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We had the Key on the Harmony of the Seas 9/22 sailing. We got to the port at 11 and there was zero wait for anyone getting on the ship. It was neat to see software a company I worked for in use for embarkation working so smoothly!  We easily found our way to the main dining room to drop off our bags and get seated for lunch. They were walking around with trays of lemonade as you waited to be seated. We got our packet with the details of what was included, schedule of activities and internet access details.  The activities were all on Sea days, but sometimes overlapped. 

 

Bag drop off: this was super easy and the bags were in our room at 1:00. 

 

Lunch: we had a great lunch!  The waiter convinced my 8 year old to try the burger off the chops menu over the kids meal he wanted and honored his request to hold the sauce.  We booked the Key with this lunch in mind because we don’t like the craziness of the buffet.  Definitely got our trip started off right. 

 

Coco Cay priority disembarkation: we met in On Air and were escorted off the ship, supposedly ahead of everyone else. However, we got escorted out the back and others beats us that came out the front. It wasn’t a big deal because it wasn’t crowded, but it wasn’t really a perk. 

 

Show reserved seating: we got to Aqua show and there was no signs or details about reserved seating. However, someone came over to us and explained where the Key seats were and we had our pick of several rows. Maybe one other family was sitting with us until they opened it up. I thought the location was good. 

 

Activities: we didn’t use these because we never found the lines to be long. The times were not convenient for our schedule. The times were all in sea days (day 3 and day 6). 

 

Internet: we used this a lot!  My kids watched tons of YouTube because they didn’t like the channels available. My teen texted to his hearts content with his friends. We had an easy way to stay in touch on the ship and at Coco Cay. 

 

Disembarkation breakfast/leaving: we skipped this because my husband was in a hurry to get on the road. We should have gone because it took us a long time to find something on the road!   It was nice to leave when we wanted and our luggage was waiting for us. 

 

We also got a fruit fruit bowl delivered to us on day 2.  Do I think it was worth it?  We paid $19.99 per person. I would have bought internet for 4 devices anyway, so the difference was well worth it for the additional benefits. I don’t think I would get it if the cost was much more than that though. 

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Here's my Key review for the Sep 20 Ovation (Vancouver-Honolulu) sailing.

 

I paid $29.99/pp per day (for 10 days).

 

Boarding - We were at the terminal at about 11am and it was slightly faster than normal but it likely only saved us about 10 mins of boarding time.  

 

Carry-on bag drop-off - We brought a case of water on board with us so being able to drop that off while we waited for room access was nice.  We had entry to our room at 1pm and our carry-on awaited us inside.  The checked bags didn't show up until later that afternoon (similar time to non-Key bags).

 

Sea Pass card - There was no key symbol on our sea pass cards and we had to go to the customer service desk once on board to get the sticker put on.

 

Lunch at Chops - The "Chops" lunch took place in the MDR and it was very good.  Same menus as previously posted.

 

Internet - We picked up our internet codes at the MDR host stand and immediately connected without issue.  Connectivity on board wasn't great for surfing (it was very slow), but somehow streaming Netflix worked fine.  There were periodic outages throughout the cruise.  Pretty typical from what I have previously experienced with RCCL.

 

Reserved seating for shows - The reserved seating was the entire balcony area.  Most days we had to show our sea pass cards to gain access but there were a couple of times when they weren't checking.  Those couple of times made for a very crowded balcony as the shows were at capacity.  I wasn't pleased that we weren't able to get a seat for one of the shows when we arrived about 20 mins before start time (it was one they weren't checking for).  I reported it to the activities manager and did not experience any further issues with seating for the remainder of the cruise.

 

Reserved time for activities - We didn't use.

 

Priority tenders - In theory this was great, but we didn't find there was really any need.  They assigned 3 times for tenders, but none of the times had any waits (even without the Key) so there was no benefit for us here.

 

Departure/breakfast - It was a very good breakfast in the MDR with very few people in attendance which made for a nice relaxed departure day.  We just walked off the ship when we wanted to and retrieved our bags on the terminal.  Very hassle-free and saved us a lot of grief.

 

 

All-in-all, while the Key was a nice-to-have thing, I don't believe it offered enough value for our sailing.  We would have purchased internet anyway, but at an additional cost of approximately $17/pp per day (above what the internet would have been on its own) the Key just didn't add enough value for us.  We will not be purchasing it again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sailed on Symphony of the Seas October 5, 2019, Eastern Caribbean.

