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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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Posted (edited)
On 3/21/2019 at 10:02 AM, lluken said:

Just IMHO the Key does not seem to have value for us. We are Diamond, tho perks are diminishing

for us.  We always arrive early 10 to 10:30, enter Diamond line and are usually on the ship

within 20 or 30 min.  Once in Port Canaveral there was an inspection of the ship, and we had

to wait (with the masses) before boarding, but still took less than an hour.  

 

For disembarkation, just a nice word to your room steward to get early pass for disembarkation,

just usually after those carrying their own suitcases.  We use a porter to get thru immigration,

so just a tip there, and we're thru the terminal. No hassle

 

We do not use Flowrider, Rock climbing wall, etc. so wouldn't use that perk.  We don't have

trouble getting good theater seats, and many times it's just next to the Key seating,(which

was almost empty).

 

I cruise to be unplugged, so just get a 1 or 2 day pass for internet service to check with the office.

 Breakfast is always

served in MDR on disembarkation day, but we usually get just a bite in the Windjammer. 

 

I can see how some folks would appreciate this service, but doubt if it's for me.

We are Diamond also.   We just cruised on Navigator, 9nights.   We arrived at pier at 11:45am.  Diamond line very long as well as Suite line.   Royal did not START the embarkation process until 12:30.  However, those in The Key program were already embarking... as we saw them above walking onto the ship.   The Key has a private check-in room at port in Miami.   To bad the loyal Royal's don't get that treatment.   Carnival allows the higher tier levels (repeaters) to board first.... even before their similar Faster To The Fun program.   

Being loyal and getting the perks doesn't mean that much anymore.... just pay a little extra for it now. Go on a different line next time.  

Edited by SUSIEK

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7 hours ago, SUSIEK said:

We are Diamond also.   We just cruised on Navigator, 9nights.   We arrived at pier at 11:45am.  Diamond line very long as well as Suite line.   Royal did not START the embarkation process until 12:30.  However, those in The Key program were already embarking... as we saw them above walking onto the ship.   The Key has a private check-in room at port in Miami.   To bad the loyal Royal's don't get that treatment.   Carnival allows the higher tier levels (repeaters) to board first.... even before their similar Faster To The Fun program.   

Being loyal and getting the perks doesn't mean that much anymore.... just pay a little extra for it now. Go on a different line next time.  

This reads like sour grapes. Stamp your feet etc..

 

There are so many diamond level cruisers now that the diamond line would be bigger than the first time cruiser line. 

 

They can sell a package of extra perks for people who want to pay for them. Loyalty perks are free so why would they take priority over people who pay for a service/perk

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Would Anyone recently off the Allure happen to have the Compass? We re set to sail in a few weeks... also with the Key.  Would love to see what it looks like. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/21/2019 at 5:51 AM, blueridgemama said:

 

I honestly don't need you to help me not get ripped off. I am a big girl and can make my own decision if I think something is worthwhile to me. I have researched the pros and cons of this program and have made an informed decision that I will try it and see how it works for me. Have you personally used the Key benefits? If you have not, then your opinion that it is a waste of money is not helpful to me. I appreciate and thank all the reviewers on this thread of those who have used the Key and have made note of the pros and cons of this program. I am going into it with my eyes wide open. If it does not deliver on its promises to make my cruise experience better then I will not purchase it again.

Amen.   

 

I too have read all the real time reviews and as of now, it does seem like something we will enjoy.  I have it purchased for 6 people/7 day med cruise @ $839.58 for early fall.  People's opinions of the key without having actual experience have no influence on our decision.  

 

I will wait to hear further actual reviews once OAS hits the med later this summer on how the key works with the European ports and how the perks evolve over the summer before I make my final decision. But I am glad I have it reserved for now.

 

I want to say thank you to all have already experienced the key and have taken the time to post their thoughts, whether pro or con. It is very helpful.

