Thanks to TradeWinds, the only fully crewed, all-inclusive vacation ownership yachting company in the world, even non-members can now enjoy yachting vacations on a rental basis. With cruising bases in Antigua, Guadeloupe, the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bocas del Toro, Belize, Greece and Turkey, TradeWinds already offers an extensive resource for vacationers. Now, with the expansion of its inventory, the TradeWinds fleet of luxury Catamarans will be made available to non-members on a simple cabin or full yacht rental basis.
Since its startup in 1999, TradeWinds has grown to include more than 4,000 cruising members who enjoy luxury vacations defined by service and pampering at the highest level. Each catamaran is essentially a mini-resort offering an onboard chef preparing first class cuisine using fresh local ingredients from the destinations that guests visit during their vacation, a full service open bar, and the opportunity to swim, fish, kayak, snorkel, scuba dive, just relax at sea, and on land, enjoy private beaches and local ports.
Yacht rentals (or vacation ownership membership usage) include three classes of yacht from which to choose: Flagship Class, Luxury Class and Cruising Class Catamarans. Pricing for yacht rentals range from $4,600 USD for a single cabin for 2 persons on a Cruising Class yacht during Low/Mid Season to $8,500 USD for a single cabin on a Flagship Class yacht in High Season, with full yacht charter prices from $18,000 USD on a Cruising Class yacht in Low/Mid Season up to $45,000 USD on a Flagship Class yacht in High Season.
This is your opportunity to enjoy direct rentals, whether you choose cabin rentals or the private charter of a whole yacht. For more information and SPECIAL FIRST TIME OFFERS visit: www.trade-winds.com and go to EASY BOOKING.
Generosity of SellMyTimeshareNOW.com Sends Cancer Survivor on Vacation
We love to share good news and the story of Taneta Blanden’s trimuph over breast cancer is just such a story. If you are not familiar with the work being done by Send Me On Vacation, we encourage you to learn more and to help in any way you can.
Below is our announcement to the media. Thank you Send Me On Vacation for making it possible for SellMyTimeshareNOW.com and others in the vacation ownership and timeshare industry to help in small ways that can often make big differences.
Generosity of SellMyTimeshareNOW.com Sends Cancer Survivor on Vacation
EXETER, NH–(Marketwired – Aug 28, 2013) – “A fog of disbelief,” is the way Taneta Blanden describes the day she learned her diagnosis of breast cancer. At 39 years old, Taneta saw cancer as a disease that only happened to older women — women who would lose their hair, their hope, and eventually their battle with the disease that each year claims the lives of some 40,000 women in the U.S. alone.
Today, Taneta Blanden is in remission. She is optimistic and thankful to be on the other side of the experience. Since her diagnosis in December 2009, Taneta has dealt with the pain and stress of treatment, the responsibilities of work and motherhood and devastating financial hardships.
Although medical bills and other expenses consumed the small savings Taneta had set aside for celebrating her fortieth birthday on what would have been her first cruise, Taneta ultimately had the opportunity for a very special vacation. Thanks to the non-profit organization Send Me On Vacation and a donation by SellMyTimeshareNOW.com, Taneta and her children spent a relaxing week earlier this summer at the Schooner II Beach & Racquet Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The two-bedroom, ocean-view timeshare unit included a fully equipped kitchen, king size beds, whirlpool tub and wireless internet access. Says Taneta, “Today, I’m in remission. I got to see my kids graduate. And I’m so thankful to all those who have been so kind to me. I was gifted a wonderful one-week vacation with travel and food expenses included. There was no way I would have been able to take a break like this and relax and reflect on my life and the blessings I’ve received in being able to continue to see my loved ones.”
Send Me On Vacation provides much-needed vacations for women with cancer who have undergone treatment and need a place to rejuvenate and heal their body, mind and spirit. Founded by caring individuals in the travel and vacation industry, Send Me On Vacation, is built on the belief that a vacation is the catalyst to restoring, renewing and rejuvenating the body, mind and spirit.
SellMyTimeshareNOW.com is honored to support the work of Send Me On Vacation. With more than a decade of service, SellMyTimeshareNOW.com, now part of VacationOwnership.com LLC, is the largest and most trusted resource for buying, selling, or renting timeshares on the resale market. The company has offices in Orlando, FL and Exeter, NH.
