Is "The Key" worth the cost?

We are doing a quick 3 day on Navigator of the Seas soon and both of us purchased "The Key" in the cruise planner. Does anyone know if this key is worth the per day cost? We were already planning on purchasing internet packages anyways so the fact that the key included it make it appealing. Does anyone who has sailed on the Navigator and purchased the key know if the specialty lunch included on embarkation day is any good? Thanks so much!

Tags: Royal Caribbean royalcaribbean Thekey key navigator

9 Answers

I've never purchased the key, but I have considered it.

Everything I've read says that it is probably worth it if you were planning to buy Voom internet for everyone in your party. If you weren't planning to buy Voom, or if you were only thinking of one device, then it probably isn't worthwhile.

I haven't sailed the Navigator, but have sailed on the Adventure and the Explorer. Personally the Key on this class of ship would be a waste to us. Using the list of amenities the program gets you here's my breakdown...
1) Priority check-in and boarding on Day 1. (Priority check-in and boarding will not be offered in Vancouver, Canada or at any ports in Australia.)

- Unless you are a first time cruiser, according to the Crown and Anchor this benefit list once you reach Gold (3 cruise points) this is a perk you already receive. (Priority check-in is subject to availability)

2) Carry-on bag drop off in the Main Dining Room with stateroom delivery. (Carry-on luggage drop-off service is limited to two pieces per guest and can weigh no more than 25 pounds per carry-on.)

- A nice perk, but one thing they don't explain is this service ends 30 minutes prior to the cabins opening so if you board later than noon, by the time you get to the area (not always the MDR) where the carry-ons are being collected your out of luck to have your carry-ons valeted to your cabin.
3) Exclusive welcome lunch in the Main Dining Room with a delicious menu featuring Chops Grille on embarkation day

- The cost of this would of been $18-24/person if you are able to to make reservations in Chops for embarkation lunch, and the last seating is at 1:30pm.
4) Private hours at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more. (Onboard activities included in private hours vary by ship and sailing. Private hour schedule will be delivered onboard with welcome letter on Day 1.)

- A perk usually reserved for Star Class Suites and DIamond Plus or higher loyalty status. Again hidden caveats, not every activity venue everyday has a reserved use hour, and the times reserved are usually the first hour after opening in the am and the last hour before closing down.
5) Priority departure at ports of call from ship-to-shore

- This is great if scheduling private tour or planning on doing your own thing close to docking time. But if you purchased your excursion or activity through the cruise line lately many of the ones that happen near the docking time have been meeting on board to be escorted off. Sometimes even before those with priority due to the Key, Suite Life, or loyalty status. At most ports when docked about 30-45 minutes after the general ashore call is made there are no lines to depart the ship. Tender ports tend to vary based on the length of the ride to the dock and how popular a port is.
6) Seats in the exclusive VIP seating section at shows in the Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70

- These are not always the "best in the house" seats by everyone's definition. On the Adventure the reserved seating in the main theater was the 3 rows directly under the balcony and for the ice show the tiered seats at the "goal" end of the rink. Also this perk is shared with those that have certain class suites and DIamond Plus and above loyalty.
7) VOOM® Surf & Stream 1 Device high speed internet – 1 package per paying guest

- Another perk that you can peg a direct monetary value to by simply visiting your cruise planner to see the per day price of the total # of devices at 1 per passenger the Voom & Surf package would cost.
8) On debarkation day, an exclusive a la carte breakfast and choice departure.

- Another perk you will be sharing with Suite Class passengers and Diamond Plus and higher members. On the Anthem from where we were waiting to disembark we could see the crew wheeling in to the Music Hall the breakfast items, though there seemed to be plenty of platters there were only a few chafing dishes that looked as if they could hold hot foods.

Thanks maryred ... excellent info.

Certainly was!!

Thank you so much. Probably the most helpful information I've found! Wink

Thanks so much for your super informative post Maryred! I just noticed on my Adventure of the Seas 9 night cruise to Canada that I booked today, that even with a 30% discount it was $21.99 per day per person, and it said you even were supposed to pay for each child 6 or over as well! Personally, I think that is outrageous, and I'm disappointed in Royal Caribbean, seems like another cruise line just trying to get every dollar they can out of each passenger. I'm so glad you told me all you did! I'm somewhat disabled, and will probably get some help getting me and my two grandkids and necessary carry-ons on board fairly quickly anyway. This was not an offered item when I went on an 11 day Caribbean cruise onboard Anthem of the Seas just last December.

IMHO, if you are using it souly for the Internet, it is worth it.

I go on cruises to get away from the internet and cellular service. My family, business, and work calls, emails and text messages can wait. Frankly, if Mrs Johnson's house is on fire, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it from 1,200 miles away.

Friends of ours that are joining us on our cruise in April were going to purchase it for the internet service so their babysitter could contact them in the event of an emergency. Once I told them that their family could contact them in the event of an emergency via the cruiseline, they quickly dispensed with the $140/PP money grab

Amen! I cruise to get away from all that stuff. Phone goes in the safe first thing and stays there until debark morning. Family has cruise line emergency number if they need it.

Great summaries

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