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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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Goodbye Royal Caribbean. There are many choices to be had in the leisure industry and my dollars will go elsewhere. A more equitable form of prioritizing would be to give early bookings first place in line. I'm afraid that " the Key " is just opening the door to other cruise availibilities.

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12 minutes ago, goalman said:

 I'm afraid that " the Key " is just opening the door to other cruise availibilities.

You know it's optional and limited (and could be cancelled at any time), right?

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7 hours ago, Biker19 said:

^ the priority boarding won’t eliminate any standing in line and within two months the pier at CocoCay should be usable eliminating tendering. 

 

The description said there is a separate waiting area. Priority, I assume, means faster than not priority.

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2 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

 

So you're spending $400 EXTRA to not make show reservations (that take 30 seconds to make) and HOPING you'll get more perks than they advertise?  I can't imagine they suddenly throw in more perks. 

 

That's a bad bet.  This is the most obvious rip off con program I've seen yet.  At least Carnival's program is one cost for the entire cabin, and the cabin is actually ready when you board.  

 

You'll save $50 on lunch.  Which by itself is an absurd price to pay for lunch on a cruise ship.  

 

I predict 6 months from now people will REFUSE to sail unless they can buy 'The Key' so they can drop off their carry on bags for $600...

 

Yes, focus in on the things I said would be added bonus and ignore all the other things I sad before that. 

 

And it it wasn’t so much not wanting to make reservations but the convenience of being able to get good seats without showing up half an hour before. 

Edited by aflyingbuttress

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Some people will find value in this program, while others won’t. It’s really that simple, and there’s no reason to get nasty if someone finds value in something you don’t!!

 

 

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1 hour ago, goalman said:

Goodbye Royal Caribbean. There are many choices to be had in the leisure industry and my dollars will go elsewhere. A more equitable form of prioritizing would be to give early bookings first place in line. I'm afraid that " the Key " is just opening the door to other cruise availibilities.

ANY type of prioritizing will be inequitable in someone’s mind. Early bookings? I’m sorry- my husband has been sick for 5 years, so we can’t early book. When he’s well, we plan a trip- several of which have had to be cancelled. So in my mind, that way of prioritizing isn’t very equitable either. 

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11 minutes ago, aflyingbuttress said:

 

The description said there is a separate waiting area. Priority, I assume, means faster than not priority.

Everyone has a waiting area in which they can sit. You might save a few minutes getting on board but it would make no diff to anyone with mobility issues.

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1 minute ago, Biker19 said:

Everyone has a waiting area in which they can sit. You might save a few minutes getting on board but it would make no diff to anyone with mobility issues.

 

Ok. I’m listening. Then what is “priority” boarding? Is it just a blatant lie? Serious question. Not being snarky. 

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12 minutes ago, aflyingbuttress said:

 

Yes, focus in on the things I said would be added bonus and ignore all the other things I sad before that. 

 

And it it wasn’t so much not wanting to make reservations but the convenience of being able to get good seats without showing up half an hour before. 

The point is you are already giving value to benefits Royal has never said would be added; just ones you'd like to see added.  That's irrational logic.  If it is advertised you should expect it.  but if it isn't advertised why would you think it would suddenly be included? 

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Just now, aflyingbuttress said:

 

Ok. I’m listening. Then what is “priority” boarding? Is it just a blatant lie? Serious question. Not being snarky. 

 

Priority boarding is likely just being called 5-10 minutes earlier than the rest of queue.  Any time I've arrived at port at 11AM or after there aren't lines and we walk right on.  I don't know if I am 10th or 500th on the ship, but I don't have any wait.   Priority boarding might be something that gets someone onboard a few minutes earlier if they are showing up at terminal to be very first to check in, otherwise it has a very short shelf life.  So while not a blatant lie, it's not really much of anything of value.  

 

Frankly, I am surprised that rooms available at boarding is not a part of the program for the cost.

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5 minutes ago, LMaxwell said:

The point is you are already giving value to benefits Royal has never said would be added; just ones you'd like to see added.  That's irrational logic.  If it is advertised you should expect it.  but if it isn't advertised why would you think it would suddenly be included? 

