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AARP Rewards Online Community Cruise Contest 2024

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Community Manager

AARP Rewards Online Community Cruise Contest 2024

Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or a first-time explorer, we want to hear from you!   

 

The contest runs from April 8 through May 5, 2024. We will choose four (4) winners to receive a $300 AARP Rewards Cruise Line Gift Card! 

 

To enter, reply to this post before May 5, 2024, with your top tips, tricks, and hacks for leveraging AARP Rewards to elevate your excursion experiences.

 

Official Rules for the contest are posted here -  https://community.aarp.org/t5/AARP-Rewards-Connect/AARP-Rewards-Online-Community-Cruise-Contest-2024...

 

Share your top tips, tricks, and hacks for leveraging AARP Rewards to elevate your excursion experiences.  From booking strategies to excursion recommendations, every insight counts! Share now in AARP Rewards Online forum for a chance to win!

 

Example Post:

I went on my first cruise after winning a sweepstakes and have enjoyed cruising ever since that was 15 years ago! I love meeting new people on cruises and excursions.

AARPTeri
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Contributor

The best thing I can think to do is if your a first time cruiser, jump in, take a short cruise to see if you like it. On our last Royal Caribbean cruise we booked the key club, it amazed me how much easier it was to board and disembark. There are also other features and amenities with the Key Club that made our cruise more enjoyable.

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Contributor

The best advice is when cruising CARNIVAL, use a Carnival PVP. They have all the CORRECT answers to your questions. When looking on line both you and A travel agent can not see ALL OFFERS or Rooms that may be available to you. Also they can take your money and post it to the account as you speak to them. You get a conformation before you end the conversation. It will show on your booking. Also they have current info on all the perks and requirements for your selected cruise. These are just a few of the things I have learned in 20 yrs of cruising with them.

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Contributor

Buy a gift card before you go from AARP.  Then take the gift card with you on the cruise and apply it to your account.  We saved $50 ! 

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Contributor

Shore Ex tip; Carnival Cruise Line has a golf excursion in Mazatlan, MX, purchase an AARP REWARDS CARD to pay for the excursion.  Rent (right handed clubs only) at the course, in your carry-on or personal item take your own balls at least 2 or 3 sleeves per person (or put balls in plastic freezer bags),sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, golf and golf glove, golf shoes if you want or play in tennis shoes. Pack a cooler bag in your checked luggage, get bottles of water on the ship (pre-purchase or onboard using your AARP REWARDS CARD or the amount left on the card for a beverage or water bottle package)and a take an extra Zip Lock freezer bag fill with ice to put in the cooler and take with you, it will fit in back of the cart.  Always have extra Quart and Gallon freezer bags in case you find things (shells etc).

sunglasses and sunscreen can also be purchased onboard a cruise ship using AARP REWARDS CARD, Guest Services will apply to your to your sail and sign account. Purchase extra AARP REWARD CARDS to take with you in case a Shore Excursion becomes available that sold out.

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Periodic Contributor

If you have never been on a cruise before , read all you can about the tips and tricks that you see. write down the ones you think you will use as there are a lot of helpful tips and you will forget some. 

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Kudos
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Periodic Contributor

On a Carnival cruise that has Guy's BBQ go as soon as you board. They're never busy on embarkation day cuz most people don't realize they're open

 If you wait till sea days the lines are endless. 

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Info Seeker +

Make on m-ship specialty dining reservations as soon as you book your trip for the best times and days. Pick a day when the Main Dining Room menu isn’t your preference. Many times booking a slot on night one includes a free bottle of wine. 

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Contributor

Check with your physician about taking seasick meds.  

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They usually have significant discounts & specials for the Spa on port days! It's fun to do that when u don't find an excursion that u want to do!

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Study up on efficient packing (cubes, rolling vs. folding, using space inside shoes and your neck pillow wisely). Also, be realistic about what you need vs. what you want, AND what you can expect versus what you assume is included or even available (a/c, dry cleaning, etc.).  Less is more, watch the weather, and plan for success! 

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Contributor

Be flexible—and you’ll never get bent out of shape.

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Periodic Contributor

Never been on a cruise so i don’t have any tips. All the more reason that I need to win. 🤣

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Carnival Cruises: a magnet for your door to easily locate your room.  Download the carnival hub app before getting on the boat. Take a refillable bottle with so you can hydrate or die.  Laundry service prevents over packing. 

Contributor

My husband & I have been cruising for years, mainly Caribbean. We are planning for a European cruise one day

 

i I agree with many posts:

1) Magnetic walls, got my hooks 2 for $1.25 at Dollar tree

2) Don’t overpack- Use mix-match clothing. Most clothing for dinner you are not in it long, wear again later in cruise.

3) If you can afford it , balcony is the way to go.

4) we mostly use Celebrity with our church group as it has less screaming children on it. Look at itinerary of next days acts and make small adjustable plans.

