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  1. We bought the key for our 12 night Med cruise (17 July on Vision) out of Barcelona for $19USD. Embarkation:- no Key signage but told the RC security person we had the Key & he sent us through a separate line to the other dozen or so passengers waiting & this was at 10:30AM. Took 5 minutes to get on the ship. May have saved us 5-10 minutes. Probably no real value with the Key. Bag Drop Off:- once on the ship nobody knew anything about the Key Bag Drop Off. Hence, they found someone & they escorted us to the Masquerade Theatre where we left our baggage. Was great to walk around & explore the entire ship without bags. Definitely value having the Key if you board early & want to explore the ship. Got to our cabin at 1:15PM & all baggage & Key paperwork was waiting. Arrival Lunch:- got to Chops at around 11:45AM & there was only about 8 other people in there having lunch. Whilst the Windjammer was packed, noisy & very chaotic. So glad to be able to sit down & enjoy a top quality meal in peace. While we were there, I estimate only 30 people came for lunch, even though there appeared to be about 100 on the list at reception. The food was exceptional. Definitely worth having the Key for this experience. Reserved Seating:- the seating was in the upper right hand side of the Theatre which were fantastic seats. We attended most nightly shows & there was never more than 20 people in our section, which probably held 50 seats. Most shows, the Theatre was only ever half full. Only on the Beatles show & Nicola Ward was the Theatre more than half full. Probably no value on having the Key as there was always so many other good seats to choose from. Tendering:- unfortunately we only tendered once in Cannes. We were scheduled to tender in Mykonos but managed to dock & Santorini got cancelled due to strong winds, hence, we docked in Ghania, Crete. The tender queue at Cannes was probably at least 50m long over several flights of stairs. We just walked down to the front of the line (we did feel awkward) & showed our Key & were actually first people off the ship & into the tender. This was a fantastic benefit for us, as not only did we not have to queue for tender tickets, we didn’t have to rush around in the early morning & we got to maximise our time ashore. The Key was definitely worth having in this instance. However, overall as we only tendered once, probably no real value here on this particular cruise. Rock Climbing Wall:- did not use the Key for this. I did go to the rock climbing many times to watch others & there was never more than 6 people doing it. Hence, I doubt the Key would be any value on this particular ship for the rock climbing wall. Voom & Stream:- we would have purchased internet for both my wife & myself regardless. Being part of the Key was a great bonus for us. It meant basically all the other perks only cost us $14USD a day, which for us was definitely worth it. Farewell Breakfast:- Firstly, there was only about 20 people for breakfast, however, we only arrived at 8AM. Unfortunately, breakfast was a complete failure by RC. We ordered their Royal VIP signature & steak & eggs breakfasts, & what they dished out was nothing like what was on the menu. We called over the maître d & showed him the two meals dished out & asked him to describe what they were. He couldn’t. He said he’ll get the chef. 30 minutes later the head chef Ketut comes to our table. I asked him why it took so long to come here? He told me he was very busy up at The Windjammer!? I asked him who is running this kitchen in Chops & he said he was. I asked him to explain what was dished out to us. He said he doesn’t know what those meals are but they are certainly not their VIP meals, he’Il investigate. After another 10 minutes he returned & told us they had run out of many of the ingredients to make the VIP dishes. He can’t explain why these meals were served to us, but, was clearly disappointed at the kitchen & wait staff who produced & allowed these meals to be served to us. He then spent the next 15 minutes creating a special one off gourmet dish for my wife, which she thoroughly enjoyed, whilst I spent the next 20 minutes at guest services explaining what had happened. Guest services eventually decided to give me a $40USD credit against my final account. I think the Key would be worth it, by having a gourmet breakfast in a very quiet & relaxed atmosphere........... but, unfortunately this incident took the shine off a wonderful cruise. It will be a lasting memory we would rather not have. Debarkation:- at 9:25 AM we walked straight off the ship & our luggage was waiting for us right near the port exit. I don’t think the Key would’ve made any difference here, as the terminal was basically empty. So......... is the a Key worth it? If you are going to buy an internet package..... definitely yes. If not..... maybe not, unless there are a lot of tender ports.