I know there are many other reviews, but I wanted to provide my perspective as I debated on purchasing the key and read every review I could find. 

 

Long story short, I am glad I purchased the key, but I don’t think I got a good value (paid $24.99 per person per day).    

 

Another consideration is internet, while I did not intend on purchasing internet when I purchased the key, after having it, I will not sail again without it (see review below for more info). 

 

Since a large number of key benefits allow you to skip the line, for my purpose of evaluation, I equated one hour of line waiting to be worth $100.  In other words, I would have paid $100 for my family to skip a one-hour line.

 

If all goes as intended with the program, assuming a purchase of internet for each person, I would do it again in a heartbeat at $15, strongly consider at $20 and will only pay $25+ if wanting to splurge on the vacation (which is why I did it this time).

 

My overall perception is they sold too many Keys and overwhelmed the program.

 

Priority Check-in – we arrived around 10:30am, not much line for Key or non-Key guests.  No real value for us, saved us 15 minutes at most.   I would imagine those arriving later would save time more waiting in line.

 

Carry-on Bag – Very nice, we carried on one small bag that we normally would have checked.  While all of our checked bags arrived by 2pm (they were actually in the hallway and we grabbed them) our friends bags did not arrive until 5:15 (we had 5:30 dinner time). Next time we will pack dinner clothes in the checked bag to avoid the stress of getting ready for dinner on first night.  I would gladly have paid $20 to check a bag had they offered it for a fee.

 

Chops Lunch – was a NIGHTMARE. We went directly to the dining room to have lunch and check our bag.  More than 40 people in line waiting for lunch at 11:15 am.  We skipped the line, checked our bag and went to the pool.

There was a total of 8 of us in 2 cabins with the Key, 4 decided to skip lunch and 4 of us went to lunch at 1:00 pm.  While the food was fantastic, service was horrible.  No one in line this time, but took 10 minutes to get seated.  Server ignored us, had to ask for server, then had to ask for water (and ask for refill on water).  I spoke with the head waiter, he apologized and said there were more key guests then usual attending the lunch.

Assuming good service, limited wait time and the Chops price of $20 for lunch, I will give a value of $15 because of the slightly limited menu and atmosphere of main dining room vs. Chops.

 

Private hours for activities – little to no value for us as the times were very inconvenient.  9am FlowRider, 6pm zipline, etc.    To be honest, the lines were not that bad as long as you could avoid the peak hours (noon FlowRider was wrapped around the deck, at 2pm just 4-5 people).

 

Priority Seats – my biggest reason for purchase and my biggest disappointment.  Went to Hiro on night 1, arrived exactly 15 minutes prior to show, all reserved guests were seated (seats about 75% full) and long line for standby.  Asked first crew member where key seating was, she did not make eye contact and pointed to a sign in one of the middle aisles, headed to the sign in the aisle and asked about key seating (I could see there were not seats in that area) she informed us the key seating is full and you need to arrive earlier.  While I was very disappointed, and my expression showed, she did not even apologize or offer any other suggestion.  We ended up sitting in the very front to the far side as this is the only place to get seats together. 

 

Next show 1977, we went 35 minutes prior to show time, guess what, 4 seats together not available in the key section.  Not a big deal, we were one section over and 4 rows back and got seats together.  But no value as a key member.

 

We did not attend any other events with priority seating as our Hairspray show was canceled.

 

Priority departure at ports of call.  At St. Kitts and St. Thomas, not needed for us as we had about 60 minutes after we arrived to meet for our tour so we were not in a rush and let the early birds depart.

Perfect Day was a different story, we wanted to take advantage of the priority to get good beach chairs.  This worked very well, and was probably the most valuable part of the Key for us.  We had a notice in our room that Key guests could meet in a lounge 15 minutes prior to general debarkation.  We arrived about 5 minutes prior to the requested time and to our pleasant surprise, there was a crew member that was taking the group (8 of us plus about 15 others) off at that time.  He escorted us down the stairs (past the waiting line, did not make eye contact with waiting guests) and directly to the gangway and off we were, 15 minutes prior to the general debarkation time.  There was another group coming off the other gangway (suite guests I presume) and we headed directly to the beach.  Front row chairs with umbrellas for us.  Within 20 minutes of our arrival, all prime beach chairs (in our area at least) were occupied.  I had a cocktail in hand before others were even off the ship.

