Royal Caribbean Key Club

Just purchased the Key Club add-on for upcoming RCI cruise in Sept 2019 on the Grandeur of the Seas. I have only been able to find a little bit of feedback so far.

I am taking my mother for her 90th Birthday, this will only be my 4th cruise so I still consider myself a newbie to cruising. My primary reasons for purchasing are to get priority boarding, carry on luggage assistance, and priority seating and debarkation as Mom will have her power chair/scooter. She also isn't able to carry around much and she moves slower. I like the idea of the Chops lunch and breakfast - I haven't eaten in a specialty restaurant and probably wouldn't spend the extra $ if it wasn't part of the package. so these will be special treats. We only need one internet package and won't use the Rock Wall or Surfing.

I'm looking for any feedback from someone who has used the Key Club or your experiences with traveling with someone with limited mobility. For example I was wondering if they already provide any of the priority/assistance type services for cruisers with limitations? Am I spending $ on services that they may already provide?

Thanks In Advance!

Tags: Royal Caribbean Key Club Grandeur of the Seas

19 Answers

We just purchased the Key. Has anyone used it?

The Chop’s is only first day according to RCL page.

Below is what Royal has listed as the benefits of the Key Program. My observations are based on my cruise March 2019 on the Anthem out of Cape Liberty in NJ. If you are sailing out of a different port or ship there may be slight variations.

Benefit: The Key Guests will enjoy the following exclusive and special amenities during their cruise vacation:

Priority check-in and boarding*
Observation: Passengers pretty here much observed the check-in appointment times. We arrived at 11 am (5 hours after the ship returned to port). There was only a small line going through security as the personnel were not pulling people aside for beverage allotment checks, they were being done in a way that held up the rest of us in line. Once past security there were no lines for general check-in, ours was an extra few minutes as we had to change a credit card number. Boarding proceeded immediately after check-in, but at 11:30am there were passengers still waiting in the waiting room. I don't know if they were waiting on others from their party to arrive before boarding or were waiting on mobility assistance using the ship's courtesy wheelchairs (3 passed uson the gangplank).

Benefit: Exclusive carry-on luggage service with stateroom delivery**
Observation: Once on board there was a table set up near the the area that was selling beverage packages on deck 4. From where we boarded the ship, this was 1 deck-up and halfway the length of the ship from the gang plank. A sign stated service would close at 1pm so bags could be delivered to the cabin door by 3pm (our sail away time).

Benefit: Private lunch at Chops Grille®, Jamie’s Italian, or Giovanni’s Table on embarkation day (Venues vary by ship)
Observation: A sign on the Chopes Grill restaurant stating closed for private event 1-2:30 pm was present when we boarded. We had to go in (it was before they officially closed to the public) to change an seaday lunch reservation as it conflicted with our Northstar appointment, and it looked as if the hostess was flustered trying to work out a seating chart . I don't know if the chart concerned the Key Program lunch that night's dinner reservations or another dining time.

Benefit: Private hours on marquee activities*** like FlowRider, Rock Climbing wall, Ripcord by iFly. The private hours schedule will be provided at check-in.
Observation: I did not have the program personally but would walk the ship frequently to get my steps in, and it seemed most of these private hours were inconsistent, one venue or another being at 8am one day, noon, the next, then skip a day, back to 8am, then at 5pm

Benefit: Priority port of call debarkation
Observation: We had ship sponsored excursions at 1/2 of our ports, and on those days the excursion groups left the ship before those waiting in the priority area. on other days we just waited an hour after docking and their were no lines to disembark by then. Where priority would of help was re-entering the ship, but that is not a perk afforded to anyone.

Benefit: VIP seating area at Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70 shows
Observation: These were balcony center seats to either side of the lighting and sound control area. None were wheelchair accessible and walkers needed to be left at the back of the balcony.

Benefit: VOOM ® Surf & Stream (1 Device per each paying guest)
Observation: This perk for some makes the package worth the additional cost for those that already planned to buy it for everyone in the cabin, at the best pre-cruise sale price I've seen $13.99 (30% off) it covers nearly half the daily per person cost of the the Key Program.

Benefit: Choice debarkation with an exclusive a la carte breakfast
Observation: On the Anthem the priority debarkation was from the Music Hall (dance club on deck 3), we waited next door in the casino for our (low) zone to be called. So we witnessed a few chafing dishes and covered platters being transferred from the galley area in the aft. So it looked as if they set up up a mini buffet on the bar in that lounge for the priority passengers.

*Priority check-in and boarding will not be offered in Vancouver, Canada or at any ports in Australia.

**Carry-on luggage drop-off service is limited to two pieces per guest and can weigh no more than 25 pounds per carry-on.

***Onboard activities included in private hours vary by ship and sailing.

As I said this is based on the my particular cruise. In this case the ship docked at 6am in the morning and had a departure time of 3 pm so different arrival and departure times of your cruise can affect the timeline as I describe mine. At ports with a later docking and departure time might be different as priority passengers for our cruise (rollcall) had plans to arrive between 9 & 10am (3-4 hours after docking) for check-in.

"The Key" (no "club") is a great program if you are able to take advantage of it. I think everyone here has great advice for you in regards as to how to accomodate your mother and I don't see that The Key will really benefit you for what you seem to be looking for.

I'm a huge fan of The Key, having used it in February as a solo passenger on a 4-day cruise on Mariner of the seas - purchasing it for $19.99/day. I've purchased it again for another sailing (for myself and my two friends) on another 4-night cruise. The longer the sailing, the more you really have to plan to take advantage of the features to make it worth it (activities, shows). I doubt I will pull the trigger on it for a 7-night sailing unless I can snag it again for $19.99, and we aren't traveling with other people.

Enjoy your cruise with your mom - you're fortunate to have each other!

Going to keep this in mind for next cruise and look into it

What's Key Club?

The Key Program by Royal is like Carnival's Faster to the Fun program. For a price, per person per length of the cruise, unlike Carnival's 1 single set charge per cabin, you can purchase some of the perks and benefits that would come with either having a suite or reaching one of the higher loyalty status levels.

Right on.


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