 

For us, the main reason we are purchasing is that we have had a change in plans and one child has to be back in the states the day we disembark. The rest of us are staying on in Rome, but he needs to get to the airport asap and any help in getting off the boat quickly is worth every penny to us.  Different value for different folks.

Edited by cruise_co
phone being weird and saving before I finished typing

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Posted (edited)

It goes without saying that folks have every right to determine how they want to spend their own money.

 

There has been a good deal of useful information in this thread to help people determine if this new program is of value to them on their cruise bookings.

 

The Key is primarily a convenience fee for accelerated boarding and disembarking that includes a few trinkets of benefits people may or may not desire anyway. For those with higher Crown & Anchor status, the program would seem to have limited value due to redundancy. To people new to Royal and/or traveling on larger ships, there may be some attraction.  It's not right or wrong for everyone.

 

What is intriguing is how some family / friend groups have reporting paying total costs exceeding what others actually pay for a cabin on a cruise. This underscores the term "value", and how different people have different views on what that actually means to them. 

 

In our case,  adding $560+ to the cost for a family of 4 on a 7-day cruise for what The Key provides would be seen as a total waste of money - yet - we can respect for another family of 4 it might have "value" for the conveniences/features offered.

 

It will be interesting to see how the program progresses over time past this first season...especially once the novelty has worn off...and more people report back on their experiences.  Royal will likely also carefully monitor if people repeat the service.

 

 

Edited by CRUISEFAN0001

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16 hours ago, irzero said:

This reads like sour grapes. Stamp your feet etc..

 

There are so many diamond level cruisers now that the diamond line would be bigger than the first time cruiser line. 

 

They can sell a package of extra perks for people who want to pay for them. Loyalty perks are free so why would they take priority over people who pay for a service/perk

 Yes.... definitely soured me.   But, I didn't stamp my feet..... maybe next time 🙂   

 And guess what..... I did pay for my perks.... I've been cruising with Royal since the 90's. 

 

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5 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

It goes without saying that folks have every right to determine how they want to spend their own money.

 

There has been a good deal of useful information in this thread to help people determine if this new program is of value to them on their cruise bookings.

 

The Key is primarily a convenience fee for accelerated boarding and disembarking that includes a few trinkets of benefits people may or may not desire anyway. For those with higher Crown & Anchor status, the program would seem to have limited value due to redundancy. To people new to Royal and/or traveling on larger ships, there may be some attraction.  It's not right or wrong for everyone.

 

What is intriguing is how some family / friend groups have reporting paying total costs exceeding what others actually pay for a cabin on a cruise. This underscores the term "value", and how different people have different views on what that actually means to them. 

 

In our case,  adding $560+ to the cost for a family of 4 on a 7-day cruise for what The Key provides would be seen as a total waste of money - yet - we can respect for another family of 4 it might have "value" for the conveniences/features offered.

 

It will be interesting to see how the program progresses over time past this first season...especially once the novelty has worn off...and more people report back on their experiences.  Royal will likely also carefully monitor if people repeat the service.

 

 

I agree there is different value for each person.  For us, the deluxe drink package is a waste of money and costs way more than the key would for our group of 6. We would rather pay by drink. Now, my coffee and sparkling water, that is another story.  But still trying to determine if my coffee and Perrier addiction and my couple of glasses of wine at dinner will be worthwhile.

 

As for the $839 for the key, when you break it down, we are only paying  $414.38  to get our son off the ship as quickly as possible to meet our transportation to the airport.  Far less than any cabin would have been.

