorable town of Lahaina - which had great restaurants and shopping :) We also rode on the Hana highway and spent a day in Wailea which was so great... I've never been to Kauai but have heard AMAZING things about it! HTH...
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    There is much more on Hawai'i than just Volcano National Park.  There are coffee plantations in Kona, the Waimea Valley, which has some of the best scenery in all of Hawaii (there's a reason that it was called the Playground of the Kings), the National Park of Pu'uhonua O Honaunau - the place of refuge, Ka Lae - the southernmost point in the US, Hilo - a great little town with the tsunami museum and coconut island and the banyan trees, or Kailua, which is a great touristy town full of tons of quaint shops, or Mauna Loa observatory, or even wondering through Puna to the hotsprings.  So if you enjoy doing a little exploration, as well as laying on the beach, Hawai'i is amazing.
  • Options
    CLW102409CLW102409 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    GMC - we stayed in Kaanapali at the Hyatt, we loved it...the road to hana was amazing, Black Sand Beach is my idea of paradise!  Lahaina is seriously the cutest town (recommed the Lahaina Grill)! 

    Kauai is very small, only about 70% of the island is accessible by car.  I've never seen scenery so perfect in my entire life as I did in Kauai.  It was so quiet and peaceful that we felt that we were the only two people on the island.  So if you are looking for that...kauai would be perfect.

    DH and I watched the travel channel on Sunday morning - 3 hours of nothing but Hawaii.  I want to go back!!
    image Ivory
  • Options
    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm no help with RCI, but I'm a regular poster on the honeymoon board and am with most of the ladies there in my opinion about honeymoon registries.  Here are my etiquette-y thoughts about why I don't like them:

    First and foremost, the vast majority of honeymoon registries take a cut from the money guests give on there, and this is misleading because guests don't realize it unless they're familiar with such companies.  Secondly, it's misleading because your guests think they're getting you a parasailing excursion or a private beach cabana when really you just get a check with your name on it at the end of the process, or even get it deposited directly into a Paypal account.  So really, a honeymoon registry is asking for money in a secretive way, which is a big no-no!

    It's perfectly ok not to register for pots and towels you don't need, if this is your concern.  If you don't have a registry, people will either buy you whatever they want or, more likely, give you cash- which can then be used to take a trip, or buy a car, or for a down payment on a house, etc.  People don't really need to be given a bank account number or a checklist of vacation items to pay for or whatever to know that if they would like to give a gift, they could decide for it to be a monetary one.  If you really would prefer to get monetary gifts for your wedding, just make a small registry and then use whatever money people will likely give instead towards those honeymoon activities.

    If you are planning to take your honeymoon right after the wedding, you are going to have to pre-book and pay for everything ahead of time anyway, so I don't really understand the point of this special registry anyway for dinners or massages or whatever, considering that the vast majority of wedding gifts are purchased in the two weeks prior to the wedding.  In most cases, those honeymoon excursions need to be pre-booked and pre-reserved too.  You can't depend on this registry to schedule those things in case you don't get any contributions on it.
    7.17.10

    image
    Pittsburgh sig: Favorite thing about fall= college football!
    Vacation
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    How do you ladies feel about Cozumel? I found this resort and I think I am officially in love. It is all inclusive and part of the Wyndham time share (FIL also belong to this one)... And it is ADULTS ONLY! which makes me very happy!

    http://www.auraresorts.com/default.asp
    RT + JB
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
    The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    I personally LOVE Cozemel.  They have great food, shopping, and the beaches are fairly nice.  I've only been there twice, but I really enjoyed myself both times. 
    However, we are going to Hawaii for our honeymoon-both Oahu and Maui. 
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • Options
    gmc22gmc22 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I personally love Cozumel! I've been there several times and it is a really beautiful place! We have also been to Rivera Maya (Playa del Carmen - right across from Cozumel on the main land... SUCH a cute town) and it was absolutely fabulous! The Aura looks so beautiful!! It would be much cheaper and easier to get to than Hawaii as well :) Adults only is DEF a plus on your HM... There is so much to do all over Cozumel and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula... plus, the beaches are just beautiful!
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Yay!! I'm glad to hear you girls loved Cozumel!

