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kdavis5472

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About kdavis5472

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Plantation, FL USA
  • Interests
    Our family loves sports and outdoor activities.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    We have been on several different cruise lines. Royal Caribbean is our go-to.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Grenada

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  1. We just got off Symphony this past Saturday - Sailing date of 04/20/19- Western Caribbean. I purchased the Key when it first came available - at $19.99 per person - and have followed along the threads up until the time of sailing. I was upset that the terms changed significantly from the time we purchased the Key until our sailing, but hung in there, thinking that I would "go with the flow" and see what happened. Here are my opinions - others may be different....... Embarkation Day - Our family of 5 (me, hubs, MIL, sons ages 16 and 22) arrived at the port at about 10:30am and were one of the first ones on the ship before 11am. We boarded right after the Diamond and Star guests, at the same time as the suites were called. Walked right on. Easy. However, there were tons of people boarding at the same time, and I know they did not check to see if we actually had the Key or not - so not sure if the Key was any real value, as the boarding was so streamlined as it was. We first went to the theater and my mother in law dropped off her carry on. The attendant was super nice and took the bag quickly. She told us that all of our Key paperwork would be waiting for us in our cabins. Chops was not open yet, so we went and made our specialty dining reservations first. We were then the second in line to eat at Chops. Yes, the food was fantastic, but it was packed and lunch took a while. It was ok for us, other than my kids were antsy in wanting to get out and start exploring the ship. After eating at Chops, it was announced that the cabins were ready, and so we went to check them out. The Key paperwork was sitting for each of us on our beds. We all quickly signed in to the Wi-Fi and quickly read through the "benefits" of being a Key member. I noticed that that special Key hours for the flow rider, zip line, ice skating and rock wall were reduced to one hour for the entire week - mostly on the sea days if I recall. We went up to the sports area to sign our waivers and it was there we received a wrist band to show that we were Key members. We were told that being a Key member would only allow us special time during the set-aside hour for the attractions - if we wanted more - during non-Key hours, we would need to notify the attendant and they would "work us in" - and were advised that it would create a "fuss" so it was discouraged to even try - and to just wait until it is our Key hour - I asked how come we only got one hour for the whole week and was told "demand". They were not very helpful. I got the impression that there were problems before and they were trying to discourage Key members from "cutting line" or making a scene. So, for our family, while we all planned on participating in the Key hour during the cruise, we ended up not really needing it for anything other than the flow rider. Rock wall, zip line and ice skating - we had no problems and there was never much of a wait for these attractions. Now, the flow rider was another story. There was always a line. We decided to wait until the Key hour - which happened to be from 9-10 on the second sea day - almost end of our trip. By then, everyone in my family gave up, except for me - I waited for this all week long and by golly, I was going to do it! There was a private session from 8-9am that day and for some reason, they ran long - so our Key time did not start until 9:10am - yes, I was keeping track. There were 12 Key people in the line and the attendants came around in the beginning and checked for the Key on our Sea Passes. They gave each of us a Key wristband - (others like me, had taken them off from the very first day because I didn't want them to show in our formal pictures for the whole trip!!) All went well for the first turns -we all took a turn with the wakeboard. Then things got a little hairy. Other people - non-Key people, started getting in line, making the 12 people line into a 20 people line. The attendants did not check their Sea Passes and as such, I am pretty sure that some of those peeps were not Key people. I ended up getting 2 turns in that hour. Actually, at 9:49pm, the attendants made an announcement that beginning at 10am, anyone could ride, and if they got in line now - meaning