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ESSENTIAL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT

ROYAL CARIBBEAN KEY PROGRAMME

BY

JON FLETCHER

 

You may not have heard about this package of priority benefits because Royal Caribbean's Key Program is one of their best kept secrets but if you are sailing on any of the Royal Caribbean Ships is worth considering.   You can book this program of benefits through the Royal Caribbean Cruise Personaliser.  The price of this program varies from ship to ship and from sailing to sailing.  So what are the essential things you need to know about this program.

 

The first benefit you will enjoy as part of the Key Program is Priority Embarkation, you will be embarked alongside the top tier guests and Suite guests, which means you will be on the ship first and be able to enjoy the facilities on the ship before the crowds. 

 

Once aboard you need to ask a crew member where the hand luggage drop off is.  This is a really great facility meaning you are not having to carry it around while waiting for access to your cabin.  You will be given a ticket and your hand luggage will be delivered to your cabin and placed inside, so it is not lying around in the corridor.  However some guests have reported that crew sometimes place it in the closet.  So if you cannot see it when you walk in it is worth checking to see if it is in the closet before reporting it missing.

 

Once you have handed over your hand luggage you can take advantage you can enjoy an exclusive embarkation lunch at specified speciality restaurants for example Chops Grille.  The embarkation lunch is a special menu and is far more relaxed than fighting the crowds in the Windjammer Buffet. So you will feel more relaxed and ready for your cruise.  Plus enjoy a speciality dining experience when it is quieter!

 

One of the biggest benefits of the Key Program is the included WIFI.  You do not have to wait until you get to your cabin to get the access key password.  You will be given it when you drop off your hand baggage.  So you can get access straight away.  Now the cool thing about the WIFI part of the package is that you will be getting the VOOM package, which allows you to check your emails, update your social media, upload and live broadcast on platforms like YouTube, surf the net and even stream films and videos.  Now we all know how expensive that can be, so most couples would normally share access to 1 package.  But with the Key Program the days of sharing are a distant memory and all the guests in the cabin can access this WIFI 24 hours a day. 

 

Another of the really cool benefits of the Key Program is that Key Program guests can enjoy watching the shows in the theatre, the Aqua Theatre and Studio B etc from the VIP area that is normally reserved only for top tier guests and suite guests.  However as you might expect this seating is very strictly limited, so my tip is pre-book your show and turn up VERY EARLY.  Otherwise you may find all the seats taken in the VIP area taken.  If you are travelling on an Oasis Class ship you can book your seats on line.

 

Royal Caribbean are famous for their thrill seeking activities like the Zip wire, Flow Rider, Rock Wall etc.  They are so popular that often the queues can be horrendous on a busy sailing.  Key Program guests have exclusive access to these activities at specified times of day.  However these exclusive times are always off peak times and sometimes can be at some very odd times.  But I am sure if you are an adrenaline junkie that will not put you off.  You will be given a schedule of these exclusive times when you embark.

 

If you are like me, and I am sure I am not alone in this, I always dread the disembarkation day.  With the Key Program it is made a bit easier.  Key Program guests can enjoy an exclusive slap up breakfast in a specified and dedicated restaurant.  If you are carrying off your own bags, and I know some guests like to do that.  They will take your bag from you at the door and store it while you enjoy your breakfast.  Then when it is time you can pick up your bag if you are carrying it off yourself and enjoy a smooth priority disembarkation.

 

I can certainly see the advantages of this program if you have a family or are keen to make the most of the adventure type attractions.  As with all program packages, it will suit some guests and not others.

 

If you are an upper tier guest in the loyalty scheme you will probably not find this package value for money and the same goes for suite guests.  However if you are not in these categories it may well be worth checking if it is available.  It is strictly limited availability and sold on a first come first serve basis, so often sells quickly.

 

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