  2. Park Cafe in the Solarium will be open late afternoon. Great burgers, hotdogs, roast chicken, fresh sandwiches, sweets & if you’re quick Kummelweck rolls! We had a snack from there nearly every afternoon after getting back on the ship during our12 night Mediterranean July cruise.
  3. So the secret is to only have just enough cash in your debit card so they have to apply the pending charges.
  4. I understand. My bank told me only RCC can remove the pending charges before the 30 day drop off point, & RCC can do that by cancelling the pending charges. Those charges should have been cancelled when they charged my final account.. RCC is rorting the system. What would’ve happened if I only had say $10 left on my debit card after all the pending charges, then, when it came to pay my final account, RCC would not have been able to use further funds on my card. So they would have applied the pending charges to settle my account leaving me with $10 in my account. What they’ve done instead is charged my account double because I’ve had enough funds in there, but then failed to cancel the pending charges. This is a rort! They’ve taken advantage of the fact that I had plenty of funds in my account by double charging me.
  5. Yeah thanks! I’ll try the phone number & email address you’ve provided. Cheers & have a lovely day.
  6. RCC are the only people who can cancel the pending charges before they expire at the 30 day mark. My bank told me all pending charges are either applied by the merchant or cancelled. Why didn’t RCC cancel them when they charged me my final account. The answer:- to manipulate sales figures to trigger bonuses etc. (this is what my bank suspects!)
  7. I’ve had pending charges on this card all over the world. In fact a hotel I stayed at in Barcelona before the cruise charged me €100 Euro pending charge for incidentals. When I checked out they charged me €62 Euro & immediately removed the pending charge. RCC are simply playing games. The onus is on them to remove the pending charges. Finally, please stop criticising me for using a debit card & just answer the question! Who do I contact at RCC to get the pending charges that have been applied to my account removed?
  8. Just spent 40 minutes on the phone with the bank, even spoke to the senior manager. Facts:- my bank Citibank cannot release the funds until either :- 1. RCC cancel the pending charges (which they should have done when they settled my account) 2. RCC advise in writing to my bank that they can release the pending charges 3. RCC do not claim the pending charges within 30 days from date of charge NB:- pending charges are 100% controlled by the merchant. Banks have no control whatsoever over the pending charge. Absolutely, no such thing as banks trying to match pending charges. So can someone finally answer my original question, who do I contact at RCC to expedite the cancellation of the pending charges?
  9. NEC, I’ve been using this card for well over 5 years & have had many pending charges applied to my card especially at hotels. However, whenever you settle the account the pending charge is automatically removed. Why didn’t RCC remove the pending charges?
  10. My debit card was charged daily by RCC with a pending charge against it. On my last day the 13th day RCC finalised my account by charging me the total amount of all the previous days. My problem is 5 days after the cruise ended RCC still have not removed the pending charges, therefore, I have no access to my money. Effectively they have charged me twice! Who do I contact at RCC to expedite the cancellation of those charges? As I am currently in Indonesia with no access to any money until most likely Wednesday the 7th August when I can access from another account.
  11. I’m on VOTS doing the July 17 Med cruise. I’m very interested in your reviews of not only the ship but the ports, & any tips that may help us! We are looking at doing our own tours in all ports except Livorno, where we’ll most likely book a tour. We have booked the Key & the Deluxe drink package. We’re getting really excited about our first RC & Med cruise even though we’ve done 4 cruises previously. Hopefully we can learn from your experience. Cheers! 🍻🥂
  12. Purchased the DBP for my VOTS Mediterranean cruise in July for $46 USD. Costing me $76.50 AUD inclusive of 18% gratuity. Happy days on the ship!
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