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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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5 minutes ago, Ocean Boy said:

Sort of the same way that almost everything that is sold on Amazom has the highest number of stars possible. When it comes to cruising issues I would much rather filter through the information on CC.

👍👍👍

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5 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

That is crazy.  

 

JC

I have the key on this sailing and can confirm that there was one flowrider session yesterday (10 to 11) and there is one rockwall session today from 3  to 4.   

 

In my experience the key has not had any value for this sailing.

 

I will draft more thoughts on the key program when I'm back home.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Facebook...Facebook...Facebook...oh yeah...that's that one website where people post all sorts of phony stories, pictures, and then make stuff up on how great things are (when they are not). Uh huh...a great source of (fake) information on nearly any topic. 🤣

 

Sorry, that is a completely ridiculous statement! Real people asking real questions and then taking the time to  thank you for answering their questions. I have not seen ONE snarky response on the 2 closed Facebook pages I follow. I can't say the same for some of the comments on cruise critic. Obviously you do not know the difference between closed Facebook forums and general Facebook posts. 

Edited by blueridgemama

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Sailed on Harmony April 28 - May 5 and purchased "the Key" for my wife and I. This is our fifth time sailing with Royal Caribbean so we thought we’d give it a try a since our Platinum status doesn’t have any real perks that we consider useful.

 

Priority Boarding

Arrived at Port Everglades terminal at about 10:30 and after dropping bags with the porter went to find if there was a designated entrance for Key members. Before leaving home, I printed our receipts with the Key logo on it showing that I had purchased the program. Showed it to a staff member inside the terminal and was directed to the loyalty tier and suites line through security which only had a few people in it.  We had "Expedited Boarding" on our sail passes so when we got to the check in area we were just directed by staff to board right away. There was a sign marked "the Key" at the check in desk and I asked if we should check in there. The attendant said no and asked us to board. We were on the ship in about 10 minutes from the time we dropped our bags off to the porter. Everyone was boarding fairly quickly though, even non key folks. Whisking through security was probably the biggest advantage to this perk.

 

On Board

On boarding the ship we asked several staff members where the Key welcome desk was. None of them had any idea, so no help there. Boarding was via the Promenade on deck 5 and this is where we saw a small desk with two RC staff selling internet packages. Since the internet was included in the Key we stopped there. Told them we had the key and they gave us our internet access code. Asked where the key welcome desk was. He just gestured with his hand that it was “down that way somewhere”. So we went off searching again. About half way down the Promenade the blue Key signs caught our eye. Went up to the attendant and identified ourselves as having the key and he checked for our room number on his list. We said we were dropping off our carry on luggage to be delivered to our stateroom. He looked puzzled and said they don’t do that on this ship. I showed him on the RC website where it clearly stated it’s a part of the program. He again said not on this ship so we had to bring our carry on bags with us.  He did say our rooms would be ready by noon. Only complaint on this is RC removed the carry on bag feature. If they remove a perk you already paid for, it seems logical to replace it with something else. The attendant didn’t give us the blue Key wristbands when we were first at the desk. My wife noticed other people walking around wearing them so we had to return to pick those up.

 

Lunch

We had a choice of Jamie Oliver’s Italian or Chops Grille for lunch. We found that out just before leaving home as I was printing off the cruise docs and reservations from our cruise planner.  We decided on Chops so we headed out with bags in tow to eat. Got there at 1140 and joined a long lineup. Got into the restaurant and seated little after 12 and the place was packed. After we were seated I decided to check to see if we had access to our room. My wife stayed at our table and I brought our carry on bags to the room. Room was ready and the sea pass was in the slot next to the door. There was no Key symbol or sticker on them as many have said on this forum. Service at Chops was slow and you could easily see the staff were overwhelmed with the crowd in the restaurant. They announced to those still in line that they had the option to go to Jamie’s which most did. Food was really good from the appetizers through to dessert. Steak was cooked perfectly. No issues with the meal itself.

