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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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10 minutes ago, Cincy2 said:

Cost for my February Harmony cruise is $29.99 pp pd. 

The cost is $24.99 on our cruise on the Jewel.  I can see where people might get more of the benefits on a bigger ship like you are going on..

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Its offered on my brilliance TA cruise in November. $700 + for the 2 of us. For a lunch, a breakfast, 2 internet packages, priority tender (no tenders), priority embarking and disembarking, VIP seats at shows. I just paid $18.99 for 2 devices for surf and stream during black Friday. I honestly do not see how this is a deal. The way I'm doing the math is one lunch at $30 and internet. I would pay $14 extra a day per person to get off and on a ship early?

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28 minutes ago, springfire said:

The cost is $24.99 on our cruise on the Jewel.  I can see where people might get more of the benefits on a bigger ship like you are going on..

I guess. I just don't see it as a good value.  I'd rather spend money on other things.  But everyone has different priorities so it's all good.  

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1 minute ago, Cincy2 said:

I guess. I just don't see it as a good value.  I'd rather spend money on other things.  But everyone has different priorities so it's all good.  

I am in agreement with you, way over priced and nothing we really need to have.  

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I got a marketing e-mail mentioning 20% off (it's not, unless the list price went up, did it?) but the interesting thing was that the planner let me buy for only one person (didn't force buying everyone in the cabin).

 

The $175 would provide VOOM Stream for one device (about $100) and the lunch (worthless). So for about $75 I can have exclusive Flowrider use (with other Key customers, could be very few riders in that group) for at least 3 hrs. Getting tempting.

Edited by Biker19

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1 hour ago, CC Help Jenn said:

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.

 

Only 100 people maximum can purchase The Key. 

 

For now.......until it proves wildly popular.

Edited by HBE4

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Just now, HBE4 said:

 

Only 100 people max can purchase The Key. 

 

For now.......unless it proves wildly popular.

 

That is actually very comforting 🙂  Guess I didn't read up enough before worrying

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2 hours ago, springfire said:
  • 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.

Why surprised? RCI will be happy to take people's money who purchase it even if it is of little benefit on a Radiance class ship.

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49 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

Only 100 people maximum can purchase The Key. 

 

For now.......until it proves wildly popular.

I'm not doubting you, but could you lead me to a reference?

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4 minutes ago, Ocean Boy said:

Why surprised? RCI will be happy to take people's money who purchase it even if it is of little benefit on a Radiance class ship.

I will not disagree with you at all on that.  

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Not sure about the 100 number limit across all ships, but that is what twangster reported on his Oasis sailing (with 47 who actually bought). His review is at the RCI blog.

Edited by Biker19

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Should the link disappear, key excerpts are:

 

" The Key is being tested out on Liberty of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas for sailings beginning November 25, 2018 through the end of March 2019 and we recently had the chance to try it out on Oasis of the Seas."

 

and

 

" On this sailing 47 guests purchased 'The Key'.  The program is being launched with a cap of 100 'The Key' membership positions available for purchase. "

 

 

Obviously, if people on other ships are reporting they can purchase The Key in their Cruise Planner, perhaps the program is already being expanded beyond it;s initial test pilot. 

 

And maybe the cap limit will be lifted.

 

 

Edited by HBE4

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8 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Not sure about the 100 number limit across all ships, but that is what twangster reported on his Oasis sailing (with 47 who actually bought). His review is at the RCI blog.

 

Huh, I didn't realize that was twangster's link I just posted. 

 

I thought it looked familiar....lol

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4 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

Should the link disappear, key excerpts are:

There's no should about it - the old and new CC site automatically scrubs for the RCI blog links.

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8 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...

Priority seating is what bothers me the most, on top of the priority seating of Suites, Gold Card. Was on Allure October for the third time,  Noticed cutbacks and food. Canceled Dec. Symphony and booked NCL.at half the fare.Back from the  Bliss Saturday.  More and 100% better complimentary food options. Never a wait in prime time in any ATDR 's which tables are farther apart.   Must be the largest observation deck with 4 drink stations and small food options deck at sea and again seating far apart.  Drawbacks small theatre seating, getting on fwd elevators,  which is more crowded because Buffett area and the pool  is also fwd, no shrimp cocktail or lobster, but fried shrimp dishes, baby back rib's more available 24 hr comp restaurant.  Plus Free at Sea beverage pkg, no limit drinks. Slots were loose, small casino. Fastest and organized disembarkation, you go to the atrium, the day before and pick a color luggage tag for the time you prefer, only Platinum and carry off have priority. Walked off 8: 30, there are 2 terminals to pick up luggage according to tag color. Got in Customs line, (4 lines)  there were only about two or three parties in front of us, that's was a first, anyways we were outside by 8: 45, shocking.   Diamond jumping ship?