at 9:49am - the time would be 10am before their turn came around. I thought this was totally unfair - we already was gypped at the beginning of the hour and now were got gypped at the end of the hour too. Other Key riders thought the same thing. So, my advice - if one of the main reasons you are getting the Key is for the flow rider, do not do it. Ok, my rant over the flow rider access is over. On to the next Key "benefit".... We did enjoy the priority seating at the shows. Yes, we did have to make prior reservations which was NOT required in the benefits when I purchased the Key, however, from reading others experiences beforehand, I did make reservations on the planner prior to sailing for our family. We arrived at each show about 20 minutes and were directed to the special Key/Suite sitting area- which were very good seats, not the prime, but really good. (If you do not have the Key and you want the best seats, show up 30 minutes ahead of time and you can get prime seats.... except for some seats that were always reserved for the peeps that paid mooloo money, and if you paid $30k for a cabin, my family agreed - let them sit where ever they want even in the middle of the ice if they so desire!) Priority debark at ports - no real benefit. I did take my Key benefits sheet with me each time we were at port - just in case. But I never needed it - there were never any lines to get off - or even back on the ship - for that matter. (Note - Symphony did not tender in any port, so that may have been be different if we had to tender anywhere) Fruit basket - I read where others received a fruit basket for being a Key member, which I never really "got" - because fruit was abundant on the ship - and free, but regardless, we did NOT get a fruit basket. I looked at it as one less thing to clutter up our cabin. One other benefit that was not mentioned anywhere, but as Key members, we did not have to "check out" pool towels. We simply told the towel attendant that we were Key members and we did not have to scan our cards like everyone else. Funny to think, but this was a nice benefit, as I regularly saw a line of peeps either waiting to scan their sea pass cards to check in or out a towel, while we simply just told them we were "Key" and they handed over as many towels as we wanted - or we just leaned in and pitched our used towels into the bin. I wonder how they really knew or kept track that we were Key members anyway. There is no way they remembered us every day. Debark day breakfast - this was nice. A couple of days prior to leaving, something popped up on our TV, asking us what time we wanted to leave. We picked 8-8:15. So, on the last day, we ate in the dining room at 7 and then waited with a few other Key members to be escorted off the ship. She took us through "back hallways" and we popped out right where the "Key" bags were. This would have been an absolutely awesome benefit - and probably worth the entire cost of the Key in itself, except that one of our bags was MIA and we had to wait for at least 30 minutes for someone to find it. I have no idea where it was, but all of a sudden, some girl appeared out of nowhere with our bag - during which time, we watched about a thousand people - non Key peeps - get their bags and walk out in front of us. We still had to go through customs - no Key benefit there - but that was completely painless and we were out of the terminal and in the parking garage in about 10 minutes - once we had all of our bags that is..... Overall impression - would I get the Key again? Absolutely not. Yes, we all had Wifi for the week and there were a couple of nice "benefits" along the way, but we are the type that likes to disconnect from society (and annoying work emails) when on a ship and for what we paid, it was not worth it. If the actual "benefits" we received were listed in the original offering of the program, I would not have purchased it. What made the original Key beneficial to me was not what was delivered. I was looking forward to the "no reservations required" for the shows - because I did not want to have to be on any schedule - if I wanted to go to a show on a night, I would have liked to just show up and not have to plan ahead like we were made to do. I was also looking forward to a few days of "Key only" activities - like the flow rider - not just 2 turns in a shortened hour constantly watching if the attendants were checking for wristbands. Chops was nice - but next time, we could have just as nice a lunch at Park Cafe. Shows - good seating, but we could have got just as good seats or better on our own. The disembarkation was also nice but worth the cost? No. I am fine with my decision to buy the Key. I just will not do it again.
