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Changes with The Key Program


TerriMall
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I am scheduled to go on Oasis of The Seas in February 2022 and received this email regarding the changes with the Key Program.  I'm very disappointed and thinking this is not worth it now and thinking on canceling the Key.   Thoughts?

ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING TRAVELS
 

 

 

 

Dear Guest,

As part of our healthy return to service, we have modified The Key’s program benefits to ensure we maintain our health protocols while providing you with a wonderful cruise experience.

Here’s what you can expect on your upcoming sailing:

  • Enjoy priority access at the terminal within your arrival time. 
  • Drop off your carry-on luggage in the Main Dining Room by 2:00 PM – your carry-on luggage will be hand delivered to your stateroom. 
  • Instead of a complimentary embarkation lunch, we’ll provide you with complimentary room service for your entire cruise, along with 25% off all onboard dining purchases! 
  • Enjoy exclusive time at some of our onboard activities such as rock climbing, FlowRider, etc. 
  • Priority departure from ship-to-shore at tender ports.
  • Take advantage of early access at shows in the Main Theater, however a reservation is needed so don’t forget to book in advance!
  • Enjoy our VOOM Surf & Stream package, now including high speed internet, for one device (1 package per guest).
  • On debarkation day, along with choice departure, you’ll now have a special “grab and go” bag that includes goodies to enjoy as you may your way back home.

Lastly, when you arrive to the port for your sailing, please locate The Key signage for priority access and make your way onto the ship. To see all the benefits The Key program has to offer, please click here.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard soon!

Sincerely,

Royal Caribbean International

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IMO The Key is less appealing than it used to be.   We bought it for a cruise when it was first made available because we felt the difference between the Key and 2-device Voom (I only travel with my wife) was not much and the embarkation lunch in Chops and the sit-down breakfast on debarkation day was worth it.  I've never used room service and usually don't book morning flights on debarkation day so I just don't see the value any more.    The other perks that are included with The Key are also not a big deal to us.

So the bottom line is The Key is only worth it if there isn't much price difference between it and 2-device Voom.  Otherwise, I'd pass. 

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1 hour ago, GKMCruising said:

@MattYou think we could get a temporary pinned thread on this at the top of the boards? I feel like we're getting almost one or two new threads on the Key daily right now.

In my experience, I doubt it would help. 

I'm just happy to have questions about things like The Key instead  of "will my cruise actually sail?" lol

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I wish someone would post about actually using The Key since they started offering it again. I feel like nobody has actually used the "new" Key and therefore can't really ascertain if it is worth it or if the changes are good.

Also I am sailing Oct 31st, do you think my allure sailing will actually happen?????

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I think the value of the key varies on how many people are in your room.  I always cruise solo, and the price of the key has been near, ore even lower, than the price voom by itself or the cost of voom when added to a drink package.  On my upcoming cruise Voom has been as high as $23, but right now it's $15.99 or adds $14 to the drink package.  The Key was only !9.99, so I got it.  But if you have more than one person in the cabin, the Voom multi device packages start effectively increasing the daily cost of the Key.   If I am flying to the cruise, just a place to drop off my carry on is worth a lot to me.   So as a solo cruiser, and as long as the key is $19.99 or less, it has had enough value to me in the past, and still will with the new changes.   I will miss the lunch, but if I wake up at 3 am and want something to eat, I won't have to worry about the additional $7.50 over the tip.   But I think the value goes down as you have more people in your cabin.

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2 hours ago, MrMarc said:

I think the value of the key varies on how many people are in your room.  I always cruise solo, and the price of the key has been near, ore even lower, than the price voom by itself or the cost of voom when added to a drink package.  On my upcoming cruise Voom has been as high as $23, but right now it's $15.99 or adds $14 to the drink package.  The Key was only !9.99, so I got it.  But if you have more than one person in the cabin, the Voom multi device packages start effectively increasing the daily cost of the Key.   If I am flying to the cruise, just a place to drop off my carry on is worth a lot to me.   So as a solo cruiser, and as long as the key is $19.99 or less, it has had enough value to me in the past, and still will with the new changes.   I will miss the lunch, but if I wake up at 3 am and want something to eat, I won't have to worry about the additional $7.50 over the tip.   But I think the value goes down as you have more people in your cabin.

