Family Vacation Destinations
Our experience with timeshare ownership

How did we get involved with timeshares?

When my wife and I got married several years ago, we'd received a wedding gift of a free timeshare week from her uncle which we could use for our honeymoon. Being that we were both past our 20's and had well-established careers, our work responsibilities kept us from jetting away on a honeymoon the day after our wedding. Therefore, almost 10 months after we'd wed, we finally had free time, so we made our reservation and drove down to Orlando, FL to stay a week at the Westgate Blue Tree Resort.

What was our first experience like?

Being newbies to the timeshare experience, the resort came with several amenities that we weren't expecting; multiple heated swimming pools and hot tubs, a volleyball court, mini-golf and tennis and basketball courts. Furthermore, we were told that the resort was less than three miles from the entry to Walt Disney World, which I liked, and was also less than five miles from the Premium Outlets, which my wife loved.

During the checking-in process, we were invited to attend a sales presentation. At the time, it required a $20 refundable deposit and a sign-up; since we were guests of an owner we were under no obligation to attend. However we'd been curious about their offerings and both agreed that it wouldn't hurt to spend part of one day going through the tour. Also, as part of the booking, even though we owed nothing for the stay, we did have to secure the room with a credit card in the event that there was any damage or an item was listed as missing after our stay.

When we made it to our one-bedroom suite, we were happy to see that it had a small, but fully-equipped kitchen and an adjoining dining room/den area with a bedroom down a short hall. The kitchen came equipped with the standard full-size fridge with ice maker, a stove/oven, and a dishwasher. Also, plates, cups, bowls, silverware and pots/pans were included in the inventory all the way down to little things like dishwashing liquid. Also included just outside of the kitchen was a stackable clothes washer/dryer.

The den area had a fold-out couch, coffee table and a TV with an attached DVD player. The dining area had a small round table that could accommodate four cushioned wicker-style chairs. The bedroom had a queen-sized bed and other furniture that you'd typically find in a hotel room, and the bathroom was rather roomy for a 1-bedroom suite.

We spent a couple of days at Walt Disney World enjoying EPCOT and Downtown Disney, plus we had a two-day park hopper pass to Universal Orlando. So, during our 7 day stay, we had two full days to stay put and take advantage of the resort's amenities, including frequent dips in the nearby pool.

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