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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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37 minutes ago, Tin can said:

I see quite a few are posting that the Key is cheaper than booking a Suite with the same benefits.

 

I’m not seeing access to the Suite lounge or reserved lounger area on the pool deck mentioned anywhere though?

 

Are these exclusively US additional benefits to the Key (I’m from the UK)

No they don't get the reserved lounge chairs around the pool or access to the suite/concierge lounge

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12 hours ago, ShazM said:

No they don't get the reserved lounge chairs around the pool or access to the suite/concierge lounge

 

It depends on the ship.  There is no reserved seating for suite guests at the pool on the Brilliance of the Seas.  The concierge lounge is the only perk not included with The Key on the Brilliance.  Not worth a 4-5K price differential for a lounge.

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I ran a few figures on my Navigator cruise for November.  I compared a balcony to a GS.   There is about a $995 difference (adding the key to the balcony).  What you get in a GS is a very large cabin with a large bathroom with 2 sinks.  I don't spend all my time out of my cabin and it is worth that difference to me.  The pool area reserved for suite guests in my experience has been up a level and unless you like to be out in the sun isn't worth it to me.  Maybe you are comparing an inside room for the price difference you came up with.  I haven't compared to other ships, just the Navigator cruise I had reserved.

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I compared a 12-night Baltic cruise at 9K for a GS to a balcony for 5K for 2 people.  For some reason the Brilliance doesn't have all the suite perks as other ships unfortunately.  No reserved pool spots and no Coastal Kitchen.  We downgraded to the balcony from a GS.  Again, it depends on the ship.  They vary substantially.

Edited by udivegirl
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On 1/12/2019 at 1:16 PM, EllaDuChien said:

I am leaving on Friday on the Mariner.  I have purchased The Key, the Pre-purchased slot credits, and Hibachi...I think it is a perfect way to a la carte your cruise experience.  Even though this is only a short weekender for my son and I, I love that I can get an upgraded experience on a relative budget.  

 

I am interested to see if they really do have lunch at Chops on embarkation day as the description states.  Usually only Jamie's does lunch that day.  

 

While I would love to do a live review, I hope to be able to just relax and enjoy the experience...I will, however come back and report on my experiences with the Key on a short cruise!!

 

I was able to make reservations (not with the Key, just regular reservations) for lunch on embarkation day, January 31, on the Brilliance.  I caught it on a 20% off sale, so paid only $17.60 each, on “2018-08-10”.  Looking forward to your thoughts on the short sailings on the Mariner.

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Has anyone sailed on a Bahamas 8 night yet with the Key? Curious about how it went? Tender to CocoCay, any priority hours for iFly/NorthStar, etc. Thanks!

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18 minutes ago, jpw77 said:

Has anyone sailed on a Bahamas 8 night yet with the Key? Curious about how it went? Tender to CocoCay, any priority hours for iFly/NorthStar, etc. Thanks!

Will let you know!  On the 8 night Bahamas on Anthem leaving Jan. 26 & purchased the Key!

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Just now, Abr155 said:

Will let you know!  On the 8 night Bahamas on Anthem leaving Jan. 26 & purchased the Key!

 

Thanks. Let me know how the cruise goes. I'm booked for Feb 23 with my wife. I've been on 5 RCCL cruises in the past, but I haven't sailed in 10 years, so I feel like I'm doing it for the first time again. 

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Looking forward to reviews on the Key too..we just bought it for our Brilliance sailing end of February b/c we were going to do the 2 device internet anyway so for a few more dollars we get the reserved seats and lunch at chops but I have been reading conflicting info on whether it is one device per cabin or one device per person..so for those of you who have a Key reservation before our sailing on 2/28 could you please update on the internet offering!! TIA!

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9 minutes ago, GalwayGirl03 said:

Looking forward to reviews on the Key too..we just bought it for our Brilliance sailing end of February b/c we were going to do the 2 device internet anyway so for a few more dollars we get the reserved seats and lunch at chops but I have been reading conflicting info on whether it is one device per cabin or one device per person..so for those of you who have a Key reservation before our sailing on 2/28 could you please update on the internet offering!! TIA!

 

I called the cruise planner support line and it is "1 device per key" and not per stateroom. So if 3 people bought a key, there would be 3 devices that could connect concurrently. It would be nice if someone could confirm that that's already sailed.