 

Special Activity times.

Huge disappointment!! They only had four special time slots allotted of an hour each for the Key for the entire cruise. So not only has RC eliminated the checked bag feature it seems they have skimped on the activities as well.  I’ve attached the schedule to this post. On day two we returned to our stateroom late that afternoon to find a small fruit basket and a letter welcoming us to “the Key experience” On the back was the pitiful special activities schedule. One attraction we really wanted to do under the Key was the Zipline which was scheduled for 2 to 3 pm. It was 4:30 pm when we got to our cabin and found this schedule on our bed. Too late to do the Zipline for the Key. The schedule should have been given to us during boarding or at the welcome desk.

 

Voom WiFi Internet.

Spotty at best and uploading and downloading was extremely slow around most of the ship. Streaming anything in our room on deck 12 was out of the question. Video just buffers and jitters. Deck 5 seemed to have the best internet connection. Texting and checking facebook, email, etc was fine.

 

Shows

We went to two shows at the Royal Theatre, Grease and the headliner show. We arrived at both shows about 30 min before showtime. Asked the theatre attendant inside where Key guests are seated and he directed us to the suites, diamond and pinnacle section. Its center of the theatre on the second level. Sat wherever we wanted in that section. For the headliner show, the front row of the section was reserved for suite guests but there were plenty of seats in that section. The seats we had with the Key were excellent for both shows.   

We did the Fine Line aqua show. Again seating was in the center of the suites section. My wife had taken her Key wrist band off earlier and the attendants stopped her from taking a seat in the reserved section because if it. They asked to see her sea pass and of course there’s nothing on it to verify she had the Key. I had my wrist band on so I argued that my sea pass had nothing on it either. The line was backing up behind us so they eventually allowed her to sit with me in the reserved seats. We didn’t do the ice show. If you arrive about 30 minutes before the shows there are plenty of decent seats anywhere in the theatre or the other venues. Just make sure you have a reservation if you’re on Oasis class ships like this or you will be put in the standby line with no guarantee you will even get in to see the show. The comedy shows at The Attic  have no Key section so its sit where you can.   

 

Debarkation

The sixth night of our sailing we had a letter in our cabin from the Key program giving us info on the debarkation process. The Key luggage tags were with the letter. Place the bags outside the door of the stateroom by 11pm and they would be picked up. We could retrieve the luggage in the terminal in the designated Key section. Breakfast was 6:30 to 8:30 and we could leave the ship at our leisure. We didn’t have to wait for our section to be called. We had breakfast at the main dining room on deck 3 and it was a good meal with plenty of offerings in my opinion. Menu had continental, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, etc plus coffee and juices.  As the debarkation letter instructed us to do, we went to deck five and were supposed to be met by a Key representative who would escort us off the ship. Got there and no Key rep. The staff told us join the line with the others even though we told them we had the key. The lineup wasn’t long so we got off the ship fairly quickly. Luggage was in an area with large Key signs over them. Picked up our bags and got through customs fairly quickly.

 

Final thoughts

Overall, purchasing the Key wasn’t really worth it to me and I doubt very much that I’d get it again at the price Royal Caribbean asks for it. We bought it at $32 (Cdn) per person per day. If the internet is super important to you, (it wasn’t to us) then it has value since the on board price of the internet package alone is $20.00 (USD) per day per person. It’s just a few dollars extra for the other perks it offers when considering this. They still had the Key available on this sailing about a couple weeks before we cruised for $50 (Cdn) pppd. For what you get it's definitely not worth it at that price in my opinion . Lunch at one of the two specialty dining restaurants adds a small value, however, the choices are limited to the small selection they have on their lunch menus. Also, it doesn’t seem that the staff are well versed on the program yet considering the Key rolled out cruise wide last year. Again, I assumed perks like the carry on drop off to be on all the ships and was surprised that this ship removed that benefit. As many have said, purchasing the Key can be a benefit based on which features of it are important or attractive to you.

