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Zee890

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  1. I just got off the Symphony yesterday with the Key. Still some kinks, but overall we loved it. Getting onboard was one of the best parts. We were running late and it had been a frustrating morning. Came in to a busy terminal and long line - we walked right through, which was great. The lunch was in the Main Dining Room. Guest Services sent us to the wrong level, so it took a second to get redirected. The food itself was great, but I could tell the servers were stressed and stretched thin (I've worked on ships and in hospitality before - I know this had to be a program corporate implemented without considering how it would impact those doing the legwork). I think it took a solid 1.5 hours for lunch just due to the waiting between courses. Still worth it. Activity times were scant, but worth it. Rock climbing it was just me and my boyfriend with one other key guest. Ice skating, we got entirely to ourselves. The crew at the ice skating said during non-key hours you can barely move on the ice due to how packed it is. To me, that's worth it. We had an itenary change that therefore changed a few of the activities day 2 onwards and due to our sea days and port days being different than originally planned, we did not have time (or energy) to make the rest. We decided to do ziplining on our own the last day and there was no line. They did a great job constantly keeping us informed. We would have different key paperwork informing us of changes, etc every evening. We did not get a fruit plate, but we did get Key shaped chocolate the first night. The shows was also a nice and helpful perk. It was great to walk right through, past the line and get great seats. If you get to a show 30-40 mins in advance, even without the Key, you should get decent seats. Or at least that was the case for the days/times I went. Still nice not to wait in line. The breakfast was good, but stressful Went to deck 5 and were told the breakfast was on deck 4. Went to deck 4 and there was Key signage but it was empty and the one restaurant manager insisted breakfast was on deck 3 after I emphasized The Key multiple times and showed him my card. Went to deck 3 and stood in a huge line for a few minutes until deciding to just go directly to the podium and asked and was told it was on deck 4 again. I explained we were sent down and he sent us back up. By the time we got back up (this whole thing took 45 mins because we had our luggage and debark morning it's nearly impossible to get an elevator) The Key breakfast was packed. It was good, not great and the whole situation kind of ruined our appetite because we were shorter for time. They did not have any fruit smoothies, even though the menu states it, but the food did come out hot and fresh. Debarking was nice - we were able to walk right through. Overall we enjoyed the perks with The Key. We got it at the price of 19.99 and I would say it was worth that price. If they bulked up the activities more (like they were in the beginning) I would consider paying 24.99, but not more than that. We were two adults traveling, so I think it depends on your party size and your interests.
  2. I always think it's funny when people complain about TSA Precheck lines being longer. Even if everyone did buy precheck (which they won't), you still do not have to take your shoes or jacket off or take electronics out of your bag. So much less hassle.
  3. My suggestion would be to either cancel beforehand or try it out the first day, and if it still feels like it is not satisfactory, see if they can prorate it. I am not by any means saying that will definitely work or that they can prorate the program, especially past the first day. But just in case you go on board with the intention to use the program, but it isn't running smoothly.
  4. My suggestion would be to either cancel beforehand or try it out the first day, and if it still feels like it is not satisfactory, see if they can prorate it. I am not by any means saying that will definitely work or that they can prorate the program, especially past the first day. But just in case you go on board with the intention to use the program, but it isn't running smoothly.
  5. Have you eaten at both Jamie's and Chop's? I still have awhile for my cruise, but I can't decide between the two.
  6. But the original terms did state you needed reservations, so with that logic they are doing nothing wrong. Also, a car salesmen and front of like hospitality worker are vastly different. I have been in hospitality for 10 years, it isn't guest services that implements these programs and I can assure you, it isn't an easy transition behind the scenes. Corporate will just come up with programs not understanding how the day to day operations will be impacted. No matter where I have worked, that has always been the case. If you really want to enact change, don't purchase. If enough people do not purchase a package or do not attend a certain show, corporate will pull it. It really is all about numbers. Maybe I am more flexible because of my hospitality background, but even if you win your "battle" - you're being aggressive and confronting the wrong parties. I don't know how it works for Royal, but the company I worked for had incident reports that got sent shoreside. It could be anything from a minor inconvenience to large challenges. The compensation given is recorded, too. These are documented and kept on file. If we were aware enough of a constant cruiser that was known for being unreasonable and always trying to get compensation, we would be alerted beforehand. If it continued, it could go as far as them being blacklisted. Of course, this isn't often. Most people have genuine issues. But you're already going into this cruise expecting to be compensated and that's unfair to those who have real problems. Same for hotels, too. I will say, you catch more flies with honey. I have gone above and beyond for those having a problem that keep their cool. If someone comes up with your general aura, as much of a people person as I am, I am less likely to bend rules or kill myself helping them. You'll just never be satisfied.
  7. The original iteration of the program did require reservations, though. Then they tried it without and now they're trying with again. I agree they should have emailed everyone that purchased an updated version of the terms and I was looking forward to not making reservations, but in the scheme of things it's not really a big deal. It's a new program I'm choosing to enroll in by choice so I expect to be somewhat of a guinea pig. And it's not like any of us are locked into the program. It would be one thing if it was non refundable, but that's not the case. Also, you are just making things purposefully difficult for the crew if you have enough notice to reserve shows (not sure when your cruise is). But to deliberately not follow the new stipulations and then demand compensation for a totally optional service just seems like you're trying to start something.
  8. I'm glad you mentioned this. After I purchased it, I stopped looking at the details. Just monitored the price. Mine has these updated conditions, too (symphony 9/19).