  2. We just got off Symphony this past Saturday - Sailing date of 04/20/19- Western Caribbean. I purchased the Key when it first came available - and have followed along the threads up until the time of sailing. I was upset that the terms changed significantly from the time we purchased the Key until our sailing, but hung in there, thinking that I would "go with the flow" and see what happened. Here are my opinions - others may be different....... Embarkation Day - Our family of 5 (me, hubs, MIL, sons ages 16 and 22) arrived at the port at about 10:30am and were one of the first ones on the ship before 11am. We boarded right after the Diamond and Star guests, at the same time as the suites were called. Walked right on. Easy. However, there were tons of people boarding at the same time, and I know they did not check to see if we actually had the Key or not - so not sure if the Key was any real value, as the boarding was so streamlined as it was. We first went to the theater and my mother in law dropped off her carry on. The attendant was super nice and took the bag quickly. She told us that all of our Key paperwork would be waiting for us in our cabins. Chops was not open yet, so we went and made our specialty dining reservations first. We were then the second in line to eat at Chops. Yes, the food was fantastic, but it was packed and lunch took a while. It was ok for us, other than my kids were antsy in wanting to get out and start exploring the ship. After eating at Chops, it was announced that the cabins were ready, and so we went to check them out. The Key paperwork was sitting for each of us on our beds. We all quickly signed in to the Wi-Fi and quickly read through the "benefits" of being a Key member. I noticed that that special Key hours for the flow rider, zip line, ice skating and rock wall were reduced to one hour for the entire week - mostly on the sea days if I recall. We went up to the sports area to sign our waivers and it was there we received a wrist band to show that we were Key members. We were told that being a Key member would only allow us special time during the set-aside hour for the attractions - if we wanted more - during non-Key hours, we would need to notify the attendant and they would "work us in" - and were advised that it would create a "fuss" so it was discouraged to even try - and to just wait until it is our Key hour - I asked how come we only got one hour for the whole week and was told "demand". They were not very helpful. I got the impression that there were problems before and they were trying to discourage Key members from "cutting line" or making a scene. So, for our family, while we all planned on participating in the Key hour during the cruise, we ended up not really needing it for anything other than the flow rider. Rock wall, zip line and ice skating - we had no problems and there was never much of a wait for these attractions. Now, the flow rider was another story. There was always a line. We decided to wait until the Key hour - which happened to be from 9-10 on the second sea day - almost end of our trip. By then, everyone in my family gave up, except for me - I waited for this all week long and by golly, I was going to do it! There was a private session from 8-9am that day and for some reason, they ran long - so our Key time did not start until 9:10am - yes, I was keeping track. There were 12 Key people in the line and the attendants came around in the beginning and checked for the Key on our Sea Passes. They gave each of us a Key wristband - (others like me, had taken them off from the very first day because I didn't want them to show in our formal pictures for the whole trip!!) All went well for the first turns -we all took a turn with the wakeboard. Then things got a little hairy. Other people - non-Key people, started getting in line, making the 12 people line into a 20 people line. The attendants did not check their Sea Passes and as such, I am pretty sure that some of those peeps were not Key people. I ended up getting 2 turns in that hour. Actually, at 9:49pm, the attendants made an announcement that beginning at 10am, anyone could ride, and if they got in line now - meaning at 9:49am - the time would be 10am before their turn came around. I thought this was totally unfair - we already was gypped at the beginning of the hour and now were got gypped at the end of the hour too. Other Key riders thought the same thing. So, my advice - if one of the main reasons you are getting the Key is for the flow rider, do not do it. Ok, my rant over the flow rider access is over. On to the next Key "benefit".... We did enjoy the priority seating at the shows. Yes, we did have to make prior reservations which was NOT required in the benefits when I purchased the Key, however, from reading others experiences beforehand, I did make reservations on the planner prior to sailing for our family. We arrived at each show about 20 minutes and were directed to the special Key/Suite sitting area- which were very good seats, not the prime, but really good. (If you do not have the Key and you want the best seats, show up 30 minutes ahead of time and you can get prime seats.... except for some seats that were always reserved for the peeps that paid mooloo money, and if you paid $30k for a cabin, my family agreed - let them sit where ever they want even in the middle of the ice if they so desire!) Priority debark at ports - no real benefit. I did take my Key benefits sheet with me each time we were at port - just in case. But I never needed it - there were never any lines to get off - or even back on the ship - for that matter. (Note - Symphony did not tender in any port, so that may have been be different if we had to tender anywhere) Fruit basket - I read where others received a fruit basket