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UPDATE!¬†ūüėā¬† Trying to clarify my question. Thanks to all you Great Royal Caribbean Blog members!! ¬†‚̧ԳŹ¬†¬†

I'm trying to edit my question on Boarding. I don't think I clarified the situation considering some of the answers I received, but always appreciate any!

First‚Ķ. We are Definitely checking in oÔĽŅur suitcases! I just have a carry on that happens to have wheels, glad I'm not the only one! It's like a underseater for planes, that's how we've been traveling for most of the 40 yrs, except for some cruises here & there. But did get tired of lugging on a carry on the plane, so got a small underseat with wheel, as a carryon. Again, Will be checking in my suitcase or suitcases for sure! Not getting the key, since we got the suite for anniversary.

I was very confused by the diff. times I was told I could embark, so going early & winging it. 

Thanks so much for all the help & answers, hope I clarified my question‚Ķ‚Ķ. may clarify on the original post. Thanks again‚Ě£ÔłŹ

KimS

 

My 1st Blog- Needed To be Clarified! 

Ok, I know there's already been a discussion about this, but I called RC & getting different answers! We're leaving next month & got a Grand¬†Suite, so saw¬†we had early embarkation ( 10- 10;30 am )¬†! So‚Ķ. If anyone is leaving on same date or has info would appreciate any help as alway¬†‚Ě£ÔłŹ

We're going on the Symphony on 8/17/2019 & it has embarkation ( Miami Port ) between 12 pm & 3:30 pm. Kept thinking since we got the suite & got early embarkation, thought 10-10:30 am would be about right, but then do understand others are getting off that ship at the same time!? But then saw that we couldn't get into our room til 1pm, because cleaning the rooms & could explore the ship OR get lunch! Sounds like that's what a lot are doing?

Thanks for ANY help on this…

KimS

Edited by KimS
Needed to be clarified

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Usually everyone is off the ship by 10 or 10:30 - if not, several crew members will be¬†hunting down the remaining passengers to kick them off. ūü§£Your embarkation will not begin until everyone from the previous sailing is off the ship. The rooms are not ready until around 1 or 1:30pm, so we get lunch first so we can get out of everyone else's way. Then we explore until the rooms are ready. This time, we'll have the kids with us, so we'll probably be going from lunch straight to the pool instead.¬†

 

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The embarkation times for US sailings are not enforced by Royal.  You can get to the terminal as soon as it opens and get on board once boarding begins.  Usually there's no issue with getting to the terminal around 10:30am and being on the ship by 11:00am.  Since you are in a suite you will be among the first set of passengers to board if you are already waiting in the terminal when boarding begins.  Port of Miami has a nice waiting area for Suite passengers, so it would be a comfortable wait if you do decide to go early and the ship hasn't been cleared for boarding yet.

Tons of people board before the rooms are ready.  If you pack swimsuits in your carry-on or wear them under your board clothes you can take advantage of the pool deck or you can just explore the ship and grab some food.  If you have a drink package it will work via your SetSail pass that you used to board the ship.  You don't even need to wait until you fetch your SeaPass from your room to take advantage of it.

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It's true that rooms aren't ready until 1:00 pm. Show up when you want, especially if you're in a Grand Suite...bring a carry on with essentials.

If you board in the morning starting around 10:30, you can go to lunch or the pool or both.

Ideas for complimentary lunch are the Windjammer, Park Cafe, and I believe the Solarium Bistro...you can also get food at the Promenade Cafe

Chops, Jamie's are open for an extra charge.

I wouldn't sweat when you board.

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1 hour ago, melmar02 said:

Usually everyone is off the ship by 10 or 10:30 - if not, several crew members will be¬†hunting down the remaining passengers to kick them off. ūü§£Your embarkation will not begin until everyone from the previous sailing is off the ship. The rooms are not ready until around 1 or 1:30pm, so we get lunch first so we can get out of everyone else's way. Then we explore until the rooms are ready. This time, we'll have the kids with us, so we'll probably be going from lunch straight to the pool instead.¬†

 

Thanks SO much! 

KimS

 

 

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1 hour ago, AshleyDillo said:

The embarkation times for US sailings are not enforced by Royal.  You can get to the terminal as soon as it opens and get on board once boarding begins.  Usually there's no issue with getting to the terminal around 10:30am and being on the ship by 11:00am.  Since you are in a suite you will be among the first set of passengers to board if you are already waiting in the terminal when boarding begins.  Port of Miami has a nice waiting area for Suite passengers, so it would be a comfortable wait if you do decide to go early and the ship hasn't been cleared for boarding yet.