    I want to do 3-4 days in Napa Valley, then 10 days at the beach. I initially wanted to do Hawaii, but all inclusive is hard and it is really expensive. Mexico is so much cheaper and seems to be easier. This way, I will have more money to spend in wine country. We will have to try to book this resort ASAP b/c apparently they fill up very quickly!
    RT + JB
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
    The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    LaFemme- Thanks for the thoughts on the Honeymoon fund. I thought it was fun, but you make a good point about things being paid for ahead of time. And if they take a chunk... that is not cool!

    I'll just stick with my controversial dollar dance for extra honeymoon revenue! But, shhh we won't tell the guests that it is for that! :)
    RT + JB
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
    The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.
  • Options
    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Yeah, I certainly understand why it's an attractive option!  You should raise the rate for your dance- make it a twenty dollar dance or something, haha ;)
    7.17.10

    image
    Pittsburgh sig: Favorite thing about fall= college football!
    Vacation
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Oooo that's an idea!!! I LIKE IT! :)
    RT + JB
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
    The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    I'm a little late on this, but I have done a lot of research on honeymoon registries so I wanted to provide my two cents (I just read the honeymoon board and posted this on there as well). 

    I have owned my own home for 4 years and have lived with my fiance for a year, so we don't need many household items.  A friend did a honeymoon registry a few years ago and I thought it was a great idea - I would rather give her money for a great experience than buy her some towels that she would replace in a few years.

    As the previous posters mentioned, most sites charge a 7% transaction fee to recoup their costs, and some even charge a 3% credit card fee on top of that.  So far the only fee-free site I've found is honeyfund.com.  But it's free because it provides less services - basically guests can either transfer money to you via paypal, which will be associated with the 'gift' they selected to purchase, or they can print out a page with the 'gift' and put it with a check and give it to you with a wedding card.  The sites with fees take the money and deposit it directly into your bank account, so there is no extra work for the guests to do.

    I discussed this with my bridesmaids (all married) because I wasn't sure it was appropriate, and they all said, Do it!  I know the older guests will buy me traditional gifts, but I think a lot of my friends will buy something off the honeymoon registry.

    We didn't register for many household items, so when they run out, guests will either buy something they pick out or give us money, so why not make them feel like they're giving us money that will go toward something they selected?
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    218 invited image 137 accepted image 81 declined image 0 haven't said image
    RSVP Date 7/30/2010
  • Options
    AP910AP910 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi again!! Another WOT for you: We are going to Hawaii with RCI, and I went to Cozumel two years ago. Did you for sure make up your mind? What are you looking for in a honeymoon? What kind of places do you like to travel to? I lived in Mexico for a year and Cozumel isn't my favorite area by far, but I'm weird. I'd rather go to a place like Vietnam, eat street food, and take a honeymoon with a backpack on...however, my fiance prefers all inclusive beachfront with fruit service!

    I've always planned to use RCI for my honeymoon because I thought it would save us soo much money. Also, I've used RCI my whole life because my parents bought when we were little. Domestically, the rooms are usually suites, or at least larger hotel rooms. They tend to have kitchenettes or full kitchens too. Internationally, they may be more hotel-sized rooms, but conditions are usually nicer than what you'd find in a moderately priced hotel in the area.

    I will say that as RCI expands into more areas, you might see that the hotel itself has nicer rooms somewhere that you can't get because you booked through RCI, BUT you'll still have most or all of the same amenities, and you'll have paid MUCH less than the people paying for the hotel. This only really happened to me in Africa and in the Dominican Republic, but it could happen somewhere else too, so just a little heads up :)

    I would definitely book soon no matter where you go because our options in Hawaii were limited 6 months out.

    HAVE FUN!!!!!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Options
    AP910AP910 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh! I thought your wedding was way sooner than it is... Keep in mind with RCI, people deposit their weeks once they realize they aren't going to use them, so just because something isn't available today doesn't mean it won't BECOME available. You can ask them to do an ongoing search and when something matches your criteria (date and location, or specific resort) they will call you and let you know. :)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards