If you’ve ever gone through the process of booking a cruise on Royal Caribbean, you’ll likely have seen the additional extras available for purchase before you sail. Think tour, drink packages, and an optional program called the Key.
The program, which guests can purchase access to during the booking process, has received some updates recently. The program received quite a bit of negative feedback, with many guests saying the price was not worth the benefits. The cruise line will want to entice guests to purchase the program once again with the most recent updates.
What Updates Did Royal Caribbean Make?
So with the updates that Royal Caribbean made, is it now worth your time and money to invest in The Key? It does depend on what is important to you. Here are the current benefits moving forward:
- Guests with Key access get priority access in the terminal within booked arrival time on Day 1- this was a priority check-in pre-pandemic.
- Don’t like dragging luggage around? Guests can drop off their carry-on luggage in the Main Dining Room with stateroom delivery- This remains unchanged.
- Guests get complimentary room service for the duration of the cruise and 25% off onboard dining Purchases. This is the most significant change the cruise line made to the program. Previously the Key only included a complimentary welcome lunch onboard.
- Private hours at onboard activities such as Flowrider and rock climbing- This remains unchanged.
- Priority departure at tender ports of call from ship-to-shore, which could be a major draw for those who dislike waiting in line for a tender boat- This remains unchanged.
- Early access at shows in the Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70 for which all guests must have a reservation to qualify- Previously, this included seats in the VIP area. Also, preferred seats are not guaranteed now.
- VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device high-speed internet – This remains unchanged.
- On debarkation day, a special “grab and go” breakfast bag and choice departure – this was previously a la carte breakfast, and check-out when you like.
So while there have been some upgrades, particularly in the dining and room service perks, the theater and debarkation breakfast options have been somewhat downgraded, it seems.
What Is The Key?
The program was introduced some years ago, and you can think of it as a Fastpass (like the ones in amusement parks) with some extra benefits, although it never did catch on. For a daily fee, which you will need to pay on a per-person basis, you get benefits similar to that when booking a suite onboard.
So what do you get for your money? You get priority access to some cool experiences onboard. Think early access at shows in the Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70, private time doing Rock Climbing, FlowRider, and some good discounts to onboard dining.
The cost of all this? Between $19.99 and $37.99 per person, per day. Suppose you are a heavy internet user or need fast and reliable internet. You enjoy dining in specialty restaurants and ordering room service.
And you want to be guaranteed a seat in the shows; then the Key is a good value perk. If you enjoy the main dining rooms, don’t care much for shows, and want to disconnect during your vacation, you’d probably want to reconsider.