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2 minutes ago, jpw77 said:

 It would be nice if someone could confirm that that's already sailed.

I spoke with someone who bought Key on board Oasis and they got one device VOOM package per person.

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The Key is still listed for the 3/9/19 sailing of the Symphony at $19.99 pp per day, but is notated that it is not available online, please check on board.  That would be difficult for people who want to book internet in advance at a lower cost and/or have lunch in a specialty restaurant on embarkation day, plus how would the stewards know to have those cabins ready early?  Seems like it should just show “sold out” if that is the case.

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4 minutes ago, ZoeyVictoria said:

The Key is still listed for the 3/9/19 sailing of the Symphony at $19.99 pp per day, but is notated that it is not available online, please check on board.  That would be difficult for people who want to book internet in advance at a lower cost and/or have lunch in a specialty restaurant on embarkation day, plus how would the stewards know to have those cabins ready early?  Seems like it should just show “sold out” if that is the case.

 

I would guess it is sold out.

 

jc

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I may be in the minority based on the response on this topic, but I'm not seeing the cost/benefit ratio that you all are seeing.  Right now, for our Feb 18 sailing on Enchantment, I already purchased internet for 1 device when it was on sale for a total of $48 (reg pre-cruise price is $68) for the cruise.  If I dropped that and purchased the Key for 2 people, it would cost $160.

 

Between the two of us, we don't really need more than 1 device connected (for emergency contact with home) and we certainly don't spend our vacation online as we can do that at home.

 

There's no Flow Rider on Enchantment, right? (not sure we would use that anyway).  We already booked a 3-night package and since there is only one specialty dining restaurant (Chops), we will have our fill of that.

 

I know there is priority seating at shows, but for the difference in cost?  I suppose that if you were to get 1 device for each person at the regular, pre-cruise price (2 x $68 = $136), the difference might be worth the extra $.

 

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My wife and I are sailing on the Symphony in 2 weeks (Jan 26 ~ Feb 2) and we booked the Key. We originally purchased it at $24.99 per person, but the price went down to $19.99, so we canceled and rebooked. We are pretty excited to see how they are being ran on the Symphony. (Looks like its all sold out now). I'm planning to do a review upon our return.

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1 hour ago, RCFirstTimer said:

I may be in the minority based on the response on this topic, but I'm not seeing the cost/benefit ratio that you all are seeing.  Right now, for our Feb 18 sailing on Enchantment, I already purchased internet for 1 device when it was on sale for a total of $48 (reg pre-cruise price is $68) for the cruise.  If I dropped that and purchased the Key for 2 people, it would cost $160.

 

Between the two of us, we don't really need more than 1 device connected (for emergency contact with home) and we certainly don't spend our vacation online as we can do that at home.

 

There's no Flow Rider on Enchantment, right? (not sure we would use that anyway).  We already booked a 3-night package and since there is only one specialty dining restaurant (Chops), we will have our fill of that.

 

I know there is priority seating at shows, but for the difference in cost?  I suppose that if you were to get 1 device for each person at the regular, pre-cruise price (2 x $68 = $136), the difference might be worth the extra $.

 

 

I agree if you are sailing a ship like the Enchantment then it would be really difficult to justify the purchase. 

 

If you like to flowride, and you get several free hours with relatively few people in the line, it is a lot cheaper than booking private sessions.  I am really interested if it will give free Ifly hours too (on Quantum class ships).  I will know in about 100 days.

 

jc

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2 hours ago, RCFirstTimer said:
2 hours ago, RCFirstTimer said:

I may be in the minority based on the response on this topic, but I'm not seeing the cost/benefit ratio that you all are seeing.  Right now, for our Feb 18 sailing on Enchantment, I already purchased internet for 1 device when it was on sale for a total of $48 (reg pre-cruise price is $68) for the cruise.  If I dropped that and purchased the Key for 2 people, it would cost $160.

 

Between the two of us, we don't really need more than 1 device connected (for emergency contact with home) and we certainly don't spend our vacation online as we can do that at home.

 

There's no Flow Rider on Enchantment, right? (not sure we would use that anyway).  We already booked a 3-night package and since there is only one specialty dining restaurant (Chops), we will have our fill of that.

