John and BobP,
My best understanding of this whole issue is that as long as your timeshare property is affiliated with a timeshare holding/trading corporation such as RCI or II, you can join them for trading purposes regardless of where or how or from whom you purchased your timeshare.
I'm not certain either of these two companies are in the business of actually selling units. For that I think you may need to go to a timeshare resale broker such as Holiday, RedWeek, TUG or a gazillion other concerns that do specialize in t/s resales. I think our friend Ray of Stmartinrentalweeks.com has units that he sells at Caravanserai as a timeshare broker but he also allows unit listings on his website for sale through the individual owners and lastly, there are e-bay connections for listings of resales also.
And Vicki, there are some timeshares that are affiliated with multiple exchange companies - doesn't Royal Islander use a few? I know Marys Boon does - or at least did at one time. And lastly, I could be mistaken, but LaVista may or may not belong to any exchange company - for some reason I think not but very possibly I'm mistaken on that one. Since we're not members any more, I don't ever check the RCI site but I do see LaVista units periodically on E-bay, RedWeek and other companies of that nature.
Our original unit bought 20 plus years ago was purchased directly from The Towers with no broker involved in the purchase and part of the deal was they (The Towers) gave us our first years membership to RCI as part of the deal. We renewed it for perhaps 8-10 years before it dawned on us - duh!! on my part - that we really didn't want to trade our unit and go elsewhere, so we dropped out of RCI. Now, just like you Bob, we make our arrangements directly through The Towers, either utilizing the actual week/unit we bought or sometimes we do an internal exchange for a different week at The Towers
. If the units we own are not in use when we do the internal exchanges we get to stay in them and if they are, then we stay in whatever The Towers offers as long as we're satisfied with the exchange. And they've always been very good to us about the units so it's never been a problem doing it that way.
We have subsequently purchased two more week - one in the resale market through Holiday Resales and one through E-bay but all at The Towers. I have the option to rejoin RCI (since that's the only exchange company The Towers is affiliated with) and do external exchanges around the world or just continue doing the same old thing I've been doing - using my Towers weeks/units as I own them or doing internal exchanges and letting The Towers handle the details for me.
If I'm not mistaken, Bob, you own at the Cottages at Longvilleure (sp??) and from what I've gathered, you only want to come in your President's week timeframe so it would be silly for you to join an exchange company but if you wanted to, I'm betting you could, since The Cottages is often offered as an RCI exchange.
And the bottom line would be that you could then exchange all over the world if you so chose or continue using your Presidents week on the French side. Knowing how much you love that timeframe on the French side of the island, I think I know what you'd choose.