Royal Caribbean offers a lot of value with their cruise fare and are bold with their offers to spend extra money from drink packages and specialty dining to excursions, WiFi and The Key. I’m always voted “least likely to spend a dime in extras” on a cruise, but The Key is the one upgrade I always purchase when I’m cruising Royal Caribbean.
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When you’re on a cruise, you want to keep in touch with family and friends (keeping up with work might be out of necessity), make everyone back home jealous with beautiful pictures posted to Instagram or Facebook, and if you’re like me write articles and keep in touch with customers. For all those things you’ll want to use WiFi to avoid international charges. On a growing number of cruise lines (Celebrity and Virgin Voyages to name two), WiFi is included in the cost of a cruise but on Royal Caribbean, and many others, WiFi is an added cost.
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Enter Voom, the fastest internet at sea (according to Royal Caribbean). You could purchase Voom as a stand alone product to solve the problem of keeping up with the real world without roaming charges or you could purchase The Key for a few dollars more and get Voom (WiFi) included for one device per person in your stateroom.
Having internet access onboard might be the most compelling reason to purchase The Key but it’s not the only benefit. Three of my favorite “bonuses” are the ability to drop off my carry-on bags and have them delivered to the stateroom, lunch provided by premium restaurant Chops Grille while waiting for the stateroom to be ready, and an end of cruise ala-carte breakfast in the main dining room.
Those three things might seem minor but believe me, the lunch is fantastic (even if it is a ploy to seduce you into making reservations at Chops or purchase the “premium dining package”), leaving my carry-on bags at the door to avoid lugging them around for a couple hours, and having a great breakfast before getting off the ship and dealing with airports are wins in my book and make The Key an even better value.
For me, those are the big benefits to buying The Key when I sail Royal Caribbean but it doesn’t hurt to have room service fees waived, priority access to activities (like FlowRider) and onboard entertainment, and a 25% discount on dining purchases. As with all the offerings from Royal, The Key is a great value and the one thing I buy every time without hesitation.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.