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The 100 capacity number came from a crew member after the departure breakfast while being escorted off.  They seemed to knowledgeable and answered several questions about the program.  

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5 minutes ago, shakeNbake said:

Priority seating is what bothers me the most, on top of the priority seating of Suites, Gold Card.

 

Last cruise I was on, a lot of that priority seating in the ice rink, theater and especially pool-side sat empty until open to the general public (except pool side which is not opened to the general public).

 

Perhaps instead of removing the perk of reserved seating, they are trying to fill up the empty seats with those that are willing to pay extra?

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Seats are only held 10 minutes before the shows, then people already sitting and eyeballing them scramble for them.   I was on the Harmony ice show front row next to the reserved seating, there was a gentleman sitting on the other side of the reserved seating. Less then 10 minutes to show time, the Suite guests show up with their handler, but there too many guests and not enough seats, one short. The handler asks the man to give up his seat but refuses says as they converse back and forth.  The seated man argues he stood in line for over half hour for the seat while the handler and suite person standing up awkwardly tells handler in front of everyone as seated people are watching, very embarrassing for everyone. After a long six-seven long minutes handler standing not knowing what to do, finally, suite guy decided to sit elsewhere.  What the hell took him so long to make the correct decision to find a seat elsewhere? I was on the opposite side waiting for the handler to ask me same, but he never did, I wouldn't move either as I was in line for 45 minutes.

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21 hours ago, aflyingbuttress said:

It’s available on my upcoming Anthem cruise and I decided to go for it. We’d already booked a chops lunch and paid for internet for one. So that was about $200 we will get back. Leaves us with a difference of $400 for our 8 night cruise. That may seem steep but priority boarding is worth a lot to me since I have a chronic illness and standing in line for a long time can be almost debilitating. And I really appreciate the convenience of not having to make reservations for shows all 8 nights.

 

I think we only tender at CocoCay and I’ll be happy to be able to get off early and ensure (hope) we can actually get good beach seating in the shade since my husband burns very easily. We wanted to carry on some soda and wine and this makes that doable. I’m also hoping that North Star has some of those private hours and perhaps additional perks will pop up. 

 

I think it it just depends on what’s important to you. Plus, the suites were way, way more than an additional $600 over our current balcony room. 

I’ve booked it for my upcoming Anthem Cruise also. It would be great if North Star and iFly are included in the private hours! I don’t expect it but a girl can dream!

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While I'm sure this program has value for some people, it's not for me. Due to chronic illness (and all of the metal in my body), I cannot take advantage of the private flow rider, rock climbing, ice skating etc. times.  I've never had any difficulty getting on the ship in a timely manner. I no longer book excursions in ports, and am in no real hurry to disembark. I go to the occasional show, but not a lot of them. When I do, I'm usually fine with whatever seats I get. As others have said, I don't want to let my carry-on bag out of my sight for fear it  (and all of my medications) would be lost, or my laptop broken. I do see the value in the internet package, and possibly the lunch.

 

I did my first Carnival cruise in June and did purchase FTTF. First, it was SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than the key ($89 for the entire cabin on a 7 night cruise), and had some value to me that the Key does not: 

  1. I loved that my cabin was available right away when I boarded. It's nice to  have a place to escape the chaos of boarding day.
  2. There was a dedicated FTTF desk at guest services. It was great not to have to wait in line when I had to go to GS.
  3. Priority luggage delivery - since my cabin was available, I could unpack and get settled in before muster drill and dinner.
  4. Not being on RCCL, I didn't have diamond status, and Carnival also enforces the assigned boarding times. With FTTF, I could pick whatever time I wanted, and got on the ship immediately.

For The Key to be worth $25 pp/pd to ME, they would need to throw in reserved lounge chairs by the pool. Just imagine the chaos and complaints THAT would create. 🤬

 

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11 hours ago, rydinlow4sho said:

Yeah no thanks waiting 45 minutes for a show, I booked the key just for that fact. Priority seating no reservations required. 

 

Oh boy!  So we've only been on Royal once and really didn't do shows.  If I make reservations do I still need to wait in line? Or is the line people that are jockeying for good seats even though they have reservations? 

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3 minutes ago, CC Help Jenn said:

 

Oh boy!  So we've only been on Royal once and really didn't do shows.  If I make reservations do I still need to wait in line? Or is the line people that are jockeying for good seats even though they have reservations? 

 

No line when you have reservations, except for the ships that have a comedy venue, because that is small and people with reservations do line up.

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