 

There is also priority boarding at the ports of call, but this is only valuable for half of the group.  When approaching the ship to return, there are 2 gangways, the first is for the front half of the staterooms and 2nd is for the back half of the staterooms.  So, if your stateroom is in front, no value for you.  Ours was in the back so we could board at the 1st gangway.  Only saved a few hundred yards of walking, but after a long port day, we wanted to get in the A/C! 

 

Debarkation day breakfast.  Another great benefit.  Very nice breakfast (filet steak and eggs, crab eggs benedict plus the normal dining room breakfast).  We headed to breakfast around 8am, had breakfast then headed off.  After leaving the dining room we asked a crew member about key debarkation and he escorted us off to the side and past a line of others directly to exit.  We scanned our seapass for the last time and found our luggage waiting with the suite guests.  It really couldn’t have been any easier given the number of people that were leaving.  Well, a taxi line for Key/Suite guests would have been a nice touch.

 

Internet – something that I was not planning on purchasing (we enjoy the electronic free time) but after having it, it is now a must have on any future cruise.  It was good to communicate with each other, I was the pool chair guy for our group at 7am, so I could check up on work email or do a little surfing on the net with my morning coffee.

 

I do want to note that while I was paying for Bingo, a senior member of the activities team asked me about my key experience, I explained to him a brief overview of the challenges and he encouraged me to speak with guest services.  Going to guest services is a nightmare in itself (perhaps a key line there would be helpful), but I was walking by one morning and there was not a line so I stopped in.  They were very pleasant and offered me a slight discount on the key for my experience. 

 

I hope this helps anyone else decide if the Key is a good fit for you.  Enjoy your cruise.

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Symphony.

 

Arrived at port around 10am.  The Key had literally had no value for embarkation.  There were no lines.  The Key was called with Expedited Arrival, which we have, so the savings were nothing.

 

Chops lunch was not Chops lunch.  It was in the MDR.  A menu with only 3 entrees.  Quality was well below Chops.  Service was lousy.  Total fail.

 

Priority disembark at ports.  We showed up to the meeting place.  When the captain announced general disembark, we were walked down to the gangway by a crew member.  We were essentially put in the same line.  We didn't pass anyone. We could have just walked off earlier without The Key.  They also didn't check Key cards or anything anyways.  Totally useless.  They actually open the gangway prior to the announcement, so the next day we just walked down 10 minutes before scheduled gangway open and walked right off.  So this was abother fail.

 

Went to 3 shows and couldn't find Key seating anywhere.  Being that we show up 20+ minutes before the show with reservations, there is prime seating everywhere anyways.  So another useless perk that seemed to simply not exist.

 

Flowrider time was on a port day, while we were off the ship...

 

By day 5, realizing that this program is a total fraud, I went to guest services and asked for a refund.  Told no at first, but with a little persistence and asking for a supervisor, the request was quickly granted.  We got a full refund of The Key and just paid the internet only rate.

 

So yeah, skip The Key.  It's a scam.

Edited by BNBR

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On 10/14/2019 at 5:17 PM, xpcdoojk said:

Please post the times and amounts of key sessions on things like Flowrider, etc.  It is much appreciated.

 

jc

I had a different experience from that posted by BNBR.

 

I bought The Key for my husband and myself for a recent Mariner of the Seas 3 day cruise from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Coco Caye. 

The "Private Activities Hours Schedule" was printed on the back of "The Key Unlock Exclusive Benefits" that we received at the boarding day lunch:  Day 1 Port Canaveral 1:  PM - 2:30 PM Ice Skating

Day 2 Nassau:  10 AM - 11 AM Perfect Storm; 11 AM - Noon FlowRider; 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Skypad; 3 PM - 4 PM Rockwall.  All of these times were while we were in port.

 

We received early boarding along with the Diamond members.  While thousands of passengers were waiting at the port, we were enjoying lunch in the main dining room.  We were served mimosas along with an abbreviated Chops menu. Excellent service.

We didn't attempt to debark at the earliest time in either Nassau or Coco Caye.  When we arrived at the gangway, there was no priority line, but none was needed. We walked right off the ship without waiting in line.

