Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Grenouille21

The Symphony, The Key, Two Teens, And Me!

Recommended Posts

I would just like to say that even months after your cruise, people like me are still enjoying it vicariously.  I loved your report.  It was so interesting! and detailed! and funny!  I loved all the photos too.  Thanks for taking us all along with you.  I loved the experience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2019 at 5:13 PM, karen_g said:

 

I'll be going next January with Thenford.  Seeing (what I perceive to be)  inhumane treatment of animals really bothers me.  Did you see the caged-up monkey too???  I'm hoping you got to skip that part...

 

You'll most likely see the chained up dogs, cows, and donkeys, even if you don't see the caged monkey or others like it.  We stopped once and a guy let his baby monkey crawl around on all of us.  Who knows where that monkey came from, where it's mother is, etc.  I only say that because we saw those animals all over the island.  I can't imagine you won't see them if you drive around any residential area, or anywhere that the old sugar mills were.  It really is sad and I wish I could do something about it.  

 

4 hours ago, karen_g said:

I would just like to say that even months after your cruise, people like me are still enjoying it vicariously.  I loved your report.  It was so interesting! and detailed! and funny!  I loved all the photos too.  Thanks for taking us all along with you.  I loved the experience!

 

Thank you so much!  I never thought anyone would read this, much less enjoy it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2019 at 11:37 PM, Grenouille21 said:

You'll most likely see the chained up dogs, cows, and donkeys, even if you don't see the caged monkey or others like it.  We stopped once and a guy let his baby monkey crawl around on all of us.  Who knows where that monkey came from, where it's mother is, etc.  I only say that because we saw those animals all over the island.  I can't imagine you won't see them if you drive around any residential area, or anywhere that the old sugar mills were.  It really is sad and I wish I could do something about it.  

 

Thanks for letting me know.  It IS so sad, but realistically I don't think there's much that we can do about it.  I appreciate your honesty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 1:28 AM, Grenouille21 said:
HTTFI_RCI_TheKey.jpg
 
Before we sailed, Royal introduced a new program called The Key.  Guests could purchase The Key for $19.99 per person per day (the price has since fluctuated).  The benefits were announced, but between the time the program rolled out and the time we sailed, the benefits changed significantly.  If you want to buy The Key, it must be purchased for all guests in your stateroom age 6 and up.
 
When I purchased The Key, these were the promised benefits, straight from the confirmation email from Royal (with the statement that benefits could change at any time).
 
Package includes:
 
Carry-on luggage drop off with delivery to stateroom
Welcome lunch at Chops Grille
Private hours for ship attractions
Priority debarkation and tendering at ports of call
Reserved VIP seating at shows
Complimentary VOOM Surf + Stream internet package for one device per person
Choice debarkation with exclusive à la carte breakfast
 
Here is the current list of benefits on the Royal Caribbean website:
 
2n0nf9v.jpg
 
And here is the letter Royal had waiting in our stateroom upon arrival, explaining the benefits we would receive:
 
46546112915_40b63f0c09_z.jpg
 
(Whoa why are my photos so huge? Ok, I think I fixed it?)
 
Take note of these lists, and the minor and/or major differences in wording.
 
There has been much debate, both here and elsewhere, about whether the benefits are worth the price.  The benefits also changed with our sailing, or so it appears, as I had been closely watching for others' reports about their experience, and none of the previous reports, including the week prior on the same ship, had the same letter we had upon arrival.
 
I'll review our experience with The Key as I review, and I'll share my general thoughts at the end of the report.

I think it's interesting that they put this letter in your stateroom telling you that one of the benefits of The Key is to drop off your carry on luggage in the theatre and they will deliver to your room for you.   I mean, once you're in your room, if you didn't already know- then just drop off the stuff.  LOL  

I know, there are many other avenues to find out that information but it is just funny to me to think that someone might go all the way to their room and find the letter telling them they can drop their stuff in the theatre and it will be delivered to them.   What's even funnier is that I can imagine some people who might take their stuff down there after finding the letter.   You never know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do you purchase the Key on your cruise planner?

 

It looks like you still have to reserve seats for the shows?  For the shows, is there a separate line for the Key people?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, phabric said:

Where do you purchase the Key on your cruise planner?

 

It looks like you still have to reserve seats for the shows?  

In the Internet section. You need to reserve the show (on the ships that have that), not the seats, those are set aside for Key customers.