  9. Because of the high guest capacity for the ship, I wouldn't be surprised if it truly is sold out. I check my cruise planner everyday for sales and the key showed up mid December and has been there every day since. I also monitor sales for my cruise to see if the price has gone down and can be matched (saved $200 that way) and I've noticed in the last few days the room count has gone down significantly. I'll update if it reappears.
  10. Just an fyi - the key for the symphony cruise sailing 9/21/19 now appears to be sold out. Surprised that it is this far in advance. We bought ours a few weeks ago.
  11. I agree with this as well. Sometimes I'll get the company/tour name from viator and look it up in my Chase Travel. Also a booking site, but with my points it's heavily discounted. Viator will have sales from time to time, too. I just like their site by how organized it is as opposed to scouring the internet and being unsure of the legitimacy of what you're finding.
  12. Anyone that has been on Symphony lately (or a 7 night cruise in general) see the drink cards offered? Our 5 night cruise had them on the Majesty, but it doesn't look like they were advertised in the Cruise Compass at all. Just signs at the bar. I know that they are not guaranteed and usually come out halfway through the cruise, I'm just trying to get an idea of the time/price for the Symphony. Thank you!
  13. Dogs are a part of life. It's not like ships are the only places you're encountering dogs, so what do you do in real life? Use that knowledge on board. We all have allergies or preferences, but part of life is you have to adapt. Take the poster that explained her sons and their peanut allergies, she does what she needs to because she cannot always count on her surroundings and the people in it to understand. Random fun fact: Muslims actually believe if they interact with a dog that they are not "clean" to do anything in. a religious nature. The cure (for lack of a better term) is to wash up and then they are purified to pray or whatnot. I've never seen Muslims up in arms about the prevalence of dogs in the US. I've worked on a cruise ship and have never seen the scenario you're painting. You are not going to encounter dog droppings on your cruise. In the rare chance that you did, I can promise it would be sanitized immediately and roped off. I cannot stress how much sanitization is stressed on a ship and how heavily it is regulated. Cruise ships can be penalized severely if they aren't kept to a certain standard. Most guests, even most crew had no idea where the doggy relief area was on the ship because it was that well maintained. I work at a hotel that recently made ALL it's rooms pet friendly, which I don't agree with for cases like your wife's allergies or someone's religious beliefs or what have you. But the fact is, if you have a great housekeeper, you'll never know. Also, everything you are saying applies to all dogs - pets and service. It's not like just because someone has a service dog, your wife will suddenly be un-allergic or that there won't be a relief station. Last point: again, from working in the industry I can tell you this is such a minor issue on cruise ships. I don't agree with people bring their pets on board, but I also know how to live my life and not let something so trivial affect my vacation. I am not going to say which line I worked for, but I know even dogs had to be cleared with paperwork with a ship's officer and no, it is not easily forged.
  14. I have used viator all over the US and Europe. Really convenient way to find tours and good customer service. Booking an excursion with an outside company is the way to go with a cruise ship. I used to work for a cruise ship and I can tell you that all ship tours are through 3rd party opearators and if anything goes wrong, the cruise company has very little recourse because they aren't the operators. The prices are also tremendously marked up because the ship needs it's cut. I booked a tour in Costa Maya that was 50% less than what the ship was offering, even though it was the same tour. That said, since it isn't affiliated with the ship at all you have to be responsible about watching the time, but operators are usually aware they have ship guests and will normally ask (make sure you tell them if they don't ask).
  15. I have never felt the need to respond to anything on here before, but goodness, what a callous thread. For those that want to be the pet police - why? How is something so trivial truly impacting you? There just seems to be a lot of holier than thou, animal haters on this board. I have always felt people that are anti pet lack empathy/compassion. For the record - I think it is irresponsible to bring a pet on a cruise. I feel like they would just be nervous and unhappy. But the pitchfork mentality by all the "Karens" in this thread is terrible. Loudly call people out and shame them? Wow. I would never want to interact with you if that's how you handle yourself (on vacation, no less). To the person that said you went holiday shopping and saw a couple with their dog in a mall. How was that distasteful? I love seeing people out and about with their pets - shows that they care. Worst of all, many of you seem to be older and criticizing the "snowflake/millenial" generation, but have no problem posting strangers photos on a public forum? A. It is truly a heinous, invasive violation of someone's privacy. Whether you agree with their life choices or not. B. If caught, you can be persecuted. Also, I have no dog (pun intended) in this fight - but again criticizing people that have emotional therapy animals.. have you seen suicide rates? I'm sure you all are the same people that are heartbroken when someone dies of suicide and comment on how tragic it is. If an animal is a calming presence for someone that is dealing with anxiety or BPD or another mental illness that you can not visually see, even if you don't believe in it's effectiveness, what's it to you? Basically, all you 'shame them/speak to the manager' people - gain a soul. I'm not saying you have to agree and again I do not think it is responsible to bring pets on a ship, but chances are your partner's mouth or that guard rail you touched or a toilet seat have more germs than an interaction with a dog. Put that into perspective. Edited to add: it would be one thing if this were a completely out of hand problem. I do not agree with people masquerading their dogs as service animals, but if they don't claim it to be and the ship has allowed them, so be it. But 4 out of upwards of 3000 guests is the vast minority because the rest of us are sensible not to bring pets on board. But for how minor it is in the scheme of things in life, why be so negative?
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