In 2007, I received a call that I am the lucky recipient of a 3-day stay at a Wisconsin Dells destination. This phone call I received, of course, was because of signing up at a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game for a type of sweepstakes offer. After receiving a phone call from a Sundance Vacation representative, she informed methat we would have to travel to Brookfield, Wisconsin and attend a short, one-hour seminar at the New Clients Sundance Vacation office. Since my fianc at the time and I were getting married in August that same year, we thought What a great place to go for our honeymoon, plus we would get it for free.
We arrived, filled out some forms and then were placed into a small conference room with about 20-30 other people where this man gave us a very compelling speech on traveling and what Sundance Vacations has to offer. The information he was describing sounded unbelievable, $99 for a week of vacation, multiple travel destinations in the continental United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and having everything arranged for us with no worries. They did a great job of getting us very excited about the travel package and as a soon to be newlywed couple, this sounded like a great benefit for our future family to use. The man concluded his speech by saying all of us would be able to meet with a Sundance representative to get more information in the next room.
A set of double doors swung open to very loud music, beach balls, coconut trees and an enormous room of individualized tables for each of us. We were greeted by a female rep. who started going into the nitty-gritty of the package plans, but to me, it sounded like we kept hearing the phrase over and over, a week of vacation for only 99 dollars. She described a packaged deal for 12,000 dollars for 30 weeks of vacations. We immediately said No because we dont have that type of money with just graduating from College and also getting married in August. She left the table and returned with a Manager who started to lay it on pretty thick. He basically took over for her, which again went into all the details of how great this deal is to take a vacation anytime we wanted to, only paying 99 dollars to take the trip for a week. We said Noagain and then asked if we could think about this decision and contact Sundance Vacations later or come back again. He said this is a one-time offer and that he wont be able to give us the same deal again. He left from our table and walked away, but as he was away, the female rep started chiming in about how great her vacation was that she took with her husband to Hawaii. The manager came back and said that I noticed you put down Hawaii as one of your dream destinations to vacation. We said yes, its hopefully the place where we would like to take our honeymoon. He then replied, How about I throw in another week of vacation, giving you 31 weeks for the same price of 12,000 dollars.
After everything was done I remember it being very, very late. We were one of the last ones to leave Sundance with a 2-hour ride back to the Fox Cities. This one-hour seminar turned into almost a 3-hour ordeal. I remember on the way home, both of us talking it over and having this feeling that we just got sucker punched in the stomach. We both felt horrible, very pressured, and did not want to tell anyone what we just did since we would be paying $12,000. Usually when something good happens to a person, they are ecstatic and want to tell family and friends what just happened, but this was not the case in any fashion. We felt like we just got hosed, our money taken, plus to make factors worse, we knew we just signed a contract that binding for the rest of our lives. We did use one of our vacations to Hawaii in 2008 though Sundance but that is another review for itself.
Bottom line, do not sign up with Sundance Vacations. Most people take vacations when it is convenient for their schedules but not the case with Sundance, (especially when you are paying lots of money to use their services.) Sundance will request your top three weeks when you can travel. The majority of the time you may or may not get the weeks you pick plus they will charge you extra for certain destinations or as they call it, peak seasons. Plus, Sundance has hidden fees all over that are not explained in the presentation. For example, traveling to Hawaii is considered peak season all year round so they will will charge you extra. Trust me, my wife and I are have regretted signing up ever since we walked out of those doors in Brookfield, WI. Do your research on Sundance, thus the reason you are probably reading this. There is tons of information out there on Sundance of why you should NOT consider them.... phone calls after phone calls, high pressure sales, hidden costs, not the best places to vacation, and much, much more!