THERE WAS NO PRIORITY SEATING AT ANY OF THE SHOWS WE ATTENDED, but none was needed. There was enough seating for everyone who wanted to attend, even when we arrived late.

On disembarkation day, we attended the breakfast in the Main Dining Room.  It was from 6:30 AM until 8:30 AM.  There was a full menu and service was excellent.  WE STILL HAD TO BE OUT OF OUR CABIN BY 8 AM. 

We then walked off the ship - no waiting. 

 

I would recommend "The Key" for short cruises, as it seems that the best benefits are on embarkation and disembarkation days.

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We had the Key in September on the Harmony and I bought it for our cruise on the Mariner over Christmas because my kids really liked the lunch, priority seating, early getting off at Coco Cay and early disembarkation.  After this trip, we all agreed it’s a pass for us in the future. 
 

My son got expedited arrival and that was super fast, even faster than the Key!

 

The activity times were not at convenient times and we never had to wait long to use anything. 
 

There was no early off for Coco Cay, you now have to pay separately for that and access to water park before 9:00. We walked off at 8:45 and went straight to waterpark. 
 

We never found the escort off the ship, so we just got in the early departure line ourselves. 
 

My family decided we will pay for the internet and lunch on our own. Everything else wasn’t worth it. Plus they forced us to sit with another family at the lunch when they had multiple empty 4 top tables. I get it when hey were busy, but we showed up towards the end of the lunch. 

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We had the Key on our recent Serenade cruise. Got it for $14.00 pp. on a Black Friday sale. We thought we would try it since I use a cane among other reasons.

There was a section in the terminal for Key guests to wait after the Suite and Pinnacle guests. I don't think that saved us a lot of time getting on the ship since it was before 11:00 and not a lot of people were there before we boarded. We are Diamond so we wouldn't have boarded that much later.

As soon as we got on the ship they had a Key desk with our information and we dropped our bags off with them. That was nice.

The Chops lunch in the MDR was very good and very relaxed. Enjoyed that.

We never used the reserved balcony seating at the shows. We had seats on the main floor we always went to that we thought were better.

No tender ports. We only used the Key escort once at a port to get off. No time saved since they were already letting people off.

Breakfast in the MDR was at 6:30 on the last day. It was very good. They didn't start the Key escort off the ship until 8:00. Our luggage was in a separate location so easy to get to. I really don't think this saved us much time though.

 

Would we do the Key again. No. Like others have stated,  the price is too high for what you get even on a sale. Just our opinion.

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We just did Key on Mariner for a 3 day sailing. We paid $25 per person per day and would do it again for a short cruise (not sure about a longer cruise). 

 

- Embarkation - Key did nothing for this. We were expedited arrival, but had to stop to pick up my dad's scooter in the terminal. There was no wait to get on the ship.

 

- Embarkation lunch: Food was excellent (best dessert of the cruise). It was nice to not fight the Windjammer crowds, especially with my mobility impaired father (was using a scooter). Service was a bit slow so we were not done until close to 1. As a result, we did not check any of our carry-ons. If we had finished with lunch earlier, we would definitely have taken advantage of this. 

 

- Special Hours: We weren't able to use the ice skating b/c DD's long pants were in her checked bag (ice skating was embarkation afternoon). We used the hours at the waterslides (10-11) and flowrider (11-12) on Saturday. DD was able to do the waterslides about 15 times. Flowrider waits were no shorter than normal--they took out the divider used during open boogie-board sessions. Having the full Flowrider was nice, but by doing this it doubled the wait time. We used the hour at the SkyPad on Sunday (4-5) and DD got to jump twice. Normally, we would not have used this because we would have been coming back from CocoCay, but we weren't able to dock in CocoCay.

 

It would be nice to have an hour for laser tag. 

 

- The fruit plate and chocolates were nice.

 

- Internet seemed slow at times, but worked ok overall. Was able to text, etc.

 

- Disembarkation breakfast was nice. Again, it was good to avoid the madness with my father. The food was good, but service was slow. 

 

- After waiting about 25 minutes outside the dining room, we decided to go on our own. We were the first people outside the restaurant to wait for the escort. More and more people came out. When the escort came to get people, she didn't even ask who had been waiting the longest. She just took about 10 people (the last ones to come out of the restaurant) and said she'd be back in 4 minutes. We waited about 15 minutes before deciding to just go on our own. The luggage was easy to find. 

