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About JRondo

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  1. I don't have any personal experience with this, but based on my previous cruise I would be shocked if Chops could not do something for you. Unfortunately, the phone people don't always know what really happens. I hope there is someone who has tried to eat at chops for the key will have some answers for you. Good luck!
  2. I am pretty sure it did show. I can't quite remember but I had something in my hand that I kept showing people to direct me to the key line at the check in counter. I would just print your receipt for the Key if it doesn't show on your set sail pass and show them that. I would go around 12 like we did. It wasn't crowded at all and we were the only one in the key line so you could go right up to the counter. Seemed like we got there after the big crowds and great time to eat lunch. Good luck.
  3. We traveled in February an our document said 12:30 but people here said to go earlier. We arrived only a little early, at noon but no one said anything. I was told, but I wouldn't bank on it, if you miss the lunch you can use that another day.
  4. When I signed up for the Key it said allow 90 minutes for Chops lunch, so I don't think it should have surprised anyone. I felt it was paced for a relaxing lunch but maybe too long and not be suited for some.
  5. Freedom had three skating slots for the Key.
  6. We probably boarded about noon, as we toured one of the forts prior. I have pictures with the time of 12:30 in Chops Grill. My documents also said 12:30 for boarding. There were plenty of passengers already on board when we arrived. It also confused me prior to the trip and I wrote to RCCL and got a confusing email back saying they weren't sure what they were doing with the Chops lunch on this trip since it boards/leaves port so late. They never got back to me. I can tell you for sure they were serving at Chops and we were not the first to arrive. Also, at check in, no one said we were too early and should have arrived at 12:30. There were no lines outside at all, making me assume the majority of passengers had already boarded. Not sure if this helps.
  7. I don't have the answers for you, but my advice would say book it now and then if your research finds it is not worth it, you can always cancel. Otherwise it could sell out. I don't know the likelihood of that happening. I would say for debarkation alone on the Freedom, I would do it again.
  8. You are welcome. When I called RCL, they said over the phone it was for tender ports only. For some reason it is not in print.
  9. I want to start off that we started our adventure at Cortes Chocobar in San Juan - a restaurant that highlights chocolate in every meal. I had the Chalupitas de Mofongo. Taco like shell made from plaintains. It was amazing. Also had the best chocolate shakes ever! Anyway, to the cruise. We arrived around 12:30. There were not really long lines, maybe 20 deep, but we did get in the Key line, there was no one in the line, and were checked in right away. I saw a small seating area for Key members, I assume if we had gotten there early we would have waited there. We took our luggage to the theater and they tagged it. It was delivered to our room before we finished lunch. We went to Chops. There were people there but it was not crowded. We had the filet and it was amazing. Also, had shrimp cocktail (they were huge) and cheesecake and molten chocolate cakes. It was a nice start. I went to several shows - Marquee, the Ice Show and One Upon a Time. None were full, but I was able to walk in without reservations and sit in the suite/key seating area and had great seats. They do not take reservations for the shows on Freedom, at least that I knew about. We did not use the reserved times for flowrider, ice skating or rock climbing, so I can't comment. Though each day there were reserved times. Only two throughout the week for ice skating. We did get a fruit plate, but I don't know if that was because we were in the Ben and Jerry's Sweet or because of the Key. Our itinerary did not have tender ports, so there was no advantage at ports. We got special luggage tags for the key the last night of the cruise and put our luggage out in the evening. The next morning we decided to stay on board as long as possible since we had to be at the airport around 11:30. We went to the dining room on deck 5 and had breakfast. There was a menu for the Key. Most items similar to regular MDR breakfasts, with the addition of steak and eggs and a crab eggs benedict. I got the eggs and steak. The steak was a mini filet and as good as the first day in Chops. They did run out of the donuts my kids loved and smoothies. We hung out until a little before 10. We went to the lobby of the restaurant and waited about 15 minutes. A representative came and took us to our luggage. We passed hundreds of people, probably a 60-90 minute line. Some were not too happy. We got to our luggage which was in a separate area and went to the Key line for customs, again there was none. We were in line first and it took literally one minute. Now when you get outside all bets are off. There was a huge line for taxis. A driver of a small bus approached us and said he was leaving for the airport in 5 minutes, so we opted for that instead of waiting in the line for a taxi. I would do it again for debarkation alone, but we like to be spoiled on vacation. If we went on a longer cruise, then I may start to question. Have fun!
  10. I was told by a RCCL rep that you can use it another day if you can't make it. I was also told by another you can use it another day if you choose. I did not experience this as we used it on day 1. On our cruise, the only Key time the first day was for Flowrider Boogie Boarding at 2:30, so after the lunch time. I hope this helps a little.
  11. We recently used the key and were very happy for the reasons everyone has posted. I would do it again for debarkation and wifi alone, assuming they keep the price around $20/ppd. I really enjoy using Tripadvisor for travel and people told me to go to Cruise Critic. I have found it very helpful in planning the cruise and activities. I am disappointed by all the negativity. I don't understand why people need to keep bashing RCCL. If you don't like going on their ships, then don't All places have perks if you want to spend money. From going on a tour with a large group or paying extra for a private tour, getting first class seats, or spending more to go to the front seats in a concert. It is how it all works. I used the seating for the shows on Freedom. I can tell you I was not impeding on suite guests as the area was not full for any of the shows. Chops may have had more people than normal on embarkation day, I wouldn't know as this is only my second cruise, but it was very pleasant and not hectic at all. Anyway, I meant to do a real review, but so many great people have pointed out the positives of the key. These are good for some people and not as important for all. We are all different. I kept following this thread to see what people thought of the key and to see if I had a similar experiences to others, so if i were to cruise again, I would know if the Key was as pleasant as it was on Freedom. Didn't mean to get preachy, just I love vacationing and planning trips and the negativity brings me down when I am trying to be in my happy place. Happy vacationing!
  12. Just got back from Freedom. The food was really good! I was worried after reading posts on here that the food had gone down hill. There was only 1 item that was not my favorite but the waiter could tell and quickly made sure I ordered something else. Do they have still have the cold cucumber soup? We had that on a cruise 16 years ago and loved it. It never occurred to us to ask.
  13. They will give you the plate with a cover on it to take back to the room.
  14. We just got back from our trip on Freedom. My favorite item was the appetizer of Asian Style Pork Tacos. They were amazing!!!! The great thing is that if you don't like something just ask for something else. They will oblige with no issues. I loved the tacos so much, I got a second helping as the dinner I ordered was light.
  15. By any chance did anyone take photos of the MDR menus from the week? I am having a hard time remembering what we had each night. Everything was so delicious but it is all running together. Thank you.
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