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New Program called "The Key"

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3 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Once folks started reporting that the Key seats are in the same area as suites/P then you know there are seating issues - which on some ships/venues has been known to be not so good. The perks never said you are getting good seats.

 

The wording I’ve seen would imply that you are getting the best seats.

 

Taken from the website. 

 

Start your day off right with priority port of call debarkation. Then score the best seats in the house for our onboard shows when you reserve your spot in Cruise Planner up to 72 hours before your sailing.

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54 minutes ago, Cruising Steve said:

Just came back from Symphony of the Seas yesterday. Here are some photos of how the Key was being ran on Symphony.

Overall, my wife and I were pretty satisfied with the Key, but it definitely needs some more tweaks. 

 

PRIORITY BOARDING

- This was the most confusing thing about the program. It seems like they got rid of this benefit on Symphony. We asked four different people that we purchased the Key, and nobody knew what it was. Also, there were no signs indicating that the Key guests get priority boarding. As you can see on the benefit list below, it is not shown. However, regular boarding process was fairly quick and smooth. We got through everything in 10 minutes.

 

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DROP OFF CARRY-ON LUGGAGE

We headed to Royal Theater on Deck 4 to drop off our carry-on. They have a list of guests who purchased the Key and the VOOM code is also being distributed here. There were about 100 guests who purchased the Key according to the list, but we never ran into all 100 Key people throughout the trip. It was always the same 10 people that were actually utilizing the benefit to its fullest. 

 

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LUNCH AT CHOPS

 

Very enjoyable lunch. We both thought it was going to be super crowded after seeing the list, but it was surprisingly empty. (We went there around 1pm) Most of the other guests were Diamond members. 

 

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SHIP ACTIVITIES

 

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We definitely enjoyed all the private hours for onboard activities. Again, we ran into the same 10 ~ 15 Key people and never felt like there were 100 other Key guests. However, there weren't any signs indicating that it was for Key guests only, so there were always non-Key guests lining up to go next and the staff members had to tell them. 

 

 

VIP SEATING AT SHOWS

 

YOU DO NEED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS!! They block off a section for the Key guests, but you cannot seat there unless you have a reservation. We did not know this until after the first night. 

 

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You get a Key symbol on your seapass which is how they know that you purchased the Key.

 

 

THE KEY BREAKFAST

 

The breakfast was held at the main dining room on deck 4 for all Key guests. 

 

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LUGGAGE PICK UP AND CHOICE DEPARTURE

 

You get the Key luggage tags the day before your departure. We were able to enjoy the Key breakfast on our last day and skip the line to leave the ship. Our bags were waiting for us in a separate area for the Key guests. 

 

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Thanks for the post!!

 

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21 minutes ago, 37645 said:

 


Alright thanks. Then Key is much too expensive without much benefits from my perspective.

Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

It is another money scam.....but people will fall for it!:classic_rolleyes:

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17 minutes ago, mondas42 said:

 

The wording I’ve seen would imply that you are getting the best seats.

 

Taken from the website. 

 

Start your day off right with priority port of call debarkation. Then score the best seats in the house for our onboard shows when you reserve your spot in Cruise Planner up to 72 hours before your sailing.

 

Everyones interpretation of “best seats” varies.  Me I would not like sitting in the first 3 rows.

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1 hour ago, JezzaC said:

 

And to be honest that doesn't ruin my vacation. It only requires one discussion on board the ship. Yes I fully agree vacations should be relaxing and those are way more relaxing if I don't have to decide before hand and pre-book the show as the package was sold to me. 

 

And there are also different terms for the different markets. Royal Caribbean has to follow Europe legislation to be allowed the sell things here and based on that they have to inform customers before hand related to the change or otherwise it is a flaw in the service and it has to be compensated. So they are actually bound by law to make it right or inform changes immediately.

 

 

All correct but they will just laugh at you - on the ship.....nothing you can do at that point!:classic_rolleyes:

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6 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

 

Everyones interpretation of “best seats” varies.  Me I would not like sitting in the first 3 rows.

Agreed, but I would be rather annoyed if the “best seats” had restricted views as some have reported.

