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.