Spend $16 to save $hundreds? Well sure, why not? Who wouldn't want in on a deal like that?
Deals come and go and as we have mentioned in this space before, travel service providers always seem to have some sort of special offer going on. Upon close scrutiny though, those fabulous savings seem to disappear. They're not misleading but in the case of cruise travel, often focused on specific sailings, in certain stateroom categories and/or only if booked on a Monday, before Noon, online and with your left hand...or so they seem. In Atlanta this week for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Life@50+ expo we're finding a bit different story, one worthy of consideration.
Frankly, I've been pitching invitations to join AARP in the trash for years, determined not to admit being qualified to join the organization says it is "dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age," which "provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members." The lions share of those benefits are of no interest to me. Not yet anyway.
Medicare supplement? No thanks, not on Medicare yet
Voice in Washington? Eh, important I suppose
Discounts on travel? Now that's another story and one we go into a bit of detail here to tell you about occasional bona fide discounts and special offers. That's exactly what we found here in Atlanta on opening day at AARP's Life at 50+ exhibition.
Deep discounts above and beyond what we see on a day to day basis from major players in the travel game via membership in AARP are for real, understandable and available.
We'll get more into the details in upcoming posts but here's a quick story that epitomizes what this very real, very usable part of AARP membership is all about.
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a show special that gives a discount off the lowest rate available anywhere else, adds onboard credit and requires half-price deposit. The half price deposit they do occasionally; nice but not all that unique. The onboard credit starts low for inside cabins and maxes out in suites, not unusual either except that this can be stacked on top of any other offer. The extreme value though comes from a 5% discount on any sailing, any ship, any category cabin, at any time and on any length of sailing.
That's impressive. Usually we find those kind of deals on 'select sailings' that no one wants to go on or in certain categories.
We found that same flavor of 'above and beyond' other offers at nearly every supplier on the show floor.