Tons of people board before the rooms are ready.  If you pack swimsuits in your carry-on or wear them under your board clothes you can take advantage of the pool deck or you can just explore the ship and grab some food.  If you have a drink package it will work via your SetSail pass that you used to board the ship.  You don't even need to wait until you fetch your SeaPass from your room to take advantage of it.

Thanks!! Sounds like a plan, decided last yr to get a carry on with wheels, ( usually take a plane!) hope that won’t be too weird! lol .....Thanks again

KimS

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Once you get on board, a nice place to wait for your room to be ready is up in the Suites Lounge (Deck 17). You will have lots of room to store your carry-on bags so they won’t be in yours or anyone else’s way.

The views from up there are incredible and there will be lovely treats for you while you wait !

Get there as early as you like.  As Ashley said, the Suites waiting Lounge at Terminal A is beautiful and you will be among the very first to board.

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Thanks SO¬†Much WAAAYTOOO! ¬†We "used" to cruise on Princess 30-40 yrs ago, then when they started going down, switched to small Globus tours , then TAUCK small group tours, so used to flying now but after 40 yrs just now trying this Royal Caribbean! But, geese those small TAUCK tours are incredible but do cost like half a car!!! LOL¬†ūüėā¬†

So, now I just got this carry on that's got wheels, got tired of being the only one on the plane carrying my carry on! Everyone's got these small ones with wheels, do ya think I'm gonna stand out like a sore thumb!?? Seriously, so¬†used to flying every year, then fly up to NC-- just as great as Europe IMO, but still love my carry on with wheels now!¬†ūüėČ

I so appreciate the 17th floor idea!¬†.So glad to hear about that Terminal A, thanks again for all your answers!¬†‚̧ԳŹ

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Good  Morning,

If you are boarding early, how does this work if you choose to carry your luggage on rather than check baggage? I purchased the key in hopes that this would allow me to get into my state room early. This is a first time experience with royal. Carnival offered faster to the fun is the key similar?

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6 hours ago, Diamondntherough said:

Good  Morning,

If you are boarding early, how does this work if you choose to carry your luggage on rather than check baggage? I purchased the key in hopes that this would allow me to get into my state room early. This is a first time experience with royal. Carnival offered faster to the fun is the key similar?

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/what-are-the-benefits-of-the-key-program

This link may help you understand your benefits with The Key.  It does not appear (to me) that you can enter your stateroom early but only that your carry on bags (with limitations as mentioned in the link) will be delivered to your stateroom.  The rest of the cruisers will be having to hold onto their carry on bags until the rooms are ready.  I also have not seen anyone comment on the blog about being able to get into your rooms early with The Key.  I also have never cruised with Carnival so I do not know if anything is similar or not.

Welcome to the blog!  This place is FULL of amazing information and helpful tips.  Enjoy your cruise!

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Cancel the KEY and save your money.  You will be dollars ahead.  Your luggage has to be checked so it can go thru the scanners.  You don`t want to be dragging around a bunch of suitcases.  Carry on`s sure.   Everyone is embarking at the same time.    I.E.   Suites, Key, Platinum, Diamond Plus, Diamond, General Public and so forth.   make sure all your documents are in order.  Matt just did a podcast the other day and the Key was mentioned not to get it. 

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I will second @fonemanbob's recommendation.  The Key was just released as a perk when we went on our Oasis of the Seas cruise in December of 2018.  At the time it sounded awesome but I did not like the price (and having to pay for every person and every day).  When I got on the ship I had a little bit of FOMO when I saw signs of it but recalled the price and did not feel it was worth it.  After seeing Matt's podcast yesterday, that confirmed what we were thinking-The Key is not worth it.  However, there is clearly still people who find value in it since it's still being offered by RCCL.

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If you have a Grand Suite then the Key really is not worth the extra. We just got off Radiance and all the suite guests got complimentary lunch on embarkation in Chops, nice perk and as others have said you can also avoid the crowds in the Suite Lounge.

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49 minutes ago, fonemanbob said:

  Your luggage has to be checked so it can go thru the scanners.  You don`t want to be dragging around a bunch of suitcases.  Carry on`s sure.    

