For example, if you’ve never stayed at a timeshare before it may be a big surprise to you that there is no daily housekeeping service. For many of us who own timeshares, this is actually one of the primary advantages, but if you are used to the daily bed-making and tidying it can be a bit disconcerting. I like it because it means there is no one coming to your room every day to interrupt whatever you might be doing. I hate that knock on the door in the morning before I’ve even had my shower. And sometimes I forget to leave the card hanging on the door. But with timeshares, daily housekeeping is generally not provided.
Trash and Towel Service
What you can expect is that there will be a trash and towel service mid-week if you are staying at least 7 nights. For this service, someone will either come to the door and exchange towels with you and collect any trash bags — or they will come into the unit and exchange all of the towels for you and empty all of the trash bins and replace the bags.
Daily Housekeeping for a Fee
If you really want daily housekeeping, or just need the room extra-tidy on a particular day, at most resorts you can pay extra for the service. Expect to spend between $30 and $50 per day, depending on the resort and timeshare brand.
A Fully Stocked Kitchen
Another great advantage of timeshares is the fully stocked kitchen. Even when I have stayed in small studio units, I rarely have to purchase anything to do some cooking. The only exception has been at the Disney DVC villas, where the studio units are rather meagerly stocked. They usually have a microwave, toaster and small college-sized fridge, with no oven or stovetop. Also, paper plates and plastic knives and forks. Thankfully, they do provide real ceramic coffee cups for your morning fix. The larger Disney units, however, are properly stocked just like any other timeshare you would visit.
At most resorts, you will have enough dishes to meet the room occupancy level (in other words, if the unit can have 9 guests, then there will be 8 dinner settings, but if the unit only can have 4 guests, you will have four dinner settings). There will be frying pans and baking dishes and the cooking utensils you need, such as spatulas, measuring cups, etc. You will certainly have a toaster, microwave and coffee maker as well. In fact, usually there will be some small packages of coffee, enough for your first day or two in the unit and possibly your salt and pepper. Wyndham timeshare resorts actually includes tiny salt and pepper shakers that you can either throw out or take with you at the end of your stay. They also usually include at least one microwave bag of popcorn and hot cocoa, which is a nice touch.
In many of the timeshares that I have stayed at, basic cleaning supplies are included as well, so there is no need to buy paper towels, scrub brushes, dish-washing liquid or laundry detergent. Everything should be on hand. Since on occasion there are things that you might expect to be provided, but aren’t, I usually save my shopping trip to the local supermarket until after check-in. In fact, that is the first thing I do after checking in and putting away all my luggage. I first check the kitchen and bathroom to see if there’s anything additional I need, then I check to see if it is on the inventory for the timeshare, which will usually be found in the resort guide in your unit. If there is anything that should be provided, but isn’t I’ll make a quick call to housekeeping to have it sent over. Anything that isn’t provided, but that I need gets added to my shopping list and then I go to find the nearest supermarket. I turn the ice maker on before I leave (or fill the ice trays) and so by the time I get back I have some ice and can pour myself a nice cold drink
Washer and Dryer
Whether a washer and dryer is available in your unit usually depends on the size of the timeshare you have booked. If you stay in a one or two bedroom unit, then generally you can expect that the unit will have a washer and dryer in it. If you book studios, it is a fair bet that they won’t. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a studio timeshare that had a washer/dryer combo. The convenience alone may be worth upgrading to at least a one bedroom unit, even if only two of you are going on this trip.
Nearly all the best timeshare resorts will have lots of activities planned throughout the week, depending on the season. Most resorts will have an assortment of activities for kids and adults and some will be free and others will have a nominal charge. You can expect things like ice cream socials or jewelry making for the kids, or water aerobics in the pool each morning. Some resorts may even handle tours off-site for a fee, which would make avoiding a car rental convenient. Some resorts are fully self-contained and you honestly would never have to leave the resort during your vacation. For example, Sheraton Vistana Villages in Orlando has restaurants, pool bars and a food shop on-site and plenty of activities that would keep you busy. Or you can spend your days just relaxing by the pool. The Orange Lake Resort Orlando also has tons of amenities, activities, entertaining shows, a restaurant and their own golf course and tennis courts for a truly self-contained resort. But I bet you will still want to spend at least a day or two at Disney World!