 

Look, I am capable of critical thinking and just because I said I was hoping for something doesn’t mean that I added it to the value. I considered it for what they said was included. 

Edited by aflyingbuttress

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My wife and I purchased the Key service for our upcoming cruise in 18 days on the Oasis. I'm very interested in the service as it relates to some of the reviews regarding early debarkation at the ports! I, too, will offer a review upon our return!

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And I didn’t think it would suddenly be included. The description says “Private hours at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more”. That more part could be North Star. Or it might not be. I don’t know. But I can hope without that transforming to a certainty in my mind. 

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The real issue is not that people will pay a price for additional amenities.  Anyone that has boarded a ship....ever, should not be surprised by this.  It has become much more prevalent in the past 10 years, but was still on the "other side of the line" as far as impacting your vacation; it was an option to add more at a cost.  If you did not buy it, no problem, it's just a choice.  More convenience at a price. 

 

However now what the cruise lines are doing is "crossing the line" in bundling some of these amenities/areas/experiences by reducing availability of what was available to all as part of their cruise fare on an even basis.  Now to support this program Royal must set aside more seating in theaters for those with priority, they must reduce the time Rockwall or Flowrider are available for open sessions, eliminate use of public space onboard to create private "departure" lounges.  So now you have people not opting to buy in be somewhat negatively impacted, but maybe nothing that breaks the camels back. 

 

So what comes next?  Well, just steal another page from the Carnival playbook and introduce staggered check in times; if you arrive more than 15 minutes ahead of your slot you can not enter the terminal.  A lot of fun standing outside in Miami in the summer when you are arbitrarily barred from a terminal.  Book your cruise later?  Get a later time slot.  Flight lands 10AM or you have to leave a hotel and have a 2:30PM check in?  Too bad.  Wait.  However you can purchase Faster to the Fun for $59-109 and bypass the assigned check in times; see, problem solved.  I mean Carnival created the problem out of nowhere and then you could pay to avoid it.  

 

Royal will do the same thing:  They are introducing inconvenience to the masses while solving the inconvenience for a hefty fee, optionally, of course.  

 

Wait until Oasis hits Bayonne; I bet you see staggered check in appointments enforced like Carnival by then.  2 years.  Bookmark it 

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8 minutes ago, LMaxwell said:

So what comes next?  Well, just steal another page from the Carnival playbook and introduce staggered check in times; if you arrive more than 15 minutes ahead of your slot you can not enter the terminal. 

They already have "suggested" arrival times - they just don't enforce it.

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1 minute ago, Biker19 said:

They already have "suggested" arrival times - they just don't enforce it.

Things that would have been laughable to charge for 5 years ago are now very much in play. 

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25 minutes ago, aflyingbuttress said:

 

Ok. I’m listening. Then what is “priority” boarding? Is it just a blatant lie? Serious question. Not being snarky. 

Depends on your vision of "priority" - compared to the rest of the masses, sure, you'll get on board before them, but what does that get you? A somewhat empty ship for maybe 10 min? What value do you place on that? This is not like a plane where you have to worry about running out of good seats (a la SW) or overhead bin space.

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2 minutes ago, LMaxwell said:

Things that would have been laughable to charge for 5 years ago are now very much in play. 

The same could be said about the airline industry.

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3 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Depends on your vision of "priority" - compared to the rest of the masses, sure, you'll get on board before them, but what does that get you? A somewhat empty ship for maybe 10 min? What value do you place on that? This is not like a plane where you have to worry about running out of good seats (a la SW) or overhead bin space.

 

‘I was thinking the actual process of getting onto the ship would take less time. I don’t particularly care when I get on, except I’d want to make that chops lunch. I was hoping to minimize the amount of time from parking to walking on the ship. I guess it sounds like that wouldn’t be the case though. 

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24 minutes ago, LMaxwell said:

Wait until Oasis hits Bayonne; I bet you see staggered check in appointments enforced like Carnival by then.  2 years.  Bookmark it 

 

Can Oasis go to Bayonne? I was under the impression that it couldn’t because it can’t sail under the bridges. 

