This page last updated 22nd October, 2017.
'Special' or 'Ordinary' share?
'School Holiday' or 'Special' shares are primarily aimed at people who can only take a full week if it is in school holiday times, such as those working in schools or who have school age children.
With a special share, you would have priority in the allocation of the 13 weeks of school holiday dates (including winter), effectively competing with just two other shareholders for those weeks. Because most of the school holidays occur during the 'unrestricted cruising' season you would also get 3 of your 4 weeks during this time and 2 of them during peak time (May to August inclusive). To reflect this considerable advantage over holders of ordinary shares, Special shares carry a surcharge of 25% on monthly/annual subscriptions.
Owners of a special share aren't restricted to school holiday weeks except in peak time (May to August inclusive) but we would expect those owners to book school holiday weeks most of the time.
With a 'non school holiday' or 'Ordinary' share, you would only get the chance of school holiday dates if (as is likely) the people with special shares don't book them all. If a special share owner books a term-time week then ordinary shares owners will be invited to choose a school holiday week in the next round.
The only situation in which it would be impossible for owners of ordinary shares to ever have a school holiday week is if all three owners of special shares only book school holidays and always use all four weeks.
If you are grandparents, perhaps there is a slight dilemma? You may want to accommodate grandchildren from time to time but also to have holidays on your own or with other adults when the waterways are less busy. So which type of share will suit you best?
Other considerations to help you decide:
Even with an ordinary share you can have the grandkids/family from Friday evening to Sunday evening: that might well be enough?
Having multiple shares with each type is another option.
Special shares are not 'locked in' as such. They can be converted to ordinary shares and vice versa (as long as we don't have more than 3 specials).