Wanted to share that the cruise security screening is different than airport.  You should drop your checked bags, it is much easier and better for the overall process.  But if you do carry them on they probably will make it through security.  The requirement that the bag be a certain size is not really a thing for the ship.  As long as it fits in the scanner it is good to go.

Sorry for those that read this before since once I posted it on another thread.  Our family had backpacks as carry on and a regular checked bag for our last cruise.  Because we were routed incorrectly, more than once, we ended up taking our bags all the way to ship.  I thought it would be problem at security but they put them through the scanners and we kept on through the process.  Luckily we were Star Class so we’re able to just drop the bags at the room.  

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13 hours ago, KimS said:

So, now I just got this carry on that's got wheels, got tired of being the only one on the plane carrying my carry on!

There will be tons of folks on the cruise with rolling carry-ons.  You will not feel out of place at all!

7 hours ago, Diamondntherough said:

If you are boarding early, how does this work if you choose to carry your luggage on rather than check baggage? I purchased the key in hopes that this would allow me to get into my state room early. This is a first time experience with royal. Carnival offered faster to the fun is the key similar?

The Key will not help you get into your stateroom earlier.  The rooms all open at the same time.  This differs from Carnival's Faster to the Fun.  However, the Key will have an area where you will be able to store your carry-on bags when you get on board.  That is one of the advertised privileges of the program.  They will deliver your carry-on bags to your room.  That way you will not have tote them around before the cabins are open (usually around 1pm).  If you chose not to let the porters take your luggage and you bring it all as a carry-on you will be responsible for getting the bags onto the ship and then to the carry-on bag check area.  It's not a set place for the carry-on check for The Key fleetwide and it may not be advertised well, so be sure to ask if you don't see signage.  Often the carry-on check is in the theater but some ships it has been in a dining room.

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10 hours ago, CruisinUpinLife said:

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/what-are-the-benefits-of-the-key-program

This link may help you understand your benefits with The Key.  It does not appear (to me) that you can enter your stateroom early but only that your carry on bags (with limitations as mentioned in the link) will be delivered to your stateroom.  The rest of the cruisers will be having to hold onto their carry on bags until the rooms are ready.  I also have not seen anyone comment on the blog about being able to get into your rooms early with The Key.  I also have never cruised with Carnival so I do not know if anything is similar or not.

Welcome to the blog!  This place is FULL of amazing information and helpful tips.  Enjoy your cruise!

I have gotten spoiled !!! This is what I was expecting from purchasing the key. @ $29 dollars a day Verses a flat fee of $69 for faster to the fun. 

Faster to the Fun offers Carnival cruise passengers the following priority access:

Priority security lines, check-in and boarding
Early access to cabins on embarkation day
Priority delivery of checked luggage
Dedicated phone line to the guest services desk, as well as an exclusive line at the desk itself
Priority dinner times (early, late or Your Time Dining -- does not include priority reservations for flexible dining passengers on a daily basis)
Priority tender service
Choice of early or late debark at the end of the cruise

Thank you all for answering this burning question. I will take everyones advice and cancel  the key. I was soooo excited to purchase this, because I thought my family would be able to board early and just relax in our room until the muster call.  Generally how long does it take to get your checked bags into your rooms if its not ready until after 1pm? 

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10 hours ago, fonemanbob said:

Cancel the KEY and save your money.  You will be dollars ahead.  Your luggage has to be checked so it can go thru the scanners.  You don`t want to be dragging around a bunch of suitcases.  Carry on`s sure.   Everyone is embarking at the same time.    I.E.   Suites, Key, Platinum, Diamond Plus, Diamond, General Public and so forth.   make sure all your documents are in order.  Matt just did a podcast the other day and the Key was mentioned not to get it. 

I have gotten spoiled !!! This is what I was expecting from purchasing the key. @ $29 dollars a day Verses a flat fee of $69 for faster to the fun. 

Faster to the Fun offers Carnival cruise passengers the following priority access:

Priority security lines, check-in and boarding
Early access to cabins on embarkation day
Priority delivery of checked luggage
Dedicated phone line to the guest services desk, as well as an exclusive line at the desk itself
Priority dinner times (early, late or Your Time Dining -- does not include priority reservations for flexible dining passengers on a daily basis)
Priority tender service
Choice of early or late debark at the end of the cruise

Thank you all for answering this burning question. I will take everyones advice and cancel  the key. I was soooo excited to purchase this, because I thought my family would be able to board early and just relax in our room until the muster call.  Generally how long does it take to get your checked bags into your rooms if its not ready until after 1pm? 

