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Changes with The Key Program


TerriMall
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@Jim DYup, for selected ships.  I didn't get an email, but according to @Matt's story (https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/10/28/spotted-royal-caribbean-brings-back-early-check-and-welcome-lunch-the-key), it's coming back in somewhat its original form on Freedom, anyway.  When I looked at my Cruise Planner for my upcoming Freedom sailing, sure enough, they've changed the description back to the Embarkation Lunch and Disembarkation Breakfast.  Sadly, I don't see mention of the 25% discount anymore. . .

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Bummer they didn't bring back the reserved seating benefit. On our last cruise, the reserved seating went largely unused even with The Key benefit and having a ship full of suite guests. Hopefully there are opportunities for adjustment! It was a nice way to bridge the gap between Sea Class and Sky Class perks.  

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I have the Key for my Anthem cruise on Nov 28… 

I didn’t receive an email yet (probably will closer to sail date) but the description has changed in the Cruise Planner. Gone is the 25% off specialty dining and the free room service along with the ‘grab and go’ bag. Back is the embarkation Chops lunch and the disembarkation choice departure with breakfast. Also, the arrival perk remains easy access ‘within booked arrival time’…not the earliest. 
Oh well, things are slowly returning to normal. Good!

Summary of your benefits: 
• Priority access into the terminal (within booked arrival time) on Day 1. 
• Carry-on bag drop off and delivery to stateroom. Drop-off your carry-on bags in the Main Dining Room until 1:30pm. 
• Exclusive welcome lunch in the Main Dining Room featuring the Chops Grille Lunch menu. 
• 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, AquaTheater, Studio B and Two70. 
• VOOM ® Surf & Stream 1 Device high speed internet. 
• On debarkation day, enjoy an exclusive à la carte breakfast and choice departure.

*When you receive your SeaPass card, it will have an icon confirming your purchase of The Key. The Key must be purchased prior to sailing by each guest age 6 or older assigned to the same stateroom.

**These benefits are a part of our healthy return to service, and as such, they are subject to change. 

Additional Terms & Conditions apply.

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37 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I read that the reserve seating was coming back, I think it will be there some time on the Dec sailings. I purchased the Key for the last leg of my S2S2S on Mariner because of the priority seating. The extra 25% is not listed for that sailing and the description reads like the old version.

Fingers crossed! That would be great as the reserved seating section was one of the major perks for us back in May 2019 on Allure. We loved the convenience and stress-free experience of showing up just 10-20 minutes before each show and getting seated together (as a group) in the center reserved section in the venue.

They cancelled the Key on our Oasis sailing this month, but we did not need it due to the reduced capacity. I'm assuming they plan on returning to full capacity (or close to) by the time we sail next FEB.

I remember our first few cruises... we would always have to monitor the time closely during dinner and make sure our waiter was aware that we had an 8:00 PM show so we could move dinner along faster and get there on time to get decent seats (as a group). Sometimes we couldn't finish dessert and as we had to rush to the show to make it on time. Even when we were able to show up 30 minutes before the show, we'd usually have to sit off-center and further back in the venue.

The early access perk is not much of a perk IMHO... If you have the time and desire to show up really early when they first open the doors, you could always get good seats even without the Key. I don't want to waste any of my cruise sitting and waiting 30-45+ minutes for any show to start (even if we have drinks while we wait, LOL!).

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25 minutes ago, JohnK6404 said:

The early access perk is not much of a perk IMHO... If you have the time and desire to show up really early when they first open the doors, you could always get good seats even without the Key. I don't want to waste any of my cruise sitting and waiting 30-45+ minutes for any show to start (even if we have drinks while we wait, LOL!).

I don’t think the ‘early access’ works anyway. At least on the Oasis and Anthem (even pre-Covid). I have never seen a separate line for ‘early access’ Key members or suite guests or Pinnacles….it’s always one line with everyone and as soon as the doors open, everyone goes in. The only special service I have seen is the Genie escorting their guests to their pre-chosen seats.

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7 minutes ago, BrianB said:

I don’t think the ‘early access’ works anyway. At least on the Oasis and Anthem (even pre-Covid). I have never seen a separate line for ‘early access’ Key members or suite guests or Pinnacles….it’s always one line with everyone and as soon as the doors open, everyone goes in. The only special service I have seen is the Genie escorting their guests to their pre-chosen seats.

Pre-covid, we were escorted down to the Key reserved section (roped off section) once we showed our SeaPass... will miss that! So many confused and dirty looks while we were escorted to our seats!

 

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48 minutes ago, JohnK6404 said:

Pre-covid, we were escorted down to the Key reserved section (roped off section) once we showed our SeaPass... will miss that! So many confused and dirty looks while we were escorted to our seats!

 

I have experienced the Key reserved seating areas in the theater and Two70 aboard the Anthem but never used them. I'd rather sit up front. But for that, I have to get there early and stand on line. There was no 'early access' separate line for Key or Suites...just first come, first enter.

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18 hours ago, JohnK6404 said:

Pre-covid, we were escorted down to the Key reserved section (roped off section) once we showed our SeaPass.

That happened with us too. Best part about The Key IMO. Didn't stress about showing up to any show or rushing through dinner to get there early enough for good seats. Every major resort has pay for exclusivity perks. Disney has Fast Pass, Universal has Express Pass, Delta has Sky Priority... I think RCI is missing a major opportunity to promote The Key in a similar fashion without this perk. 

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Everyone is still missing the point.  How do I know which key program I am paying for if the description on the cruise planner never changed but about 6 weeks ago I got an email about the changes and the cruise planner never updated.  Which one do I have. Because customer service is zero help.  

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31 minutes ago, Jim D said:

Everyone is still missing the point.  How do I know which key program I am paying for if the description on the cruise planner never changed but about 6 weeks ago I got an email about the changes and the cruise planner never updated.  Which one do I have. Because customer service is zero help.  

It's a fair question, and the only answer I have is you could buy it and hope that email a few days before you sail.  Make a reminder to cancel 2-3 days before your cruise in case you don't get it or don't like the email.

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32 minutes ago, Matt said:

It's a fair question, and the only answer I have is you could buy it and hope that email a few days before you sail.  Make a reminder to cancel 2-3 days before your cruise in case you don't get it or don't like the email.

On a separate note.  You are a very good writer from reading all your blog stories! 👍

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12 hours ago, Jim D said:

How do I know which key program I am paying

You don't... and it is written into the fine print. This is directly from their TaC. 
RCL Purchase Terms and Conditions.pdf (royalcaribbean.com)

Quote

These Terms are subject to change without prior written notice at any time, in our sole discretion. Any changes to the Terms will be in effect as of the "Last Updated Date" referenced on the Site. You should review these Terms prior to purchasing any product or services that are available through the Site. Your continued use of the Site after the "Last Updated Date" will constitute your acceptance of and agreement to such changes.

It sucks... but just follow @Matt's advice and you can't go wrong! 

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In my opinion…One of the best customer service perks allowed by Royal is the ability to make a Cruise Planner Purchase and then change it, cancel it, or re-purchase it at a lower price. So many times I have locked in a purchase to make sure I had what I really wanted…and then later re-booked it at a lower price. Apparently the price drops if there isn’t much demand (simple Econ) and Royal allows me to take advantage of the new price. Or if I decide another item became more affordable, I can cancel what I already purchased for a quick refund to my credit card…and make the new purchase. Very user friendly.

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