Edited by Biker19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, legaljen1969 said:

I think it's interesting that they put this letter in your stateroom telling you that one of the benefits of The Key is to drop off your carry on luggage in the theatre and they will deliver to your room for you.   I mean, once you're in your room, if you didn't already know- then just drop off the stuff.  LOL  

I know, there are many other avenues to find out that information but it is just funny to me to think that someone might go all the way to their room and find the letter telling them they can drop their stuff in the theatre and it will be delivered to them.   What's even funnier is that I can imagine some people who might take their stuff down there after finding the letter.   You never know.

 

I can't imagine purchasing the Key and not knowing that it included the luggage drop off. It is clearly stated in the description of the Key benefits. The Key has had and still has many critics but hopefully they are ironing out some of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2019 at 1:23 PM, legaljen1969 said:

I think it's interesting that they put this letter in your stateroom telling you that one of the benefits of The Key is to drop off your carry on luggage in the theatre and they will deliver to your room for you.   I mean, once you're in your room, if you didn't already know- then just drop off the stuff.  LOL  

I know, there are many other avenues to find out that information but it is just funny to me to think that someone might go all the way to their room and find the letter telling them they can drop their stuff in the theatre and it will be delivered to them.   What's even funnier is that I can imagine some people who might take their stuff down there after finding the letter.   You never know.

 

🤣  Hopefully people know about this perk before they get to their stateroom! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2019 at 3:03 PM, nbp said:

Thank you!  Glad we ordered them!  I will definitely put them in Check In Luggage!

 

Be careful when you separate them if they come stuck together. Ours were stuck to each other but had a piece of paper between them so you could slide them apart. 

The piece of paper fell out while my DH was sliding them and they immediately glommed onto each other never to be separated again. 

We tried several times over the cruise and finally chucked them 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/7/2019 at 10:14 AM, jagsfan said:

Be careful when you separate them if they come stuck together. Ours were stuck to each other but had a piece of paper between them so you could slide them apart. 

The piece of paper fell out while my DH was sliding them and they immediately glommed onto each other never to be separated again. 

We tried several times over the cruise and finally chucked them 

 

Yes they are very powerful!!!  Definitely a test of your strength if they get stuck to each other!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found your review when you were commenting on another thread. I just loved your review!  DD and I are booked on Symphony this coming summer.

 

OMG you and I are kindred spirits! I took my two teens (18 and 16) on Liberty of the Seas for DS’s graduation a couple years ago. Your review brought back so many memories. We had other extended family cruises.  But there is nothing like just “you and the teens”.  I was laughing so hard at so many things you mentioned.  I feel your pain. You are not the only one that must sit between your kids so they do not fight (this is still sometimes true even though mine are now young adults).  Seriously, your review was like “This is Your Life!” I am an introvert and a Susan Cain fan (introvert guru).  But I have to tell you, the Comedy Show would not recharge my batteries.  I need quiet. I need it really quiet.  I can soooo relate to missing the Escape Room b/c of a fight, the missed phone call from Royal about The Key, we have two cats. . .I could go on and on.

 

Thank you for taking the time to review your trip!  Now, I need to read about your Alaska cruise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate your review, it was detailed and fun to read. We are heading to the Symphony in April over Spring Break, I'm expecting there to be a ton of kids. My kids have enjoyed the clubs in the past but this will be my youngest first time in the Teen portion so it will be interesting to see how it goes. My oldest gripped endlessly about the Teen Club last cruise because all the fun kids were in the older section and she was in the younger section and on and on. Honestly I was totally okay if she didn't get to go but that meant she was limited to hanging with us or in the room. That she complained about those options were the things that annoyed me. 

Anyway it was good to hear that even with so many kids that waits weren't that long for the "extras" as we have already deemed the The Key not worth it. 
The thing with your kids cards is this, you CAN make them so that they aren't linked to your cc before you cruise (the no charges option) but because of shady practices you have to turn off the ability to use them in the arcade on the ship. So they wouldn't be able to use the cards to purchase a ice cream or anything in the stores but they are always active in the arcade. To me it's a way that RCCI gets over on parents because a lot of parents don't realize this and even if your child goes to "free" play with the cruise staff or another event there are still games that cost and those games they will be able to swipe their card and play with you unwittingly being charged and many parents not noticing until the end of the cruise and just paying the charges. 

We tend to check our charges daily because we have had so many odd charges show up on our portfolios in the past (been on 15 cruises with RCCI). 

Any way thanks for all your time posting. I know it takes a lot to do it and even more effort to make it a joy to read. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, luv2sailAgain said:

I found your review when you were commenting on another thread. I just loved your review!  DD and I are booked on Symphony this coming summer.