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9 minutes ago, newfie said:

Sailed on Harmony April 28 - May 5 and purchased "the Key" for my wife and I. This is our fifth time sailing with Royal Caribbean so we thought we’d give it a try a since our Platinum status doesn’t have any real perks that we consider useful.

 

Priority Boarding

Arrived at Port Everglades terminal at about 10:30 and after dropping bags with the porter went to find if there was a designated entrance for Key members. Before leaving home, I printed our receipts with the Key logo on it showing that I had purchased the program. Showed it to a staff member inside the terminal and was directed to the loyalty tier and suites line through security which only had a few people in it.  We had "Expedited Boarding" on our sail passes so when we got to the check in area we were just directed by staff to board right away. There was a sign marked "the Key" at the check in desk and I asked if we should check in there. The attendant said no and asked us to board. We were on the ship in about 10 minutes from the time we dropped our bags off to the porter. Everyone was boarding fairly quickly though, even non key folks. Whisking through security was probably the biggest advantage to this perk.

 

On Board

On boarding the ship we asked several staff members where the Key welcome desk was. None of them had any idea, so no help there. Boarding was via the Promenade on deck 5 and this is where we saw a small desk with two RC staff selling internet packages. Since the internet was included in the Key we stopped there. Told them we had the key and they gave us our internet access code. Asked where the key welcome desk was. He just gestured with his hand that it was “down that way somewhere”. So we went off searching again. About half way down the Promenade the blue Key signs caught our eye. Went up to the attendant and identified ourselves as having the key and he checked for our room number on his list. We said we were dropping off our carry on luggage to be delivered to our stateroom. He looked puzzled and said they don’t do that on this ship. I showed him on the RC website where it clearly stated it’s a part of the program. He again said not on this ship so we had to bring our carry on bags with us.  He did say our rooms would be ready by noon. Only complaint on this is RC removed the carry on bag feature. If they remove a perk you already paid for, it seems logical to replace it with something else. The attendant didn’t give us the blue Key wristbands when we were first at the desk. My wife noticed other people walking around wearing them so we had to return to pick those up.

 

Lunch

We had a choice of Jamie Oliver’s Italian or Chops Grille for lunch. We found that out just before leaving home as I was printing off the cruise docs and reservations from our cruise planner.  We decided on Chops so we headed out with bags in tow to eat. Got there at 1140 and joined a long lineup. Got into the restaurant and seated little after 12 and the place was packed. After we were seated I decided to check to see if we had access to our room. My wife stayed at our table and I brought our carry on bags to the room. Room was ready and the sea pass was in the slot next to the door. There was no Key symbol or sticker on them as many have said on this forum. Service at Chops was slow and you could easily see the staff were overwhelmed with the crowd in the restaurant. They announced to those still in line that they had the option to go to Jamie’s which most did. Food was really good from the appetizers through to dessert. Steak was cooked perfectly. No issues with the meal itself.

 

Special Activity times.

Huge disappointment!! They only had four special time slots allotted of an hour each for the Key for the entire cruise. So not only has RC eliminated the checked bag feature it seems they have skimped on the activities as well.  I’ve attached the schedule to this post. On day two we returned to our stateroom late that afternoon to find a small fruit basket and a letter welcoming us to “the Key experience” On the back was the pitiful special activities schedule. One attraction we really wanted to do under the Key was the Zipline which was scheduled for 2 to 3 pm. It was 4:30 pm when we got to our cabin and found this schedule on our bed. Too late to do the Zipline for the Key. The schedule should have been given to us during boarding or at the welcome desk.

 

Voom WiFi Internet.

Spotty at best and uploading and downloading was extremely slow around most of the ship. Streaming anything in our room on deck 12 was out of the question. Video just buffers and jitters. Deck 5 seemed to have the best internet connection. Texting and checking facebook, email, etc was fine.

