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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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I booked the key on Harmony for April 2019 cruise in December, I think it was at a discounted rate, can't remember for sure at this point. My cruise planner has ALWAYS stated that reservations are required for some venues on board even with the key, and that some venues would not be included with the key, such as the comedy club.  If you've never been on one of the larger boats you have to make reservations for these shows anyway, however there is no "reserved" seating. You get there, get in line, they scan your card to be sure you have reservations for that time, then you race everyone else to find a decent seat with a good view. The perk of the key is the RESERVED seating, therefore you can arrive later and still be guaranteed a good seat. Also, maybe you can reserve for multiple shows then choose at the last minute if you actually want to go...maybe not, we shall find out. Also all of the shows are not offered all week on the larger boats as they do change out entertainment throughout the cruise so you still have to have some planning if you want to see everything or have specific shows you don't wanna miss. Just remember, the big boats (Oasis/Harmony class) don't operate the same as the smaller boats for obvious reasons. Also, with this being a new program I'm sure lots of changes will be made within the first year or so of the roll out to improve upon the guest experience. If you don't wanna be a guinea pig then don't sign up for awhile. Last thing, last cruise I took on Oasis the entertainment could not be reserved until about 60 days out, maybe even later than that so if you're outside of that time frame and don't see entertainment yet I wouldn't freak out. Just log in daily to ensure you know as soon as the stuff is posted. With the key or without this is the best way to ensure you're not late on picking times, etc. I cruise April 7 on Harmony and will post my impressions after my cruise.

Happy Sailing!!

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My September 3rd Symphony cruise has the new wording regarding reservations required and lunch in either Chops or Jamies. Thank you to everyone about the heads up. I might not have checked otherwise. I was excited about the no reservations needed but I will still keep the program as I like all the other perks.

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10 minutes ago, Orsino said:

So I went into my cruise planner to double check that my shows are still there (they are). The Key verbiage on my cruise still indicates No Reservations required for Main Theater, AquaTheater and Studio B. My cruise is 10 Feb, so they might be pushing the changes later in the calendar. Since we are sailing in less than 2 weeks it would be nonsensical to change it this late.

 

Verbiage has changed for my cruise leaving Feb 17 (as well as addition of 2nd restaurant).  It was not available when I was on this morning, now it is available again.  

 

Summary of your benefits: 
• Priority check-in and boarding. Upon your arrival at the terminal, follow The Key check-in signage to your designated waiting area. 
• Carry-on bag drop off and delivery to stateroom. Drop-off located in main theater onboard and available until 1:30pm. Up to 2 carry-on bags per guest. 
• Exclusive embarkation lunch at a specialty dining venue. Choose between a Steakhouse (Chops Grille) or Italian (Giovanni’s Table or Jamie’s Italian depending on your ship). You can select your venue of choice once onboard. Seating is first come, first served from 11:30am – 1:30pm. 
• Private hours at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more. The private hours schedule will be provided at check-in. 
• Priority port of call debarkation. 
• Reserved VIP seating at shows in the Main Theater, AquaTheater and Studio B. You must reserve your tickets in advance in the Entertainment section of Cruise Planner up to 72 hours before your sailing or onboard the ship. 
• VOOM ® Surf & Stream 1 Device high speed internet. 
• Choice debarkation with exclusive A La Carte breakfast from 6:30 am – 9:00 am.

 

 

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So is the conventional wisdom that The Key being unavailable for a while and now is available again is related to More Keys? Or was it a general block while they updated the verbiage?

 

FTR, 10Feb2019 Oasis Key is still 'check onboard' i.e., sold out.

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I know there is already a thread on The Key program but I thought a new thread was needed to notify people that have purchased The Key that there have been some changes made that could adversely affect you If you are not aware of them. The most important one is that you are required to make reservations for the shows up to 72 hours prior to your cruise. Previously it stated that you DID not have to have reservations. If you have purchased The Key go back and to the cruise planner and read the details so you are aware of the changes. I would hate to see people miss shows because they were not aware of the changes. Sounds like we may have to continue checking for new changes as this is a new program and they will probably continue to tweek it.

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1 minute ago, Orsino said:

So is the conventional wisdom that The Key being unavailable for a while and now is available again is related to More Keys? Or was it a general block while they updated the verbiage?

 

FTR, 10Feb2019 Oasis Key is still 'check onboard' i.e., sold out.

 

Allure for Feb 17 has gone  to "check onboard" and back to available again a few times over the last few weeks.  

