Community Manager
Community Manager

Three Exciting New AARP Rewards Cruise Line Gift Cards!

Week of 3/28/22, we’ve added the following three gift cards to the Rewards catalog:


  • Royal Caribbean Digital Gift Card (Members Only)
    • $450 ($500 Value 10% off)
    • $90 ($100 Value 10% off)


  • Holland America Line Digital Gift Card (Available to all)
    • $450 ($500 Value 10% off)
    • $90 ($100 Value 10% off)


  • Princess- Digital Gift Card (Available to all)
    • $450 ($500 Value 10% off)
    • $90 ($100 Value 10% off)


Redeem yours today! 



I agree. I'm stuck with a $500 Royal Caribbean gift card that I paid $450 a year ago. The initial "can only apply to a new reservation" did not show up on my screen when I first ordered it. Noticed it after I received it. Immediately called AARP asking could I reverse/cancel and was told no. Even asked could I just change to 5-$100 gift cards; still was told no. I've used AARP Carnival gift cards with no problem up until then. I have gone on 2 Royal Caribbean cruises since purchasing with another cruise booked. Unfortunately because you have to pay a deposit when you book and you can't apply the gift card at the time of booking, my balance owed for the cruise ends up being under $500. Unlike Carnival gift cards, you can't even carry the balance over, nor apply it to gratuities, nor use it towards your onboard acct, etc. I'm out $450 and I'm on fixed income. I even asked Royal can they credit my credit card back the deposit amount once the gift card is applied and was told no. I would just forfeit the gift card balance as it doesn't carry over. I would never ever recommend the $500 gift card from AARP unless you're booking a more expensive cruise or a cruise where multiple people are going to be in the cabin that will take your total cruise up to over $500. 


Yes, this is completely outrageous that AARP does not work with its members on this. This is supposed to be a group advocating for older adults and the fine print is easy to overlook.  Royal is at fault too for putting out such a bad/useless product that truly has no benefit.  When you are used to the convenience of the Carnival Cards, you do not expect the Royal cards to be so restrictive.  I had to work through Royal to get my card applied to my booking, many calls and departments and waited many weeks but did finally get it applied.  I also posted my disappointment on Royal's many social media accounts.


Royal is really picky about the use of gift certificates/gift cards. 

You have to book directly with Royal (after the booking is made they can transfer it to your TA for you).

You make the deposit with your credit card just like always.

Then, RIGHT THEN, you can use the gift cards/certificates to pay on your cruise. 

If you have $100 cards, you can use up to 9, if you have $500 cards, same thing, up to 9 cards. 

Whatever the balance is after using the cards, that cannot be paid for with cards later on. It must be paid for with your credit card before the final payment date. 

The cards can NOT be used on ship. 

I just got off the phone with Crown&Anchor and they passed me to 3 people, the final one a supervisor. I wrote all the details down and this is their policy as it stands Oct 1, 2023 per the supervisor of Incentives. However, if you purchase cards directly from their web page(there is not a discounted rate for them) those cards, can be used on ship, Here is a cut and paste they sent me in an email related to the conversation. "Use them towards the purchase of a cruise or for onboard credit toward the spa, gift shop, bar, specialty restaurants and more."


Just thought I would let everyone know how fair Carnival is with their redemption policy. 

Community Concierge

@RogerR733153 Hi Roger, thank you for taking the time to reach out. All purchases made with AARP Rewards are final and we are unable to process refunds. I understand that you attempted to use your gift cards to pay off a cruise balance. The Terms & Conditions for this item state that the gift card must be used on a new reservation. I'm terribly sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. If you are having an issue with applying the gift card to a new reservation, we recommend that you reach out to Royal Caribbean for assistance. 


@RogerR733153 :  I think you will be able to use it on your next cruise.  RC gift card terms says the reservation has to be made through RC, not through a Travel Agent.  But the big thing is it has to be on a new reservation.  So I guess that means you can't pay off an existing reservation with one of these gift cards.  It appears as if it can only be used towards the deposit on a new cruise booked at RC.  So hopefully you can use it if you cruise with Royal again.  Don't throw it away!  Use it when you book your next reservation.

Trusted Contributor

@AARPTeri - would you be able to tell me if these gift cards expire at all??  I had an unfortunate experience this week where a gas gift card I had used a lot of points on had expired, I would like to know if any 'fine print' before I get one of these - thanks!



Community Concierge

@KennethG683811 Be sure to check the terms and conditions for each specific gift card. The official terms and conditions are shown once you click an item on the redemption page: Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything!

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