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AARP Gift Certifcates - 2019 step by step report of my use

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Looked for an existing thread, of which there are many, but none seemed appropriate.  I would like to report on my experience attempting to use these discounted certificates..  Now I have read a lot of warnings in threads on this forum about problems using these and read the detailed terms and conditions listed on the AARP website.  I Think i meet all the criteria outlined so i'm going to give it a try, maybe I'll be able to save a little money and see if the effort is worth it to me.   As usual I have booked direct with Royal, this one through their website and not at next cruise (have used next cruise also for some bookings if looking for a reduced deposit) (rarely use a TA because unlike what others report, I have not found big returns from them, have tried both local TA and big web service)  Since it is January and my final payment is not until mid August, I feel I have plenty of time to experiment. 

 

Week 1 - Start of Process

On Monday around noon I ordered a $500 dollar on the AARP website, within 15 minutes i had an email receipt of my purchase.

Tuesday a little after noon I received an email stating because of the dollar value it would be sent UPS signature required.

Friday around 1300 UPS delivered the certificate to me.  - - pretty fast delivery in my opinion, same as last gift cards I ordered for an Xmas present to the kids

 

Read everything on the certificate and from what I understand I should meet all the requirements outlined.

Put my name on the certificate along with Reservation number, Ship and Sail date and then scaned it to a PDF file.

Prepared an email, attached PDF and sent to   SharedServicesGiftCertificateRedemption@rccl.com         SUBJECT :  Reservation ID: xxxxxxxx    around 1330 Friday

Within 15 minutes I have a return email from RCCL acknowledging receipt of my email (I know it is an automated receipt but it gives me confidence I sent the email correctly on my end)

 

Now we wait - I will update with another posting when the next step in the process occurs

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Please report back.  I just read the fine print again and it seems to have changed since the last time I was going to purchase.  

I think now I would purchase a certificate. Will be awaiting your outcome.

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3 hours ago, Barklee said:

How much did you pay for your $500 gift card?

$450 plus 5000 rewards points earned on aarp.  Points are earned by answering questions on their site. Very easy.

 

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We used the gift certificates for our cruise that leaves Feb 3rd.  It took about 10-15 days to get the confirmation that they had been added to our cruise.  I immediately contacted our TA to confirm it had been added.  We used $1000 of the gift certificates.  

They can not be used for the deposit on a cruise since it has to go through the Redemption department but they can be used to pay on the cruise.  My suggestion would be to give about 20 days of our is being used for final payment.

We did not have any problem using them even though we have a TA.  

I would use them again.  We saved $100 by using them.  

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Could someone please explain how to find the certificates? Hate to sound dumb, but I went on the AARP website and the only cruise related card I could find was for Carnival, or discounts for booking with AARP. We have a bunch of cruises coming up and would be really interested in saving whatever we can on them!

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Update 

18 January  2019.   7 days after certificate  emailed to RCCL 

I received a return email that they had started processing my certificate and it should be applied to my reservation soon.   They also said they will send an updated booking confirmation when completed 

 

Moving right along😁

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Thanks for the update. Seems like the certificate is a good deal now.

I guess we will be purchasing them for our next cruise.

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On 1/12/2019 at 4:41 PM, Intent2smile said:

We used the gift certificates for our cruise that leaves Feb 3rd.  It took about 10-15 days to get the confirmation that they had been added to our cruise.  I immediately contacted our TA to confirm it had been added.  We used $1000 of the gift certificates.  

They can not be used for the deposit on a cruise since it has to go through the Redemption department but they can be used to pay on the cruise.  My suggestion would be to give about 20 days of our is being used for final payment.

We did not have any problem using them even though we have a TA.  

I would use them again.  We saved $100 by using them.  

 

So it worked even though you went through a TA? I have to make my payments directly to the TA and not the cruiseline, so how does that work?

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29 minutes ago, myacuna said:

 

So it worked even though you went through a TA? I have to make my payments directly to the TA and not the cruiseline, so how does that work?

We made all of our other payments to our TA.  The gift certificates we Emailed the redemption dept with all the info they requested including our reservation number.  They sent us a couple of emails along the way to advise us of the status.  Once we recieved the notice from RCI that they were applued I contacted our TA to confirm and they were applied.  

