Since the never ending question of whether or not the Key is worth it, I thought I'd add to the discussion with my review of the program.
This was a weekday 4 night sailing that my beautiful wife and I did without kids. So just 2 of us and we got a good price of $19.99 per person/per night(total of $159.92).
We were going to get a 2 device internet package already so this played a major role in trying out the program. If we weren't getting the Key we would have paid $23.99/night (total of $95.96) for the 2 device package, so that would have put us at the Key being an additional $63.96
Embarkation day - we got to the port at 10am so we got a private seating area to wait for the ship to be ready. We were 2nd group to board the ship after the Pinnacle and Suite section. Pretty nice to beat the big groups of everyone else. This ended up being a really relaxing start to vacation which is nice because embarkation day can tend to be kinda hectic.
Once on the ship we stopped at the dining room for a Key luggage drop off, also super nice to counter the busy first day. After dropping off our extra luggage we sat down for a "Chops lunch by the MDR". This was a big disappointment as they set expectations too high calling it a Chops lunch. While the steak was good, it was not the same as a Chops steak. The biggest disappointment was from the much different atmosphere and lacking service. I don't blame the staff for the lacking service though, it's gotta be so tough to try and turn over the ship all in a few hours and also try to provide yet another service. Lunch was very slow and I feel like I wasted the early arrival waiting around for a lackluster lunch that went on for almost 2 hours. While this was much less hectic than the windjammer, it's advertised as something that it's not. I wish I'd of just grabbed windjammer food and jumped on the flowrider and took advantage of the small crowds. Key "Chops" lunch was a major dud.
No tenders on this sailing, but if there was I bet this is where I would be raving about my favorite part of the Key.
Special Key only activities:
Rock climbing wall - Not necessary since the lines are never very much
Ice skating - We didn't feel like iceskating so we didn't utilize this, but if you like ice skating this is a very nice perk. We have done the Open skate before and it's crazy! It's overcrowded and super hectic. Having this private skate time is the way to go!
Water-slides - Love the waterslides and during our 1 hour key time we went over and and over and over until I couldn't handle the stairs anymore. A nice perk to avoid lines for sure.
Skypad - I was very excited for this as I thought it looked very cool. Turns out you can always go with no lines because the Skypad is a complete fail by Royal. I only did it once and once again I wish I'd of just done another ride on the Flowrider. Sad to say the Skypad is a huge dud, it's not every worth doing once. You aren't missing anything
Flowrider - Yes please, love love love the Flowrider! Only problem here is you only get 1 hour of Key only and it seems every Key member took this opportunity to try it out. The line ended up being just as long as the open ride times. Still, anytime I can go on more of this, sign me up.
Special Seating at shows - This is especially awesome for the Ice Show. The Ice show is so A MAZ ING. We waited in line early for the first showing because even though we got private seating my wife wanted her first pick of front row seats. We loved the Ice show so much though that we went last minute to the second showing and sat in the Key/suite section. Nice seats, totally a great perk of the Key, but the show is so fun and interactive that I do recommend trying to go early and get front row seats at least once. If you don't know, the Ice show is super popular for good reason and you need to make it a priority on your cruise! We also used the Key/Suite seating for a couple of the headliner shows, center stage on balcony level. My wife prefers front row seating, but I was perfectly content with these seats as I won't get scowled at if I fall asleep. Still if you don't want to show up early for prime seating it's very nice to have the option. Only problem is other people used this seating as it isn't labeled very well and no one regulates it.
Disembarkation day we got a private breakfast in the MDR. The wife and I both got NY steak and eggs. This steak was better than the lunch steak, as was the whole experience. This was by far the best breakfast we had all cruise. They also hold your luggage while you are eating, if you kept your luggage for a self assist disembarkation as we did. The Key does offer a special luggage checkout system, but we like to self assist if we don't have the kids. After breakfast we met up with a Key disembarkation staff that lead us to the front of the line to exit the ship. Pretty cool, but we definitely got some dirty looks from the other guests.
Overall the Key was very much worth it for just the 2 of us. $63.96 was a steal for all the extra perks we got. $19.99/person is a steal of a deal though as we've seen it as high as $35/person. What's the highest I would go for the wife and I?? Well that depends on the ports and ship. Tender port on an Oasis I might go as high as $29.99, but a simpler ship I wouldn't go over $19.99. I'm not sure if we'll try it on our upcoming sailing with the 3 kids as this is a lot of extra money. I would probably have to find another $19.99 deal to keep the total cost down. I hope this review finds you well and my rambling didn't get too confusing. Nevertheless I am ready for another cruise, February can't come soon enough!