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We purchased this Saturday along with several other couples and the verbiage has changed since then on the show reservations.  I am thinking they will have the seats set aside, you just have to let them know you are coming via the "reservations" on the planner or on the ship.

 

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Original terms with no reservations needed, and today’s version. I guess they found out that the reserved seating area was difficult to manage, which I do understand, but it still does remove one of the major benefits IMO

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On 1/4/2019 at 5:37 AM, KevinOMReb said:

Correct.  High speed internet is 14 a day. That leaves 5.99. The Chops Grille lunch is $25. That’s $3.50 a day. Now it’s $2.50 a day for early on and off, no wait seating and dedicated times for flowrider, wall and zip.   Well worth it for a family of two. 

Voom surf & stream for 2 devices (1 device per adult) is $19.99/day. $279.86 for 2 The Key - $139.93 for 2 Voom surf & stream - $50 (for 2 lunches in Chops Grille) = $89.93. Is it worth it to pay $89.93 for the reserved seating in the 3 shows of Anthem of the Seas, and dedicated times on Ziplining and Rockclimbing? (I wouldn't do the flowrider but would bumper cars or skating have dedicated times?) Emerald members also get priority check in at embarkation, but is this check-in that much better? I need to decide if I want to purchase the Key also! Help please. 

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2 hours ago, RG306 said:

Our symphony nov 30,2019 are still the same but I don’t expect them to stay that way lol. 

Well that didn't take long, it's now changed to the new terms.

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37 minutes ago, TennisCruiser62 said:

Voom surf & stream for 2 devices (1 device per adult) is $19.99/day. $279.86 for 2 The Key - $139.93 for 2 Voom surf & stream - $50 (for 2 lunches in Chops Grille) = $89.93. Is it worth it to pay $89.93 for the reserved seating in the 3 shows of Anthem of the Seas, and dedicated times on Ziplining and Rockclimbing? (I wouldn't do the flowrider but would bumper cars or skating have dedicated times?) Emerald members also get priority check in at embarkation, but is this check-in that much better? I need to decide if I want to purchase the Key also! Help please. 

 

For me, absolutely not!

First off, we've never had an issue with the Windjammer on embarkation day (and no desire for lunch at Chops), so the difference for us would be $139.93.

 

We don't flowride or rock climb, and prefer real ziplining to the cute little thing they have on the ships.

 

I don't need to be first off the ship in the morning: I'll sleep in a bit and enjoy a relaxing breakfast, thank you.

 

We're "only" Diamond, but I've never had an issue with terrible lines at embarkation.

 

And I MOST DEFINITELY do not want to sit in the first three rows at the shows, which is where priority, reserved seating is. The only benefit I saw, at first, was with not having to reserve your entertainment in advance, but it appears that is now not the case.

 

Clearly, others' mileage will vary, but this is a paid perk that would NEVER be worth it to me.
 

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Has anyone actually taken advantage of " Priority port of call debarkation".  We're looking at a European cruise next year and if this is actually the case at all ports of call, it would be worth it to us.  

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We will be enjoying The Key on our Symphony sailing in March.  Any opinions on whether to dine at Jamie's or Chops for lunch?  We have never sailed Royal before, and were not planning to do any specialty dining.  It will be me and my teens (13 and 15).  

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21 minutes ago, Grenouille21 said:

We will be enjoying The Key on our Symphony sailing in March.  Any opinions on whether to dine at Jamie's or Chops for lunch?  We have never sailed Royal before, and were not planning to do any specialty dining.  It will be me and my teens (13 and 15).  

I suggest going into the Royal Caribbean app and look at both lunch menus for the current Symphony sailing. I am sailing on Symphony in August with The Key and while Chop's has a limited menu for lunch I want to try their fillet mignon.

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I’m currently on The Anthem and thought I’d drop in to report my Key experience so far. I paid $19.99 per day for The Key for our trip. I’d already had purchased internet packages and lunch at Chops so the difference in cost was minimal at that point. 

 

Priority Embarkation was indeed priority. We arrived early and were checked in where the suite guests and the higher classes of the crown and anchor society (not sure what they’re called) are checked in. We then waited in an area with chairs until the ship was ready to board. It was nice because we had a place to sit and I didn’t need to wait on a line at all. That was my main concern because I have health issues and really needed the process to be quicker and less trying on my body than a lengthy wait in line. We heard someone mention the 0 count on the ship right around 10 am and we were the first people to head onto the boat at 10:30. That part was great. 