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6 minutes ago, aflyingbuttress said:

 

Can Oasis go to Bayonne? I was under the impression that it couldn’t because it can’t sail under the bridges. 

A 400+ post thread about the subject: 

 

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Having been on the Oasis twice I know that the flowrider is not crowded all the time, so there would be time for Key members. I also know they only hold the seats at shows for a certain amount of time and then open the not taken seats to the people waiting in line.  Having been in several waiting rooms to board a ship I know that general boarding is theater style with rows of chairs.  To take a small area and make it a little different would not interfer with any waiting area.  I know the Star Class area at Bayonne is just a little group of chairs by the coffee machine.  Nothing special, just different chairs and a little more room between them.  Why should pre-boarding with the Key be any different than the Carnival FTTF program.  You can pay for that even if you were the last person to book a room if it is still available.  Why then would you expect Royal to only let early bookers get on first.  Everyone wants equality but just look at any posting and the Pinnacle, D+ and D people all want a nice room to go to and get their free drinks and when it is crowded because of all the other D and up people on board they complain.  I get the loyalty idea, but loyalty went out of style way back when corporations stopped being loyal to their employees.  What I have not seen much of is a Star Class person complaining about not getting on board early, not having to wait in line for the flow rider, not waiting in line for a show, not having to eat at the windjammer (it is buffet food).  If this program is not used then it will go away but if there are people who want a little better experience and are willing to pay for it then it will probably stick around.  No different that any Carnival program, or NCL or whichever line you choose.  Compare it to your airline flight, you can pay less and sit in regular seating or pay more and be in first class.  On some airlines you can pay an inbetween amount and be in Business seating.  Why not complain to American that their class program is unfair and you want to board when they let first class on. 

If you do not want to use the Key program then don't use it but stop whining about the people who see value in it.  On Oasis and Quantum class we sail Star Class.  Do I feel bad because my granddaughter gets at the front of the line 3 or 4 times for the bumper cars, no because I have paid for her to do that. Would I be upset because some Key person went to the front of the line, no because they paid for the right.  So either sign up for the Key program or not but don't complain.  If it is that bad to to another line and then you will find things there that are  unfair also.

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  • The Key just became available for our cruise in February on the Jewel.  I just don't think the benefits are worth it for this size ship.  I still was surprised to see it become available in the cruise planner.

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3 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

However now what the cruise lines are doing is "crossing the line" in bundling some of these amenities/areas/experiences by reducing availability of what was available to all as part of their cruise fare on an even basis.  Now to support this program Royal must set aside more seating in theaters for those with priority, they must reduce the time Rockwall or Flowrider are available for open sessions, eliminate use of public space onboard to create private "departure" lounges.  So now you have people not opting to buy in be somewhat negatively impacted, but maybe nothing that breaks the camels back. 

 

 They are introducing inconvenience to the masses while solving the inconvenience for a hefty fee, optionally, of course.  

 

 

This is what I am worried about.  We are introducing the rest our family  to RCCL after being avid Disney cruisers.  For anyone who has sailed both, you know that Disney doesn't really have many extras, restaurants, or perks for a fee.  Most everything is included in your fare. I know many like the for fee dining and having so many options but that isn't us, especially when we feel like the mdr food is not up to par on royal (subjective!)   It has been a worry of mine that these differences would already be a bit hard to swallow for everyone coming on our trip with us considering Royal base prices are just as high as Disney if not more on the newer ships and service/food is definitely not equal in my or my husband's mind.  Now I sound like a whiner who should just go back to Disney 🙂  But I liked Anthem when I went on a tour, and we want Bermuda without flying to port so ...

 

I guess if they only earmark a small period of time each day on these activities it may not really effect us in the general population.  But depending on how many people buy the Key, will they have 3 different hour long "private" blocks on the rock wall for example thus causing us to have larger crowds and waits?  Or only half of the theater is available to make reservations for because so many purchased Key so some won't be able to make reservations?    I'm all for people paying for debarkation, embarkation etc but it is the other activities that concern me.  Hopefully it will not cheapen our experience any because this sailing sure was not inexpensive at all.   I would hate to feel like I am being treated like I purchased the cheap seats if you know what I mean.  

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