Royal Caribbean Introducing New Pay for Perks Program

royal caribbean pay perks program the key
The Key will be rolling out beginning in January. - Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean will soon be rolling out a new program where passengers can pay for select perks called The Key.

In an email to travel agents, Royal Caribbean announced that the new benefits package will launch in January, and must be pre-purchased through the line’s Cruise Planner section of their website prior to the sail date. Royal did not specify a price, but according to Cruise Fever, passengers are reporting that prices range from $20 to $30 per day, per person, depending on the ship. If a guest were to buy the Surf & Stream internet package, it would cost $18 per day, per device. That alone makes The Key a good deal on some cruises for those that might have purchased that package, anyway. 

The following perks will be included for those who purchase the program:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Onboard carry-on luggage service offering drop off and delivery to your stateroom
  • Exclusive welcome lunch at Chops Grille on boarding day
  • Private daily hours at onboard activities like the Flowrider, rock climbing wall, and ice skating
  • Access to reserved seating at shows
  • Surf and Stream VOOM internet for one device
  • Priority debarkation from ship to shore
  • A la carte breakfast and choice departure on debarkation day

All travelers 6 and older in the same cabin are required to purchase The Key if anyone chooses to buy it. Kids ages 5 and younger accompanying a passenger who purchased the package can enjoy an exclusive welcome lunch at Chops Grille, priority check-in and boarding, reserved seating at shows, priority port of call debarkation, and choice deparkation with an exclusive a la carte breakfast.

Guests who purchase the package have to agree not to provide or share the benefits with other guests, and if they violate the agreement it may be cancelled without a refund. The package and price are subject to availability. 

Join the discussion

What do you think of this program? Do you feel it's unfair to those who earn perks based on their loyalty status?


Posted by Tovya2us

It is for services paid for by a passenger. It should not matter to, nor is it the business of the other passengers that are receiving like services for free because of perks for previous travel. It is no different than someone paying extra to fly first class and getting a better meal and bigger seats.

Posted by Shipsthegame

This is just another nickel & dime project by RCCL. Are the bigger ships worth rubbing loyal and future loyal passengers the wrong way? Cruising was once the best vacation one could take. Remember when???? Cruises were all inclusive, except for alcohol. Why all these charges? Aren't the billionaires rich enough yet? Really, RCCL, rethink this atrocity!!! This concept seems to remove the loyalty aspect of cruising with one Cruiseline to accumulate points and now in midstream when $$$$$ over a span of time have been spent, folks are charged for perks that should be included with a certain class of cabin, loyalty points or specials. It's like surcharges upon surcharges to cruise--loyalty doesn't seem to account for much. Thanks RCCL

Posted by rml158

Totally agree with Shipsthegame. Loyalty for their customers is gone and $$$$ is the driving force. Wonder if priority boarding for the loyal patrons will come before or after the first time cruisers. B.S.

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