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Everything posted by shipmate13

  1. I have now used the KEY program twice in the past couple of months and both experiences were quite different. When I used it in Tampa, they had signs directing passengers with the KEY all over so there was no confusion as to where to go. We immediately went up an elevator and into the check in area designated for KEY passengers, got our sea pass cards with the key logo on them, waiting is a special area and was allowed on ship right after Diamond members. Approx. 10 minutes, went right to CHOPS for lunch after giving our carry on's to staff waiting just inside the door. We only paid 19.99 a day for the KEY which is 10.00 less. I am not sure why we got the offer. It could be it was just a 4 day cruise, or a special, not sure but it was so worth every penny. We had free wifi, reserved seating area, first off ship at port, drink specials like buy one wine get one free, buy one specialty coffee, get one free etc. Designated times for flow rider/rock wall. Fruit plate in our room at arrival and then specialty restaurant on debarkation day and our luggage is a separate area. We were escorted off ship away from the crowd. Now with that being said, we had the KEY on our last cruise for 10 days to New Zealand and I am not sure it was worth the money totally however appreciated some of the perks. We got on the ship in Sydney Australia and they did not have their act together for KEY passengers. There were no signs anywhere directing us to where to go. It was total mass confusion at the cruise pier. We asked approx. 6 employees at the pier where we were to line up for the KEY and nobody knew. Each person sent us to a different location. Finally, a gentleman announced a meeting area for the KEY passengers and then we were in line and embarking in no time. Sydney was the most confusing cruise port we have experienced but a beautiful location to visit. The important thing to remember if trying to decide to purchase the KEY is your cruise itself. The KEY meant nothing at the ports in New Zealand as each port we were at, they were commercial ports. They would not allow you to get off the ship unless you had an excursion booked because of them being commercial ports. There was absolutely nothing around to see or do. You could only get off when it was your turn to based on the time of your excursion. You were only allowed to walk directly to the bus transportation and same once you returned. You had to immediately get on the ship. the WIFI worked excellent in New Zealand and since we have the What's APP we could always be in contact with our friends and family at home. We are going on another cruise in September on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas however will not purchase the KEY program since we are in a grand suite. It's personal preference and price is questionable. It sounds like a lot of people are having different experiences with them too.
  2. Makes sense I guess and since I am almost diamond status which really dont mean much to me personally, I can see that. That is probably why we had water and fruit plates in the room.
  3. The perk was buy one, get one free on wine. Same offer on coffee and a few other discounts. Not much but it was a nice jesture anyways. I am looking to see if they will offer 19.99 a day for my trip to New Zealand at end of month. If so, I will purchase again. This time for myself and husband. Not so sure it's a good deal for families. You have to just weigh in all the factors before deciding
  4. I purchased the KEY when we went on the Brilliance of the Seas a couple of weeks ago. Since the offer for us was 19.99 a day and I was going on a quick 4 night cruise with my friends and left our husbands behind, I thought It was a great deal. All of us women purchased it and I really thought it was worth the money but I only paid for me so it was under $80.00. We pulled up to the cruise pier and walked immediately to the elevator in Tampa and upstairs to the KEY check in. Waited in a separate area for just a few minutes and walked right onto the ship. The staff was there right inside the door and took all our carry on right off. We went to Chops and had a wonderful relaxing lunch without having to go to the free for all at Windjammer which we did not eat at all cruise. We had free wifi, and designated area for the shows. A wonderful relaxing breakfast before disembarked on last day and our luggage waiting for us in a separate area. I loved the KEY and will certainly look into it again on future cruising if they still have it. I could not justify it if I was traveling with a family but if it was just my husband and I, then I would certainly consider the price. They also had specials automatically added on our sea pass card for free wine, specialty coffee and other benefits.
  5. I thank all of you for helping me out on the free airfare package. As expected, I knew someone would let me know this has been addressed in the past already but this is my first cruise on Norwegian and my 18 th cruise which isn't that many but I knew that some post would be helpful for this I thank you. We will be flying out of Atlanta as we only live 45 minutes away so I would think it is a direct flight to Miami. I gave up the drink package since we are not serious drinkers enough to make it worth while. I am hoping that it will go smooth and I have no regrets. Husband works for Delta Airlines and yes we could fly on stand by but not when we have to get to the ship on time and hoping there are seats available unless we go a day before. I heard about paying 50.00 more to go the night before which I might look into but that means getting a hotel also.. Sounds like I don't have to worry about getting to the pier in time as long as there are no broken down, mechanical problems on the plane. Thanks again.
  6. 4 of us couples are currently booked for Feb 2020 cruise to Panama Canal and each couple has booked different ways. My husband and I booked directly thru the cruise line. When picking our free choices, one was free airfare. Being worried about that, we did not choose it and instead took other choices, however with that being said the other 3 chose the free airfare. Has anyone done this and if so, what was the hidden catches. I am just too scared to go that route as I am not sure what you get with it. Is it non stop, do you get separated on plane and have seats just anywhere, it is odd times, do you get there in time? what happens if the flight gets cancelled? So many concerns about this? I really would appreciate it if someone could guide me on this and if I am just being too cautious
  7. I got an email to bid on an upgrade, when I read the fine print (terms) it made be believe that even if I got the upgrade to a suite, you do not get the benefits that come with it. That was how I read it but I could be totally wrong.
  8. I bring on two bottles of wine and my husband brings on two. Nobody has ever said anything.
  9. That is right. It's the Norwegian Joy. I am sorry for mentioning the wrong ship. I am going on the Joy and for some stupid reason I said Ovation. I apologize
  10. Your absolutely right. My mistake. Sorry.
  11. Four of us ladies are leaving our husband's behind and going on a 4 night cruise out of Tampa on Brilliance of the Seas in February. The price for the KEY is 19.00 a day now as they are running a special. We did take it as it's only 79.00 for the 4 nights. We are all platinum/Emerald already but we thought the perks were ok for the price. Since we don't buy the outrageous drink packages that nobody seems to complain about, it's perfect for us. I get that it don't work for everyone.
  12. I read that the Ovation was going to dry dock for a 50 million dollar renovation since China is no longer its home. The long article I read discussed making several changes to the ship now that the US is its home port. What they are changing, I cannot say but I am sure it will be a lot of the restaurants, casino's, and stores. Everything was written in Chinese. If you look at youtube videos of the ship you can see the Chinese influence all over thee ship and all the writings. I am sure they want to make it more Americanized. I didn't hear anything about mechanical problems but obviously I don't know the whole story.
  13. Has anyone purchased the KEY yet? I see it is fairly new and can be purchased for 19.00 a day. I was just wondering if it was worth the money you pay? thanks
  14. Looking forward to hearing about Rob's first cruise. I have been to the Rock of Gibralter and it was amazing. Also we are heading to Scotland in August. This is off point of your post but could you please ask Rob if people in Scotland get offended when visitors wear kilts there. I am Scotish myself and wanted to wear a kilt one day while there when we see the military tattoo but don't want to offend. We are going on the Symphony in October 2019. I know its far away but love hearing about it. Enjoy the cruise.....
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