 

 

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Have done Key twice.  Once on Harmony Jun 19 and recently on Quantum for Christmas 2019 out of Singapore.  Key was relatively new for our Harmony sailing but was worth it and would do it again.  Here the review on QotS


 

 

Both sailings we paid 19.99 pp per day (had bought it at 24.99 on the QotS sailing but a few weeks later it went on sale. 

 

Boarding - We were at the terminal at 10am and beside the suite guests were first to board at 11. Since we had to go through customs to  leave Singapore this was great not to have to wait. 

 

Carry-on bag drop-off - We dropped our carryons off at the MDR where lunch was and had entry to our room at 1pm. Both our carry-on and checked bags were waiting inside.

 

Sea Pass card - Key sticker on the cards

 

Lunch at Chops - The "Chops" lunch took place in the MDR and it was very good.  Same menus as previously posted.

 

Internet - Not sure if this is new but we didn’t need a code to register the internet.  It worked more like a hotel stay. You login using your name and cabin number at that point you then create a password and user name to use the internet.  It was decent and no dropouts during the cruise. 

 

Reserved seating for shows - On this cruise we only used it twice but was nice to get good seats. Key was grouped in with Suites and an attendant was checking cards.  

 

Reserved time for activities - The times were a little odd but ok.  The good thing was it wasn’t used by a lot off the other key guests so my kids were able to do almost 30 min of uninterrupted rock climbing. 

 

The added bonus was you had to pay for North Star ($8pp) and IFly (40pp).  With the key it gave each person. One free ride or fly (during key times) so this made it an even better deal. 

 

Priority tenders - In Phuket you had to use a tender and having the priority tender was helpful.  Others had t queue and we basically skipped the line.  

 

Departure/breakfast -  We were fortunate to not have anywhere to be so we took our time and had a leisurely breakfast in the MDR.  I think this is a great perk (Streak and Eggs was delicious).  

 

At breakfast several manager were walking around talking to and thanking us for using the key program and asking for feedback. I found out it was undersold on our cruise which collie have helped with the great experience we had (Our Harmony sailing it was sold out and it was a positive experience as well)

 

After breakfast we got to skip the line and head into the customs area which went smoothly.  Our bags were in a dedicated area and then out of the terminal we went. 

 

Being a family of four and being able to save time, have the internet and private hours for activities, Key was a plus.  We enjoyed the welcome lunch and final special breakfast.  If Key is on sale I believe it’s a great value.  Would I book it it it wasn’t on sale, probably not. If we wanted to completely disconnect from the internet then no it’s not worth it. 

 

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Just on Anthem for 11 day Southern Caribbean. Hubby and I splurged the $21.99 a day each for the Key.

 

Embarkation: Key guests had a designated section right next to Pinnacle/Suites at the port; Key boards right after Pinnacle/Suites but before Diamond. Boarding started at 10:30am; we were on the ship by 10:35am. (Interesting to note- there were only a handful of Key guests, I think less than 20). We immediately were taken to main dining room where they tagged our carryon luggage and had it transported to our stateroom (brilliant idea, let me tell you). They gave us an envelope of all the Key information we needed including how to access the Wifi. Abbreviated Chops menu was great- service was on point. As someone who gets overwhelmed in crowds and especially the insanity that is Windjammer on embarkation day, I LOVED getting to sit down and relax in a quiet room and enjoy lunch before getting to explore the ship. Also, they had a very nice crew member check on each table to resolve any potential problems connecting to the Wifi. 

 

Show/Entertainment Seating: We used this almost every day. I know this probably differs depending on the ship, but Anthem had a large section in the back of the main theater that is collectively for Pinnacle/Suite/Key guests. There were always available seats, even when it got close to start time. This was super convenient. I don't know if they had a section in 270. Interestingly, I didn't see a crew member check anyone's card ever to see if they were in fact Key or Pinnacle. 

 

Wifi: Easy to set-up and use. Fairly simple to switch between using phone and laptop when needed. Every once in a while, we'd have connectivity issues but it resolved quickly. Works well for surfing the web and using apps; did not use streaming.

 

Priority Disembarking at Ports of Call: We did not utilize this as our excursions were later in the day. Even then, there was no wait to get off the ship.

 

Private Activity Times: Did not utilize this either, but they had special times for Flowrider, rockclimbing, and bumper cars if I recall correctly.