5) Even if no real plans, get off at every port, you may happen on something to cause you to return to try sgain.

6) Excursions can be an expensive , ask ship steward for other activities you can try locally. They will give you the ‘safe’ ones to try, and how to get there, great local cuisine restaurants to try, best shops that are selling authentic items, especially jewelry. No scams.

It’s good to have (as a woman), a small crossbody or pouch on lanyard to hold cabin room card, ID, money etc for on & off ship. Large purses are targets for pickpockets & cumbersome.

Shoes with good soles for off the ship treks. 
Make friends with your cabin steward, give them a tip if desired, they can usually get any extra items you may want (hangers, etc).

 

please tip all your help (usually included in price). If not, pay upfront. Then you don’t have to worry about any addl costs at end of cruise. 
Happy Sailing!

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Newbie

Don't feel like you have to do a cruise-line (expensive) tour at each port.  Do research and see what you can do on your own or with an independent tour operator -- just be sure to be back to the ship on time, because if you're not with a ship-sponsored tour and you are late, they will leave without you.  

Bring magnetic hooks to use to hang things on the walls and (better) ceiling.  Bring a portable clothesline to hang wet bathing suits and items you washed in the sink.  

Put your empty suitcases under the bed to save room.  

If you have a balcony, enjoy it, but make sure to close the slider door to keep A/C running in your cabin.  

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Trusted Contributor

I've only cruised on Carnival, so I can only speak in regards to them. Use your AARP membership combined with AARP Rewards to purchase the Carnival e-gift cards for 10% off. The great thing about Carnival gift cards is that they can be used for pretty much everything. You can pay your cruise fare, order items from Carnival's online Fun Shops prior to the cruise, take them onboard to add to your Sail & Sign account, and even purchase cruise excursions (through Carnival) with them. All for 10% off. You may not think it's much, but trust me, when you use them for everything, they add up. I'm here to tell you first-hand, you can save hundreds of dollars on your Carnival cruise. The great thing about AARP's 10% off Carnival e-gift cards is that they're emailed to you almost immediately. No waiting for them to be shipped and no shipping fee. With the savings you'll get purchasing 10% off Carnival cards from AARP Rewards, you'll easily make up for the cost of an AARP membership, which, let's face it, is very affordable as it is.

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Periodic Contributor

 For bargain shoppers look for last-minute cruise discounts, use AARP's discounts and special pricing, and leverage AARP Rewards (i.e., savings on cruise gift cards) to elevate your excursion experiences!

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Regular Contributor

The top tip for leveraging AARP Rewards to elevate the cruising experience is researching cruising.  AARP has a fantastic travel section and one of the best member only access articles is "AARP Smart Guide to Cruises"  This article has 47 tips for planning, packing and landing the best deal. AARP also has you covered to reduce your out of pocket by using AARP rewards gift cards for about a 10% savings. The more you know, the more you save.  

 
 
 
 
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Contributor

Read a fiction or nonfiction book about one of the ports of call before you go.  While at the port see if the author got it right.

Periodic Contributor

My husband and I will be celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary in June on a Princess British Isles Cruise.  We're so looking forward to seeing beautiful new places where we've never visited before.  We look forward to spending our childrens' inheritance, and we definitely deserve it! 

 

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Contributor

 I've never cruised, so a free one would be an incredible way to try it out.

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Newbie

Be sure to buy gift cards through AARP before you go to save $. 

Contributor

 Odd...after I just entered this contest already a few minutes ago, I was kicked out of AARP's website, had to reenter login info, only to find out that my original post was already in place. I deserve a cruise after that hassle!!! lol

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Periodic Contributor

That probably has more to do with your internet connection than the AARP website...nice try!!!🤣🤣🤣

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Contributor

We always take advantage of the free shows which are top notch usually

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We always book a room in mid ship if on large ocean due to motion sickness.  You won't feel the waves as much

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Port side of the ship is often the better side for your cabin. Why, the captains bridge is on the port side and therefore the ship often docks on the port side. This allows you to see the shore when your in port.

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Contributor

Would that it were so.  Many times we book starboard to have a view of the sea away from the port shoreside and we end up facing the port.  

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Don't over pack, leave half of suitcase for souvenirs. Pack two pairs of pants that can be matched with different tops. Take a small sample size of washing powder for items that can be washed and hang in the bathroom to dry.   

 

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Much of the enjoyment of any event comes from anticipation of the fun. Whether you're traveling with a group, as a couple or by yourself, you can up your excitement with advance actions to anticipate the fun.  Buy some sea or boat-themed kitchen towels to put up.  Same thing with stickers that you can put on your calendar with "One month to cruise!" or other reminders.  Buy some Tiki or paper umbrellas and put in your morning smoothie or evening cocktail.  Seashell-shaped or ocean-scented candles are great, too.  Buy matching t-shirts, scarves or tie/bowties for everyone to wear on the cruise and they'll remind you of the fun, after the event.  

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