Confessions of a Reformed Marching Band Geek

Crazy Vacation Post: How Bad Can 90 Minutes Be?

on January 1, 2013

Did I mention that Mr Grumpy and I are pretty cheep? Well, our first stop after finally getting to our condo and getting some sleep was to the visitor’s bureau to see what was available to do in town. They asked if we wanted to take a helicopter ride. Not really. We did, however, want to do this awesome nature railroad trip. He asked if we’d like to save some money. Is the Pope Catholic? Of COURSE we want to save some money. He said he could get us the helicopter ride AND the train for $100 (it would have been over $350 otherwise). The catch? We had to sit through a time share “open house”. What the hey? We can sacrifice 90 minutes for over $250 in savings. Let’s go!

Ugh. Maybe I should mention that I had the worst headache I’ve had in a while. Not the worst ever, but pretty bad. I got some coffee and hoped that it would do the trick while we motored out of town to get our gifties!

Yeah. When we got there we realized that we were the only “guests” at this “open house”. Our guide “Diva” (I’d say that I changed her name, but this really WAS her name. It fit pretty well too) started the tour with telling us how much the area sucked and how much she hated it there. Um, I am lousy at selling things, but I don’t think this is how you begin. She went on to ask if we had children (nope. Just the psycho-mutt) and then asked about 5000 questions wanting to know how we’d been married for ten years and didn’t have kids (um, that’s really none of your business, but thanks for asking). She proceeded to tell us that we were lucky because her children were horrible. We got the full story of her kids, how her son was thrown out of the Navy, how her daughter thinks she treats her dogs better than her. Awesome. Within the first ten minutes the savings just didn’t seem as great. We ended up being there over TWO HOURS while she tried to convince us that $20,000 plus $600 per year maintenance fees to “own” 1/52 of a condo was a great deal. Once we escaped, we snatched our vouchers and ran away as quickly as possible.

Sadly, I had already agreed to another for that afternoon (which we rescheduled). That one started with us waiting over 20 minutes for our “guide” but at least they had snacks (and a lot more people waiting). There was a family there with a fairly young child. He wanted some popcorn. There’s a sign on the popper that guests needed assistance scooping. The dad waited a minute or so before he went ahead and opened the door. A woman from the front desk swooped in faster than the Air Force scrambling for a terrorist threat. Yikes!

This round wasn’t as bad (except that our “guide” wore a shirt that looked more like lingerie which distracted us both. We learned that she liked her kids even though two were “accidents” and the third was planned, and that she has a fear of heights which is why they have no Christmas lights up). They were generally nice until we were sent to the “ringer” to try to seal the deal. He made some veiled threats regarding our vacation club being able to use their resort again, but we weren’t that impressed so it didn’t work well. From them we gained $75 (which we have about $7.50 left) and a free weekend at one of their resorts (worth about $500).

After 4-5 hours of torture and torment, I have to say the helicopter ride was both fascinating and frightening at the same time. The train ride was awesome and an extra $75 is always nice while on vacation. Was it worth almost five hours of our time? Well, I think we spent most of our vacation debating that one. Will we do them again? Only if I feel like being divorced by the end of our trip!

One response to “Crazy Vacation Post: How Bad Can 90 Minutes Be?

  1. wanderoneday says:

    My family has owned a timeshare week since 1985 – I think they paid $4000 – and every year we went, my parents sat through the spiel, so I know what to expect (though it is funny that they consistently try to get people who already own a timeshare week to buy another one). Last summer, my husband and I went to Florida and used a week of my parents’ timeshare – so WE got to sit through the spiel this time.

    Luckily, the reward was $90 in “Star Island Bucks”, currency at the resort where we stayed. Coupled with the $50 in “Star Island Bucks” we won playing trivia, we got ourselves some free massages at the spa on site! Definitely worth an hour of our time.

    Of course, it helped that I knew my dad had recently bought a second timeshare week on Ebay for around $800. So when they came out with $24,000… and then $16,000, I just laughed. I told them they would have to come down to $1000 for us to consider it, since I knew you could buy weeks on Ebay. At that point they gave us the money and let us go!

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