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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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1 hour ago, Tree_skier said:

Cool echo on this thread.

 

Made me laugh so hard I spilled my coffee!

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4 hours ago, JRondo said:

We recently used the key and were very happy for the reasons everyone has posted. I would do it again for debarkation and wifi alone, assuming they keep the price around $20/ppd.  

 

I really enjoy using Tripadvisor for travel and people told me to go to Cruise Critic.  I have found it very helpful in planning the cruise and activities.  I am disappointed by all the negativity.  I don't understand why people need to keep bashing RCCL.  If you don't like going on their ships, then don't  All places have perks if you want to spend money.  From going on a tour with a large group or paying extra for a private tour, getting first class seats, or spending more to go to the front seats in a concert.  It is how it all works.  I used the seating for the shows on Freedom.  I can tell you I was not impeding on suite guests as the area was not full for any of the shows.  Chops may have had more people than normal on embarkation day, I wouldn't know as this is only my second cruise, but it was very pleasant and not hectic at all.  

 

Anyway, I meant to do a real review, but so many great people have pointed out the positives of the key.  These are good for some people and not as important for all.  We are all different.  I kept following this thread to see what people thought of the key and to see if I had a similar experiences to others, so if i were to cruise again, I would know if the Key was as pleasant as it was on Freedom. 

 

Didn't mean to get preachy, just I love vacationing and planning trips and the negativity brings me down when I am trying to be in my happy place.

 

Happy vacationing!

Please tell me more!  I’m very interested in hearing about your positive experience.  I purchased the key for my family of 6 for our cruise on the Freedom next month and have been extremely curious about some of the details.  Did you get priority debarkation at the ports?  What other amenities did you enjoy?  Any and all details would be appreciated.  

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I have been following this thread since it's inception.  We have purchased "The Key" for our little 3 night cruise on Mariner next month.  Kind of as a test run. It seems that the value increases with a shorter cruise. Embarkation/Debarkation take on more meaning when you only have 3 days and the Chops lunch is of greater value as it is not spread across seven days of expense but only three.  We have a six night, on Adventure, scheduled for Dec. with extended family.  DD, SIL, and 3 grandchildren.  I'm not sure about purchasing it for that one yet.  A big part of the utility associated with "The Key" rests in the in fact that about 50% of the expense is gobbled up by the Voom Surf and Stream inclusion.  When you are already going to purchase internet access it really seems like a good deal.  That Dec. cruise on Adventure will have seven of us on board and while I'm sure that that my daughter and SIL would want internet I'm not sure about purchasing it for them and all the grandchildren (16,13,10) also just so that we can all have the same experience.  We are staying in three separate cabins.  Myself, DW and DGD (10) in our stateroom and the remaining four broken up into 2 other staterooms. I just can't see it working unless I am willing to spring for it for all 7 of us ($840)

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6 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I have been following this thread since it's inception.  We have purchased "The Key" for our little 3 night cruise on Mariner next month.  Kind of as a test run. It seems that the value increases with a shorter cruise.

I agree!  I just did the 3 night on the Mariner with the key.  It was actually cheaper for me (solo cruiser) to buy the The Key than to purchase the Voom package plus lunch.  The extra perks were a nice bonus including bypassing a very long tender line to Coco Cay.  Day 1 lunch in Chops was very relaxed.

 

some Key info from my recent cruise.   

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2642069-tr-mlife-free-cruise-the-key-mariner/?tab=comments#comment-56958160

 

enjoy.

Edited by sandystx

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I purchased the Key for an upcoming 7-night Med cruise that is port intensive and has 2 tender ports.  I don't want to wait 2+ hours to get off the ship or queue for a tender ticket.  It's a B2B, so won't be using the disembarkation benefits except for the Key breakfast the last morning.

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Here is a Key question.

 

Chops lunch / Jamies etc.  Let’s say on April 17, 2019, I am in Sydney Harbor or is it Harbour, and I am standing on the dock.  I board right behind the suites and Ps and ahead of myself a D+.  I get on board drop a bag or two and get a daily activity sheet, which says stand-up surfing on the Ovation from 12 to 2.  Can I eat my Chops lunch on day two or do I lose it when I opt to go flowride instead of eating?

 

This is an important question......🏄‍♂️

 

jc

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15 minutes ago, xpcdoojk said:

Here is a Key question.

 

Chops lunch / Jamies etc.  Let’s say on April 17, 2019, I am in Sydney Harbor or is it Harbour, and I am standing on the dock.  I board right behind the suites and Ps and ahead of myself a D+.  I get on board drop a bag or two and get a daily activity sheet, which says stand-up surfing on the Ovation from 12 to 2.  Can I eat my Chops lunch on day two or do I lose it when I opt to go flowride instead of eating?

 

This is an important question......🏄‍♂️

 

jc

I was told by a RCCL rep that you can use it another day if you can't make it.  I was also told by another you can use it another day if you choose.  I did not experience this as we used it on day 1.  On our cruise, the only Key time the first day was for Flowrider Boogie Boarding at 2:30, so after the lunch time.  I hope this helps a little.