You’ve read all the updates about America, the under-vacationed nation. You already know that most of us leave vacation days on the table—time off that we could be spending jet skiing at the lake, relaxing by a pool, or hiking in a cool, fragrant forest. And the reasons we do this are more complex than vacation costs alone, involving demands at work, job insecurities, and other workplace dynamics. But if taking vacation time was more affordable, don’t you think people would try harder to find a way around the challenges of getting away from their jobs and their daily routines?
Here are 6 ways that many people leave family vacation dollars on the table, paying more than they need to for accommodations and travel services that others are enjoying for much less.
Need to rent a car? Don’t just book it; bid for it or negotiate a rate. Hotwire and Priceline both offer options for you to bid for a rental vehicle from most of the major car rental companies. A website you may not have discovered yet, Breezenet.com, offers rental deals that include local car companies as well as national brands. And most companies offer specials, coupons, and membership discounts for groups you already belong to such as alumni associations, AAA, professional associations, and even warehouse or buying clubs.
Airfares really are cheaper on certain days of the week. This is more than urban legend; airfares are at their lowest on Tuesday afternoons and begin to creep up throughout the week, with buying airfares on weekends being the most expensive time to shop.
Renting a timeshare, as most include eat-in kitchens, can save you a ton on dining out and also make it easy to pack snacks for days you will be spending at places, such as theme parks, where on-site food costs drive up the price of your daily fun.
Consider alternate airports. If you have to rent a car at your destination anyway, you might find the best price on air travel isn’t to fly directly to your destination. Most online travel booking websites offer the option to “search nearby airports” and many even let you set a distance by miles for how far from your target destination you are willing to travel. One example of using an alternate airport is the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, which is located within an hour’s drive of the theme parks and attractions in the popular Orlando-Kissimmee family vacation area. Served by a limited number of airlines, you’ll find that this Orlando travel alternative not only offers highly competitive prices on domestic carriers to US destinations, but also on travel from Europe and South America through international carriers. And although it is a full service facility, it’s smaller size makes this airport one you can move through quickly, saving time to offset the fact that it may not be the closest to your timeshare rental or the parks you plan to visit.
Renting a timeshare typically means you can pack lighter. Since most timeshares include either an in-unit washer and dryer, or laundry facilities convenient to your timeshare unit, (such as in a common hallway and shared by a few units), you can buy less and pack less, reducing luggage fees.
When you plan a family vacation in a timeshare rental, you have options for how much money you want to save. You can rent directly from a resort and you will save over the cost of a hotel room, because you can accommodate more people, more comfortably, without the cost of renting additional timeshare units. But that is only the beginning of the savings possible on timeshare rentals. You can rent timeshare directly from the person who currently owns the timeshare, either in a rent by owner transaction or by working with a company that specializes in timeshare resort rentals. Renting timeshare from the owner or the owner’s representative, often means you are working with someone who is only looking to cover or offset the costs of his annual timeshare maintenance fee. These drastically reduced rates on accommodations are in fact, a win-win for timeshare owners and vacationers.
The Insurance Issue for Summer Bay Resort Timeshare Owners
This week got off to a dramatic (and traumatic) start when a sinkhole caused the collapse of two adjoined buildings and the condemning of another one at Summer Bay Resort, just outside of Orlando, Florida. (See: Is the Orlando Summer Bay Resort Timeshare Sinkhole Growing?) For the guests and owners at Summer Bay Resort, all are physically unharmed and it appears they will be, for the most part, fiscally unharmed as well.
Most importantly, all occupants of the building were safe. This fact alone seems amazing considering that the event became apparent around 11 PM in the evening, meaning that some occupants were already sleeping, others were in varying stages of preparing for bed, and many had sleeping children to roust and gather before evacuating. One woman was even enjoying a relaxing soak in the tub when the room around her began to collapse.
The staff at Summer Bay Resort deserves tremendous praise for its successful evacuation efforts and effectively dealing with the relocation of guests and timeshare owners who had lost everything they had with them. But the problems facing Summer Bay Resort vacationers didn’t end when the ground stabilized.
Displaced guests were without medications, eyeglasses, car keys, wallets, and credit cards. There was a temporary interruption of utilities that impacted other buildings on the property. Guests and owners throughout the resort were awakened, frightened, and were no doubt, peppering the Summer Bay Resort staff with anxious questions. And then there was the ongoing stream of news coverage, reporters, helicopters, repair crews, police, firefighters, and other emergency workers called onto the scene. This was a summer vacation gone wrong in the worst way for many people.
