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The Key dropped to $16.99 for my two 2020 cruises

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On 11/4/2019 at 8:34 AM, LMaxwell said:

But to buy it for your first cruise just to "say you did it" is the same as setting your money on fire. 

Just to clarify.....This makes it sound like I said I'd buy "The Key" just "to say I did it" . To clarify it was meant to be....If I took advantage of the private time at a attraction, that I have no plans to do, but if I got urge to do it "just to say I did it" I could.:). 


So today I did decide on keeping "The Key". After rechecking the Voom Surf & Stream 2 device price and that of "The Key" there is only a price difference total of $21.96 total or $2.75/day each. We will have 2 carry-on's and will be arriving around 11:00. Have always dragged our carry-on around on previous cruises so I'm liking the idea of not having to and I'm liking the idea of possible quicker embarkation. $2.75/day each is worth it for these alone to us. Chops lunch sounds worth checking out....Maybe by the time we go it will be moved back to Chops Restaurant 🙂.  Show seats may be a perk or not. We will see! Now for the record I have never purchased Carnivals FTTF and if it weren't for the internet, that we will need this trip and the small price difference I can say I probably wouldn't purchase the Key after reading all the reviews.

Edited by sharonna3

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This is a helpful discussion.  I'll be on my first RC cruise in March 2020 - Symphony of the Seas.  I typically cruise Celebrity or Carnival - but I'm going to reunite with some friends and performers we met on the Celebrity Edge earlier this year.  One of the guys is performing in Hairspray - yay!!


I'm traveling with my best friend, and we are trying out the Key Program.  We never do FTTF on Carnival - but we decided to try this because after the S&S cost (which is 13.99 per device for this sailing), the cost is $84 per person - for our trip the price is currently $25.99 per person.  For that price, we think the following may make it worth while for us and hopefully will make the huge ship feel a little smaller:


  • Embarkation Chopped lunch menu - even in the MDR, this seems like a good way to avoid the crowds.  Value to me $20
  • Carry on baggage service - I would typically check in all my bags. Is that an option on RC?  If not, Value to me $10 - though i think it should be free.
  • Private hours for onboard activities  -  we probably won't use this.  Value  $0
  • Priority debarkation at ports of call - we probably won't use this, but our excursions are yet reserved... so ...maybe.  Value $0.
  • Show seating - avoiding the lines on this huge ship is a big draw, even if the seats aren't the best in the house.  As long as they are reasonably good seats .  Value to me $25
  • Debarkation scheduling (this will be the first time we are deciding when to debark instead of being told) Value to me $25
  • Debarkation breakfast menu  - I've seen a few vlogs where fillet mignon  or crab benedict was available. - which works for me.  Value to me $10

As it stands, the cost barely covers the value for me - but I'm hoping the price drops a little.  Other benefits I'd like to see included in Key are:

  • Early access to cabin - if the cabin was guaranteed by 1:00pm - that would be great
  • Room service full menu breakfast  - saving the $7.95 charge but not really costing RC much
  • 6 - liter bottles of water (doesn't have to be Evian, but that would be nice) 
  • 1 day pass to spa relaxation rooms

I think these are reasonable and would improve the program.  Thoughts?

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36 minutes ago, DSJ28 said:


  • Debarkation scheduling (this will be the first time we are deciding when to debark instead of being told) Value to me $25

This has always been an option; forever.  Did not need this program to disembark at your own timing. 

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I had the The Key on a short 3day on Mariner earlier this year and had decided that it was unlikely I would purchase it again.  However, it is now 16.99 on my Radiance of the Seas cruise May 5 Hawaii to Vancouver and I am considering it.


 I would always purchase a 2 device voom package and given the Chops lunch @21.99 the difference between key or no key is $72 Our cruise has two tender ports so priority tendering has some value to us. throw in the other couple of little perks and I'm a solid maybe LOL.  It is right on the threshold of yes or no.  On Radiance they don't have any ice shows, flowrider or waterslides so that takes away a little of the incentive.

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She Who Must Be Obeyed and her cabin boy are D+, so we just cannot see the value of the key for anyone with any status on Royal. 


Put the pencil to it and see if it is worth it for what you get, especially if you are in a big rush to get on the ship, in a big rush to get off the ship, and don't mind paying extra to eat lunch in the MDR on boarding day, and want to use a lot of internet.


As for us, we cruise to relax.

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