These comments and notes come from my Cruise on Rhapsody on February 1, 2020. We were using the Key for the trip
We arrived at 10:15 and there were no lines to get through check-in. As you enter the building, Suites and Pinnacles go left, Key and Crown and Anchor have lines by status in the middle and first timers go right.
Note: Make sure they know you are Key or they will shuffle you in with other people.
We checked in in under five minutes and were funneled to the seats. This is where the terminal staff dropped the ball. They did not have a person at the end of the queue to tell you where to go. Since there was no one right there, people went where they shouldn’t and we were originally sent to the Gold C&A chairs until I asked the person there and he said we belonged elsewhere. Once we got in the Key seating area we noticed many others sitting in places they didn’t belong.
We were called an able to get on-board about 10:45
We were able to get the Key for about $21 ($3 a day) each over the cost of Voom Streaming service. On this voyage we used the following advantages:
Leave our carry-on bags at theatre
the Early boarding, right after Suites and Pinnacles
Chops style luncheon in the dining room
Priority Tender in Grand Cayman
Departure breakfast in dining room
Walk Off Departure
There were a couple of unexpected bonuses: One day we got a key shaped chocolate in our cabin and another evening we received a fresh fruit plate (apple, pear, banana, kiwi, orange). They were nice little surprises!
The lunch and breakfast were nice, it was nice to be more relaxed when others were scrambling about in the Windjammer or lined up waiting for their number to be called.
One disappointment was that our bags were not in our staterooms when we were able to access them. I thought they would be, this was purely a presumption or expectation on my part since nothing in writing said they would be.
We did not use the priority seating, I didn’t want to have to get a show twenty minutes early to get a “good” seat. On Rhapsody the seating area is on Deck 6 on the right side of the theatre.
Based on this cost difference, I would do the Key again. If I didn’t need internet or there was a much larger price difference I would have to think hard about it. The Bridge
One of the early highlights of the cruise is going under a bridge that the ship clears by 8 or 9 feet. On our trip this happened at about 6:30. We did tell our tablemates and table servers that we were going to leave for it and come back to finish the meal which they were all fine with.
Please note that they will announce that the bridge is coming, giving you 10-15 minutes notice and more than enough time to get to the upper decks to watch Dining Room Special Requests On the first night of the cruise I requested Savory Bites and we had them every night thereafter.
Our tablemates were hoping to get Bread Pudding one night and asked the waiter for it. They were served it one night.
This was a good cruise, we had a lot of fun and can't wait for our next.
In fact, it was one couples first cruise and they were ready to book another before we even left the port in Tampa!