 

OMG you and I are kindred spirits! I took my two teens (18 and 16) on Liberty of the Seas for DS’s graduation a couple years ago. Your review brought back so many memories. We had other extended family cruises.  But there is nothing like just “you and the teens”.  I was laughing so hard at so many things you mentioned.  I feel your pain. You are not the only one that must sit between your kids so they do not fight (this is still sometimes true even though mine are now young adults).  Seriously, your review was like “This is Your Life!” I am an introvert and a Susan Cain fan (introvert guru).  But I have to tell you, the Comedy Show would not recharge my batteries.  I need quiet. I need it really quiet.  I can soooo relate to missing the Escape Room b/c of a fight, the missed phone call from Royal about The Key, we have two cats. . .I could go on and on.

 

Thank you for taking the time to review your trip!  Now, I need to read about your Alaska cruise!

 

Soul sister!

 

You're going to love Symphony! I am fairly certain we will be back on a mega ship in the next year or so. 

 

I don't know whether to say I am sorry to hear that your family is like mine, or say I am glad to hear we are not alone! What IS it with these teens? 

 

As a single mom/teacher I have learned to recharge with noise around me. It's all about survival. I recharge faster in a quiet place, but in a pinch I can just isolate myself around noise and manage. 

 

Thanks for reading, and for commenting! 

 

4 hours ago, kermit99 said:

I really appreciate your review, it was detailed and fun to read. We are heading to the Symphony in April over Spring Break, I'm expecting there to be a ton of kids. My kids have enjoyed the clubs in the past but this will be my youngest first time in the Teen portion so it will be interesting to see how it goes. My oldest gripped endlessly about the Teen Club last cruise because all the fun kids were in the older section and she was in the younger section and on and on. Honestly I was totally okay if she didn't get to go but that meant she was limited to hanging with us or in the room. That she complained about those options were the things that annoyed me. 

Anyway it was good to hear that even with so many kids that waits weren't that long for the "extras" as we have already deemed the The Key not worth it. 
The thing with your kids cards is this, you CAN make them so that they aren't linked to your cc before you cruise (the no charges option) but because of shady practices you have to turn off the ability to use them in the arcade on the ship. So they wouldn't be able to use the cards to purchase a ice cream or anything in the stores but they are always active in the arcade. To me it's a way that RCCI gets over on parents because a lot of parents don't realize this and even if your child goes to "free" play with the cruise staff or another event there are still games that cost and those games they will be able to swipe their card and play with you unwittingly being charged and many parents not noticing until the end of the cruise and just paying the charges. 

We tend to check our charges daily because we have had so many odd charges show up on our portfolios in the past (been on 15 cruises with RCCI). 

Any way thanks for all your time posting. I know it takes a lot to do it and even more effort to make it a joy to read. 

 

 

AHA!!! I think you have solved the mystery! I recently checked in for our upcoming cruise and did NOT give charging privileges to the kids, again, and I took a screenshot so I could wave it around in the faces of any Guest Services people who tried to tell me I couldn't do that during check in. I guess there will be no waving-in-faces now, but I will most certainly visit GS and turn off the arcade access. Stupid arcades! 

 

I hope your kids enjoy the clubs. I do enjoy spending time with my kids, but when they complain about everything I do/want to do, I want to tell them to go to the Teen Club and leave me alone. It's just like you said! Your choices are Teen Club or do what I want to do. You have to pick one and you can't complain about your choice! I know DD would have rather just gone to the room and watched TV/You Tube (oh how I HATE You Tube!) but that is not a choice on vacation. 

 

DD has sighed with relief that we are on a smaller ship and thus will have fewer kids in the Teen Club. Let's hope BOTH kids find a friend or two so we can each enjoy the things we want to do!

 

Thank you for reading, and thank you SO much for finally solving this arcade mystery!!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/30/2019 at 1:20 PM, blueridgemama said:

 

That monkey breaks my heart. It looks like it has to stand on its water bowl as the only option to standing on chicken wire. Very hard to see.

 

Nevermind.

Edited by crusinpsychRN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, crusinpsychRN said:

 

Why copy the entire post for a comment?

 

This is over 1 year old. Why are you reprimanding me for a comment 1 year later??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, crusinpsychRN said:

I edited comment to Nevermind before you commented. Didn't notice it's a year old but why does that matter?

 

Ok. Peace😊 Stay well and healthy so that we can all cruise again in the near future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that was interesting. Always good to revisit this, especially a year later, when Facebook keeps reminding me of what I was doing a year ago. Thanks, Facebook!

 

Me right now:

 

3e2c790bc919ec4972a111c10b6de5c3.jpg

 

I should be on a ship right now, heading to the southern Caribbean. But nope. I am here, planning "distance learning" for 1st grade students. 

 

So...

 

enhance

 

That is all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...