But when the dust, literally and figuratively settled, the obvious question on everyone’s mind is: who pays when a sinkhole swallows you timeshare, or it is damaged or destroyed by lightning, flooding, wind, tsunami, or any other type of natural disaster?
The answer to this important question can vary significantly, depending upon the resort at which you own timeshare and the type of disaster. This blog post looks only at the Summer Bay Resort sinkhole situation.
Who Picks Up the Cost When a Natural Disaster Impacts Your Timeshare Resort?
In the case of Summer Bay Resort, let’s put this situation into perspective. This resort property is very large occupying some 3,000 acres with approximately 900 timeshare units, vacation houses, and a hotel located on the resort grounds. Most of the more than 4,500 guests who were at the resort this week, were unaffected by the sinkhole and the resort has experienced few cancellations for upcoming weeks.
Timeshare owners at Summer Bay who own units in the buildings that were impacted, report that the resort management is telling them insurance will cover damages from the sinkhole. This should prove to be reliable information, backed by recent legislative changes pertaining to Florida sinkholes.
Florida Sinkhole Legislation Changed
Sinkholes were already a hot topic in Florida this year, even before the earth opened up the 120-foot wide chasm on the resort grounds of this popular Florida vacation ownership resort. Last year, Florida legislature approved a law defining that any catastrophic collapse caused by a sinkhole is fully covered under Florida property insurance. This is great news for the timeshare owners at Summer Bay Resort.
It is not such great news for other Florida timeshare owners and owners of residential property whose timeshare, homes, garages, or other structures are damaged over time by slow or small shifts in the earth. The new law clearly states that there must be an “abrupt land collapse, structural damage, and a condemned property.” However, for purposes of this blog post, let’s consider only the type of collapse and damaged experienced by Summer Bay Resort.
Many Florida insurance experts are commenting to the press that the resort’s property and casualty insurance should cover the loss and should prevent the need for any related special assessments against the timeshare owners.
Breaking Down the Insurance Issue for Summer Bay Resort Timeshare Owners
Timeshare owners and guests directly effected by the sinkhole, experiencing the loss of personal property, and who have insurance that covers their residence elsewhere, will likely find that their homeowners insurance also covers their personal property when they are traveling. Others who took out vacation insurance will probably find aspects of their time or personal property loss covered by their vacation insurance policy. And this is not to imply that personal property lost in the building collapse won’t be covered directly by the resort’s insurance that is covering this event. But some owners and guests may find they have additional types of insurance that they personally carry that also will benefit them in this situation.
Right now, Summer Bay Resort says it plans to rebuild the damaged buildings on some other part of its large property. So are the owners off the hook, for paying a special assessment or an increase in their maintenance fees?
Not necessarily. Insurance will cover the property as it was before the loss, plus depreciation, which is the difference in the cost today to replace items and property as compared to what it cost originally. But if the resort looks to update or upgrade the timeshare units in the rebuilding process, and there is added cost in so doing, that cost will be above any insurance coverage.
For example, what if the timeshare units being replaced had carpeting and the decision was made to update and upgrade to an engineered wood or other type of flooring that in the long run is more durable and perhaps more aesthetic? In that case, the insurance dollars allowed for replacing the carpet might fall short of the amount needed to switch to a more currently preferred type of flooring. This cost could logically be borne by the thousands of Summer Bay vacation owners, in an apportionment equal to the number of units or weeks they own and the size of those units.
The Bottom Line
Most Summer Bay Resort owners who have commented publicly on the sinkhole have expressed relief that no one was harmed and have shown great compassion for anyone who was directly part of this bizarre event. Yet a few have demanded that the resort “guarantee” this won’t happen at other buildings on the property.
Let’s let Summer Bay Resort, and all other hotels, timeshares, and vacation properties off the hook on this type of demand. No one can offer guarantees against natural disasters, nor should we expect them to try.
Assuming that a resort makes all reasonable efforts to protect its guests and timeshare owners, and that to any degree determined by logic or law, the resort structure and property are safe, stable, and functional, then the resort has done all it can possibly do.
Things happen. You can personally procure insurance to protect you against most of them, including inclement weather and loss of vacation. If your peace of mind is enhanced by knowing you are covered against all possibilities, then you should explore the options for the many types of insurances that are available.