So, it seems that Marriott hotels aren't required to allow reward redemptions even if standard rooms are available. Have people had luck calling in (we are Gold), or calling the hotel directly? Is there a way to know which days the hotel can cap and to how many rooms? Also, the points calendar function didn't seem to be working, so I was just doing some specific searches.
I got this via a search: here are the terms that seem to make the no blackout policy not worth much:
i. Participating Properties from the following Brands may cap the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days: The Ritz-Carlton®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, SpringHill Suites®, Protea Hotels®, Fairfield by Marriott®, AC Hotels®, Moxy® Hotels, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®.