 

When we boarded, we were directed to a table nearby where a man had an envelope for me, which included a paper with all the key benefits, and all of my groups internet package information. There was also a schedule of the private experiences for key members on the rock wall, flow rider, and I fly. The ifly was not included in the benefits print when I first bought the key so that was an extra. 

 

On day 2 we had a complimentary fruit basket delivered to our room. It included bananas, apples, a plum, an orange, a kiwi, and some grapes. 

 

Weve also gotten notification for priority disembarkation or tendering at the ring at the next two ports (Nassau and Coco Cay) and it looks like you truly do get to be in the first group getting off the ship. 

 

When we bought the key, the description boasted that there was no need to make show reservations and that there would be a special seating area just for people with the key. When we boarded, we discovered the verbiage had changed (as had been noted in some previous posts) and that we no needed reservations. Luckily I had made some anyway or that would probably have been an annoyance for me because I wanted to play it by ear and I not having to make reservations would have helped with that. So that was a selling point for me, which I’mDisappointed I didn’t get. We’ve attended two shows and both times asked to be seated in Key seating. It’s the same section as all the suite guests and guests with platinum or whatever they call it. The first time I was extremely disappointed in the seats. It was upstairs and a lot of seats were already taken once we arrived so the only place to sit was right behind a huge pole where we could see nothing. We moved but we’re no longer in the key area, making that benefit not worth it, at least for that show. 

 

For the next show, we went to cafe 270. The seating was better,  but the woman letting us sit there didn’t seem to understand how the key program worked. She did let us in but as if she were doing us a favor. The seating area was also not that great. There was a section at the front of the stage where you couldn’t see what was happening from upstairs where we were sitting. I assumed both shows would have great viewing, but it wasn’t the case. 

 

So far, I’m not overly impressed. Better seating at the shows would have made it infinitely better. If you’re getting internet packages it’s more worth it. Otherwise I would probably not invest in it again. I say probably because I need to finish out the trip to be sure. I’ll post an update if things change. 

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26 minutes ago, aflyingbuttress said:

 

When we bought the key, the description boasted that there was no need to make show reservations and that there would be a special seating area just for people with the key. When we boarded, we discovered the verbiage had changed (as had been noted in some previous posts) and that we no needed reservations. Luckily I had made some anyway or that would probably have been an annoyance for me because I wanted to play it by ear and I not having to make reservations would have helped with that. So that was a selling point for me, which I’mDisappointed I didn’t get. We’ve attended two shows and both times asked to be seated in Key seating. It’s the same section as all the suite guests and guests with platinum or whatever they call it. The first time I was extremely disappointed in the seats. It was upstairs and a lot of seats were already taken once we arrived so the only place to sit was right behind a huge pole where we could see nothing. We moved but we’re no longer in the key area, making that benefit not worth it, at least for that show. 

 

For the next show, we went to cafe 270. The seating was better,  but the woman letting us sit there didn’t seem to understand how the key program worked. She did let us in but as if she were doing us a favor. The seating area was also not that great. There was a section at the front of the stage where you couldn’t see what was happening from upstairs where we were sitting. I assumed both shows would have great viewing, but it wasn’t the case. 

 

Very helpful info re the seating location, as this will probably be the deciding factor for us. Can you specify the shows -- was the first one The Gift? Would be curious to hear where Key seating is for We Will Rock You and whether it would be considered a prime location. Seems like not necessarily prime for the two shows you've already attended. Thanks and hope you have a terrific time!

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1 hour ago, aflyingbuttress said:

I’m currently on The Anthem and thought I’d drop in to report my Key experience so far. I paid $19.99 per day for The Key for our trip. I’d already had purchased internet packages and lunch at Chops so the difference in cost was minimal at that point. 

 

Priority Embarkation was indeed priority. We arrived early and were checked in where the suite guests and the higher classes of the crown and anchor society (not sure what they’re called) are checked in. We then waited in an area with chairs until the ship was ready to board. It was nice because we had a place to sit and I didn’t need to wait on a line at all. That was my main concern because I have health issues and really needed the process to be quicker and less trying on my body than a lengthy wait in line. We heard someone mention the 0 count on the ship right around 10 am and we were the first people to head onto the boat at 10:30. That part was great. 

 

When we boarded, we were directed to a table nearby where a man had an envelope for me, which included a paper with all the key benefits, and all of my groups internet package information. There was also a schedule of the private experiences for key members on the rock wall, flow rider, and I fly. The ifly was not included in the benefits print when I first bought the key so that was an extra. 