Edited by mondas42
Correction

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Just now, mondas42 said:

Agreed, but I would be rather annoyed if the best seats had restricted views as some have reported.

The reserved seats in the main theatre can be the first 3 rows in the upper balcony.  Unfortunately there are a couple of posts that block the view of a couple seats behind them. It’s not all the seats, jus a few so if you get there late and that’s all that’s left...

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1 minute ago, Thorben-Hendrik said:

All correct but they will just laugh at you - on the ship.....nothing you can do at that point!:classic_rolleyes:

 

Trust me - they don't actually laugh. Have been cruising with drinks package having different terms at the point when using it on the ship compared to the actual booking time. Same with dining packages - had booked in times when terms were different, they  followed the rules which were valid I made the booking - not the actual cruising time.

 

Laughing to customer isn't a part of the Royal Caribbean's hospitality. They will make things right on board. 

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1 minute ago, mondas42 said:

Agreed, but I would be rather annoyed if the best seats had restricted views as some have reported.

So far I have only seen one person who said their view was restricted.  Also for those that say when they get there the section is almost full, it does say in the description to arrive 15 minutes early.  I'll probably get there a little sooner and order a cocktail.  But if someone has a larger group that they want to sit together, it would make sense to get there sooner than later.  Like any other venue where there is a reserved 'section' versus actual reserved seats with seat numbers, the sooner you get there, the better shot you have at choosing a preferred seat.  I also think that one of the reasons they have now said that for Quantum and Oasis class that shows need to be reserved, is that they need to have an idea of how many to hold for suites, Pinnacles and then the reserved amount for Key holders.  As others have said, best seats are objective.  I worked in NYC for a long time and at Broadway shows you never want to be in the first three rows--you miss too much.  Having some elevation gives you the full view of everything going on during the show and also tends to have the best sound quality.  

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6 minutes ago, JezzaC said:

Laughing to customer isn't a part of the Royal Caribbean's hospitality. They will make things right on board. 

I totally disagree - service is not really that good ....YMMV:classic_rolleyes:

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I have the option to purchase The Key with an upcoming cruise on the Symphony in July.  I’ve read every page of this pthread and found some very helpful information.

 

To those who are posting details of their experience, I thank you.  I’m still uncertain if this is an option that would work for my family, but reading the details from this thread has helped me identify the pros and cons from my perspective.  

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2 hours ago, Cruising Steve said:

Just came back from Symphony of the Seas yesterday. Here are some photos of how the Key was being ran on Symphony.

Overall, my wife and I were pretty satisfied with the Key, but it definitely needs some more tweaks. 

 

PRIORITY BOARDING

- This was the most confusing thing about the program. It seems like they got rid of this benefit on Symphony. We asked four different people that we purchased the Key, and nobody knew what it was. Also, there were no signs indicating that the Key guests get priority boarding. As you can see on the benefit list below, it is not shown. However, regular boarding process was fairly quick and smooth. We got through everything in 10 minutes.

 

I'll be curious to hear more people report on the priority boarding as some have had it and some haven't - it certainly isn't the main reason we're trying Key on Indy next month but it was certainly one of the inviting perks that caught my attention!

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4 hours ago, Biker19 said:

The perk is lunch and I don't think anyone has reported being able to move it to another day.

 

 

Thank you for the correction.

 

Safe travels

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2 hours ago, tinkermom said:

Just got off Allure if the Seas and we decided to use our onboard credits to help purchase the new “Key” program access.  We definitely think it’s worth it.  It is almost like you are being treated like a suite guest.  Reserved seating at all shows was very nice so we didn’t have to get there early to get good seats. It was such a great boarding expernce and then we had a quiet lunch at Chops grill.  Our cabin was ready when we finished lunch so we went straight to our cabin from there.  Seemed like every time there was a line (except for the crazy Windjammer restaurant ) we just showed our seapass card that had a little key sticker on it , and we were taken another way and treated special.  Last night we were given special tags for our luggage and told we could get off the ship anytime from 7:30 - 10:30 am.  We had a special menu breakfast this morning in the Grand dining room on deck 4. After leaving the ship we were escorted through the suite exit and our luggage was in a special area.  

 

Just thought I would share our experience and thoughts in case anyone was considering purchasing the Key program.