 

Between the cabins, we would have purchased 7 devices (don't ask, Hubby needs to be connected for work) so one 4 device package and one 3 device package for 7 days is $310.66 ( ($22.39x7)+($21.99x7))  Add in the Chops lunch for 6 people for 114.54 ($19.09x6) the $414.38 left over is peanuts compared to the extra one way ticket back home, not including the already purchased ticket we are eating.  Nope, couldn't just pay the change fee since the airline did not have a flight back home in time, needed to go with a totally different airline and yes we have 3rd party "premium" insurance and will research what is covered.  But for now, the Key seems the best route and the rest of us will just check into the Hilton airport hotel and carry on with our scheduled tour for that day.  It is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that he has a better chance to make that morning flight.  So yes, the value in the key is very individual to each person/family. Nobody knows why another family is making their decision to purchase or not purchase and should only judge the program for their own needs.  For us personally ,we are ever so glad that Royal is offering this perk. 

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Instant update on The Key on Vision in Galveston. 

Arriving at port at 10:30 very few passengers through security and check in very fast. Key access didn’t get us anywhere faster due to few people. 

 

Up to waiting area. I asked and was told we would board after Pinnacle and Suites but announcement said differently. As we are Diamonds we were ready to go whichever was called first. And they did call Pinnacle, Suite,Diamond + and Diamond, so we went. Key fail!

Boarded and took carryon to theatre which just took a minute. Then went to Chops and it was 11:10 and they said they would open at 11:30. We waited in the area and were the first to be seated about 11:25. 

There was never a line for seating. We loved the calm quiet atmosphere and the food was fantastic. 

Rooms ready at 1:00 and it’s now 1:30 and carry ons are here no other luggage if the key is supposed to help in that which I don’t read anywhere. 

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On 3/24/2019 at 7:17 PM, FloridaMac said:

Just did The Key on Independence of the Seas 5 day Western Carib.  Saved a lot of time embarking and disembarking - really got the VIP treatment.  Chops lunch was nice.  Internet package was great, each of us had our own login and we could FB Message and voice call each other using FB Message.  I also had a Skype phone number and we called to/from the States.  We will absolutely do this again and again until they raise the price too high 😉

THANK YOU @FloridaMac I appreciate you sharing this information and helpful tips on communication while on the ship.

 

I'm also grateful to the seasoned cruisers for letting new cruisers know what the perks may or may not be; however, let it go after you have said your peace. If someone decides to "waste" their own money on something you detest, so what?! Sheesh, having to sort through 80+ pages from people's back and forth on whether they THINK someone should or should not buy the Key is ridiculous. I came here for the reviews, not the nonsense. Have possibly found less than 15 reviews in this whole thread. 

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I got the Key (at $19.99) for an upcoming cruise but there are only two of us, it's a three night cruise and we were planning on getting internet anyway.  It was an extra $29 and some change per person for us to change the drink package with internet to the drink package and Key.  I figure the meal and priority embarkation and debarkation make it worth the extra money.  I'm not sure if I would do it on a longer cruise with a larger group.  It remains to be seen whether it is worth it.

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2 hours ago, youwash said:

Instant update on The Key on Vision in Galveston. 

Arriving at port at 10:30 very few passengers through security and check in very fast. Key access didn’t get us anywhere faster due to few people. 

 

Up to waiting area. I asked and was told we would board after Pinnacle and Suites but announcement said differently. As we are Diamonds we were ready to go whichever was called first. And they did call Pinnacle, Suite,Diamond + and Diamond, so we went. Key fail!

Boarded and took carryon to theatre which just took a minute. Then went to Chops and it was 11:10 and they said they would open at 11:30. We waited in the area and were the first to be seated about 11:25. 

There was never a line for seating. We loved the calm quiet atmosphere and the food was fantastic. 

Rooms ready at 1:00 and it’s now 1:30 and carry ons are here no other luggage if the key is supposed to help in that which I don’t read anywhere. 

 

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Presently the Key does not have any benefit of getting your checked baggage in your room, just the carry ons that you left in the theater when you boarded.

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7 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

Presently the Key does not have any benefit of getting your checked baggage in your room, just the carry ons that you left in the theater when you boarded.