 

On day 2 we had a complimentary fruit basket delivered to our room. It included bananas, apples, a plum, an orange, a kiwi, and some grapes. 

 

Weve also gotten notification for priority disembarkation or tendering at the ring at the next two ports (Nassau and Coco Cay) and it looks like you truly do get to be in the first group getting off the ship. 

 

When we bought the key, the description boasted that there was no need to make show reservations and that there would be a special seating area just for people with the key. When we boarded, we discovered the verbiage had changed (as had been noted in some previous posts) and that we no needed reservations. Luckily I had made some anyway or that would probably have been an annoyance for me because I wanted to play it by ear and I not having to make reservations would have helped with that. So that was a selling point for me, which I’mDisappointed I didn’t get. We’ve attended two shows and both times asked to be seated in Key seating. It’s the same section as all the suite guests and guests with platinum or whatever they call it. The first time I was extremely disappointed in the seats. It was upstairs and a lot of seats were already taken once we arrived so the only place to sit was right behind a huge pole where we could see nothing. We moved but we’re no longer in the key area, making that benefit not worth it, at least for that show. 

 

For the next show, we went to cafe 270. The seating was better,  but the woman letting us sit there didn’t seem to understand how the key program worked. She did let us in but as if she were doing us a favor. The seating area was also not that great. There was a section at the front of the stage where you couldn’t see what was happening from upstairs where we were sitting. I assumed both shows would have great viewing, but it wasn’t the case. 

 

So far, I’m not overly impressed. Better seating at the shows would have made it infinitely better. If you’re getting internet packages it’s more worth it. Otherwise I would probably not invest in it again. I say probably because I need to finish out the trip to be sure. I’ll post an update if things change. 

Thanks for the update while you're still on your cruise. I'm still deciding what to do. We have Emerald status, not very high but we get a little break in boarding (special line). Since they added iFly, that sounds good. Let me know if they add bumper cars! Good luck with seating for the We Will Rock You show. I hope you get better seats without having to show up 30 minutes prior. Enjoy your cruise and thanks again!

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17 hours ago, October17 said:

Ugh, the Key benefits changed for my Harmony April 14th sailing as well. Reservations are now REQUIRED minimum 72 hrs before (or onboard) 😞 not happy the deciding factor booking Key for the seven of us was not having to plan entertainment. I have screenshots of both versions. 😞

 

And no entertainment available to book yet, 75 days to go.

If that was the deciding factor, the good thing for you is that it is easy on RC's cruise planner to cancel and get your money back.

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17 hours ago, Alicialee05 said:

 

Allure for Feb 17 has gone  to "check onboard" and back to available again a few times over the last few weeks.  

I suspect that this is the result of people who had purchased "The Key" changing their mind and cancelling thus making it available again. Then others doing the same and so on.  

Edited by Tree_skier

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35 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I suspect that this is the result of people who had purchased "The Key" changing their mind and cancelling thus making it available again. Then others doing the same and so on.  

Which is a question I have. What is the cut off for refunding. And what Is the Opening reservation window for shows? Will I have time to refund If I don’t get the show nites I want?  Is it 90 days, some at 75 and still can’t book? TA had no andwer either 

Rccl surely lacking Communication since No update to purchasers ( that I’ve seen) since they changed a fundamental part of the Offer)  I get they can change, but not notify guest, just  feels wrong. 

Edited by cre8tiv
Update

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Anybody else starting to think the ‘Key’ is a tester by RCI for bigger  changes down the line.

 

It seems a lot of hassle for little reward. If they make $7 dollars a day off it per person thats roughly $5k for the week for all the hassle of organising carry on drop off/delivery, reserved seating etc. A couple of hours of a $10 t shirt sale would make them that!

 

I may be very wrong (and apologies for going off topic) but I have a nagging feeling this is the start of a bigger programme of us paying separately for activities and experiences on board generally.

Edited by Tin can

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1 hour ago, Tree_skier said:

If that was the deciding factor, the good thing for you is that it is easy on RC's cruise planner to cancel and get your money back.

 

Duh. No advice requested in my post. I am not posting “oh my whatever shall I do now?!” in a bimbo voice. I am merely stating a fact. I was under the impression that this thread is about The Key program and the benefits offered. 

 

This is such a lovely and welcoming forum. 

 

 

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The wording for the Key on my Liberty sailing for Feb 17 has not changed. It still says you do not need reservations, and there's nowhere in my cruise planner to make reservations.

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