 

Shows

We went to two shows at the Royal Theatre, Grease and the headliner show. We arrived at both shows about 30 min before showtime. Asked the theatre attendant inside where Key guests are seated and he directed us to the suites, diamond and pinnacle section. Its center of the theatre on the second level. Sat wherever we wanted in that section. For the headliner show, the front row of the section was reserved for suite guests but there were plenty of seats in that section. The seats we had with the Key were excellent for both shows.   

We did the Fine Line aqua show. Again seating was in the center of the suites section. My wife had taken her Key wrist band off earlier and the attendants stopped her from taking a seat in the reserved section because if it. They asked to see her sea pass and of course there’s nothing on it to verify she had the Key. I had my wrist band on so I argued that my sea pass had nothing on it either. The line was backing up behind us so they eventually allowed her to sit with me in the reserved seats. We didn’t do the ice show. If you arrive about 30 minutes before the shows there are plenty of decent seats anywhere in the theatre or the other venues. Just make sure you have a reservation if you’re on Oasis class ships like this or you will be put in the standby line with no guarantee you will even get in to see the show. The comedy shows at The Attic  have no Key section so its sit where you can.   

 

Debarkation

The sixth night of our sailing we had a letter in our cabin from the Key program giving us info on the debarkation process. The Key luggage tags were with the letter. Place the bags outside the door of the stateroom by 11pm and they would be picked up. We could retrieve the luggage in the terminal in the designated Key section. Breakfast was 6:30 to 8:30 and we could leave the ship at our leisure. We didn’t have to wait for our section to be called. We had breakfast at the main dining room on deck 3 and it was a good meal with plenty of offerings in my opinion. Menu had continental, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, etc plus coffee and juices.  As the debarkation letter instructed us to do, we went to deck five and were supposed to be met by a Key representative who would escort us off the ship. Got there and no Key rep. The staff told us join the line with the others even though we told them we had the key. The lineup wasn’t long so we got off the ship fairly quickly. Luggage was in an area with large Key signs over them. Picked up our bags and got through customs fairly quickly.

 

Final thoughts

Overall, purchasing the Key wasn’t really worth it to me and I doubt very much that I’d get it again at the price Royal Caribbean asks for it. We bought it at $32 (Cdn) per person per day. If the internet is super important to you, (it wasn’t to us) then it has value since the on board price of the internet package alone is $20.00 (USD) per day per person. It’s just a few dollars extra for the other perks it offers when considering this. They still had the Key available on this sailing about a couple weeks before we cruised for $50 (Cdn) pppd. For what you get it's definitely not worth it at that price in my opinion . Lunch at one of the two specialty dining restaurants adds a small value, however, the choices are limited to the small selection they have on their lunch menus. Also, it doesn’t seem that the staff are well versed on the program yet considering the Key rolled out cruise wide last year. Again, I assumed perks like the carry on drop off to be on all the ships and was surprised that this ship removed that benefit. As many have said, purchasing the Key can be a benefit based on which features of it are important or attractive to you.

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Thank you for your review. I cannot believe they did not have the luggage drop off. We sail on hots in a couple weeks. Your review is making me think hard about the key. It is our first cruise so I wanted the perks but the perks are getting too small now and without notice ahead of time. 

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52 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

Sorry, that is a completely ridiculous statement! Real people asking real questions and then taking the time to  thank you for answering their questions. I have not seen ONE snarky response on the 2 closed Facebook pages I follow. I can't say the same for some of the comments on cruise critic. Obviously you do not know the difference between closed Facebook forums and general Facebook posts. 

Plenty of businesses ate leaving Facebook because of the nightmare experiences with consumers and the type of content posted.

 

It’s one of the worst sources of factual information, mostly used for promotional marketing and personal drama posting, as well as “look what I did” garbage.

 

Anyone who relies on it as a source of viable data/information might as well travel to Fantasy Island instead of Coco Cay.