Great summary, @MrMarc.  

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I think your cabin class, whether or not you would use room service/internet, and whether one of your port itineraries includes a tender should really be the primary considerations.  

Personally, I thought the Chops embarkation meal in the MDR was not as nice as the meal is when actually in Chops. I would LOVE no cost room service as I am an early riser while my spouse is not. I would love to enjoy a full service breakfast on my balcony without having to go to the WJ (does anyone else hate walking back to their room with food...? all uncovered... and then someone always makes a comment about your breakfast... lol... like... mind yo business... this is for TWO people <-- clearly still holding onto trauma) 

We always use the internet, and on larger ships, the priority tender / saved seats at events can definitely make you feel like Sky/Star class without booking that level of suite. Without the saved seats at events, The Key just doesn't seem worth it. 

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28 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

More changes.

If Key holders can check in early, regardless of their slotted time, does this mean suites + pins can too?

 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/10/28/spotted-royal-caribbean-brings-back-early-check-and-welcome-lunch-the-key

 

Could someone clarify this? We are in a suite for the first time on RCL and it says a perk is priority boarding, does this mean we just get a choice of earlier slotted times?

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14 minutes ago, infosec123 said:

Could someone clarify this? We are in a suite for the first time on RCL and it says a perk is priority boarding, does this mean we just get a choice of earlier slotted times?

In the "olden days" it meant you could board whenever you wanted and had a special line to check in at.

Now,  they have the slotted times for check-in, you could check in an hour ahead of your slot. But now that Keys can arrive at any time, I would hope that mean suites can too.

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20 minutes ago, infosec123 said:

Could someone clarify this? We are in a suite for the first time on RCL and it says a perk is priority boarding, does this mean we just get a choice of earlier slotted times?

Currently, the only boarding advantage that suites have is that they are allowed to check in/board up to 1 hour prior to their designated boarding time.  I believe that some ports are beginning to provide a suite boarding area/line but some still do not have any special boarding lane for suites. I hope that eventually they will all go back to having a designated suites boarding area but who knows ?

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33 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Currently, the only boarding advantage that suites have is that they are allowed to check in/board up to 1 hour prior to their designated boarding time.  I believe that some ports are beginning to provide a suite boarding area/line but some still do not have any special boarding lane for suites. I hope that eventually they will all go back to having a designated suites boarding area but who knows ?

ok, so it sounds like even though we have that priority check in, if we wait until the last minute to check in and select our boarding time, we could wind up with a boarding time in the afternoon (assuming the key benefits dont transition to those in the suites) and could get in 1 hour earlier than that late afternoon boarding time.

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51 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Currently, the only boarding advantage that suites have is that they are allowed to check in/board up to 1 hour prior to their designated boarding time.  I believe that some ports are beginning to provide a suite boarding area/line but some still do not have any special boarding lane for suites. I hope that eventually they will all go back to having a designated suites boarding area but who knows ?

First time Star Class in January so I definitely was wanting the full experience, BUUTTTT I am not complaining since I am just happy to be back on a ship! I will arrive one hour earlier than whatever check in time I receive. Fingers crossed its 12:00 and then I will get to arrive at 11 just like the Key holders. With the strict check in times, that is a definite advantage of the Key, almost worth paying for. 

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On 10/28/2021 at 1:29 PM, WAAAYTOOO said:

WOW !  That changed back very quickly !  Wonder if they were losing Key sales or if they really are returning to a pre-cruise tempo.  Very interesting.  Also nice if they truly are keeping the perks of waived room service fee and 25% off specialty dining.  Those are pretty nice additions.

Seems the waived room service fee and 25% off dinning is not available with The Key on all ships/cruises. After the announcements, I went to our Nov 28/21 reservation and looked, no free room service or dinning discount. Too bad, I would have clicked 'buy'.

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