 

Thank you for your post and glad it worked so well for you. Couple of follow-up questions: how early did you feel you needed to arrive for the main shows to get good seats -- just the 15 minutes early or more like 30? (And do you mind saying how many in your party?)  Also, curious what other kinds of lines did you get special treatment for? Thanks!

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Lunch after you board is a nice way to eat lunch without the crowds in the other dining areas. Only at chops but sure was a nice change from fighting the crowd at the Windjammer.

 

Forgot to mention each person has unlimited access to internet . Not just one device per cabin but each person.

 

I guess technically you don’t have to make reservations for the shows but we did. If you don’t have a show reservation you could enter the theater at 15 minutes before the show and there would still be seats in the Key area. They open up all seats left at 5 minutes before show.  For the question about where the seats are, on the allure they were the three rows of the raised area behind the sound booth. No poles on this ship and seats were great. 

 

We did have to put our luggage out the night before but we didn’t have to wait for our number to be called to get off ship. We could go as soon as ship cleared. Or we could lingered over breakfast and wait until later. We actually slept in since we didn’t have a flight to catch, went down to eat a little before 9 in the dinning room on 4, then took an elevator one floor up and got off with no lines , no crowds.  We were taken off the ship where it said suites and our luggage was right outside the elevator.  Immigration was using the new face recognition machines so we actually never took out our passports when we arrived or departed the ship.  It was easy! 

 

The Key seemed to make it a little easier and we definitely were treated great. 

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35 minutes ago, tinkermom said:

 

 

I guess technically you don’t have to make reservations for the shows but we did. If you don’t have a show reservation you could enter the theater at 15 minutes before the show and there would still be seats in the Key area. They open up all seats left at 5 minutes before show.  For the question about where the seats are, on the allure they were the three rows of the raised area behind the sound booth. No poles on this ship and seats were great. 

 

 

So at the 15 minute mark, it's your understanding that they will let in the KEY people into the shows if you don't have a reservation. So I assume they will just go to the front of the line of those (walk-in)people that have been waiting to go in without reservations prior.

So that would at least get you inside to see the show, may not get a seat in the reserved area if is is full but most likely you will be able to find 2 seats in the rest of the theatre before all the walk-ins come in. Sounds very doable.

 

We all know even when they take reservations pre cruise for the shows, they don't give out reservations for every seat.........cause they always allow walk-ins to come in.

 

Edited by Jimbo

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  • We will be looking at the Key when we sail in the Family Suite on Liberty.  It will be interesting to see exactly how that compares to Star Class.  In reading some of the posts I find it funny and interesting that suite guests now seem to be included in the same bad connotation.  As a suite guest we have never sat in the front row.  At the Aquatheater the best seats (in my opinion) are four or five rows back and even saying that the best seat is actually on the balcony of an A1.  The only time we did front row seats on Oasis was the ice show where my granddaughter was invited on the ice.  On Anthem we never sat in the front rows, always in the next tier up.  If you are with a group of people it would only make sense to arrive a little early than recommended to made sure you get the seats together.  If you show up just before the show then expect to take what is left over, don't complain because you do not get to sit together.  Royal changes their perks and programs about as often as the airlines do.  We just received notice that the flight we had booked to NJ have both been changed and not for the good.  Do I complain and not fly either way.  Some of you need to just get over it and enjoy your trip, not try to prove a point that in the end makes little difference.

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2 hours ago, mondas42 said:

Agreed, but I would be rather annoyed if the “best seats” had restricted views as some have reported.

 

 

The suite seats in the upper balcony on the Allure and Oasis are behind a railing that rests on the ledge up front on the balcony.

 

When you sit in the first 4 rows, you have to lean forward to see the complete stage.

When you take a break and rest back in your chair you see actors on stage from the waist up.

 

So, some of the suite seats are not prime real estate .

If it is a show we want to really see, we go early and sit on the main floor about 10 rows back middle.

 

No harm, no foul, they open up the suite seating area close to show starting so if people want they can move to these seats.

 

Safe travels

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Are all suite guests, D, D+, P required to make advance reservations? And, if so, is that also 72 hours before? Just curious.

