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ValerieJo

New Program called "The Key"

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Posted (edited)

I just finished all our check in information for our cruise departing Rome.  Our arrival time stated 2:30pm so just called to confirm we could arrive early for the Key lunch. We have only been on one 4 day Carnival cruise previously, so not really savvy on all this cruise stuff, so thought I would call to get more info on how the key was going to work in Rome.

 

Ummm, nope. Boarding is from 2:30-6:30, ship leaving at 8pm.  The Key lunch is being moved to day 2, in an "exclusive" area in the main dining room for the lunch.  Only problem with that is that we are in Naples. So, we either can miss Naples and stay on the boat for a cheap lunch or miss yet another perk of the Key.  Sorry, one of the main things we are looking forward to on this cruise is to see Pompeii.  We have Ciro LaMotta booked for a private tour, removing the shopping in Sorento so that we can spend more time in Pompeii.

 

I asked why they didn't move it to day 3, our one and only day at sea as  we are now losing yet another perk of the Key.  She snottily replied that we are not losing it, we are choosing not to attend by going to Naples.  Pretty sure this is by design, putting the lunch on a popular port day rather than the sea day. That way they are not going to have to feed anyone.

 

I am this.close to canceling it for our group of 6.  I am so irritated by all the changes. We originally purchased it for the "no reservations needed" perk.  I was thrilled to be able to just go to a show when we wanted to go to a show without having to pre plan. That was the first thing to go away. Then the daily private hours. Now the Chops Lunch, well technically it is still there but are they really expecting people not to go to Naples?

 

Edited by cruise_co

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10 minutes ago, cruise_co said:

Boarding is from 2:30-6:30, ship leaving at 8pm.  The Key lunch is being moved to day 2, in an "exclusive" area in the main dining room for the lunch.  Only problem with that is that we are in Naples. So, we either can miss Naples and stay on the boat for a cheap lunch or miss yet another perk of the Key. 

No contest. Naples outweighs anything from the Key.

 

While you're in Naples...consider the 1/2 day excursion to Capri (island). An amazing place you'll never forget.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Thorben-Hendrik said:

Tough choice!🤔

Right? Naples or a watered down Chops menu in a corner of the MDR.  Actually on the phone right now to see if we can move the lunch to the sea day. They keep insisting I have to ask that on the ship. I keep insisting I need to know before so I can cancel if need be.  

 

Royal Caribbean is not impressing me at all right now,

 

Edit to update: They insist we need to ask if we can move the lunch to day 3 on the ship. I have just cancelled for our group of 6.  Will just add the internet separately.  Just saved myself over $500.

Edited by cruise_co
update

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, cruise_co said:

Right? Naples or a watered down Chops menu in a corner of the MDR.  Actually on the phone right now to see if we can move the lunch to the sea day. They keep insisting I have to ask that on the ship. I keep insisting I need to know before so I can cancel if need be.  

 

Royal Caribbean is not impressing me at all right now,

 Make sure  you get it in writing - the ship will blame "Miami" for everything they don't want to do.... 🙄

Edited by Thorben-Hendrik

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6 hours ago, cruise_co said:

 

Edit to update: They insist we need to ask if we can move the lunch to day 3 on the ship. I have just cancelled for our group of 6.  Will just add the internet separately.  Just saved myself over $500.

Good call!

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2019 at 8:44 AM, irzero said:

I would advise all customers to cancel this program if you have bought it for sports activities.

1 hour per week on flow rider and no priority line on independence.

I have a friend who is new to cruising.  His one daughter loves climbing walls (she’s on the climbing team at school), and both kids love things like the flowrider.  When this first came out, I highly recommended it to him.  Once I started hearing the reviews I told him “stop, don’t book it!” (And told him why).  Now he won’t book unless I tell him the hours have been expanded.

Edited by vacationlover_mn

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I have a meeting with director on ship. Sounds positive as hes agreed that I've not got a single benefit yet and a simple refund solves nothing as it's the loss of expectations that hurts more than the money

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, irzero said:

I have a meeting with director on ship. Sounds positive as hes agreed that I've not got a single benefit yet and a simple refund solves nothing as it's the loss of expectations that hurts more than the money.
 

Good luck.

 

Financial restitution isn't a bad thing, especially when based on a wide mix of reviews...expectations might be overly-optimistic.

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On 6/4/2019 at 9:47 AM, cruise_co said:

Right? Naples or a watered down Chops menu in a corner of the MDR...They insist we need to ask if we can move the lunch to day 3 on the ship. I have just cancelled for our group of 6.  Will just add the internet separately.  Just saved myself over $500.

 

From all I have read, I think you made a wise decision.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Good luck.

 

Financial restitution isn't a bad thing, especially when based on a wide mix of reviews...expectations might be overly-optimistic.

Wrong post, was looking for update to the meeting. 

Edited by cre8tiv

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20 hours ago, irzero said:

I have a meeting with director on ship. Sounds positive as hes agreed that I've not got a single benefit yet and a simple refund solves nothing as it's the loss of expectations that hurts more than the money

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

Outcome? Are you satisfied with the meeting? 

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Outcome? Are you satisfied with the meeting? 
First meeting went well but follow up is tomorrow. I'll report back when I know more. They seem to be trying harder all of a sudden.

