In July of 2011, my family and I were vacationing in Bahamas when we were approached by a Royal Holiday Sales representative who invited us to a presentation of his Club’s offers. We thought it harmless and went to see what was being offered. This was solely on the premise that we had personally made a decision that we would take annual vacations throughout our lives and therefore a vacation club could be a good thing to learn about. After about four hours of presentation, promises that never materialized, gift offers and aggressive sales tactics, we decided that since this package would take us anywhere in the world, including an initial four day vacation fully paid to Dominican Republic, we would try it.
The amount of money to sign up was not available to us at the time, so we wanted to wait to go home and take some time to assess the situation, but very aggressive sales methods were used and eventually we agreed to a loan, a service they provided in such situations. Our uneasiness was evident and even when we returned home several days later, we started reconsidering, but by that time the hidden 3 day clause was revealed by one of the contact persons. This restrictions on the contract, such as the time period within which the contract can be canceled and the penalties for cancelation thereafter, were not discussed during the sale process. We felt trapped at this point and decided that we would try the package since it seemed that we were stuck with no recourse. A year later we were hit with some unexpectedly high expenses that erased our initial plans to take annual family vacations. Upon that revelation, we started looking at ways to exit the Royal Vacation Club, even whilst we were still paying for the loan, but no one gave us assistance in that area. In 2013, we asked for the points to be rolled over from the previous year (we had already lost the one from 2011 when we signed up) so we could take advantage of the package for which we had paid for two years without benefits. Arrangements were made and unfortunately we had some unexpected circumstance which erased those plans. The consequences of these unexpected events have rendered us financially unable to carry through with the plans for vacation and to use the package. Additionally, the deceptive nature of the club and the dissatisfaction (see list below as well) therewith, has resulted in our desire and necessity to terminate the contract and cease paying all monies with immediate effect.
The list of additional complaints is as follows:
We were told our points can roll over for extended periods but that has not been the case. We were told that we could go anywhere in the world and that unlike timeshare, we had no restrictions on when we wanted to travel. We were told that there were partner hotels and therefore, even if they were not present in a particular city, invariably their partnership with other places expands our options to go anywhere. We were told that our points were convertible to other types of trips such as cruises and airfares but we found out shortly after last year that this is not the case. This happened when we were considering taking a cruise this year and when we called to make this arrangement, we were told that it was not possible. The book we received with the places associated with the club, contained a lot less pages and places than the one shown to us during the presentation. That was the first red flag which we ignored.
Product or Service Mentioned: Royal Holiday Club Cruise Booking.
Reason of review: Not as described.