 

 

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newfie: Did you get a survey to review your cruise or the Key? Did you call Royal Caribbean to discuss your concerns with the deficiencies with the Key?

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2 minutes ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Plenty of businesses ate leaving Facebook because of the nightmare experiences with consumers and the type of content posted.

 

It’s one of the worst sources of factual information, mostly used for promotional marketing and personal drama posting, as well as “look what I did” garbage.

 

Anyone who relies on it as a source of viable data/information might as well travel to Fantasy Island instead of Coco Cay.

 

 

 

You are missing the point. I am referring to Facebook forums or groups that are closed and are informational forums just like Cruise Critic. 

 

I think I am intelligent enough to know the difference between the general nonsense posts that you are referring to and the forums I am referring to.

 

The information that I am getting in my Facebook groups is on par with what I learn here on cruise critic and as I referred to earlier the posters have been universally polite and respectful of each other, unlike a lot of posts I read on cruise critic.

 

Since I am interested in actual reviews of The Key I will continue to check the Cruise Review thread but I am done with this particular thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had The Key for Anthem of the Seas, March 23rd sailing.

 

There was a priority Key check-in line, it went very quickly.  There was no priority boarding.  Once on the ship, The Key had a little check-in table, easily located.  There, I was given a folder containing the details of Key perks for that voyage and Voom log-on instructions, and directed to the Theater if I wanted to drop off my carryon, and then to go to my choice of Chops or Jamie's Italian for The Key lunch. 

 

I went to Chops, waited almost no time at all on a fast-moving line, and was seated. Wait staff was quick and efficient. and my lunch (I had the filet) was excellent. 

 

Rooms were ready at 1:30, there was no priority treatment there.

 

There were sections of the theater roped off for Key guest access for all shows I attended. Port debark was quick at the ports. 

 

Final debark was blindingly fast - escorted past the very long line (I almost felt guilty), whisked to the Key luggage pickup section, and was through and out waiting for my ride in a total of seven minutes from the time I had finished breakfast.

 

I did not take advantage of any of the special times for onboard activites.

 

Was the program worth it to me? Yes, I think so.  I don't feel ripped off, in any case.

 

Will I get it on my next cruise? No.  Now that I've had that experience, I don't need to have it again. 

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5 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

That is crazy.  

I confirmed with someone who has Key - only one session on this sailing and he was told this is a new policy starting May 1. He was told to simply cut the line (like Star class apparently can) if they want more time. 

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Cutting the line is a crappy solution whether you are star class or Key.  You want to be friends with the people in the flowrider line.  Cutting the line will make you the A-whole of all time to the folks in the line.  Pretty much means I will have the key one time and one time only. 

 

On the upside I don’t have anything booked until November 2020....  who knows what they will be doing that far out.

 

jc

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This has gone downhill bigtime since i paid £400 for 2 of us to get the key for 14 nights... sigh..

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2 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

Cutting the line is a crappy solution whether you are star class or Key.  You want to be friends with the people in the flowrider line.  Cutting the line will make you the A-whole of all time to the folks in the line.  Pretty much means I will have the key one time and one time only. 

 

On the upside I don’t have anything booked until November 2020....  who knows what they will be doing that far out.

 

jc

My thoughts exactly, I brought the key so I could get extra flowrider goes without being the Ahole jumping the line when I purchased it that was what it said I would get but now it's just less and less, we are doing the reverse cruise of the one I think you just did I hope the flowrider sessions do not go down even more by the time we do it

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8 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Facebook...Facebook...Facebook...oh yeah...that's that one website where people post all sorts of phony stories, pictures, and then make stuff up on how great things are (when they are not). Uh huh...a great source of (fake) information on nearly any topic. 🤣

 That pretty much sums up the way things are here. The higher the loyalty status the better the reviews. Unless they take away a loyalty perk then everything is going to hell with the cruise line.

