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TR: MLife free cruise, the Key, Mariner


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I don’t see a lot of reports on the MLife cruise perks so thought I would share my recent experience.  I also had the Key on this sailing.  I was on the Mariner, 3 night sailing March 1.  Some comments and notes about MLife and Key perks.

 

I am a Platinum MLife member, the top tier in the MGM Resorts casino program, just below Noir which is by invitation.   One of the perks of a Platinum member is a free Royal C cruise every year.   MLife status resets each year and you must “re earn” your status for the year.  For any year in which you earn Platinum you receive the free cruise.   And, based on your gaming spend that year, your cruise offer will vary for cabin type and all include OBC.  Also, you must attain your Platinum status through gaming and resort spend, not through a partner match (i.e. Hyatt), in order to be eligible for the Cruise offer. 

 

My schedule was pretty hectic with a few other trips in the works as well as work commitments, but I found the Mariner 3 night on March 1 that would work.  I called the RCCL MLife phone number (this is different than direct contact to Casino Royale).  Using my MLife player’s number the agent easily found my offer which was:  4 nights free for 2 people, Oceanview cabin, $200 OBC or $750 off best rate of any cruise, Oceanview, $200 OBC.  (I have used the $750 credit offer in the past but the free cruise is such a better comp). 

 

The agent was very helpful.  I upgraded to a Balcony cabin for $89.  The agent commented that I was not taking full advantage of my offer for 4 nights and so she also added the Deluxe drink package at no charge which was unexpected surprise.

 

All booked.  Total time on the phone with the agent was about 5 minutes. That was easy.  Next, unfortunately, I needed to add internet.  I try to disconnect as much as possible but had to be online at a specific time for a few minutes one morning.  I also wanted to add lunch at either Chops or Jamies and dinner as well.   The cruise planner had 1 device at $14.99/day.  The Key was $19.99 / day.    Seemed like a no brainer to get the Key for $60 which was actually cheaper than 1 device plus lunch at Chops.  I used OBC and added the Key.

I flew into Miami 2 days before the cruise and hung out in South Beach with some friends from Palm Beach.  Had a lot of fun - South Beach is always a great time – beach, nightlife, good food scene. 

 

Took a cab to the port and arrived at terminal A about 10:15.  Walked into an empty terminal, quick Sailpass scan, picture on the ipad, through security, up the escalator to the waiting area…. 5 minutes.  So smooth.  Once in the main waiting area I told the agent I was Key member and she directed me to the seating area which was just a separate section in the main room (not in with Suites/Pinnacles).  Boarding started at about 11.   The Key members boarded immediately after Pinnacle.

 

There was Key signage throughout the ship including multiple “Welcome to our Key members”.  I proceeded directly to the theater (Key signs pointing the way) and dropped off my carry on tote bag.  This was very organized, the reps were prepared, had the list of names and cabin numbers (which very clearly appeared to be no more than 100) tagged my bag, gave me Key information and was very friendly.

 

I went to Chops for Key lunch.  Gave the host my name which he found on the list and was immediately seated.  The lunch was a smaller Chops menu but very good.

During the cruise I received a plate of chocolate strawberries and a bottle of wine from the Casino hosts.  I received a plate of cookies and a plate of fruit from the Key team. 

 

My seapass card had a “key” logo on it.  There was Key information in the cabin including the Key times for the activities (flowrider, perfect storm, skypad, ice skating and rock climbing).  I took advantage of the flowrider one afternoon.  There were a total of 4 people (me and 3 teenagers) for the first half hour which is only as long as I lasted.

 

One of the perks with the Key is priority tendering.  I did not plan to use or need this but on the morning of Coco Cay I made my way down to tendering at about 9:30 expecting that there would not be a line since we had arrived at 7.  What I found was a very long line extending all the way through the deck one path and up the stairs.  Hmmmm... I found a crew member, showed my Key sea pass, and was walked to the front of the line.  I boarded the very next tender.

 

Key seating in the theater was on the upper level, center.

 

On the final morning I went to the dining room for the Key breakfast.  There was another “Welcome to our Key guests” sign there as well.  (those signs were noticeable throughout the ship for appropriate designation).  Breakfast was more relaxing and more enjoyable than I had expected and a nice end to the cruise. 

 

I walked off the ship ‘at my leisure’.  I did not have any bags to claim but I did see the Key bags in a separate section with Key signage.

 

For me, I found the key worth it on this short cruise as a solo.   I did use OBC to purchase it but it was still a good value for the 3 day itinerary and the price was actually less for the key than to purchase voom and chops lunch.  The additional perks were nice but if it was a 7 night for 2 people I would pass on the key as the value is just not there for me at that point.

Let me know if any questions.

Enjoy.

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33 minutes ago, Merion_Mom said:

My math skills are fuzzy, but isn't lunch in Chops $21?  3 x 15 + 21 = $66.  Not less than 20 x 3.  Just sayin'.  🙂


I think you've been drinking, @Merion_Mom.  

OP stated, "Seemed like a no brainer to get the Key for $60 which was actually cheaper than 1 device plus lunch at Chops."

 

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9 hours ago, maryjaden said:

Did you have the option of Jamie's or Chops for lunch on embarkation day? 

 

No.  Chops was the available option.  It was very relaxed, not crowded and enjoyable.

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9 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

My math skills are fuzzy, but isn't lunch in Chops $21?  3 x 15 + 21 = $66.  Not less than 20 x 3.  Just sayin'.  🙂

 

Voom was $14.99/day so lets call that $15.

Chops lunch $19.99 so call that $20.

Key was $19.99/day call that $20

 

$15 voom x 3 days = $45 = $20 lunch = $65 total without Key

$20 Key x 3 days = $60 price for key.  

 

Definitely a few bucks cheaper to buy Key.

 

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Off topic but does anyone know if show up a couple hours after tendering has started but either have Cabana booked (treated as excursion and heard something about priority tenders) or are Diamond Plus, will you have similar next tender access as a Key member?

 

Thanks.

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On 3/6/2019 at 10:36 AM, sandystx said:

 

Voom was $14.99/day so lets call that $15.

Chops lunch $19.99 so call that $20.

Key was $19.99/day call that $20

 

$15 voom x 3 days = $45 = $20 lunch = $65 total without Key

$20 Key x 3 days = $60 price for key.  

 

Definitely a few bucks cheaper to buy Key.

 

I haven't sailed on RC in over 5 years and was wondering if you could explain what the Key is?  I am probably going to book a family cruise for next March on the Mariner of the Seas and was wondering what is the Key and where can I read about it.  Thanks!!

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22 minutes ago, crackerob2001 said:

I haven't sailed on RC in over 5 years and was wondering if you could explain what the Key is?  I am probably going to book a family cruise for next March on the Mariner of the Seas and was wondering what is the Key and where can I read about it.  Thanks!!

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2601591-the-key/?do=findComment&comment=56939359

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just remember, the Key charge is per person, so if there are 5 of you, its $100 a day, $700 for a 7 night cruise.  The pier was open at Coco Cay, so there's no tendering involved.  Personally, for the money, I'd get my family a cabana at Coco Cay.  

 

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