 

Other Surprises: There was a plate of cookies in our stateroom on embarkation day, as well as a fruit platter later in the week. A few nights, there was a special chocolate treat on our pillows delivered with turndown service.

 

Disembarkation: This might be the winner for best perk. (Last time I was Anthem, disembarking was a nightmare and it took over an hour between getting in line on the ship to getting thru customs.) We were given additional Key disembarkation instructions in our stateroom two nights before the end. It gave the option of walking off with all luggage starting at 7am whenever you wanted, or you can set your luggage out the night before by 10pm and then starting at 7:30, meet down at the Port Excursion desk where a crew member escorts you past the other lines of passengers directly off the ship. We did the latter and it was fantastic. Once in the terminal, we picked up our bags in the designated Key guest section and walked thru Customs without waiting one bit. I think the whole process took 12 minutes. 

 

Overall, it was well worth the money (21.99/PP per day) for hubby and myself, even though we didn't use all the benefits. I felt the price was reasonable for what perks we received, especially since Wifi was included. Again, your value probably is dependent on which ship/itinerary you're on, but for Anthem, it was great. We plan on buying the Key again when we are on Odyssey a year from now.

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Liberty of the Seas knows how to implement the Key program flawlessly!!!  We got the Key on a black friday sale.  I think we paid about $20.  We took it easy on this cruise, but it was my 50th birthday cruise, so we decided to go for it because it was a special occasion.  We were already getting internet for the two of us so it was not a whole lot more.  

 

We used the Key previously on Harmony and had a few implementation issues (program was newer then).  That would be my only hesitance in getting the Key is whether the ship would recognize the benefits.  I did not see a lot of reviews about Liberty.  We found that the features we used were implemented flawlessly.

 

To start out, we passed a mass of people in the regular line to get up to the scanners for security.  After getting the luggage on the shuttle, that alone was an amazing perk.  After going through the scanner, we went right on to the ship.  Looking back at the masses still waiting in the endless line, I was so grateful to start my cruise off without extra hassle. 

 

Then, we went and put our carryons with medication and essentials at the dining room.  Those were delivered to our room promptly.  Just a note here, on Harmony, they were left on our bed so we did not think to look in the closet and only discovered our bags hours later.  Our fault, not theirs.  Look in the closet.  They were on time and that was so helpful.

 

We LOVE the Chops luncheon.  The steak was great.  The jumbo shrimp cocktail is excellent.  During this luncheon, we were asked to purchase the 3 night dining package.  The lunch was SO good that we signed up for 3 nights of dining and did them ALL at Chops.  Just excellent food.

 

We also used the priority at ports.  Another excellent benefit if you have an excursion.  We had a tender port in Grand Cayman.  It was so simple to get on the early tender.  We did not have to stand in the long line to get a tender pass assignment that morning.  We just showed up at the designated meeting place and were led down to the tender boat - perfection!


We did not do the shows or the activities.  We did get to pick our time off the ship.  Our luggage was left out the night before with Key tags - no trying to get a certain time.  We had a nice exit breakfast at the MDR and were led to the lines to get off the ship.  Because of how Galveston is set up, this isn't quite as slick as getting on, but still a benefit.  Our luggage was in a special key area and we were able to get to the parking shuttle fairly quickly. 

 

I know there is usually a big debate on whether the Key is worth it.  My husband and I do not drink.  I always wonder why people pay hundreds of dollars for alcoholic drinks.  I share that because it is highly personal.  If you don't drink, it seems ridiculous to spend hundreds on alcohol. If you do drink, it may seem entirely frivilous to spend money on the Key.  For me, it is not whether you should get the Key or not.  You have to decide what is of value to you in your personal cruise experience and then create that.  As I said at the outset, however, I want to know the particular ship will give me the benefits I paid for.  I do NOT want to pay for these perks and then have to fight to get them.  I am sure you understand.  With that in mind, I will say that the Liberty delivered the Key program flawlessly for our purposes.  If you feel like the Key would personally be a benefit to you, I feel confident that the Liberty of the Seas team will provide.  Just a great experience for us.  

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We sailed the Allure last week with The Key.  For us, the perks were well worth it!

 

We arrived early to Port Everglades.  There was a Key sign outside the door to allow Key members to immediately go through Security and check in.  We were then escorted to the Key waiting area in the terminal.  Key boarding followed Pinnacle, Diamond Plus, and Diamond members.  

