Martyn and Gail Wrigg have travelled the world with RCI and have had experiences they never would have without their membership. While on their holiday at Pearly Grey Ocean Club in Tenerife, they explain just what their RCI membership means to them.
“We have been members of RCI for 23 years - 23 happy years,” Gail said. “We have been to quite a few destinations in America with RCI, we’ve been to California, San Diego, and I loved San Francisco, it was fantastic. We’ve been to Hawaii, Miami, Florida - they were all great. RCI has given us holidays that we could never have had otherwise.”
Martyn added: “RCI has certainly given us more adventurous holidays. We’ve gone to places we wouldn’t have dreamed of going. I perhaps might have gone to Florida and done the theme parks, but we’ve also been to Las Vegas and I, like Gail, also particularly loved San Francisco.
“We did also go to Hawaii - that was perhaps a little too far to go for me, but it was worth seeing. Things like that we wouldn’t have been able to do without RCI,” he added.
Flexibility of RCI Points
They both agree that as their RCI membership is so flexible, it allows them to holiday in so many different ways.
“We started with RCI in the weeks programme, because at the time RCI didn’t have a points programme,” Gail explained. “Then we went into points when that launched.
“If you're in the weeks programme, then it means you have the week to exchange and can use that week's trading power to trade up or down to get more holidays out of it. If you have points, you might have 68,000 points for example, and go to a resort that is only 40,000, so you can use the rest for a hotel stay, or other available accommodation and even car parking, among other things, with RCI Points Partners. It’s so flexible and you can make your points go a lot further.”
As points members, Martyn and Gail make the most of their membership by using RCI Points Partners to get lots of holiday extras with any spare points they might have left over.
Gail said: “I find the RCI Points Partners programme to be very good. We’ve booked hotels through them, we’ve booked airport hotel car parking, cottages and car hire - it is brilliant.”
Martyn explained: “RCI Points certainly gives you the best choice of where to go on holiday. There are other points systems out there with companies who own resorts, but their product is limited to just that resort.
“RCI gives you the best of all worlds where you can pick and choose what you like. You can go to Asia and places in the Middle East if you are attracted to those places, but there is so much choice and so much availability, all over the world. I think it’s a wonderful programme. Since we joined we’ve never looked back."
The ease of booking
Having been members for so long, Martyn and Gail know exactly how the RCI exchange programme works. Gail uses RCI.com to book their holidays and finds the website simple and easy to use. Her biggest tip for booking an Exchange Holiday, is to plan as far in advance as possible to ensure you have the widest choice of holiday destinations and resorts.
“I tend to look around 10 months in advance for my holidays and then I keep an eye out for what’s happening, where I want to go and what points I want to spend.
“If I want a quick holiday, I could go to RCI Late Deals, or I could go to RCI Points Partners and get another type of accommodation somewhere, depending on what we want to do, the list is endless. There is so much variety.
“I tend to book online with RCI and I find it’s very easy to do. If you do have a problem, you can give RCI a ring and they are always very helpful. They’ll try their best to help over the phone and if they can’t help straight away, they’ll ring you back. If you’ve got a question, or you’re not quite happy with something, they will always try and help you.”
Martyn added: “The most important thing is to understand how the programme works. It does work, it’s very effective and very successful, but you do need to learn the ways of it so you can get the absolute best from it.
“If you don’t follow the time guidelines of when you can book and when you need to deposit your weeks if you’re not in the points programme, then you can find you’re not getting the best out of it. If you follow the guidelines given, you’ll enjoy wonderful holidays and you’ll never have a problem finding availability."
RCI also offers cruise packages, where you can use your week or points to put towards the cost of a cruise - no matter which programme you're signed up to, you can holiday in so many ways.
First class service
They both agree that the service RCI provides is second to none and the standard they have come to expect from RCI-affiliated resorts is so high they won't be booking a standard package holiday ever again.
Martyn explained: “I think booking through RCI gives you a personalised service. You know what sort of quality and standard you’re going to get, and you know you won’t be disappointed.
“Whereas you could book through other means and you may well get a good deal, but you might end up disappointed. We have been once and that was one of the primary reasons for joining RCI and taking out timeshare.”
Gail likes that RCI has quality grading on resorts, so you can select exactly what standard of accommodation you want.
“RCI has an excellent grading of apartments at resorts,” she said. “RCI has Gold Crown, Silver Crown and Hospitality Awards to highlight resorts with high member ratings. Even the standard grade of apartment and resort is still better than you can get in a travel package.”
Where to go next?
When RCI met up with Martyn and Gail, they were actually enjoying a sunny holiday in Tenerife - the latest of their timeshare purchases.
“We’re currently staying at Pearly Grey Ocean Club (1786), in Tenerife. It’s a really, really nice place,” Gail said.
“We’ve been coming to Tenerife for quite a few years now, but we came to Pearly Grey last year for the first time, and we were so welcomed and impressed with the service, and the amount of care that went into the apartments, that we actually bought in. We’ll be coming here for the next 10 years now, so we’re very happy.”
Martyn explained how Pearly Grey Ocean Club impressed them from the minute they checked in, resulting in them purchasing there.
“Pearly Grey seems to be different to every other resort or hotel, the friendliness is absolutely incredible, everyone is treated as family, from the receptionist, to the bar staff and waiters,” he said.
“All the other guests seem to take that on board and everyone talks to one another and makes friends and we all stay in touch. The staff are really friendly and remember you and when you come back, you get a hug from the waitresses and a handshake from the waiters, it’s nice and makes you feel at home.”
The couple will now be returning to Tenerife for the next few years, but they also have other holiday plans in the pipeline.
Gail explained: “We’ve booked an RCI Points Partners cottage holiday to go down and see relatives in Kent, and we’ve also already booked a hotel and car parking and another holiday to Pearly Grey. Hopefully there’ll be many, many more holidays to come with RCI.”
If you would like to see where your RCI membership can take you, click on the RCI Resort Directory below and select your accommodation.
If you own timeshare but are not a member of RCI, you could join our holiday exchange community today. Like Martyn and Gail, you could widen your holiday horizons and travel the world and enjoy holidays you might never have considered before. Click on the Join RCI button below and sign up in a few simple steps.