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Royal Caribbean changes benefits of The Key on its cruise ships

08 Oct 2021
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's priority access program that anyone can buy, The Key, is coming back, and already many guests are reporting changes to the program on various ships.

Is Royal Caribbean's The Key worth it? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Last week, reported on changes to The Key on Symphony of the Seas, and those same changes are being done on many other ships in the coming weeks. readers have reported getting emails from the cruise line informing them of new policy changes to The Key, primarily a result of Covid-19 protocols.

The Key is an optional add-on you can purchase to get VIP treatment in certain situations onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Emails sent to guests that purchased The Key list the same changes as a result of Royal Caribbean's need to maintain healthy protocols onboard.

Here is a list of the changes to the program:

  • Priority access in the terminal (within booked arrival time) on Day 1
    • Priority access will not be offered in Vancouver, Canada or any Australia ports
  • Carry-on luggage drop-off in the Main Dining Room with stateroom delivery
    • Carry-on luggage is limited to two pieces per guest cannot weigh more than 25 pounds per carry-on.
  • Complimentary room service for the duration of the cruise and 25% off onboard dining purchases
  • Private time at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more
  • Priority departure at tender ports of call from ship-to-shore
  • Early access at shows in the Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70 (all guests must have a reservation to qualify)
  • VOOM Surf & Stream 1-Device high speed internet — 1 package per paying guest
  • On debarkation day, a special "grab and go" breakfast bag and choice departure 

Here's what 'The Key' is (and why some cruisers like it) | Royal Caribbean Blog

The changes to The Key began with Symphony of the Seas on the October 2 sailing, and will fleetwide (excluding China sailings) as Royal Caribbean begins to roll out the changes across the ships.

The price of The Key varies, and starts at $25.99 per day, per person, although there can be discounts available to bring that price down.

All guests over the age of 6 in the same room must purchase The Key.

Guest reaction

Is Royal Caribbean's The Key worth it? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Over at the Royal Caribbean Information Facebook page, there were plenty of comments about the changes.

Most of the comments seemed to be in favor of the changes.

Melanie Harris simply said, "I really like the changes, glad we have it."

Erin Berton Baker added, "If that is permanent I’d seriously consider. Love the free room service!"

Susan Christmas bought The Key after reading about the changes, "I think it's better. After I saw this post, I went and booked it."

Yvonne P. Dumont did not like the change to the boarding day lunch, "I’m disappointed about the amazing lunch not offered anymore on boarding day anymore."

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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