 

I know there is priority seating at shows, but for the difference in cost?  I suppose that if you were to get 1 device for each person at the regular, pre-cruise price (2 x $68 = $136), the difference might be worth the extra $.

 

 

The way I looked at it was a 2 device surf+stream package was $199 CAD. The key was $419 CAD so a $220 CAD difference. Chops grille lunch is $59 CAD for two. So the real difference is $161 CAD or $80 CAD/each for me and my wife. 

 

So for $80 CAD each, these are the remaining benefits.

 

Priority check-in/boarding
Private flow-rider/rockclimbing (I don't know if that extends to NorthStar/Seaplex/iFly)
Priority tender at CocoCay 
Front row no reservation seating at shows
Choice debarkation with exclusive breakfast.

 

For us, that is a small price to pay for a large reduction in travel stress. We are not staying in a suite and are not diamond/pinnacle members, so it made sense for us to maximize our vacation enjoyment.

 

In terms of why I chose a 2 device package instead of just a 1 device package, my wife wakes up quite a bit later than me, so after a morning run at 6am, I can explore the ship or sit somewhere and have her whatsapp me when she wakes up and decide a meet up point. In the evening, when I have downtime, I can also catch up with work without disconnecting her back and forth and without lugging around a travel router either.

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Im curious to hear from someone who has purchased "The KEY". My main interest is in the extra hours on the Flowrider. In the cruise planner its says the following: 

"Private hours at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more. The private hours schedule will be provided at check-in. "

So If you have purchased and used "The KEY" can you please share your experience with me? 

 

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Biker posted about Key sessions on the ill-fated Noro Oasis sailing last week.  I don’t remember the exact number of Key flowrider sessions there were, but it was a nice perk for those with the Key.

 

jc

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I guess a new post on this topic is not allowed?? My new post was somehow moved to the end of this lengthy post. I wasn't  looking for a bunch of opinions of the program, that is why I started a new thread. I am looking to hear from people who have used the program and get their feedback based on their personal experience.

 

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6 minutes ago, amyhphoto said:

I guess a new post on this topic is not allowed?? My new post was somehow moved to the end of this lengthy post. I wasn't  looking for a bunch of opinions of the program, that is why I started a new thread. I am looking to hear from people who have used the program and get their feedback based on their personal experience.

 

Probably because mixed in this thread are people also reporting back on their experience. There have only been a few sailings with The Key so far, so not a ton of reports yet, but if you read through the more recent ones, you'll see photos, and comments on how it worked on certain sailings over the last few weeks.  --ETA that some of those posts answer your questions directly.  

Edited by rockmom

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5 hours ago, RCFirstTimer said:

I may be in the minority based on the response on this topic, but I'm not seeing the cost/benefit ratio that you all are seeing.  Right now, for our Feb 18 sailing on Enchantment, I already purchased internet for 1 device when it was on sale for a total of $48 (reg pre-cruise price is $68) for the cruise.  If I dropped that and purchased the Key for 2 people, it would cost $160.

 

Between the two of us, we don't really need more than 1 device connected (for emergency contact with home) and we certainly don't spend our vacation online as we can do that at home.

 

There's no Flow Rider on Enchantment, right? (not sure we would use that anyway).  We already booked a 3-night package and since there is only one specialty dining restaurant (Chops), we will have our fill of that.

 

I know there is priority seating at shows, but for the difference in cost?  I suppose that if you were to get 1 device for each person at the regular, pre-cruise price (2 x $68 = $136), the difference might be worth the extra $.

 

I think cost/benefit ratio is very individual. Different people put maximum value on different things.  We are a family of 6, would have purchased 6 internet packages anyway.

 

I don't think any of us are going to utilize the special hours on any of the activities, so the extra hours has no value to us.  Whether a ship has a flow rider or not is insignificant to us.

 

However, the ability to not have to make reservations and to not stand in line for good seats is priceless for us on a vacation. I didn't even run the numbers, I just bought it for that perk alone.

 

Others may love planning their cruises, love the thrill of getting there early (even 5 minutes earlier) to get better seats, so would not see any value in that perk and would actually be disappointed if the fun planning part was taken away.

 

It is going to have value to some and for some, they cannot see the cost/value of the program.  Everyone has different priorities and they are all valid.

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