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Thanks, but I literally am always in the flowrider line when it is open, except for when the line gets too long, so even if it is not a key time, I will be in the line, and that could cause me to miss lunch!  I have missed dinner when they schedule a stand-up evening event several times on the Anthem and Ovation in the past. I expect at least one of my pre-cruise bookings will be a no-show evening.

 

jc

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2 hours ago, sandystx said:

I agree!  I just did the 3 night on the Mariner with the key.  It was actually cheaper for me (solo cruiser) to buy the The Key than to purchase the Voom package plus lunch.  The extra perks were a nice bonus including bypassing a very long tender line to Coco Cay.  Day 1 lunch in Chops was very relaxed.

 

some Key info from my recent cruise.   

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2642069-tr-mlife-free-cruise-the-key-mariner/?tab=comments#comment-56958160

 

enjoy.

 

Appreciate the review, thanks!

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I am actually thinking of it, because I am a solo & it is a great way to get one device on the internet & a lunch & breakfast & some show stuff. Hopefully a much easier way through security; that I apparently as a Diamond have lost better privileges. 

 

Can someone who has used The Key, does it get u around the massive out the door main security line? I as a solo there is no way I can be in a 2 hour line @ Port Canaveral that I witnessed last September boarding Oasis. Some of the families looked like this line is worse than any attraction line in Orlando. 

 

 

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I've seen mentioned a few times that Diamond benefits have been reduced and added to the Key.  Anyone want to elaborate?  I haven't seen anything in the Key benefits that are currently Diamond benefits.  I really don't care about boarding after 100 Key cruisers.  

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5 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

Here is a Key question.

 

Chops lunch / Jamies etc.  Let’s say on April 17, 2019, I am in Sydney Harbor or is it Harbour, and I am standing on the dock.  I board right behind the suites and Ps and ahead of myself a D+.  I get on board drop a bag or two and get a daily activity sheet, which says stand-up surfing on the Ovation from 12 to 2.  Can I eat my Chops lunch on day two or do I lose it when I opt to go flowride instead of eating?

 

This is an important question......🏄‍♂️

 

jc

 

Just FYI that priority boarding doesn’t apply to Australian ports. I’m about to board Explorer on Sunday and I’m hoping that there is some sort of priority line but according to the T&C’s there isn’t. I’ll report back. 

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5 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

Here is a Key question.

 

Chops lunch / Jamies etc.  Let’s say on April 17, 2019, I am in Sydney Harbor or is it Harbour, and I am standing on the dock.  I board right behind the suites and Ps and ahead of myself a D+.  I get on board drop a bag or two and get a daily activity sheet, which says stand-up surfing on the Ovation from 12 to 2.  Can I eat my Chops lunch on day two or do I lose it when I opt to go flowride instead of eating?

 

This is an important question......🏄‍♂️

 

jc

 

Just FYI that priority boarding doesn’t apply to Australian ports. I’m about to board Explorer on Sunday and I’m hoping that there is some sort of priority line but according to the T&C’s there isn’t. I’ll report back. 

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54 minutes ago, joand452 said:

I've seen mentioned a few times that Diamond benefits have been reduced and added to the Key.  Anyone want to elaborate?  I haven't seen anything in the Key benefits that are currently Diamond benefits.  I really don't care about boarding after 100 Key cruisers.  

 

I am not aware of any “actual” reductions of benefits.  There is a lot of talk about “future” reductions of benefits, based on nothing more than peoples wishes, fears or other thoughts.  I am aware of actual additions to D benefits.  3 drinks at any bar, and now in many restaurants during the diamond times.   Most of the Key benefits are new.  The only reduction to D benefits I can think of is the Key boards before Ds.  Diamond is still a preferred short line, just not as preferred as the Key or Suites or Pinnacles.  

 

So, I am stuck with the time I have from my set sail pass login based on my D+ status?  Either way, I am not sure that there is a stand-up flowrider session, just not sure I am all that excited about a heavy steak lunch on boarding day.  The WJ craziness is sort of my personal expectation of the first day of the cruise.  I guess I sort of embrace the WJ walk through with no open tables and a mass of people dipping into pans of food nobody really wants to eat.

 

I am actually hopeing I can skip lunch and get it later when I am in need of pampering.

 

jc

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I just booked this for Our cruise on Harmony in August 2019.  I just think it makes it just the trip a little more special and makes you feel a little more special.  When you add up what the internet would have cost us it is not that mush more.

 

Regards

 

Vicki

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4 hours ago, M-H-B said:

 

Just FYI that priority boarding doesn’t apply to Australian ports. I’m about to board Explorer on Sunday and I’m hoping that there is some sort of priority line but according to the T&C’s there isn’t. I’ll report back. 

 

I'm thinking about booking The Key, For my cruise on the Ovation, sailing from Sydney in a few weeks. I would also be interested in knowing if there is priority boarding.