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18 hours ago, Diamondntherough said:

Good  Morning,

If you are boarding early, how does this work if you choose to carry your luggage on rather than check baggage? I purchased the key in hopes that this would allow me to get into my state room early. This is a first time experience with royal. Carnival offered faster to the fun is the key similar?

 I've got a suite, so didn't need the key. But am definitely checking in my suitcases, lol….. just have the one carry on that has wheels. Will just wait up in the concierge lounge "If" they let u bs! I saw that the CK was also open for lunch, but will play that by ear.

Thanks again, 

KimS

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18 hours ago, Diamondntherough said:

Good  Morning,

If you are boarding early, how does this work if you choose to carry your luggage on rather than check baggage? I purchased the key in hopes that this would allow me to get into my state room early. This is a first time experience with royal. Carnival offered faster to the fun is the key similar?

Got confused, so may have  accidentally poIsting twice, a few are getting confused by what I had written. I'm definitely checking in my bags & happen to have a small carry on that has wheels. I'll edit my post to clarify that! I didn't purchase the key since we have a suite. Just didn't wanna have the "only" small carry on with wheels! Again, the other bags will be checked in. 

Thanks!

KimS

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I'm trying to edit my question on Boarding. I don't think I clarified the situation considering some of the answers I received, but always appreciate any! First…. We are Definitely checking in our suitcases! I just have a carry on that happens to have wheels, glad I'm not the only one! It's like a underseater for planes, that's how we've been traveling for most of the 40 yrs, except for some cruises here & there. But did get tired of lugging on a carry on the plane, so got a small underseat with wheel, as a carryon. Again, Will be checking in my suitcase or suitcases for sure! Not getting the key, since we got the suite for anniversary.

I was very confused by the diff. times I was told I could embark, so going early & winging it. 

Thanks so much for all the help & answers, hope I clarified my question‚Ķ‚Ķ. may clarify on the original post. Thanks again‚Ě£ÔłŹ

KimS

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On 7/16/2019 at 3:41 PM, DunkelBierJay said:

It's true that rooms aren't ready until 1:00 pm. Show up when you want, especially if you're in a Grand Suite...bring a carry on with essentials.

If you board in the morning starting around 10:30, you can go to lunch or the pool or both.

Ideas for complimentary lunch are the Windjammer, Park Cafe, and I believe the Solarium Bistro...you can also get food at the Promenade Cafe

Chops, Jamie's are open for an extra charge.

I wouldn't sweat when you board.

Yep, gonna board as early as I can! Got confused with RCCL giving me diff times to get on, but just going to wing it…. also was concerned, with traveling on a plane a lot ,finally got the carry on with wheels, so was hoping that wouldn't be a problem…. but def. checking in 1-2 suitcases. 

Thanks again!

KimS

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The earlier that you get to the pier may or may not get your luggage to your room by dinner.  Just being honest and not trying to upset you.  You just never know.  For example lets say you have 4 suitcases. 3 might come early and the 4th an hour or 2 later.  It has happened to us on more than 1 occasion.  

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12 hours ago, ScooterScott22 said:

Wanted to share that the cruise security screening is different than airport.  You should drop your checked bags, it is much easier and better for the overall process.  But if you do carry them on they probably will make it through security.  The requirement that the bag be a certain size is not really a thing for the ship.  As long as it fits in the scanner it is good to go.

Sorry for those that read this before since once I posted it on another thread.  Our family had backpacks as carry on and a regular checked bag for our last cruise.  Because we were routed incorrectly, more than once, we ended up taking our bags all the way to ship.  I thought it would be problem at security but they put them through the scanners and we kept on through the process.  Luckily we were Star Class so we’re able to just drop the bags at the room.  

Thanks ScooterScott22, 

Yep, Planned on checking either 1-2 suitcase, just got a carry on that has wheels, that'll have my bathing suits, etc‚Ķ will be in, just in case we get in a swim before the room, kinda doubt it though. Will check if I can find the size of the carry on bag for the ship- if too big, will just take a big purse!¬†ūüėā

Thanks so much,

KimS

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