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The Key > Yay - Nay


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We are on the Mariner OTS for NYE and friends are looking at all the options. I'm the researcher, ask questions and get options person... they are the "hey its and upgrade let do it people. So That being said, not changing to a suite as we have a "sweet" aft balcony but would you say yes to The Key or would you put the pennies elsewhere on the trip? TIA

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This has been discussed at length and Matt has made it clear that he's not a fan of the "Key".  

That being said, I find the Key worthwhile only if you were intending to purchase 2-device Voom without it.  And even at that, you need to look at the difference (remember, you have to purchase it for both adults in the room) between the Key and 2-device Voom.  There will always be a difference and that is the cost of the other perks (early boarding, nice first-day lunch, nice last-day breakfast, priority seating for shows,...).  That being said, during Covid with empty ships (and enforced boarding times), it may not be available (if it is now, it will be cancelled) and probably not worth it.

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I always got the Key. But I sail solo, always get internet, sail out of Port Liberty and usually on the Anthem. The Key program benefits that were best for me were always early boarding (in Bayonne we board right behind suite guests)…carry-on drop off…lunch from Chops…front of the line tendering…and first-off walk-off disembarkation.

But, in the age of Covid…doesn’t make sense to purchase even if it was available. I’ll just get the internet.

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No to the Key especially right now. The perks would be fine if the ship was full and you wanted to get in the front of the line and the other few perks it gives but personally I would not get it even on a full one. Just not worth it IMHO. Our last cruise there was no waiting for anything and the reserved seating was actually off to the side for the shows which to me makes it worthless.

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I got it for my 4-Night Freedom OTS sailing at the end of November because:

1) I'm sailing solo, so it's just one

2) I want the Voom anyway, and it was $1 / day less !  than the 1-Device Voom (it's now gone up to $1/day more than Voom, but that's ok) @ $16.99/day

3)  If it stays intact, I'm eager to try the Chops lunch

 

If I had to buy it for 2 people, I probably wouldn't, as I usually just get a 1-Device Voom and share it with my DH

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I have been planning to get it for my Jan Indy sailing because it is just me. However its been $27 that sailing with most sales and given the limited perks, I just don't think it is worth it. Under $20, a maybe, but over that is a definite no. I agree that if you are sailing in 2021, not solo, it might be better to just buy the multi-device Voom package.

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I'll just say that everyone values the Key perks differently. The value also varies based on ship amenities/ship class. Opinions will be all over the place. The friends we sailed with went as far as to say that they will always purchase the Key going forward (they are frequent cruisers - never in suites) as long as the price is reasonable. I agree that the price of the Key and your desire to purchase the Voom package are the biggest factors.

We all (wife and friends) thoroughly enjoyed the Key on our Allure cruise back in May 2019, but that was pre-Covid. We purchased it at $19.99 which was a no-brainer as we all wanted the Voom package anyway. We really enjoyed the Chops Lunch (actually in Chops at that time) on embarkation day, special semi-private breakfast on the last morning in the MDR, reserved seating at all major shows (we would just arrive 10-15 minutes before each show and we were escorted to reserved section in the center of the venue... no scrambling for decent seats and we all sat together... many dirty looks!), carry-on bag delivery to cabin upon boarding, etc.

We were also escorted off the ship at the end of the cruise through the terminal utilizing the Star Class line (no one else on line). The terminal was packed and the regular line was of course snaking throughout the terminal at Port Everglades. We got a lot of confused looks that morning! We were through customs and in our car in literally 10-15 minutes from the time we all met in the Royal Promenade (Champagne Bar) and were escorted off the ship. I don't believe that perk is part of the Key program anymore.

However, in a Covid world with reduced capacity sailings, it may not be that much of a perk at this time especially at the current pricing.

My wife and I still purchased it for our 10/3/21 Oasis sailing at $21.99 (probably as high as I would have gone), but we just received this cancellation e-mail from Royal this morning... time for me to cancel the DBP and purchase the DBP plus VOOM! 🙄

 

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