 

If there is no priority boarding I can see a lot of people missing out on the Chops Grills lunch.

Edited by Bronika
spelling

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3 hours ago, Bronika said:

 

I'm thinking about booking The Key, For my cruise on the Ovation, sailing from Sydney in a few weeks. I would also be interested in knowing if there is priority boarding.

 

If there is no priority boarding I can see a lot of people missing out on the Chops Grills lunch.

Boarding Ovation without The Key was easy and fast in December when we went on Ovation in Sydney.

 

Departure was also very efficient. 

 

Suspect you'd do fine without The Key on that cruise. The only hangup was the glut of folks awaiting transportation outside the terminal (taxi's shuttles, etc.). The Key won't help that experience.

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17 hours ago, Steeple01 said:

Please tell me more!  I’m very interested in hearing about your positive experience.  I purchased the key for my family of 6 for our cruise on the Freedom next month and have been extremely curious about some of the details.  Did you get priority debarkation at the ports?  What other amenities did you enjoy?  Any and all details would be appreciated.  

I want to start off that we started our adventure at Cortes Chocobar in San Juan - a restaurant that highlights chocolate in every meal. I had the Chalupitas de Mofongo.  Taco like shell made from plaintains.  It was amazing.  Also had the best chocolate shakes ever!  Anyway, to the cruise.  We arrived around 12:30.  There were not really long lines, maybe 20 deep, but we did get in the Key line, there was no one in the line, and were checked in right away.  I saw a small seating area for Key members, I assume if we had gotten there early we would have waited there.  We took our luggage to the theater and they tagged it.  It was delivered to our room before we finished lunch.  We went to Chops.  There were people there but it was not crowded.  We had the filet and it was amazing.  Also, had shrimp cocktail (they were huge) and cheesecake and molten chocolate cakes.  It was a nice start.   I went to several shows - Marquee, the Ice Show and One Upon a Time.  None were full, but I was able to walk in without reservations and sit in the suite/key seating area and had great seats.  They do not take reservations for the shows on Freedom, at least that I knew about.  We did not use the reserved times for flowrider, ice skating or rock climbing, so I can't comment.  Though each day there were reserved times.  Only two throughout the week for ice skating.  We did get a fruit plate, but I don't know if that was because we were in the Ben and Jerry's Sweet or because of the Key.   Our itinerary did not have tender ports, so there was no advantage at ports.  We got special luggage tags for the key the last night of the cruise and put our luggage out in the evening.  The next morning we decided to stay on board as long as possible since we had to be at the airport around 11:30.  We went to the dining room on deck 5 and had breakfast.  There was a menu for the Key.  Most items similar to regular MDR breakfasts, with the addition of steak and eggs and a crab eggs benedict.  I got the eggs and steak.  The steak was a mini filet and as good as the first day in Chops.  They did run out of the donuts my kids loved and smoothies.  We hung out until a little before 10.  We went to the lobby of the restaurant and waited about 15 minutes.  A representative came and took us to our luggage.  We passed hundreds of people, probably a 60-90 minute line.  Some were not too happy.  We got to our luggage which was in a separate area and went to the Key line for customs, again there was none.  We were in line first and it took literally one minute.  Now when you get outside all bets are off.  There was a huge line for taxis.  A driver of a small bus approached us and said he was leaving for the airport in 5 minutes, so we opted for that instead of waiting in the line for a taxi.  I would do it again for debarkation alone, but we like to be spoiled on vacation.  If we went on a longer cruise, then I may start to question.   Have fun!

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18 hours ago, Justmekaren918 said:

Can someone who has used The Key, does it get u around the massive out the door main security line? I as a solo there is no way I can be in a 2 hour line @ Port Canaveral that I witnessed last September boarding Oasis. Some of the families looked like this line is worse than any attraction line in Orlando. 

 

 

In my experience, specific to Oasis and Port Canaveral is no. The Key benefits do not start until after Security.

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5 minutes ago, Orsino said:

In my experience, specific to Oasis and Port Canaveral is no. The Key benefits do not start until after Security.

Perhaps it was not happening that day, but generally Key holders go into the Suite/P line in the terminal at PC before security.

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6 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Perhaps it was not happening that day, but generally Key holders go into the Suite/P line in the terminal at PC before security.

I can only report what I experienced. I asked multiple people and they all insisted we had to go through the standard line. I don't think expedited security can be counted upon.

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6 minutes ago, Orsino said:

I can only report what I experienced. I asked multiple people and they all insisted we had to go through the standard line. 

This could have been very early on, but the line is clearly marked - you don't even need to ask, just go to the suite line.

 

Granted, anything can happen on a certain sailing, but the above should be the norm for PC on Oasis.

Edited by Biker19

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1 minute ago, Biker19 said:

This could have been very early on, but the line is clearly marked - you don't even need to ask, just go to the suite line.

 

I'm curious if you can go through the suite line when going through security for the symphony in Miami.  Someone needs to try :)

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