for being a Key member, which I never really "got" - because fruit was abundant on the ship - and free, but regardless, we did NOT get a fruit basket. I looked at it as one less thing to clutter up our cabin. One other benefit that was not mentioned anywhere, but as Key members, we did not have to "check out" pool towels. We simply told the towel attendant that we were Key members and we did not have to scan our cards like everyone else. Funny to think, but this was a nice benefit, as I regularly saw a line of peeps either waiting to scan their sea pass cards to check in or out a towel, while we simply just told them we were "Key" and they handed over as many towels as we wanted - or we just leaned in and pitched our used towels into the bin. I wonder how they really knew or kept track that we were Key members anyway. There is no way they remembered us every day. Debark day breakfast - this was nice. A couple of days prior to leaving, something popped up on our TV, asking us what time we wanted to leave. We picked 8-8:15. So, on the last day, we ate in the dining room at 7 and then waited with a few other Key members to be escorted off the ship. She took us through "back hallways" and we popped out right where the "Key" bags were. This would have been an absolutely awesome benefit - and probably worth the entire cost of the Key in itself, except that one of our bags was MIA and we had to wait for at least 30 minutes for someone to find it. I have no idea where it was, but all of a sudden, some girl appeared out of nowhere with our bag - during which time, we watched about a thousand people - non Key peeps - get their bags and walk out in front of us. We still had to go through customs - no Key benefit there - but that was completely painless and we were out of the terminal and in the parking garage in about 10 minutes - once we had all of our bags that is..... Overall impression - would I get the Key again? Absolutely not. Yes, we all had Wifi for the week and there were a couple of nice "benefits" along the way, but we are the type that likes to disconnect from society (and annoying work emails) when on a ship and for what we paid, it was not worth it. If the actual "benefits" we received were listed in the original offering of the program, I would not have purchased it. What made the original Key beneficial to me was not what was delivered. I was looking forward to the "no reservations required" for the shows - because I did not want to have to be on any schedule - if I wanted to go to a show on a night, I would have liked to just show up and not have to plan ahead like we were made to do. I was also looking forward to a few days of "Key only" activities - like the flow rider - not just 2 turns in a shortened hour constantly watching if the attendants were checking for wristbands. Chops was nice - but next time, we could have just as nice a lunch at Park Cafe. Shows - good seating, but we could have got just as good seats or better on our own. The disembarkation was also nice but worth the cost? No. I am fine with my decision to buy the Key. I just will not do it again.
  3. Cel_Cruise - Thanks so much for your valuable input. We are leaving on SOS this coming Saturday and I have been watching this thread from the beginning. I bought the Key for our whole family when it first came out and have watched how the benefits have since decreased. Never before have I ever purchased something and then had the "terms" change so much before using it without any notice - thank goodness for these boards and Facebook groups! In my mind, it is like signing up for a shore excursion to A,B and C but then when you get there, you only drive by A, skip B all together and then go to C for only 10 minutes when you should have stopped there for 2 hours. I doubt RCCL would be able to get away with that. I have printed out all of the "changes" since I purchased the Key and plan on speaking to Guest Services the moment I get on board. We signed up mainly for the priority boarding, reserved seating at shows, priority debarkation at ports, exclusive Key times at the Flow Rider, and the last day breakfast and quick debarkation. The internet was never on my radar, as we do not plan on using it - we like to disconnect on cruises.
  4. Cel_Cruise - (or anyone else currently on SOS) - Since they greatly reduced the special Key times for the activities such as Flowrider, Zip Line, Skating, etc., are you supposed to still have "priority access" during non-Key times (when the general ship population is allowed to go) by moving ahead or "cutting" the lines? If so, have you experienced it? What do the other cruisers think? Is the any signage for that? Or do people think you are cutting the line?
  5. We are sailing on SOS on 04/20/19. We received the Royal Up email and bid on the JS. It has now been a couple of weeks and no word. Supposedly, RCCL has up until 24 hours prior to departure to let you know if your bid was accepted. Yesterday, we received an email with our Guest Vacation Docs - which included a summary of our trip and bag tags. Does this mean our bid is now dead? - OR - Has anyone received an upgrade after receiving the Guest Vacation Docs? or is there still hope for us to get the upgrade?
  6. Look up www.wahooslayer.com Captain Enrick is the best!
  7. That is what we did. I also called RCCL and they told me that was necessary - "if" we wanted the people in both cabins to all receive the same amenities.
  8. Anyone that purchased the Key - and already sailed - please let us know how it works for the priority seating at shows - I see conflicting info - the Key description states that no reservations are needed, but I saw somewhere else that you still need reservations........ Thanks!!
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