 

The Chops luncheon in the Main Dining Room was a very welcome alternative to the long line of people waiting to eat in the Park Café (we made our Specialty Dining Reservations in Giovanni's before going to the Key luncheon).  We checked our bags at the MDR and they were in our cabin closet when we were allowed to enter our cabin.

 

The free Internet with the Key was wonderful.   We also used the Key VIP seating at several shows, which were consistently great locations.

 

The Key was not needed at any ports of call.  The Allure gangways are divided fore and aft, so embarkation and disembarkation in port was by Muster location letter. 

 

The best part of the Key was on Disembarkation day....the petit filet and eggs on Deck 4 MDR were wonderful.  We arrived to the MDR at 6:30 a.m. and walked directly off the ship at 7:20 a.m. 

 

I will definitely use the Key on my next cruise! 

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On 11/28/2019 at 8:53 AM, BNBR said:

Symphony.

 

Arrived at port around 10am.  The Key had literally had no value for embarkation.  There were no lines.  The Key was called with Expedited Arrival, which we have, so the savings were nothing.

 

Chops lunch was not Chops lunch.  It was in the MDR.  A menu with only 3 entrees.  Quality was well below Chops.  Service was lousy.  Total fail.

 

Priority disembark at ports.  We showed up to the meeting place.  When the captain announced general disembark, we were walked down to the gangway by a crew member.  We were essentially put in the same line.  We didn't pass anyone. We could have just walked off earlier without The Key.  They also didn't check Key cards or anything anyways.  Totally useless.  They actually open the gangway prior to the announcement, so the next day we just walked down 10 minutes before scheduled gangway open and walked right off.  So this was abother fail.

 

Went to 3 shows and couldn't find Key seating anywhere.  Being that we show up 20+ minutes before the show with reservations, there is prime seating everywhere anyways.  So another useless perk that seemed to simply not exist.

 

Flowrider time was on a port day, while we were off the ship...

 

By day 5, realizing that this program is a total fraud, I went to guest services and asked for a refund.  Told no at first, but with a little persistence and asking for a supervisor, the request was quickly granted.  We got a full refund of The Key and just paid the internet only rate.

 

So yeah, skip The Key.  It's a scam.

When you say you paid the Internet, is that per person? It is cheaper the more devices you buy...would you say you got 50% refunded?

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17 minutes ago, Blondiemomm said:

When you say you paid the Internet, is that per person? It is cheaper the more devices you buy...would you say you got 50% refunded?

 

Single person rate.  I didn't pay much attention.  They provided a refund for The Key and I was satisfied with that, even if I paid a little extra for internet.  You could probably argue about the multi device rates, but I didn't.

 

The refund would depend on how much you paid for The Key.   But regardless, I was satisfied with the resolution and thought it was fair.

Edited by BNBR

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I just sailed on Allure Jan 26 2020cwith the Key for 4 ppl. I have sailed Allure last year with the Key as well. I was COMPLETELY disappointed with the Key this round. We paid $25 pp and that was on the 30% sale. That was the lowest price it was offered for our sailing. Considering internet was the main reason In purchased it you need to factor in that internet for 4 devices is not much more than for 2. The price only goes by a few dollars as each device is added. The internet was spotty on a good day. They explained that cloud coverage and rain effects the internet. 

There were very little seats left in the key section even showing up 20-25 min before the shows. Studio B had the first 2 rows completely reserved for Star class so that was not great. They held them until about 1 minute before the show then opened them up to all the vultures standing blocking the rows to swoop into the first 2 rows. Not like I could hop the seats I was in to get to the front row seats. Not a big deal but rather annoying. 

The MDR lunch with Chops food was noting like last year. The menu is much more abbreviated and simplified. Still much better than windjammer. 

 

The Private hours Schedule was:

30 min Ice skating

1 hr flowrider

1 hr zip line (it was pouring and cancelled)

1 hr rockwall (pouring, cancelled)

 

No priority departure at ports of call..I called..it wasn't "offered"" 🙄

 

The departure breakfast was nice. 

 

There is NO escort or any thing special offered for key member on departure. You have "choice departure" but that is all. No escort. No line bypass. It was not like that in Miami. Not sure if it was because of the Ft. Lauderdale terminal but it was a DISASTER. 