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3 hours ago, cloggedDrain said:

I have the option to purchase The Key with an upcoming cruise on the Symphony in July.  I’ve read every page of this pthread and found some very helpful information.

 

To those who are posting details of their experience, I thank you.  I’m still uncertain if this is an option that would work for my family, but reading the details from this thread has helped me identify the pros and cons from my perspective.  

 

Getting on the Symphony at the new terminal in Miami is so quick and easy.  I think it took maybe 20 minutes from taxi to ship.  This was around 11:00 - 11:30.  We went directly to Park Cafe and while we didn't have a line by the time we left the line was out the door.  There are a lot of places to eat lunch on the Symphony.  Other class of ships not so much.

 

Good luck with your decision!

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Getting on the Symphony at the new terminal in Miami is so quick and easy.  I think it took maybe 20 minutes from taxi to ship. 


I’ve heard so many good things about the new terminal, and the check in process using the app, that the early boarding perk doesn’t seem to have much value (at least in Miami).

I wouldn’t normally buy the surf VOOM package for everybody, but we would eat at something other than WJ for lunch on the first day. This is something else we can do ourselves from what I understand.

I do like the idea of a leisurely breakfast before leaving the ship, while avoiding the rush. We never want to be the first ones off the ship on the final day, no flights to catch and just a short drive home me.

Is there breakfast available at other restaurants on the final morning? If so, our leisurely day could be done al a cart.


I’m really curious about: Priority port of call debarkation

I believe I originally read it was priority tender, now it seems like it will cover all ports (docked or tender). This is the most attractive perk to me, but I’m not sure this justifies the added expense.

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6 minutes ago, cloggedDrain said:

 

I do like the idea of a leisurely breakfast before leaving the ship, while avoiding the rush. We never want to be the first ones off the ship on the final day, no flights to catch and just a short drive home me.

Is there breakfast available at other restaurants on the final morning? If so, our leisurely day could be done al a cart.
 

 

The debarkation process as detailed above is a huge benefit of The Key in our opinion.  The line to get off the Symphony was the longest we have experienced.  Breakfast is available in several locations on the last morning.

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On 2/3/2019 at 4:21 PM, zooma said:

Are all suite guests, D, D+, P required to make advance reservations? And, if so, is that also 72 hours before? Just curious.

 

 

On Oasis and Allure you only need to make reservations for the comedy club.

 

All other shows------ your suite or Pinnacle status gets you the reserved area.  I am sorry I do not know about D+ if they are included, but I do know that D do not have this perk.

 

The window to open up reservations can happen as early as 12 weeks before you sail.

 

Safe travels.

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Just returned from HOS and had the Key.  Having the Key for Embarkation was great.  Special line, hardly anyone in it. Was on board in no time. We got there about 11 and were on the ship about 11:15. The regular line went on and on and on.  I have no idea how long they were in line.

Had lunch at Chops, it was amazing.  

I don't think the priority seating is that great in the Royal Theater, its the first 3 rows of the balcony and hardly anyone sat in the 1st row and very few in the 2nd.  You really cant see.  I would suggest sitting somewhere using the entrance on deck 3 and skipping the reserved seating.  Its not really needed at the Aqua theater in my opinion.  But the reserved seats did look like they were in a good spot.  You do need reservations in advance for the shows.  

Voom was great.

Debarkation was awesome.  Once again another special line and there wasn't anyone in it. We practically went straight through.  The line to get off was very long.  We didn't use the luggage tags as we opted to use the luggage valet.  Which was also awesome.  

Was it worth it, that's a personal preference and one I cant answer for each individual.  A decision you will have to make for yourself.  I will say for me it was worth it.  My time is valuable to me.

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Posting update while waiting for “the fine line” show in aqua theater to start, on Harmony. 

 

Check in was awesome.  Was able to skip a long security line. Essentially no waits to get on board. 

 

Chops lunch was also great. Nice not having to mess with the mad house in windjammer. 

 

Vip seating for our first show was not so great. That’s where I’m at now. We got here 20 minutes early and are told there are no vip seats left. They did not ask if we had reservations. There were 3 rows saved and it was completely full. They did do their best to find us some seats though. 

 

Hopefully this was a fluke and the “key” seating experience gets better. 

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