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richfret

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  • Content Count

    3,718
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About richfret

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Fort Myers, FL USA
  • Interests
    Fishing, Golf, Piano, Synthesizer
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    St Thomas

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  1. I you are trying to buy a Carnival gift card from AARP, forget it. They are forcing you to use PayPal and PayPal is not equipped to handle the situation. They will take all your data and then the system freezes and no one can resolve the situation. The word "PROCESSING" will show up across the screen and nothing else happens. AARP says it is a PayPal problem. PayPal says it is AARP. They are probably both right.
  2. Looks like they are back for $100 gift cards. You can only buy one a month and only through PayPal. I don't know if I want to join PayPal. Cannot just use your Charge Card like you use to although it gives you that impression at first.
  3. The shows are OK and I go to them all. Are they fantastic? ........................... Not really. They are mostly modern music with little to no old time favorites. The dancers and actors do their very best but are limited due to way the shows are programmed. The backgrounds are electrified and are really amazing to watch. Maybe just a bit overdone. The music is loud. No louder than that. Crazy loud! There are flashing lights at the sides and every once in awhile you are blinded as they move across the audience. The orchestra is mostly gone. Now some will really disagree with me and again that is OK. I think the issue is that generally, the audience is older but the shows are designed for the very young generation. Once programmed, the shows remain cruise after cruise because of the investment. As I said before, I will attend all the shows but in the very back of the theater where it is just a bit quieter and I can leave early if necessary. In the past, the audience would applaud for a consider amount of time and the actors would take bow after bow. Now there is brief applause and the actors take their bow. Now bring on the jeers. After 22 Carnival cruises I can take it and I think that is the problem. I remember the earlier cruise shows and it was really different than now. What a cry baby!
  4. Thought I would give the AARP site another try this morning and reviewed the gift card offers. There are no TRAVEL cards in the members-only section nor in the general offerings so it looks like that part of the program is over with. That's a shame since it was an easy 10 percent off of a Carnival cruise. Luckily, I bought $2,600 in gift cards just prior to the shut off to pay a final payment on my current cruise and the deposit on my next cruise. AARP made since a hassle over the transfer of accumulated points and then they discontinue the travel gift cards any way. Would have been nice if they had been honest and just said we are discontinuing the sales of most AARP gift cards. That I could understand and accept. Oh well, looks like I will have to investigate the Allstate site which has a similar program.
  5. Got an E-mail from AARP as in the past and did a search of the gift cards with great difficulty. I tied every thing including being a member and I could find very few gift card offers. Gift cards like Carnival, Cracker Barrel and Dennys were none existent. Sure hope they come back in the future but at the moment I have my doubts. I have purchased many gift cards in the past but it looks like times have changed. I am going to give AARP some more time and a chance to recover. Time will tell.
  6. Although the majority of cruisers are of the older generation, Carnival designs the shows mainly for the younger crowd. So rock or rock and roll dominate. The music is extremely loud. I mean really crazy loud! Costumes are rather plain. The shows are not bad but nothing like they use to be in the past. When I get home, I don't rave about them like I use to but just say "Yes, I went to the shows." One thing that is amazing are the backgrounds which use lighting and computerized sketches that the actors work with. They have really become part of the show like one of the actors and some times the entire show. I think Carnival has put so much money into this that it reduces monies for other activities during the show. On the other hand, it is probably the best remembered part of the show. So after 22 Carnival cruises, I will continue to go to the shows. In stead of trying to get a front row seat (It might make you deaf), I sit at the back in case I would like leave early. I know that sounds negative but as I said before, the shows are OK but not outstanding like they use to be.
  7. The best VIP gift was a night light. I still have and use it. The luggage tag is .............................. OK and I will use it along with the dozen other luggage tags I have. Believe me, if you are VIP, you already have luggage tags. It's the thought that counts, however.
  8. If you are not a football enthousiaste, make sure you don't cruise during the Super Bowl Week. It takes over the entire cruise. Every things ties into it. Even the theater isn't available as much so the game can be viewed and discussed. Now if you are into football, go for it!
  9. Every time I listen to the TV news and there is the mention of an oil issue, the price at the gas pumps jumps up immediately and stays that way for a few days. Then the price comes down and we wait for the next problem. It's a nice way to make a few extra bucks and gives justification for the action taken. I look at it the same way with the oil surcharge. If need be, it can be established and difficult to dispute. After all, we saw it in the news so it has to be true. Then the problem goes away. The surcharge is removed and every one is happy again. It's called economics in a strange sort of way.
  10. Was very glad to see that I had about a 25,000 point carry over from the old program. Also was able to add another 1,500. Another thing I found was that I did a test to buy a $100 Carnival gift card and it appears no points are required although you need to be an AARP member which I have been for many years. I was afraid the Carnival gift cards might be dropped and that would take away a 10 percent cost reduction for a cruise. I pay for the entire cruise with the gift cards and also take an additional $700 for ship expenses. What a great deal.
  11. This note is directed to Carnival who I am quite sure view Cruise Critic daily. Why can't PAST Carnival FUNTIMES for the same cruise be published (if available) on their web site and/or the ship site for viewing? Naturally a note would say that changes could be made by them for any reason at any time. New cruises would be exempt. I am a planner and so enjoy seeing them. In addition, it would be the best and cheapest advertisement they could publish. Will it involve someone having to program the publications? Yes, but it would be worth it in customer satisfaction. All they would have to do is publish what is already available. At this time, it's like buying tickets and going to the movies and not knowing what the feature is or when it begins.
  12. The nice part about having a cabin on the Lido Deck is that you don't have to use the elevators, coming and going, for each meal. It you have any handicaps, it is an important feature. So if you want a drink, snack or an extra dessert, just walk out of your cabin for a few feet and there you are.
  13. I have 13 gift cards purchased from AARP and all of them have a Pin Number on the back so that should not be a problem. I ordered a final $500 card this week. I really don't want to buy more but I will be losing several thousand points with the September 24 change. I do not expect them to make it more lucrative for us but rather more restrictions being applied. Hard to say. I doubt AARP will do any thing that will be losing more money for them. Oh well, another gamble just like in the Casino.
  14. It bothers me that it is such a secret until September 24 when the announcement is made regarding the new program for gift cards. I have paid for several Carnival cruises with the gift cards and it was a heck of a deal and easy to do.
  15. Your are right. Never thought about that.
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