That part doesn't bother me at all esp because we will have carry on bags with us that will have most of what we need for change of clothes for dinner, etc.  I guess it would make a difference if we only had the checked on bag alone, but since not flying and driving to the terminal I'm taking more than I normally would. lol  That being said, we have paid for FTTF on Carnival and waited for our luggage till 8 pm, so that program has its issues as well.  I'm looking forward to using the Key Program in two weeks and will leave a review once we return or maybe even while I'm still on the ship.  Going on the Anthem of the Seas.  I haven't seen any reviews yet on the Key on that ship unless I missed them.  I don't relish going thru 80 pages. lol

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I just saw a post on another page, with someone at Coco Cay showing a great spot on the beach with first come, first served free umbrellas. I would be very interested in getting a spot like that for our day at Coco Cay! Now that the pier has opened, has anyone experienced if the priority debarkation at ports helps at Coco Cay, if you want to get a prime location (ie free umbrella!). Or is there no real advantage unless it’s a tender? 

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1 minute ago, MissLittle1959 said:

That part doesn't bother me at all esp because we will have carry on bags with us that will have most of what we need for change of clothes for dinner, etc.  I guess it would make a difference if we only had the checked on bag alone, but since not flying and driving to the terminal I'm taking more than I normally would. lol  That being said, we have paid for FTTF on Carnival and waited for our luggage till 8 pm, so that program has its issues as well.  I'm looking forward to using the Key Program in two weeks and will leave a review once we return or maybe even while I'm still on the ship.  Going on the Anthem of the Seas.  I haven't seen any reviews yet on the Key on that ship unless I missed them.  I don't relish going thru 80 pages. lol

 

I wish they would start a new thread entitled "The Key: Reviews Only" so that we would not have to sift through all the nay sayers who have not used the benefit themselves, but "just know" that is a waste of money and that RCI is ripping us all off. I really appreciate the reviews from people who have used the Key and have given honest reviews, both pro and con, of what works and what doesn't.

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1 minute ago, blueridgemama said:

 

I wish they would start a new thread entitled "The Key: Reviews Only" so that we would not have to sift through all the nay sayers who have not used the benefit themselves, but "just know" that is a waste of money and that RCI is ripping us all off. I really appreciate the reviews from people who have used the Key and have given honest reviews, both pro and con, of what works and what doesn't.

Maybe I will start the  new thread. 😉

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2 minutes ago, MissLittle1959 said:

Maybe I will start the  new thread. 😉

 

If you do, it will probably be merged right back into this thread😊

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1 minute ago, blueridgemama said:

 

If you do, it will probably be merged right back into this thread😊

really? how does that even work? lol

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Has anyone used the Key program on a Radiance class ship? If so can you share your experience?  

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1 hour ago, MissLittle1959 said:

I'm looking forward to using the Key Program in two weeks and will leave a review once we return or maybe even while I'm still on the ship.  Going on the Anthem of the Seas.  I haven't seen any reviews yet on the Key on that ship unless I missed them.  I don't relish going thru 80 pages. lol

 

I will look forward to your Anthem/Key review and would second the suggestions to start a whole new thread just for reviews! Though I have slogged through all 80pp, what a pain for anyone just starting their research and just wanting to know the current benefits/logistics on various ships (without the distracting judgment posts). Please, dear hosts, consider permitting a separate Reviews Only thread.

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I have looked through the thread and cant find any reviews on the key on quantum class has anyone done a cruise and seen how many flowriding rockwall sessions etc?

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1 hour ago, MissLittle1959 said:

really? how does that even work? lol

Mods have super powers. 

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3 minutes ago, seanjulz said:

I have looked through the thread and cant find any reviews on the key on quantum class has anyone done a cruise and seen how many flowriding rockwall sessions etc?

Some Anthem reviews (not in this thread) mentioned that. BTW, whatever info you get may change in future sailings. 

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32 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Some Anthem reviews (not in this thread) mentioned that. BTW, whatever info you get may change in future sailings. 

Did you find it by typing anthem and key? I cant find it

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