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7 hours ago, Biker19 said:

I confirmed with someone who has Key - only one session on this sailing and he was told this is a new policy starting May 1. He was told to simply cut the line (like Star class apparently can) if they want more time. 

 

This was the policy on our March Symphony of the Seas sailing.  1 priority hour per activity all week, and we were told to cut the line if we wanted priority any other time.  When I reported back, no one else (here) had heard of this, but from what you are saying it sounds like they have rolled it out as an official new policy.  

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4 hours ago, seanjulz said:

My thoughts exactly, I brought the key so I could get extra flowrider goes without being the Ahole jumping the line when I purchased it that was what it said I would get but now it's just less and less, we are doing the reverse cruise of the one I think you just did I hope the flowrider sessions do not go down even more by the time we do it

 

Because I had been to Tahiti before, I only really booked Patrick’s tour on Bora Bora and we walked around the other Tahiti islands.  If you can get on Patricks waitlist if you want to snorkel.  It is a good day.  On Papeete walking around is fine, just don’t act like a tourist.  On Moorea either do a tour or go to the Hilton with a day pass.

 

As far as the Key goes....  that is problematic because it could be a good thing, and it should be easy for them to make it a good thing.  It is like they do drink packages and people drink more than they should if they do flowrider packages, they should expect people want more not less.  I truly think it is there way of jacking up the price of the internet, which we all know every millennial must have, and they certainly can’t share an internet package.  Because all of the Key people who were not flowrider nuts were younger.  

 

jc

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1 minute ago, Grenouille21 said:

 

This was the policy on our March Symphony of the Seas sailing.  1 priority hour per activity all week, and we were told to cut the line if we wanted priority any other time.  When I reported back, no one else (here) had heard of this, but from what you are saying it sounds like they have rolled it out as an official new policy.  

 

It is a really sucky policy if that is the policy.

 

jc

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I just don't know what to feel about the anytime priority access. It sounds like RCI is talking out of both sides of their mouths. I read one comment as they told you to do this but, not. 

 

If this is a perk you pay for then why not just use it?

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14 hours ago, newfie said:

Sailed on Harmony April 28 - May 5 and purchased "the Key" for my wife and I. This is our fifth time sailing with Royal Caribbean so we thought we’d give it a try a since our Platinum status doesn’t have any real perks that we consider useful.

 

Priority Boarding

Arrived at Port Everglades terminal at about 10:30 and after dropping bags with the porter went to find if there was a designated entrance for Key members. Before leaving home, I printed our receipts with the Key logo on it showing that I had purchased the program. Showed it to a staff member inside the terminal and was directed to the loyalty tier and suites line through security which only had a few people in it.  We had "Expedited Boarding" on our sail passes so when we got to the check in area we were just directed by staff to board right away. There was a sign marked "the Key" at the check in desk and I asked if we should check in there. The attendant said no and asked us to board. We were on the ship in about 10 minutes from the time we dropped our bags off to the porter. Everyone was boarding fairly quickly though, even non key folks. Whisking through security was probably the biggest advantage to this perk.

 

On Board

On boarding the ship we asked several staff members where the Key welcome desk was. None of them had any idea, so no help there. Boarding was via the Promenade on deck 5 and this is where we saw a small desk with two RC staff selling internet packages. Since the internet was included in the Key we stopped there. Told them we had the key and they gave us our internet access code. Asked where the key welcome desk was. He just gestured with his hand that it was “down that way somewhere”. So we went off searching again. About half way down the Promenade the blue Key signs caught our eye. Went up to the attendant and identified ourselves as having the key and he checked for our room number on his list. We said we were dropping off our carry on luggage to be delivered to our stateroom. He looked puzzled and said they don’t do that on this ship. I showed him on the RC website where it clearly stated it’s a part of the program. He again said not on this ship so we had to bring our carry on bags with us.  He did say our rooms would be ready by noon. Only complaint on this is RC removed the carry on bag feature. If they remove a perk you already paid for, it seems logical to replace it with something else. The attendant didn’t give us the blue Key wristbands when we were first at the desk. My wife noticed other people walking around wearing them so we had to return to pick those up.

