Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines: The Key – A Faster Way to the Fun

Port Everglades – 1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Are you looking for a faster way to the fun and to add suite-like benefits such as priority boarding and check-in to your next Royal Caribbean cruise? Splurge at sea without breaking the bank with Royal Caribbean’s The Key, a program designed to provide Royal Caribbean guests with a host of exclusive experiences.

The Key

For our first ever cruise with Royal Caribbean, we elected to add on The Key program as a part of our cruise package.  For an additional fee starting at $24.99 USD per person/per day, children under six years of age are free, Royal Caribbean cruisers can add on a host of additional concierge-level benefits including:

  • Priority Check-In at Boarding;
  • Carry-on Luggage Drop Off;
  • Luggage Delivery to Stateroom;
  • Exclusive Welcome Lunch on Embarkation Day – Ours was located at Chops Grille;
  • Private lessons and VIP Hours with onboard activities such as Rock Climbing, the Flowrider, and Ziplining;
  • Priority Debarkation in Port;
  • VIP Seating in Reserved Areas during onboard Entertainment in the Main Theater, AquaTheater, and Studio B;
  • Exclusive Goodbye Breakfast on Disembarkation Day;
  • Priority Disembarkation; and
  • Unlimited onboard internet for one device.

The Key program was first introduced in 2018, and this package add-on must be purchased prior to boarding via Royal Caribbean.  It is available on most of the ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet with the current exceptions of Majesty of the Seas, Voyager Class Ships and Quantum Class Ships.

What we Loved About The Key

Although this package may not appeal to everyone, it was totally worth it for us because of one reason – Internet! We may be on vacation, but we also have full-time jobs to do back home which pay for our vacations.  We’ve purchased internet on cruise ships in the past, but sadly it has been difficult to stay connected on some of those services.  However, that was not the case with ZOOM Internet from Royal Caribbean.  This is literally the fastest internet at sea!

The VIP Seating at shows was simply wonderful.  We had the absolute best seats in the house at each of the AquaTheater shows thanks to the Key Package.  We really got to experience all of the show’s special effects, and our seating locations made us feel like we were in fact a part of the show.

We really enjoyed the private time we had on the onboard activities like the Flowrider and Rock Climbing.  Since this was our first time doing both, we needed a little help from our new found friends in Royal Caribbean’s staff.  It was also very nice to do these things for the first time without an audience watching as we may or may not have fell on our faces while attempting to surf.

Flowrider Surf Simulator with The Key over on our YouTube

We Rock Climb with The Key over on our YouTube

One other instance where we benefited the most from this package was the Priority Embarkation and Disembarkation options.  On the day we arrived to Port in Fort Lauderdale, it was hectic to say the least.  Unlike our experiences with other cruise lines, this felt very disorganized and quite crowded.  Unfortunately, the same was to be said for disembarkation as well.  Looking back in today’s world of the COVID Global Pandemic, we’re so glad we had the ability to bypass all of the crowds and chaos, speed through security, and step onboard the ship in a matter of minutes from arriving in Port thanks to our purchase of the Key Package.

Is it Worth the Price?

Many people have asked us whether or not this perk is worth purchasing, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Only you know your travel style, preferences, and whether or not you will utilize these benefits during your cruise.

For us, yes – The Key was 100% worth it simply because of the top four reasons we described above (internet, priority embarkation/disembarkation, reserved seating, and private time on the amenities), but if none of those things are important to you, then your answer may be different.

Another way of looking at it is that we also purchased the Unlimited Dining Package because *good* food and *lots of it* is very important to us on a vacation.  Some of the other couples we have travelled with do not enjoy food quite as much as we do, and the Unlimited Dining Package would’ve been a waste for them.  For us, the Unlimited Drinks (alcohol) Package is not something that would be of value to us since alcohol is not something we consume a lot of on any of our vacations.  We sat down and did the math prior to cruising, and the amount of alcohol we’d have to drink in order to maximize our benefits with the Unlimited Drinks Package is not something that we would ever achieve.

If you are already staying in a suite-class stateroom, we would not recommend purchasing The Key as many of these benefits and more are already included in your stateroom class.  In addition, if your Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society ranking is one that includes many of these benefits listed above, we would also not recommend purchasing The Key.

As we have said many times before, your vacation is for you and when you plan your vacation – you should plan the best vacation for your travel party.  If the things we listed above are not important to you, then perhaps that extra cost of The Key may not be worth it to you.

Our very first ever cruise with Royal Caribbean International onboard Allure of the Seas was beyond incredible.  We often refer to this cruise as one of our best vacations to date.  We both agree that it is firmly in our Top 5 Trips Taken.  Allure of the Seas offered everything we were looking for, a good mix of activity and relaxation, fantastic food, and the ports of call were fantastic.  Although we consider our activity level on this cruise a pretty active one in that we made it to the gym or ran on the track each day and also managed to see and do so many things both onboard and in port, we still managed to arrive home feeling so relaxed.

We’re so glad we finally decided to take a chance on Allure of the Seas and Royal Caribbean, and we’re are kicking ourselves that it took us so long! We will absolutely be cruising again on Allure of the Seas in the future, and we can’t wait to try another of Royal Caribbean’s ships on our next cruise!

Each night before dinner, we watched the sunset from Allure’s top deck.  However, it was Haiti that offered us the best sunset sail away of all our nights onboard Allure of the Seas.

Have you ever cruised or are you planning to cruise with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines? If you have, tell us your tips and tricks in the comments below to help us plan our next cruise with Royal!

The comments, opinions, and views set forth on this site are the reflected personal positions of the site’s creators.  This site is not an affiliate of Royal Caribbean International.  The comments, opinions, and views set forth within this site are not the official positions of Royal Caribbean International, and they do not reflect the Company’s position.


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