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I think with all of the unsatisfying reports we're seeing about The Key it is likely to get a full overhaul or simply disappear. Way to many unrealized expectations.

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11 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I think with all of the unsatisfying reports we're seeing about The Key it is likely to get a full overhaul or simply disappear. Way to many unrealized expectations.

 

I have followed this thread and the Key Review thread faithfully. Inconsistency, crew unprepared and not educated in the included benefits and lack of private hours on the activities, especially the flow rider, appear to be the major issues. Perhaps paring back the benefits and lowering the cost would be beneficial. I agree that there are too many unrealized expectations.

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1 hour ago, Tree_skier said:

I think with all of the unsatisfying reports we're seeing about The Key it is likely to get a full overhaul or simply disappear. Way to many unrealized expectations.

This program may end up one of those "it sounded good on paper" ideas that failed due to execution, training, and other factors.

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2 minutes ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

This program may end up one of those "it sounded good on paper" ideas that failed due to execution, training, and other factors.

 

I still am looking forward to my cruise in September with the Key. Priority embarcation, luggage drop off, Chops lunch, reserved seats for shows, last day breakfast and priority disembarcation are the benefits I am most interested in. I have no interest in the private hours on any of the activities. It's not a huge investment for us as its only for 2 people on a 4 night cruise. Time will tell.

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6 hours ago, Tree_skier said:

I think with all of the unsatisfying reports we're seeing about The Key it is likely to get a full overhaul or simply disappear. Way to many unrealized expectations.

 

I am booked on the Anthem TA November 2020, and the key is not listed at all.  I suspect you are correct. For the small (significant to us) revenue it was generating it was just not worth the extra hassle. I think it was a good value initially, after my last cruise when the changes kicked in,... not so much.

 

jc

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44 minutes ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

I am booked on the Anthem TA November 2020, and the key is not listed at all.  I suspect you are correct. For the small (significant to us) revenue it was generating it was just not worth the extra hassle. I think it was a good value initially, after my last cruise when the changes kicked in,... not so much.

 

jc

It's still available on my Adventure cruise in Dec 2019 but not on my Dec 2020 but I guess that that is not really surprising. There are still several things that I expect to see that I haven't seen yet.

 

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4 hours ago, xpcdoojk said:

 

For the small (significant to us) revenue it was generating it was just not worth the extra hassle. I think it was a good value initially, after my last cruise when the changes kicked in,... not so much.

 

I doubt they see the revenue is insignificant. $6000/day (100 cabins @$30 - obviously some were cheaper and some dearer, and also reports are cabins went up to maybe 200) is $2.2m/year, just for one ship. Admittedly it displaces some internet revenue, but it's not a non-starter, especially across more of the fleet. The great upside for them is it goes straight through to earnings, as there were no extra ongoing costs.

 

I doubt it's going anywhere.

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14 hours ago, blueridgemama said:

 

I still am looking forward to my cruise in September with the Key. Priority embarcation, luggage drop off, Chops lunch, reserved seats for shows, last day breakfast and priority disembarcation are the benefits I am most interested in. I have no interest in the private hours on any of the activities. It's not a huge investment for us as its only for 2 people on a 4 night cruise. Time will tell.

 

Same with us for our upcoming cruise on Anthem ... except we don't even care about the Chops lunch since we got a great deal on the Unlimited Dining Package. Just 2 of us so worth a try. What ship will you be on in September?

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The latest on my cruise is that they are trying much harder to get it right. New sessions for flow rider have been organised to about 5 or 6 in total. Priority on a tender was much better than taking tickets.

Hefty discount given for what has happened so far. So for this holiday I'd say it's worked out ok and hopefully will continue.

I could have pushed for a total refund but likely lost the benefits and at least this way I get the best of both.

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Great news irzero!

Now know who we ll be asking for if Key experience not what they offered, lol. 

Enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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I wonder if we'll see it broken up into individual components in the future? 

It seems that people were buying The Key for particular parts of the program -- some wanted the priority boarding / luggage drop-off / lunch at Chops, some wanted the priority debarkation with special breakfast, some wanted the semi-private Flowrider sessions, some wanted priority seating at shows.  

I wonder if in the future, the program will be broken into these various components.  

Priority boarding, luggage drop-off and Chops lunch upon boarding -- $75pp.
Priority debarkation and breakfast -- $50pp.
Semi-private Flowrider session every day -- $200pp.
Priority seating at shows with no reservations needed -- $100pp.

People could buy the part they were interested in, and not have to pay for the part they didn't want. 

 

And because each would be a separate program, each could be implemented individually on each ship and only in the departments affected, instead of trying to train an entire ship on a new program that affects multiple different departments.

 




 

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DH and I had the Key on recent Freedom sailing from San Juan. We enjoyed it and would definitely do again. We paid $19/pp. Walked right up to gate no line to check in, easy luggage drop off, great lunch, great internet, used reserved seats for the comedy show, great breakfast on debarkation day and then walked off the ship directly into special customs line. Took about 10 minutes from leaving the dining room until we were done at customs. Easily worth doing again for us. It looked like only a few hours for special activities but we don't do any of those. We did watch Flowrider for a few minutes during the time and the line was very short and the kids looked like they enjoyed going over and over. Everyone we talked to at the debarkation breakfast we pleased with their choice as well.

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