There was also ZERO signage on the ship for Key. Nothing. Not a big deal but considering January 2019 had signage everywhere I was kind of surprised. 

For the price we paid for this "perk" I found it not worth half of what was paid. Buyer beware..

 

Edited by Blondiemomm

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On 1/28/2020 at 10:51 AM, Saturngrl said:

We sailed the Allure last week with The Key.  For us, the perks were well worth it!

 

We arrived early to Port Everglades.  There was a Key sign outside the door to allow Key members to immediately go through Security and check in.  We were then escorted to the Key waiting area in the terminal.  Key boarding followed Pinnacle, Diamond Plus, and Diamond members.  

 

The Chops luncheon in the Main Dining Room was a very welcome alternative to the long line of people waiting to eat in the Park Café (we made our Specialty Dining Reservations in Giovanni's before going to the Key luncheon).  We checked our bags at the MDR and they were in our cabin closet when we were allowed to enter our cabin.

 

The free Internet with the Key was wonderful.   We also used the Key VIP seating at several shows, which were consistently great locations.

 

The Key was not needed at any ports of call.  The Allure gangways are divided fore and aft, so embarkation and disembarkation in port was by Muster location letter. 

 

The best part of the Key was on Disembarkation day....the petit filet and eggs on Deck 4 MDR were wonderful.  We arrived to the MDR at 6:30 a.m. and walked directly off the ship at 7:20 a.m. 

 

I will definitely use the Key on my next cruise! 

 

Thank you for the review!  I decided to spring for the Key on the 3/30/2020 sailing of Enchantment of the Seas.  We needed three devices with data (due to medical monitors).  When I compared total price, the Key was about $200.00 more for our cabin than a 3 device internet package.  I think the $200 is worth the special embarkation lunch (we do not like crowds and hear that the Windjammer is crazy during this time - plus my daughter is dreaming of filet mignon) and special breakfast, in addition to the special seating, being able to get off the ship quicker/easier, and carryon dropoff (I am the family pack mule).  I am not sure if we will use the special times at the rock climbing wall and jump zone (heard these are fairly limited so may conflict with other plans), but these times would just be icing on the cake.  Embarking in Galveston was a major hassle on the Disney Wonder (Houston/Bayport and Seattle were much easier by far), so I am hoping the Key makes life easier for us to celebrate our 10th anniversary with two kids in tow.  

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We had the key our the Harmony of The Seas Feb 9,2020. We arrived at the port around 9:30 am and proceeded through security up to the waiting area for Key guests. We boarded the ship right after the suites and pinnacle guests. We where met at the Fwd gangway with someone holding a Key sign and where directed straight on the ship instead of having to walk to the mid ship gang way. There was no indication as to where the lunch and welcome package where found. We walked around and found the bag drop at the key lunch in the main dining room on deck 4. The Lunch was awesome.

 

We did not do any of the activities that had the reserved times but all of the times where in the morning on the first two sea days.

 

We did take advantage of the reserved seating areas at the shows. In Studio B it was the first 5 rows on one side of the venue. In the main theater in was the whole center section on the balcony level. At the aqua theater it was the center section top 5 rows. For each area it was also the same area that is reserved for the suites, pinnacles, and diamond plus.

 

The internet work well on the trip an we did not have any issues connecting.

 

Breakfast of the last morning was very good and relaxing to not have to fight any crowds for the last meal of the trip. Breakfast was once again on deck 4 in the main dining room. The information for breakfast was provided in the stateroom on day 7. I did not see were to go to be escorted off the ship but the line was not bad when we disembarked and the key luggage tag area was easy to find. Facial recognition in Port Canaveral was very easy so that keeps the line moving very well.

 

Overall our experience with the key was positive and would consider doing it again.

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Just got off Liberty a week ago. I purchased the Key on a sale so it was just a bit more than the Wifi. Lunch on the first day was great. They would have taken our carry on bags and delivered them to our room, but we only had backpacks so didn't need it. Breakfast on the last day was great and relaxing. Priority disembarkation was faster at Grand Caymans, which is a tender report. At Cozumel and Jamaica, it wasn't really faster. There were special seating sections at all the shows, which we took advantage of, although we could have gotten good seats without it at all but one show. We didn't do any of the special times for other events. The fruit basket in the room was.a nice touch, but no different than what you could get in the Windjammer. Unless it's very close to the Wifi price, I wouldn't get it. 

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