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I will use them again to make final payment on my cruise, because I still have a couple of months.  However, my first experience with them was very slow.   Getting the certificates was straightforward and I received them within a week of ordering them.  I had booked my cruise thru a Vacation Planner at RCCL.   I filled out the certificates (I had 2 $500 ones) scanned them and emailed it off.  Got an immediate automated reply, so sat back to wait.   30 days later, still no word, so I fire off an email asking for a status update.   Got a reply within a day or so asking to send my info and resend the certificates.   This time things went as expected, and within another 20 days, the certificates were applied to my account!!!   

 

I'm staying positive, no harm no foul.   But 45 to 50 days is a long time!!!

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On 1/11/2019 at 2:59 PM, cruisegus said:

Looked for an existing thread, of which there are many, but none seemed appropriate.  I would like to report on my experience attempting to use these discounted certificates..  Now I have read a lot of warnings in threads on this forum about problems using these and read the detailed terms and conditions listed on the AARP website.  I Think i meet all the criteria outlined so i'm going to give it a try, maybe I'll be able to save a little money and see if the effort is worth it to me.   As usual I have booked direct with Royal, this one through their website and not at next cruise (have used next cruise also for some bookings if looking for a reduced deposit) (rarely use a TA because unlike what others report, I have not found big returns from them, have tried both local TA and big web service)  Since it is January and my final payment is not until mid August, I feel I have plenty of time to experiment. 

 

Week 1 - Start of Process

On Monday around noon I ordered a $500 dollar on the AARP website, within 15 minutes i had an email receipt of my purchase.

Tuesday a little after noon I received an email stating because of the dollar value it would be sent UPS signature required.

Friday around 1300 UPS delivered the certificate to me.  - - pretty fast delivery in my opinion, same as last gift cards I ordered for an Xmas present to the kids

 

Read everything on the certificate and from what I understand I should meet all the requirements outlined.

Put my name on the certificate along with Reservation number, Ship and Sail date and then scaned it to a PDF file.

Prepared an email, attached PDF and sent to   SharedServicesGiftCertificateRedemption@rccl.com         SUBJECT :  Reservation ID: xxxxxxxx    around 1330 Friday

Within 15 minutes I have a return email from RCCL acknowledging receipt of my email (I know it is an automated receipt but it gives me confidence I sent the email correctly on my end)

 

Now we wait - I will update with another posting when the next step in the process occurs

 

 

On 1/18/2019 at 6:54 PM, cruisegus said:

Update 

18 January  2019.   7 days after certificate  emailed to RCCL 

I received a return email that they had started processing my certificate and it should be applied to my reservation soon.   They also said they will send an updated booking confirmation when completed 

 

Moving right along😁

Final Update

23 January 2019   12 days after certificate emailed to RCCL

I had not rcvd an email yet with a new copy of invoice,  but thought I'd check by going on-line and tring to make a payment, by seeing the balance due i could determine if applied yet.

got an error message that said " " This booking can not be paid for online. Please contact your reservation specialist to complete payment " "

Tried to do an automated phone send me a copy of my "Booking Confirmation" and that message told me to contact my TA (of which I don't have one since i made the booking myself on-line)

I stayed on line and it sent me to the next available agent, she was able to send me a copy of my "Booking Confirmation" which showed that the $500 certificate had been applied already.  Though interesting enough she had to ask me for my email as she said it didn't show on the reservation.  And she really didn't understand when i asked her to release control of the booking back to me, she keep saying i had to talk to my travel agent (ie DELUXE REWARDS CERTIFICATE
PROGRAM)  At this point not a big deal as I intend to use more discount certificates on the reservation, but it is something i will work at getting straitened out when finished paying.

 

Overall not bad experience, rather quick.  Do dislike the last part that acts like i have a travel agent, but i had also read that in other threads.  but hey I booked a suite this time and the overall process will save about $400 so I think its worth the hassle, would i do it to only save $100 on a $1000 cruise I 'd have to think long and hard on that one.

 

I quoted my other posts so this whole story was all in one post.  Happy cruising, leaving this Saturday for b2b out of San Juan

Good Bye Snow

 

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