 

Lunch

We had a choice of Jamie Oliver’s Italian or Chops Grille for lunch. We found that out just before leaving home as I was printing off the cruise docs and reservations from our cruise planner.  We decided on Chops so we headed out with bags in tow to eat. Got there at 1140 and joined a long lineup. Got into the restaurant and seated little after 12 and the place was packed. After we were seated I decided to check to see if we had access to our room. My wife stayed at our table and I brought our carry on bags to the room. Room was ready and the sea pass was in the slot next to the door. There was no Key symbol or sticker on them as many have said on this forum. Service at Chops was slow and you could easily see the staff were overwhelmed with the crowd in the restaurant. They announced to those still in line that they had the option to go to Jamie’s which most did. Food was really good from the appetizers through to dessert. Steak was cooked perfectly. No issues with the meal itself.

 

Special Activity times.

Huge disappointment!! They only had four special time slots allotted of an hour each for the Key for the entire cruise. So not only has RC eliminated the checked bag feature it seems they have skimped on the activities as well.  I’ve attached the schedule to this post. On day two we returned to our stateroom late that afternoon to find a small fruit basket and a letter welcoming us to “the Key experience” On the back was the pitiful special activities schedule. One attraction we really wanted to do under the Key was the Zipline which was scheduled for 2 to 3 pm. It was 4:30 pm when we got to our cabin and found this schedule on our bed. Too late to do the Zipline for the Key. The schedule should have been given to us during boarding or at the welcome desk.

 

Voom WiFi Internet.

Spotty at best and uploading and downloading was extremely slow around most of the ship. Streaming anything in our room on deck 12 was out of the question. Video just buffers and jitters. Deck 5 seemed to have the best internet connection. Texting and checking facebook, email, etc was fine.

 

Shows

We went to two shows at the Royal Theatre, Grease and the headliner show. We arrived at both shows about 30 min before showtime. Asked the theatre attendant inside where Key guests are seated and he directed us to the suites, diamond and pinnacle section. Its center of the theatre on the second level. Sat wherever we wanted in that section. For the headliner show, the front row of the section was reserved for suite guests but there were plenty of seats in that section. The seats we had with the Key were excellent for both shows.   

We did the Fine Line aqua show. Again seating was in the center of the suites section. My wife had taken her Key wrist band off earlier and the attendants stopped her from taking a seat in the reserved section because if it. They asked to see her sea pass and of course there’s nothing on it to verify she had the Key. I had my wrist band on so I argued that my sea pass had nothing on it either. The line was backing up behind us so they eventually allowed her to sit with me in the reserved seats. We didn’t do the ice show. If you arrive about 30 minutes before the shows there are plenty of decent seats anywhere in the theatre or the other venues. Just make sure you have a reservation if you’re on Oasis class ships like this or you will be put in the standby line with no guarantee you will even get in to see the show. The comedy shows at The Attic  have no Key section so its sit where you can.   

 

Debarkation

The sixth night of our sailing we had a letter in our cabin from the Key program giving us info on the debarkation process. The Key luggage tags were with the letter. Place the bags outside the door of the stateroom by 11pm and they would be picked up. We could retrieve the luggage in the terminal in the designated Key section. Breakfast was 6:30 to 8:30 and we could leave the ship at our leisure. We didn’t have to wait for our section to be called. We had breakfast at the main dining room on deck 3 and it was a good meal with plenty of offerings in my opinion. Menu had continental, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, etc plus coffee and juices.  As the debarkation letter instructed us to do, we went to deck five and were supposed to be met by a Key representative who would escort us off the ship. Got there and no Key rep. The staff told us join the line with the others even though we told them we had the key. The lineup wasn’t long so we got off the ship fairly quickly. Luggage was in an area with large Key signs over them. Picked up our bags and got through customs fairly quickly.

