Royal Caribbean The Key 2024: Everything You Need to Know!

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The Key on Royal Caribbean

Hello, my beautiful cruise lovers!

Today, I’m diving into a topic that’s been surrounded by a lot of confusion.

From the title, you’ve guessed it—we’re focusing on “The Key.” This enigmatic service offered by Royal Caribbean has left many scratching their heads, unsure of its purpose or benefits.

No worries, I am here to help and I will explain in detail what The Key is, how it works, how much it costs, and what its benefits are.

Let’s dive straight in!

What is the key on Royal Caribbean?

Ok, let’s begin with the most important question: “What is the key on Royal Caribbean?“.

The Key is like a VIP pass that will enhance some experiences during your cruise. After you buy it, you will be entitled to a series of perks. Let’s see them below.

The benefits

The list of benefits is quite long, and I’ve made a complete one below.
In my opinion, they are all very interesting and useful.

Let’s find out more about them:

Priority Check-In and Boarding:
You’ll have a designated early arrival time and priority access during boarding. The embarkation process for you will be faster and without long waits.

Carry-On Bag Drop Off:
During your boarding, you can drop off your carry-on luggage at a designated spot. It will be directly delivered to your stateroom​​.

Exclusive Welcome Lunch:
On embarkation day, you will have a special lunch in the Main Dining Room. It’s a perk that offers a more relaxed start to your cruise​​.
Below, you can see the menu and I remind you that there is also an article where you can see all the Royal Caribbean restaurants’ menus.

The Key lunch menu
The Key lunch menu
Filet from The Key menu
Filet from The Key menu

Priority Access at Onboard Activities:
Some onboard activities will have a fast lane that you can use to reduce the waiting time.
This is great for highly requested attractions such as the FlowRider surf simulator​​.

Priority Departure at Tender Ports:
If your ship uses tender boats for shore excursions (Belize City, Cabo San Lucas, Catalina Island, Kailua Kona, Lahaina, Santorini, and many others) you’ll have priority departure from the ship to shore​​.

Dedicated Seating at Shows:
Some shows on Royal Caribbean sold out fast and you have to book way in advance.
With The Key, you will have reserved seating at major shows across the Main Theater, the Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70.

VOOM Surf & Stream Internet Package:
One of the most appreciated benefits is high-speed internet access for each person who purchases The Key.
Consider that the internet on cruise ships is quite expensive so having the ability to browse, watch streaming videos, and communicate is a great thing!

Exclusive á La Carte Breakfast and Flexible Departure on Debarkation Day:
To finish on a high note, you will have an excellent á la carte breakfast before leaving the ship.
You can also take it easy because you can choose the disembarkation time you prefer.

The Key breakfast menu
The Key breakfast menu
Breakfast from The Key menu
Breakfast from The Key menu

As you have seen, there are many benefits. If I were you I would think about it! But now let’s find out how to buy “The Key” and what is the price for all these benefits.

How to purchase The Key Royal Caribbean?

You can purchase The Key after you’ve booked your cruise.

Simply access your reservation through Royal Caribbean’s website or through their app. Look for the “Cruise Planner” of your specific cruise, this is where you can manage reservations, excursions, and purchase add-ons for your cruise.

Within the Cruise Planner, navigate to the “Internet & More” section or sometimes directly under a section that says “VIP passes and experiences“. The Key will be listed among other add-ons.

After you’ve found it, select it and click “Add to your cart” (the rule is that it must be purchased for all days of the cruise and for every person in the stateroom over the age of six).

Complete the purchase process by paying with your card.

How much is the key on Royal Caribbean?

The price varies depending on the length of the cruise and other factors such as the ship and the itinerary.

It usually starts at approximately $25.99 per day, per person. For a family of four on a week-long voyage, this could add up to an additional cost of around $728 to the cruise budget.

However, it’s important to keep an eye out for possible discounts that could reduce the price. I can tell you that discounts are quite frequent!

Does it go on sale?

The Key on sale

Of course that leads to the other most asked question which is: “Does The Key ever go on sale?“.

The answer is yes, the key goes on sale quite frequently and it’s a good chance to purchase it at a discounted rate. It’s usually 30% or 40% off.

The problem is that is hard to predict when it will go on sale. There are no specific dates or times of the year, the only method is to keep an eye on Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner and the cruise line’s official social networks.

Moreover, you could join cruise forums and newsletters that may help catch these opportunities​. By the way, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for the Cruise with Leo Newsletter, I’ll let you know as soon as The Key goes on sale!

Is The Key worth it?

Well, The Key can add significant value to your cruise experience. I think it could be particularly worth it for those new to Royal Caribbean or looking for extra exclusivity.

Of course, it’s essential to weigh the costs against the benefits and keep an eye out for any sales that may reduce the price.

Below here you can see the schedule of some benefits, it could be useful to get an even better idea of whether or not it may be worth it to you.

The Key private benefits schedule
The Key private benefits schedule

Personal review of “The Key”

I also know that you probably want to know my personal opinion on it. So I’ll give you a little review of my experience last time I purchased “The Key”.

First I did a cost assessment. I absolutely need the internet on a cruise for obvious working reasons.

Voom was 300$ for two so I decided to get the key as it was only $168 more total for a 9-day cruise.

On the port day, we walked right past a 300ft line at the Port of Miami (so hot out there) directly into the terminal and right through security/ticket scan without any stopping.

After a 10-minute wait in the lobby lounge we boarded at 10:45 AM and we were some of the first passengers on the ship behind C&A high-level members.

The lunch was great and so was the baggage service but the better part was, since we were first on the ship, we had the opportunity to schedule our dining time for every evening right then and there.

Others without the key can do this as well but if you wait, or aren’t one of the first on the ship, the line is unbelievable on the first day to schedule your dining, and it’s a real fight as slots are limited.

We wanted to try the FlowRider but the lines for that are also constantly 20-30 minutes to get one ride. With The Key, we had a 45-minute session virtually to ourselves with zero lines whatsoever. The same goes for rock climbing.

The reserved seating at shows was a non-issue as the big theater has plenty of seating with no issues ever “not getting a seat”.

Overall it was 100% worth it and for $168 additional it was a no-brainer!

Please share this article! It can be useful to another cruise enthusiast!

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