 

Final thoughts

Overall, purchasing the Key wasn’t really worth it to me and I doubt very much that I’d get it again at the price Royal Caribbean asks for it. We bought it at $32 (Cdn) per person per day. If the internet is super important to you, (it wasn’t to us) then it has value since the on board price of the internet package alone is $20.00 (USD) per day per person. It’s just a few dollars extra for the other perks it offers when considering this. They still had the Key available on this sailing about a couple weeks before we cruised for $50 (Cdn) pppd. For what you get it's definitely not worth it at that price in my opinion . Lunch at one of the two specialty dining restaurants adds a small value, however, the choices are limited to the small selection they have on their lunch menus. Also, it doesn’t seem that the staff are well versed on the program yet considering the Key rolled out cruise wide last year. Again, I assumed perks like the carry on drop off to be on all the ships and was surprised that this ship removed that benefit. As many have said, purchasing the Key can be a benefit based on which features of it are important or attractive to you.

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This is a really helpful review, thank you. We are sailing on Allure from Port Everglades on 26th May and based on your review and others I have read I am going to cancel the Key. There doesn't seem to be any consistency at all on how the program is being delivered and the benefits seem to be dwindling compared to the ones stated when I booked at the beginning of the year.

 

Multiple flowrider sessions are down to one, no carry on dropoff is a shocker and it seems to affect Oasis class ships most. The program has very little value now and I bought at £15 for the 5 of us.

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If they want to make it so that you only get one reserved hour per activity per week and then "cut the line" any other time, they should do like Disney does and make a clear Fastpass lane so that everyone in the line gets what is going on. Communication goes a long way. I'm curiously watching how the Mediterranean cruises go before we sail to see if I want to cancel in advance. 

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Posted (edited)

The Key seems like a take on Carnival's Faster to the Fun. I just can't see how it can be worth the additional cost. 

Edited by fyree39

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, EricainDC said:

they should do like Disney does and make a clear Fastpass lane so that everyone in the line gets what is going on.  

 

When the key was first rolled out and I was reading about it this is exactly what I thought it would be. One of the reasons my kids never wanted to sail on Royal when they were younger, even after I told them of all the actives, was because they didn't want to spend their day on long lines. Had the key been offered then I probably would have jumped on it. Telling passengers especially kids to cut a line is a recipe for disaster. 

Edited by Iamcruzin

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Final thoughts

Overall, purchasing the Key wasn’t really worth it to me and I doubt very much that I’d get it again at the price Royal Caribbean asks for it. We bought it at $32 (Cdn) per person per day. If the internet is super important to you, (it wasn’t to us) then it has value since the on board price of the internet package alone is $20.00 (USD) per day per person. It’s just a few dollars extra for the other perks it offers when considering this. They still had the Key available on this sailing about a couple weeks before we cruised for $50 (Cdn) pppd. For what you get it's definitely not worth it at that price in my opinion . Lunch at one of the two specialty dining restaurants adds a small value, however, the choices are limited to the small selection they have on their lunch menus. Also, it doesn’t seem that the staff are well versed on the program yet considering the Key rolled out cruise wide last year. Again, I assumed perks like the carry on drop off to be on all the ships and was surprised that this ship removed that benefit. As many have said, purchasing the Key can be a benefit based on which features of it are important or attractive to you.

 

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Newfie...Could you maybe copy and post your review on the 'Key Review' thread that is pinned to the front page of threads?  I think your review is very detailed and to the point - it may help people decide on whether to get/keep the key.

 

I'm still in the air.  I'm on The Jewell in June.  The girls and I paid $19.99 per day/per person.  Since we were doing internet anyways, it's not a huge jump in price for us.  BUT I'm not happy about the 'no drop off carry on luggage' once on board.  So still deciding to keep or cancel.  

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